Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cookbook Review: Virgil's Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook: The Best Barbecue From Around the Country Without Ever Leaving Your Backyard by Neal Corman, Chris Peterson



  • File Size: 6930 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H6ETE1Y


Book Description

Open Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook and you’ll find a winning mix of barbecue and grilling recipes plus perfect summer sides for quick weekday dinners and relaxed weekend entertaining. 

Tapping the secrets of the best ‘cue from Texas, North Carolina, Kansas City and Memphis, Virgil’s has tested and tasted it all until the ninety-eight recipes in this book are foolproof for home cooks and backyard grillmasters.Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook has the instructions you need for anything you’re in the mood for: get serious and do some smoking, in either a basic kettle grill or dedicated smoker, or stay casual and sample some rubs and marinades for succulent grilled meat, fish or vegetables. You’ll make:

--Beef: from True Texas Brisket to Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy to a Kansas City Burnt Ends Sandwich
--Pork: from Baby Back Ribs to Boston Butt (the Virgil’s Way) to Slow-smoked Ham
--Poultry: from Classic Pulled Chicken to Kansas City Fried Chicken to Jerk Chicken
--Rubs, Marinades and Sauces: from Virgil’s meal-making Universal Flour to Carolina Vinegar Sauce to Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Surrounded by unstoppable sides and sweets, such as Southern Accent Cheddar Grits, Georgia Pecan Rice and Virgil’s Perfect Banana Pudding, Virgil’s barbecue is about to change the way you eat and entertain: this food will make you happy!


About the Authors


NEAL CORMAN is the Corporate Executive Chef of the Alicart Restaurant Group, where he's been since 2010. He is responsible for maintaining the quality of every piece of meat that comes out of Virgil’s 1,400-pound Southern Pride smokers.  

CHRIS PETERSON is a writer and editor based in Ashland, Oregon. He led cookbook development for three publishers over 20 years. Peterson is the author of twelve books, and has written books with Sabrina Soto, Carter Oosterhouse, and Brian Boitano.


My Review

The weather has become warm and all I can think about is barbecue! This cookbook,  Virgil's Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook: The Best Barbecue From Around the Country Without Ever Leaving Your Backyard, does more than satisfy that craving!

This book was inspired by Artie Cutler’s original road trips through the South, to discover the best barbecue in America. Cutler was the original owner of Virgil's Barbecue which is a restaurant in New York. The cookbook starts out with an explanation about the art of barbecuing. It contains chapters on beef, chicken, pork and seafood. Additionally there are chapters on sides, beverages, desserts, starters and salads. The section that interested me the most was the chapter on marinades, sauces and rubs.  I'm always looking for new inspiration and this barbecue cookbook definitely provided it! The Kansas City Fried Chicken recipe is very similar to my personal fried chicken recipe but I've never tried brining with equal amounts of buttermilk and hot sauce..we'll have to see.

This cookbook is well laid out with plenty of illustrations. I highly recommend this cookbook which is a great addition to my cookbook collection!

 

Review: Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior's Presence by Sherri Gragg









  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 223 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400323460
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HWZE9NK



Book Description

Come near. Stop striving. The Master of the banquet has raised His glass to welcome you as His dear child.

So often Christians view Christ as someone who's far away and can't be approached until they have their lives in order. In "Arms Open Wide," author Sherri Gragg proves that Christ is a kinder, more tender, more loving Savior than many understand Him to be.

Sherri writes in fictional narrative form while mixing biblical history with scripture, creating a setting that transforms readers back in time and places them right in Jesus' presence. For thirty-four days readers walk with the Savior to witness miraculous healings and events, and give fresh insight into His power by thinking and feeling with people whose lives became instantly transformed by His love and grace. Readers journey with Jesus and His disciples in the most important time in history.

Hearts will be stirred and lives will be changed as readers draw near and walk with the Savior as never before.

Features & Benefits: Helps readers experience the kindness and grace of JesusInstills a deep, lasting impression about the love and forgiveness our Savior offersWill transform readers as they engage in a first-person experience of what it might have been like to walk with Jesus when He was on the earthBrings to life biblical traditions and customs while helping readers experience Jesus' life and the miracles He performed


About the Author

Sherri Gragg is a Tennessee girl who spent 18 years reading theology books and scribbling in journals in between cooking dinner, managing homework, chauffeuring the masses to soccer practice and shouting things she never thought she would ever say like- "Do NOT put your hand in the toilet!"

She was doing all of these things for her five children while becoming a writer and waiting for her miraculous big break. Each day, just before she opened the mailbox, she would turn to her children and say- "Today could be the day. Today could be the day something wonderful is in here!"

And, at last, that day has come...

Arms Open Wide will be released by Thomas Nelson Publishers in May, 2013.



My Review

 Sherri Gragg's Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior's Presence is a beautifully written devotional that is a wonderful addition to anyone's devotional collection.  Each devotion has an old testament reference, a bible reading, a devotion and a prayer. The focus on Jesus is where our focus should be therefore this devotional will be inspirational to its readers.

Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior's Presence is available in both hard cover and as an ebook. The ebook is very reasonably priced at $3.99 if you are looking for a copy for yourself. On the other hand, the hard copy edition is quite lovely and would be a wonderful gift to present to a friend or a new Christian.

I highly recommend this new devotional.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Cookbook Review: America's Most Wanted Recipes At the Grill: Recreate Your Favorite Restaurant Meals in Your Own Backyard! by Ron Douglas







  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5681 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (May 6 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FCAW9ES


Book Description

 Ron Douglas fires up his outrageously successful America’s Most Wanted Recipes series in this essential guide to recreating the most popular grilled dishes from the country’s most famous restaurants.

When it’s grilling season, Ron Douglas, the New York Times bestselling author of America’s Most Wanted Recipes, likes to do it up big. Not just a few burgers on the grill, but steaks, seafood, corn on the cob, and of course his favorite restaurant remakes. So if you’ve ever wanted to make the savory grilled dishes from your favorite restaurants in the comfort of your own backyard—and save money in the process—then you’re in for a treat!

Inside America’s Most Wanted Recipes At the Grill, you’ll find more than 150 copycat recipes from the most popular restaurants in the US, including Applebee’s Riblets with Honey Barbecue Sauce, California Pizza Kitchen’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza, the Cheesecake Factory’s SkinnyLicious Grilled Chicken, Famous Dave’s Pit Barbeque Ribs, KFC’s Honey BBQ Sauce, TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Grill Glaze, and much, much more. Every dish has been tested and tweaked to taste just like the original. You’ll impress your friends and family with these copycat versions—or by putting a healthy twist on them and preparing the dishes exactly to your liking.

Also included in the book is a special grilling guide to help home chefs become the grill master their guests will be raving about all year long. So fire up the grill and get ready to taste your favorite restaurant dishes at home!

About the Author

 Ron Douglas is the New York Times bestselling author of America's Most Wanted Recipes, More of America's Most Wanted Recipes, and America's Most Wanted Recipes Without the Guilt. He is a former finance director at JP Morgan and founder of the #1 copycat recipe website, www.recipesecrets.net. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

My Review

 I am always fond of a new cookbook to say the least! I'm really enjoying perusing   America's Most Wanted Recipes At the Grill: Recreate Your Favorite Restaurant Meals in Your Own Backyard! by Ron Douglas because it contains recipes from many of my favorite restaurants.

The cookbook table of contents lists the recipes by restaurant so it is easy to check and see if your favorite restaurant's menu items are included.  There is an introduction that discusses grilling guidelines as well as what goes on the grill. The recipes are also listed by restaurant as opposed to be separated by the type of recipe they are.

Recipes that I'm looking forward to trying out include the Cheesecake Factory's Skinnylicious Grilled Chicken, TGI Friday's Jack Daniels grilling sauce and the In-and-Out Burger special sauce.

I equally enjoy having meals in restaurants and cooking and grilling at home so this cookbook is a real winner to me!

Review: Gold Web (A Klondike Mystery #4) by Vicki Delany



  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 849 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Dec 16 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B9VY6HW


Book Description

Book Four of the Klondike Mystery Series by Vicki Delaney!

The year is 1898. The place is Dawson City, Yukon. A man staggers out of the dusk to collapse at the feet of a startled Fiona MacGillivray, shattering the peaceful calm of a warm July night. Before breathing his last, he gasps two words: "MacGillivray, Culloden." Fiona doesn't know the man and she would prefer not to find out why he linked her name with the "bloodiest of all battles."

As international intrigue abounds and handsome Corporal Richard Sterling of the NWMP searches for the murderer, Fiona's son Angus takes a job as a photographer's assistant, a new dancer almost causes a riot, and Fiona tells herself she is not at all bothered by the amount of attention Richard Sterling is paying to the pretty and charming photographer, Miss Eleanor Jennings.

This is the latest installment of the Klondike Mysteries, starring Fiona MacGillvary. The first three books of the Klondike Mystery series are "Gold Web," "Gold Fever, " and "Gold Mountain."



About the Author

“It’s a crime not to read Delany,” so says the London Free Press.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Her popular Constable Molly Smith series (including In the Shadow of the Glacier and Among the Departed) have been optioned for TV by Brightlight Pictures.

She writes standalone novels of modern gothic suspense such as Burden of Memory and More than Sorrow, as well as a light-hearted historical series, (Gold Digger, Gold Mountain), set in the raucous heyday of the Klondike Gold Rush. She is also the author of a novel for reluctant readers, titled A Winter Kill.

Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, Vicki is settling down to the rural life in bucolic, Prince Edward County, Ontario where she rarely wears a watch.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com , www.facebook.com/vicki.delany, and twitter: @vickidelany

She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave (http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com)

Vicki is a member of Crime Writers of Canada, and Capital Crime Writers, and is on the board of Wolfe Island’s Scene of the Crime Mystery Festival.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com



My Review

I am a huge fan of Canadian mystery author Vicky Delany. This is the first Klondike mystery that I've had the pleasure of reading.

This series is fairly unique as there are not a lot of mystery series set in Canada to begin with and this one is set in the past. I studied history, particularly Canadian, in university and I am very impressed with the Delany's historical research.

Great story with mystery and intrigue. Wonderful way to learn about Klondike Yukon history as Delany is able to bring this time in history to life for her readers.

The kindle edition is only $3.99...be sure to snap one up soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Hell with the Lid Blown Off: An Alafair Tucker Mystery by Donis Casey




  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (June 3 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464202982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464202988


Book Description

In the summer of 1916, a big twister brings destruction to the land around Boynton OK.  Alafair Tucker’s family and neighbors are not spared the ruin and grief spread by the storm.  But no one is going to mourn for Jubal Beldon, who made it his business to know the ugly secrets of everyone in town. It doesn’t matter if Jubal’s insinuations are true or not. In a small town like Boynton, rumor is as damaging as fact.But as Mr. Lee the undertaker does his grim duty for the storm victims, he discovers that even in death Jubal isn’t going to leave his neighbors in peace.  He was already dead when the tornado carried his body to the middle of a fallow field. Had he died in an accident or had he been murdered by someone whose secret he had threatened to expose? There are dozens of people who would have been happy to do the deed, including members of Jubal’s own family.As Sheriff Scott Tucker and his deputy Trenton Calder look into the circumstances surrounding Jubal’s demise, it begins to look like the prime suspect may be someone very dear to the widow Beckie MacKenzie, the beloved music teacher and mentor of Alafair’s daughter Ruth.  Ruth fears that the secrets exposed by the investigation are going to cause more damage to her friend’s life than the tornado. Alafair has her own suspicions about how Jubal Beldon came to die, and the reason may hit very close to home.

Reviews

"Bullying, blackmail and natural disaster: just another 1916 summer day in Boynton, Okla. Boynton and the surrounding areas are typical rural communities with many hardworking people and a small group of troublemakers. The hard workers include the family of ever curious Alafair Tucker (Crying Blood, 2011, etc.). Alafair and her husband, Shaw, have 10 children, a farm and little time for much but work. But when their pretty 17-year-old daughter, Ruth, runs afoul of Jubal Beldon, the oldest of six lazy, crude local bullies, Alafair sets aside her chores and turns sleuth. The musically talented Ruth has been spending time at the home of wealthy, widowed piano teacher Beckie MacKenzie, who’s extremely proud of her Scottish heritage and her grandson, Wallace MacKenzie III, who's just come for a visit with his college friend Randal Wakefield. When Ruth is harassed by Jubal and his brothers, she doesn’t mention it to her admirer, deputy sheriff Trenton Calder, who’s furious when he hears about it. Meanwhile, Jubal, who loves to collect dirty secrets, spices up a church picnic by quietly accusing Wallace and Randal of being lovers. After Wallace gives Jubal some cash and a new moneymaking idea, he and Randal high-tail it out of town. Then it's time for a twister to blow through the area, causing indescribable destruction and killing Jubal and a number of others. Nobody, even his mother, is sorry Jubal’s dead—but when the undertaker says he was probably murdered, Sheriff Calder and Alafair must hunt for his killer anyway. A good mystery with an odd final twist is eclipsed by frighteningly detailed descriptions of the terrors of tornadoes."-Kirkus Reviews

"Casey’s warm and wise heroine handles her multiple roles gracefully." —Publishers Weekly review of The Wrong Hill To Die On

"Crying Blood is a thoroughly engrossing evocation of life on a self-sufficient 1915 Oklahoma farm. In Alafair Tucker, mother of ten, Donis Casey has created a clear-eyed woman of her time: pre-ERA, accepting of her place in a male-dominated society, but not hampered by it because she well knows the value of her contributions to her family's well-being. This is my first meeting with Alafair Tucker and her family. It will not be my last." --Margaret Maron, Edgar Award-winning author blurb on Crying Blood

"Those who like their puzzles cloaked in local color from a different time will be amply rewarded." --Publishers Weekly, starred review of The Sky Took Him

"Casey gives convincing voice to the early Midwest much as Sharyn McCrumb does for her Appalachians, including period recipes that help to convey the literal flavor of the era." --Publishers Weekly review of The Drop Edge of Yonder
 
About the Author
 
DONIS CASEY was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third generation Oklahoman, she and her siblings grew up among their aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents on farms and in small towns, where they learned the love of family and independent spirit that characterizes the population of that pioneering state. Donis graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in English, and earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from Oklahoma University. After teaching school for a short time, she enjoyed a career as an academic librarian, working for many years at the University of Oklahoma and at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

Donis left academia in 1988 to start a Scottish import gift shop in downtown Tempe. After more than a decade as an entrepreneur, she decided to devote herself full-time to writing. The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is her first book. For the past twenty years, Donis has lived in Tempe, AZ, with her husband.
 
Readers can enjoy the first chapter of each book on her web site at www.doniscasey.com
 
My Review
 
I do love this series by Donis Casey! Hell With the Lid Blown Off describes the landscape after a tornado hits Boynton, Oklahoma in the summer of 1916. While several people perished due to the tornado it looks like the town bully was murdered before the tornado hit then was blown to a new location. Alafair Tucker and the local lawmen are left with an abundance of suspects in this murder of a highly unpopular man. Even his family members cannot be ruled out as suspects.

Ms. Casey does an excellent job of representing the state of Oklahoma in 1916 with regard to language, customs and the general way of life. I look forward to each book in this series, which are all very well written, for the history, for the mystery and for the great story.

Fabulous series from Poisoned Pen Press! Be sure to read this entire series. Look out for Hell with the Lid Blown Off in early June.

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Hebrews: It's Not How You Start - It's How Your Finish by Dr. Kathy Stewart









  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 243 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WestBowPress (May 30 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D8UGK1C



Book Description


“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son …” (Hebrews 1:1–2) but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD …” (Hebrews 10:12)

In Hebrews: It’s Not How You Start—It’s How You Finish, Dr. Kathy Stewart offers a guide to the most encouraging epistle in the New Testament. Among other things the reader will explore:

• Who was Melchizedek, and what is his significance to the doctrine of Hebrews? Who were the Ebionites? Could they have been the original recipients of the epistle? What is one possible interpretation of the controversial warning given in Hebrews 6:4–8? What is the significance of Jesus now sitting at the right hand of God? Perhaps most importantly—how do the doctrinal truths of the book apply to the believer's struggles with everyday trials?

It is hoped that by the conclusion of the book, the reader will not only have grown in their faith but will have a determined resolve to persevere until the end. Because Jesus Christ is better than any created being, that He now serves as our Great High Priest in heaven, and that He has offered Himself as the one final sacrifice for sin, faithful Christians can make it!

My Review


Dr. Kathy Stewart probes the mysteries of the Book of Hebrews in this new bible study. Dr. Stewart offers insightful and intelligent opinions on her interpretation of the Book of Hebrews. This is a valuable addition to the study of Hebrews and I would recommend it to biblical students who want to probe the Book of Hebrews in a more depth way than has been available previously.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Murder in Pigalle (Aimee Leduc Investigations #14) by Cara Black





  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1602 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616952849
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (March 4 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F1W08MM


Book Description

June, 1998: Paris's sticky summer heat is even more oppressive than usual as rowdy French football fans riot in anticipation of the World Cup. Private Investigator Aimée Leduc has been trying to slow down her hectic lifestyle—she's five months' pregnant and has the baby's wellbeing to think about now. But then disaster strikes close to home. A serial rapist has been terrorizing Paris's Pigalle neighborhood, following teenage girls home and attacking them in their own houses. It is sad and frightening but has nothing to do with Aimée—until Zazie, the 13-year-old daughter of the proprietor of Aimée's favorite café, disappears. The police aren't mobilizing quickly enough, and when Zazie's desperate parents approach Aimée for help, she knows she couldn't say no even if she wanted to.

Praise for Murder in Pigalle
"The stylish sleuth in Cara Black’s blithe mysteries set in Paris, is making an odd fashion statement in Murder in Pigalle—ill-fitting frocks and low heels. Almost six months pregnant and showing it... But once the investigation takes a detour into the cavernous sewers of the city, she proves she can still find her way home in the dark."
—New York Times Book Review

"Leduc is a refreshing and entertaining guide to Parisian neighborhoods and cultures, especially those that well-established tourist routes typically pass by. Let’s hope she never runs out of districts to scoot around in."
—The Seattle Times

"Chic and utterly charming... This book has a darker tone than earlier ones in the series, but it still has Black's distinctive flair."
Carole E. Barrowman, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"One tough mother-to-be...The treasured Aimée Leduc series keeps to the high standard of the series while nicely deepening Aimée as a character and leading her in a new direction."
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

"The combination of vividly evoked Parisian neighborhoods and a bewitching, stylish heroine continues to make this series as tasty as a chunk of French chocolate."
—Booklist

"Even an unplanned pregnancy can’t slow down Paris detective Aimée Leduc... Black's 14th shows Aimée just as determined as ever to live life on her own terms and stand up for those who can’t."
—Kirkus Reviews
"Of all the books in this series that I've read, Murder in Pigalle is the strongest. I can't wait to see what Cara Black has in store for us next."  
—Kittling Books

"If you have followed this series and its central characters you'll not want to miss this latest installment. On the other hand, if you enjoy atmospheric suspense stories with exotic settings and characters and haven't yet followed Aimee Leduc around Paris, this might be the perfect time to do so."
—Bookloons

Praise for the Aimée Leduc series


"Transcendently, seductively, irresistibly French."
—Alan Furst

"Wry, complex, sophisticated, intensely Parisian ... One of the very best heroines in crime fiction today."
—Lee Child
"So authentic you can practically smell the fresh baguettes and coffee."
—Val McDermid

“[Cara Black] is on to a good thing: each of her novels is set in a colorful Parisian neighborhood—and there are a lot of them. The cumulative result of reading this addictive series is a sort of mini-tour of the city, as seen through a filter of fictional murder ... Leduc is always a reliable and charming guide to the city's lesser-known corners.”
The Seattle Times

“Black creates rich, plausible characters, giving them individuality and depth.”
San Francisco Gate



Excerpt from Amazon © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Paris, June 1998. Monday, 1:15 P.M.

Stepping into the shadowed cool of Passage Verdeau, Aimée Leduc welcomed the reprieve from the late-June heat—but not the barrel of the Uzi blocking her way. Stifling a gasp, she clutched her stomach, felt a flutter.
     “Mind lowering that?” she said to the CRS riot officer standing in her path.
Dim light filtered through the nineteenth-century passage’s glass roof and onto the cracked mosaic under her heels. The smell of old books hung in the narrow passage, heightened the faded charm of the shop fronts.
     “Use the other exit, Mademoiselle . . . er, Madame.”
     What was disrupting traffic this time? Another demonstration? World Cup fever igniting riots? Pre-Fête de la Musique revels? End of exams? This week there was so much to choose from.
     She shouldered her second-hand Birkin bag, prenatal vitamins rattling against the mascara tubes and Beretta summer catalogues. “What’s the problem?”
     “Aimée?”
     She blinked, recognizing the voice and the face under the riot helmet. “Daniel! You had training wheels on your bike the last time I saw you.” It was her godfather Morbier’s nephew. Fond memories returned of pushing him on a rope swing at her grandmother’s Auvergne farm. “Seems you’ve graduated to new toys.”
     “And you’re pregnant, Aimée.” Daniel smiled, slung his Uzi behind his shoulder and kissed both of her cheeks. “Never thought you’d join the bourgeoisie. Married, eh? Someone I know?”
     “It’s complicated.” She averted her eyes. Melac, her baby’s father, didn’t know she was pregnant. He’d taken leave from the Brigade Criminelle to go back to Brittany and sit at his daughter’s hospital bedside—she had been in a coma since a bus accident four months ago.
     “Still working, too,” Daniel said.
     “Cyber crime never takes a holiday.” Thank God for that, or Leduc Detective would be out of business. “Don’t tell me it’s the sewer workers demonstrating again?” A sigh escaped her as she imagined the choked traffic and tar fumes from the hot pavement.
     “Nothing so pungent,” he said. “Security detail.”
     Aimée’s eyes widened. In CRS speak that meant there had been a security threat, patrols and surveillance. “A bomb threat?”
     Daniel’s eyes veiled. “Nothing that exciting.”
     “Zut, Daniel, you used to play with my Lego. Spill.”
     Muttering under his breath, he said, “The powers that be
don’t relish the City of Light being tarnished by corruption . . .”
     But she didn’t catch the rest, as the commander barked an order to advance. His CRS unit continued forward, toward the Grands Boulevards lined by leafy lime trees. Their thumping boots trampled the fallen blossoms, emitting a waft of citrus.
     As Aimée waited at the bus stop near the Opéra, her impatience mounted. Shoppers and office workers filled the zebra-striped crosswalks, traffic clogged the boulevards and, comme toujours, middle-aged hookers plied their trade on rue Joubert behind the Printemps department store. By the time she reached her office building on rue du Louvre, a fine sheen of perspiration dotted her upper lip.
     The shaking wire-cage elevator wheezed up to the third floor. Fishing out her compact, she checked her lipstick then stepped out onto the scuffed landing. Leduc Detective’s frostedglass door was open.
     René had ordered new shelving for a wall module to make room for the crib, and there was a strange man in overalls tapping away at her office wall. Aimée stifled her irritation. All the baby preparation had become a bone of contention between her and René—like a lot of things these days. It was like he was the one having her baby—eat this, not that; exercise, don’t lift.
      Hot recycled air spun from the old fan under the office chandelier, and lemony afternoon light slanted over the parquet floor. She couldn’t wait to nudge off her peep-toe kitten heels, put her feet up and drink something cold. Shuffling noises came from the rear.
     “René?”
     A head of curly red hair popped up from behind Aimée’s desk. It belonged to Zazie, the thirteen-year-old daughter of the café owners on the corner. A worried look shone in Zazie’s eyes. “René’s gone to the tax office, Aimée. Said you should start praying.”
     Aimée groaned. René had spent all last night calculating their revenue. If they didn’t figure something out quickly they’d have to pay a penalty—with what money, she didn’t know. The curse of the last week in June!
     The worker in overalls set his hammer down by their printer.
“Tell Monsieur Friant I’ve taken the measurements,” he said as
he left. “Delivery tomorrow.”
     She could do with an iced espresso right now. And taking
a load off her feet. The hottest June in years! She caught her
breath.
     “Are you all right, Aimée?” asked Zazie, her eyes big.
     “Fine.” She let herself down into René’s ergonomic chair and kicked off her heels. The cold wood floor chilled her feet. Almost six months pregnant and still nausea in the morning. “Wait une petite seconde. Why aren’t you in class?”
     Zazie played with the red tassel on her backpack’s zipper, averted her gaze.
     “What’s wrong, Zazie?”
     When she met Aimée’s eyes, her lip quivered. “Mélanie, a girl in my school, was . . . attacked.”
     “Attacked?” Concerned, Aimée took Zazie’s hand. “Sit down. Tell me what happened.”
     Zazie took a school binder labeled Suspect W and pulled out a newspaper clipping. The headline read, Twelve-yearold Lycée student sexually assaulted in home after school.
     Aimée blinked, horrified. “What is Suspect W? Is this some grotesque class project? I don’t understand.”
     “Mélanie’s not the first.” Zazie’s voice quavered. “She’s in the clinic, but she told me things, terrible things.”
     “This is your friend, in the article?” Aimée shuddered. “Zazie, how frightening . . .”
     “Not just frightening. But . . .” Zazie hesitated. “There’s more.” She showed Aimée another clipping, dated from last December. Twelve-year-old victim of brutal sexual assault discovered by parents. “It must be the same person,” Zazie said. “Shouldn’t someone do something to stop it, Aimée?”
     “But you don’t know they’re related,” Aimée said, although her mind was turning. A serial rapist preying on young girls?
     Her skin prickled as she remembered that long-ago afternoon, a hot, humid June just like this one, when she was eight years old. It was soon after her American mother had disappeared. On Île Saint-Louis a man had followed her after school. He’d offered her an ice cream at Bertillon’s on the corner—she could almost taste the cassis-limon. But something in the man’s smile, the way he stroked her bare arm, had made her shiver. “Can’t I tickle you?” She backed away, ran down rue des Deux Ponts around the corner to the quai and into her courtyard.
     Her mind came back to the present at the rrrrrr of Zazie’s backpack zipper, which the girl was still playing with anxiously.
Two similar attacks in a short period of time, both on girls about Zazie’s age—one of them Zazie’s friend. Could Zazie be right? Could it be one man? Had the flics put it together yet, and if not, might there be other victims? Aimée’s stomach clenched.
     “You have to be careful, Zazie. Never let anyone follow you home.”
     Zazie chewed her lip. “I have to do something.”
     “Bien sûr, support your friend, she needs you right now.”
     “Don’t you get it, Aimée?” Zazie shook her head. “Zut, I want to stop him. The police aren’t doing anything. If they were, they would have caught him before he hurt Mélanie.”
Her eyes shone with anger. “If the flics aren’t paying attention, then I have to find him.”
     Not again.
     “Playing detective, Zazie? Don’t be silly. We’ve talked about this.” She strengthened her grip on Zazie’s hand. “Alors! Do you know how dangerous someone like that can be? You can’t take on someone like that on yo...
About the Author

 Cara Black is the author of fourteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.

My Review

 Love this series! Every year when I read the latest Amiee Leduc book I want to go back to Paris. Murder in Pigalle is no exception. I had not heard of the Pigalle District before which is an area in Paris around the Place Pigalle, on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements. It is named after the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Most of the action in this book takes place in the 9th arrondissement.

Aimee is six months pregnant in Murder in Pigalle. She is not a happy pregnant lady! She complains a lot and the reader can interpret how unhappy she is adjusting to the changes in her body. She proves though that she desperately wants this baby...but perhaps not Melac, the baby's father. We all know Rene would be a much better father anyways. Aimee open your eyes!

A couple of stories intersect in Murder in Pigalle. A rapist who targets young female musicians is roaming the 9th. What is driving Aimee is that her young friend Zazie is missing and she is desperate to find her. This fast paced story takes place over a few days. Not a lot of mention of Aimee's mother in this one..perhaps the next.

Great addition to a wonderful series.







Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: I'm Dangerous... I'm Not Gonna Lie by Erin Smith








  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (April 9 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402294093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402294099



Book Description



Celebrate the art of living loud with the sassiest, smartest, hottest gift book

From Erin Smith-a hip, irreverent visual artist with a nationally distributed gift line and a unique, pitch-perfect look-comes a mash-up of art, essays, and laugh-out-loud observations designed to find humor in the everyday mundane. Includes hilarious make-your-day quotes like:

"The super girl cape is in the laundry...you'll just have to take my word for it." 


"I'm so damn happy it's like discovering blue cheese olives all over again." 


"As much as I try to be an easygoing, stretch-your-wingsand-fly type, I just can't stop trying to burst people into flames with my mind."

...and many more!"



About the Author

Erin Smith specializes in mixed media and written word collage. She established Erin Smith Art, Inc. and currently distributes her handcrafted canvases, greeting card line and gift items in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. She is licensed with High Cotton, Inc., TF Publishing, Spirit (AU), Ephemera Inc., and Enesco U.S. and UK. Erin currently resides near Atlanta.


My Review

This is a fun book that you can read over and over when you need a chuckle. Erin Smith is a talented artist whose work is generally reproduced in greeting cards and calendars. But now there is this book - I'm Dangerous..I'm Not Gonna Lie for us to enjoy. Smith utilizes mixed media with funny saying to create her art. So funny...you'll enjoy this book.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Until We Touch (Fool's Gold #15) by Susan Mallery








  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (June 24 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I66BQEO

Book Description

 From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?



About the Author

 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at www.SusanMallery.com.


My Review

Until We Touch, book 15 in the popular Fool's Gold series by Susan Mallery features all the reasons people love to read Susan Mallery's books. She is the subject matter expert when it comes to writing a fulfilling romance tale. While this could be a stand alone novel, I think the reader will find that by reading the series you will have a much better grip on all the characters and their relationships with each other.

This is a fast, good read for a lazy afternoon. If you have been following the series, then you will be familiar with Jack and his assistant/masseuse Larissa. In this novel, Larissa finally admits to herself that she is in love with her boss and it helps that her mother spills the beans first!

Fools Gold is of course the land of happy endings so I think you know how this will play out! Great read, be sure to pick it up in June if you are a romance fan.




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Bitter River (Bell Elkins #2) by Julia Keller



  • File Size: 577 KB
  • Print Length: 397 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250003490
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (September 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C74OXEQ


Book Description

In the next stunning novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning Julia Keller, following the popular A Killing in the Hills, a pregnant teenager is found murdered at the bottom of a river.

Phone calls before dawn are never good news. And when you’re the county’s prosecuting attorney, calls from the sheriff are rarely good news, either. So when Bell Elkins picks up the phone she already knows she won’t like what she’s about to hear, but she’s still not prepared for this: 16-year-old Lucinda Trimble’s body has been found at the bottom of Bitter River. And Lucinda didn't drown—she was dead before her body ever hit the water.

With a case like that, Bell knows the coming weeks are going to be tough. But that’s not all Bell is coping with these days. Her daughter is now living with Bell’s ex-husband, hours away. Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, one of Bell’s closest friends, is behaving oddly. Furthermore, a face from her past has resurfaced for reasons Bell can’t quite figure. Searching for the truth, both behind Lucinda’s murder and behind her own complicated relationships, will lead Bell down a path that might put her very life at risk.

In Bitter River, Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Keller once again weaves a compelling, haunting mystery against the stark beauty and extreme poverty of a small West Virginia mountain town.



From Publishers Weekly

The murder of 16-year-old Lucinda Trimble, whose strangled body is found in a car in the Bitter River, propels Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Keller's worthy sequel to her well-received adult fiction debut, A Killing in the Hills (2012). As West Virginia prosecutor Bell Elkins and the rest of closely knit Acker's Gap struggle to fathom who could have wanted to kill the popular high school honor student, a sniper fires at the county courthouse, almost killing Bell's assistant. Days later, a devastating explosion levels Ike's diner, moments after the divorced attorney finished breakfast with her much younger lover, Clay Meckling. Suddenly, remote Acker's Gap seems under siege, with Bell, stalwart sheriff Nick Fogelsong, and their team scrambling to find answers before the next attack. Ultimately, some of them prove less interesting than the questions Keller, a native West Virginian, poses about the nature of friendship and family—as well as the engaging, unsentimentalized Appalachian community she has created. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)


From Booklist

*Starred Review* The world intrudes cruelly on Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, the hometown to which D.C. lawyer Bell Elkins has returned to try to make a difference. As county prosecutor, Bell is working with childhood friend, Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, on the murder of 16-year-old Lucinda Trimble when a potentially fatal shot is fired into the courthouse and soon followed by a tragedy at the local diner. The town mourns Lucinda—bright, beautiful, bursting with potential, but pregnant and planning to marry her high-school boyfriend—while both Bell and Nick display blind spots in the course of pursuing their investigation. The town is in shock after the diner incident, and Bell’s theory about what may be behind it comes just a little too late to prevent further bloodshed. With her 17-year-old daughter, Carla, now living with Bell’s ex in D.C. after the dangerous events in Keller’s highly-praised A Killing in the Hills (2012), Bell occasionally longs for the excitement of the city, but a single compelling personal reason keeps her in Acker’s Gap, however isolated it is. Once again, Keller combines masterful storytelling, a vivid sense of place—the beauty and poverty of Appalachia—a complex cast of characters, and a suspenseful, superbly executed plot that displays a depth rarely seen in mystery fiction. --Michele Leber

About the Author

From:  http://www.juliakeller.net/juliakeller.net/About.html

I was born in Huntington, West Virginia, and that’s where I grew up, “so successfully disguised to myself as a child,” in James Agee’s marvelous phrase.



My first real job was as a news-paper reporter — first in Ashland, Kentucky, then Columbus, Ohio, and finally Chicago. That’s what you did, I believed, when you wanted to be a writer: You went to work for a newspaper, and you learned about the world.

Along the way, I earned a doctoral degree in English Literature at Ohio State University. I won
a Pulitzer Prize. I published a book about the inventor of the Gatling gun.

My first novel is called A Killing in the Hills, and it won the Barry Award in 2013 for Best First


Mystery. It’s about a woman who returns to her West Virginia hometown to fight corruption — and perhaps to find herself as well. The second mystery in the series, Bitter River, was published in September 2013, and the third, Summer of the Dead, comes out in August 2014.

My Review


Fabulous book...loved it as much as the first novel in the series, A Killing in the Hills. Julia Keller can write and she can tell a mean story.  Bitter River can stand alone but I absolutely recommend reading the first novel as well as it is so good.

Bell Elkins, a lawyer who is the prosecutor in the small town in West Virginia where she grew up, is faced with the murder of a 16 year old girl who was found murdered in the Bitter River. Bell had a traumatic and violent childhood but has risen above everything to become a strong woman and mother. She has tried city life in Washington, DC but she belongs in Acker's Gap. Before the mystery of the young girl's murder is solved an explosion rips through a local restaurant tearing Bell's world apart anew. 

Excellent writing accompanied by an amazing story make this a book to remember. There were so many twists at the end that it was definitely hard to identify the murderer. I was kept in suspense until the end. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Gone and Done It (Dreamwalker Series) by Maggie Toussaint









  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Five Star; 1 edition (May 9 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432828134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432828134


Book Description


Baxley solves crimes in her dreams


While planting a cherry tree, landscaper and pet sitter Baxley Powell digs up a skull. As she waits for the cops, she dreamwalks to identify the victim. Once her findings prove helpful, the sheriff agrees to pay her for consulting, if she closes cases.


 A widow and single mom, Baxley needs this consulting gig. Her in-laws want custody of her daughter, so she has to be self-sufficient.


 Complications arise when a fresh body is found on Baxley’s jobsite, planting her in the suspect pool. Concurrently, her father steps down as county dreamwalker, passing the honor to her. Some honor. People need help, and she barely knows what to do.


 With a killer dogging her heels and spirits nipping at her mind, Baxley follows her dreams.


About the Author

A scientist by training, a romanticist at heart, Maggie Toussaint loves to solve puzzles. Whether it’s the puzzle of a relationship or a who-dun-it, she tackles them all with equal aplomb and wonder. Maggie writes cozy mystery for Five Star, romantic suspense for The Wild Rose Press, and contemporary romance for Muddle House Publishing. Besides being a member of Washington Romance Writers, she’s also a member of First Coast Romance Writers, Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Sisters In Crime. She was awarded the WRW Magic Crystal service award in 2004.



My Review

I love the cover of this book! It is spooky with an air of mystery! 

The main character in Maggie Toussaint's latest book, Gone and Done It which is part of the new Dreamwalker series, is Baxley Powell whose psychic gift is just emerging. She has inherited this gift from her father. While I'm not really fond of supernatural stories, the mystery element of the story makes this a good read for me.

Baxley, whose day job is a landscaper as well as a pet-sitter, isn't sure she is ready to be the county psychic or dreamwalker who has the ability to communicate with the dead. While working as a landscaper, Baxley finds a dead body in a client's yard. The police of course are skeptical that she can communicate with this body through her dreamwalking ability. Could a new career as a police consultant be in the works?

This is an interesting paranormal mystery set in coastal Georgia. It is a good story and if you like paranormal mysteries or just mysteries in general be sure to pick up a copy when it releases next month.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Upcoming Book Alert: Blessed are the Dead: A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery by Krisi Belcamino


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: Witness Impulse (June 10 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GLS4VR8




For her debut novel, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD (Witness, on sale 6/10/2014, $2.99, ISBN 13: 9780062338907), Kristi Belcamino relies on her knowledge gained from working as a crime reporter at newspapers in California, specifically in her experience with a serial killer who police and FBI agents liked to several kidnappings and murders. Belcamino’s personal past colors this smart, thrilling novel with a unique new voice.

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of an extremely likeable protagonist.  The novel sets up a new series featuring Gabriella Giovanni, an Italian-American Bay Area crime reporter.  BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second book in the series will be published in July.

First Two Chapters Preview Here:


BLESSED ARE THE DEAD pits Italian-American Bay Area Crime reporter against a serial killer who preys on children. When they were little girls, Gabriella Giovanni’s sister was kidnapped and killed. Twenty years later, Gabriella spends her days on the crime beat flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares and then walking away unscathed. That changes when a little girl disappears and Gabriella’s quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper who reels her in with tales of his exploits as a longtime serial killer and promises to reveal his secrets to her alone. Meanwhile, Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper also killed her sister. Gabriella won’t hesitate to risk her life to garner justice for the dead.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cookbook Review: My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz




  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 36248 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (April 8 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FUZR04O




Book Description

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

It’s been ten years since David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes.

     In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

“David Lebovitz is a rare specimen: both a terrific storyteller and a brilliant, uncompromising recipe writer. His lighthearted, almost satirical style is combined with far-reaching knowledge of food and its context. I’d follow him blindfolded on this journey to the City of Light.”
-Yotam Ottolenghi, coauthor of Jerusalem

“David Lebovitz is a chef who can write better than most food writers, a writer who can hold his own in any restaurant kitchen in the world, and, most of all, a guy who simply rejoices in food and cooking. This may be his most personal cookbook, describing all facets of his cooking life in Paris, with great stories, information, and recipes. I need two copies of this book: one for the kitchen and another by my reading chair.”
-Michael Ruhlman, author of Ruhlman’s Twenty

“Opening this beautiful book is like opening the door to David’s Paris. Of course, you get great recipes, but you also get to wander the world’s most delicious city with a friend who knows it well and is excited to share it with you. A treat  for those of us who love French home cooking, Paris, and David’s take on it all.”
-Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
 
“David Lebovitz is the ultimate American in Paris and this book is the ultimate insight into his beautiful and delicious world. I am beyond jealous!”
-Suzanne Goin, author of The A.O.C. Cookbook

Black Olive Tapenade
Tapenade Noire

Serves 6 to 8

This was the first tapenade I ever made, and it is still my go-to recipe. The best olives to use are the slightly wrinkled black olives from Nyons; or, if you have the patience for pitting teensy Niçoise olives, they’re marvelously oily and are the base for a wonderful bowl of tapenade. Other olives work well, too, but if they’re very salty, rinse them in cold water and pat them dry before using them.

One way to pit olives is to squish them under your thumb or use the side of a broad knife blade, with the blade held parallel to the table (i.e., not facing up), and rap it down briskly to release the pit from the olive meat. Be sure to wear a dark shirt or kitchen apron since the pits like to celebrate their liberté in a very “far-reaching” way.

Tapenade can be spread on Herbed goat cheese toasts. Pastis is the classic accompaniment, although I never developed a taste for the anise-scented
elixir that mysteriously turns cloudy when water is added to dilute its high-test taste and strength. I opt for chilled rosé.


1-1/2 cups (210g) black olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed  lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)

1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olives, garlic, capers, thyme, anchovies, lemon juice, and mustard a few times to start breaking them down.

2. Add the olive oil and run the food processor until the mixture forms a slightly chunky paste. The tapenade shouldn’t need any salt, but taste and add a sprinkle if necessary. The tapenade will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

About the Author

DAVID LEBOVITZ has been a professional cook and baker for most of his life; he spent nearly thirteen years at Chez Panisse until he left the restaurant business in 1999 to write books. He moved to Paris in 2004 and turned davidlebovitz.com into a phenomenally popular blog. He is the author of six books, including The Perfect Scoop, Ready for Dessert, The Great Book of Chocolate, and a memoir called The Sweet Life in Paris, and he was named one of the Top Five Pastry Chefs in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. David has also been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, and more. 

My Review

 I'm a huge fan of David Lebovitz's blog. I love to read about living and eating in Paris. This cookbook was an obvious addition to my cookbook collection.

Here is a link to his blog post today:  http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/04/the-making-of-my-paris-kitchen-cookbook/ 

David's latest book is not just a cookbook. It is a book about living, cooking, eating, and shopping in Paris. The book is divided into Appetizers, First Courses, Main Courses, Sides, Desserts and Pantry. The Introduction itself details the ingredients and equipment you need in your kitchen to accomplish modern French cooking. The Pantry section details such basic items as chicken stock, creme fraiche and vinaigrette. These items are handy to have on hand. I was just looking over his recipe for Madeleines as I have a new Madeleine pan that I want to try out. And I've been drooling over the photo of the chocolate-dulce de leche tart. The Chicken With Mustard on the cover looks amazing. That will definitely be happening soon at my house.

The book has beautiful photographs of the recipes in the book as well as photos of Paris. It is available in hardcover as well as in digital. It is available today!! You definitely want a copy of this book!

Review: Poisoned Ground: A Rachel Goddard Mystery (Rachel Goddard Mystery #6) by Sandra Parshall








  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1591 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1464202249
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (March 1 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IRHZXDW


Book Description

When a powerful development company sets its sights on Mason Country, Virginia, as the location for a sprawling resort for the rich, the locals begin taking sides. Many residents see the resort as economic salvation for the small Blue Ridge Mountains community, while others fear the county will become financially dependent on a predatory company.

Few oppose the development more vocally than veterinarian Rachel Goddard. She sides with locals reluctant to sell their land and, in the process, complicates the life of her new husband, Sheriff Tom Bridger.


When a beloved couple is gunned down on the very farm they refused to sell, it seems supporters will stop at nothing to ensure the success of the resort. Now disagreement in the community has exploded into civil war with both sides lashing out. As the violence escalates, Rachel discovers the attacks are more sinister than they appear.


Can she bring the truth to light before her community tears itself apart?


About the Author

Sandra Parshall is the author of the Rachel Goddard Mysteries: The Heat of the Moon, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2006; Disturbing the Dead; Broken Places; Under the Dog Star; and Bleeding Through (Sept 2012). A former reporter on newspapers in her home state of South Carolina as well as West Virginia and Baltimore, MD, she now lives in the Washington, DC, area with her journalist husband and two cats.


My Review

This is the second book that I've read in the Rachel Goddard Mystery series by Sandra Parshall. I am very impressed with Ms. Parshall's writing style. I am also impressed with the story. It was a good mystery that kept me guessing until the end.

A development company has divided the residents of Rachel's small Blue Ridge Mountain community. Some people want to sell out and some don't. Old friendships are strained. Families are divided. It is amidst this turmoil that people start being murdered and vandalism is rampant. Are the murders related to the possible development...or is it something completely different.

Loved this book and highly recommend it. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Organized for Murder (Organized Mysteries #1) by Ritter Ames




Tour Participants
March 31 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 1 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
April 2 – i blog 4 books – Review
April 3 – Book Club Librarian – Review
April 4 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
April 5 – Mysteries Etc – Review
April 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
April 7 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
April 8 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post
April 9 – Thoughts in Progress – Review, Interview
April 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
April 11- I’d Rather Be At The Beach – Review
April 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
April 13 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog – Review



1 BOOK GIVEAWAY AT EACH STOP AND A RAFFLECOPTER GRAND PRIZE.

Enter Here for the Grand Prize



  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1728 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1495379957
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing (Feb. 21 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ILBRNXC



Book Description

Organization expert Kate McKenzie is on track to make her new business, STACKED IN YOUR FAVOR, a hit in small-town Vermont. But when her first client, the wealthy Amelia Nethercutt, is found dead, the job takes a decidedly sinister turn.

Kate thought she and her family were making a fresh start in her husband's hometown, but she quickly learns that small towns can hold big secrets. When her first client is poisoned just after Kate leaves her mansion, she knows she's gotten off to a bad start. But things only get worse when the police find Kate's fingerprints on the murder weapon, suddenly putting her in the position of suspect number one. The stopwatch is ticking for Kate to prove she had nothing to do with the murder, and the odds are further stacked against her when items stolen from the Nethercutt mansion start showing up in the McKenzie home. Now, Kate must trust her methodical skills and expert eye to sort out who is trying to frame her and to find the real killer before she's organized right into a jail cell.

“Ritter writes like a seasoned veteran, and you will not believe how helpful these organizational tips are!”
- Gemma Halliday, New York Times Bestselling author

"A delightful new cozy mystery series starring an intriguing heroine--Kate McKenzie. Twists and turns abound, entertaining the reader throughout! I loved it and look forward to the next installment. Ritter Ames is a new star on the cozy set!"
- Michele Scott, author of the Wine Lovers Mystery Series, featuring Nikki Sands

About the Author


Ritter is an award-winning author who writes the Bodies of Art mystery series and the cozy Organized Mysteries series, both published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. She focuses most of her time and writing energies on globe trotting the world via her keyboard to create memorable characters and fascinating fiction novels for readers. In this great new endeavor, her cat muse remains faithfully by her side–only voicing displeasure when the food bowl sits empty due to Ritter focusing more on writing than on kibble. She is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ritter.ames, and you can follow her on Twitter @RitterAmes. Ritter tries to blog regularly at http://ritterames.wordpress.com/ and uses her Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ to capture great places and ideas she wants to use in both series. Follow her blog and boards to learn more about Ritter and her upcoming books.

Author Links:
Web page: http://ritterames.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ritter.ames
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RitterAmes
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/

My Review

The right business hook is the most important criteria for success, and Kate McKenzie thinks she’s found a perfect one.  As an organizational expert, Kate knows Americans are running out of space and money, and renting more storage units is usually not the best solution. Starting an organizational business, Stacked in Your Favor, in her new hometown of Hazelton, Vermont seems like an answer to her family’s budget problems and an answer to southern Vermonters’ prayers.  Business looks good when she snags collector, Amelia Nethercutt, as her first client, signing on to organize the wealthy woman’s eccentrically-filled mansion.  But things take a turn beyond chaos when Amelia is murdered and Kate’s fingerprints are found on the poison that killed her.


This is the first book in the Organized Mysteries series by Ritter Ames. The series is set in the small town of Hazelton in Vermont. The main character Kate McKenzie, who is an organization expert, and her retired hockey player husband who is now a radio sportscaster, have settled into his hometown now that his hockey career has ended. Kate has found a best friend Meg who can help her with her six year old twins and has settled into small town life. She starts a business of her own Stacked in Your Favor which is an organizing business.

Kate has a new client she is initially very excited about, Amelia Nethercutt. Amelia owns a huge mansion filled with things that need to be organized! Shortly after Kate's initial assessment, Amelia is found murdered. Is Kate a suspect...not really...but the police don't rule her out and it looks like somebody wants her to appear guilty....

A good, fast paced, easy to read cozy mystery. I loved all the organizing tips!! I was kept guessing until the end as to who the murderer was.  The ebook is only $3.99 for the Kindle on Amazon.



Leave a comment to be entered for the giveaway of an ebook copy of Organized for Murder: