Saturday, June 28, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in Australia by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in Australia is another informative book about the people and places around the world written for young readers. What kind of money would I use to buy something?  Where would I visit, and what would I see? What would I eat, and what games would I play.  Children will love to learn that they have so much in common with other children around the world, and still have many fun differences.

All of the books in this series are entertaining and will appeal to a wide age range. The recommended is age 3 to age 8.  They are written in simple language, but with enough challenging material to appeal to older readers.  I highly recommend this and all of the books in this series.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook by Alexe Van Beuren

I was so please to receive this cookbook for review, and even more please when I realized it was much more than a cookbook. B.T.C. is a story of real people, and a real small town grocer. Their story, both struggles and success, is beautifully written in a just a few pages sprinkled through the book. You will learn about their family, the town, their small-town newspaper, and their employees.  You just can’t help but love this place and these people.

BTC is an old-fashioned grocery store in Water Valley, Mississippi that also provides sandwiches, soups, homemade mayonnaise, and much more. The recipes in the cookbook are by Dixie Grimes, and present an interesting mix of down-home simplicity and rich sophistication.  The recipes are categorized by Breakfast, Soups for Every Season, Salads, Spreads and Sandwich Fixings, Casseroles, Mains, Sides and Southern Sweet Thangs. The recipes that immediately caught my eye are Vetra’s Three-bean Salad, Broccoli Salad, Artichoke and English Pea Au Gratin, and just about all of the soups!

This is not only a wonderful addition to my cookbook shelf, but an interesting story that brought to life the story of Water Valley Mississippi.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Collision, The Battle for Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash

Book Description: The Darracia saga continues with all the key players spread out and searching for answers throughout the solar system. Prince V'sair struggles to hold his fractured kingdom together without help from his family. His stepbrother Zayden is on a vengeful hunt for his evil uncle Staf Nuen. Tulani navigates her two worlds trying to bring them together. Staf Nuen, the orchestrator of the original coup, is making unholy alliances with nefarious new allies. Like the comet zipping across the horizon, all the different factions are heading for a collision course that will test both their faith and power.

My review:

Collision, The Battle for Darracia is a well-written science fiction story that moves quickly and flows smoothly. I will confess I usually don’t read science fiction, so I think that and the fact that I didn’t read the first book, Schism: The Battle For Darracia, may have hindered my enjoyment slightly. I would recommend reading the first book so that you are introduced to all of the main characters and who or what they are! That said, I enjoyed the story and the way it was told. The characters are interesting and the story held my interest all the way to the thrilling end.  Honor, war, families, spirituality, love, and hate are all themes woven into a sailcloth that carries you through this story.

The Flip but Michael Phillip Cash

The Flip, by Michael Phillip Cash, is the story of a young couple, Julie and Brad, trying to supplement their income by flipping houses.  Brad is also a little lost following his military service and isn’t sure what he wants to do with his future. The latest flip is a house that is a little more work than usual due to the age of the house and its invisible inhabitants, two Civil War era ghosts.  There were also some other entities in the home that weren’t very well explained, but they seemed to be more in control of the two ghosts, Gerald and Tessa.

The story does go back in time to explain the lives of the two before they became ghosts.   Tessa was a woman of low moral character in life, and her aggressive attentions toward men continue in her afterlife.  The interaction of the ghosts and the real life couple cause even more strife in their relationship.

This isn’t a terrifying ghost story because it relies heavily on relationships rather than an intense paranormal story. It is a quick and enjoyable read with interesting characters, both alive and dead.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Deadly Distractions, A Stan Turner Mystery by William Manchee

Deadly Distractions is an interesting legal thriller that held my interest to the end. It is an easy read and nothing too deep, but with some interesting characters. 

Each chapter is dedicated to the point of view of two of the main characters, Stan or Paula. Stan is a likeable character, but some of his actions and decisions are terribly na├»ve and frustrating to the reader.  While Stan is likeable, Paula isn’t quite so nice, but the two together create an interesting story. Stan seems to be in over his head in the legal issues, but he manages to make it all work.

Although Deadly Distractions is my first Stan Turner mystery I never thought I was missing out on some of the story, so it is definitely a stand alone book.  It will, however, make you want to read some of the others.

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