Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick, Healthy, Springtime Dishes -- Featuring Herbs!

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

The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy -- at my great-aunt's apron strings -- for every herb we had in the garden, there seemed to be a pot on the stove to match.

Some herbs were better to cook with while others were better added at the end to a finished dish. For example, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme are mostly used for long cooking where their oils are extracted slowly out of their leaves. Sage, oregano and marjoram need very little cooking time, and herbs such as basil, parsley and mint are great to toss in raw at the end -- just enough to release their refreshing aromas.

If you have small children a wonderful way to introduce them to the enticing aromas of herbs is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell. I did this with my grandchildren when they were very small and it's a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.

In fact, once you get your small children excited about herbs, introduce them to your own dishes. Here I'm sharing some of the quickest, and most child-friendly. Enjoy!

HERB PESTO

Makes 1 ½ cups

* 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
* ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
* ½ cup packed mixed fresh sage, thyme, and marjoram leaves
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
* Salt

Wash the herb leaves in cool water and dry them thoroughly, preferably in a salad spinner. Combine the herbs and garlic in a blender and blend on low speed, slowly adding the oil while the machine is running, until the pesto is smooth and all the oil is incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use as needed. Pesto will keep refrigerated for up to 4 weeks or it may be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure there is a thin film of oil over the pesto to keep its flavor and color bright.

HERB FRITTATA
Serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 as a lunch dish
From "Lidia's Family Table" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons milk
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and fresh herbs until just blended together.

Heat the butter and oil in the small frying pan until it just starts to sizzle, then pour in the eggs and turn the heat down very low. Cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will start to puff up and sizzle at the edges. Lift a corner of the frittata with a spatula, and check to see if the bottom has browned in splotches. When it has, flip the frittata over by giving the pan a firm, quick shake up and over toward you so that the egg mass dislodges and flips over in one piece. Or, if that unnerves you, turn the frittata over with a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, again checking to see if the bottom has browned to your liking. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and cut the frittata in wedges.

BAKED FISH WITH SAVORY BREAD CRUMBS
Serves 6

Landlocked Umbria does not have a seafood cuisine. But its mountain lakes, rivers, and streams abound in freshwater fish, like the tasty tench. This simple preparation is one I found in Umbria, and it is excellent for fillets of our sweet-water varieties, such as carp or whitefish, or even light ocean-fish fillets like sole.

* 2 pounds whitefish fillets
* ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Juice of a large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
* ½ cup white wine
* 6 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
* ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
* Zest of a large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
* ½ teaspoon dried oregano
* ¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste, chopped fine
* Fresh lemon slices, for serving

Recommended equipment: A 4-quart shallow rectangular baking dish; a heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan, 12-inch diameter or larger, with a cover.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly salt the fish on both sides, using about ¼ teaspoon salt in all. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, white wine, and another ¼ teaspoon salt into the baking dish, and whisk together well. Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing. Lay the fillets in the dish, turn and swish them in the dressing so both sides are thoroughly moistened, and arrange them, skin side down, in one layer.

Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, chopped peperoncino, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss the crumbs well until evenly moistened with oil.

Spoon the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the fillets in a light, even layer. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family-style, or on individual plates. Spoon over it the juices left in the baking dish, and serve right away, with lemon slices on the side.

© 2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, 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.

March Monthly News


BOOKS READ:
1. Life Lesson From A Horse Whisperer - Dr. Lew Sterrett
2. The Shack - William Paul Young (recommend)
3. Everyday Easy Chicken (cookbook)
4. Do It or Age Quickly - J.B. Berns
5. Saint Patrick - Jonathan Rogers
6. To Sin With A Scoundrel - Cara Elliott
7. Houseworks Revised - Cynthia Townley Ewer
8. The Rough Guide To The Beatles (3rd edition) - Chris Ingham (recommend)
9. Pocket Kama Sutra - Tracey Cox
10. Three Cups - Mark St. Germain (recommend)
11. Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure - Allan Richard Shickman (young adult)(recommend)
12. The Cook's Herb Garden - Jeff Cox & Marie-Pierre Moine (recommend)
13. Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Julia Child (cookbook) (recommend)
14. Gold Digger Nation - Hal Roback
15. Sons of Thunder - Susan May Warren (recommend)
16. Say You're One Of Them - Uwem Akpan (audiobook)
17. Raven Stole The Moon - Garth Stein (recommend)
18. Girl On Top - Nicole Williams
19. Around the World Cookbook - Abigail Johnson Dodge (children) (recommend)
20. Thicker Than Blood - C.J. Darlington (recommend)
21. The Spice Necklace - Ann Vanderhoof (cookbook)
22. The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes - Frederick J. Vagnini (cookbook)
23. A Touch of Scandal - Jennifer Haymore
24. Songbird Under a German Moon - Tricia Goyer
25. Eyewitness Travel Guides: Canada (recommend)
26. Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country - Allan Richard Shickman (young adult) (recommend)
27. Rick & Bubba's Big Honkin' Book of Grub - Rick Burgess & Bill "Bubba" Bussey (cookbook)
28. Digital Photography An Introduction 3rd Edition - Tom Ang (recommend)


And DVDS:
1. What's in a Bible - Phil Vischer (children)
2. Combating the Commandment of Confusion A Bibleman Live Adventure (children)

And Religious Material:
1. Devotions for Lent (Bible study)


Yearly total: 76 Books, 2 DVDS


FAVORITE BOOK OF MARCH:

RAVEN STOLE THE MOON - GARTH STEIN

Awards Received:

I received this From Me To You Award from Vicki; http://www.readingatthebeach.com
I awarded it to: http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/awards-ceremony.html


I received this Blog Humane award from Marce at: http://teawithmarce.blogspot.com
I did receive this previously, and re-awarded, so will decline forwarding this time. Thanks again for giving it to me. I really do appreciate it!


I received this award from Aleksandra at: http://my-book-obsession.blogspot.com
I also received this award in the not-so-distant past, and re-awarded. Thank so much for the award, it made my week!

CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
Chill Baby Chill Wrap-Up Post; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/chill-baby-chill-wrap-up-post.html

Completed 2010 Romance Challenge. http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/12/2010-romance-challenge.html
Wrap-up post to come in December 2010.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaser


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:

I don't know if it was the home-brewed beer Fred had given me when I passed by his room, or if it was the comments Bobo and Peter Santilli had made about Luca before I left the other hotel, but I dropped off around midnight like a ton of rocks and fell into one of the most beautiful deep sleeps I can ever remember.
I started having these incredible dreams--dreams that were crisp, vivid, and radiant, different in size and color from my normal dreams, like the difference between watching a movie on a television set versus a large screen at the theater.

~Page 67, St. John of the Midfield - Garasamo Maccagnone

Giveaway: Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein (My Favorite Read for March)


Synopsis:
When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to visit Wrangell, Alaska, it's a wrenching return to her past. The hometown of her Native American grandmother, Wrangell is located near the Thunder Bay Resort, where Jenna's young son, Bobby, disappeared two years before. His body was never recovered, and Jenna is determined to lay to rest the aching mystery of his death. But whispers of ancient legends begin to suggest a frightening new possibility about Bobby's fate, and Jenna must sift through the beliefs of her ancestors, the Tlingit, who still tell of powerful, menacing forces at work in the Alaskan wilderness. Armed with nothing but a mother's protective instincts, Jenna's quest for the truth behind her son's disappearance is about to pull her into a terrifying and life-changing abyss.


THANKS TO Sarah & Terra Communications, I HAVE
1 COPY, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory: Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, come back leave link in a separate comment.


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

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends April 12, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Best of luck!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Digital Photography An Introduction 3rd Edition - Tom Ang


Synopsis:
From tips on how to improve your skills to inspirational ideas and projects to fire your creativity, Digital Photography: An Introduction shows you how to make the most of your digital images, from image manipulation basics to special effects. Fully revised and updated to include all the latest developments in cameras and the ever-changing market, renowned photographer and digital expert Tom Ang shows you how to master the essentials of digital photography, from which camera to buy to posting images on the web.


©2009


My Opinion:
Lately, I have read a few digital photography books as I'm trying to hone my amateur skills. This, by far, is the best book I have come across to date. There is information that covers every aspect of digital photography, including editing, different cameras, different lenses, and more.
This book is a must have for any photography enthusiast!
(5/5)


~I received a copy from DK Canada. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Devotions for Lent


Synopsis:
The 40 days leading up to Easter, known as Lent, are set aside as a time for reflection and self-denial in preparation for the celebration of Easter. This year at Lent, orient your life toward Jesus Christ with this unique devotional taken from Holy Bible: Mosaic. Encounter Christ by reflecting on the words of Scripture and the art and writings of Christians across time and cultures. Includes full-color artwork; contemporary and historical writings; prayers, poems, and hymns from throughout church history. Full text of each week’s devotional Scripture readings is also included.


©2010


My Opinion:
I find it especially hard to be critical on a bible devotional booklet. As a person who reads my bible daily, I enjoyed having this booklet throughout Lent, to remind me of our purpose. Why we are here. Ironically I had a revelation today about the book.
When they had Jesus in front of them, and asked him if he was guilty of those charges. Did he call himself the Son of God. And he answered Yes. I thought, so too would I answer yes. Are we not all children of God? What was his answer to be? And they killed him for being truthful.
Without this booklet, I may not have thought about that today. Palm Sunday. More symbolic to me than ever before.
I suggest getting these for next year, and the year after that, and that, and so on, and so forth.
(5/5)


~I received copies from Tyndale. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rick & Bubba's Big Honkin' Book of Grub - Rick Burgess & Bill "Bubba" Bussey


Synopsis:
In Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub, America’s sexiest fat men share wise observations and stories about grub as only they can tell them.
Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub is exactly what a diet/recipe book should be—full of hilarious stories, good eating, and not a single mention of calories! New York Times bestselling authors Rick and Bubba are not ashamed to admit they eat for one reason and one reason only: they like the way food tastes. With family recipes from their wives Sherri and Betty (who have been keeping these two in grub for years) as well as the winning recipes from Rick and Bubba's Big Honkin’ Recipe Contest, this book is a keeper. So pull up a chair, grab a fork, and enjoy!


©2010


My Opinion:
Honestly, I'm a little disappointed in this book. You see that cover and think it must be a fantastic book, filled with awesome recipes. Well, it's not. There is some recipes in the back, but mostly it's opinions and some humor.
With that said, you as my readers know I love them recipes. Be the death of me yet! ;-)
I made their version of Sloppy Joe's. But they use BBQ Sauce. They were pretty good, but my thighs are paying for it now. This is totally NOT a diet book.
(1/5)

Rick's Cheap Solution for the Guy Who Has a TV, a Bed on the Floor, and an Old Couch, Page 189. (yes, that's the name.)




~I received a copy from BookSneeze. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Friday, March 26, 2010

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country - Allan Richard Shickman


Synopsis:
Well past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him. Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face. Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar. His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth. His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.
"It is time, Zan. Let us go!"
"Where? It's dark!"
"I want to find where the river comes from."
The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes. It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thoughts both destructive and self-destructive. But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.


©2009


My Opinion:
I liked the first one in the series a lot, but this book was so much better. The elements in the story were more exciting, and far more action too! I couldn't put the book down, and read it really fast.
Zan-Gah is such a great character, that I hope the author writes more books in this series. I really don't want this tale to end!
A must read, and a HUGE recommendation! But read the first one.
(5/5)


~I received a copy from EarthShaker Books. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Songbird Under a German Moon - Tricia Goyer (BLOG TOUR & LINK TO CONTEST)


Synopsis:
The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds' hearts may find the answers...in each other.
But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.


©2010


Author Bio:
Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana. Find out more about her and her books at www.TriciaGoyer.com


Contest Information:
WHAT AN ERA CONTEST
Leave a comment on Tricia’s blog: http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/2010/03/songbird-under-german-moon.html or send an email through her website CONNECT page: http://triciagoyer.com/connect.html and answer this question: What era in history do you wish you'd lived in and why?

Earn extra entries by signing up for Tricia's newsletter here: http://triciagoyer.com/news.html becoming a Fan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tricia-Goyer/115603375574?ref=ts or Tweeting about the contest on Twitter (use hashtag #songbird)!

You’ll be entered to win one of three signed copies of Songbird Under a German Moon.


Other Tour Stops Today:
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/servingtheKingofkings/
http://missmalu30.blogspot.com/
http://christysbookblog.blogspot.com/
www.cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
http://winningreadings.blogspot.com
www.generationsandwich.blogspot.com


My Opinion:
After reading All Things Hidden, I couldn't wait to read this book. Plus the cover is absolutely divine! All the makings of a great time to me. Unfortunately, it was just okay.
Tricia is such a lovely writer, the flow of the words makes the books so easy to read. But this time I was not pulled in as much as before. Maybe it was the jump from Amish life to War Era, but I couldn't get into it.
The characters were great, Betty is the main character and a singer, but Frank is the one who I enjoy reading about. Her love interest. Big, strong, tough guy that is sensitive too. Every girl's dream!
I'm sure a lot of women would enjoy this book, romance junkies that is.
(3/5)


~I received a copy from litFuse. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Thursday, March 25, 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/


Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country _ Allan Richard Shickman

Page 56, Sentence 5:

The men of Ba-Coro roared with mirth once again, but opinion was swaying in Zan's direction.

Eyewitness Travel Guides: Canada


Synopsis:
DK Eyewitness Travel's full-color guidebooks to hundreds of destinations around the world truly show you what others only tell you. They have become renowned for their visual excellence, which includes unparalleled photography, 3-D mapping, and specially commissioned cutaway illustrations.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are the only guides that work equally well for inspiration, as a planning tool, a practical resource while traveling, and a keepsake following any trip.
Each guide is packed with the up-to-date, reliable destination information every traveler needs, including extensive hotel and restaurant listings, themed itineraries, lush photography, and numerous maps.


©2010


My Opinion:
I was born and raised in Canada, and was amazed at the content in this book. Beautiful photos and fantastic descriptions of everything Canadian, from Maple trees to Maple Syrup. I was surprised to find this book even shared accommodations and tourist ideas, and it is up to date.
A must read for any one coming for a visit, or if you just love travel and a great travel book.
(5/5)


~I received a copy from DK Canada. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

A Touch of Scandal - Jennifer haymore (Blog Tour)


Synopsis:
The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-soldier had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he's convinced he's been betrayed.
Kate knows her duty to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett's powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen-and sizzling-kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way-the one that can separate Garrett and Kate forever.


©2010


Author Bio:

As a child, Jennifer Haymore traveled the South Pacific with her family on their homebuilt sailboat. The months spent on the sometimes-quiet, sometimes-raging seas sparked her love of adventure and grand romance. Since then, she's earned degrees in Computer Science and Education and held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to acting, but she's never stopped writing.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.

Follow @JenniferHaymore on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jenniferhaymore

Friend Jennifer Haymore on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferhaymore?sid=0

Author Website:
http://www.jenniferhaymore.com/


5 Fun Facts About A Touch Of Scandal:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446540278_FiveFunFacts.htm


More Blog Stops Today:
http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com
http://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com
http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/
http://justanothernewblog.blogspot.com
http://www.kballard87.blogspot.com
www.booksoulmates.blogspot.com
www.bibliophilicbookblog.com
http://www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com


My Opinion:
This book to me was a lot like most romances. There was a bit of suspense, they met and ravaged each other, fell madly in love and then had a family. Not much out of the ordinary really, but still entertaining.
This is one of those books that you read on a rainy day. You can easily get lost in the story, and will find it a fairly easy read. There were a few new words to me, but I enjoy learning and looking words up.
All in all, not bad, not great.
(3/5)


~I received a copy from Hatchette Book Group. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes - Frederick J. Vagnini, M.D & Lawrence D. Chilnik


Synopsis:
* The latest medications and nutraceticals that can get you off the metabolic roller coaster.
* Tests your doctor should perform but probably isn’t that will give you the most accurate diagnosis of your metabolic roadblocks.
* Underdiagnosed issues that can exacerbate your diabetes and sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Based on the plan that has helped thousands of patients, The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes will help you lose weight—safely—and keep it off.


©2009


My Opinion:
First we'll discuss the information content.
I appreciate all of the information given, however, this is all learned in Diabetes Management Classes. If you are Diabetic, you know these classes or appointments I speak of. So really, if you are Diabetic, the first part is not very useful. We already learn this information upon diagnosis. It's good for a look back, but nothing new learned.
The rest of the book I liked more.
I especially loved the recipes in the back. For every one, in my opinion, not just Diabetics, can benefit from eating healthy, proper, square meals. This book can help lead you there. It shows you many examples and gives you suggestions on meal planning.
I made the Breakfast wrap. Though I wasn't blown away, it was better than expected. I was honestly expecting hospital food.
After all is said and done, I am half and half with it. So if you want to pick it up for meal suggestions and better nutritional management, do it. But for Diabetes, I would keep looking.
(2.5/5)

Scrambled Egg and Salsa Wrap, Page - 212


All dressed up, now wrap it.....


~I received a copy from FSB Associates. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Giveaway: Sexaholics


Synopsis:
Miki, Valencia, Teela Raye, and Brandi share one thing...they are all addicted to sex. United through Sexaholics Anonymous, these women try to recover from their dependence on wild, spontaneous, and even sometimes, dangerous sex. From whips and chains, to sex in public, they have done it all! Led by Dr. Rachel Cummings, each woman takes the first step to recovery by sharing her biggest sexual act with the group. SEXAHOLICS takes readers through the outrageous experiences of four women on their long path to success.


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


GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory: Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)


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

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends April 8, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Teaser


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:


If you get involved with a girl, she'll be pulled into your work. You never know what trouble's around here--what trouble you'll get into.

~Page 56, Songbird Under a German Moon - Tricia Goyer

The Spice Necklace - Ann Vanderhoof


Synopsis:
A follow-up to the national bestseller An Embarrassment of Mangoes, Ann Vanderhoof and her husband navigate the Caribbean on a sailboat, discovering local culture in each tiny port, and collecting sumptuous original recipes along the way.
Spices and herbs are the heart and soul of Caribbean cooking, adding more to the pleasures of the table here than perhaps anywhere else. In The Spice Necklace, award-winning food and travel writer Ann Vanderhoof embarks on a voyage of culinary discovery, as she follows her nose (and her tastebuds) into tiny kitchens and fragrant markets, through rainforest gardens and to family cookups on the beach, linking each food to its traditions, folklore and history.
Meandering from island to island by sailboat, Vanderhoof takes readers along as she gathers nutmeg in Grenada, hunts crabs and freshwater crayfish in the mountains of Dominica, and obsesses about oregano-eating goats in the Dominican Republic. Along the way, she is befriended by a collection of unforgettable island characters who share with her their own delicious recipes, making this truly a book to savour.


©2010


My Opinion:
This book was a fabulous collections of vignettes from one woman's trip through the Caribbean, and all things food. I loved reading her adventures, from port to port, and was so happy the book included recipes. My readers know how I love recipes!
So I ran through what was there, and I decided to try something different. A marinade for meat. I used steaks, and made the marinade. While it was good, I wasn't blown away by the flavors.
In conclusion, I would recommend this book for a lighthearted read. I would not recommend it for the recipes.
(3/5)

Green Seasoning - Page 229.



~I received a copy from Booklounge. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Thicker Than Blood - C.J. Darlington


Synopsis:
Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late? A stunning debut from the latest Christian Writers Guild winner.

Read the first chapter here: http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/FirstChapters/978-1-4143-3448-6.pdf


Author Bio:
C. J. Darlington began writing the story that would become her first novel Thicker than Blood when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in Thicker than Blood before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest.
In 2006 C. J. started the Christian entertainment Web site Titletrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats.
When she's not writing, she's reading. Her hobbies include book and art collecting, fly fishing, painting and drawing.


©2010


My Opinion:
A suspenseful, thoughtful, and uplifting story from beginning to end. This book makes you wonder who you should be forgiving, instead of harboring a grudge. The message in the book was so inspiring, I found it next to impossible to put down.
A very entertaining read, that I recommend to all!
(4.5/5)


~I received a copy from Tyndale. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Around the World Cookbook - Abigail Johnson Dodge


Synopsis:
With foods like hummus and Pad Thai becoming as common as meatloaf and apple pie, it’s no surprise that international foods are hotter than ever. Kids today are growing up in an increasingly multicultural world, and with Around the World: An International Cookbook for Children, they can eat like it, too!
While cooking these traditional cuisines, kids also learn about the countries they’re from: how a tandoor oven works, what smorgasbord really means, and how to make a croque monsieur into a croque madame. Together with DK’s fun and innovative visual style, the information and recipes in this unique cookbook tie in beautifully with school curriculum and make it an essential part of every young foodie’s library.
Seasoned and successful cookbook author Abigail Johnson Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, where she founded the magazine’s test kitchen. The author of five popular cookbooks, Dodge’s most recent publication, The Weekend Baker, (W.W. Norton, 2005) had the honor of being named one of the “Top Ten Cookbooks of the Year” by Food and Wine magazine as well as being named an IACP Cookbook Finalist. She was also a contributor to Savoring America (Oxmoor House, 2002), which was nominated for a James Beard Award and received the prestigious Ben Franklin Award. In addition to regular appearances on TV and radio, Dodge teaches classes and seminars at cooking schools around the country, belongs to several food associations including The International Association of Culinary Professionals and the American Institute of Wine and Food, and serves on the National Cutco Culinary Advisory Board.

Awards and Notable lists:
Parents' Choice Recommended Award Winner (2008)
Cordon d'Or Gold Ribbon - Cookery for Children Culinary Academy Award 2008


©2008


My Opinion:
This is a cookbook designed for you to do with your kids, and who wouldn't enjoy family time in the kitchen?!
My family had the Greek Pork Kabobs, and besides the fact they were easy to make and took no time, they were delicious!
You have to do the cutting, of course, but it is great to build dinner together.
I have to recommend this book, it is fantastic!
(5/5)


Greek Pork Kabobs - Page 52




~I received a copy from DK Canada. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Girl On Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success - Nicole Williams


Synopsis:
Nicole Williams is the tell-it-like-it-is career expert who you wish could fight your work battles for you. But with her ingenious approach--taking the tactics used to land a man and applying them to your career-- you'll be able to handle any work situation and come out on top. Here, Nicole introduces twenty tried-and-true dating rules such as "Don't Give Away Your Milk for Free" and "Don't Waste the Pretty" and reveals how they can be applied just as effectively in the office. Other strategies include:
- Keep It Brief
- Don't Bash Your Ex
- Have Others Sing Your Praises
- Play Hard to Get
- Keep the Fire Alive
- Be Willing to Walk Away
Among other topics, Nicole dishes on how much to reveal at work as well as what to put up with from your boss (and, more importantly, what not to). She tackles everything from having the money talk to leaving them wanting more on the job interview. And sprinkled throughout GIRL ON TOP is fashion advice ("Ten Commandments of Style") and checklists to determine if you need to get a life.
Nicole's keen insight and candid advice will teach you how to recognize the good guys from the bad, win the kudos of those who matter, and create the career of your dreams.


©2009


My Opinion:
Whether you want to further your career, or have a better understanding of your relationship, this book is for you.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but was pleasantly surprised when I found it useful and informative. I appreciated the authors' style of writing too. The format in which she wrote the book, was if if she was having a face-to-face conversation with you.
I think this was a great book, for the different topics it covers. And I don't necessarily think it's just for women. So go on, get a copy!
(4/5)


~I won a copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein


Synopsis:
When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to visit Wrangell, Alaska, it's a wrenching return to her past. The hometown of her Native American grandmother, Wrangell is located near the Thunder Bay Resort, where Jenna's young son, Bobby, disappeared two years before. His body was never recovered, and Jenna is determined to lay to rest the aching mystery of his death. But whispers of ancient legends begin to suggest a frightening new possibility about Bobby's fate, and Jenna must sift through the beliefs of her ancestors, the Tlingit, who still tell of powerful, menacing forces at work in the Alaskan wilderness. Armed with nothing but a mother's protective instincts, Jenna's quest for the truth behind her son's disappearance is about to pull her into a terrifying and life-changing abyss.


©2010


My Opinion:
I knew this book was a hit for me, when I fought with myself over whether to go to sleep or read one more chapter. In the end, I finished this story in 2 days.
From the moment I started reading, I was pulled in. Gradually the book built up, and in a way that half the book was done before I noticed.
I really loved how the author formed the characters in the story. Each one highlighted in a way, that wasn't too descriptive yet gave you everything you needed.
Beautifully written, and truly an amazing story.
I am recommending this book to everyone. Please note there is some foul language in it, but so worth reading it to get the tale.
(5/5)


~I received a copy from Terra Communications. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Thursday, March 18, 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/



Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein

Page 56, Sentence 5:

That's what it's supposed to look like.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teaser


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 funeral was at three. Six hours from now.

~ Page 108, Thicker Than Blood - C.J. Darlington

What's In A Bible? - Phil Vischer (Tour & Giveaway)

Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour
Synopsis:
What’s in the Bible? is a new DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer designed to walk kids and families through the entire Bible. The 13 DVD-series will release beginning March 1, 2010.

Author Bio:

n 1990, 24-year-old computer-animator Phil Vischer sat down to create a group of characters that could teach Christian values to kids in a delightfully different way. A tomato named Bob and a cucumber named Larry were born. VeggieTales would go on to revolutionize Christian filmmaking, selling more than 50 million videos and placing Phil’s faith-filled stories in one in every three American households with young children. Phil continues to pursue innovative new ways to integrate faith and storytelling through his new company, Jellyfish Labs. His projects include Jelly Telly, which provides faith-based daily programming via the internet at JellyTelly.com



For more visit: www.whatsinthebible.com
and: www.tyndale.com


©2010


GIVEAWAY:
One winner will receive Two certificates for both What's In A Bible dvd's. (If live in the US, take to Christian Book Store, if outside US mail to Tyndale for dvd's.)
Does this appeal to you?? Would you like to win both dvd's? Simple leave a comment with your email address and you are entered! Simple!

Contest will close March 30, 11:59 pm est. Good Luck everyone! Open to US & CAN.



My Review:
I think it is fantastic that Phil Vischer could create a show that helps teach our children the bible. It has all the elements children love and parents appreciate too. Lots of songs that are quite catchy, all the gospel. Plus the characters add that great quality. Any child would be captured by this show and watch, and in return learn. I wish they had these things when my kids were small. It would have been a great addition to Barney and Sesame Street.
I have to say, if you have toddlers, you should get this and check it out. See how your child reacts to it. You may be surprised, and happily so.
(4.5/5)


~I received a dvd copy from Tyndale. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Say You're One of Them - Uwem Akpan (Audiobook)


Synopsis:
Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord.
In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.
Akpan's voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.


©2009


Author Bio:
Uwem Akpan was born in the village of Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of East Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. "My Parents' Bedroom," a story included in this, his first collection, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2007, Akpan began a teaching assignment at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe.


My opinion:
I understand why Oprah chose this book for her book club. There is something very special about this story. Or should I say collection of stories.
The first story was the most powerful for me, though I enjoyed them all. But this one girl and her courageous life, moved me. I have a hard time swallowing the lives these children have led. It is amazing how inspiring these children become, when they persevere through so much, we have minimal problems in comparison after reading this. It really brings warmth to my heart, knowing such goodness can be born out of some heartbreaking situations.
I have to recommend this book, for many reasons, but mostly to lend hope. A truly inspiring read!
(4/5)

~I won this copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Friday, March 12, 2010

Giveaway: Apologize Apologize


Synopsis:
APOLOGIZE, APOLOGIZE! takes us into the perversely charmed world of the Flanagans and their son, Collie (who has the questionable good fortune to be named after a breed of dog). Coming of age on Martha's Vineyard, he struggles to find his place within his wildly wealthy, hyper-articulate, resolutely crazy Irish-Catholic family: a philandering father, incorrigible brother, pigeon-racing uncle, radical activist mother, and domineering media mogul grandfather (accused of being a murderer by Collie's mother).


THANKS TO Valerie & Hatchette Book group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory: Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)


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

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends March 28, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Giveaway: Laura Rider's Masterpiece


Synopsis:
Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years. They share their nursery business in rural Wisconsin, their love for their animals, and their zeal for storytelling. Although Charlie's enthusiasm in the bedroom has worn Laura out, although she no longer sleeps with him, they are happy enough going along in their routine.
Jenna Faroli is the host of a popular radio show, and in Laura's mind is "the single most famous person in the Town of Dover." When Jenna happens to cross Charlie's path one day, and they begin an e-mail correspondence, Laura cannot resist using Charlie to try out her new writing skills. Together, Laura and Charlie craft florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna in an unexpected way. The "project" quickly spins out of control. The lines between Laura's words and Charlie's feelings are blurred and complicated, Jenna is transformed in ways that deeply disturb her, and Laura is transformed in her mind's eye into an artist. The transformations are hilarious and poignant, and for Laura Rider, beyond her wildest expectations.


THANKS TO Valerie & Hatchette Book group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory: Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)


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

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends March 28, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Sons of Thunder - Susan May Warren (Tour & Twitter Contest)


Synopsis:
Sophie Frangos is torn between the love of two men and the promise that binds them all together. Markos Stavros loves Sophie from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance and his hunger for honor. Dino, his quiet and intelligent brother, simply wants to forget the horror that drove them from their Greek island home to start a new life in America. One of these sons of thunder offers a future she longs for, the other the past she lost. From the sultry Chicago jazz clubs of the roaring twenties to the World War II battlefields of Europe to a final showdown in a Greek island village, they'll discover betrayal, sacrifice and finally redemption. Most of all, when Sophie is forced to make her choice, she'll learn that God honors the promises made by the Sons of Thunder. 


Sons of Thunder launches the new Romantic Suspense line for Summerside Press - it will be available to purchase in Wal-mart mid-January. Also - its uniquely written - its an epic suspense story written as three novellas - 3 points of view, 3 settings.


©2010


Author Bio:

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. Learn more about Susan here: www.susanmaywarren.com



TWITTER CONTEST, FOLLOW THE RULES CLOSELY:
TWEET THIS:(must use hashtag #SonsofThunder to be entered - no limit on entries! Tweet away!)

Please RT! @susanmaywarren launches new Romantic Suspense #SonsofThunder. Share your story 2 win a fab prize pack! http://ow.ly/1digM




Other Tour Stops Today:
http://www.cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
http://www.connected2christ.com/theblog
http://winningreadings.blogspot.com
http://www.haleymathiot.blogspot.com
http://christinabanks.blogspot.com


My Opinion:
When I saw the cover of this book, I was intrigued enough to read the synopsis. I knew from that it would be a decent story, but I had no idea the emotions it would stir in me.
When a book can bring a tear to your eye, it must be great! The author must be conveying the story in a way that you feel it and connect with it. I really did with this book.
I sincerely hope the author considers a second book. I would love to know what happened to the characters, after the war.
This is definitely on my recommendation list!
(5/5)


~I received a copy from litFuse. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Stella & Dot

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