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This is one book that could fall under so many genres when listing it.
I discovered it listed under cookbooks and was immediately drawn to the cover and synopsis. What I found inside wasn’t exactly what I had expected, but so much more.
While there are tantalizing recipes for such dishes as Summer Vegetable Pie and Apple Dumplings, author Suzanne McMinn offers up much more. She includes helpful hints and DIY craft projects such as beeswax lip balm and soap recipes.
The most intriguing part of the book, however, is McMinn’s journey from romance writer to farmer. She tells how she packed up and moved her family to Stringtown Rising Farm, a place that didn’t even have a road to it.
McMinn describes the journey in vivid detail. She includes a good dose of humor with the difficult and good times giving readers an inside look at how life was for her. An added bonus is numerous color photos depicting her life during this transformation.
Throughout the book, McMinn shares the good and the bad elements of her decision to move. While ill prepared at times, she faced the daily ups and downs with strength, determination and a sense of humor.
CHICKENS IN THE ROAD is an inspiring book of tackling one’s dreams and visions with wit, determination, and persistence. This is one cookbook that will have you laughing as you try out the tasty recipes and fun crafts.
I’d like to wish each and everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving today. For those not celebrating this holiday, I wish you a safe and joyous day just the same.
I hope where ever you are the weather is kind to you today and life gives you an easy road to travel.
I am so very thankful to have found friends such as yourselves. I’m amazed and humbled each day by your friendship and support of this blog and what I offer for your reading. I’m thankful for the authors who contribute through their guest posts, books for review and giveaways. I’m thankful to the book publishers, book promoters and blog tour coordinator for all they do. I am thankful for all who stop by and visit.
There is so much to be thankful for even when there are times it seems that nothing is going right. I read an inspiring post sometime back that encouraged readers to write down 5 things each day they were thankful for. The post explained that it didn’t have to be major things, just something at the moment you appreciated. It gave examples like watching a butterfly, just the fact the sun was shining, that first cup of coffee or even a chance to sit down and rest for a few minutes.
When I think about that post, it reminds me to be thankful especially on those days when it seems everything is going wrong. And on one of those days where you take one step forward only to be knocked three steps back, be thankful at least you’re still standing.
In my opinion, Sarah is an awesome author as she is only 17 years old and is pursuing her dream. She has loved writing from an early age. She has been writing short stories since the age of 4, and at the age of 10, she came up with the idea for THE TIGER PRINCESS. She wrote the novel when she was 12.
Sarah is fascinated with wild animals and the wild world outside her home, and has an obvious great love of tigers. She enjoys spending time with her cats, reading, drawing, and playing her violin when she is not writing. In her free time, she is constantly daydreaming about her many characters, creating new ones, and coming up with interesting adventure story ideas.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the 5 books comprising the Saderia Series.
The Tiger Princess (Book 1)
Ten years ago, a devastating fire took the lives of Queen Karenisha and King Makero, leaving a young Princess Saderia orphaned.
Nobody knows how the fire started, but it ignited quickly. Too quickly. In ten years, the truth has never been discovered... Saderia is a curious 10-year-old tiger Princess. Her Aunt Cia and Uncle Jash have taken over the duties of Queen and King and have raised Saderia since her parents disappeared in a mysterious fire. Saderia’s aunt and uncle don’t understand the sassy, adventurous tiger, which she resents. At night, though, Saderia is haunted by dark nightmares about the fire - eerie, cryptic dreams that push her to start investigating her parents’ disappearance. As she uncovers strange clues, she soon becomes desperate to know the truth. Could her parents have been murdered? On a quest to uncover the truth about her parents’ disappearance, she soon realizes her forest has many other mysteries when she discovers a dangerous, ancient royal secret regarding her oldest ancestors - a secret that will change not only her life, but the lives of everyone around her. Saderia doesn’t know who or what to trust, but she is desperate to uncover the secrets of the past. She will do whatever it takes to find the truth.
“His parents are gone. He lives in the woods…” Dash is a dark lion with a dark secret. Living as an orphan in the cold, winter forest, he strives to hide that secret from the other young animals that have come to resent him. But when he meets the animal that has haunted his past, he isn’t sure what to do. Meanwhile, Saderia finally gets her wish to go to school. She hopes to meet a friend, but she gets slightly more than she bargained for when she meets a fun-loving cheetah, a bullying panther, three prissy girls, prejudiced teachers, and a strange assistant principal who seems to enjoy making Saderia’s life more difficult. But there is no one as strange as the dark lion that sits in the back, and hides his face from her. Saderia starts having Dreams again, but even though she knows what they are, she still doesn’t understand them. At the same time, she struggles to accept the prophecy she learned about in her ancestor’s tomb. But why do her Dreams and her instinct always direct her toward the dark lion who seems to fear her? As the two animals get to know each other, Saderia wonders if Dash is hiding something, while Dash realizes that it is much harder to keep secrets from friends.
One year ago, a young dingo was murdered for her beliefs. The murderer was never punished. One year later, the killer seeks a new target… Dingo is a kind-hearted but bitter canine living in a brutal society in a merciless desert. Hated and tortured by his brother and the cruel dingoes that control his pack, Dingo’s only thought is of survival. Yet memories of his slain sister plague him as he desperately tries to stay alive. While Dingo tries to overcome the cruelty in the desert, Saderia faces her own problems at home in the forest. When a new foe begins terrorizing the forest, she and Dash must face the fact that their only hope for survival may mean leaving the forest. Forever. Faced with a choice between life and death, Saderia and Dash embark on a life-changing journey to save the kingdom. With miles of unforgiving desert to cross, Saderia must be strong. But when she and Dash wind up lost, who will save them? As Dingo struggles to escape the cruelty of his brother, Saderia and Dash struggle to survive. When the three animals cross paths, no one is sure what to think. In the end, Saderia must fight her way home, while Dingo must decide which is more important—saving the tiger that reminds him so much of his sister…or his own survival?
One year ago, a fire destroyed a mysterious forest. A young animal was framed by the Emperor himself. Living as an outlaw, he struggles to uncover the real story… Jeb is a kind but fearful creature living in an underground Spring with dangerous outlaws. With only his parents and a mysterious outlaw named Secka to protect him, Jeb struggles to uncover the truth about the fire he was framed for. When strange creatures invade their home, though, he is forced to focus on driving them out. But as he learns more about the creatures and the fire, he wonders who the real enemy is. Meanwhile, Saderia finds herself in a strange forest. Disasters plague the forest and weird plants cover the land. On top of everything else, an unknown enemy is sabotaging the royal family. While trying to cope, Saderia begins to doubt herself. After leaving Dingo behind in the desert, she starts to lose faith in her Dream sense. But is Dingo truly gone? And when her best friend finds himself seconds away from death, will she be able to trust her instincts to save him? While Saderia and Dash struggle to save the kingdom, Jeb searches for the truth. When their paths meet, they have even more questions. Will they uncover the secret of the forest or die trying?
War is brewing... At long last, Saderia returns to her home. But with a missing Queen and an entire forest to rebuild, her homecoming is tainted with worry. Soon, she is forced to leave on a desperate quest to find her mother before it’s too late. Saderia’s forest is not the only land in trouble, though. A cruel tyrant named Rock has taken control of the dingo pack, creating turmoil in the desert. As Saderia searches for her mother, she stumbles upon hundreds of outcasts in the desert. With legions of enemies thirsting for their blood, the outcasts are desperate for help. But will helping the exiled dingoes mean dragging the forest into war? While Saderia struggles to help the outcasts, Dash finds himself dreaming of an eerie clearing. A mysterious enemy from the past begins visiting him under the guise of helping him. But whose side is he really on? And when war breaks out, whose side will Dash choose? As the threat of war looms on the horizon, Saderia tries to do what’s right, Dash plots in the shadows to win the war, and Dingo struggles to find a way to save the outcasts. Battles are waged, dangerous plots are formed, enemies become allies...and in the end, nothing is the same...
I’m amazed and delighted at the variety and number of new cozy murder mysteries that are published each month by the vast array of publishers and those self-publishing.
Of the publishers, Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian always have such interesting mysteries and varied themes. This month is no exception with a new series beginning and the addition of many already established series.
While I haven’t had a chance to read these books yet, they are all in my TBR stack. I’m looking forward to uncovering the mysteries they hold. Today I want to tell you a bit about these and hopefully entice you to read one or all.
First up is the debut installment of a new series by one of my favorite authors.
As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched. But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus has been happily married to veterinarian Ted Scottsmeyer for months. But her newly wedded bliss is about to be cut short....
Josie and Ted have finally tied the knot, and they’re ready for the next step: buying a house. Ted’s business partner, Christine, has one she’s willing to sell, but it needs a lot of love. Luckily, the newlyweds are up for the challenge. But when they tear down a rickety gazebo in the backyard, they find the body of Christine’s sister, a free spirit who supposedly took off six months before. The police arrest Christine for murder, leaving Ted to work overtime at the office to cover for his partner. With no time to work on the house or be with her husband, Josie will have to find the real killer quickly, before both her house and marriage are beyond repair....
Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder. When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly...or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.
Dr. Sophie Knowles loves using puzzles to make math fun for students. But when winter seizes Henley College, she must thaw out a cold case to track down a killer—her most difficult puzzle yet . . .
Winter Intersession is in full swing, and campus is buzzing over the concert celebrating the bell tower’s reopening. The building has been shuttered for twenty-five years, and Sophie’s shocked to learn why—a student leapt from it to her death. But she’s even more troubled by the secrecy surrounding the case. After Sophie performs some quick calculations, she’s left with a nagging question: Was it really suicide? When one of Sophie’s favorite students, a performer in the concert, is brutally beaten and left in a coma, Sophie’s mind kicks into overdrive. The horrific incidents seem too coincidental to be unrelated, but can Sophie put together the pieces from a twenty-five-year-old murder before any other students get hurt?
Professor Sophie Knowles #4 Berkley (Prime Crime) ISBN-13: 9780425262702 304 Pages, Paperback
William Shakespeare is credited with inventing how many words?*
Answering Shakespeare trivia comes with the job description for library director Lindsey Norris. But when the Briar Creek Community Theater mounts their newest production of the Bard, she has no intention of leaving the stacks for the stage. Unfortunately a villain is waiting in the wings... Former Broadway actress Violet La Rue is holding auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and everyone from the sour spinster librarian Ms. Cole to Lindsey’s youthful library pages are trying out for parts. Brought in to play the mischievous Puck is the flirtatious professional actor Robbie Vine, who seems to have eyes for Lindsey. Before her blush has faded, the Bard’s dream turns into a nightmare—when one of the cast is poisoned. Now Lindsey and her crafternooners must take center stage to unmask the culprit before the final curtain call... *Over 17,000
Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once an actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks. One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence—before someone else gets picked off...
Brooklyn bookstore owner Darla Pettistone and her oversized black cat, Hamlet, have solved a few complicated capers. But after a recent brush with danger, Darla needs to get Hamlet out of a feline funk...
Lately, Hamlet hasn’t been chasing customers or being his obnoxious self—something Darla surprisingly misses. Concerned, she hires a cat whisperer to probe Hamlet’s feline psyche and then decides to get out of her own funk by taking up karate to learn how to defend herself in case the need arises again. But when Darla finds her sensei dead at the dojo, it seems that even a master can be felled by foul play. Darla decides to investigate the matter herself, and the promise of a mystery snaps Hamlet out of his bad mood. After all, Darla may be the sleuth, but Hamlet’s got a black belt in detection...
A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #3 Berkley (Prime Crime) ISBN-13: 9780425252369 304 Pages, Paperback
This holiday season at the Pennyfoot, the head count is down—but the body count is up...
With one of her housemaids leaving to get married, Cecily Sinclair Baxter wants nothing more for Christmas than some good help. Instead of visions of sugar plums, she’s calling the plumber to deal with flooded bathrooms. Then there’s the surly new janitor, who acts like he got coal in his stocking. But as Cecily scrambles to hire and train new staff in time for the holidays, one of her guests is beyond help. Gerald Evans is found stabbed to death on the beach, and Cecily soon discovers he was a private investigator from London looking into dark doings involving the Pennyfoot. Who among the staff or guests was being pursued, and what secret drove that person to cold-blooded murder?
A Special Pennyfoot Holiday Mystery #21 Berkley (Prime Crime) ISBN-13: 9780425262917 304 Pages, Trade Size
What starts off as a sad tale ends up being a funny, heart-warming story perfect for the holiday season in A NANTUCKET CHRISTMAS.
Narrator Joyce Bean does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. From the whinny Kennedy to the thoughts of Pooh and all in between, Bean gives each character their own distinct voice. Her mannerisms delight and enhance the words of author Nancy Thayer.
A NANTUCKET CHRISTMAS features two stories that merge into one. The first story focuses on a small puppy that has been abandoned by his owners on Nantucket Island. Its winter and they are returning to the mainland with no need for a dog anymore. The puppy struggles to survive finding food and warmth where he can.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the island Nicole Somerset is preparing for the first Christmas with her new husband Sebastian. The troubling part is Sebastian’s pregnant daughter Kennedy, her husband James and their youngster Max will be visiting for Christmas.
Despite the fact that both her parents have new partners and seem happy, Kennedy will do all within her power to bring her parents back together. At every opportunity Kennedy schemes to push her father away from Nicole. When her mother unexpectedly arrives at the house on Christmas Eve, she’s sure the family will be reunited and Nicole will be out in the cold.
When Max finds the stray puppy in his fort and wants to bring it inside, a huge argument among the adults begins. When Kennedy snaps at Max, he takes the puppy and runs away. As the search for Max unfolds, things happen that changes the divided family forever.
Thayer has created such realistic characters you find yourself wanting to shake some sense into a few saying ‘grow up.’ She gives them emotions and concerns listeners can relate to. The characters are a mixture of sweet, fun, lovable and downright spoiled.
An eye for detail, the author paints a beautiful winter wonderland with her descriptions. Her take on the town’s Christmas setting places the listeners in the middle of the festive atmosphere.
If you’re an animal lover, you will both hate and love this story. Thayer explores the bond between animal and human and the loving connection that is made, but also the terrible way pets are sometimes abandoned.
A NANTUCKET CHRISTMAS is a quick, charming story that will have you smiling and humming a Christmas tune by the end.
THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING is a prime example that things aren’t always what they seem. Narrator Nicole Poole does a terrific job giving the various characters their own voice. She delivers the emotions with a flourish.
Author Beth Kendrick spins a wonderful tale of love, laughter, and what might have been.
Emily only wants a stable family and a house with a white picket fence. She’s about to realize her dream with her marriage to a wonderful surgeon. Their wedding is taking place at a quaint resort in Valentine, Vermont, and will also serve as a family reunion for her fiancé Grant’s family. Emily only has her mother and former step-sister so she’s excited about becoming part of a large family.
As she goes over last minute details and the wedding party arrives, an unwanted guest from Emily’s past arrives. Her ex-husband Ryan, now a successful film producer, is in town scouting locations.
During the final days leading up to her dream wedding, Emily discovers things about both men in her life she never imaged. She also discovered there is no such things as a perfect family.
Kendrick tantalizes listeners/readers with her well-developed, realistic characters. She created zany secondary characters that add charm and depth to the story.
Kendrick’s vivid descriptions bring the picturesque setting to life. The story flows smoothly and at a steady pace. The author adds twists and turns to keep you wondering, while surprising you with those who bond.
THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING is a lighthearted romance that may have you rethinking your dream wedding. This story features fun characters and an entertaining story to delight the heart of romantics.
We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving and a month away from Christmas so the holiday season is in full swing.
On this Sunday Salon when we share books we’ve discovered, I have a wonderful book that will enhance your holiday spirit. In addition, I also have a review of a product that will add to your holiday season.
Relax in that comfortable chair first making sure your cup of favorite beverage is filled to the brim. Prop up your feet, snuggle in the warmth of the season and enjoy.
I’m sorry to say I had never heard of the Berlin Candy Bomber (aka Uncle Wiggly Wings) until I discovered CHRISTMAS FROM HEAVEN. This should be a classic story told every Christmas throughout the nation (and world).
This is the true story of how Gail ‘Hal’ Halvorsen, a young pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps, shared the meaning of giving in a war-torn land. Hal was the pilot of a cargo plane in the Berlin Airlift in which U.S. forces delivered supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin in 1948.
During one of the supply drops, Hal talked with German children lining the fence of the Tempelhof Air Base. Hal wanted to give the children something but had only 2 sticks of gum. He gave the gum anyway and was touched by their acts of sharing. An idea quickly formed and he told the youngsters he would drop them candy the next time he flew in. He told them he would ‘wiggle’ the wings of his plane so they would know it was him.
Hal and his crew fashioned small parachutes for the treats and sent them floating to earth on their next trip to the base. Word rapidly spread and soon other crews were donating their candy to the Candy Bomber. From there word reached sympathetic Americans and candy companies. Hal’s small act of kindness blossomed into a major effort spreading compassion and hope between people torn by war.
CHRISTMAS FROM HEAVEN is beautifully illustrated by Robert T. Barrett, who captures the setting bringing it to life. The book also includes numerous actual black and white photos showing Hal, his crew and those touched by this effort. There is also a template showing how to make a candy parachute.
To enhance this book even more, a DVD is included that features famed broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw. In the DVD, Brokaw brings this extraordinary story to life during a live reading with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir accompanying him. A highlight of the performance is the arrival of the Candy Bomber himself, 92-year-old Hal Halvorsen.
This is a heartwarming story of hope and kindness that will stay with you long after the season. CHRISTMAS FROM HEAVEN is sure to be a family favorite. This is a wonderful way to teach youngsters about history, giving and ‘from little things come big things.’ A moving and inspiring story.
Christmas From Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber read by Tom Brokaw, Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett, Shadow Mountain, @2013, ISBN: 978-1609077006, Hardcover with DVD, 32 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - Thisbook was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tom Brokaw is one of the giants of television journalism. Anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, he also holds the honor of being the only person to host each of NBC News’s major news programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press. He has won several awards, including a Peabody Award and seven Emmys. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, among other books. He and his wife, Meredith, have three daughters and five grandchildren
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:
Robert T. Barrett is a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in painting and completed postgraduate work in Germany. An accomplished painter, muralist, and illustrator, his work has been featured in many national magazines and in art exhibits across the country and in Germany. He and his wife, Vicki, have ten children and one grandchild and reside in Provo, Utah.
As the Christmas season fast approaches, we can sometimes lose sight of the real reason for the season.
These charming heirloom ornaments are a gentle reminder of who we celebrate the season for. Each ornament is beautifully crafted from a lightweight, durable material. The antique pewter-finish ornaments can be used to decorate the tree or wreaths or even as gift tags for those special presents.
Both sides of each star-shaped ornament is imprinted with a different name for Christ. The ornaments come beautifully packed in a long, narrow box filled with straw-like raffia. The bottom of the package displays the different names along with a scripture reference perfect for a ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ countdown.
Author Carolyn Brown’s books should come with a warning label. It should caution that once you begin reading, you’ll lose all track of time being absorbed into the story so you can’t put it down.
With each new book I have a general idea of how the story will end. However, it’s the fun of getting to the end of the story I enjoy. Plus, Brown has an amusing way of slipping twists and turns in along the way that I didn’t see coming.
Ranch owner Lucas Allen never expected to find a girlfriend while serving as a National Guardsman in Kuwait. But it turns out he did and she is the best friend of his buddy and they met over the internet. Despite the miles apart, Lucas knows there’s something extra special about Natalie Drew.
Lucas is returning home and Natalie is scheduled to visit. But when Lucas arrives home early, he finds Natalie already there and she has a surprise she forgot to mention to him during the year they’ve been dating online – she has a baby. It seems Lucas has a few surprises of his own that might not set too well with Natalie either.
As the two try to work through their problems, they have some help from family and friends. Love discovered online may not be strong enough to withstand the ups and downs of real life.
Brown’s characters are well-developed, likable and so realistic you’d swear some are based on people you know. Brown gives them strength and courage, but also flaws and problems readers can relate to.
The setting has a ‘down home country’ appeal. You feel the warmth of family and friendship through Brown’s words and the actions of her characters. For a well-blended story, Brown spices it up with a tantalizing romance and laugh out-loud humor.
THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY is the second installment in Brown’s Cowboys and Brides series, but can be read as a stand-alone. This is a light-hearted, feel-good romance that is a delight to read. Can’t wait to see what Brown has planned for the rest of the series.
I know every time I pick up one of author Terry Spear’s books, I will soon be believing the unbelievable.
Spear has a magical way of weaving a tale of paranormal shape shifting werewolves that seems like the most normal thing. She blends her story with sizzling romance, suspense, military intrigue and touches of humor for a well-balanced read.
Featuring a group of Navy SEALs who can also shift into wolves, Spear adds in holiday cheer for a fun read. Navy SEAL Bjornolf Jorgenson and undercover operative Anna Johnson, both gray wolves, have to pretend to be newlyweds preparing for the holidays while investigating a fellow SEAL’s murder at a Christmas tree farm. Since both dread the holidays, Bjornolf and Anna don’t mind working. Appearing to be a happy couple, however may be more difficult than they anticipated.
While other couples are finding stolen kisses under the mistletoe, Bjornolf and Anna find danger. Their passion heats up and so does their mission.
The characters are likable and well-developed. The setting draws you in and holds you captivate until the end. This is the 12th installment in Spear’s Heart of the Wolf series, but can be read on its own.
Spear’s extensive research and eye for detail brings this tantalizing tale to life. Readers can escape to a world of amazing characters and intriguing adventure in A SEAL WOLF CHRISTMAS.
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon. I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites. If you are an author looking for a review or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also the Literary Publicist @ MC Book Tours! Stop by and check out the services to help promote your latest release.