Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Books read Sept 19

Mini Instant Pot Cookbook 2018: Superfast 3-Quart Models Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes – Cooking Healthy, Most Delicious & Easy Meals by Philip Johnson
Even though this is a smaller size it'd be half of the recipes that I currently use-no leftovers.
Table contents where recipes are broken up into meal categories. Intro about the instant pot is included, feature, lots of colorful pictures, settings on the unit.
Each recipe starts with a title, prep, cook time, servings and list of ingredients which you should be able to substitute for your healthier dietary needs: low sodium, low fat, low sugar and fresh instead of canned products.
Directions are given for a 3 quart instant pot so I figure if you double it you can then have leftover for another meal or freezer meal-depending on what items are included.
Some nutritonal info per servings: calories, fat-NOT broken up into good or bad, carbs, fiber, protein, NO sodium.
There are NO pictures.
Classic hash brown frittata sound really good with a few substittuions.

35 Recipes For Slow Cooker Beef – Beef Slow Cooker Recipes by Pamela Kazmierczak
Table of conttnets where there is no special order to recipes.
Short intro. Each recipe has a title, summary of the dish, list of ingredients which you should be able to substitute for a healthier dietary needs: low sodium, low fat, low sugar and fresh for canned items.
Directions and servings suggestions. There are no pictures.
There is no nutritional information.  Nothing particular special about the recipes. some cater to foregin country and their special herbs and spices. 

Health: 139 POWERFUL & Scientifically PROVEN Health Tips to Boost Your Health, Shed Pounds & Live Longer! (4th Edition)by Linda Westwood
Table of contents where each habit has it's own chapter.  Free ebooks throughout the book.
There are also sneak peeks at other works by the author.
A lot of the habits are really common sense-to drink water, eat right, get plenty of sleep.
There are exercises but they don't show you by pictures of how they are done.
Have read other more powerful books.

Cooking Big Collection: Over 350 Delicious Recipes: (Healthy Recipes, Healthy Cookbook) by Brandy Irving
Starts with table of contents and includes many other books, all different authors, small ones but a lot of them.
Intro then recipes-NO pictures. summary of the item, list of ingredients,  directions on how to make. NO nutrtional information.
Books include summer drinks, sugar detox, Smoothie recipes, salting and pickling, more of the same showing vegetables and fruits pictures and what they will do for your health (really like this book),
canning and preserving,  freezer meals (like muffin recipes but no servings and lots of butter) , sausage making, instant pot smart pts cookbook (meal recipes some are healthy, pics, no nutr info)
food preservation book, clean eating 28 day plan  canning and preserving for baby,  canning and preserving,  another canning and preserving book,  bread cookbook (like that you can also use a bread machine)  baby food,  etc.

Instant Pot Mini Cookbook by Sarah Orwell
Starts with offer of a free book via mailing list-doesn't work.
Table of contents where recipes are broken up into daily plans.
Also food and meal categories.
Intro about the instant pot, the parts, what buttons do, foods you can eat on a ketogenic diet as this book is dedicated to that-low carb.
Each recipe starts with a title, color photo, servings, prep and cook time, release mode and time.
List of ingredients and how to make the item.
Nurtritional information includes calories, fat-NOT broken up into good or bad, carbs, protein, -NO sodium listed.
Not familiar with some of the ingredients but I'd still substitute for healthier options-fresh, not canned and low sodium products.
About the author is included at the end. Index listed at the end also.


Amish Friends Knitting Circle: Smicksburg Tales Two by Karen Anna Vogel
Enjoyed the first book and am familiar with the characters now so I know I will enjoy this one also as the days go by.
Table of contents where the recipes are also included and about the author at the end.
Love hearing of the seasonal things the children are able to do with a bit of supervision-so educational.
Glossary of Amish words are translated at the beginning.
Like how the book starts out-bringing you up to date on the previous book but adding new bits of information in the present day.
Like the idea of camp but felt they needed to charge or have others bring things they could use: food, fabric, etc because they spend a lot of time doing it.
Like also how their problems are solved and Recipes included and I can't wait to try the blueberry muffin on-always on the lookout for new ones.
Can't wait to read the next in the series. Wish they had patterns for items they are making for charity. Lots of changes occur over the time of the year and new rules are in place.


The Well-Crafted Mom: A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Making a Life You Love Kindle Edition
by Kathleen Ann Harper Guide for making your life the one you love.
Starts with a table of contents. Each of those are broken up into  a theme, practical advice, coaching and craft.
Good advice which should work for all, with practice and patience. Love the crafting suggestions, so easy to do also.
Like ending how she mentions others in what chapters that helped out with their suggestions and resources.
About the author and other works are included at the end. 

Itch the Caveman 
Colorful children book about a caveman and he's got an itch. he tries jumping, twirling and other things to get rid of the itch.
He meets many others who try to help also. Interesting how he stops the itch. Silly book.

Essential Oil magic for quick and safe cleaning by arav books
Starts with a table of contents  and intro about cleaning with oils.
History about catrosphes in our times and how green cleaning helped.
Some oils also disinfect and purify the air. Like listings of herbs and a short paragraph of what uses they are for.
Also a section on how to blend them with others to achieve other effects.
List of key ingredients to get and tips.
Recipes included that tell you how to mix the ingredients and what to use them on in your house.

Yoga: The Yoga Beginner's Bible: Top 63 Illustrated Poses for Weight Loss, Stress Relief and Inner Peace (yoga for beginners, yoga books, meditation, mindfulness, ... yoga anatomy, fitness books Book 1)
Table of contents where chapters are broken up by health benefits you are strviing to obtain.
Intro about yoga, some history. Poses show the name of hte pose in foreign language and English translation, picture of one doing the pose and how to do it and the benefits.
Has many different types of yoga positions. I felt these poses, especially the ones in the back  would not be for beginners at all but you can work up to doing them.
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Excerpt is included.

My Blog Traffic Sucks! 8 Simple Steps to Get 100,000 Blog Visitors without Working 8 Days a Week
I like how it details the habits you can perform to increase the traffic to your site. I don't want to go into making money from visitors, rather than a site with no ads but this book tells you how to analytically make money and email lists.
Resource reading links provided throughout the book. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

Mediterranean Diet: Mediterranean Cookbook For Beginners, Lose Weight And Get Healthy (Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Mediterranean ... Diet For Beginners, Mediterranean Recipes) by Lady Pannana
This book starts out with about the author and her many ways to contact her. Offer of free low carb book to help you get healthy. Table of contents where there's a lot of discussion what a Mediterranean diet is all about.
Recipes are broken up into meal categories.
Lots of history about the diet, how it helps you lose weight and other health benefits.
Each recipe contains a title, brief line about the dish, servings, prep cook and total time to make, list of ingredients which you should be able to substitute for your healthier dietary needs: low sodium, low fat, low sodium fresh vs canned products.
Directions on how to make. Found some of the recipes include about 20 ingredients going to to take some time to accumulate them all before starting the dish.
There are NO pictures. There is NO nutritional information.
Some of the titles are foreign and i have no idea what they mean.
Some recipes use American measurements, and England metric in same recipe.
15 day meal plans are also included.  Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Seems to be three different author names at other book retailers, not sure who really the authoris.

Book Spotlight: First Flurries by Joanne DeMaio


From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a novel snow-dusted with love and possibility.

Lindsey Haynes' father once gave her a snow globe with the note: "Unsure where to go? Give a little shake ... and your heart will always know." On a whim, those words lead her to the quaint New England town of Addison. It's a place straight out of a storybook with its twinkling town green, decorated Main Street, and secluded lakeside cabin community.

But an encounter with a dejected doctor named Greg Davis turns Lindsey's days upside down, much like a snow globe in motion. With a little nudge from endearing townsfolk, and a few chance meetings of their own, a magical flurry of emotions suddenly swirls around them.

First Flurries is an enchanting story about finding love and home when you're not even looking. So cozy up and settle in with a tale that will simply capture your holiday heart.


Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. First Flurries is her new wintry novel. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


First Flurries by Joanne DeMaio
Have read other works by the author and have loved them all.
This one starts out with Lindsey and she's  driving around towing her tiny house to a new location. As she nears Addison, CT she recalls an uncle there and maneuvers to his location, at the lake. Love how she finds an item because this is what really happens in New England-you leave things for others along the side of the road.
He's the man in charge of the cabins in the woods, at the lake. Love his mode of transportation, priceless!. He's set her up so she can show her vintage wares at the green where all the locals are displaying their crafts.
Problem is she backs into Dr. Greg's car and things escalate pass that...that is the first of many 'collisions'.
She gets advice from Penny about a kiss will tell where your true heart lies and she makes a wish and hopes she gets it for Christmas. Things don't go as planned and are misundersood.
Love hearing of the festivities of the town-such a busy night life, sounds beautiful.
Like hearing how she lives in her tiny house but it's also her shop of vintage clothes and she also sells them on the net, so resourceful!
Love white tail deer trivia-i learn something new every book I read from this author-even new words!
Other excerpts from books are included along with highlights of other works by the author. About the author is attached as well.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Spotlights: The Ransom Walsh Series Book 1 and 2 by Rusty Ellis


Sin City has it all. Including a Serial Killer targeting police officers and their families. 

Given the stakes, former homicide detective Ransom Walsh can’t afford to stay on the sidelines. The city he served for 20 years hasn’t slowed down since retirement and his skills as a former homicide detective are needed now more than ever. 

Ransom teams up with his former partner, Leesa Gardner, to chase down the murderer before another devastating blow is struck against the community and law enforcement.


Rusty Ellis is the eldest of seven children born to Paul and Shari Ellis. He grew up living in a number of different cities, due to his father's career in the U.S. Air Force. Rusty has lived in California (where he was born), Utah, Florida, Alaska, Virginia, Idaho, Wyoming, and in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he now resides. Rusty met his wife in Rexburg, Idaho, while attending college. The two were married a short time after (six months later!) and have continued to date and court to this day. Rusty and DaLea have six children, five daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and eight grandchildren (with two more on the way). DaLea is employed as a Realtor and Rusty retired from active law enforcement duty in 2018. Rusty wrote his first book in 2005, The Blank Slate. He is about a third the way through his second novelette, The Escaped Convert, and with the encouragement of his wife, this should be 'shortly' on its way to being published. Rusty publishes short family stories and articles on his website ( and on He enjoys spending time with his family, his two dogs, hunting deer with his friends, and riding his Victory motorcycle.


Picture Perfect Murder (The Ransom Walsh Series Book 1) by Rusty Ellis

Story starts out with a patrolman, Ransom in Vegas and he's stopped along the road, sees people sitting in their car but things aren't right...
Lisa Briggs and her partner Gabe show up and investigate the scene of his grandkids  and daughter and her spouse in the car...
We also learn about his past with his wife and child. They investage the couples house also and this sounds like something that happened to a cousin of mine-terrifying!
Terrifying to learn how these are all connected...details are so descriptive that the author makes you feel like you are there experiencing it all yourself.
Passenger seat therapy-love it! About the author and other works are highlighted at the end. Eash to follow along, handful of characters.
Received this review copy from the author via Goodreads contact and this is my honest opinion.


The struggle between Power and Justice: a prostitute, a homeless man, a politician, and murder. The most unlikely of witnesses pull Ransom out of retirement and back to the streets of Las Vegas. The former homicide detective must uncover who is leaking tips about the case and the murders…his former partner, his girlfriend, a Senator? Who can he trust?

The killer serves a higher calling.  Those sacrificed for the greater good of the people. Some lives are simply more disposable than others. Their value to society making them invisible.

Ransom sifts through an improbable group of witnesses, victims, and suspects; a strange mixture of water and oil. Individuals never likely to meet. Individuals never likely to find themselves in the same discussion. The only common ground: murder. 

EntitlementPrivilege. The self-prescribed Political Elite

Shunning class and status, Ransom’s only drive is to satisfy the plea of the voiceless victims, no matter where the gavel lands. A life is a life. Ransom squares off against his arrogant foe, to bring the killer to justice, to keep him from slipping through his fingers and answering for his crimes… 


Politics of Murder by Rusty Ellis
This story starts with the scene of where the body is found. As the story goes on the book goes back in time to the events that led up to that point.
Love that the eye witness  can really nail the one who did it. So many clues as Ransom and his side kick Lisa track them down as they head them to many involved.
Like the characters as I am now familiar with them and their personal iifes.  So realistic!
Like how the story got it's title, so fitting!  So deailed you feel as if you are there. Other works by they author and about the author are included at the end.
Can't wait to read in this series.  Easy to follow along, handful of characters.
Received this review copy from the author via Goodreads contact and this is my honest opinion.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Review: Chasing Pearl by Hallee Bridgeman

Chasing Pearl by Hallee Bridgeman
Book starts out with Scarlett and Violet and how they run the inn. They also tend to their grandmother who lives on the presises.
She has a customer, Chase who's in the military and is there to help train others in football camp.
Love hearing about how God plays a part in many of the events that occur. Liked hearing of his military service and shocked that my son also, out of Fort Benning was in the airborne department.
Although my son went further it was cool to just hear about it all and how it effected his life today. Liked hearing how they work together around town and helping others.
Loved hearing of the things they want to donate to Battleship Cove as it's within 15 minutes driving of our house. How prescious! Love hearing of the box that arrives, decades later then when sent, what a treasure for a lot of people.
Love the travel and the new things I learned. This is actually two books in one as she writes about her grandparents life and his service at Pearl Harbor. So much to look forward to. Glossary of words and phrases used is listed at the end.  Discussion questions and Luncheon menu are included along with recipes.
Personal note from the author is attached as well.  Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Excerpt included for Courting Calla. About the author is included.
Received this review copy from the author via and this is my honest opinion.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Books read Sept 7

Witness to a trial, a short story prequel to The whistler by John Grisham
Like this book because at court when you hear what was discovered the clues all lead to the man's wife. It appears to me,
to all be staged as things just don't add up. It's all about the casino and there are a few tribe members who don't want it on their land.
The two men-one dead and the other accused of his murder are now out of the way.
Reminds me so much of Longmire-based near the tribe's land and customs. Can't wait to read The WHistler.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

All Ages Doughnut Cookbook: The Most Delicious and Sweet Doughnut Recipes by Daniel Humphreys
What I liked about this book was that not all of the recipes have to be deep fried, making them a bit healthier
Starts with a free gift offer, table of contents and short intro.
Each recipe starts with a title, color photo, summary of the dounut and servings, prep time.
List of ingredients which you should be able to substitute for your healthier dietary needs: low sodium, low fat, low sugar products.
Easy directions also some come with frosting recipes.
There is NO nutritional information.
My first one to try will be baked pumpkin doughnuts, not sure what baker's style ingredients are....
About the author is included at the end along with other works.

100 Slow Cooker Recipes for you by Helena Smith
This book starts with a table of contents where the recipes are broken up into meals.
Intro about the slow cooker.
Each reicpe starts with a color photo, title, prep, cook, total time, servings, calories per serving.
List of ingredient swhich you should be able to substitute for your healthier dietary needs: low sugar, low sodium, low fat products.
Directions are given and there is NO nutritional information.
Large majority of the pictures are tiny.

Escape to Osprey Cove by Luisa Marietta Gold
Doug and Catherine are spending time on the island as it's their wedding anniversary. He had invited other friends to join them: Emma and her husband Will.
Catherine is loaded with money and he's always getting her to spend it-she's a VP for a large company and they have a problem with an account that she has to hurry to Canada to tend to.
The rest stay behind and she leaves going over the facts of the company on the plane back home.
She understands what the younger man wants in the marketing campaign=he and his young daughter leave for Africa and she heads home to her company.
Her husband is acting weird and quit his job, bought a corvette and leaves one day with no word as to where or why. Her best girlfriend Emma is pregnant but they are always talking to one another. They plan to head to TX to new jobs.
She ends up finding out what's wrong with her medically and heads to get comfort from her brother Michael in Chicago...Book ends abrupuptly and the story continues in the next books.
Got a feeling she and Emma are both pregnant from the same man...

The Christmas secret by Donna VanLiere
Story follows a woman, Kristy with teo children and an ex husband who doesn't pay child support. She's sturggling through holiday season to not only support them but keep her job and kids watched while working at the department store.
Also story follows a man-a relative of the owner of the department store and he's not quite adjusted to the work he's asked to do.
She ends up losing her job, DCYF visits and things are not going at all. Things get worse before they get better.
Like how the story combines the same people and there is joy during the season... Jason has to find the woman he had fired because she saved Judy's life-but she had been late for work. Love hearing of GLoria's Place, such a worthwhile place and things they do for others there.
Amazing how everyone is connected, love hearing about the secret.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Amish Knitting Circle Christmas: Granny & Jeb's Love Story  by Karen Anna Vogel 
Don't really read Amish books but this one is about knitting and I try to read everything I can on the subject. Love the cover and figured it'd be a good read.
Like a lot of things about this book-learning about Amish community rules, how others help those in need, scriptures quoted and what they mean to those reading them,
Double Blitz -actually went online to find out what it's all about-sounds fun, wedding traditions and things like when they can marry and what they wear.  Am familiar with the community as we have traveled through Ohio and saw how they make cheese and other items.
Love hearing of the knitting circle and how it comes about-wish there were knitting patterns. There are lots of recipes for food, some which I could probably substitute for healthier dietary needs and give them a try.
There are so many people that are followed in this book-after a short while you are familiar with who is who and what they do.
Like conflicts and successes. Book continues in the next story. Really like how modern technology comes to the rescue when needed.

Low Tide by Dawn Lee McKenna
Book starts out with a man on the beach and the detective who is covering the case trying to solve it by the clues left behind.
Maggie has children and an ex husband and a boss Wyatt who also pitches in. They follow many leads and it brings up the past, events that occurred that she still suffers with nightly nightmares about.
Like how the story goes, clues are a bit dismal but other things come to light Didn't care how the book ends Riptide the next book in the series is metnioned.
Was nothing really special about this for me.

Yoga For Beginners Guide Book by Sam Siv, Ajeet Acharya
Trailer and other works by the author are mentioned at the start.
Also free yoga tips and thank you gift.
Table of contents and intro.
What yoga is all about is discussed and how it can help you.
Connection between your mind and body and terms used are a bit foreign to me.
How yoga can help with other circumstances. THere are also little drawing and pictures throughout the book.
Especially like the different positions of yoga. They are shown in color of a person and what and how to do the pose and why it's good for you.
Lot has to also do with breathing. Equipment you might want to use is also discussed.
Sumary at the end and link to the authors website. At times I felt they go too deep into the subject for just a beginner.
 Other works are highlighted at the end along with free gifts.

Book Review: Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera

Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera
Noelle is traveling to Snowy Rock and going to tend to her aunt's candle store.
After the crash she gets help from Gabe, a local and she's terriried of the icy roads.
She had also met a little girl and her mother-who had gotten injured....
What I like from the start are the music she plays-sounds so comforting and soothing as do the candle scents.
Like hearing all the tips on the candle making process and why it burns when wax gets too low.
Like Gabe's career and learning about it. She is able to find another piano to play because she's aunts is broken.
She opens up about her past and marriage...
There are other conflicts as he's taken Lucille out for Thanksgiving dinner and she's the owner of the other candle shop in town. Love hearing of the scenes and activities they do, so precious.
Love that Holly has come to set the record straight about Gabe...and that she had gotten through the performance with her ex.
Author bio and excerpt from A Snowy White Christmas is included.  Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Book Review: Blackguards Redemption (Caselli Family Series Book 3) by Ta'Mara Hanscom

Check below this post for the first two books in the series-awesome set

Blackguards Redemption (Caselli Family Series Book 3) by Ta'Mara Hanscom
Book can be read as a standalone as you are brought up to date from previous books, just not so many details. 
Comes with a list of the characters so you won't be too lost.
Scary start for me because Noah knows she's coming to live in the town where he lives. Alex is runnng for a political position in the state and that means less time with Tillie and the kids but he promised it wouldn't effect them.
Life goes on with the others in their families and their friends. Her father and sisterinlaw carry a secret that could destroy Tillie but he feels he has to alert Noah first and hear his side to what happened...
He had approved Alex marrying his daughter but he's having second thoughts now as she almost died delivering the kids...
Noah just wants to hear what happened, why she left him at the altar and he learns why she left him...
Noah is able to talk to Mona, his sister in law about Carrie and her mysteries and that he confronted Angel but she ddidn't believe a word he said. Angel is married to Alex for life.
Because they live in the same town their paths cross often: registering kids for school, church, 
They come to mutual agreements about the past and live goes on..
So much happens to them during the years, some good some bad and how they handle the turmoil is what I like the best as they are problems that occur in our lives also.
Twists and turns, misunderstandings and so unpredictable, so much action and adventure, mysteries, romance, betrayal, travel and faith in God gets them all through the turmoil.
Can't wait to read the rest.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.