Day: April 5, 2013

Review: “Don’t Tell Anyone” by Laurie Boris

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Liza Trager Stanhope faces a crisis when her mother-in-law, Estelle is diagnosed with breast cancer. When she and her husband learn that Estelle has known of the cancer for five years and has refused to see a doctor, and worse, that now that it is known, is reluctant to take the necessary treatments, all the ills of their relationship also come out into the open.

In Don’t Tell Anyone, Laurie Boris explores the intricacies of human relationships in a way that is both educational and entertaining. A frank discussion of the ‘forbidden’ topics; the things that are either never spoken of, or that are reduced to initials – like, the Big ‘C’ – is handled in a way that makes it easier to accept.

Boris had created a cast of characters that readers can identify with; from the fiercely independent Liza to the obstinate, but fearful Estelle; and moreover, care about. Raw human emotions are on display, seen through the eyes and thoughts of the characters themselves. This is not a ‘preachy’ story. But, it delivers a powerful message nonetheless, which is what an expertly written novel should do. The message delivered, most of all, is the power of the human spirit. Kudos to Laurie Boris for a story well told.

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Review: “Seized” by Lynne Cantwell

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Naomi Witherspoon, after graduating from law school and getting a job with a large law firm in Denver, decides she’d rather be a mediator rather than a litigator. She finds, to her surprise, that she’s really good at it, too, and has a string of successful mediations to back her up. Her former law school classmate, and fellow lawyer at the firm, Brock Holt, asks her to marry him. So, what can go wrong?

She soon finds out, when she starts having dreams about a white buffalo calf that bows to her, and in the dreams there’s a mysterious woman, the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman. When the woman speaks to her, and informs her that she is the Chosen One, her troubles begin. Naomi finds herself caught between what appears to be a materialistic money-grabbing scheme by one of her firm’s clients and her affection for a Native American man who is trying to protect sacred ground. Strange appearances begin to occur, not just in her dreams, but in reality.

What, she desperately wants to know, has she been chosen for?  When she learns that she is the one chosen to mediate a war between the gods, her life takes a complete left turn.

Lynne Cantwell’s Seized is a novel that weaves fantasy, religion, and reality into a pastiche that will seize your imagination and keep you turning pages until you find out what’s going on. Deft dialogue and narration, infused with a bit of humor, make this a must-read, and, not just for lovers of fantasy. Cantwell will have you questioning your basic beliefs as you root for Naomi during her quest to forestall Armageddon.  A great book, the first in the Pipe Woman Chronicle series, and a definite five stars.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

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This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Color. The objective is to share a photo, or gallery of photos, where color takes center stage.

Here’s my offering:

A spot of red nestled in green leaves with a gray-brown background.
A spot of red nestled in green leaves with a gray-brown background.
The golden glow of the rising sun on the dark blue water of Chesapeake Bay.
The golden glow of the rising sun on the dark blue water of Chesapeake Bay.
A bright blue sky frames the pastel shades of foliage and birds' nests in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.
A bright blue sky frames the pastel shades of foliage and birds’ nests in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.
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Cooking With Nancy N. Wilson

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Cookbook author Nancy N. Wilson
Cookbook author Nancy N. Wilson

Cookbook author, Nancy N. Wilson, has just the thing for the person who wants to make the right impression when preparing a meal for company, or just for the family.  Following are some of Nancy’s books with links for those who want to improve their culinary skills.

DINNER – 55 Easy Recipes (Volume I – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/DINNER-Recipes-Legacy-Series-ebook/dp/B0086IJ63U

 

This is a MUST HAVE cookbook for all busy moms and dads who want to feed their families well. Dinner-55 Easy Recipes 2

This first volume in the Mama’s Legacy Series includes some of my personal favorites among the hundreds of recipes that I have collected over the years. Even though I was married for the first 20 years of my children’s lives, I always had to work – so there was never a lot of extra time for cooking.  As a result, I was always on the lookout for recipes that were easy to prepare in the shortest amount of time possible and at a cost that would allow me to stay within my budget.

I have other recipes that are more complicated, but I wanted to begin with the easier family favorites that met the above criteria. Most of the recipes in this volume range from very easy to easy, with only a few that are slightly more difficult.

Enjoy the collection and jump right in with the easiest to prepare: Balsamic Pork Chops, Carne Asada, Linguini with Clam Sauce, and Baked Mac and Cheese Casserole. Then, try them all! Find the ones you love to prepare and the ones your family enjoys the most. Enjoy this new infusion into your recipe repertoire.

Breakfast and Brunch – 60 Delicious Recipes (Volume II – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Breakfast-Brunch-Delicious-Recipes-ebook/dp/B00866GP0O

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day and this little cookbook is filled with my family’s favorites that I couldn’t wait to share with you! Break&Brunch-cove - 60 Recipes

Breakfast and Brunch, Volume II of the Mama’s Legacy Series is a collection of 60 scrumptiously delicious recipes that you and your family will love. This is a new and updated version of the cookbook with almost twice the number of recipes that were included in the original version.

I have tried to offer a variety of recipes from my collection. The recipes include tasty easy breakfast dishes that can be put together quickly for those busy mornings when everyone is going in a million directions.

There is a great selection of healthy, easy-to-make smoothies for those days when there is no time for a full meal. Or, when you have the time, choose more elaborate offerings that work well for a big Sunday breakfast or a special brunch prepared for friends.

For family-pleasing breakfasts, you will definitely want to try my special “hidden secret” versions of Old-fashioned Pancakes, Yummy Waffles, and Not-so-Traditional French Toast to name a few.

This is a wonderful cookbook filled with breakfast delights that you do not want to miss!

DESSERT – 50 Scrumptious Recipes (Volume III – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Dessert-Scrumptious-Recipes-Legacy-ebook/dp/B0086IJ8QA

Dessert can make an ordinary dinner seem extraordinary!

The choices in Dessert – 50 Scrumptious Recipes,  Volume III in the Mama’s Legacy Series range from the best recipe for America’s favorite cookie, Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies  –  to melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cakes, spectacular puddings, traditional and not-so-traditional pies and a large selection of unique special desserts.
You will find easy dessert ideas in almost every category – chocolate desserts, banana desserts, lunchbox desserts, Christmas desserts, Thanksgiving desserts and even healthy desserts.

Three of the recipes are so easy and wonderful that you will wonder how you lived so long without them: Chocolate Ice Cream Pie, World’s Best Cheesecake, and Floating Island. Try them first! The first two are long-standing favorites in the author’s family for birthday dinners and holiday desserts and the last was one was discovered while working as a corporate consultant in Switzerland.

Desserts-cover3With this cookbook, you will have a cache of wonderful dessert ideas – “sweets” that will please your family today, and can be passed down through the generations for all to enjoy.

 

CHICKEN – 25 Classic Dinners (Volume IV – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Classic-Dinners-Legacy-ebook/dp/B0085F6K4C

This is the perfect collection of classic chicken recipes that every good cook should know how to prepare.

The dishes in Chicken – 25 Classic Dinners, Volume IV in the Mama’s Legacy Series will not only please your family today, but can be passed down through the generations for others to enjoy. In addition to a variety of wonderful traditional recipes, there are a few unique recipes for the busy modern day woman or man who loves to cook and wants to feed his/her family well.

Chicken has always been the primary meat served in our home, so I have tried almost every kind of chicken recipe there is. The only non-chicken recipe in the collection is a bonus – my personal Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing recipe that I couldn’t resist sharing. 

The 25 recipes range from quick and easy pasta dishes to more complicated fare such as Chicken Divan, Chicken Étouffé, and Coq Au Vin. None of them are particularly difficult, but a few require extra time to prepare well.Chicken-cover

You will want to try every recipe because they are all delicious. Happy Cooking!

Mexican Favorites – 21 Traditional Recipes (Volume V – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Favorites-Traditional-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0085F6KT2

The hot spiciness and rich flavors of Mexican Food make it a favorite across the U.S.  Now you can make it at home!

Mexican Favorites – 21 Traditional Recipes,  is Volume V of the Mama’s Legacy’s Cookbook Series is the only ethnic cookbook in the series, but I had to include it because Mexican food is my life-long favorite type of food and these are the best recipes I have found for making authentic dishes at home.

Mexican food was an integral part of my youth and was the only “eating out” experience I knew until I left my small hometown in Southern Arizona to attend college.

The recipes are traditional Mexican food  as commonly prepared in Southern Arizona. There is a little taste of everything from my own Homemade Tacos to Spicy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes to Creamy Margaritas and Flan (a very tasty traditional dessert).
I hope you and your family enjoy the recipes and much as my family does.

SIDE DISH RECIPES (Volume VI – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Mamas-Legacy-Series-ebook/dp/B008IVKMCO

Lean how to conquer the side dish challenge!

 

Creative, well-prepared side-dishes complete the meal.  

When planning a meal, the main dish and the dessert are often fairly easy choices, side dishes are a little more difficult. The tendency is to prepare the same old things meal after meal. This collection of side dish recipes will help you get out of your rut.

The 60 recipes in Side Dishes, Volume VI in the Mama’s Legacy Cookbook Series is filled with quick and easy basic recipes, new ideas for old standbys, plus more complicated recipes that are elegant enough for entertaining. There is something for every occasion – including a few new and unusual dishes that I am sure your family and guests will appreciate. Hopefully, you will find a number of favorites that you will want to prepare often.

The first section is “How To” Instructions on Cooking Rice and Steaming Vegetables.  All the other recipes have been grouped in five categories: Pasta; Potatoes; Rice; Salads, and finally Vegetables and Fruits, which is the largest group. Most of the recipes range from very easy to easy with only a few which take a bit more time and effort.


Use your imagination and have fun mixing and matching the recipes.

SAUCE RECIPES – 60 Tasty Choices (Volume VII – Mama’s Legacy Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Sauce-Recipes-Choices-Legacy-ebook/dp/B008MEI3LO

Often all you need to make a good meal or dessert great is the perfect sauce.

Sauce Recipes, Volume VII in the Mama’s Legacy Series is a special collection of recipes to accompany the other six volumes in the series.

The 50 recipes in this cookbook provide a wide variety of choices in several different categories:

•  Sauces for grilling and roasting meat

•  Sweet dessert sauces

•  Essential classic sauces that every cook should know how to make

•  Specialty sauces that are unique and do not fit into the other categories

•  Sauces for meats and vegetables

•  Sauces for pasta

Most of the sauces are fairly quick and easy to prepare, with the exception of a few that take a little more time and effort (but are so worth it) such as: Hot Caramel Sauce, Hot Fudge Sauce – The Real Deal, Sharon’s Lasagna Sauce, and Classic Hollandaise Sauce.

I encourage you to try each one and find your favorites – first for your family and then, others that are perfect for entertaining. Play with the recipes.

Many of the recipes can be used in a variety of ways – be creative and have a good time!

Get yours today!

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