Monday, December 28, 2015

Book review: #Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World by Craig Groeschel

#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World

I picked up this book to read last night and could hardly put it down! Every chapter was so relevant and well presented with wisdom from the Lord that I was deeply convicted. The author writes this book with humility and understanding yet with backbone of power from God and His word. This book is a must-read for everyone living today! It is not solely directed to those who seem to be addicted with selfie-taking or even social media. This book targets the reason behind the overwhelmingly-rising trend of selfies and social media and will leave you changed and ready to face life with a better understanding of what JESUS wants of you!!!

We all love the benefits of technology and social media, but even with the incredible upsides, many of us suspect there are unintended negative consequences that are beyond our control. We’ve lost perspective, even perhaps ourselves.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Coloring book review: The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book by Daria Song

The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book

The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book

With the new surge in coloring books for adults, this new one from Korean artist Daria Song is sure to delight! Those who enjoy filling in intricate designs will love all the beautiful and unique patterns on the pages of this coloring book. The Time Chamber also features a fairy who is pictured on every page and who will delight the more fantastical-minded. The only complaint I have about this coloring book would be extremely minor and would be that I didn't find the quality of art in the fairy up to par with the surrounding designs.  However, this coloring book is really well done and will please a variety of users!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in the bestselling Time coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. With her she packs her favorite items, which colorers can find throughout the book’s pages: an owl-feathered pen, a star-scented spray, a time tape measure…even the key to the time chamber itself!

Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.

The Time Chamber features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Review of The Midnight Visitors by Juliet David

The Midnight Visitors

The Midnight Visitorsby 

Friday, December 4, 2015

A review of Faithgirlz Bible, NKJV Nancy Rue (Editor)

Faithgirlz Bible, NKJV

Faithgirlz Bible, NKJV

   This Bible from Zonderkidz is perfect for girls of various ages! I was absolutely delighted with it. From the sturdy hardcover binding to the feminine purple tone of the text inside to the wise notes from Nancy Rue interspersed throughout the Bible, this edition is a wonderful one for your daughter or granddaughter. (or niece or friend....) What I especially loved about this edition is that the Bible text is the tried-and-true New King James which is excellent for young minds as well as our adult brains. :) So often companies will water down the Bible, trying to make it more palatable or understandable to younger minds which are full of video games and abbreviations. However, what they really need is the traditional, inerrant word of God as close to the original Greek and Hebrew text as possible! And NKJV upholds that standard. The only unusual thing about this publication is, besides the tone of the text, is the introduction to each book of the Bible and the little notes here and there which are written with wisdom and care by Nancy Rue. This Bible would be the perfect gift for any young girl in your life! 
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you! 

More about the book: 

A review of 2015 cookbook Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook by Marco Canora

Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook

Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook

This new cookbook is a must-have for every household! It features basic recipes for every kind of bone broth you need to make! With this delightful book, you will no longer have to look broth recipes and methods online and scroll through dozens of ''the best'' ways to make it. Also, you won't have to flip through dozens of your cookbooks to find these recipes. All the recipes are in one concise volume. This book which is published by Pam Krauss books through Crown Publishing, is really pleasing to the eye as well and will make the perfect statement in your kitchen or on your coffee table! I never would have imagined myself saying that about a bone broth cookbook. But here you have it: this book is a must-have. 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

No one has been more responsible for the recent explosion of interest in bone than New York City chef Marco Canora.  After completely revitalizing his health by integrating bone broth into his diet, Marco began to make his nourishing broths available by the cupful to New Yorkers from a small window in his East Village restaurant, drawing sell-out crowds virtually from the beginning. No longer just a building block for soups and sauces, bone broths are now being embraced for their innumerable health benefits, from cultivating a healthier gut to greater resistance to colds and other illnesses.  In Brodo, Marco shares the recipes for his flavorful, nutritious broths and shows how to serve them year round as well as incorporate them into recipes and as a daily health practice.  Perfect for stirring into a broth bowl or a pot of risotto, as a more gentle, supportive alternative to the afternoon caffeine fix, and an immunity and health booster any time, the homey bone broths in Brodo should be a part of every well-stocked pantry.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cookbook review: Happy Cooking: Giada De Laurentiis

Happy Cooking: Giada's Recipes and Tips for Making Every Meal Count...Without Stressing You Out

Happy Cooking: Giada's Recipes and Tips for Making Every Meal Count...Without Stressing You Out

  As an avid cook, you can imagine my excitement every time I discover a newly-published cookbook! This is actually my first from well-known cook and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiis! Having heard much about her personality and recipes, I was greatly looking forward to reading this book. 
   Happy Cooking is all that you expect: it is full of delicious recipes, fabulous photos and, best of makes you feel relaxed and happy about cooking! I know I certainly need a stress-relieving cookbook. Although I do love cooking, it as well as everything else in life tends to stress me out at times. Giada puts the happy back into cooking with this pleasant book! 
    Fans of Giada will be delighted with her presence in this cookbook; there are many pictures of her and her quotes accompany most of her recipes. The photographs of the foods themselves are not always as amazing as other recently published cookbooks I have read and reviewed, but they are still bright and enjoyable. Just not as coffee-table worthy as other cookbooks I own. 
   Personally, I won't be cooking a ton of recipes from this book because of the large amount of (no surprise) pasta meals. I don't eat a lot of pasta yet I was aware of the fact that this is an Italian-based cookbook when I ordered it so I am not complaining! On a good note, this book also has a ton of vegetable and salad recipes and the dessert section is surprisingly small! Overall, I assure you that this book is full of delicious recipes. What especially struck me is that the recipes in this cookbook are not only basic and easy enough for most amateur cooks to master, they will taste complex enough to delight the detailed chef! This cookbook could just become your new all-round favorite!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
More about the book...
    Giada De Laurentiis, one of the most recognizable faces on the Food Network lineup, invites readers to get to know her as never before. The celebrity chef is back with nearly 200 new recipes and helpful advice on everything from hosting a potluck or open house to what to pack along for lunch every day. Drawing on the time-saving tips and healthy eating strategies that keep her functioning at the highest possible level in her roles as working mom, restaurateur, and tv personality, she has assembled a year-round roadmap to vibrant good health and delicious eating. Readers will be inspired to try new ingredients, new wellness practices, and create a wholesome balance between peak nutrition - and the occasional decadent indulgence. Featuring her New Year's cleanse, homemade Christmas gifts, and ideas for every holiday, special occasion, and casual weekend in between, this is Giada’s 365-approach to cooking up a happy life.

REVIEW: KJV Foundation Study Bible 2015 Thomas Nelson publishers


The perfect foundation for Bible study and the Christian life. Build your life on it!The Foundation Study Bible is a thorough, portable, and affordable Bible for students of God's Word at any level. It has the most important helps for basic study, whether you're just beginning or brushing up on essentials.
The KJV foundation study Bible is a large and impressive publication of the Bible. With its shiny dust jacket and hardcover binding, this version is sure to delight all. The text stays true to the traditional authorized version (KJV) but includes study notes at the bottom of every page. You are sure to glean from reading this Bible published by Thomas Nelson publishers. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



This is an unusual children’s book set in the land of Uz. The characters in the story are surprising: a behemoth, a young Job and the people of Uz. Both Spanish-speaking people as well as English-speaking folks who wish to learn Spanish will appreciate that this book is a bilingual story, split into parts, the first in English followed by Spanish. The story is about the people of Uz who are afraid of the behemoth dinosaur because he’s different, and they are scared he will take all their food and water when he lives there as well. As the story progresses, the people learn that sharing, even with such a large, unusual creature, isn’t as bad as it seems as long as everyone shares equally, including the behemoth.
Personally, I don't see the necessity of this book featuring the biblical character Job. For me, that plays with history a bit too much. Not that Job was a man holier than others, but sometimes children's picture books can play down characters in the Bible. This story basically takes a setting, a creature and a character from a portion of the Bible and invents an entirely different story to teach a lesson to children. I am not entirely opposed to this book but neither am I fan of it. 
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

More about the book:
Carvings and fossils of dinosaurs with humans have been seen in various caves around the world. These carvings and fossils have been tested to provide evidence that proves these fossils are not as old as we've been told.

A salted lake was formed in MINUTES in Japan's earthquake in 2011. If it had occurred during the time when the motion picture was not available, science would have said the lake took millions of years to form.

The story and dialogue of this book takes place between people and the behemoth. The behemoth walks to the well to get water and sees his friend Job. Job becomes excited to see him and hugs him. Many villagers want the behemoth out of the village. But at the end, everything changes.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Cup of Dust: a Novel of the Dust Bowl by Susie Finkbeiner

A Cup of Dust: a Novel of the Dust Bowl

A Cup of Dust: a Novel of the Dust Bowl


   A gripping story; believable and heart-wrending, A Cup of Dust is set in Oklahoma, 1935. The authro, Susie Finkbeiner does an extraordinary job of melding fiction with history- the result, a realistic account of a young girl growing up in the difficult time of the dust bowl.  This is such an interesting book for those -like me-who have never studied this difficult time period of the American west. The author brings it vividly to life; as I read this book I felt the pain and burden of the living in such a dying region. Simultaneously, as if that era wasn't hard enough, the author weaves a different tale concerning the young girl Pearl. Your interest will be captured early on in the book as confusing and mysterious characters start coming on the scene and disrupting Pearl Spence's relatively happy life with her loving family. Only reading this book will reveal the truth behind this sweet young girl's existence....From start to finish, author Susie Finkbeiner presents a work which will touch your heart. I especially admire how the themes of love and loyalty were played out- excellent job!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion- thank you!

Where you come from isn’t who you are
Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need—and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.
Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.
Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.
While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl’s voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavyhanded. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart

Book review: Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed by Missy Robertson

Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed

Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed

   I love how I found the Robertson family. Surprisingly, it was not through watching Duck Dynasty (although I have watched several episodes randomly since), but through Sadie Robertson. After discovering her and all that she stands for, I read both books The Duck Commander Family and The Women of Duck Commander followed by A New Season by Al and Lisa Robertson. By the time I had read those books, I was completely amazed by what God had done in this family and fascinated by their faith and strength. It goes without saying that by the time Blessed, Blessed...Blessed was released for publication and consequently reviewing by such fortunate bloggers as I, I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of it! I had already been touched by Missy's gentleness paired with her obvious strength; this book brings both character aspects to light in a whole new way. And what I absolutely love about the book is that Missy doesn't want applause or admiration- she wants Jesus to get all the glory. She is open and candid and humble and I love her the more for it. Moreover, I praise God more for what He does in people's lives! Perhaps you have heard of Missy and Jase's story and that of their daughter Mia....but you will have no idea of the struggles behind their harmonious and close family life until you read their story in Blessed, Blessed....Blessed. After reading this book I was overwhelmed by not only God's goodness in general, but His graciousness to me! I truly am blessed as well, and hope you come away from this book with the same conviction.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you!

Missy Robertson knew that marrying duck-hunting family man Jase Robertson would be an adventure . . . and she was up to the challenge. Their life together was good (even after Jase grew the beard). They had two children, worked hard to help build the thriving Duck Commander business, and loved and served God.

But after a difficult and risky pregnancy, their daughter, Mia, was born with a cleft palate―a serious condition requiring multiple cranial and facial surgeries. As their baby struggled to breathe, and Missy and Jase faced a life that suddenly looked very different than the one they’d planned, they found themselves staring down one of life’s biggest questions: Where is God in all this pain?

This is the Robertsons’ story. It’s for anyone scared and overwhelmed by a problem they can’t fix; anyone lost and searching for a way through. You’ll meet the young girl Mia who captured A&E’s Duck Dynasty viewers’ hearts, and learn how Missy and Jase have raised her and their sons to be faithful, confident, and secure in who they are. You’ll be inspired by how the Robertson family stuck by each other through the hardest times. And you’ll discover that God’s blessings are bigger than you ever dreamed―and there when you need them the most.

Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie by Elias Cairo

Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie
Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie 

   Large and impressive, this slate-toned hardcover cookbook is sure to delight a variety of chefs and adventurous spirits. With the unique design on the cover and the rustic photographs inside, this book is not only great for women but men as well. It would make a perfect Christmas gift for someone this holiday! The book seems to be in depth and detailed, covering a variety of meats from sausage to salami and smoked delicacies and even fermented and dry-cured creations to more comprehensible roast meets and  sides. I was surprised by the amount and wide selection of recipes contained within the large pages of this book! Even included are sides such as english muffins, gravy, salads, and sauces! There is no way any meat lover will be disappointed by this book! 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!

A rigorous exploration of what American charcuterie is today from Portland’s top-notch meat company, featuring in-depth techniques for crafting cured meats, recipes from the company’s two restaurants, and essays revealing the history and personalities behind the brand.

Portland’s Olympia Provisions began as Oregon’s first USDA-certified salumeria, but it has grown into a mini-empire, with two bustling restaurants and charcuterie shipping out daily to all fifty states. In his debut cookbook, salumist and co-owner Elias Cairo dives deep into his distinctly American charcuterie, offering step-by-step recipes for confits, pâtés, sausages, salami, and more. But that is only the beginning. Writer Meredith Erickson takes you beyond cured meat, exploring how Cairo’s proud Greek-American upbringing, Swiss cooking adventures, and intense love affair with the outdoors have all contributed to Olympia Provisions’ singular—and delicious—point of view. With recipes from the restaurants, as well as extensive wine notes and nineteen frankfurter variations, Olympia Provisions redefines what American charcuterie can be.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest: A Boy Named Mu, an African Journey, and You by J. A. Myhre

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest:
A Boy Named Mu, an African Journey, and You by J. A. Myhre
   This delightful and unique chapter book for children is set in a fictional region of Africa. Not only is it fantastical and imaginative, it is also informative as the author knows African culture and daily life firsthand and manages to weaves those truths into this book from the first chapter to the last! Children of all ages will be excited and mesmerized by this fascinating tale about  a ten-year old African boy named Mu. The story is easy to get into since it begins immediately with a twist....on his way to get the daily water supply (a job usually given to girls but forced upon poor Mu by his inconsiderate and unloving great uncle), the boy meets a chameleon, and not only a regular chameleon but a talking one! Since this is in the first chapter, the reader can't help but want to continue this unusual tale! I was pleased with the writing quality of this book. Unlike most contemporary Christian authors, J.A Myhre writes with quality and strength. The vocabulary within this book is excellent which will help expand the minds of your children. The story itself will also invigorate their imagination and spark interesting questions and discussion. 
 I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
More about the book....
Mu, a ten-year-old orphan, has lived his entire life in the heart of Africa. For as long as he can remember he has served in the household of a great-uncle where he is unloved and ignored. In his drudgery-filled life, Mu has little hope of happiness, and little hope that anything will ever change.
But one day, everything does change. On his way to draw water one morning, Mu is astonished when a chameleon greets him by name and announces that they will embark on a quest together. And what a quest it turns out to be! Mu faces danger and finds unexpected allies as they journey through a fascinating and ever-changing landscape.
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest blends magical realism with a compelling story. The exciting story line combines an orphan’s journey to find a home with the plight of child soldiers and the dangers of the Ebola virus and, along the way, highlights universal themes of integrity, loyalty, faith, and love. Written by long-time medical missionary J. A. Myrhe, the artful story is laced with subtle gospel themes and handles cross-cultural issues with grace and sensitivity. Kids will encounter good and evil and learn the truth about hope, happiness, and what it means to be human in this page-turning first book in a new series.
—A page-turning children’s action and adventure story set in a fictional African land
—Blends magical realism and compelling storytelling with gospel themes to draw kids gently into the truth
—Deals with real-life but (seemingly) faraway themes like the plight of orphans, the duties of child soldiers, and the reality of the Ebola virus
—Written by a long-time medical missionary to Africa who handles cross-cultural issues with grace, sensitivity, and love

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, martyr, prophet, spy Student Edition by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer Student Edition: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

   This is a new book from Thomas Nelson about Bonhoeffer, the famous ''pastor, martyr, prophet and spy''. It is specifically focused toward students and thus includes discussion questions and fun facts to help keep younger minds focused. The book is informative and organized; it begins with Bonhoeffer's early life and family and continues from there. I thought it important how clearly the author described the happenings of world war one and the aftermath which led to world war two!

I appreciated how this book was geared towards younger readers yet didn't sacrifice the important facts and lessons of Bonhoeffer's life and work. As an adult, I found the book interesting and informative. In fact, this is my first actual biography about this important figure in history! 
I love studying World War two history, and this book was able to provide me with some new and extremely interesting facts. 
I must admit that for some reason I had a difficult time starting the book; perhaps because it appeared more textbook-ish than it is in reality. However, once I had completed the first couple chapters, it was an exciting journey through the remaining chapters. I am extremely pleased with Thomas Nelson publishers and author Eric Metaxas for providing such a biography as this for students. I hope many will read and study this war and the spiritual battles behind it further!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

What would you do if your faith could cost you your life?

The fascinating story of one of Christianity s most courageous heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is now abridged and adapted for students. This compelling account of Bonhoeffer s remarkable testimony combined with historical, theological, and political elements and enhanced with photos brings the story to life. How did Bonhoeffer become someone who would defend God s truth, even when it was a matter of life and death? How did he endure the hardships that came with his faithfulness? How might we respond similarly to injustices today?

New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas vividly portrays the struggles and faith of Bonhoeffer, a man who had the courage to follow his convictions into Nazi Germany and stand up for the truth of God."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cookbook review: This is Camino

Big and bold, this cookbook from first glance, rightly portrays the restaurant owned by the authors as well as the recipes within the covers of the book. Authors and restaurant owners Russell Moore and Allison Hopelein have created a unique, satisfactory and exciting cuisine built entirely around the rustic and deep flavors of fire cooking. The recipes look amazing, and the photographs do great justice to the flavors and quality of the ideas contained within this cookbook. 

A cookbook about the unique, fire-based cooking approach and ingredient-focused philosophy of Camino restaurant in Oakland, CA, with approximately 100 recipes.
After a visit to Camino, New York Times writer Mark Bittman wrote of head chef Russell Moore, "What's important but is impossible to describe is the strength and utter brilliance of his flavor combinations and the downright simplicity of it all. Moore has a palate that cannot be stopped; everything tastes as if it were created to go with everything seasoning it." Camino is no stranger to this kind of praise--the locally beloved but nationally acclaimed restaurant is known and respected in food and chef circles. Since opening in 2008, Camino has become known for its exciting menu (most of the food is cooked in their fireplace) and the tight-knit community of chefs who love the restaurant. This network is a result of the lavish book release dinner parties that Camino hosts for cookbook releases and has made fans of such food luminaries as Yotam Ottolenghi, Sean Brock, Francis Malman, David Lebovitz, and Deborah Madison. In This is Camino, fundamental cooking skills (including open-fire cooking); unique, ingredient-focused recipes that are both sophisticated and pared-down; and inventive flavor pairings marry with lush photography and a stunning package to produce the new must-have cookbook for Camino's many fans and restaurant book lovers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Just Show Up

Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn

   I read and reviewed Kara Tippett's first book, The Hardest Peace last year and was so impressed by Kara's faith in God. I definitely connected with her through her first book and when I heard that she finally left this earth to be with her savior, I was deeply touched. I felt as if a friend had passed away. Although I feel sadness for her family and friends, I feel joy for Kara that she is now past all that suffering and at peace with her Savior. Reading Kara's words of wisdom makes the reader realize what peace she had. Her words give such a real idea of the beauty of the death of His saints! At the same time, Kara was not detached from this world; she had a family who she felt loathe to leave and she certainly suffered through the pain she felt through all the cancer which eventually took her life. Just Show Up is a book compiled by Kara Tippetts and her close friend Jill Lynn Buteyn. Each chapter in this small but rich paperback provides amazing wisdom and insight on life to the glory of God. I was moved and touched and convicted by this book! You cannot read this book and come away without being changed in at least a little. I loved the practical approach Just Show Up has....Kara, as an invalid and Jill, as a friend of an invalid give wisdom from their hearts on the topic of friendship and being there for your friends. Their words stem from Biblical truths and can only help uplift and lead you to a more God-glorifying life. I highly recommend this book. I received it from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of "The Hardest Peace" and blogged faithfully Cancer was only a part of Kara's story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Read Kara's blog.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of "Falling for Texas," an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Citrus: Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson

Citrus: Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson 

   Citrus....the very mention of that word sets my imagination and taste buds on fire! In a good way. I absolutely love the sweet yet tangy taste all the citrus fruits present. From lemons to clementines...I have tried and been delighted by them all! Needless to say, as a cook I also have fun cooking with these delectable fruits. Orange-glazed chicken, Thai lime-infused beef, pale yellow loaf dripping with lemon syrup.... It was with excitement, then, that I caught sight of this new book from one of my favorite publishers of cookbooks.
The cover of this cookbook alone is enough to capture the interest of the viewer! And as you look through the pages beyond the cover, you will not be disappointed. Photographer Valerie Aikman-Smith has provided stunning picture after another depicting the treats documented within this cookbook. The recipes are easy to make; simple and focusing on the fabulous and unalterable taste of citrus. For easier use, the book is organized per citrus type. Once you have tried every amazing treat in the book, you could even try inventing your own versions by switching up the citrus called for in the recipes!

The only complaint I would have is that there weren't very many meat or poultry recipes in the book. I think there were only 2 chicken recipes and neither featured orange, to my surprise. There were no beef recipes to my disappointment. However, the remainder of this book is still a gem and would make a wonderful coffee table book and/or gift for someone!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
More information on the book below!

A visually stunning collection of 75 inventive, foolproof recipes that highlight the sunny ingredient of citrus, from the ubiquitous lemon, lime, and orange to the more obscure kumquat and yuzu.
A love for all things citrus is chronicled in this elegant collection of recipes that feature every common and exotic type of citrus--from Pixies and Eureka lemons to Valencia oranges and kumquats. Accessible yet sophisticated dishes including Grapefruit and Gin Marmalade, Tangerine Sticky Ribs, and Burnt Sugar Lemon Tart highlight the versatility of their juicy ingredients: zest the skin to make salt, peel the skin and candy it, cut up the flesh and add it to salads or bake it with roast duck. Photographer Victoria Pearson and food stylist and author Valerie Aikman-Smith capture the beauty of citrus at the market, on the plate, and in the colorful citrus groves surrounding Victoria's house. Lushly illustrated, Citrus will entice readers into their kitchens to fully savor winter's bounty.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Methusaleh Project: a novel by Rick Barry

The Methuselah Project
The Methusaleh Project by Rick Barry 

    This novel is a fairly well-written work by author and historian Rick Barry. When I requested it to read and review, I had a vague idea of the book. In fact, my suppositions of the story turned out to be completely wrong. Contrary to my first impression, this novel is not entirely set in world war two time period, but is a contemporary fictional novel! Yet... the story does begin in the 1940s and with the same hero as in the 21st century! Yes, you guessed it. 'Tis an unusual science-fiction-esque book in which the hero never dies and never ages. The main character, American Roger Greene is captured by Germans after a bomb raid he was conducting on Germany. Eventually, a wacko of a German performs an unusual operation on Roger which alters his cells, rendering his cells able to rejuvenate and rebuild. The result? Roger lives on and on...and by the time he, through an exciting and harrowing series of events returns to America in 2015, he still looks about 24. Since there is a girl involved, you can assume there is some romance which I found specifically awkward since the couple can't possibly get married...What girl in her right mind wants to marry an ageless man? Anyway, as you may have guessed I am not a fan of this book. I absolutely love world war two stories, especially biographies but also some historical fiction. However, I draw the line at science fiction! There are so many good stories, why waste time on books such as this? I have read a couple of fantasy books which I found interesting as well as a Christian futuristic which I found fascinating because, well, anything can happen in the future. But to write science fiction about world war two? Nuh uh, folks! Don't do it. I will say one thing: although the author doesn't have the talent of classic authors of the past (such as Jules Verne which makes his 20,000 leagues under the sea passing good), he did have some good ideas for this novel of his which I applaud him for. There were some tense situations which were fun to read. Surprisingly, a second thing I must thank the author for is the sane amount of romance as well as the Christian principles the hero upholds! This alone actually makes this book worth reading over all the overly-romantic Christian novels out there! 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

More about the book...
Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended. 

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed--until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy. 

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success--but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America--just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015--and the world has become an unrecognizable place. 

Katherine Mueller--crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle--offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee? 

Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Monday, September 21, 2015

World War II memoir 'Til We Meet Again by Ray and Betty Whipps

Til We Meet Again: A Memoir of Love and War
    Recently, I have been reading book after book about World War two; biographies, autobiographies...I love all types of works concerning this portion of history! I must say I especially love autobiographies because they have a quality and depth which cannot be met by mere biographers, no matter how talented they may be as writers. Having read autobiographies from a variety of world war two survivors both Christians and atheists I emphasize that the ones from Christians have an amazing aspect which cannot be attempted by the non-believing survivors! Truly, Christian veterans and survivors know to Whom belongs the glory and praise! Til we Meet Again is an absolutely wonderful autobiography by Ray Whipps. I loved how Ray kept the all-important and sustaining aspect of his faith steady through the entire memoir. After reading several books which contained more-than-necessary descriptions of crude language, jokes, etc. during the war it was refreshing to find that 'Til We Meet again is appropriate for many different ages. This book can and indeed ought to be given to readers as young as 10 to read! True, there are some emotionally difficult parts because after all, this is war. But if you deem your child old enough to read of bloodshed and violence of a certain sort, than they will profit much from reading this book.
  Not to overlook the romantic story contained within the pages of this autobiography, I thought Ray and Betty's tale to be a remarkable and beautiful witness of God's mercy and faithfulness in His children's lives! It was such a sweet and wholesome romance. I am ever grateful for accounts such as these and am thankful that Christian veterans such as Ray Whipps took the time to reveal the trials and triumphs of life during World War II!
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

More about the book...
   Ray and Betty Whipps both served in Europe during WWII: Ray as an infantryman under General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris, and Belgium, and Betty as a field nurse in Cherbourg, France. The two met when Betty tended to Ray after he was injured in a mortar blast. Both strong Christians, the two bonded over their shared faith, and as Betty nursed Ray back to health, they fell in love and vowed to marry after the war. However, soon after Ray returned to his unit, he was captured by German forces and held captive in Stalag VII, Germany’s largest prisoner of war camp. It was there that Ray’s faith was put to the ultimate test as he endured the most horrific weeks of his life—weeks marked by brutality, malnutrition, back-breaking labor, and near-constant death. The only thing that kept him alive was the dream of someday reuniting with Betty.

Told in first person from Ray’s perspective, with personal wartime letters from Betty interspersed throughout, ’Til We Meet Again is a sweeping love story set amid the backdrop of WWII. The perfect combination of “in the trenches” battlefield accounts and classic 1940s romance, this memoir reads almost like a novel. It is an epic story of faith, hope, and love, and a nostalgic look back at one of the most memorable periods in American history.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Capture the Moment photographic book review

Capturing the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern Photographer

   Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover!  When I saw the exquisitely beautiful photograph on the front of this book, I knew I had to get my hands on the volume! And I was not disappointed. This quality-bound hardcover book is absolutely filled with beautiful photographs capturing the joys and wonder of childhood as well as other small yet important details of life. Can coffee table books get any better? This book will be sure to delight every person, whether a photographer or not! I am an amateur photographer and I am looking forward to being inspired by the pictures contained within this work of art. All the photographs contained within the pages are all contributed by members of the online community called Clickin Moms. To understand more about the group as well as this new book, read the following; 
The premier online community for female photographers, Clickin Moms presents a photography guide featuring big, bold images coupled with short, focused, prescriptive tips for translating everyday life into stunning works of art.

Clickin Moms is the photography industry's largest social network of female photographers, boasting a booming members-only community of more than 16,000 professional photographers, aspiring professionals, and women passionate about capturing their families' everyday lives. This guide captures the spirit of the community by featuring a compilation of stunning member-contributed images paired with photography tips progressing from elementary to advanced, leaving no skill level unserved. By letting the images dominate and keeping the teaching points short and direct, the book builds on the highly visual appeal that has made the online community so popular. Covering all the bases, including equipment, composition, posing, low light, natural light, black and white, still life, and lifestyle photography, the example shots feature plenty of inspiration for photographing children as well as other beautiful everyday moments. Assignments for experimenting with lighting and shooting locations round out the chapters, providing every photographer with both the inspiration and skills she needs to capture life's beautiful moments as frame-worthy photographic art.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book review: How to tie a tie: a gentleman's guide to getting dressed from Potter publishing

How to Tie a Tie: A Gentleman's Guide to Getting Dressed
    And now you are thinking "Well, this certainly is a change in pace from the usual genre of books you review!'' 
  Well, indeed you are right. But I couldn't pass up this little book when I saw it on the site. Inside the ingenious cover are a host of delightful explanations and pictures; enough to satisfy every gent's fashion needs! I don't know about you, but I don't like to see guys on their smartphones all the time- what they need is a little book such as this one and I really really appreciate the publisher's insight in creating this! I can imagine How To Tie a Tie would make a perfect father's day or birthday....or Christmas gift! The pages are stocked with every kind of tie-tying imaginable or necessary and are sure to satisfy the fashion needs of the man in your life. In fact, he will most certainly be tickled by this book!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!