Posted in Book Review

Tide and Punishment – Bree Baker

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In this third book in the A Seaside Cafe Mystery series, a Mayor turns up dead after announcing his intention to run for reelection at a Christmas party.This book can be read as a standalone.

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Everly Swan owns an iced tea shop on the first floor of her home in Charm, North Carolina. She moved back to Charm after breaking up with her boyfriend and she’s looking forward to hosting the Swan Christmas Party. Her great-aunts, Clara and Fran are also there to help out.

Her Aunt Clara has a fascination with gnomes, a hobby she took up after the last Halloween. Her Aunt Fran, on the other hand, is planning to announce her intention to run for Mayor of Charm.

At the party, however, Mayor Dunfree—the current Mayor of Charm— upstages Aunt Fran and announces he wants to run for reelection.

Feeling humiliated, Aunt Fran steps outside to cool off. Moments later, Mayor Dunfree is found dead with Aunt Fran standing close by and holding the murder weapon— one of Aunt Clara’s gnomes.

Everly knows her aunt is not capable of committing such a crime and sets off to clear Aunt Fran’s name and find the real killer.

Tide and Punishment is an engaging read, and the mystery well-crafted. The characters are fun and there’s a nice sense of the town.

  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press ( 24 September 2019)
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Posted in Book Review

Carpet Diem – Misty Simon

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Carpet Diem is the fourth book in the A Tallie Graver Mystery series. This book can be read as a standalone.

This was a great read. I could never guess who the killer was until the very end. Well-crafted mystery, engaging storyline and wonderful characters. I enjoyed the banter between the main character Tallie Graver and Burton, Chief of police. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Highly recommend.

  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Kensington (24 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

Nut Butter: Over 50 Clean and Simple Recipes to Fuel a Healthy Lifestyle – Carolyn Cesario; Julie Sullivan

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Nut Butter is a wonderful cookbook on making delicious nut butter from scratch. Avoiding refined sugars, the authors rely on natural sweeteners, such as honey paired with natural spices.

The recipes in this book are peanut-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. All you need is a food processor to get started.
Health-conscious eaters will find some inspiration in this book.

  • Pages: 176
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (17 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let’s Eat Together – Allison Arevalo

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The Pasta Friday Cookbook offers over 70 recipes and tips on starting your own Pasta Friday tradition, including how to send out invites and setting a limit of people, setting the tone of the gathering — casual, setting a weekly budget, and overall appearance of your home.

Ingredients used in Preparing for Pasta Friday include Dried Pasta, Olive Oil, Salt and Spices( Black Pepper, fresh herbs, chiles), Cheese, and Canned tomatoes.

Another section shows you how to use these recipes to scale up for the crowd. The author offers a variety of pasta shapes and presents guidelines for the reader to follow.

For the 52 dinners in this book, the author presents 52 different recipes that call for 52 pasta shapes. She encourages the reader to use these recipes for friends and family gatherings.

She also recommends three kinds of sauces to accompany the pasta— Tomato-Based Sauces, Meat-Based Sauces, and Cream-Based Sauces.

The recipes are categorized according to the four seasons of the years. Summer pasta recipes include Bucatini with summer corn and Pancetta, Crispy Casarecce with Tuna, Tomatoes, and Arugula. Each recipe is accompanied by the pasta shapes, wine pairing suggestion, and a side dish.

Other recipes include extras such as Homemade Breadcrumbs, Homemade Croutons, and Salsa Verde.

This cookbook has a great selection of recipes with ingredients that are easy to find. Would recommend.

  • Pages: 176
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing ( 17 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

When I Got Out – Peter Seth

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When I Got Out is a realistic account of a former inmate named Larry Ingber who’s been given a new lease of life after being incarcerated for forty years.

Before they passed, Larry’s parents left him a small fortune he could use to start life in the event of his release. His parents left his money in the trust of their family lawyer.

When he’s eventually released and assigned a parole officer named Kenneth Fusco, who he’s to report to for five years. He finally gets a job at the offices of Clemency USA, a human rights organization. There, he meets Kelly Mott, a young woman who runs the Gateway Program, which helps ex-cons adjust to life outside prison.

With help from Kelly, soon Larry is able to settle into his new life and surroundings. Kelly helps him shop for his new place and even invites him to her home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family.

In no time, he’s making new friends (which almost cost him in the short run when he confides in one of his new friends) and even starts dating.

When he discovers that his lawyer has stolen the money his parents left him, he almost loses it. Frantic, he tries to locate his lawyer, Lester Mantell, but Lester’s in the wind. He enlists the help of law enforcement but they appear to have reached a dead end.

To top it all off, he gets laid off and now he has no money to fend for himself and pay rent. Besides, he’s barely getting by with the little money he makes working in a Nautical antique shop. Larry realizes he has to track Lester down himself.

  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: The Story Plant (17 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

Play Dead – Anne Penketh

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In this third book in the DI Sam Clayton series, a cellist is found dead in her home under mysterious circumstances.

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When a woman is found dead in her home, impaled by her own cello, DI Sam Clayton from Anglian Constabulary and his team, DS Julie Everett, DC Dave Bullard team are called in to investigate. The victim was a member of the Norwich Festival Orchestra.
Soon after they start questioning suspects, one of the suspects, Mike Proctor, is found slumped under the piano lid in his home. He’s been poisoned and left for dead. Luckily he survives.

Mike was a previous conductor who got voted out by his colleagues from the orchestra because he fired two members due to tardiness and ineptitude.

Then, a slightly unconnected case regarding the mysterious death of a trumpeter in the middle of a concert a few weeks ago causes DC Clayton’s superior, DCI Bligh to reopen the case.

When another body turns up—a violinist and a member of the orchestra—strangled with a string from his own instrument, the detectives must figure out if these incidents are related and establish a connection between the orchestra members.

  • Publisher: Joffe Books ( 5 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

The Tricycle Way: How to Stop Racing through Life and Start Enjoying the Ride – Sanjog Aul

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This book is filled with inspiration that will help the reader slow down and enjoy the ride.
Using an analogy of a tricycle, the author guides you on assembling a tricycle using the right mindset as the tool. I would recommend to everyone.

  • Publisher: CTN Publising (3 January 2019)
Posted in Book Review

Pinky’s Fair Day – Valeri Gorbachev

pinky.pngThe country fair is coming to town and everyone is busy with preparations.

When Pinky the Pig learns that his friends, the Hedgehog brothers did a good paint job for Mrs. Raccoon and she called them great helpers, Pinky sets out to prove that he’s a great helper.

And so he goes around offering to help his mates and asking them if he’s a great helper—Mrs Sheep 🐑 who’s putting up flags for decoration, Mr Goat 🐐the Carpenter.

But instead of helping out Pinky gets entangled in Mrs. Sheep’s nets and rocks in one of Mr Goat’s chairs instead of helping out. They both tell him he’s not a good helper.

Then he goes to Mr. Boar 🐗 the potter and asks if he could help. Mr. Boar asks him to load the pots he’s making for the fair into his cart. While hauling the pots to the cart, Pinky accidentally drops the pots smashing them to smithereens.

Furious, Mr. Boar tells Pinky he doesn’t need his help anymore. Pinky apologizes and runs off to find someone who would appreciate his help.

He meets Mrs. Crow and Mrs. Owl 🦉 who are in a hurry to get to the fair. They ask Pinky to sweep the floor while they bake dumplings for the fair🥟. Before he sets to work, Pinky asks them if would call him a great helper if he did his work well. “Of course we will”, they both reply.

No sooner does Pinky starts sweeping does he spin dust all over Mrs. Crow and Mrs. Owl. Like the others, they scream at him saying they don’t need his help anymore. Once again, Pinky apologizes saying “I did my best”.

Pinky feels sad because nobody calls him a great helper and nobody needs him.
Just then, Cat and Dog who happened to be nearby overhear him and promise to call him a great helper if he helps them.

So they ask Pinky to give them a boost while they pick apples 🍎 from an apple tree in someone’s yard. Pinky thinks it’s wrong because the apples are not theirs. Moreover, he’s ripped his trousers while helping them.

Cat and Dog then offer him a change of clothes from the Traveling Theater wagon passing by. Cat and Dog ambush the wagon, tie up the puppeteers, Duck and Donkey. Then they make a fast getaway with the wagon. Pinky calls out for help and then offers to help untie the puppeteers. They are suffused with gratitude.

Pinky asks them if this means he’s a great helper to which they reply that he is. Excited, Pinky dashes off to find the Hedgehog brothers to share the news.

Beautiful story with lovely illustrations. Would recommend to kids.

  • Pages: 40
  • Publisher: Star Bright Books (25 May 2019)
Posted in Book Review

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee – Beth Vrabel

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The Humiliation of Pipi McGee is an account of the life of a middle school girl who with help from her best friend, Tasha Martins, decides to redeem herself and set things right before starting high school.

We follow her as she navigates her last year in middle school, trying to stay out of trouble. An entertaining read with relatable characters. Would recommend to children and young adults.

  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (17 Sept 2019)

Available on Amazon