Monday, December 26, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Featured Book: Tires Optional by Rick Reale



Tires OptionalIn 1963, unable to sell his ‘55 Buick for the then exorbitant price of $25.00, Rick and two young friends set off in the road tank for a 6,000 mile cross country and back road trip. Their combined wealth was $325.00.

The first 3000 miles was driven in 58 hours, despite being slowed down by collecting a few speeding tickets, going to a police station at 3 a.m. to pay a $34.00 fine, getting lost in St. Louis for two hours, stopping for an oil change, and attending mass on Sunday morning.

Life was good.

Four porthole Buick Roadmasters. ‘57 T-Birds. GTO’s, Barracudas and Buick Wildcat convertibles. These were the trusty inhabitants of Rick’s automotive world. Even a ’41 Packard Clipper sedan with a hood as long as most people’s driveways.

The list of splendid -- and some not so splendid -- cars that Rick has owned goes on and on, and Rick has a story for each of them.

Tires Optional brings back the days when a good car cost you less than a hundred bucks, drain oil was ten cents a quart, and a gallon of gas was a mere two bits. If the car had a radio, you were listening to Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. America was strong and was respected, and we made cars that didn’t sound like a Campbell’s soup can when you tapped the hood.








About the author:

Rick Reale is a former educator who turned tradesman and fulfilled the spirit of art and craftsmanship through colors and decoration. His hobby of automotive interests provided him endless opportunities to study the history of mechanical transportation and experience firsthand many of these wheeled wonders. Ironically, he has spent the last fifty years with a great lady who hates car talk, but who quietly has put up with him and his antics while working full time and raising four accomplished offspring.




Monday, December 19, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, December 18, 2011

Featured Book: When I Was a Child by T.L. Needham



When I Was a Child: Based on a true story of love, death, and survival on the Kansas prairieOn Ash Wednesday, 1926, a young couple, Alex and Theresa, left their six children home on the farm. They drove through heavy rains to attend Mass in town. That’s when the temperature dropped fast, and the heavy rain became a snowy windswept blizzard. Only one of them would survive that night. The terrible loss upended the lives of this working-class family in ways no one could have expected. Through it all, the ironclad bonds of love held them together as they endured the Great Depression and an unceasing string of trials, losses, and hardships. Based on actual events, When I Was a Child documents the inner strength, courage, and sheer grit that steadied the couple’s children through loss, economic crises, tornados, dust storms and war. Focusing on the extraordinary life of Louis Pfeifer, this vividly rendered book juxtaposes vignettes of a tragic past—the loss of a mother, father, and grandmother—against Louis’s harrowing experiences as an 82nd Airborne paratrooper and prisoner of war during World War II. What emerges is an inspirational story of love and family bonds as Louis and his siblings grow up to become devoted, successful parents—despite all odds. Powerful, honest, and unflinching, When I Was a Child is about the suffering that life inflicts—and the bravery that gets us to the other side, becoming much wiser and stronger along the way.








About the author:

T. L. Needham, a native of Kansas City, grew up with the tales of survival of his mother’s family, who endured life during the 1920s and 1930s in western Kansas. His publishing background is extensive. Needham published Pesky Poems, a collection, in 2008. He is the author of Winning and Keeping Relocation Business. Needham also founded and wrote for Relocation/Realty UPDATE news magazine during the 1980s and 90s, and was publisher of Kansas City Parent magazine. Needham was a national speaker and trainer on corporate relocation and real estate issues two decades. He lives in Illinois.




Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, December 11, 2011

Featured Book: A Doctor's Journey by Frederic A. Mendelsohn M.D.



A Doctor's Journey: A Collection of MemoirsPracticing neurologist Frederic A. Mendelsohn takes you on an insider’s journey through the sometimes startling landscape of American medicine today. Inspired by his own encounters during thirty-five years of clinical practice, Mendelsohn’s stories range from the tragic to the droll, but each speaks in some way to the incredible strength of the human spirit. Here’s a taste of the remarkable stories in A Doctor’s Journey: “Searching for Salvation” – A teenage boy is seriously injured in a boating accident, but the effects of his accident are even greater on the boy who injured him. “Casanova Complex” – A gifted surgeon who looks like Tom Cruise – “if Tom Cruise were on steroids” – gets an unexpected fifteen minutes of fame while romping with a hospital nurse. “Wally the Whale” – A tale about several epileptic patients, but mostly about Wally, an unforgettable character who tries to murder the good doctor. “Angela's Angel” – A young woman, critically injured in a motor vehicle accident, makes a miraculous recovery, but the infant daughter of her angelic sister – who has been part of that recovery -- suffers a heartbreaking medical tragedy of her own. “Mambo Mendez” – Part confessional, part memoir, part introduction to the author’s musical heritage, this story shows the struggle of blending family life with the rigors of a medical practice. Mendelsohn also explores the notion that a strong background in Debussy, Ravel and Satie may do as much to prompt the mental creativity and flexibility essential to successful doctoring as does a comprehensive training in phrenic nerves and conversion disorders.



About the author:


Frederic A. Mendelsohn attended undergraduate school on a music scholarship before he entered medical school. He now practices neurology in Suffolk County, New York, and is an adjunct clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology at Stonybrook University Medical School. He is also a professional artist. Dr. Mendelsohn is married and has three sons and three grandchildren.




Monday, December 5, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)










Sunday, December 4, 2011

Featured Book: American Due Process by Dr. Paul A. Jones



American Due ProcessWe need due process to prevent the conviction of innocent people, but when due process is used as a gimmick by the guilty to obstruct justice, we have to take a stand. When due process is used to create endless delays and spurious appeals, we have to take a stand.

After seeing so many of those who were factually guilty manipulate the current criminal justice system to avoid or minimize their punishment, Dr. Paul Jones realized changes needed to be made in order for there to be true and equal justice for all.

Private defense attorneys, for instance, should be a thing of the past, except in civil cases. Otherwise, there are two standards of justice: one for the rich, who can afford high priced representation, one for the poor, who must use a public defender. By eliminating private defense attorneys and using only court appointed public defenders, justice would become equal for all.

In American Due Process, Dr. Jones recommends more than a dozen, well thought out changes, to the criminal justice system, including making changes to the Bill of Rights. It provides a system that will make sure those accused of crimes have their rights protected while those seeking to avoid punishment are less able to manipulate the system unfairly.








About the author:

Dr. Paul A. Jones holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Education Psychology, an M.S. in Clincial Psychology and a Doctor of Divinity in Counseling.

He has worked in mental health institutions in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas as a psychiatric aide and as an educational diagnostician and a counselor in the criminal justice system and in the public school systems.

He likes music, art, weight lifting and auto mechanics, has been married fifty-one years and enjoys spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is also the author of "The Myth of Rehabilitation".




Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, November 27, 2011

Featured Book: My Blood Runs Blue by Stacy Eaton



My Blood Runs BlueOfficer Kristin Greene has always felt that something was missing from her life. Although her job with the Fawn Hollow Township Police Department keeps her busy, she still feels like there is something else out there for her. She soon finds herself investigating a homicide where a young woman has had her throat ripped out. As she begins to dig for the answers, she finds herself thrown into a world she didn’t know ever existed. When the two strong and silent men walk into her life, she finds herself being pulled into a love triangle that has been going on longer then she has been alive. Who are they and why do they keep calling her Calista? Join Kristin as she fights to learn the truth about the recent murder, the two seductive men who have entered into her life and the real truth about herself.




About the author:

The author Stacy Eaton is a police officer and business owner. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children and her dogs, Dakota and Garda. She is an avid photographer and enjoys reading and community service.




Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, November 20, 2011

Featured Book: How to Live the Good Life by Arthur Jackson



How to Live the Good Life: A User's Guide for Modern HumansA note of caution: This is not an easy read. Nor is it for the detached, uninvolved person.

The author invites readers to accompany him on a journey of self-discovery, and provides a road map to boot, rarely presented in such a clear and comprehensive way. The breadth and depth of Arthur Jackson’s knowledge and experience become obvious early on as he presents a plethora of views from well-known and lesser-known philosophers, psychiatrists, psychologists, mathematicians, and others who influenced modern Western ideologies…. This is a compendium of knowledge and insight nonpareil—truly a masterwork!

—Adrienne Juliano, member, Foundation for Mind-Being Research

Arthur Jackson’s book is the product of his 40-year struggle to find a naturalistic alternative to traditional folk religions (like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism) capable of providing comparable emotional support. This effort led to what is now recognized as a Science of Religion and Ethics—a religion of wisdom providing guidance to any person interested in making moral and ethical choices. “I believe that until a concrete science of religion and ethics exists and organizations to apply its findings, humanity will continue to struggle to create these things.”

How to Live the Good Life is a fascinating and eye-opening guide aimed at helping people experience more joy and achieving their full, positive potential.



About the author:

Arthur M. Jackson was born in Oregon and currently resides in San Jose, California.

He holds a BS from Oregon State University and a Master of Education from the University of Oregon.

He has been active in the American Humanist Association for over 40 years and has been serving in various administrative capacities ever since.




Monday, November 14, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, November 13, 2011

Featured Book: When Brooklyn Was Heaven by Stan Levenson



When Brooklyn Was Heaven: A Memoir From Brooklyn to L.A. and Places In-BetweenStan Levenson was a poor, fatherless kid with few aspirations during the Great Depression and World War II – aside from getting into trouble. So it might come as a big surprise that this self-described “goof-off” went on to make an international name for himself helping school districts around the world reap millions of dollars. When Brooklyn Was Heaven lovingly chronicles a 30-year (1931-61) journey through Brooklyn neighborhoods rich in history and culture, the Borscht Belt of the Catskills, small college towns in upstate New York, military duty in the United States Navy, and a lifestyle that crisscrossed a continent and the globe. Through determination and chutzpah, Levenson graduated from one of the roughest vocational high schools in New York City, attended college, earned advanced degrees including a Ph.D., and transformed fundraising in the public schools. But not before playing the lead in a number of memorable misadventures. A vividly detailed portrait of stickball games, scrap-metal drives, Coney Island capers, Catskill mountain highs, college classics, awkward gropes, Naval adventures, L.A. dreaming, and sheer grit. When Brooklyn Was Heaven is a must read for anyone with a New York connection, those who are fascinated by this joyful place, and all others who are intrigued by the places in-between.








About the author:

Fundraising guru Stan Levenson is the author of four books on education, including Big-Time Fundraising for Today’s Schools (Corwin Press, 2007), How to Get Grants and Gifts for the Public Schools (Allyn & Bacon, 2002), Readings in Foreign Languages for the Elementary School (Blaisdell/Ginn) and Exciting Bulletin Board Ideas for Reading and Language Arts (T.S. Denison and Co.). His articles have appeared in American School Board Journal, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, TESOL Quarterly and more. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, a master’s degree in School Administration from U.C.L.A., and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Behavior from United States International University (now Alliant International University) in San Diego. Levenson lives in San Diego with his wife Kay Pantelis. Visit him on the Web at www.stanlevenson.com.




Monday, November 7, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, November 6, 2011

Featured Book: Utopia Texas by Betty Byrd



Utopia TexasAuthor Betty Byrd has seen it all-including drilling her very own oil well! She now brings her unique vision and experience to Utopia Texas, a riveting tale of Brya Harrison, a woman created by chance and circumstance. Part gambler, part geologist, Brya knows that in the West Texas oil country upbringing may not matter, but status is everything. She has worked hard to secure her position, but she finds her plans unravel when she discovers that her daughter, Olivia, is somehow "different," and is forced to face the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time. Drawn into a maelstrom of events fueled by her daughter's indiscretions, Brya sets out to cover each one up-whatever the cost. But will she be able to combat the demons plaguing her daughter as skillfully as she is able to face down her competition in the cutthroat world of big oil?

In this stunning followup to the author's debut novel, Trinity's Daughter, Betty Byrd has woven a brilliant tale of wealth, greed, love, and the pursuit of power-and how one particular woman holds her own in the male-dominated oil business.











About the author:

Betty Byrd is one cat that has truly lived nine lives. The first life was that of a jock, where Betty found herself excelling as a competitive swimmer, field hockey player and cheerleader. Through college, she began to realize that her creativity was too strong to ignore. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a Creative Writing degree, Betty packed up her cowgirl life and headed to Ohio to pursue graduate work at Ohio State University. She put her degree to use quickly when she landed jobs as an editor for The Spectator, Ohio’s largest weekly newspaper, and freelancing for a national men’s magazine. After having some success as a writer, Betty yearned for another creative outlet, that of a performing artist. Blonde locks in tow, she left her mid-west roots for Southern California. Hollywood took a liking to the spunky blonde actress who’s resume includes a role on the television series Gunsmoke, as well as featured roles in numerous films, mini-series, and commercials. Betty took a bow as the curtain closed on her acting career when she decided to take on the hardest challenge yet, that of a mom. Once her daughter was in high school, Betty once again felt that creative itch. This time she picked up a pen and returned to writing. Her first novel titled, Trinity’s Daughter, was well-received as she traveled throughout America on a book tour and was honored back at home in San Diego. She is also a recipient of a first place award for her new novel, Utopia, Texas at the prestigious Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. She is still featured in newspapers, television and radio talk shows, although now as an established author.

Betty Byrd contently lives in San Diego with her husband and German Shepherd, constantly creating and never letting the pen leave the page.

To learn more about Betty Byrd and her upcoming projects and events, visit her on the Web at bettybyrd.com




Monday, October 31, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, October 30, 2011

Featured Book: Lazarus by Jason Akley



LazarusLazarus is much like a literary soap opera. It's non-linear, and in a recurring cycle of vignettes a tragedy is told, a modern version of the Oedipus trilogy of Sophocles. In the interwoven tapestry of four generations, with the setting of Missouri's Ozark Region and New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina serving as background, the tragedy of Lazarus and the Roman family unfolds. His story, counter-pointed with his cousin Jude's, exposes the tragic irony that befalls this family as each character explores how their choices have consequences both for themselves and their children. From different perspectives through time, and through varied styles and formats, including a screenplay adaptation focusing on the "Antigone" of the story, the truth about Lazarus is intricately revealed-the terrible truth, and hope, that haunts his past.




About the author:

Jason Akley is the author of five books. He has a BS degree from Tulane University in physics and mathematical economics. His other writings include two children's books, Sweet Pea and the Bumblebee and The Candlestick, as well as a collection of novellas, Salted with Salt and The Altar of Silence. Both of the children's books were award-winning finalists in the Children's Picture Book category of the National Best Books 2007 Awards, and one was also nominated for the 2008 Evvy Awards. Lazarus was included in the Kirkus newsletter as a best submission of 2010. His sixth book, Crossroads from Damascus, is a collection of stories and poems as yet un-published. Currently, he's working on his seventh book, Rick's Place, and he's enjoying spending time with his wife and two daughters. He hopes to continue engaging readers with thoughtful stories.




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baking by the Books: Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey by Jill O'Connor

I read a lot of cookbooks and cozy mysteries that include yummy recipes for cookies and other baked items and I love to try the recipes (but I can't reprint them for obvious copyright reasons so you'll have to pick up the book if you want to try them!) so I've decided to share my results in a new post series called Baking by the Books. I'd love your feedback!



Chocolate Chunk Cookies 
from Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey by Jill O'Connor 


I picked this up in Kindle edition as a loan at Lendle and flipped through it on the Kindle app on my iPad.  It had some really yummy looking recipes and I copied out several that I want to try.  This was the one that called to me first.

These are almost like the classic Nestle Tollhouse cookies, but with chocolate chunks instead of chips.  I'm not sure I'm completely thrilled with the larger chunks as they don't distribute as evenly as chips, but they're still super yummy and very soft and chewy.  They went over well with everyone who tested them for me.  :)



Chocolate Caramel-Pecan Souffle Cake . Cinnamon-Donut Bread Pudding . Double-Crumble Hot Apple Pies . . Giant Coconut Cream Puffs . . . Here's a collection of desserts that gives more than 75 sticky, chewy, messy, gooey reasons to stock up on napkins. In addition to each sugary favorite, the author has included simple techniques and tools to help home cooks recreate each decadent treasure again and again. Sprinkled throughout are tips on using phyllo dough, toasting nuts, and making a heavenly ganache, so every over-the-top treat tastes as irresistible as it sounds. For the serious sweet tooth, pour a tall glass of milk and get ready to bite into all that's Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey! 




Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, October 23, 2011

Featured Book: The Killing Game by J.C. Stevens



The Killing GameThe Killing Game is about a Mob hit man forced out of retirement to kidnap and deliver a government witness but instead has a plan of his own to survive...The Killing Game













About the author:

J.C. Stevens a.k.a. Joe A. Crawford, lives and works in Laramie, Wyoming. He enjoys rock n’ roll, literature and video games. In his other incarnation, he’s also the author of Peering Through the Reality Window and the recently released Rock n’ Roll Supernova




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baking by the Books: Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz

I read a lot of cozy mysteries that include yummy recipes for cookies and other baked items and I love to try the recipes (but I can't reprint them for obvious copyright reasons so you'll have to pick up the book if you want to try them!) so I've decided to share my results in a new post series called Baking by the Books. I'd love your feedback!



Absolute Best Brownies with Dried Cherries
from Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz


I know this is another non-cozy but I picked up David Lebovitz's Ripe for Dessert at the library and had to try his brownie recipe.  His other recipes - not so much for me unless I manage to get some serious Martha Stewart skills ASAP.

Anyway, the cookbook is beautiful with all sorts of fabulous, complicated recipes.  It is not for the average amateur, but is worth a browse just to check out all the gorgeous photos.


The author would probably be horrified by my treatment of his brownie recipe, since I substituted mini chocolate chips for the nuts, and baked in them in (gasp!) mini muffin cups.  Seriously though, how are you supposed to get brownies that contain almost a pound of butter and chocolate yet just 1/4 cup of flour out of a pan without just eating directly out of said pan?  Um, no thank you!  Hence, the single serving mini size which has the sole downside of perhaps having to lick the stuck on brownie reside off the paper - huge sacrifice!  :)

This made about two dozen little brownie bites which were delicious but potent!



David Lebovitz loves fruit. From the richness of a summer blackberry to the mellow sweetness of a juicy mango, fruit inspires and delights this celebrated pastry chef. In Ripe for Dessert, David shares his passion for fruit and his treasure trove of inspired, innovative, and luscious dessert recipes.

These sweets celebrate fruit in all its diverse glory, as David's intensely flavorful and imaginative recipes show off the best of every season and reward every dessert lover's fancy. The seven chapters, with more than 130 recipes in all, are organized by category, with an eye to the seasons. They feature apples, pears, and quince from the fall harvest; citrus and dried fruits from winter; stone fruits and berries for the height of summer; figs and melon for its waning days; and David's signature tropical fruits desserts, which will surprise and delight your sweet tooth year round. 

Such light, elegant dishes as Pomegranate Granita and golden Honey-Poached Pears let the fruits' flavors shine, with minimal fuss or adornment. But David is no spartan. His recipes go all out, with rich cakes and creamy custards, pastries, frozen desserts, and soufflés, accented and enlivened by complex fruit flavors. A luxurious Lemon-Ginger Crème Brûlée puts a tart, fruity twist on a classic sweet, while a Candied Orange and Rosy Rhubarb Sauce raises a perfect, anise-scented Ricotta Cake to a new level of sophistication. For chocolate lovers, David presents pairings that will surprise and satisfy, including Anise-Orange Ice Cream Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce, Pear and Fig Chutney with Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse, and a Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Prunes, Cranberries, and Kumquats in Port. David even offers a fabulous, thirst-quenching Gingery Lemonade. 

With Ripe for Dessert's bounty of easy, user-friendly recipes, you can transform your favorite fruits of every season into dishes that will impress and delight all the dessert lovers in your life.




Monday, October 17, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, October 16, 2011

Featured Book: Russia's Prestige: Historical Architecture by Kashif Parvaiz



Russia's Prestige: Historical ArchitectureSince medieval times, Russian architecture has reflected this powerful nation’s history.

Take the author's journey through time, beginning with the tiny state of Keiven Rus’ and culminating with modern-day Russia, examine the lives of men who devoted everything to transform their dreams into architectural gems and how these structures related to the nation’s state of affairs.

Look across the timeline of Russia’s main historical periods, their evolution and impact on the vision of Russia. The biographies of the architects included in the book enrich the readers experience by letting them get a feel for the environment that feed the architect's genius.

Whether enjoying this book as an easy read or while using it in academics, you are bound to be swept away by the story. Rich, compelling and evocative, this book will enhance your imagination and pique your curiosity in the architecture of Russia.

“Yet, however beautiful the vision drawn up by the words on a page, there is no substitute for the real adventure of Russia unless you visually experience it yourself. Enjoy the trip as much as I have.” - KASHIF PARVAIZ






About the author:  

With advanced degrees in both Architecture and Structural Engineering, his experience in the field of architecture and construction began humbly as a handyman while managing his father’s real estate empire. In 2007, Kashif started his own business, Riyaan Developers, a reputable construction firm located in Brooklyn, New York that handles a variety of full scale residential projects. His hobbies include music, photography, fishing and his vast collection of literature on the study of architecture.




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baking by the Books: The Cake Mix Doctor's 25 Best Birthday Cakes by Anne Byrn

I read a lot of cozy mysteries that include yummy recipes for cookies and other baked items and I love to try the recipes (but I can't reprint them for obvious copyright reasons so you'll have to pick up the book if you want to try them!) so I've decided to share my results in a new post series called Baking by the Books. I'd love your feedback!




Peanut Butter Cake
from The Cake Mix Doctor's 25 Best Birthday Cakes by Anne Byrn


Okay, this isn't from a cozy, but I wanted to share it anyway since they smelled so yummy!  These cupcakes smell exactly like the peanut butter centers in Reese's peanut butter cups but are light and fluffy and delicious.  

You know me, I'm not a mix person at all (chemicals and other foulness) but I got this book from Lendle for my Kindle app on my iPad and figured what the heck.  So, I stocked up on my cake mixes and went to work.  I'm actually quite pleased with the results!  Sure, they're no Martha, but they're a good second.

As a side note, this recipe made 32 cupcakes.   Yeah, I know it was supposed to be a cake, but cupcakes are infinitely cuter and you can't beat the whole single serving thing.



Everyone needs one great, foolproof recipe for a birthday cake—here, from the Cake Mix Doctor, America’s bestselling baking author whose books have sold millions of copies, are 25 of them, plus the perfect frostings and icings.

You won’t believe these cakes came out of a box. By enhancing packaged cake mix with just the right additions—whole milk, a dollop of lemon yogurt, a touch of cinnamon or a teaspoon of cocoa powder—Anne Byrn turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. And it’s so easy. From The Best Red Velvet Cake to a Peanut Butter Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting, Tres Leches Cake Piled High with Strawberries to Anne’s own My Favorite Birthday Cake, there’s a cake here for every taste. Even a Gluten-Free Yellow Birthday Cake, and five recipes for irresistible birthday cupcakes, including Ice Cream Cone Cakes for a memorable children’s party.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Beth's Book Reviews Bookmarks

This is your weekly reminder to enter if you haven't yet.

I wanted to share a little something with my readers so I ordered some bookmarks.  They came out super cute, if I do say so myself.

I'll be giving away one a week to a random reader who enters his or her name in the nifty little form below.

This is an ongoing giveaway so you can enter at any time and you only need to enter once!

The contest is only open to readers with a US mailing address (but it can be a PO Box!)









Sunday, October 9, 2011

Featured Book: Love and Marriage Perspectives by Vince Brendan Vincents




Love and Marriage Perspectives: Strategies and Skills to Consider in Building a Successful Lasting MarriageDespite centuries of searching, the “perfect” marriage still eludes mankind. People marry for different reasons, and have different needs in the context of marriage. However, there are basic key elements to a successful marriage. In this book, you will fine-tune your relationship knowledge in these areas and more: •The nuts and bolts of how to select a spouse •Perspectives on the change of marriage as an institution in light of evolving gender roles •The importance and protocol of effective communication •The roles of passion, intimacy, commitment, and chemistry in maintaining a close relationship •How sexual exclusivity and sexual enjoyment enhance marriage •The ways in which similar and dissimilar personality types impact the success of marriage •How to approach the issue of forgiveness, and learn healthy steps to reconciliation Vince approaches common marital situations with a rare combination of empathy and pragmatism, knowing that husbands and wives are human, and that there are bound to be weaknesses, mistakes, and frailties. Love and Marriage Perspectives is rich in skills, techniques, and strategies to build a solid foundation, and strengthen your relationship.








Vince Vincents has over twenty years of counseling experience. He was a caseworker in a state school and a therapist at a group home. In both capacities, he facilitated individual, family, and group therapies. Vince was also a social worker and a chemical dependency counselor in private and hospital setting where he did crisis, individual, family, and supportive counseling. Prior to writing full time, he was a vocational rehabilitation counselor. As a divorced person after many years of marriage, he brings a balanced perspective by combining his professional and personal experience in marital situations. As an ordained minister, he believes that marriages can be saved through compassion, contrition, forgiveness, and reconciliation.




Friday, October 7, 2011

Baking by the Books: Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke

I read a lot of cozy mysteries that include yummy recipes for cookies and other baked items and I love to try the recipes (but I can't reprint them for obvious copyright reasons so you'll have to pick up the book if you want to try them!) so I've decided to share my results in a new post series called Baking by the Books. I'd love your feedback!



Twin Chocolate Delights
from Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke


These are chocolately little gems ideal for chocolate connoisseurs.  They are made with a 1 teaspoon scoop so they're tiny, but potent, and are perfect with a cup of coffee.  And, due to their itty bitty size the recipe makes a zillion.  I ended up with almost two hundred.  Yup, that's hundred.  Thankfully my friends and family like their chocolate!



Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota's annual Winter Carnival - and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honour of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac - a half-baked idea, in Hannah's opinion. She suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show - sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.Hannah's suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac's limo rolls into town. Turns out America's 'cooking sweetheart' is a bossy, bad-tempered, and downright domineering. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp - and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah's famous blueberry muffins.Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar's kitchen crime scene off-limits. She's a baker without an oven - and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah's only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business - by finding the killer herself.




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Featured Book: Abe's Lucky Day by Jill Warren



About the book:

Abe is a homeless man who lives in the alley behind a bakery and winter is coming. What will happen on his lucky day that will change his life?








About the author:

Jill Warren has a B.A. in Psychology and lots of experience reading books to children. Raising a son that loved his mother's bedtime tales and books of all kinds inspired her to create uplifting stories for kids and parents to share, at bedtime or anytime. She currently works with autistic preschoolers and resides in New York.