Monday, March 25, 2013

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza is a very detailed look at canning.  It begins with a short a bullet point intro How to Fit Canning into Your Busy Life and then a short history of canning. There is detailed information on the types of canners, jars, and assorted equipment that makes canning easier. 
It also has techniques and recipes for canning butters, jams and jellies, vegetables, meats, soups and stews, and various other canning projects.

If you are a complete beginner, this book will explain everything you need from preparation through the canning process.  If you are an experienced canner, this book will also be helpful.  I have canned for quite a few years, but I found information I didn’t know, products I didn’t know about, and recipes I had never thought of canning. I make pretty good pickles, but I just may have to try her Sweet Gherkins this summer, and I definitely want to try the Pickled Hot Peppers.

There is something for everyone in this book, but I was especially impressed with her detailed instructions.

Submerged by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Submerged is a tense drama/mystery/thriller that held that tension through most of the story. All of the characters, both good and bad, are believable. The main character is Marcus Taylor, a recovering drug addict and disgraced EMT, working under supervision as a 911 operator. Unfortunately, his boss hates him and is trying to set him up for failure. Marcus takes a frightening 911 call that could destroy him or save him emotionally. There was truly an edge-of-your-seat tension through the book as Marcus tries to help a woman involved in an auto accident. It is also a light romance, mostly focused on both of their troubled pasts. I have to say I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. It held my interest from beginning to end and I would definitely read more books by Cheryl Kaye Tardif. While the end may not have been a total surprise, it was certainly a satisfying ending.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nightsiders by Gary McMahon

I am not going to waste a lot of time on this review because the book was horrible. This book should have a warning for readers concerning the strong language and graphic sexual situations. I got the book for review through NetGally and there definitely was no indication as to how bad it was.   Not only that, it isn't a book, but a short story  Novella (see note below).  I decided early that I wasn't interested in reading this, but then I realized I was almost to the end.  This book was truly horrible and I can't believe that this book would pass for a good horror book these days. Without giving a spoiler, I can only say that the end is just the author giving himself a big kiss. Horrible!

4/9/13- Just received a message from someone upset that I called this trash a short story.  They claim it had more than 10,000 words and was, therefore, a Novella. I didn't count the words, but since it was about a 20 minute read, I considered it a short story.  Novella sounds so nice doesn't it?

4/10/13 Received another hate-filled comment (of course Anonymous) on this review. Also they are claiming a larger word count so it is not a Novella after all.  I guess this author has some friends that are just as vulgar as the book.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Night Blind by Michael W Sherer

Some people have the worst luck and Blake Sanders has the worst.  His lost his son, career, wife, and now one of his only friends. He is also accused of murder.  Although it sounds like he has the life of the Biblical Job, I liked the character of Blake Sanders and especially the friendship he struck with the elderly woman, Midge Babcock. 

When there are several different story lines going at the same time as this story had, I only ask that they smoothly connect at some point in the book.  Night Blind was a little confusing at first because the storylines were so different that I couldn’t imagine how they related. At first it was like reading a book of short stories, all different, and it was little difficult to keep them straight.  There was even a confusing point in which there was mention of an event that turned out not to take place until later in the book. I re-read the that chapter several times before I gave up only to find later in the story where it was explained. 

I thought Night Blind started out as a great story, turned into a good story, but then after traveling down way too many rabbit trails, it turned into an OK story. By the end of the book, honestly, I actually didn’t care much who did what.

I received a review copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review.  I provide a link to to purchase the book, but it is only as a courtesy and I receive no compensation if purchased.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle

I was really looking forward to reading Congo Dawn. I especially enjoy books that are very descriptive of their location and enjoy heart pounding thrillers with a Christian influence. Unfortunately, Congo Dawn was not at all what I expected.

The story was rather slow and drawn out, and I certainly wouldn't call it heart-pounding or edge of your seat suspense. It is actually much more of a romance novel. Even worse, it follows the same type of plot outline used by the typical harlequin romance novels. The story revolves around a woman and man with a past relationship that ended badly and they are now thrown together again. There is rudeness, tension, and plenty of pouting and stomping. In spite of this, they are drawn together. To be honest because of the behavior and "chemistry" between of the two main characters I simply didn't care about them. The only difference is that this, thankfully, is a clean romance.

There are some very good issues of faith that are discussed, especially suffering. The book is very descriptive, but almost too much so. Even the dialog is overly descriptive. For example, "She said firmly" and "He answered harshly...." I could clearly tell by what was said that it was harsh or firm, and I didn't need the author to tell me so.

I received a review copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review.  I provide a link to to purchase the book, but it is only as a courtesy and I receive no compensation if purchased.

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