Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: Coming Home ~ A Tiny House Collection

Coming Home ~ A Tiny House Collection by Ane Mulligan, Linda W. Yezak, Pamela S. Meyers, Yvonne Anderson, Kimberli S. McKay, Michael Ehret, Chandra Lynn Smith
Wanted to read this book because the stories are based around tiny houses which I've read a lot about. Still not sure how I'd get my yarn and quilting supplies in there. The local tiny house community also comes with a POD I guess so you can swap out your seasonal clothes and decorations.
Interesting learning how they do survive living where they do. Have seen stairs used as storage in a regular house and love them!
Some stories enforce the path God has led them down.
What I like about this collection is learning about new careers and how they are done. All about tiny houses and those living in them from all walks of life.
Especially like the different locations, especially the ice road-we need one but the bay doesn't freeze often. Being blind I loved the one where the female trains the dogs and uses German phrases to command them. I've seen/heard the commands from friends.
Some include excerpts from the next in the series...most are romance but some are scary and mysterious themes. Each one kept my interest because they were so varied from one another.
Received a copy from the author via and this is my honest review.

Books read May 26

Besides being an Amazon enthusiast for gardening and cooking I want to be invited to another group where I can get my hands on advanced reader copy-read before it's available to the public.
Hope you can find some here and are able to mark at Amazon as 'being helpful'

A Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Recipes by Philip Wik
Midwest memories with sketches of maps and instructions on how to do certain things.
Home canning and breakfast of days gone by compared to what we eat today.
Talks about Inex Clifford and how remarkable she was in the time.
Bread making with recipes and I'm going to try the cornbread for our meal tonight. Just trying to find the perfect one for us.
Facts and history of how others arrived in the area. What they did for fun, carried in their lunch pails and the era of the radio.
Made the corn bread and it came out perfect, doesn't crumble and is sweet enough, no grit. I even substituted the shortening with vegetable oil.

Clean Eating: The Most WANTED Recipes And Plans For Optimal Health And Staying Lean For Life
Starts out with an introduction to clean eating and what else it consists of besides eating for a healthier lifestyle.
Has examples of fat burning exercises you can do and pictures of what foods are in what groups.
Breakfast recipes start out with the title, ingredient list,  and how to make the dish. There are very few pictures here and no nutritional information.
Some things you'll have no problem substituting for a healthier option.
Love Mediterranean omelet as it's one we have every Sunday using fresh spices and herbs and vegetables.
What I find confusing are mixing US and England measurements in the same recipe.

Backyard Bird Guide: Attracting Wild Birds to Your Yard
Don't want to really attract them as they already live nearby. We start hearing them about 5am if not sooner.
Explains what backyard birding is all about.
Few colorful pictures.  Tells you what you will need for which type of bird you want to attract and why it'd be good for your yard and surroundings.
Lots of information about a journal, keep birds happy with clean area, water and food. How to choose a good birdbath, feeder and birdhouse.
Charts and resources are also listed.

101 Quick & Easy 5 Ingredient Recipes by Victoria Steele
Lots of different categories including appetizer, drinks, salads, breads, main dishes, cakes, pies, vegetables, potatoes, cookies,
Some of these recipes I can make in my electric pressure cooker, sauteing the meat first then adding all the other ingredients and cooking for less than 5 minutes.
Like bread recipes, so basic and I can substitute for healthier options of ingredients.
The recipes have a title and list of ingredients and how to make.
There are no pictures and no nutritional information.
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan: Quick and Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Weight Loss by Naomi Rowland
Introduction about what the meal plan is all about, not just for losing weight but a lifestyle choice.
Gives listing of things to substitute for that will meet your dietary needs.
Recipe include title, servings, calories and list of ingredients.
Directions are included.
There are No pictures and no nutritional information and you should be able to substitute for your dietary needs.
Basic but colorful dishes if you have the time to make them.

Breakfast Recipes: 50 Delicious, Super Easy, Healthy 3 Steps Or Less Breakfast Recipes For Family & Friends by Nancy Kelsey
Each recipe comes with a small picture, list of ingredients and how to make the dish.
There is also a label pasted near the recipe that includes nutritional information: fat broken up into good and saturated, sodium also.
Problem is you can't increase the font size or picture to actually read it without a magnifying glass.
Some of the recipes also use prepared foods.
Best for us would be apple oatmeal muffins as I can control the sugar and oils used. Other items by the author are linked.

Fantastic Facts About Bees: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids  by Miles Merchant
Starts out with offering other works by the author for free.  Intro about what a bee is and what they look like and what they do.
What they eat and what their mouths look like along with showing you by pictures.
How they are the same and not the same in other aspects and species of other bees.
Like the parts where they talk about pollinating the flowers and vegetables growing.
More works by the author are highlighted at the end.
So very informative.

Children's Books: EVERYONE HAS A MOTHER (Fun, Adorable, Rhyming Bedtime Story/Picture Book, for Beginner Readers, Honoring Mothers of all Kinds, Including Animals, Ages 2-8) by Sally Huss
Have read other works by the author and have enjoyed them. This is is a colorful children's book  about being born or hatched and how everyone has a mother.
Other pages show a picture of what's being discussed: birds with their young.
Features 27 different animals and then people and how to thank your mother.
Sample of her other works is included along with a list of her other works.

Spring is Here! by Uncle Amon
Different chapters with different people describe what spring air means to them.
Farmer notices the flowers coming up first and knows winter is done.
Another chapter they realize a lot more sun. Another notices the spring and some animals foul smells.
How spring effects animals that sleep the winter away.
Very few pictures. Other works by the author

The 30 Day Whole Food Challenge: 180 Whole Food Recipes for YOUR Healthy Life  by Jennifer Evans
Starts with a free ebook gift then the introduction.  Clean eating along with recipes.
Talks about use of high fat content foods and how to substitute for them in recipes.
Starts out with recipes for breakfast, lunch, appetizers, fish and seafood, other dishes, desserts and snacks.
Each recipe has a summary of the dish, prep, cook times and servings along with list of ingredients and how to make. The nutritional information has calories, fat-NOT broken u pinto good and bad, fiber, carbs, protein.
NO sodium or sugar levels listed. There are NO pictures.
For the most part the ingredients are healthy and you should have no problem substituting for your dietary needs.
What I do like are the recipes for just two servings, perfect for us. Hate having leftovers for 5 days after you first started eating it.

Chicken Does Not Want to Be a Chicken By Elsa Takaoka and Catherine Toennisson
Colorful children's book about a chicken. Very specific pictures as to what the words say.
Problem is the chicken wants no part of being a chicken: clucking, peck, laying an egg.
He wants to be another animal and do everything they do until one chases him!
Because of what happens you wonder if he will still want to be that animal or be a chicken.
Cute story!

Mother's Love Can Conquer Any Fear!: - A perfect Bedtime story book for kids  by Subhash Kommuru
Too difficult to read as I can't increase the font size.

Oh, Sweet Pea You Are Beautiful by B.G. Jenkins
Children's colorful book. Words can not be increased making it too difficult to read and the pictures do not tell the whole story.
Words tell you about sweet pea and her story. Talks about how she grew with sun and rain.  She just wants to help her friends.
Found a lot of pages were repetitious.

The Samosa Cookbook: 30 Crispy and Crunchy Samosa Recipes by Bobby Flatt
Each recipe starts with a summary of the dish, servings and prep time. List of ingredients and how to make the dish.
Not sure of some of the recipes and wonder why in some recipes the measurements are in US and England, mixed in the same recipe.

Delicious Dessert Recipes: Become a Sweet Tooth with The Amazing Dessert Cookbook by Bobby Flatt
Beautiful photo along with a summary of the dish, prep time, servings and list of ingredients and directions for each dish.
There is no nutritional information.  Confused about some of the ingredients; what is 6 pieces of eggs?  Some of the recipes I would try substituting for a healthier option especially the cookies.
Desserts seem to be of a special occasion, like once a year.

Favorite Cake Mix Recipes by Southern Soup Jockeys
Starts out with a recipe which list the ingredients of cake mixes and other ingredients, how to make the dish.
There are no pictures. There is no nutritional information.
This cookbook is about using a regular cake mix and enhancing it a bit with other items to make it special.
Has chapters on making bread, cookies, etc with a cake mix.
I'm not comfortable substituting for the ingredients myself due to dietary needs.
Like the two ingredient cake and have seen and tasted this in WVa on our trip for a family wedding.

The Garlic Chef: The Ultimate Guide by Sara Hallas
Starts with an intro about garlic and it's beneficial healthy attributes.
Breakfast item start with title, prep, cook and ready in time, servings and list of ingredients and directions in how to make. There is no nutritional information and no pictures.
What I like about the recipes are that they are for two servings-perfect for a couple and for the most part healthy ingredients.
I'd not have a problem substituting for even healthier outcome.
Appetizers, lunch, and dinner meals.
Herby garlicky fish and vegetables sound good. We often use the grill to prepare our food year round.
Side dishes, snacks and dessert recipes also.
Some ingredients I've never heard of...

How to Cook Restaurant-Quality Lean Meat-Pork Loin: How to Cook Restaurant-Quality Lean Meat by Tony James Miller
Intro talks about bad rep pork gets and how it's really a good source of lean protein.
Explains how to cook it properly, roasting  along with basic recipes for seasonings.
This gives me a great example of what I can put even on pork chops-I have tons of spices and not sure what exactly goes with what foods.
There are no pictures and no nutritional information but you should be able to substitute for your dietary needs.
Like stir fry and grilled recipes. There are also deep fry recipes, grilled recipes,
Each new section tells you other tips to make the dish come out right.

Soulful Southern Cooking: Favorite Southern Comfort Food Recipes by Louise Davidson
Starts with an intro then onto the recipes: appetizers where you are given a summary of the dish, servings, ingredient list, and how to put the dish together and cook.
There are no pictures and no nutritional information. In some you should have no problem substituting for a healthier option.
Other chapters include Main entrees, sides and desserts along with list of author's other works.
Cooking conversion charts and temperature guide are also included.

Classic Potato Salad – America and Europe: 35 Recipes by Pippa Pralen
What I like about this is the opportunity to try other countries recipes.
Each recipe includes a nice colorful photo, the dish title, summary of what it is and list of ingredients along with instructions on how to make.
There is NO nutritional information but most of the ingredients appear to be on the healthy side.
Think I'd sub olive oil and herbs for the mayonnaise.
Along with the recipes there is history of potato salad. Some of the recipes include servings.
Like the different spices and herbs in the salads.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Books read May 25

Taking Care Of Your Own by Daniel J. Barrett
This story involves Joe and the rear admiral has put out a plea for help.
It involves the kilos of cocaine that were obtained from a seizure and through the process of destroying them, some have gone missing, rumors state they got back to the original Colombians.
Joe with help from Mark and Frank and others think he can find out what's going on.
Story also follows Julie, teacher's aide, career counselor at school, coach and an author who's going to meet with Joe and Disney to get the details of the movie deal they will offer her. She also wants to find a house to move into before the wedding as she's not going to live with Tilly forever.
Lots of action, romance, and so many mysteries and clues. Learned so much about the process of the drug dealing, ability of drones.
One of the guards also has a family emergency when she calls Joe for help...
So much to appreciate from reading this book.
Met via Facebook and was given a review copy and this is my honest review.

 Can't Sing or Dance by Daniel J. Barrett
Have read various books in the series and can't wait to fill in the missing pieces.
This one starts out with Joe and his friends' father is charged with drug dealing.
Other familiar characters from the other books are also in this one, making it family based.
Story also follows Julie-the one Joe plans to marry some day. Tilly is also present as she works at the local waffle house. Past events are presented but not details.
Love the directions, you can trace wherever they go yourself. Lots of action, mystery, twists and a bit of romance.
Brutal identifying the body...there was so much more he and Mark and Frank needed to investigate: the car, wifi, ipad, drugs, gangs, missing files, use of drones...
Love the action and how they get the clues solved as they lead to more. Like how the relationship is moving along between Joe and Julie.
Love all the locations and descriptions of interesting things to see and do.
Met via Facebook and was given a review copy and this is my honest review.

Zucchini – The Ultimate Recipe Guide by Daniel Tyler
Like this cookbook because you can sneak in zucchini in many different ways. I've made muffins and even put in carrots and the family loves them.
Each recipe has a title, prep, total time, cook time and servings.
Ingredient list and you should be able to substitute for your dietary needs, also directions on how to make the dish.
There is no nutritional information and there are NO pictures.
Plan to try the delicious zucchini mixed muffins later this week.
Lots of different dishes available to make.

Appalachian spring  by Bonta_ Marcia
The family bought a spot on the mountain and they just had nature around them. Every person has a special thing they follow.
Actually starts in Jan/Feb with mating of squirrels and it goes on from there til it's a daily journal of the natural world til the end of June.
Besides animals seen and what activities they are doing, the sounds there are also sightings of birds, insects, and all kinds of flowers and trees budding.
Loved hearing of the lake ride while looking at the star constellations.
So many facts about the lives of the animals and birds.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

The little fir tree by Margaret Wise  Brown
Story of a little tree and it's life as it grows up and what it means to the little boy who gets it for a Christmas tree.
Great children's story from one of the best authors. They return the tree to the forest and sing carols and decorate the tree.
Poem about the holiday. Man who normally got the tree didn't come one year.
Great surprise for all.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

The big sneeze by Ruth Brown
Children's story of a farmer taking a nap in the barn one hot summer day.
Farmer sneezes that the fly lands on a spider, that captured the fly and the list goes on.
Farmer's wife asks what is going on, LOL
 I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

 Tiny House: Advantage – Living Large! (2nd Edition) (homesteading, off grid, log cabin, tiny homes, container homes, country living, RV) by Thom Archard
Book about downsizing, small houses and tiny homes, benefits of each.
Myths are discussed and often found not true about tiny houses.
History of tiny houses has a chapter.
Organization to see if you could even live in a tiny house is talked about. Conservation and bills.
Trailer dimensions to tow the tiny house has a chart that shows each state regs.
So much to take into count. There are also books at the end of help along the journey.
Bonus ebooks are listed at the end.

 Bastes: The Ultimate Recipe Guide by Bridgette Conners
This basting and marinade book includes recipes for steak, chicken, and pork dishes.
Each recipe includes title, prep and cook time, ready in and servings.
List of ingredients and you should be able to substitute for your dietary needs, along with directions on how to make the dish.
There are no pictures. There is no nutritional information.
Surprised there is no section for fish. Other free offers available via a clickable link.

 Legends Of BBQ: 50 Knock-Out Barbecue Recipes For Your Next Smoking Adventure (Rory's Meat Kitchen)  by Rory Botcher
Starts out with introduction about the benefits of the recipes and smoking them in your cooker.
Each recipe has a title, prep, cook times and servings.
Ingredients and directions along with a tip on how to make it tastier.
Nutritional information includes calories, total fat-NOT broken into good and bad, protein, total carbs.
There are no pictures. All recipes are for a cooker. Charts showing what equipment and tools that are needed.
Free ebook is linked at the end along with a shopping list.
I don't have a cooker and thought this was a book about just bbq'ing on the grill=I did not read the whole title. Has all the details you need to learn about smoking in the cooker.

 Kale Recipes: Healthy, Nutritious and Delicious Kale Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and More by Ranae Richoux
Like kale soup we make and we grow our own kale and will grow more now that I know I can freeze it.
Discusses how else you can have kale besides eating the leaves. Nutritional value is also discussed.
History, health benefits, free ebooks link.
Each recipe has a color photo, servings, time to make along with a summary of the dish.
Ingredient list which some items you might be able to substitute for a healthier option along with directions in how to make the dish.
There is NO nutritional information. Using it on our omelets would be an excellent idea.
Smoothie recipe are included. Also a section on juicing. Free ebooks available.

 Tapas Recipes by Jackie Swansen
Recipes for tapas from around the world.
Each recipe includes: prep and cook time, ready in along with servings.
Ingredient list and how to make the dish. There are NO pictures. There is no nutritional information but you might be able to substitute for your dietary needs.
Like the idea of putting shrimp with other ingredients into a bell pepper.  Quite a variety to choose from.
Also gluten free, vegan, vegetarian recipes are also included. Other works by the author are at the end via a clickable link.

 30 Delicious Poke Cake Recipes by Lori Burke
Starts out with introduction about what poke cakes are and how they became a hit in the 70's.
Has section for those with health concerns and what you can use to substitute for a healthier option.
Has recipes for cake mixes if you don't want to buy one at the store.
Each recipe has a summary of what the dish is, list of ingredients, multiple ways for directions in how to make the cake part, and the filling and how to assemble and bake.
There are NO pictures.  There is NO nutritional information.
There are clickable links in the book.  Bake from scratch recipes at the end would allow you to substitute ingredients for your dietary needs.
Also a section for jams, spreads, toppings for the poke cakes.

 Billy the Coral Snake by A. J. Cosmo
Story of a snake who has no friends. He wanders around and asks other animals to play with him.
Some dine with him and he learns the truth about why others don't want to be friends with him til...
Cute colorful children's story. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

The best component is Yogurt. Cookbook: 25 perfect homemade recipes with yogurt by Ryan Hart
We make our yogurt in the electric pressure cooker and am hoping to find more delicious recipes to try.
Starts out with why yogurt is good for you.
Recipes included Title, cooking time, portions, list of ingredients and how to make.
There are pictures but NO nutritional information.
Has recipes for dishes, meals and beverages and desserts. Find the content too high in sugar for us to consider but you might be able to substitute for a healthier option.
Free ebook link at the end.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Release-Review: Her Sinful Secret by Jane Porter

Her Sinful Secret by Jane Porter
Haven't read the others in the series but reading this one I did not feel left out of the loop.
Logan Copeland has secrets and needs to tell the billionaire Rowan of one of them before he takes her to his castle...
He's only protecting her from harm but she paid for one night with a high price. Now that they are together she yearns for his touch as she's felt it before but he has stipulations...
Great read, has a bit of everything, twists and turns, romance, mysteries and love.
Received a review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Beach Inn By Joanne DeMaio

About the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Breeze comes a novel as sweet as the salt air by the sea.

It was going to be exquisite: a rambling, shingled New England cottage converted into a grand beach inn. Nestled among hydrangeas and swaying dune grasses, this seaside haven would welcome guests on the Connecticut shore. Except the little beach town of Stony Point is no longer feeling like a haven to its residents. Residents including a brooding Jason Barlow, the esteemed architect in charge of the inn's renovation--until a stubborn, grief-induced For Sale sign puts an end to that.

But with a little help from the beach friends, anything is possible. In an effort to save the inn and convince its cherished owner to stay, the friends band together to stage an inn-tervention, shaking up their own lives in the process.

A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn.

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. The Beach Inn is her ninth 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.

Here are direct links to the book: Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble

My Review:

The Beach Inn By Joanne DeMaio
This book starts out where the last one left off. Follows those working/living in Stony Point, CT.
Seaside New England village where everything is in place. Lots of surprises in this book. Can't seem to get past the shanty and how Maris is shown it for the first time.
It's breathtaking-the romance and atmosphere of a great healing place.
Book follows Maris and Jason in their endeavors. Elsa at her house-not quite sure what to do yet-sell or open it as a B&B now that Sal is gone. Twists and turns in this book.
Lauren and Kyle-love her driftwood items and he at the diner. Glimpses into the past books so you are not left out in the dark, but not all the details.
Memories of those no longer there are spread throughout the book making you wish you had known them better while they were there.
Love how Neil's manuscript reflects his friends lives. Especially love all the things that make this come to life. Community sticks together to help each one heal.
Received a copy from the author and this is my honest review.