Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My February Reading List

Here is a list of some of the books I am set to review this month.  What are you reading??

You're Still the One

By Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Bass, Mary Carter

Headlined by New York Times bestselling author Janet Dailey, a compelling collection of four contemporary romance novellas in which couples who were once together—and then broke up—find their way back to each other many years later.

“The Devil and Mr. Chocolate” by Janet Dailey tells of art gallery owner Kitty Hamilton, who is newly engaged to a delicious Belgian chocolatier. But her artist ex-husband, Sebastian is determined to sabotage her plans with an even more tempting indulgence—the irresistible chemistry they still share.
In “The Apple Orchard” by Cathy Lamb, when an injury lands Allie Pelletier in the emergency room, she comes face-to-face with the only man she’s ever truly loved—Dr. Jace Rios. Can Jace mend their wounded past and show Allie they’re destined to be together?
Mary Carter’s “A Kiss before Midnight” introduces Rebecca Ryan, who has never forgotten the magical night she spent in New Orleans with musician Grant Dodge. Now 20 years later, Rebecca is reunited with Grant. Their attraction is as electric as ever—and they have more to catch up on than either imagined.
In “Romeo & Juliet…and Jane” by Elizabeth Bass, veterinarian Jane Canfield’s first love, Roy McGillum returns to town, and memories of their high school performance as Romeo and Juliet—and their real-life romance—come rushing back.

Like Bug Juice on a Burger
By Julie Sterngerg


I hate camp. I just hate it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Being here is worse than bug juice on a burger. Or homework on Thanksgiving. Or water seeping into my shoes. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck, but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises and that growing up is full of belly flops.

The Cassoulet Saved our Marriage:
True Tales of Food, Family & How We Learn to Eat

edited by Caroline M. Grant, Lisa Catherine Harper


The oysters they ate together the first night in their new city. The chicken Milanese she learned to cook after weight-loss surgery. The cassoulet that both anchors and rebuilds their crumbling marriage.
From the $6 peach to boxed macaroni and cheese, food is never just about what we eat. It is the fuel for our life stories. The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage is an anthology of original essays about how we learn (and relearn) to eat, and how pivotal food is beyond the table. Without mantras or manifestos, twenty-nine writers serve up sharp, sweet, and candid memories; salty irreverence; and delicious original recipes.
You will recognize yourself in these stories. These writers, journalists, and chefs are also parents, husbands, wives, children, and caregivers-just like us. They let you see behind the scenes into the kitchens (and shopping carts) of real American families. With crisp honesty, they articulate for us how food-in our culture, in our lives, and in our families-is sometimes as simple as a pasta sauce, or as complex as cassoulet. The true gift of these essays is that they give voice to our own innermost thoughts and questions. Who hasn't considered the ethics of not eating meat, or eating meat again? We all mull over fat, calories, GMOs, and whether to shop at big-box stores or farmers' markets. We celebrate and grieve with food, and we wonder what to do when food becomes the enemy. With reassuring candor, these writers show that it's never too late-and easier than we think-to change what we serve on our tables every day.

Princess Addison Gets ANGRY

Written by Molly Martin
Illustrated by Melanie Florian


Princess Addison is used to getting whatever she wants. But when it starts raining and she can't go outside with her dogs, she gets very angry. Princess Addison becomes Princess Angry and must learn how to deal with her emotions.

From the Princess Heart series. For ages 2-6. The Princess Heart series offers charming, relatable stories that help a child identify and deal with emotions. Fresh art and adorable princess characters will fill every heart with happiness!

* Perfect for teaching how to deal with different emotions
* Different princess character in each story offers variation to the series
* Universal topic that girls can relate to: every girl wants to be a princess; young children experience these common emotions (anger, happiness, sadness, and fear).

Every Day is a New Shade of Blue:
Comfort for Dark Days from Psalm 23

By David Roper
Many people live each day overwhelmed with anxiety and fear—afraid of what has happened in the past, unable to deal with the present, and anxious about the future. Finding a sense of peace and direction can seem hopeless, especially when your heart is troubled.
Every Day Is a New Shade of Blue offers wisdom from Psalm 23 to strengthen your faith and encourage your heart. Focusing on the Shepherd and sheep relationship and drawing from the well of his own experience, author David Roper shares biblical insights and timely quotes that reveal the heart of God as the Good Shepherd.
Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of trusting God to provide for you, guide you, and protect you. Discover how you can put your trust in God, develop an attitude of contentment, and experience a sense of well-being under His watchful care.

There's a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse

By Jessie Clemence


There’s no doubt about it! Motherhood changes your life—mentally, emotionally, and physically. “So if you’re feeling inadequate for the job, join the crowd!” says Jessie Clemence. “No one is adequate! We all need to humbly seek God’s wisdom and blessings to raise these children.”
There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse creatively expresses many parenting issues faced by moms and offers encouragement to help you on your journey. You’ll enjoy Clemence’s sense of humor and casual tone as she explores God’s perspective on motherhood and also shares her personal experiences as a mother of two. Not only will you find practical insights and biblical wisdom, but you’ll also find a funny quiz, interesting interviews with moms, study questions, and more.
Reminding you to rely on God to help you display humility, patience, and love, Clemence says, “Thanks to God’s grace, I have far more patience than I ever knew existed. And you, too, can have this blessing.  May God teach you about His patience as He continues to teach me.”

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Review

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Jamie Ford

My Thoughts:  I review books and receive most of them free for review but I actually purchased this book full price for my Nook. I was disappointed.  I had been on a blah book reading run and really wanted to read something good. The storyline was good.  The writing style lacked though.  I did read it through though and toward the end did pick up and become more enjoyable.  Personally though, I would recommend using your hard earned money on something a little more entertaining.  If I was asked directly by a friend what I thought of this book I would say – It is fair, though not my "cup o' tea".

Publisher’s Synopsis:  In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

Soup of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year

Kate McMillan (Author), Erin Kunkel (Photographer)
My Thoughts: As a fulltime working mom of six I have become a pro at tweaking my recipes to match my measly grocery budget. Over the years I have come up with some creative ways to stretch my grocery budget, most of which include a casserole, soup or stew. This recipe book from Williams-Sonoma is right up my alley! I am a seasoned mommy chef/cook so I absolutely love using recipe ideas to conjure up my own creations. This book has some terrific inspiration. Whether you are a strict recipe follower or a creator like me you will definitely enjoy this book. It will become your go to resource when you are craving some comfort food. Highly recommended. Five Stars

Publisher’s Synopsis: Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day offers a tantalizing collection of 365 soup recipes: one for each day of the year. Colorful calendars at the beginning of each chapter offer an at-a-glance view of the dishes best suited for the ingredients, occasions, and typical weather of the month. From January to December, you’ll find a seasonal soup that will satisfy any craving, and match any meal ranging from a quick weeknight supper to an elegant dinner party. A handful of the recipes are even appropriate for the holiday table, while others are perfect for using up a leftover roast or chicken. Notes accompanying each recipe offer ideas for ingredient variations, garnishes, and other helpful tips. All of the soups can be dressed up or dressed down; served in rustic earthenware mugs or on heirloom china; garnished with a flourish of fried herbs or dollop of pesto, or stripped down to the bare, tasty essentials—the possibilities are endless, but always delicious.

Whether it’s a hearty beef stew suited for a chilly winter evening or a cool tomato gazpacho perfect for a hot summer day, the wealth of simple and delicious recipes and beautiful full-color photography will satisfy any soup-lover’s craving throughout the year. Soup of the Day is also available as a digital edition on the iBookstore.

Disclosure: I viewed this e-book free from the publisher through Netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.