Monday, September 18, 2017

Books read Sep 18

Christmas by the Sea: A Surf's Up Novella by Beth Wiseman
Have not read any books by this author and know I will seek them out for the future as I really enjoyed the read.
Seems to lifelike to me as the Galveston area just went through a cat 5 hurricane and left devastation to many for many months.
Book starts out with Parker and he's late leaving the island after evacuation is announced. He gets caught up and his leg is trapped under the rising water. He prays to God that he gets to see his son again and he hopes his deceased wife will be his guardian angel.
Book also follows Alexandria who's just leaving the area  and notices the man and leaves her car, calls 911 for help and attempts to help him. Her father is not doing well and she knows it won't be long til he passes away.
She gets to him but is not able to free him and he tells her to go and don't look back as the last attempt for him to breathe has come and gone. EMT's do arrive in time but she's not able to accompany him to the hospital. Love that she stayed with him til he was free and she kept his mind off his troubles by talking about his family.
He also keeps her mind off things as she describes the Christmas holiday and eating fish tacos with her dad along the beach.
Story is so much like real life it is scary. She knows she will never see him again and him her as they don't even know each others last names.
Can't wait to read more from this author. Other books and excerpts are included at the end along with author bio information.
Received this review copy via Amazon from Story Cartel and this is my honest review.

Your Simple Guide to Making Afghan Crochets: Learn How to Make Afghan Crochet in 1 Day! by Angelina Dylon
This book starts out with an introduction about what the book offers. Has categories for afghan crochet.
Has several colorful photos of the work with detailed instructions on how to make what is shown. Some important things are yarn selection and crochet hook size as that will help determine the size of what you want to make.
Tells you about some different methods and goes into detail but it could be a lot clearer with pictures or diagrams.
Tells you how to hold the afghan hook the correct way-there is no correct way in my opinion, whatever works for you.
Some tricks and tips are included.  Patterns are rather hidden in words and not written out in standard pattern format. Good read but no where near being a great resource book.

French Food: Top 30 Healthy, Easy, Tasty And Popular French Appetizer And Dessert Meals by Sadia Saeed
Starts out with offer of free ebook. Table of contents and introduction about cooking in France. Book is broken up into different categories: appetizers and dessert recipes.
Each recipe includes a title, small color photo, list of ingredients and directions on how to make. There is no nutritional information and you probably have to follow the directions and not substitute for ingredients as the end product will not come out right.
Have plans to make the French crepes as I enjoy the flavor but would give 97% of them away as they would not be too healthy for us.
Author bio is included at the end along with her other works highlighted.

Can We Keep Them? The Ocean by Carla Faraldo
What I liked about this colorful children's book are the sea creatures shown and highlighted.
Book starts out with a mother and father and bring their daughter to the beach. She finds many sea creatures and wants to take them all home but the parents explain they need to stay at their own homes.
Didn't care for some print that was hard to read because of the background color and that I was not able to increase the font size on my tablet.
Has a good ending, sweet dreams.

The moon is down by John Steinbeck
Had no idea what this book was even about, had just seen who it was by and knew I wanted to read it.
I'm often asked who I'd want to have dinner with and I would always pick John Steinbeck. Have read many of this other works and have enjoyed them.
This one is about wartime in Denmark and how the residents are treated, they band together, some are traitors. Didn't even know the country had coal mines and liked how the kids found the explosives in the snow.
His books make you think about things a bit more deeply.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Instant Pot Cookbook: 500 Instant Pot Recipes to Cook at Home by Heather Perkins
Introduction starts out with why the instant pot should be your number one appliance for every meal.
Found a few recipes to try in our pressure cooker.
Each recipe starts out with a title, prep and cook times, servings. List of ingredients and you should be able to use low sodium and low fat products for a healthier choice for your dietary needs.
Directions and some nutritional information: calories, fat  NOT broken up into good and bad, fiber, carbs, protein and sugar. NO sodium levels mentions.
There are no pictures. Some items also want other accessories for the pot to be implemented.
Lots of choices in the different categories available.

Instant Pot Cookbook: 500 Instant Pot Recipes to Cook Healthy Meals by Ben Bailey
Some of the recipes were probably transferred from a different type of pressure cooker because there are problems with translation.
Also some of the ingredients are from foreign counries. Some recipes require you put the dish in the oven after to brown things so it's a bit time consuming.
Each recipe includes a title, prep and cook time and servings. List of ingredients could be healthier by using low sodium and low fat products. Directions are clear and I like having the right button selection in the recipe.
Some nutritional information: calories, fat=NOT broken up into good and bad, fiber, carbs and protein, NO sodium. There are also no pictures.
There are many categories to choose from in the table of contents. Free gift is available. Introduction is about how this unit can replace up to 6 other appliances in your kitchen and they are right about that. Love cleaning section but it doesn't tell you how much vinegar to use.
Some recipes want other accessories to be put in the instant pot before you can cook them-muffin tins, etc.
I would try a few recipes out of the 500 using lower fat, sodium products but nothing really stood out for me.

The Halloween Cookbook: Over 80 Ghoulish recipes for appetizers, meals, drinks, and desserts by Susan Evans
This book struck me as being funny because the foods you are making are regular meals but because of the Halloween names they are off the wall, making them funny.
Free bonus available. Categories are appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks.
Short intro from the author. Measurement conversion chart.
Each recipe has a title, servings, prep and total time along with ingredient list and you might be able to substitute for a healthier choice due to your dietary needs.
Directions are included but there are no pictures. There is no nutritional information.
This would be a big seller if pictures were included with the recipes.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Books read Sep 15

A Texas Hill country Christmas by Johnstone_ William W - Johnstone_ J. A
Has been a while that I read a book by the Johnstones and have enjoyed the westerns.
Love this audio book as each character has a different voice associated with it.
I am familiar with the characters and what a great time to catch up-with a holiday read.
Central TX and it's Christmas time surrounded by the younger crowd of the family.
Ellen educates the kids on who Sam and Luke, Ace and Chance were. Story starts back in the day...
Chance and his twin brother, Ace went down to TX from CO thinking it'd be warmer during the winter months.
Just rain for weeks as the card game wins Chance money.  Love the humor as they pair up with others in a bar fight...  Luke Jenssen is the bounty hunter and is used to trouble.
Twins decide to go with Porter so he can stop the woman from marrying the larger man.
Sam and his wife Sally have also left CO and will holiday with a family they hope to do business with.
Things don't go as smoothly as they all had hoped.  Lots of action, adventure and good family memories, rogue Indians,  bank and stage robberies,
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

25 Silly Dog Pictures for Kids & Adults: Pictures of Dogs to Make You LOL by Jean Bean
Cute colorful book for kids and adults that will make you laugh out loud.
Quite the imagination.

Kiplinger's Retirement Report July_ 2017
Lots of helpful information about alz disease and what is out there for resources.
Who to leave your 401k to and why, great advice! Lots of other financial information and changes to laws is discussed.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Comfort from a country quilt by McEntire_ Reba
This book starts out talking about the life of Reba throughout her years.
Love the correlation of the quilt and the pieces of her life as they are depicted on the quilt. My mom also made quilts and you knew how much time she spent making them as I make them myself.
They are so treasured now that she's gone just as treasured when she gave them to you.
Found it interesting to learn how her singing career started as I don't follow country western singers. Enjoyed this story.
Loved all the chapters of giving back and memories of riding in back seat of car across country as my husband described it also to me with 7 siblings.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Book Review: Tangled in Time, (Miss Main Street Book 1) by Angela Castillo

Tangled in Time, (Miss Main Street Book 1) by Angela Castillo
This book starts with Darcy as she arrived from LA after being notified she's her grandmothers beneficiary of her shop and everything in TX.
Kaley owned the bakery next door and was great friends with her gran. Darcy will take over where her gran left off and not sell it she'll run it herself.
She's not in a good space with her boyfriend, Jared in LA and he dictates where they go, what she will wear, etc. She's had it with him and prays to God to advise her.
Kaley next door also has man problems as she overhears a conversation. She hopes to comfort her.
Ramsey has stopped by, a boy from school and the neighborhood and he invites her to visit his parents for a meal soon.
Love mystery of the secret room as she get advice from contractors to come to the shop.
Love how the community shop owners welcome her to the area and are able to give her suggestions on how to be a hit.
Handmade items-traditional. Yorefest-I can just imagine people from 1860's showing their trades.
Like how she handles her ex and father showing up and also the new man in her life. Darcy has many episodes of remembering her grandmother and things she'd do, precious but heartbreaking at the same time.
Someone is out to get her and her business as they turn her shop to the inspectors. She wonders if the underground railroad is part of her secret room as the inspector notices some discrepancies.
Few characters and it's easy to keep track of them all. Love how the mysteries are solved and the outcome.
She prays to God often to help guide her. You wonder how she will survive on her own and without her grandmother but lots of help from others in the community. Excerpt from the next book in this series is included at the end.
Received a review copy of this book via Story Cartel and this is my honest review.

Book Review: Cardinal Cabin by Joanne DeMaio

 About Cardinal Cabin

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a heartwarming novel as merry and bright as a red-feathered cardinal taking flight.

Frank Lombardo's never been spontaneous. The closest he's come was accepting a side job chopping firewood for a lakeside community of rustic cabins. But with another lonely holiday season imminent, Frank's sister urges him to be spontaneous because, seriously, who does he ever expect to meet out in the woods?

With a suitcase in hand and a bit of reluctance, too, Penny Hart arrives at Cardinal Cabin on Snowflake Lake. It's only for a brief stay, though nobody knows where she is. Not her boss, not her friends...

Only Frank Lombardo. As the two unexpectedly meet at Addison's hidden hideaway, a spontaneous kiss sets everything amiss. But can the magic of this quaint New England town keep these snowy sweethearts together?

Cardinal Cabin is an enchanting tale about finding love where you least expect it. So come on inside. A cozy fire crackles, lights twinkle on the evergreen tree, snowflakes tap at the windowpanes, and little redbirds bring cheer this time of year.

Author Bio

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. Cardinal Cabin is her tenth 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.

Cardinal Cabin Available NOW:
Barnes & Noble

My Review:

Cardinal Cabin by by Joanne DeMaio

super good read, missed lunch yesterday and almost dinner because iw as reading this book. this morning a full hour on the bike while reading and i'm finally done, with happy tears, thanks for writing such a meaningful story. cant wait for more!

Love this authors style of writing and know from just looking at the cover it's a keeper!
So happy to be able to follow the group of characters for the past several years as they grow older in the CT seaside community.
So the story starts out with Penny Hart and she's been assigned a secret destination contest where others try to guess where she's at and they also go inside the travel agent company to book their travels.
Story also follows Frank Lombardo who is a handy man of many talents as he goes about tending to Gus bird named cabins (loved the history behind them) during the winter months. So many chores to do and also help his sister Gina with wedding plans for friends.
Love the hidden treasures I found in this book: near and deer is an actual web site, hairspray does work for holding glitter in place, song by Frank is one I've heard before but never knew it by that name-yes hubby thought I lost it when I went to youttube to hear it-it's just Sept here; boat parade and all it stands for every year.
Learning how to snowshoe and ice fish-priceless! Penny tries to stay hidden but some meetings are inevitable and then others are told and will hold her secret. Other events occur and others discover her and it's just a matter of time before everybody will know. She has a week left to go.... Love hearing of others traditions, puzzle that turns into a picture for the wall-many of these I have myself and flip them over during different times of the year.
Love hearing of the birds and what to use to attract them-such fond memories of my mother and the birds she'd attract in her feeders.
Such detailed descriptions of the festivities and decorations at every location: games played during events and know they'd be so much fun to participate in; charity events.
Snowtorcycle-so cool!  Love the nighttime adventures but he misunderstands a call he had overheard parts of it...
She hadn't planned on having company or her boss wanting her to go nationwide with the travel's all one big fantasy, not real, or is it?
I received a review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Books read Sept 13

Book Review Banzai: The Unknown Author's Ultimate Guide to Getting Amazon Reviews
Useful information about how authors should approach book bloggers to get their books read and reviewed online.
As a reviewer I'm happy when an author solicits their book for me to read. Hate when they just assume I will read it because they sent it to me. I read a ton, over 700 books this year, some are child, cookbooks, gardening, real 400 page books, wide variety of subjects.
I want to know a bit about the book then I'll decide if I want to read it and post reviews to about 15 different social media sites.  Don't push it down my throat, ask me first. Always like a more personal letter, about something we have in common, even weather or geographical location.
The author knows what a blogger is and what an author is and how to match them together.

Fruit Popsicles :The Ultimate Recipe Guide - Over 30 Healthy & Homemade Recipes
What I liked about this book was the healthy ingredients for the most part-some used high fructose syrup-too much sugar for us.
Introduction tells you about the book and how you can control the healthy ingredients. For all recipes you do need Popsicle molds and sticks.
Each recipe starts with title, prep and cook time and servings. List of ingredients and they do list low sodium, low fat varieties along with how to make the item.
There are no pictures and there is no nutritional information but you should have no problem finding one that will fit your dietary needs.
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

Forever His by Shelly Thacker
Starts out 1299 with a tournament and the men decide instead of wiping out the family of heirs that they work together.
The king states he must have a relative marry the other side. She was in the nunnery and ready to devote herself to God.
They are never to raise their blades or they lose everything they have.
1993 in France, Celine Fontaine is enjoying the festivities and knows something important is about to happen. Her sister Jacqueline is trying to set her up with a man.
Celine had given up modeling and now works in fibers...the physical therapy is going well but not many know of her injuries...
The two worlds collide as they try to figure things out...she's arrived in 1300 and has no clue as to what is at stake....
Good, funny at times time travel book. Gaston wants her to be a maid now doing chores? 
Loved learning about how the estate was run in 1300's and what was important to wealth and security.  Love how she steps up to the plate and  teaches others throughout the house how to make things easier and helps with the children. Hot spicy sex scenes as they get to know one another.
She is able to learn how to get back to the future...
Received this ebook free from smashwords and this is my honest review.

Bottled Water: What to BUY & What to AVOID (The Truth About Bottled Water Book 1) by Kate Bernhardt 
What I like about this book are the facts. Never knew only a handful of companies actually own the labels behind the water that you buy.
Water bottles are not created equally, so much to learn about this. We drink a lot of water and they tell you what to watch out for.
Like the quiz that accompanies the book as there are right and wrong answers.There's only 5 rules when it comes to bottled water and I won't spoil the fun you can have in learning about them for yourself.
Interesting book and learned so much!

Living Frugal And Loving It: 40 Creative Ways To Save Money And Live Debt Free For Life (Simple Living Book 2)  by Kathy Stanto
Lots of ideas on how to save time and money in many different areas of your life. We do a large majority of them already: cut cable bill, use magicjack for phone, low end banking, coupons, etc.
Would be a super book if it had a checklist enclosed that you could print so you can watch your progress. Really enjoyed this book.

Mediterranean Diet: 250+ Heart Healthy Recipes & Desserts + 100 Mediterranean Diet Beginner’s Tips, Tools, & Resources. (Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Fight Disease & Burn Fat by Kevin Hughes 
Don't care for some of the discussions in this book as our nutritionist told us to limit our salt intake due to husband's heart attack. This book says Med diet is high in salt-I totally disagree with that.
I know what I can sprinkle on our food to make it healthy.
Recipes in this book do not have pictures. The nutritional information they do contain is different for each of the recipes, most will have  protein, fat-not broken up into good and bad fats, carbs and calories.  Each recipe has a title and servings and list of ingredients. When you have to use a can of beans and just rinse it off the brine is already in the beans, USE FRESH!
Some items I have no idea what they even are: tahini. Also has directions in how to make. Not all recipes even have nutritional information. Some of format is different for some of the recipes.
There  are to me, a lot of useless information in the book. Introduction starts out with what the Mediterranean diet is and to check wtih your doctore first.
I totally disagree with having red wine at dinner. our doctor told us if you do not drink wine, don't start because of this diet. To us it's a new lifestyle as we combine exercise and sleep with the good diet.
Not sure if you really need to know about what kitchen utensils and appliances you should be using. Some of my appliances do the job of 6 other appliances.
There are listings of other sites online to check out along with apps to use.
Funny how it states to use low fat butter and other products but recipes don't use them as ingredients, they use real milk, etc.
We use low fat, low sodium and have no problems when the recipe calls for regular.
This book I could modify but it still doesn't list good and bad fats nor sodium which is what we are more interested in than calories or carbs. So lacking.

Book Review: Contemporary Cables Classic Aran Reimagined in Current Styles by Jody Long

Contemporary Cables Classic Aran Reimagined in Current Styles by Jody Long
Viewed this book on my tablet so the paperback copy might be a bit different.
Always been fascinated by knitted cables and what you can do with them as I experiment myself.
starts out with an introduction from the author about what fascinated her at the beginning.
Each sweater is pictured along with its name and book page number for easy reference.
Love the very basic of diamonds with seed stitch, you can see the stitches clearly, enough to make the design yourself.
Besides the intro there is are short paragraphs on basic things, yarn, amount, equipment, guage, basic stitches, casting on, joining, working stripes, from a chart, seams, etc a bit of everything to make a complete garment.
I can just imagine some of the patterns featured, not made up in a sweater but a scarf or hat even.
Each pattern starts with a color photo and what I like about them is that you can see the stitches, cabling and the background doesn't blend right in so you lose what you are looking at.
Has a star skill level, then chart by size so you can be sure of a good fit.
Other materials listings-what was used to make the sweater and gauge and special abbreviations along with how to work them.
Row by row instructions on how to make the pattern and how to assemble and finishing touches. Very detailed instructions. Also small photo of back of the sweater as well.
Chart diagrams showing measurements are also included along with special stitches.
Charted pattern is also enclosed if you follow instructions that way.
Like different types of shoulders and necks in the patterns.
Besides sweaters, wraps, shrug, there is a pattern for mittens, beret and a scarf.
What I also like about this book is the styles for men!  Abbreviations are available at the end of the book and how to make them also a conversion chart for US/UK needle sizes
Never realized the author was a man til I got to the last page, super that he shares his knowledge with us in this book.
I received this book from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review: A Stash of One's Own Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn by Clara Parkes

A Stash of One's Own Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn by Clara Parkes
Love to read stories of other knitter's concerns with having enough yarn to last their lifetime.
This is a book from other knitter's about how to they feel about the subject matter.
Should be a relaxing read as it will relate to me directly.
Most are very well known knitters to me, some are new. Each chapter features one author  who is a knitter.
Loved the story about inheriting something from your mother-I got the knowledge of learning from my mother and am very happy with what I can create with it, for others.
Love hearing what yarn means to others as it does to me. Love section on the contributors and their life.
I received this book from Net Galley and this is my honest review.