Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Monthly News


BOOKS READ:
1. The Cost of Dreams-Gary Stelzer (recommend)
2. Beautiful Mess-Diamond Rio
3. The Mudhogs-Dalton James
4. Men With Red Ties-Nastya Polikarpova
5. The Twitter Book-Tim O'Reilly
6. A Good Talk-Daniel Menaker
7. How To Be Famous-Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt
8. Ciao Italia-Mary Ann Esposito (cookbook) (recommend)
9. Rock 'N' Roll Confessions-Helena Danyluk (recommend)
10. The Basic Book of Digital Photography-Tom Grimm & Michelle Grimm (recommend)
11. Rice Cooker Meals:Fast Home Cooking For Busy People-Neal Bertrand
12. The Last Surgeon-Michael Palmer (HIGHLY recommend)
13. The DIY Bride Craft Countdown-Khris Cochran
14. Amish Friends Cookbook Vol 2-Wanda E. Brunstetter (recommend)
15. Money & Possessions-Kay & David Artur
16. Love To Love You Bradys-Susan Olsen & Ted Nichelson
17. The Paper Bag Christmas-Kevin Alan Milne (recommend)
18. Topless Prophet-Alan Markovitz
19. Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman-Ogo Akubue-Ogbata (recommend)
20. The American Journey of Barack Obama-Editors at Time Life (audiobook)
21. Kill Dress-John Young (recommend)
22. The Names of God: An Illustrated Guide-George W. Knight
23. Darwin's Nightmare-Mike Knowles (recommend)


FAVORITE BOOK OF JANUARY:



CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
Chill Baby Chill completed http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/09/chill-baby-chill-challenge.html

Friday, January 29, 2010

Darwin's Nightmare - Mike Knowles


Book Description:
Wilson spent his entire life under the radar. Few people knew who he was and even less knew how to find him. Only two people even knew what he really did. He worked jobs for one very bad man. Illegal jobs no one could ever know about. Wilson was invisible until the day he crossed the line and risked everything to save the last connection to humanity he had. One day changed everything. Wilson saved his friends and earned the hatred of a vengeful mob boss, a man who claimed he was Charles Darwin’s worst nightmare.
Wilson survived his transgression and went even deeper into the underworld of Hamilton becoming a ghost in the city – an unknown to almost everyone until he was paid back for his one good deed. It started with a simple job. Steal a bag from the airport and hand it off. No one said what was in the bag, and no one mentioned who the real owners were or what they would do to get it back. One bag sets into motion a violent chain of events from which no one will escape untouched. Wilson learns that no one forgets, no one gets away clean, and no good deed goes unpunished.

About Author:
Mike Knowles studied writing at McMaster University before pursuing a career in education. He became an elementary teacher and currently teaches in Hamilton where he lives with his wife and dog. Darwin's Nightmare is his first novel.

©2008

My Review:
Not only is the author from the city I come from, but the story is also. It was fantastic reading a book, and knowing the neighborhoods being discussed. That was a first for me.
I loved the characters in this book! I was anxious to keep reading until the end. I just couldn't put the book down! That good!!!
If you love a scary story with action, and some graphic parts, then grab a copy! I am definitely putting this on my annual recommendation list!


~I received a copy from ECW Press for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman - Ogo Akubue-Ogbata


Book Description:
Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman is the story of a privileged young girl whose life is disrupted by a series of mysterious events and the loss of innocence as she knows it. Striving to survive in the politically charged colonial and post-independence Nigeria, she meets an aspiring diplomat with radical political views yet hopes that love will put her life back on course. However, love only complicates things. Her new husband asks for more than she knows how to give and the past is filled with shameful secrets that threaten to destroy everything. Set in the vibrant capital cities of Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Britain, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman fearlessly chronicles the history of Africa’s most populous and complex country whilst tackling big themes such as ethnic identity, economic hardship, domestic violence, gender equality, political corruption, entrepreneurship and self actualization, as well as universal themes such as love, mother daughter relationships, betrayal and forgiveness. Through a language of passion, poetry and deceptive simplicity, we see sisters and daughters, mothers and wives who metamorphose over time, juxtaposed with a nation’s fight for freedom, fall from grace and pursuit of an elusive destiny.
For more information: www.ogaogbata.com




©2009

My Take on the Book:
Entertaining and yet wittingly put together, to convey a woman's struggles through life from childhood. That's what this book meant to me. I love a book that is a subject I normally wouldn't partake in, yet, in the end, I was sad to see it end.
I have to say, the author did a great job ending the story. Most cases, I am left feeling that there is more, or they need to keep going. As much as I loved the story and would have continued reading on, it really was left at a great spot.
Very well thought out and put together!
In lieu of Black History Month, I suggest everyone gets a copy of this fantastic story. It will be one of the most memorable stories you read.


~I received a copy from Pump Up Your Book Promotion for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Friday 56


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Page 56, Sentence 5:

I came in a week later, on a Monday, to find Steve ramming a man's head into the brass footrest of the bar.

The Names of God: An Illustrated Guide - George W. Knight


Book Description:
New for Barbour's popular Bible reference line, a lavishly illustrated study of more than 200 names and titles of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By veteran reference author, George W. Knight, The Names of God provides fascinating detail on scores of biblical names, from Abba, Advocate and amen to Wall of Fire, Way, and Word. Full-color illustrations expand upon the text, by portraying either biblical places and artifacts or modern-day images that bring the name or title into a contemporary light. It's a beautifully-packaged book that's perfect for personal study, group use, or even gift-giving.


©2009

My Review:
What a well planned, and well thought out book. Quite fascinating to find so many variations of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I rather enjoyed learning the different terms and their meanings. I'm not sure where on earth I will ever use this information, but it was interesting to learn.
If you are interested in religion, or want a deeper understanding of terms, then get a copy. You will enjoy it.


~I received an ebook copy from Netgalley. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kill Dress - John Young


Book Description:
April, Joi, Nancy, Heather, and Kim were the best of friends. They were five beautiful and very attractive young ladies. They loved to hang out together and their favorite past time was going out to party at night clubs. They were all excellent dancers and could really shake it on the dance floor. After being dumped by her boyfriend, Kim was devastated and needed a vacation.
Kim decided to accompany Joi on a vacation to Louisiana in order to relax and clear her mind. The two ladies discover an old woman whose ancient ancestors made dress garments for Queen Nefertari, Queen Cleopatra, and the Queen of Sheba.
From ancient times a secret society of raiment makers used mysterious herbs and materials along with special religious rites to create incredibly woven dress garment for women royalty. This secret society upon pain of death was ordered never to reveal how the garments were made. The knowledge could only be passed down from mother to daughter. So strong was the bond of this secret order that the members through the ages never told their husbands, other family members or close friends about the seductive garments.
Ancient queens used these garments along with their female charms to seduce men and get them to do their bidding. Great men such as the Roman General Mark Anthony and the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar were beguiled by Queen Cleopatra. King Solomon was seduced by the Queen of Sheba. Queen Nefertari is said to have had her way with the Pharaoh Ramses. All of these men fell under the spell of these alluring garments.
Little did Kim know that these dress garments were made out of secret mystical fibers that had an uncanny sensual affect on some members of the opposite sex. After Kim had a gorgeous dress made for her by the old woman, she and her friends find out that the sexy enchanted dress was more than they had bargained for.
This amazing dress that Kim had decided to wear was affecting the sexual senses of a number of men to the point that they all desired and wanted her at all cost. So powerful was the allure of the KillDress that it even aroused the sordid killing senses of a serial killer.
Just as the KillDress had consumed Kim, it also had consumed the serial killer to the point that his killings now had become more and more brutal. To the serial killer, Kim had to die at all costs!
Even TV reporters, talk show personalities, and the news media were starting to believe that the hypnotic, beautiful dress had something to do with the killings. Many in the news media and people on the streets were quite vocal in their beliefs that Kim should destroy the KillDress. Some people even believed that if Kim were to destroy the KillDress then the serial killer would stop his killing.
However, Kim defiantly decided that she should wear the KillDress no matter what the price. She was determined not to let anyone tell her what she could and could not wear. No way, was she going to let any man control her body or force her to live in fear. But more importantly Kim, had decided to make a statement and show women everywhere that they have the Constitutional right to freedom of expression and that no one could ever take that away from them. To Kim, the KillDress represented freedom that had to be defended... it must be defended!
What woman would dare to wear the KillDress with its power to seduce and potentially kill! Would you? Do you have the moxie, and the fortitude to handle the sexual attraction, jealousy, envy and lust that comes with wearing the KillDress?
This is to be a titanic clash of wills! Worlds will collide when the immoveable object meets the irresistible force! This is a book that has tremendous social implications for both men and women. A book that brings to the forefront some of our most deeply suppressed sexual desires and fantasies.




About Author:
John Young is a college graduate with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. He has worked for a number of years in the Information Technology industry as a software engineer. He also is a stock market and foreign currency investor. Over the years he has been an avid reader and has had a burning desire to write novels.




©2010

My Review:
A suspenseful story from beginning to end, though not very long. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I really liked the characters in this story, the relationships they had, and the meaning behind the title. Each plays a part in making this a great story to kick back and read.
I am putting this on my recommendation list, so get a copy today!


~I received a copy from the author for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

The American Journey of Barack Obama - The Editors of Life Magazine (audiobook)


Book Description:
For decades Americans have turned to LIFE to understand, and remember the most important events and people of our time. Just as LIFE once opened up the glittering Kennedy White House, LIFE now focuses its lens on Barack Obama. The American Journey of Barack Obama covers the candidate from his childhood and adolescence to his time as editor of The Harvard Law Review and his Chicago activist years, culminating with the excitement and fervor of the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention. This audiobook includes a Foreword by Senator Edward M.


About Author:
LIFE has long been one of the country's pre-eminent publishers of periodicals and books, and is renowned for its presentation of photography. The editors who bring you THE AMERICAN JOURNEY OF BARACK OBAMA are the same who created One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001, also published by Little, Brown, which reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "a thorough and thoughtful telling."

©2009

My Review:
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook about Barack Obama. What a fascinating man he is, and there was so much I had no idea of.
It's odd how being Canadian I am so fascinated by him. I think that when he got elected it struck a cord with the whole world, and not just America. For me, I see someone who wants to do the right thing for all people, not just America, though being president it is a priority. I have learned through listening to this story, that family is very important, as well as morality, truth and humanity. I feel like there is more we can all do in our lives and worlds, and maybe Obama is the leader who can show everyone the way. Live by example you know.
If you enjoy audiobooks, then get a copy and give it a listen. I am sure it will have a profound effect on you too. If you prefer books, then grab a copy that way.

~I won the audiobook. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Topless Prophet - Alan Markovitz


Book Description:
The True Story of America’s Most Successful Gentlemen’s Club Entrepreneur offers a rare glimpse into the world of gentlemen’s clubs, taking us behind the scenes of the operations of one of the nation’s most successful club owners. Where other books provide insight on the scandalous side of strippers, escorts, and x-rated entertainment, Topless Prophet is as much a business book and autobiography of an ingenious entrepreneur as it is an exploration of what goes into staying on top of an industry filled with cut-throat competition, corruption, celebrities, and beautiful women who make a living dancing.
In this moving memoir of Alan Markovitz, who owns several Penthouse Gentlemen’s Clubs and the country’s No. 1 ranked adult entertainment club (The Ultimate Strip Club List (www.tuscl.net), The Flight Club, we are treated to a first-hand account of a Detroit businessman who has helped change and grow an industry while overcoming many challenges, some life-threatening, some business-endangering. He has spent nearly the past three decades reformulating the ultimate fantasy setting for men.
“The business of entertainment has a lot of glamour and glitz – and beautiful women for sure -- but it’s filled with many forces that can challenge and chew you up in no time,” says Markovitz. “The key is to think ahead, exceed expectations, be ready for a fight, and be wise enough to know when to walk away.”
Markovitz’s story begins with humble roots growing up in the Jewish middle class neighborhood of Oak Park, Michigan, the son of a television repair shop owner. We come to learn of the vision, grit and gumption that he possesses – and is very much needed – to succeed in business.



©2010

My Take on the Book:
I wasn't sure I was going to appreciate this book, due to the nature, but I was fascinated by it! I was intrigued by Alan's story. I mean the guy was shot twice before I got through the first 50 pages, it doesn't get any more closer to the edge of your seat than that.
I found myself appreciating this man, for his business ethics and backbone. It's hard to stay straight and narrow and not wander to the dark side of life, like so many before him in that business. How can you not appreciate someone's thirst for business, whatever it is selling, when they make themselves better every time around. It seems that every new endeavor Alan took on, became better than last. More profitable and frankly, leading him in the right path for success on his own.
I starting enjoying the topless bar part of the story also. I started to wonder about the women who are strong enough to live that life, and work that job. It would have to take a certain girl to do it. Not just because she is big-breasted, but maybe she has guts beyond comprehension. Maybe she, too, has a thirst for business, and is working her way up.
I'm glad to have read this book, and will ponder it for some time. If you enjoy reading true life stories, then grab this book. It is one you won't soon forget!

~I received a copy from Pump Up Your Book Promotion for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Waste Not, Want Not" and Make it Delicious!

By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes


There is no more appropriate time than now to think about how and why we cook. Food is a way of connecting with the people who surround us. Through it, we communicate emotions like love, compassion and understanding, and there is no better opportunity to communicate with our children than at the table. It's where we can discuss our values of life that are important to us as individuals, as a family and as a part of the world we live in.

As overconsumption and greed have come to haunt us, now is a time for reflection. We should be looking back at the generations before us to understand their approach to the table. Growing food, shepherding animals, foraging for the gifts of nature is all part of respecting food. Nothing needs to be wasted. Bread can be recycled and used in soups, casseroles, lasagnas and desserts. Water is carefully conserved as in the pasta recipe I share below where the same water in which vegetables are cooked is used to cook the pasta that follows, and then that is saved for soups or for making risotto.

When one respects the food we prepare, it also leads to a more sensible and balanced intake of proteins, legumes and vegetables.

So "waste not, want not" and make it delicious!

Excerpt from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

FRESH CAVATELLI WITH CAULIFLOWER
Maccarun ch'I Hiucc


Serves 6

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and I regret that many people don't sufficiently appreciate its unique flavor and nutritional value. This is not the case in Molise, where it is cooked often and creatively, as exemplified by the following two simple vegetarian pasta dishes. The first recipe, maccarun ch'i hiucc, is zesty with garlic and peperoncino.

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

7 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

½ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 large head cauliflower, cut in small florets

1 batch (1½ pounds) Fresh Cavatelli (preceding recipe), or 1 pound dried pasta

1 cup freshly grated pecorino (or half pecorino and half Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for a milder flavor)

Recommended equipment: A large pasta pot; a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 12 inch diameter or larger

Fill the large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet, set over medium-high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic. Let the garlic start to sizzle, then toss in the peperoncino and parsley; stir and cook for a minute. Ladle in a cup of the pasta cooking water, stir well, and adjust the heat to keep the liquid in the skillet simmering and reducing gradually while you cook the cauliflower and pasta.

With the pasta water at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower florets, and cook them for about 3 minutes, until barely tender. Drop in the cavatelli, stir, and return the water quickly to a boil. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is fully tender and the pasta is al dente (if you are using dried pasta, it will, of course, take longer).

Lift out the florets and cavatelli with a spider or strainer, drain briefly, and spill them into the skillet. Toss well, to coat all the pasta and vegetable pieces with the garlicky dressing, then turn off the heat, sprinkle over the skillet the grated cheese, and toss again. Heap the cauliflower and cavatelli in warm bowls, and serve immediately.

CHOCOLATE BREAD PARFAIT
Pane di Cioccolato al Cucchiaio


Serves 6

This recalls for me the chocolate-and-bread sandwiches that sometimes were my lunch, and always a special treat. And it is another inventive way surplus is used in Umbrian cuisine, with leftover country bread serving as the foundation of an elegant layered dessert. Though it is soaked with chocolate and espresso sauce and buried in whipped cream, the bread doesn't disintegrate, and provides a pleasing textural contrast in every heavenly spoonful.

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

8 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed

½ cup freshly brewed espresso

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Recommended equipment: A large rimmed tray or baking sheet, such as a half-sheet pan (12 by 18 inches); a spouted measuring cup, 1 pint or larger; 6 parfait glasses or wineglasses, preferably balloon-shaped

Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl set in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir until completely smooth. Keep it warm, over the water, off the heat.

Slice the bread into ½-inch-thick slices, and lay them flat in one layer, close together, on the tray or baking sheet.

Pour the warm espresso into a spouted measuring cup, stir in the rum and sugar until sugar dissolves, then stir in half the melted chocolate. Pour the sauce all over the bread slices, then flip them over and turn them on the tray, to make sure all the surfaces are coated. Let the bread absorb the sauce for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form, by hand or with an electric mixer.

To assemble the parfaits: Break the bread into 1-inch pieces. Use half the pieces to make the bottom parfait layer in the six serving glasses, dropping an equal amount of chocolatey bread into each. Scrape up some of the unabsorbed chocolate sauce that remains on the baking sheet, and drizzle a bit over the bread layers. Next, drop a layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using up half the cream. Top the cream layer with toasted almonds, using half the nuts.

Repeat the layering sequence: drop more soaked bread into each glass, drizzle over it the chocolate sauce from the tray and the remaining melted chocolate. Dollop another layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using it all up, and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top of each parfait. This dessert is best when served immediately while the melted chocolate is still warm and runny.

©2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, authors of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

Author Bio:
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her Web site, www.LidiasItaly.com

Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Lidia's daughter and coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, received her Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art history from Oxford University. Since 1996 she has led food/wine/art tours of Italy. She lives with her husband and children on Long Island.

Teaser Tuesday


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:

'This is the one I won after I sprained my right leg during the heats," her face shone as she sat up, "but I never gave up, did I Kiki?I kept fighting and fighting until I took first place.'
It made no difference whether Nkiru answered or not.

~Page 66, Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman - Ogo Akubue-Ogbata

Friday, January 22, 2010

Giveaway: Are You A Confident Woman - Joyce Meyer


Book description:
What keeps women from being their best? Joyce has been helping women better themselves by helping identify emotional barriers and physical, mental, and spiritual obstacles in their lives for years. Now she provides another answer-confidence.
Our society has an insecurity epidemic, women in particular. Compensating by pretending to be secure-a common response-only leads to feelings of shame. Lack of self-confidence causes great difficulty in relationships of all kinds, and in marriage instances can even lead to divorce.
In THE CONFIDENT WOMAN, Joyce explores the seven characteristics of a woman with confidence, which include a woman who knows she is loved, who refuses to live in fear, and who does not live by comparisons. Joyce explains that confidence stems from being positive in your actions and living honestly, but most importantly from having faith, in God and in ourselves.


GIVEAWAY RULES:
THANKS TO Valerie, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry. +1
For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Follower of my blog (must be a public profile so I can check).
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Both can be done daily.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends February 7, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)

The Friday 56


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Page 56, Sentence 5:

Every breath hurt like hell.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Die Fairy Die!

By Howard J. Morris,
Coauthor of Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship


The tooth fairy officially died at my house on a Friday night.

The death was called at eight thirty-three pacific standard time on June 12, 2009. The death was accidental. She wasn't caught in a slammed door or stepped on or anything quite that dramatic or squishy. It was a slip of the tongue that did her in.

And of course the tongue that slipped was mine.

It should be noted that her death was not greeted with tears and the anguished cries of innocence lost. No, it was actually welcomed by my son, Dustin, with a certain callousness, and frankly, more than a touch of glee. It was kind of like he was waiting to kill her off. So it goes with a nine-year-old boy. After discovering the corpse and unraveling the big mystery, he then declared his investigative skills on par with those of the great Encyclopedia Brown.

It coincided with another fine "graduation" day for him. He matriculated out of the third grade apparently headed for the fourth. It's called "Moving Up Day" at his school and the tradition is that every year something positive and wonderful and written by their peers is read about every single student.

Every single student.

Even the not-so-wonderful ones.

Usually, it's four hundred degrees during the two and a half hour ceremony. Luckily, it was gray and overcast and quite temperate for this year's mind numbing boredom fest.

To celebrate his completion of another school year, Jenny Lee, my live in girlfriend for the last three years, and I, always get Dustin a present. This year Jenny picked out two games for his Wii. He seemed thrilled with the one he was playing on Moving Up Day night, which seemed like the high tech video equivalent of throwing a baseball at a bunch of blocks and knocking them down, when I told him it was time for bed. He then asked me if I had picked out this "really fun" game for him. I admitted, "No, Jenny did." He asked, "So you picked out the other one?" To which I again admitted, "Actually, Jenny picked out both games." To which he snarkily replied, "You never pick me out anything." Now irritated, I said, "That's not true! I picked you out the Bolt game and that skiing one you love!"

There was a pause. Then he said it.

"Dad, the tooth fairy got me those games!"

Uh oh.

My response was immediate and articulate.

"Uhhhhh . . . I think . . . I, I . . . whaaaa . . . "

Then, to my surprise, Dustin burst into gales of laughter.

"I knew there was no tooth fairy! I knew it! I have mad skills! Mad skills! Oh, I so got you, Dad."

He so got me alright. I was expecting, if not a classic father/son coming of age bonding moment, than at least a little wistfulness on his part. But he was taking this as some kind of nine-year-old intellectual triumph and was essentially mocking me with his newfound knowledge.

"There's no Santa either, right?" he asked, more as a statement than a question.

So I decided to meet frank with frank: "You're a Jew. There was never any Santa for you." He then giggled some more and called his mother at her house and gleefully told her there was no tooth fairy or Santa. And of course my ex-wife was the one who got me into this mess in the first place. We share custody but he'd lost his first few teeth at her house, so the first time he lost one at mine I was at a complete loss. I didn't know tooth fairy protocol. She set the precedent and it turned out she set the bar really high. When subtly grilled for information as to the tooth fairy's previous behavior, Dustin informed me that he always got "a very special present" from her, accompanied by an even more special "poem about him".

Wow, I thought, not without some annoyance, the tooth fairy has really upped her game since she used to slip me a dollar under my pillow. Luckily, Jenny totally saved me that night with a present she had in waiting for just such a circumstance, and more importantly, she wrote him a great poem. This whole scene was then repeated several months later, with yet another lost tooth, another great poem by Jenny, and this time, me scouring Blockbuster late on a Sunday night on a quest for that "special present". (The kid only seems to lose teeth at the most inconvenient time for a busy fairy.) It was that night that I procured the Wii Bolt game, and the skiing one that would later come back to haunt me.

And now, after all this crazy effort to preserve his beautiful innocence, he was basically telling me he knew all along. As he continued crowing about his "mad detective skills", he served up all the evidence he'd been secretly gathering for the case he'd been building for months. It turns out Jenny's first foray into fairy poetry was pretty convincing to him at the time. He was only "five or something" he reminded me. (He was seven, actually, but I didn't mention it.) It was only after some serious handwriting analysis, he told me, that "I could tell the handwriting was different in the poems at your house and the poems at Mommy's house."

"Who do you think wrote the poem here?"

"Jenny. And she wrapped the present, too."

"Right about both."

He then declared, "The poem here was too much about me."

I protested, "That first night you lost a tooth here, you told me that the 'tooth fairy' always writes a poem about you! That's why Jenny wrote the poem about you!"

"Not that much about me," he said. "Besides," he continued, "How could the tooth fairy know all those specific things about me, Dad?"

"BECAUSE THERE IS NO TOOTH FAIRY, DUSTIN!"

Once again, he falls down laughing.

I then suggest that he not go telling every kid on the block about his new discovery.

He seemed to understand. "Yeah, 'cause like when you're young you want to believe in the tooth fairy. Like Sebastian," he said, referring to his younger cousin.

"Exactly," I said.

Then more fits of uncontrollable laughter. Not the giggles of youth, mind you, but the guffaws of those who are in the know in a world of those who aren't. This was not just a newly minted fourth grader. This was a seasoned man of the world.

"If you suspected that the tooth fairy and Santa weren't real, how come you never brought it up before?" I asked.

"The presents kept coming," he said simply and shrugged.

And suddenly, I thought about all of those people ripped off by Madoff and the others like him, who never questioned out loud what they secretly believed to be true, because every time they opened up their monthly statements, "the presents kept coming."

Innocence is a funny thing. It turns to its opposite in the blink of an eye.

As we headed upstairs on the night that he finally debunked the tooth fairy myth once and for all, the young detective with the mad investigative skills furrowed his brow.

"I still don't get one thing," he said.

"Fire away."

Clearly troubled by this last remaining mystery he asked, "How did you get ever the note and the present under my pillow?"

I look at him askance.

"THIS IS YOUR ONE QUESTION?! Dude, you were asleep! I just slipped it under your pillow!"

"Ah", he said and nodded, satisfied that the last remaining piece of the puzzle was now firmly in place.

Then I put the detective with the mad skills to bed -- secretly relieved there were still some mysteries yet to be discovered.

©2009 Howard J. Morris, coauthor of Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship

Author Bio:
Howard J. Morris, coauthor of Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship, began his career in television, writing for the revolutionary HBO series Dream On, and then on the Emmy-nominated Home Improvement. He created the series Holding the Baby and In Case of Emergency. He's also written on My Wife and Kids, According to Jim, and most recently, The Starter Wife.

Jenny Lee, coauthor of Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to a Complicated Relationship, was a writer on the hit comedy series Samantha Who?, starring Christina Applegate, and a writer on the Nickelodeon show The Troop. She is also the author of three books of humor essays: Skinny Bitching, What Wendell Wants, and I Do. I Did. Now What?!: Life After the Wedding Dress. They live together in Los Angeles.

Please visit www.SimonAndSchuster.com

Digital Reality by Jay Slosar (Author of The Culture In Excess)

The exploitation of their children by the balloon boy parents points out the changing reality of child development today. The parents wanted to be on a "reality" show. Reality is now defined within a technological and digital world of screen media, programmed for a new type of “success”. We become lost in this new reality and it takes over our judgment, decision making and behavior. And it starts early.
More than 80 percent of teens play online games. More than 50 percent download music and more than 75 percent get their news online. More than 40 percent have made purchases online. Multiplayer online games (MMORPGs), role-playing fantasy games in which players “connect” with others using fictional characters and adventures, are the rage. World of Warcraft (WoW), considered the most popular MMORPG, has 11 million subscribers worldwide. Countless other games are available with huge followings. The industry continues to grow, despite the economy, and in 2008 topped $21 billion dollars in sales.
James Cameron’s much awaited film, Avatar, is reported to cost about $300 million, and is described as so alluring you can’t tell what is real or what is animated. Experts have pointed out the addictive capacity of online computer games. But it is big business and that makes it a credible field of study. The University of California at Irvine has just announced a new major—an undergraduate degree in “game science”. This new major is offered despite dramatic cutbacks and tuition increases amidst California’s budget crisis. It is hard to understand how all this time spent in online virtual worlds and “gaming” cannot detract from our psychological development, a sense of who we are in relation to others and the world, and affect our external capacity for self-control.
These are issues I address in The Culture of Excess.

http://www.cultureofexcess.com/


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Paper Bag Christmas - Kevin Alan Milne


Book Description:
Dr. Christopher Ringle is the last person you'd expect to find moonlighting as Santa Claus at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. But it is there that he meets a young man named Molar Alan, who desperately needs a new perspective on the underlying value of Christmas. Dr. Ringle recruits Mo and his older brother as volunteers at a nearby children's hospital for the holiday season. At the hospital, Mo is tasked to help bring holiday cheer to the young cancer patients on the fifth floor. His biggest challenge is befriending a decidedly angry girl who is so embarrassed by her scarred appearance that she hides her face behind the safety of a paper bag.

About Author:
Kevin Alan Milne earned an MBA at Pennsylvania State University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Milne grew up in the nearby quiet country town of Sherwood, Oregon, where he currently resides with his wife and five children. This is his first novel.

©2006

My Take on the Book:
A fantastic story, not just of Christmas, but the reason we should celebrate it. Sometimes we can forget what that holiday is really all about. Giving, Loving, Caring and sharing. That's what it's supposed to be about. This book reminds you of that. The author also created a way, through story-telling, to help you better understand the true meaning of Christmas. It may be a holiday once a year, but really should be celebrated everyday, all day.
It's not a very long book, but I highly suggest you get a copy and read it. Maybe even read it to your kids. It's a story that won't soon be out of your mind or your heart.
Warning: You may shed a tear or two in the end, but that's a good thing. It means you got it!


~I won the copy used for review. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Teaser Tuesday


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:

Time, however, was of the essence because his liver was beginning to show serious signs of failure. Without a new liver in the next few months, Madhu's chances of recovery diminished significantly.

~Page 47, The Paper Bag Christmas - Kevin Alan Milne

Monday, January 18, 2010

Angel and Apostle - Deborah Noyes


Book Description:
At the end of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, we know that Pearl, the elf-child daughter of Hester Prynne, is somewhere in Europe, comfortable, well set, a mother herself now. But it could not have been easy for her to arrive at such a place, when she begins life as the bastard child of a woman publicly humiliated, again and again, in an unrelentingly judgmental Puritan world.
With a brilliant and authentic sense of that time and place, Deborah Noyes envisions the path Pearl takes to make herself whole and to carve her place in the New World. Beautifully written with boundless compassion, Angel and Apostle is a heart-rending and imaginative debut in which Noyes masterfully makes Hawthorne’s character her own.



About Author:
Angel and Apostle is Deborah Noyes’ first novel. Her short fiction and reviews have appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Boston Sunday Globe, Seventeen, The Washington Post Book World, The Chicago Sun-Times, Stories, The Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, The Bloomsbury Review, Boston Review, and other publications. She has also written and edited numerous books for children and young adults, including the award-winning teen anthology Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales.


©2005

My Take on the Book:
Though I liked the book, at times I was lost as well. I think there are faeries and witches, but still at the end am not sure.
The tale of Pearl is a great one, and I did love reading about the things she would do. It seems she was a good girl, but naturally curious, which in those days, made her a bit of a problem. I, at times, loved her Mother. Then she in turn could also be very cruel. It was a relationship I was not happy to read of, though it did make the story more interesting. How the child seems to suffer at the result of the parent, has been a question I have pondered many times. This book asks the same, without actually posing it. For me, it was mildly sensitive in nature.
Overall I liked the book. I don't think it's a bestseller, but interesting, yes!


~I received a copy from Unbridled Books for review. I was not compensated for my post.~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Love to Love You Bradys - Susan Olsen & Ted Nichelson


Book Description:
LOVE TO LOVE YOU BRADYS hits bookstores in September, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the broadcast of the premiere episode of The Brady Bunch sit-com.
Authors Ted Nichelson, Lisa Sutton and Susan Olsen,aka Cindy Brady (the youngest of the Brady clan), offer an insightful and entertaining tale about one of the biggest disasters in TV history. Via hundreds of never-before-published photos and interviews of Brandy Bunch insiders, Love to Love You Bradys showcases how the rarely seen "Brady Bunch Variety Hour," starring America's quintessential family, was conceived, produced and abandoned.



http://www.lovetoloveyoubradys.com/


©2009

My Take on the Book:
Well the variety show might not have been very good, but the book is. A informative and interesting look at the Brady Brunch Variety show and all its cast members.
I really enjoyed the book. There were many things that I had no clue. I'm sure most people will learn something new about them while reading.
If you are a Brady Bunch fan, grab a copy and see what you know.

~I received an ebook copy from Netgalley for my review. I was not compensated for my post.~

Money and Possessions: The Quest for Contentment - Kay Arthur & David Arthur


Book Description:
Discover God's view of material wealth along with the truth about where money comes from and how we're to handle it in Money and Possessions: The Quest for Contentment.
Six lessons for small group study include instructions, leader's notes and Bible passages right in the book. People who are interested in learning what the Bible says through inductive study but have a limited amount of time can study together with the other members during group time. No homework is involved.

©2004

My Take on the Book:
It took longer than 6 weeks for me to complete, mostly because it wasn't that interesting. I did complete it, and feel the same as I did before.
The bible study is quite interesting and enjoyable, but I don't think pointing out how bad greed is again and again is going to make people not over-spend. That's just preaching, and who wants that in a book?!
If you want to learn bible study, and how to curb greed, then this book will adjust your moral compass. However if you are looking for ways to help stop spending, then don't bother with this book.
Not on my recommendation list, unless you are a bible study group.


~I won this book, and was not compensated for this post.~

Friday, January 15, 2010

Amish Friends Cookbook Volume 2 - Wanda E. Brunstetter


Book Description:
Bring home-cooked dishes from the heart of Amish country into your kitchen with Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Cookbook Volume 2. With recipes divided into sections including breads and rolls, desserts, main dishes, salads and sides, jams and jellies—and more!—you’ll find only the best of home cooking between the pages of this delightful book.

For more information: http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/

©2009

My Take on the Book:
I love this cookbook! I made the Goulash and it was fantastic, easy to make too. I think this cookbook will be a long-time favorite in my home!
I highly suggest you get a copy for yourselves!!
On my recommendation list.

Goulash, Page 149
(Adapted by me, to suit me.)
The recipe called for tomato sauce in a can, or tomato juice. I used real tomato sauce, my family makes every year. Also it calls for canned mushrooms... I used fresh. Heck, I used fresh everything! That's the way to go!

All ingredients in saucepan, and now simmer 30 minutes.

Finished. And yummy!

~I received copy from Netgalley in ebook format. I was not compensated for my post.~

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Friday 56


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Page 56, Sentence 5:

I told how her strength seeped away and her neck seemed broken and how, at such times, I had to rouse and dress her, though her glazed eyes were Hell's windows.

The DIY Bride Crafty Countdown - Khris Cochran


Book Description:
If you're planning a wedding, it's probably the most complicated event you'll ever need to orchestrate. From invitations and decorations to flower arrangements, centerpieces and goody bags, there's a lot to manage -- and each one has its own (often surprising) price tag.
That's why this unique do-it-yourself wedding planner is perfect for the stylish bride-to-be, with charming craft projects that will add a distinct touch of personality to your wedding -- and help you save a few bucks along the way.
In this hip, budget-friendly guide, Khris Cochran presents 40 original, affordable, time-saving projects in the popular countdown format brides on a deadline love.
Here are just a few of the crafty, creative projects you'll find.
* Edible, save-the-date cards
* Hand-stamped cocktail napkins
* Bead-and-lace bridal slippers
* Feather boutonnière for the groom
* Super-cool "Just Married" sign
In her engaging, straightforward style, Cochran carefully leads readers through each project, sharing spot-on tips and shortcuts. Four-color, step-by-step illustrations, easy-to-read templates, and pattern guides take the mystery out of creating these memorable wedding keepsakes.
And lots of helpful sidebars provide time estimates -- so savvy brides-to-be can plan out their projects and count down confidently to their special day.

About Author:
Khris Cochran is the author of The DIY Bride and founder of the award-winning DIYBride.com. She has been sharing crafty ideas with hands-on brides-to-be since 2000. Cochran also teaches craft classes in the San Francisco Bay area.

©2009

My Take on the Book:
This is a very useful, do-it-yourself book for any bride. I plan on using it when I get married. I found there were many things anyone could do, and for minimal expense. It seems worth it to make it more personal on that special day anyways. Why not with handmade invitations, or a handmade ring box. These are expensive items, that can be inexpensively made. And they look beautiful. Plus if you don't like colors, stamp look, stencil, or flowers, they can be substituted easily enough. It seems well-worth it to me!
I recommend all brides-in-waiting get this book, and save some money and sanity.

~I received a copy from The Taunton Press for my review. I was not compensated for my post.~

The Last Surgeon - Michael Palmer

Book Description: Michael Palmer’s latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder—spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since. Psych nurse Jillian Coates wants to find her sister’s killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she did—every bit save one. Belle has left Jillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity. Together, Nick and Jillian determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller–the highly-paid master of the “non-kill”—the art of murder that does not look like murder. As Doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Jillian Coates and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead. About Author: Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of the forthcoming The First Patient (2008), The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and is now an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s physician health program. For more information: http://www.michaelpalmerbooks.com/ ©2010 (Release date: February 16) My Take on the Book: What a suspenseful, thrilling and action packed read this is! I loved it, and honestly I didn't think I would. For me it was as if Jason Bourne joined ER. I liked the characters in this story. I was really afraid of the killer in the book. His steeliness came through, and yet Nick Fury, the doctor, was the character that made it alright to endure the creepy guy. I really like Nick, and am secretly hoping the author writes more tales with him as the star. A must read for any thriller or suspense junkie. If you read Koontz or King, check this book out! ~I received a copy from the author for my review. I was not compensated for my post.~

Blog Tour: Topless Prophet - Alan Markovitz


Join Alan Markovitz, author of the gritty memoir, Topless Prophet, (AM Productions), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in January and February 2010 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!


About Alan Markovitz:
Markovitz’s story begins with humble roots growing up in the Jewish middle class neighborhood of Oak Park, Michigan, the son of a television repair shop owner. We come to learn of the vision, grit and gumption that he possesses – and is very much needed – to succeed in business.
He starts out as a kid in a candy store, working the bar for the neighborhood strip club as a teenager. Markovitz befriends the owner and seeks him out as a business partner when he ventures out to buy his first club at age 22. From there on we see him come back stronger from every challenge, crisis, or adversity along the way to establishing himself at the top of the topless business.
Markovitz overcame many unique circumstances, including when he:

* Had to testify against the Mafia that threatened him.
* Saw his club raided by the police as part of a smear campaign by a competing Eight Mile club owner – and spent the weekend in jail.
* Was shot by one of his own dancers after he fired her.
* Saw his dancers try to unionize to block a new compensation system.
* Had one of his clubs tank after the local city (Ft. Lauderdale) changed the laws about alcohol being served in strip clubs.
* Was blocked by political cronyism when he tried to open in Las Vegas.
* Got sued for trademark infringement by Boeing.
* Was accidentally shot by a drunken patron, an off-duty police officer.
* Had his father, a Holocaust survivor who became his business partner, negotiate with a menacing biker gang that threatened his first club.
* Manages over 300 dancers at each club.
* Attempted to bring the strip club setting to airplanes and golf courses.
* Got swindled out of a million dollars when trying to buy a club.
* Views expansion, upgrades, location, quality of service, the competition, pricing, and knowing when to wage a legal fight.

“The formula for success is fleeting,” says Markovitz. “Just when you think you know what it is, it changes. You can’t be complacent in this business.” Markovitz certainly knows what it takes to make millions and have fun doing it.
For more information on Alan or his book visit: http://toplessprophet.com/index.php


About Topless Prophet:
One man’s story of what it takes to run a strip club empire –the dangers, secrets, pitfalls, surprises – and rewards –and the business lessons learned.
What is it really like to open and run a successful string of strip clubs?
“It’s not what you think it is,” reveals Alan Markovitz, author of a new book and owner of the nation’s leading gentlemen’s club.
Topless Prophet: The True Story of America’s Most Successful Gentlemen’s Club Entrepreneur offers a rare glimpse into the world of gentlemen’s clubs, taking us behind the scenes of the operations of one of the nation’s most successful club owners. Where other books provide insight on the scandalous side of strippers, escorts, and x-rated entertainment, Topless Prophet is as much a business book and autobiography of an ingenious entrepreneur as it is an exploration of what goes into staying on top of an industry filled with cut-throat competition, corruption, celebrities, and beautiful women who make a living dancing.
In this moving memoir of Alan Markovitz, who owns several Penthouse Gentlemen’s Clubs and the country’s No. 1 ranked adult entertainment club (The Ultimate Strip Club List (www.tuscl.net), The Flight Club, we are treated to a first-hand account of a Detroit businessman who has helped change and grow an industry while overcoming many challenges, some life-threatening, some business-endangering. He has spent nearly the past three decades reformulating the ultimate fantasy setting for men.
“The business of entertainment has a lot of glamour and glitz – and beautiful women for sure — but it’s filled with many forces that can challenge and chew you up in no time,” says Markovitz. “The key is to think ahead, exceed expectations, be ready for a fight, and be wise enough to know when to walk away.”
Markovitz’s story begins with humble roots growing up in the Jewish middle class neighborhood of Oak Park, Michigan, the son of a television repair shop owner. We come to learn of the vision, grit and gumption that he possesses – and is very much needed – to succeed in business.

Book Excerpt:
Not Taught in Business School
For the entrepreneur, it can be an extremely risky venture with a steep, sharp learning curve. They just don’t teach you in business school what it takes to get an adult club off the ground without immediately crashing and burning. You pretty much have to learn the business hands on, so to speak, or from the bottom up, like I did when I went to work at La Chambre. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will get ripped off by thieving parasites of all varieties and, for those of you who believe that topless entertainment is the abject exploitation of women, all I have to say is this: you try managing 50 or 100 competitive and strong-willed ladies who are more often than not drinking copious amounts of alcohol on the job. If you let them they will walk all over you in their stiletto-heeled dancer platforms until you are no longer breathing…I kid you not. They can and will whine, wheedle, demand, manipulate and fight – literally tooth and nail – with all their feminine wiles as well as tricks they have picked up from traveling kung fu masters to get what they want. Mind you, I am not saying that there are not honest, kind, decent, hardworking and responsible women working as topless entertainers. There are. But trying to separate out the different personalities that often inhabit each individual dancer is work for a dozen clones of Sigmund Freud.



Book Review:
Bold business moves are needed in any field of commerce — even in the adult entertainment industry. “Topless Prophet: The True Story of America’s Most Successful Gentleman’s Club Entrepreneur” tells the story of Markovitz and his realization of his goal to becoming one of the most powerful adult entertainment entrepreneurs in America. Starting with a small bar in Michigan, he’s created his own empire of topless bars. “Topless Prophet” is an intriguing memoir combining fascinating business sense with the curiosity of erotic dancing.
Midwest Book Review

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rice Cooker Meals: Fast Home Cooking for busy people (cookbook) - Neal Bertrand


Book Description:
Enjoy delicious, multicultural recipes that are less expensive and healthier than fast food. Includes Mexican, Italian, Tex-Mex and Cajun recipes! And one-pot cooking means less mess to clean up!
You’ll see how easy it is to cook jambalayas, seafood dishes, pastas, “casseroles”, soups, rice side dishes, and various vegetable recipes including potatoes, cabbage, and sweet potatoes.
“IN A RICE COOKER?” Yes, they’re all cooked in a rice cooker.
Here are a few recipes from the book:
*Easy Chili
*Mexican Rice
*Tex-Mex Pasta
*Shrimp Jambalaya
*Cajun Pepper Steak
*Chicken Fried Rice
*Rice & Shrimp Pilaf
*Black-eyed Pea & Sausage Jambalaya
In short, Rice Cooker Meals offers a time-saving alternative to conventional cooking. With this cookbook you can prepare a traditional home-cooked meal – all in one rice cooker. If you want to cook a worry-free, quick, flavorful meal that doesn’t heat up your whole kitchen or use all your pots, Rice Cooker Meals: Fast Home Cooking for Busy People is for you!


For more information: http://www.ricecookermeals.com/

©2009

My Take on the Book:
I live in the dark ages a bit and don't have a rice cooker, but I know how to cook rice!! I just adapted the recipe to suit how I normally cook rice. It was fantastic!! I plan on using all the recipes, but my adapted version of course. If you have a rice cooker, get the book. If you don't have one, don't fret. It is so easy to adapt the recipe according to how you cook rice.
*Hint: Using Minute Rice makes everything easy. It's fast and you can cook the same as a rice cooker, in less time.*


Mushroom Rice, Page 23.
(Adapted by me, to suit me, haha.)
Add equal parts water as rice to a pot. Set rice aside. (Use Minute Rice) Add fresh cut mushrooms, broth, butter and onions. Bring to a boil. When reached, add rice. Stir well and let sit. Takes like 5 minutes, and boom!! Deliciousness!!!



~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Monday, January 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:


The man made no attempt to resist. Nick was preparing to start an IV when Junie opened Campbell's chart and pointed to a section.

~ Page 42, The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Basic Book of Digital Photography - Tom Grimm & Michelle Grimm


Book Description:
The Basic Book of Digital Photography is the definitive guide to the expansive world of digital photography from two of the field's most established authorities. Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm steer photographers through the new era of digital imaging.
This comprehensive handbook covers how to compose the best shots with cameras ranging from point-and-shoot to the increasingly popular SLR (single lens reflex) models, and takes you through the steps to improve, display, and preserve your images. You'll learn most everything there is to know about digital photography, including:
* Which camera is best for your needs
* Ways to store your image files and share them on the Internet
* Techniques for editing and improving your photos with computer software
* How to record video clips on your digital camera and use your camera phone
With its lively text, more than four hundred helpful photos and illustrations, and an extensive glossary, The Basic Book of Digital Photography is an indispensable reference for amateur and professional photographers alike.

About Authors:
Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures, are a husband-and-wife photojournalism team who have spent nearly four decades traveling the globe; the couple has visited every continent and more than 130 countries in search of the perfect photographic image. Their photographs and articles have been published worldwide in magazines and newspapers and on the Internet. The Grimms are authors and illustrators of thirteen adult and children's books.
For more information: www.TomGrimm.com

©2009

My Take on the Book:
A highly instructional and educational look at digital photography. It also touches base on other electronics, such as phones with photo capability, printers, and various attachments. It is a great way to learn more about your camera and what you can do with it. It even talks about various programs for finishing your photos, or making digital prints. Incredible information!
I recommend this book, we all love photos, and some even take them. This book will help!

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Rock N Roll Confessions: Book 1 - Helena Danyluk


Book Description:
A shocking and intriguing story of lovers destined to be together as he climbs his way to the top of the Rock N Roll Industry; they struggle to stay together and away from each other.
Warning~Explicit language.

©2009

My Take on the Book:
From the look over the cover and the title, I expected something different. I am happy to say that I'm impressed with what I got though. A intensely hot and erotic glimpse into a rockstar's life, but more than that, the women who love them.
I really think all romance junkies out there need to check this book out!

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Giveaway: LOVE IN 90 DAYS By Dr. Diana Kirschner, PhD


Book description:
Finding true love is possible in just 90 days. Renowned clinical psychologist, Dr. Diana Kirschner, uses the latest research, clinical and personal experience to show you how. Dr. Diana knows the questions single women everywhere face: "Why am I attracted to the wrong kind of guys?" "Why is he just not that into me?" "Why can't I seem to find the One?" She also knows the unconscious mistakes that women make over and over again in love-regardless of age, work success, or the type of men they are dating.
Over the years Dr. Diana has received countless inquiries from single women about writing a how-to guide on her work. Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love is that book.
Love in 90 Days is fun, savvy and based on the latest research on singles, online dating and healthy relationships. Loaded with step-by-step instructions, checklists, and weekly homework assignments, this revolutionary love book is also an intensely personal journey for each reader. Love in 90 Days guides you along your own path towards self discovery with proven and effective dating advice and tough love. Dr. Diana dispels common misconceptions about love relationships and dating, and share personal stories from women who have successfully completed the Love in 90 Days Program. There's also a chapter devoted to the special issues faced by African-American women, single mothers, and women forty-five and older.


GIVEAWAY:

THANKS TO ANNA & Hachette Book Group, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends January 20 (2010), 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Friday, January 8, 2010

Ciao Italia - Mary Ann Esposito


Book Description:
In Mary Ann Esposito's new book, Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites, she shows home cooks how to turn just five ingredients into an easy, delicious, and economical Italian dish for the family dinner table. Mary Ann Esposito knows that the genius behind great Italian cooking is the simple philosophy of using just a few quality ingredients to create something delicious. In Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites she shows home cooks how to make that philosophy work for them so that they can save time and money without sacrificing flavor. With seventy-five authentic Italian recipes -- from antipasti to pastas, main courses to desserts -- Esposito draws on the Italian culinary tradition of simplicity in the kitchen to create such effortless and tasty dishes as:
* Prosciutto di Parma, Fontina, and Fig Wraps
* Spicy Soppressata Tartlets
* Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs
* Pistachio-Dusted Pork Chops
* Oven-Poached Halibut with Shallot and Fennel
* Escarole Salad with Mustard Dressing
* Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Banana Tartlets
* Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Vanilla
With Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites, Mary Ann Esposito serves up a surefire way to please family and friends with easy recipes that are quick and delicious.

About Author:
Mary Ann Esposito is the creator and host of the long-running PBS series Ciao Italia, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010. She is the author of eleven successful cookbooks, including Ciao Italia Slow and Easy and Ciao Italia Pronto! She lives in Durham, New Hampshire.
For more information, please visit: www.CiaoItalia.com

©2009

My Take on the Book:
Being a lover of Italian food, I knew this would be a hit in my house and it didn't let me down. However I did have to adapt the recipe just a little, since I still live in the dark ages with no food processor. All that means is the leeks and potatoes were chunky not smooth. It still tasted delicious, and I will make it again and again. I HIGHLY recommend this cookbook to everyone!!!

Creamy Leek Soup, Page 29.

Add oil, then add leeks when heated.

Add taters.

Add stock.

Add the cream, salt and pepper and voila! A soup to die for.

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Stella & Dot

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