Wolves of Mercy Falls Giveaway

I’m really excited for a fun weekend of the Wolves of Mercy Falls here at The Nerd’s Wife.
I’m participating in the Got Books? Event, where more than 100 blogs will be hosting giveaways on their sites throughout the weekend.


As part of this event, I’m going to be discussing the totally awesome covers for two books:

You see, I work in the printing industry, and I can appreciate the pure beauty of these covers. Not only for the amazing artwork, but also for the different applications that enhance that artwork.The cover jackets are printed with a matte finish and metallic inks. The titles and author names are embossed, with a bit of clear varnish applied on top.

As you run your fingers over the front cover of both books, you can *feel* the title and author name pop out from the rest of the cover. I love, love, love when you can *feel* the different parts of a cover application.

Pull the cover jackets away and you will find leaves blind embossed on the front cover of each novel. Many books lack little details like that.

But the *best* part?

Shiver, which takes place in the winter, is dominated by cold, metallic blue ink on the cover. Open its pages, and you’ll find the story printed in dark blue ink. How cool is that?

Linger, which happens once spring has started to peek out in Mercy Falls, is dominated by different shades of metallic green ink on the cover. And inside? Yup — green ink!

I cannot think of any other books I’ve read that were printed in an ink other than black.

It is such a unique touch that really pulls together the design package of the books in this trilogy.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the cover of Forever.

Maggie Stiefvater interviewed the cover designer to find out the details on how he came up with the design. It’s actually *really* cool and you should go check it out.

Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing Maggie on her thoughts about the covers as part of her Linger release blog tour. So be sure to come back and check that out!

And now, to the giveaway!

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 **Contest Now Closed**

There will be *two* winners.

Winner #1 will receive *signed* copies of Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.
This prize was purchased by me for the purpose of this contest.

Winner # 2 will receive a copy of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.
This prize was donated by Scholastic Press for the purpose of this contest.

The Rules:

Only one entry per person.

The contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

You *must* be a follower of my blog to enter.
If you are a new follower, you will receive 1 entry.
If you were a follower prior to the start of this contest, you will receive 2 entries.

Fill out the form below to enter. Do not leave your entry in the comments.

Increase Your Chances:

Complete the following tasks to increase your chances to win!

  • +1 – Become a fan of The Nerd’s Wife on Facebook.
  • +1 – Follow The Nerd’s Wife on Twitter.
  • +2 – Tweet about this contest. Sample tweet: Enter to win *signed* copies of Shiver and Linger by @mstiefvater from @thenerdswife: http://bit.ly/d9P0yw

Contest ends Saturday, July 24 at 11:59 CST.

    Good luck!
      PS – Don’t forget to enter my

July Book Extravaganza

      while you’re here! You could win a book of your choice from a *dozen* of the best YA books this year! (


    is one of them! **cough**cough**)

Friday Finds (6)

Another Friday. Well, let’s get to it…


Carol at Carol’s Prints is giving away seven ARCs, including:

Matched by Ally Condie (this one is *signed*)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Torment by Lauren Kate
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
The Duff by Kody Keplinger


These are *all* titles I’ve been *dying* to get my hands on.

I’m definitely entering this one!

Contest ends Aug. 9.

Fill out the form to enter.


Alexandra Shostak is also giving away some pretty great ARCs.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
*and* a *signed* copy of White Cat by Holly Black.

I absolutely *loved* Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, and I can’t wait to find out what happens in Sapphique! So, that is my pick if I win.

What’s yours?

Contest ends July 27.

Fill out the form the enter. 


Sara McClung is also giving away seven ARCs. 

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Torment by Lauren Kate
 Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Contest ends Aug. 6.

U.S. and Canada residents only.

Fill out the form to enter.


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Wolves of Mercy Falls Giveaway from The Nerd’s Wife

 As part of the Got Books? Event, I’m hosting another giveaway!

Winner #1 will receive *signed* copies of Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.

Winner #2 will receive a copy of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.

Contest ends July 24.

U.S. and Canada residents only.

Fill out the form to enter.


AND – Don’t forget about my July Book Extravaganza Contest!

You could win one of a dozen super-hot summer reads!

Contest ends July 31.

Open internationally.

Fill out the form to enter.


If you’re here from the Book Blogger Hop, welcome!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books

It’s a chance to meet new bloggers and find some other sites to follow!

This week’s question: Tell us about the book you are currently reading. 

Well, I just finished reading Linger by Maggie Stiefvater. It was *excellent.* Seriously, one of the best books I’ve read all summer. Loved, loved, loved it.

So, you should go enter the Wolves of Mercy Falls giveaway to get your own copy.

If you become a follower, leave me a comment and I’ll go follow you back!

Same goes for all of my Follow Friday friends — just leave me a comment, letting me know you are a new follower, and I’ll follow you back!

I’m going to be posting this a little early so it won’t interfere with my Got Books? post.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

My Brother, The Wizard of Oz

This is my super-awesome brother, Andy.
Well, his name is really Kurtis. That’s what he goes by in the professional world.
It’s Kurtis Andrew. But when he was little, he never liked being called Kurtis, so we all called him Andy.
But then he grew up and started going by Kurtis.
And now, his whole family is confused.
Do we call him Andy?
Or Kurtis?
Or Kurtandy?
As for me, I’m forever going to call him Andy.
And he’ll just have to deal with it.
Andy is River’s dad, which makes him way, way cool in my book.
But he is also a computer whiz. A totally awesome computer programming whiz.
So when I decided to completely redesign my blog, I knew where to turn.
And boy, did he do a great job.
And then, a few weeks later, when I decided to completely redesign the homepage, I called him up again.
And this time, he blew my socks off.
Oh, have you seen the new Nerd’s Wife homepage?
Yeah, it’s awesome.
The photos and captions in the right column *change* when you refresh your page! How cool is that?
I wanted something that was dynamic and fresh, and I think he did a great job.
Now, I get to just sit back and enjoy it.
So this post is to say a great big
Thank You!!
to the man behind the curtain.
Andy, you are totally my Wizard of Oz.
Does that sound weird?
And now, for your viewing pleasure, some super-cute photos of Andy and his daughter:
He is so tall. How did I end up so short?
This one is my absolute favorite. River is having the time of her life with her daddy.
And her daddy is wrapped around her little finger.
And their puppy, Lilu, is along for the ride.
It doesn’t get any better than that, folks.

Slimming Down

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that they were releasing a new version of the XBox 360.
Slimmer. Stronger. Sleeker.
The Nerd was instantly intrigued. A *new* XBox?
His XBox Elite was three years old. That’s practically an antique.
Of course, there was nothing *wrong* with it per se, but *eventually* it would die.
So, we had to get a new one.
Just over a week after the model was released, we searched all over DFW for a store with one in stock.
And we *finally* found one at Fry’s in Irving, a mere 26 miles from my parents’ house, where we were spending the weekend.
Can you see the excitement?
(He probably realized at this point that I was going to make fun of him on the blog. Poor guy.)
Ok, now he definitely knows I’m going to make fun of him.
And thus begins a series of photos of The Nerd taking the XBox out of its box.
This is *our* version of an unboxing video… errr… unboxing photos.
It’s out of the box!! Can we play games??
No! We *must* read the instruction manual. Because, you know, XBoxes are *so* complicated and stuff.
Ok, ok. *Now* we play games.
And now, all is right in the world.
We have acquired the latest electronic device.
No longer will the fear of a failing XBox plague us.
That is, until a *newer* model is released.
When the new XBox 360 was announced, The Nerd couldn’t *wait* to get his hands on one. Even though the old one still worked.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

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When we first decided to do a luau theme for my cousin’s bridal shower, I knew that I wanted to make margarita cupcakes. But I also wanted to offer a little variety, so when I found this recipe for Piña Colada Cupcakes, I knew this would be a perfect match.
Piña Colada Cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients:
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1.4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut extract
4 egg whites
1/2-2/3 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the flour mixture in three additions, beginning with the flour and alternating with half the milk in between each addition of flour.
Mix well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla, coconut extract and shredded coconut.
Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Clean your mixer bowl and then beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the egg whites to the batter, mixing until smooth and blended completely.
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pan, filling each well about half-full.
Bake until cupcakes are golden, about 15 minutes. Use the toothpick test to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
Frosting Ingredients:
Adapted From: Southern Food
1 cup butter
8 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons well drained crushed pineapple
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
Cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar.
Add in the crushed pineapple, and just enough pineapple juice to make it spreadable.
Frost the cupcakes as desired.
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Nothing says summer like Piña Colada Cupcakes. Top with shredded coconut and you’ve got a refreshing treat.

Margarita Cupcakes

There is *nothing* like an ice-cold margarita on a summer night to take the edge off the Texas heat.

I like ‘em frozen…with lots of lime juice and very little tequila.

Oh, and salt around the rim.


These Margarita Cupcakes have that same lime-y flavor as your favorite margarita…with just a hint of tequila in the icing.

Margarita Cupcakes
Source: Annie’s Eats

Cupcake Ingredients:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
  1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 limes, zested and juiced
  1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.


Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.


Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.


Add in the lime juice, lime zest and vanilla and beat well.


Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, starting with the flour mixture and adding the buttermilk after the first and second flour additions.


Fill the cupcake liners about half-full with the batter.


Bake 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.


Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:


2 cups sugar
8 large egg whites
Pinch of coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 tbsp. tequila


Combine sugar, egg whites and salt in a medium sauce pan and heat until it reaches 160 degrees F and the sugar has completely dissolved.

Transfer to a stand mixer and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form and it has cooled to room temperature.

Add in the butter, two tablespoons at a time — mixing well after each addition.

The mixture may start to look curdled…just keep mixing it and, eventually, it will look like this:


Stir in the lime juice and tequila and squeeze on top of the cooled cupcakes.



These Margarita Cupcakes have all the flavor of your favorite summer night concoction, without the bite.

Post It Note Tuesday

It’s been a while since I wrote a Post It Note Tuesday post.
Life’s just been crazy. This week, I decided to write notes to my family.
Don’t forget to check out Supah Mommy’s blog to see what everyone else has to say, Post It Note style!
And, if you’re here from PINT, if you become a follower of my blog, I will follow you back! Just leave me a comment letting me know and I’ll come visit you, too.
Happy Tuesday!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I have been dreaming of making pulled pork sandwiches ever since I first saw this recipe. 
When I offered to host a bridal shower for my cousin, I knew it would be a great debut for this dish.
The pork was yummy and tasty and so, so tender. 
We paired it with Hawaiian rolls and barbecue sauce for cute little mini pulled pork sandwiches.
Pulled Pork
Adapted from: KevinandAmanda.com
Dry Rub
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar
Brine Solution
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water
3 tbsp dry rub mix
2 bay leaves
You’ll also need an 4-7 lb. bone-in Boston butt, with a layer of fat on the bottom.
I used a 10 lb. bone-in pork shoulder because I knew I’d be feeding a *bunch* of people.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl…
And mix together with a spoon.
Put your pork in a large (2 gallon) Ziploc bag…
And add in the brine solution. Let it refrigerate overnight.
Put the pork in a crock pot…
And cover it with the dry rub. 
Cook on low for 10-12 hours.
You’ll know it’s done when the meat just shreds apart.
Use two forks to shred the meat and get rid of all the fat.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s all done.
I made this a day early, refrigerated it overnight and heated it back up the day of the shower.
Aren’t these sandwiches cute?
This would be a *great* company meal. It’s been added to my list for when all of my family comes to visit!
It was a *huge* hit at the shower!
Thanks for looking!
Tender and savory, these pulled pork sandwiches are the perfect meal when you’re feeding a crowd!

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Two weeks ago, I did *not* tell The Nerd that I *really* wanted to get a Flip Video camera. Not me! I would *never* ask for a $180 video camera after just getting a $450 lens for my birthday.

Remember last week when I mentioned I was at a work conference? Well, they did *not* give us totally awesome swag bags that contained…you guessed it… a Flip Video camera! Woohoo!
My first order of business with my super-awesome new camera was *not* to video tape my sweet niece, River. Not me! This is *not* a mommy blog, remember?

My first video is a pretty funny moment.

Out of the mouths of babes, right?

What about you? What are you *not* doing this week?

Thanks for looking!

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