Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy & Healthy Mediterranean Pressure Cooker Recipes - Quick, Delicious, and Time-Saving Recipes for Electric Pressure Cookers (incl. Detox Smoothies) by Julia Garcia


Does your time-schedule leave you feeling restricted and confined? Let your Electric Pressure Cooker do the work for you and escape to the healthful Mediterranean lifestyle.

Maybe you already own an Electric Pressure Cooker, but you have no idea how to use it. This delectable Mediterranean cookbook gives you over 50 easy and delicious meals packed with flavors and nutrients traditional to the Mediterranean region.

Start Your New Way of Living with Healthy and Family-Friendly Pressure Cooker Recipes

This style of cooking is ideal for people who want to lose a couple of pounds. There are many diets and cooking techniques you can follow to shed extra pounds you're carrying. However, the problem with most of them is the typical yo-yo effect and the negative impact on your health. Fortunately, this is not the case with pressure cooked Mediterranean meals. Your nutritional needs will be fulfilled perfectly and your taste will also be satisfied completely.

These carefully chosen 50 recipes will help you create complete menus throughout the year – from simple healthy snack and lunch ideas to complete fancy dinners with plenty of decadent dessert options to choose from. Use your electric pressure cooker in an entirely new Mediterranean way and impress your family and friends.

Unlock the endless possibilities for creating a wide range of healthy and delicious Mediterranean dishes:

• Wake up on the French coast with a French Salad, or take a trip to Rome for lunch with a Mushroom Tagliatelle – discover 50 pressure cooker recipes using only wholesome, healthy ingredients.

• Cleanse your body of toxins with 10 flavorful Detox Smoothies, including Strawberry Flaxseed Smoothie, Blueberry Banana Smoothie, and Apple Cinnamon Smoothie.

• The Advantages of Electric Pressure Cooking ease your transition to a new lifestyle by presenting simple and attainable techniques to help you understanding the benefits it has to offer.

• Essential Cleaning Steps, and Safety Tips for a long-lasting Electric Pressure Cooker machine.

• The Meal Plan is about enjoying food and the Mediterranean lifestyle, not depriving yourself. Planning a week’s worth of meals is easy with my prepared shopping list and cooking instructions. All you have to do is follow my lead to make your life easier and healthier.

• Know exactly what you’re going to prepare. Each recipe contains unique pictures, detailed nutritional information, allergy notices, useful tips, background information, and more.

Start living the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle today with simple and flavorful recipes for your Electric Pressure Cooker.

** Free Kindle version upon paperback purchase with Kindle Matchbook **

Author Bio:

Julia Garcia, creator of the popular Mediterranean recipes, is a nutritional enthusiast. Born and raised in a Spanish family, she grew up in the vibrant and exotic Mediterranean region, spending most of her time in and around the kitchen preparing traditional and authentic foods to enjoy with friends and family.

For most people living in the Mediterranean region it appears to come natural to live a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods, loving life and maintaining a perfect body weight. This however, can be a quite difficult task for people who grew up in other regions. How can all of the above be combined with a busy work schedule? What if we don’t have the same authentic foods and ingredients? How do I change my eating habits?

As Julia became older and started to travel the world for her nutritional studying, she kept hearing the same questions over and over again. There seemed to be a lot of confusion, and the Mediterranean lifestyle was considered a beautiful fairytale. Knowing that EVERYONE can achieve this lifestyle, Julia began to note down the recipes of the food she and her family were consuming every single day for the past years, and still counting today. She also asked the help of her grandmother for those special (secret) traditional recipes.

From that moment on, she is determined to share and help to educate people who are struggling with weight problems, health, and stressful lives. How come nobody in the Mediterranean region is ever stressed about anything?

Her cookbooks are written and designed for people that are struggling to achieve their weight goals, eating the right nutrients, and living a healthy lifestyle.

You will not only get to taste her family recipes, but traditional food throughout the entire Mediterranean region. As you go through her cookbooks, you will find out that there is a lot more to discover. You will be introduced to traditional recipes and cultures from countries such as Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia, and of course Spain.

Let’s start living healthier, more passionate and spend more time with family and friends!

My Review:

The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy & Healthy Mediterranean Pressure Cooker Recipes - Quick, Delicious, and Time-Saving Recipes for Electric Pressure Cookers (incl. Detox Smoothies) by Julia Garcia
Always fun to find new things to put into our pressure cooker that are healthy.
Book starts in with the advantages of electric pressure cooking and how to clean it naturally.
Recipe chapters include: soups, vegetarian, fish and seafood, poultry, meat, desserts, detox smoothies and meal plan with shopping list.
Also conversion tables and abbreviations explained.   We are eating more healthier these days since my husband's heart attack and find the pressure cooker is so much easier and faster to use for a most healthy option of eating.
What we look for in recipes is fat content-have to know the good and bad parts, sodium and sometimes sugar. We also like to see the picture and to find the ingredients are fresh and healthy ones-not pre packaged salty items.
Very useful information in the first chapters of the book about nutrition and don't give up on recipes are crucial. Love very high quality color photos throughout the book, not just for the recipes. Love the ideas of cleaning the inner pot-will give them a try!
Each recipe comes with a color photo and a bit about the dish and what allergies the dish is made for: gluten free, soy free, nut free, etc.
Tells you how long to prepare the dish and cooking time, servings also.
Useful tips along the way.
List of ingredients but feel free to substitute for your dietary needs, especially using low sodium varieties.
Directions are given along with nutritional information that includes calories, proteins, carbs, dietary fibers, sugars, fat and sat. fats, no sodium levels are noted.
Like the suggestions on how to make the dish a bit different.
Chocolate cake will be one to try when we have company as fat content is a bit high for us to eat the cake on our own-we could have a sliver. Ground beef omelet sounds really good and quick to make.
Smoothie recipes do not use the pressure cooker but go along with a high nutrient based cookbook in a liquid form.
Found quite a few recipes I will try in the next few weeks. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
I received this book from the author and this is my honest review

Book Review: A Family Affair by Fern Michaels

A Family Affair by Fern Michaels
Have read many of the authors other works and have enjoyed them. This is another great one!
Start out with Trish and she's a show dancer in Las Vegas. A man in the audience offers her a thousand dollars to have a drink with him. She declines and others have found she's sick with the flu and get her out the door to go home.
The story also follows Malik who has attended college along with his best friend and they meet so many good guys through the years. He takes care of Trish til she's better and gets a call that he must return home to Dubai at once.
Rather predictable for a bit then the twists and turns appear. Story also follows Malik's sister and her husband in Dubai and also follows Trish and her sister Claire who's recently divorced and living in poverty due to her ex husband.
Love how this story got it's name and didn't realize it til near the end.  Sad to hear of the law and how the government worked in Dubai after five years of marriage...love the travel to different places and most especially to NJ where Claire is furnishing a house.
So many surprises and easy to follow as there are just a handful of characters.
I received this book from The Kensington Books in exchange for my honest review

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: Lasting Kind of Love by Jen A. Durand

Lasting Kind of Love by Jen A. Durand
Luca is back in town from serving in the military because his father is dying. He brings him to doctor and hospital appointments for chemo and helps him around the house.
The neighbors were helping, even Olisa and her young son who come to visit. She and Lucas were going to be married til he left to join the military. They had dated and she went off the deep end after he left and ended up pregnant with another man's baby.
The story goes back in time to when they were dating and then forward to the present. Great to understand their relationship over the years as they chat on the computer often.
Struggles Luca and his dad Peter have as they never really agree on much and Luca is still trying to get his approval at everything he does.
Olisa is a strong woman and has had a hard life also but due to the color of their skin. Other twists and turns as other secrets are revealed.
Love Olisa's career choice and the fact she rasies her son by herself and helps whoever needs her.
Hot spicy sex scenes. Love the romance in this book. Excerpt from Two Millionaires is also included. Listing of author's works by series are cataloged at the beginning of this story. Some have a synopsis listed.
I received this from the author via Goodreads and this is my honest review.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Books read Mar 24

The Drifter by Christine Lennon
Book starts out in 1980's where the girls are attending college in FL.
Much detailed encounters as they go through the years, the parties they attend and where they work and how to come to meet one another at the sorority.
Time the three lived together and melded and then at times grew apart but still friends. Story follows them further as they age... quite tragic.
Many secrets and mysteries from their college years that come to light near the end. Also includes discussion questions, author's reason for writing this book, playlist and her favorite books to read.
I received this book via LibraryThing: Early Reviewers  from the February 2017 batch.

Smoky mountain sunrise by Lehman_ Yvonne
Romana Martin has agreed to be the boyfriend for the summer. She's Christian and her heart is more interested in another family member, not Andre DuDay.
She's an athlete and involved in teaching. Love the scenery as described and how secrets come out meant for really another person...
Like hearing of the camp and all the procedures and crafts being taught.  Like twists and turns in this one.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

 Grandma Drives a Motor Bed by Diane
Audio book but available in paperback.
Describes a child, Josh visiting his grandmother and she stays on a motor bed and helps by bringing her food and drinks.
Very detailed story of daily life in tending to the ailing grandmother.
They wish they lived closer so they could visit.  Love that the boy gets to try out the bed...
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

 Nature's living lights, fireflies and other biolumenescent creatures by Silverstein_ Alvin - Silverstein_ Virginia B
Audio book but available in paperback.
Always fascinated with fireflies as I often do not see them myself, same with stars due to my poor vision.
Cool that the fireflies are NOT hot to touch.  Talks of the 4 chemicals needed for these special lighted creatures in order to work.
Interesting facts about the fireflies in the world and how different they really are.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

A blue moon in Poorwater by Hankla_ Cathryn
I enjoy the Appalachian mountain tales and I'm not sure why. I find mining interesting and love hearing stories from the production.
Church and current affairs for them at the time, JFK dying, those who were charged and the snake as it was crawling along the church tent the day her brother was jailed.
Dorie tries to help around the house, and wants to go with her father to tell of the death in the mine but she has to tell her dad of her brother being jailed...
In the 5th grade and a girl convulses and she is able to calm them and others have noticed ....
So similar to the things we did here in northeast, playing ball with neighbor kids, going on adventures to see frogs, vaccinated sugar cubes, Dark Shadows....
Really enjoyed what was involved in getting things changed to make it safer, in the mines.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Book Reviews: Spoken From the Heart

Spoken from the Heart: Digging Deeper by Cheri Swalwell
Love the actual events that take place that she talks about as I can relate to the same ones in my life and how they effected us as a family.
Quiet times shared with spouses is priceless! Love understanding the hugs from God.
Found this book more dedicated to going deeper into solutions using the Bible as a guide in everyday life experiences.
I was given the book from the author and this is my honest review

Spoken from the Heart: Taking it to the Next Level by Cheri Swalwell
Love hearing of the compromises each makes in a family.
Love the ironing, doing laundry and especially the lawn. I even go to the extreme and make our salads an hours before he's due home so we will get to spend more time together and talk, if he wants to.
Was able to take so much from this book that relates to my life. Love the paying it forward, in a way. I not  only do a lot of charity knitting for others but just finishing up a set of afghans for a father-who is a friend of my husband, and his 4 children who had lost their mom/wife. An afghan will symbolize a hug from their mom or from God but I don't know them well enough but will suggest it to them upon giving them the items.
I was given the book from the author and this is my honest review

Book Review: The Whispering of the Willows

The Whispering of the Willows by Tonya Blessing
Met the author and her book on the book fun chat and knew I wanted to read this book. It starts out with a large family that live in the holler in the Appalachian Mountains.
Girls are named after gems which I loved right from the start. Boys run the hog farm as their dad came back from the war wounded and in a wheelchair. The girls make sure he is bathed every day and they do the shaving along with planting seeds in the garden, tending to the outhouse and tending to the pigs and piglets.
Only the oldest who are going to leave after the 8th grade to be married do the cooking. The girls all sleep in the same bed cordoned off with an old curtain.
We have visited the Mountains and have been able to see the cabins of the old days in TN and in WVA areas for ourselves.
Love that the aunts work comes through as her love by using her hands to create.
Story is mainly about Emerald who is also in 8th grade and is growing up but her mother doesn't want her to leave as the twin girls will be married in the summer, Emerald to be married later.
They don't get to pick their spouses they only know they are to wed and to produce children and work on farms the rest of their lives.
Husbands grandfather ran a hog farm and I find it interesting to learn how the boys tend to them as we see hogs in their natural habitat and the historic villages we visit throughout the years.
Ernest singing hymns as he does his chores, at the top of his lungs, Lester mixed up with pastor's son making moonshine-what a busy family.
Emie goes through a personal tragedy and her parents want her to be gone, her brother Ernest helps her and she is able to live at her aunts. Others help her and she learns the truth later when one of the people invoked has to leave the area.
Love hearing the folk belief-like a wives tale or farmers almanac entry.  Store follows each of the children but more on Emerald.
Twists and turns and God has his own plans for them. Love the hymns singing and how everybody practices. Such a strong and courageous bunch to endure all the hardships.
I was given the book from the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Books read Mar 21

If Not For You by Debbie Macomber
Glad as one of her fan ambassadors I was given this ARC prior to the release of the book.
Have read all the authors other works and love knitting inspired ones.
Beth has finally broken away from her mothers grip and moved from Chicago to Portland, OR where her aunt Sunshine lives.
She was able to get an apartment and job as a music teacher and loves her new life. Her friend Nicole has invited her to dinner with her husband Rocco and son Owen.
Sam is Rocco's friend and feels comfortable with the family. Beth and Sam are set up and can't wait to leave the dinner when they feel things didn't go well. As they each drive home Beth's car is hit and she's in really bad shape.
Sam does all he can to just be with her and even afterwards when she's in the hospital and rehab he's there for her and despite their outside appearances they find they do like one another-the inside persons they are.
Some tender moments and some bringing up events of the past to bring the whole puzzle together.
Found book was rather boring and a bit longer than it needed to be to get the story told but liked the read.
Liked new things I learned and location of OR as we are familiar with areas of it in our travels. 
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.

Chapel Springs Survival by Ane Mulligan
Have read other works by this author and enjoyed the book.
This is about a town where many new things are happening. They are happening so fast that the tourists are staying past the summer and there are no places to stay.
Townsfolk are overworked but love the income and they try to create a balance for the growth changes.
What I really like about this book is that it concentrates on many different age groups and their problems.
Claire is newly married and trying to get her son involved with someone who will bring him much happiness also.
Love all the career choices available and the layout of the town and all it offers. Love the indepth chatter about the careers and how they do their jobs.
So many mysteries with the land deal and struggles among families as older children have their own dreams at all costs.
Praying and going to church help some with the solutions.

ANTI INFLAMMATORY - Recipes, Weight Loss, And Healthy Living  by Joanne Howard
Book starts out with an introduction about what diet is the best for inflammatory disease.
Starts out with what foods to eat to avoid become inflamed: vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, nuts and other important foods.
Each recipe includes servings, list of ingredients and how to make the dish. Nutritional value includes why certain ingredients are best and what they will do for your body.
Because the ingredients are fresh and healthy nobody should have a problem with any of these recipes.
We eat so many of these foods that it's nice to have a different way of using the ingredients. Love the directions for how to make beef sotck.
Smoothie recipes are even included. Gluten free recipes included also.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet by Katherine Wright
Starts out with understanding what makes inflammation in the body.
There are several diet rules to live by to help get rid of inflammation: eat more vegetables and fruits, reduce sat. fats,  increase fish consumption, change snacking habits, eliminate transfat and up your fiber intake
Other tips are also provided for the other rules.
Tells you what foods to eat also and why.  Tricks also when given options of the kinds of foods to eat.
5 daily meal plans and how to make them. No pictures and no nutritional information but most of the ingredients are fresh and some are healthy.
Also bonus about a sugar detox is included.

 Chicken Recipes To Die For by Heather Richardson
Each recipe has a color photo, servings and list of ingredients
Directions on how to make the dish are included.
There is no nutritional information and you may be able to substitute for healthier options on some of the ingredients.
Some of the ingredients I am unfamiliar with as they are from England and I'm not sure what the equivalent is for the USA.
Dishes as prepared are too rich, salty and too much fat content for our diets so the title fits perfectly.

 THE INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOK BOOK: Quick And Healthy Meals For All Occasions by Ray Harper
Book starts out with introducing the instant pot and how to use it and its functions. Also has a lot of useful tips and ultra simple recipes to start you off with.
Boiled eggs recipe is very similar to the one I use and nutritional information is a bit different than recipes further into the book. These include calories, daily value % of total fat and sat. fat, cholesterol, sodium and potassium, total carbs, dietary fiber and protein.
Recipes do not have pictures but they do list nutritional information.
One that I find confusing is the yogurt as we make this a lot. Recipes have servings, prep and cook time and ingredients also with how to make the dish.
Nutritional facts are servings size, kilojocules-no idea what this is, calories, protein, carbs, sugar, fat-not broken up into good and bad fats, fiber, sodium.
The recipe does not state how much milk would be needed in the ingredient listing-be sure to read the full recipe all the way through before you even start. You will be able to figure out what you will need.
For the beef stew the numbers don't add up for total fat where total fat is 2.5 g, sat fat is 5.2 g, poly fat is .5 and mono is 5.5g
Chocolate cake one looks good bt again the total fat is 14 and sat fat is 5, where is the other 9g?
Free gift of an ebook is linked.
 Children's book: Clio – The Cat That Loved to Eat (Fun Rhyming Bedtime Story for kids 4-8, animals adventures story: cats) by Rivka Bar-Giora
Colorful children's book about a cat Clio and he's known as trouble around town. The problem with food is that they are always hungry.
There are rhyming words also that help tell this story.  The children in one house ask to let the cat come in during the rain and the parents say no way.
He gets along with the other cats and they like him also.

 Take The Cake: Discover 139 Best cake recipes, cheesecakes, tiramisu, from all around the world  by Jeff Robinson
This cookbook has recipes which include the title, some have a color photo and summary of the dish.
Ingredient list and how to make the dish is included. There is no nutritional information.
Some of the recipes take a bit of time to actually prepare.
You might not be able to substitute for a healthy option as chemical reactions might need to take place. I consider the deserts here once a year type as they are rich.
Not sure what some of the ingredients are: kefir or how different it is from USA milk

 Baking Soda Magic! Frugal And Effective by Kristina Marchant
Really enjoyed this book because it taught me so many new ways to do things with baking soda. Can't wait to try it on weeds in patio and on my hairbrush.
What I had not expected was to find other chapters about tiny house living, frugality, beekeeping, knitting, anti inflammatory diet, quilting, bodybuilding for women, sewing, bushcraft mini farming, top minecraft seeds, how to dry herbs, minecraft combat book and so much more that does not relate to baking soda at all.
I will keep the book handy for the tips but not for the other chapters it offers.

Excellent homemade bread. Cookbook: 25 simple recipes for baking in your oven by David Hill
We usually use our bread machine but like to do it fresh also. This book includes many recipes that start out with a summary of the bread, prep time, servings, and list of ingredients.Directions follow along with a nice color photo of the finished product.
Can't wait to try the carrot sweet bread and probably substitute for eggs using liquid ones or just egg whites and cooking oil I'll probably use canola oil to keep the bread healthy for us to eat.
There is NO nutritional information but you should be able to substitute for your dietary needs.

The Best Tagine Recipes: 25 Original Moroccan Tagine Recipes for You and Your Family  by Amina Elbaz
This cookbook has a nice color photo of the finished product, servings and list of ingredients. You should be able to substitute for healthier options with chicken broth and butter and oils. Directions are included and there are NO nutritional information available.
The dishes sound and look interesting enough to try them.

50 Recipes For Apple Crumble, Apple Trifle, Apple Cupcakes and Apple Cheesecake by Pamela Kazmierczak
Each recipe has a  title and short summary of the dish, list of ingredients and how to put it together. There is no nutritional information.
Some of the ingredients you might be able to substitute for a healthy option due to your dietary needs.
No pictures and most as written we'd not be able to have due to high bad fat content and sodium levels.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review: A Dozen Truths by assorted authors


The greatest truths are often revealed in fiction, as exemplified by this stunning anthology of stories that reveal the human condition in bracingly truthful ways. The eternal complexities of sibling relationships are revealed in four-time #1 bestselling author Steven Manchester’s “Lost.” The hope and betrayal that so often underlies love declare themselves in Marcia Gloster’s “Losing Will.” The reality behind a con man’s illusions emerge in Craig Ham’s contest-winning “Tonic and Spirits.” These are three of the dozen truths that will rise from these pages.

Side by side with the work of national bestselling novelists like Mary Marcus and Earl Javorsky, A DOZEN TRUTHS features the three winners of the 2016 AuthorsFirst Short Story Contest, providing a bold mix of experienced storytelling and fresh new voices.

As entertaining as it is engaging, A DOZEN TRUTHS promises twelve dramatic revelations – and as many powerful reading experiences.

Eric Andersson
Steven Manchester
Carmen Siegers
Marcia Gloster
Craig Ham
Lynn Voedisch
Mary Marcus
Christopher Slater
KJ Steele
Earl Javorsky
Roger Bagg
Robert Herzog

My Review:

A Dozen Truths by assorted authors
When I realized who was involved in this compilation of writings I knew it would be a great read.
What I had not expected was to find so many different genres that I don't normally read and was a good change.
Each chapter has a different author where a short summary of their works and their bio are included.  At the very end there are more indepth excerpts and more about the authors writings.
Enjoyed a large majority of the stories and lessons learned, some leaving a smile on my face at the end. Some genres I just can't seem to get into-sci fic and horror/thriller.
Had never heard of www.authorsfirst.com  site so had to go check it out to understand about it.
Enjoyed many of the stories because I was able to relate to them in my lifetime of things that have happened to me or a family member, brought back a lot of happy memories..
Found a lot of new authors I'll be on the lookout for their works.
Received this book via one of the authors in the anthology via The Story Plant and this is my honest review.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Review: Spoken From the Heart: Choosing Grace by Cheri Swalwell


Spoken From the Heart: Choosing Grace

Do you know what it means to “choose grace?” Do you ever stop to think about all the times God showers us with His grace? Yes, through unexpected blessings, but more importantly through undeserved salvation.
I’m still trying to grasp the full meaning of the word grace in my everyday life. However, I do know this: It comes in many forms, is seen through a variety of people, and God gives us countless opportunities to pass it on to others throughout our lives.

Join me on my adventure as I learn to embrace the grace He has given to me and then allow it to overflow to others. I pray that this book will start or continue a dialogue between you and the God of the Universe regarding how much He loves you and wants to bless you with His grace. God doesn’t change. He won’t force His grace on people, just as He doesn’t force humankind to love Him.

So how do we experience God’s grace for ourselves? The answer is quite simple: We ask and then receive. I would love to have you travel with me as we discover the grace God has waiting for us! 

Author Bio:

Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, and writer, in that order. She has the privilege to write regularly for Book Fun Magazine and LIFE TO THE FULLEST. Cheri is also a contributing author for the book, 31 Devotions for Writers. Her book series, Spoken from the Heart, is available through eBook and paperback at Amazon.

To read one of her many articles on life from a Christian perspective, visit her blog at: http://bit.ly/1gRp9oK. She loves to interact with her readers, so send her an email at clSwalwell99@gmail.com. You can “like” her on Facebook below: www.facebook.com/pages/cheri-Swalwell.

My Review:

Choosing Grace by Cheri Swalwell
Enjoy the revelations that come to light with the authors word of the year.
Really enjoy the stories that depict other life events about the word concentrated on.
Author seems like a people person as she meets and talks to others but mostly listens to their problems and how they go about solving them together, usually by prayer.
Like how the word of the year is broken up into a 32 devotional chapters but I  was seeing it as a daily devotional or month long for one chapter til I questioned the author on the number 32...Which I got an immediate answer to her question.
Blessings journal-we do this daily at meals and I will converse with the author as to how large her journal is over the years as I find it interesting to understand about.
Love the everyday stories of shopping with coupons and bottle return windfall and the yard sales. Also love the insistence in the Bible that also relate to the story the author is telling and how it solves the problem she's facing.
Growing up in Catholic schools I remember so many of the stories still. What I really love is that the author is not shoving the Bible down your throat-it's worked into daily life that everybody goes through. Great seeing the public and that there are still so many good people out there to meet.
Just the other night we held the door to the ATM at the bank for another and he thanked my husband, thank you Sir, and Miss-to me-not knowing if we were a couple or implying too much. He really appreciated we saved him a longer time there than necessary by holding the door open rather then him having to insert his card to gain admittance.
Leaves you with a smile on your face that you did good for another and that's probably one reason why I knit so much for charity. Can't wait to read the next books in the series.
Received this book from the author and this is my honest review.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Books read Mar 14

Destined by Gail Cleaire
Wasn't sure I was going to like this book but loved the writing style of another of the author's books.
A bit out of my comfort zone as I know nothing about Tarot cards and the fortune tellers but enjoy reading and learning.
What I loved about this book was Emily who is trying to be strong and powerful walks away from a job where they want her to do things she really wasn't hired for. Bravo for just walking out the door.
Which leads her to more job interviews where she comes across a curio shop and is hired on sight. Henry and her seem to have a bond through visions and other events although they've never met.
She's now the manager and in charge of getting the rooms in shape so they can open the shop or rare and antique things to be sold. She goes above and beyond while meeting his other clients and associates.
Love that she is able to help others in need and works with others she doesn't get along with to benefit the shop. Love the festival of sorts as the whole community work together in that feat and many other things to help one another make a success of their businesses.
Like clash of some as they do come together. Especially love the discussions of different kinds of power and are able to implement them and that the discussions are so today concerns of climate changes.
There are so many the book follows, male love interests, shop owners and their families and the spirit world. Didn't care for sex scenes, seemed to be a bit rushed and not that deep of a relationship.
Love how each chapter starts out with a step or symbol and it's described in words that you can use in today's world although they may not have been in the original 1700's tarot card decks (the way I understand it).
Received this book from the author and this is my honest review.

When the Bough Breaks by Ane Mulligan
Book starts out in NY where the state capitol building is a maze of corridors and offices and Sienna O'Shea is starting her first day at work.
A man directs her to go down a floor to the basement where from there you can reach anywhere. She's to testify and she is prepared. Her assistant Christine will be leaving shortly to deliver her new baby so she's trying to introduce her to many around the area that can help her.
She's to do extensive research so bills can be brought up and debated about and then passed on the congressional floor.
Story also follows Matt-who's a an old friend in GA and he's an investigative reporter who gives her advice and leads to stories to help her career along. They grew up next door neighbors and his sister is Sienna's best friend and he is in love with Sienna.
Story also follows Reese who is the governor's right hand man and the party has plans for him and his future which has been premade for him to just step into. Sienna will play a part in all this also as time goes on and he's in love with Sienna.
Love hearing of all the background hallways and hideaways of the building and find it confusing at times with all the alpha codenames that are sometimes not told what they are. Also some of the names, at times there are a lot of time but it's better understood later on as the story goes along.
Loved hearing of all the finer details that can put me physically in the same location as the scene that is taking place-the smells, condition of furniture, atmosphere, etc.
Know absolutely nothing about getting bills sponsored and passed so this is a huge learning experience for me and I'm hungry for the knowledge.
Prayer and asking God for help when she attempts to find her real biological mother. It's a trying time as the bill her bosses want to pass would seal everything completely in adoptions so she has to do everything by herself and not tell many.
The answer she needs first to find out is if God even wants her to find her mother and others remind her to this when they are asked to help. Her family problems get her to go home often and at times is sad to hear about.
Really like that this book can be read by a man or a woman as it has a bit of romance, lots of action and mystery and everyday events and how prayer can help.
Love the part God plays in all his when things get out of hand. Very believable story of how it all comes together. Never read on a weekend but I could not put this book down this weekend. Can't wait to read more from this author.
I was given the book by the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review

The Ultimate Guide: Recipes of Maine by Encore Books
Love seafood of Maine and we visit at least once a year. Book starts right in with the recipes which included prep and cook time, ready in and servings. List of ingredients, and directions on how to make the dish.
There are NO pictures and NO nutritional information but you might be able to substitute for a healthier option it just won't taste like it really should.
Blueberry cake would be the healthiest due to the ingredients-one I will be making soon.
Pumpkin pancakes sound so good!  Lots of lobster dishes but I don't understand why you need to use things from a can and not freshly cooked as you can get Maine Lobsters year round at your local store.
Same with salmon-why use the stuff in the can, use fresh. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

Delicious 200-Calorie Dessert Recipes: Perfect for Your Sweet Tooth and Waistline! Diabetes diet dessert cookbook by Sarah Spencer
I am not one to count calories as I stick to a meal plan but thought I'd see what the book offers.
Like the idea of the introduction telling you how to use fat free items and what to use rather than sugar and fats.  Also tips on not to overbake or overmix. Love the list of ingredient substitutions!
Each dish has a title, servings, prep and cooking time along with a color photo.
List of ingredients and how to make the dish and also nutritional information that includes calories, total fat-not broken up into good or bad, carbs, dietary fiber, sugars and protein.
Like the ideas in this book because you can make the portions small and you can make one dish for all the guests that are due to show up. Pumpkin nut bread would be one I'd try.
Special section for chocolate desserts. Hmmm healthy chocolate chip cookies-worth a try as the ingredients are a bit on the healthy side.
Great carrot cake, my favorite and the ingredients are on the healthy side also.  Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

The Avocado Cookbook: Fun and Easy Recipes  by Michael Holtby
This book is broken up into chapters for appetizers, salads, salsa,  soups, main dishes  desserts and drinks. Each recipe has a list of ingredients and directions. There are NO pictures and NO nutritional information but remember avocados contain healthy fat. It's the other items combined that might not make the dish so healthy, especially if you have to deep fry the dish.
Chocolate avocado muffins look to be the healthiest due to the ingredients=-i'd use olive oil or canola, NOT coconut.
Not much else struck my taste buds as I don't want to go out and buy special flours or oils to make one dish.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Books read March 9

March 2017 Book Fun Magazine
As always I enjoy this magazine because it informs me in a friendly, at ease way of upcoming books and what they are about.
It not only tells you about the books but also the background of the author and family-lots of nice pictures to also go along with it all.
Always enjoy Gregory Hines chapters as one month I did actually win the coffee he produces and always interesting to see what new adventures are happening in the ministry in Honduras
Another author that I treasure her writings are Cheri Swalwell as I can relate to her stories as they have happened in her life.
Hope I can win a few more that I'm interested in this month at Book Fun chat night. You can also join, it's all free. You sign up to win a book, you get the book, read it, post your reviews. It's that simple at bookfun.org, check it out for yourself.

 Party Hardy by Justin A. Bryant
Cookbook that will help you with appetizers that include salsas, dips, sliders, etc.
Each recipe comes with list of ingredients and how to make them along with servings.
There are few pictures and no nutritional information. Chili would probably be the best bet to using your own food substitutions to suit your dietary needs.
Lots of variety to select from. Desserts and drink ideas also included.

 The House on Honeysuckle Lane by Mary McDonough
Have read many other books from the author and have enjoyed them all.
This book starts out with Danny and he's been in charge of his mother prior to her dying and through her death and afterwards. His two sisters, Emma  and Andie don't live in the same town but do travel in afterwards to help with the estate.
Things get out of hand and with the pressure some things are said that shouldn't have been and puts them on edge. One sister is thinking of returning and maybe living in the house, others want to sell it and divide the proceeds.
Interesting how they all work together at times getting the job done. Others in town really confuse the reader at times as to who they are and how important to the story line.
Chapters also go back in time and that also confused me. Wish this book was broken up into 3 books-each having their say as to what was going on in their lives at the time.
Love that this occurs during the Christmas holiday season and how they all cherish the traditions. Twists and turns make this a good read.
There are divorces, children and all their problems among the catering business, the publishing business and the financial business.. Never a dull moment and you never know how it will end up.
I received this book from The Kensington Books in exchange for my honest review

 Cooking Under Pressure: Top 51 Quick & Easy, One Pot Recipes To Get A Dinner In Record Time
Starts out with introduction about what a pressure cooker can do for your food. Also has benefits listed as to why to use one.
Recipes start out with a color photo, prep and cooking time and servings. List of ingredients and then directions. Also tip on how to make it faster.
Nutritional information labels are attached that include total fat, broken up into bad fats, sodium and total carbs, dietary fiber and sugars, protein.
Doesn't list good fats. Some of these labels do not expand so you can read them.
For the most part the ingredients are very fresh
Potato beef stew was very similar to what I prepared the other day, even using same spices.
Lots of big dishes servings wise, great for a large gathering. You might find some ingredients you can substitute for your dietary needs.
Like how straight forward the instructions are, good uniform format.
Besides the big meals there are also recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. This is where things go to a different format.
Starts out with color photo and time ready in along with servings.
Nutritional information only includes carbs, fats-not broken up into good or bad, protein and calories.List of ingredients and instructions-that's all this section has.
Some duplicate recipes but they are different, just same names and all different nutritional information.
A KEEPER because I know what items I can substitute for a healthy choice.

 CROCK POT Dump and Go Recipes  by Mary E. Watson
Cookbook that includes title, servings, prep and cook time, size in quarts and calories.
Ingredient list and how to make in the slow cooker. Nutritional information has calories, fat-not broken up into good and bad, carbs, protein, cholesterol and sodium.
There are no pictures of the dishes.
Lot of the recipes have you adding condensed soup and other prebought mixes to speed up the process.
I do like how the chapters are broken up into different types of meats.

 Dump Dinners Cookbook: 30 Delicious Dump Dinners Recipes  by Daniel Cook
Starts out with introduction on how the author always had dump dinners when she returned home.
Bonus ebook links. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and directions on how to make the dish in your crockpot.
No pictures and no nutritional information but you might be able to substitute for a healthy option.
This will be one book I won't be keeping because some recipes contain salad dressing mix, gravy mix and other very salts alternatives to ingredients.
I don't even know what some of the ingredients are: hoistin sauce, never mind where to find them.
Didn't see anything earth shattering to even want to try to make.

 Tomato Planting How to grow tasty tomato (Gardening made easy, seed plants, container herb gardening) (gardening,companions gardening,container gardening,planting guide Amanda Johnson B Book 2)
Very informative details of the different tomato varieties, their nutritional value. Sections on how to choose the spot and till the soil.
Container gardening, how to harvest, prune and fertilize. Everything you could possible need to know about growing tomatoes is in this book.
More works by the author are highlighted at the end.

This book covers everything to do with tomatores. Starts out identifying the parts of the plant and then how to grow and harvest and freeze/can the product. There is so much more to this where it also gives you ideas of what type of soil and location you need depending on the variety of plant you want to grow.
I never heard so many different varieties as what is listed in this book. Very detailed and so easy to understand. So many common pest problems and how to get rid of them, naturally.

 RECYCLE, REUSE, RENEW: Upcycle With DIY Crafts (Decorating Your Home, DIY Projects, DIY Crafts, Garage Sale, DIY Hacks) by Mary Solomon
Book about using and reuseing items that still have some life to them. Like the ideas to also involve the kids to help and how things can be turned into planters
especially with spring and summer planting just around the corner. Also many gift ideas that you can make sure you always have something ready in a hurry.
Few pictures but so many ideas that are broken up into categories.
Recycling do's and don'ts area also included.

 From Seed to Table: Growing, Harvesting, Cooking, and Preserving Food by P.C. Zick
Very useful information about a couple that have been raising their own crops for many decades. They start with composting and give you a bit of information about that and what works for them.
Goes through the seasons and even how to deter animals from your garden. Winter months and planning along with recipes, pictures but no nutritional information.
I like the zucchini bread because it does not use butter and has lots of spices.
Spring is mostly about planting the seeds and watching the crops. Recipes for that month also and how to preserve and freeze extra food so you don't have to buy it at the store.
Summer follows again with its own recipes. What a treasure this book is!

Happy Animals: A First Rhyming Picture Book About Animals for Children
Very colorful children's book showing happy animals. Rhyming words and easy for a child to help an adult read along.
You can also use things in the pictures to help count-like dots on a horse, petals on flowers, ears,  I like the happy monkey best.
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.

Book Review: Spoken from the Heart: Embracing the Adventure by Cheri Swalwell

Spoken from the Heart: Embracing the Adventure by Cheri Swalwell
This book starts out with the Advent wreath on the table. It's just like how my brothers and sister were raised. I can see us sitting around the table, candle lit week after week adding more while mom explained what it all meant to us.
Although she was not Catholic she raised all 5 of us to be Catholic, taking us not only to church but enrolling us into catholic school for 8+ years, going through Holy Communion, confirmation, etc. She'd use pine cones and holly branches and berries from our own trees to adorn the candles and Advent wreath.
I can relate to many of the authors challenges as I've faced them from one time to another. I am a worrier and am trying hard to just let things go and think only of the good parts but it's a difficult challenge to say the least. Learned so much more from the author's point of view I feel like hitting the palm of my hand on my forehead because it was right there in front of me the whole time!
Especially another time when the car breaks down and she knows what it will cost and the good parts as the towing was free. We are trying to lead simpler life's as we age and a lot of the worry is gone because of our changes over the years.
Love the signs God sends in his own way.  Was able to correspond with the author with questions I had and was promptly answered. Can't wait to read more of her works.
I was given the book by the author where we met via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review/Release: Beach Breeze by Joanne DeMaio


From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Blues comes a novel of summers you never forget and friendships that never fade.

After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.

Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers--testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?

Like a swaying seashell wind chime, Beach Breeze is a book that leaves echoes of summer's sweetness and sadness, long after the last page is turned.

Beach Breeze:

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. Beach Breeze is her eighth novel. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

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

My Review:

Beach Breeze by Joanne DeMaio
Have read all the authors works and have loved the style of writing she does along the CT shoreline.
This one is part of the series but there are enough references so it can be read as a standalone and you'd not be in the dark.
This story encompasses the night Jason left, after the funeral after they had all lost a friend, brother, son and a fiance.
It doesn't get to some of them til later in the book and as this is a close knit beach community they are there for one another, helping each other out in the time of need.
That is what I really look forward to as they each have problems with things going on in their lives. Some just take off, others are pained for months later.
So many changes to the community as the summer has now ended and things really slow down for some, workwise, but in other areas, they pick up and move forward-renovating houses now that the hammer law is done for the summer season.
Like how this book deals with people from all ages and problems. Love hearing all about the past and how things effected others to this day as the story comes full circle. Love hearing about the direction they are each taking in their lives as time goes on. Never get tired of the author's book, you can rely on them, always a super read
Excerpt from the next book is included-can't wait to read this one.
I received this book from the author and this is my honest review.