Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Sea Urchin Edition

Look at that...I made up my own swanky little title for this post. Anywho, as I was perusing through the saved items on my phone the other day I came across the following videos of my good friend Sheriff eating sea urchin. If memory serves me correctly, Paul told us he heard it was good. Yeah, um, we were lied to (and this from a sushi loving crowd!) Oh, and ignore the voice of the person doing the interview. She doesn't get out much.

And now for his reaction to the sea urchin:

Oh, and if that isn't enough, I also found this note in my phone describing said sea urchin. And I quote, "It tastes like a baby ate a jar of pureed sweet potatoes followed by a chaser of sea water and then regurgitated it."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Red Siren

*** Read to the end: My first ever blog give-away is at the end. ***

Ok readers. I am super ecited to tell you about this book. "Why, RandomCarrie?" you may ask. Because this book takes place in my newest hometown: Charleston. Way back when before it became as it is today. Way back in the day when the city had a wall around it to keep out the indians. M. L. Tyndall visited Charleston a few years ago and decided to write a series of books in this fine city of mine. (Yes, it's mine. Deal with it and move on to the review.) So here goes.

Lady Faith Wescott is the daughter of an Admiral in the Queen's navy (I told you this was a long time ago.) While raised to be prim and proper, by night she haunts the local waters as The Red Siren, a female pirate. When her father is called away to Spain, he asks Captain Dajon Waite to watch over his daughters to keep them from harm. While Captain Waite agrees reluctantly to take on this resonsibility, his major focus is on capturing the pirates in the local waters and bringing them to justice.

Will Faith and Dajon be able to live under the same roof? Will their paths cross in the water or on land? I highly recommend you read this book to find and and learn more about Charleston when it was still Charles Town.

Leave a comment and one lucky reader will receive a copy of this book courtesy of me! If you don't want to read it, you can always use it as a gift for someone close to you who reads a lot. Contest ends at midnight, Friday, January 30, 2009. Winner will be announced on Saturday, January 31, 2009.

But if you don't win, you can always link on over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself! Good luck to all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stand-In Groom

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stand-In Groom

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009) 


Kaye Dacus

I have not been this excited to tell you about a new author I have discovered in such a long time.  Kaye Dacus did an incredible job with this book.   When Kristen Billerbeck wrote the Ashley Stockingdale books I wanted to be an attorney.  Kaye makes me want to be a wedding planner.  

Stand-In Groom is the story of wedding planner Anne Hawthorne.  Anne Hawthorne is a life-long resident of Louisiana with family ties that are strong.  When Anne meets George, her latest groom-to-be, there is immediate chemistry that must remain unrequited.  The story of planning the wedding as well as Anne's adventures (and misadventures) makes me want to move in next door and cheer her along.  From her cousins who live in the same building, to the actually story behind George, Kaye takes you on an adventure you wish you could be there to experience.  

See what the following authors had to say as well:
“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”
M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series
“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder
To buy this book for yourself head on over to Amazon.  

Monday, January 19, 2009

It Happened One Friday

Well, actually it happened last Friday. I turned thirty. It seems better to type it out than to write 30. Less invasive somehow. How, might you ask, did I celebrate such an occasion. Well, to begin with my Facebook wall exploded with well wishes from friends, old and new. My phone beeped with text messages from those I would not see that day. Emails came from friends as well as phone calls from family. (And yes, Doodlebug told me she was working on my Christmas present. Last year she wished me a Merry Christmas. I guess I remind her of Christmas. Not sure what that means.) Mom came down so we could relax. And relax we did. It was a spa day for us girls. We had mud wraps, hot stone massages, and a microdermabrasian facial. And I know I proabably misspelled that but who cares. I'm old. Give me a break. Anyways, those 3 hours were amazing. I'm not sure yet if it was the pampering or the fact that I had no access to my cellphone or work email for 3 hours. Bliss. Pure Bliss. Saturday night, Grace joined us and we went to eat at South End Brewery. Yes, it is still one of my favorites, but I will not be going there again when the termperatures are cold. They apparently have no heat. It was miserable, but the food and the company were the best. So, my blog header has been re-worded because I am not longer twenty-something, but my life is still random and I don't see that changing because I added another year to my age. So here's to the adventure we'll call the 30s. May it be more than I deserve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're Safe, I Promise

I'd like to take a break from the ever-so-exciting posts from this week to let you know you are safe. How do I know this? Because I went to the Charleston County building today and put my purse and jacket through the x-ray machine. The ever-so-observant security guard quickly made me remove this item from my purse as I might poke someone's eye out with the file. (He actually demonstrated how I would do such a thing.)

I willingly gave up my "weapon" because it would have cost more to take it back to my car and pay for the additional time in the parking garage than it would to buy a new "weapon." However, as I stood in line in the tax assessor's office, I became relieved to know the dangers of the above "weapon" because I would have assumed the below (which was in my jacket pocket) was more dangerous.

Yes, I still have the Leatherman. Mr. Security Guard did not pay attention to my jacket for fear I would extract my anger at county government with my "weapon."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

30 Items I've Purchased in the Past 30 Days

  1. Gas – BP is my preferred provider these days
  2. This t-shirt
  3. A gift for my cousin’s graduation (you get no link because she reads this blog)
  4. A new phone for my mama
  5. An iPod for the Doodlebug and her mom (that would be my sister for those who care)
  6. Taylor Swift’s new CD
  7. Milk
  8. Chex Mix makings because it isn't Christmas without Chex Mix
  9. Cute Wallflower holders
  10. Approximately 50 spools of nice Christmas Ribbon (at 50 cents a spool it was a steal at the Wal-Mart)
  11. P.S. I Love You
  12. This t-shirt
  13. Lingerie for Arynda (you get no link because it’s lingerie)
  14. Amazing food at restaurants such as Ya-Yas and EVO
  15. Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits and sweet tea
  16. A gift for the dad to give the mom for her birthday
  17. Cute Fall pumpkins to decorate with next fall on clearance at the Pottery Barn outlet
  18. Halloween pancake molds at the William-Sonoma outlet
  19. Shampoo – Garnier-Fructis is my current obsession (don’t worry, it’s still Aveda products to finish off the straight or the curly hair-do)
  20. Notebooks for work – 1 for each company so I can keep things straight
  21. New sweaters – it’s cold at the beach!
  22. Cool new glasses with clip on sunglasses
  23. Prescription safety glasses because I’m a nerd like that I would rather wear them than the bulky ones that go over the cool new glasses
  24. Bittersweets - I got the dejected tin
  25. Dog Shampoo – It’s not all about me around here
  26. Containers to put all my Christmas cookies in next year
  27. One year’s worth of HOA dues
  28. Wii Fit
  29. Fun, black flats
  30. Caesar salad with friend calamari

Yeah, that was random. Oh well. Come back tomorrow for another wonderful list. I'm sure it will be as entertaining as this one was. Ok, so I lie. It may be even more boring. We'll just have to wait and see where the randomness leads.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

30 Places I've Spent the Night

And the list goes on... here are 30 places I've spent the night in the course of my life. Trust me, I could have bored you and listed many more, but I stopped myself.

1. Jefferson City, TN <-- I was born there
2. Talbott, TN <-- I grew up there
3. Port Charlotte, FL
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Daytona Beach, FL
6. Gulf Shores, AL
7. Silver Springs, FL
8. Myrtle Beach, SC
9. Chattanooga, TN
10. Hilton Head Island, SC
11. Cookeville, TN
12. Bristol, TN
13. Gatlinburg, TN
14. Pigeon Forge, TN
15. Livingston, TN
16. Nashville, TN
17. Murfreesboro, TN
18. Memphis, TN
19. Powell, TN
20. Cleveland, OH
21. Appleton, WI
22. Mount Pleasant, SC
23. Galway, Ireland
24. Dublin, Ireland
25. Edinburgh, Scotland
26. Glasgow, Scotland
27. London, England
28. New York City, NY
29. Naples, FL
30. North Charleston, SC <-- Current home


While you are waiting on my next random post check out this new book by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy. The title is Kiss and while I have not finished the whole book, I am enjoying what I have read so far. I always enjoy Ted Dekker's books and am axious to finish this one.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)


Ted Dekker
Erin Healy


Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?

Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion.

Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it.

In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

If you would like to read the first chapter of KISS, go HERE

What people are saying about KISS:
“The human brain could actually be the real final frontier—we know so little about it and yet it drives the world as we know it. So when authors like Erin and Ted bravely explore these mysterious regions, going into complex places like memory and soul and relationships, I become hooked. The creativity of this suspenseful story is sure to hook other readers as well. Very memorable!”
~Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice and The Other Side of Darkness
“Dekker and Healy prove a winning team in this intriguing, imaginative thriller.”
~James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Try Darkness
“Kiss by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker is a superb thriller that hooked me from the first sentence. The original plot kept me guessing, and I may never look at a kiss the same way again. I’ll be watching for the next book!”
~Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night
“The writing team of Erin Healy and Ted Dekker has taken me through a page-turner with Kiss. It’s one of those books that you think about when you’re not reading it. I highy recommend it, especially if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t put the book down!”
~Rene Gutteridge, author of Skid and My Life As a Doormat

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top 30 Songs On My iPod

It's "the" week. If you know me well you know what this means. If you don't, hopefully you'll figure it out by the end of "the" week. If you don't, you'll be either incredibly bored with this week's posts or you'll find me either more random or more entertaining than normal.

So, I'm not sure what this says about me, but here are the top 30 songs based on number of times played on my iPod.

  1. Come On Get Higher - Matt Nathanson
  2. Car Crash - Matt Nathanson
  3. I'll Make a Man Out of You - Donny Osmond & Chorus
  4. In Love With a Girl - Gavin DeGraw
  5. Let it Go - Gavin DeGraw
  6. Cop Stop - Gavin DeGraw
  7. She Holds a Key - Gavin DeGraw
  8. Untamed - Gavin DeGraw
  9. We Belong Together - Gavin DeGraw
  10. Lord, You're Holy - Helen Baylor
  11. Take a Bow - Leona Lewis
  12. Heartbreak World - Matt Nathanson
  13. Come On Get Higher - Sugarland
  14. Young Love - Gavin DeGraw
  15. Relative - Gavin DeGraw
  16. She Holds a Key (The Village Sessions) - Gavin DeGraw
  17. Medicate the Kids - Gavin DeGraw
  18. Gone - Matt Nathanson
  19. Bulletproof Weeks - Matt Nathanson
  20. Wedding Dress - Matt Nathanson
  21. Realize - Colbie Caillat
  22. Next to Me (Wait a Minute Sister) - Gavin DeGraw
  23. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
  24. Still - Matt Nathanson
  25. Mary's Song (Oh My My My) - Taylor Swift
  26. Our Song - Taylor Song
  27. Cheated on Me - Gavin DeGraw
  28. I Have You to Thank - Gavin DeGraw
  29. To the Beat of Our Noisy Hearts - Matt Nathanson
  30. Detroit Waves - Matt Nathanson

So, when I had this idea I thought the list would be more entertaining. I could try to explain it all to you like #3 is there because it's the only song Doodlebug wants to listen to when she has my iPod. Or the fact that I bought Gavin DeGraw's album right before I left for Europe so I listened to it almost every night. But really. You all think I'm weird random anyways, so oh well.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Perfect Match

*** I just received this book in the mail 2 days ago. I have tried to stay awake to finish it, but have been unsuccessful. Dern. I'm sure if I had received it on a Saturday morning, I would not have left my couch until I had finished it. I am really enjoying it and want to go out and get the other 2 books in the series. Enjoy this pre-published review. ***

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Match

(Tyndale House January 1, 2009)


Susan May Warren


Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.

The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.

You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website, HERE.


Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town’s interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can’t fight—the one Dan has set in her heart.
(This book is the repackaged edition published in 2004)

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Perfect Match, go HERE.


2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year

A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars


Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I Could Be, But I'm Not

I could be bitter that my back hurts
  • But I'm not because I can walk

I could be bitter I had to pick up my recycables that blew down the street

  • But I'm not because I am thankful I can contribute toward a greener Earth

I could be bitter that I have to work a lot of extra hours

  • But I'm not because I'm thankful I have a job in a struggling economy

I could be bitter that I am not married

  • But I'm thankful I've never been abused by a spouse

I could be bitter that I don't have children

  • But I'm thankful I get to be important in the life of others children

I could be bitter that I live so far away from my family

  • But I'm thankful I have a family who loves me and I can visit and they can visit me

This life we are given is all about perspective. I could go on and on and on with the "I could be, but I'm not" scenarious, but I won't. But when you start to complain about something and how "bad" you have it, remember it could be worse. It could always be worse. And I know I do my fair shire of griping, complaining, moaning, and groaning. I do hope that I can try to remember these points when I'm feeling down. It could always be worse. I'm just thankful it's not.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Wanted - Shelley Shepard Gray

I had the privilege of reading Wanted during my Christmas break.  The main character, Katie Brenneman, is approached by widower Jonathan Lundy to watch his children while his sister goes to visit her beau in another city.  The children, scarred by the death of their mother and not having a consistent "mother figure" in their life, take time to warm up to Katie.  However, Katie perseveres and attempts to make their house a home for them, teaching them important tasks and devoting herself to them.  During this time, Katie's past comes back to haunt her from her time during her Rumspinga (running around years).  Katie must make a choice: does she return to her past or continue with this new life she is creating?  Will Katie and Jonathan grow closer or will he continue to harbor feelings for his first wife?

If you enjoy reading fiction books (especially about the Amish) then I encourage you to try this series by Shelley Shepard Gray.  This was the first book I had read of hers and I enjoyed it a lot.  I need to go buy the first book now so I can feel caught up.  I look forward to reading more books by Shelley in the future.

If you would like to buy it, you can do so at