Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Negative Image by Vicki Delany

  • Author: Vicki Delany
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (Nov 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159058788X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590587881
From Amazon:

As the mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia, shakes off a long hard winter, famous photographer Rudolph Steiner arrives to do a feature on mountain tourism. Steiner is accompanied by his assistant and sexy young wife, but he has another reason for the visit: to reconnect with the woman who left him twenty-five years ago to marry another man.
Twenty-five years ago she was young, beautiful, naïve, and an internationally known supermodel. Today Eliza Winters is no longer young, and definitely not naïve, but still beautiful and married to Trafalgar City Police Sergeant John Winters.
When Steiner is found dead in his luxury hotel room, shot once in the back of the head, suspicion falls upon Eliza. John Winters is forced into the most difficult decision of his life: loyalty to his job or to his wife. As the RCMP dig into the secrets of both Steiner and Eliza, John Winters slowly comes to realize that he doesn’t know the woman to whom he has been married for twenty-five years as well as he thought he did.
Unable to help the Sergeant, Constable Molly Smith has her own troubles: a series of B&Es has the peaceful town in an uproar, her overprotective Mountie boyfriend is fighting with her colleagues, and a vengeful stalker is watching her every move. When tragedy strikes at the heart of her own family, Molly can’t even turn to her mother, Lucky, for help.
My Review:
A review ebook copy was provided to me through Net Galley for the purposes of this review.
It is so refreshing to read a mystery series set in British Columbia.  And Vicki Delany has captured the spirit of the Kootenays in her setting for this series, the fictional town of Trafalgar.  Trafalgar is very similar to Nelson which is a free spirited, environmentally conscious and often refreshingly open town which is beloved by residents and visitors alike.
I was already a fan having read the previous three novels and I own the first two. With each of Ms. Delany's novels in this series we are becoming better acquainted with the town itself, Molly and her family and friends and with Police Sergeant John Winters and his wife Eliza.  Previously, I had admired John Winters but I was disappointed in his behaviour toward his wife in this book (or maybe he was just acting like a typical man).  I had not liked his wife Eliza too much before this novel but with her past laid bare we are finally acquainted with the real Eliza, and I like her, questionable past, faults and all.  Molly is growing up before our eyes as the young police constable faces many challenges, both professional and personal, in this outing.  The inhabitants of Trafalgar are becoming like old friends and I am looking forward to seeing what their next adventure is in the next book in the series.  I like the balance of criminal menace and personal relationships that characterize this series.  Another winner!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Simply Great Breads

  • Author: Daniel Leader
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600852971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600852978

From Amazon:

If bread is the staff of life, then this book by renowned artisanal baker Daniel Leader is every home baker’s must-have cookbook. Featuring an amazing array of  incredible delicacies made with yeast, it’s the perfect combination of easy and sophisticated recipes, with the keys to unlocking basics of working with yeasted doughs. Who can resist a collection of 50 mouthwatering treats, essential recipes for everyone who loves bread? The menu includes must-bake breakfast classics like crumpets and English muffins, and the three irresistible Bs: bagels, brioche, and bialys … timeless favorites such as Parker House rolls, ciabatta, and challah … plus waffles, cider doughnuts, beignets, babka, and monkey bread. Bakers of all skill levels will learn tips and trade secrets from Leader, who has shared his vast knowledge with people around the world.

My Take:  

I am reviewing the ebook provided to me free from Net Galley.  To me, there is nothing better than a wonderful hot piece of fresh bread or a piping hot biscuit slathered with butter.  What a beautiful cookbook.  I am salivating over the pictures and the recipes.  I am going to try the recipe for Ciabatta rolls as soon as possible.  They even have a recipe for Navajo Fry Bread which brings back great memories of the Four Corners for me. Yum...chocolate babka!   Easy to understand instructions for making the recipes.  Daniel Leader has based the recipes upon utilizing a counter top mix with a kneading attachment which I have.  I am impressed with the wide range of breads and buns recipes provided in the book.

Review: Saving CeeCee Honnecutt

  • Author:  Beth Hoffman
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks (Oct 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143118579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143118572
 From the author's website:

Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

While Tootie is busy saving Savannah’s endangered historic homes from the wrecking ball, CeeCee encounters a cast of unforgettable, eccentric characters. From the mysterious Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub under the watchful eyes of a voyeuristic peacock, to Oletta Jones, the all-knowing household cook, to Violene Hobbs, the loud-mouthed widow who entertains a local police officer in her yellow see-through peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

But CeeCee’s view of the world is challenged in ways she could have never imagined: there are secrets to keep, injustices to face, and loyalties to uphold. Just as she begins to find her ballast and experiences a sense of belonging, her newfound joy collides with the long-held fear that her mother’s legacy has left her destined for destruction.

Laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreaking, and written in a pitch-perfect voice, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a spirited Southern tale that explores the intricate frailties and strengths of female relationships while illuminating the journey of a young girl who loses her mother but finds many others.

My Take:
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement.  It was easily one of the most uplifting and joyous books that I had read in a long time.  It is a wonderful book that is suitable for young adults and as well as women of all ages.  It is a book that provides insight into women and young women of all ages.  It shows the best that women can be.  And how important it is that women look out for each other and take joy in each other.  It is a book about deep love between family members as well as the deep love that develops in friendships.  It explores the complex issues that surround mental illness but brings hope and provides understanding of these illnesses.  If you have been waiting to read this book, don't put it off any longer! I had originally read this book from the library but decided to order a copy as I want to keep this book in my permanent collection.

Venezia 2009

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen

  • Author:  Elizabeth Sims and Chef Brian Sonoskus
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449400647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449400644
From Amazon

Product Description

As an early pioneer in the farm-to-fork movement, chef Brian Sonoskus has been creating delicious dishes at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, since it first opened in 2000. And from then on, Tupelo's food has been consistently fresh, made from scratch, sassy, and scrumptious.

Heralding in its own unique style of cuisine representative of the New South, the Tupelo Honey Cafe salutes the love of Southern traditions at the table, but like the people of Asheville, marches to its own drum. The result is a cookbook collection of more than 125 innovative riffs on Southern favorites, illustrated with four-color photographs of the food, restaurant, locals, farmers' markets, and farms, in addition to black-and-white archival photography of Asheville. At Tupelo, grits become Goat Cheese Grits, fried chicken becomes Nutty Fried Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and poached eggs become Eggs with Homemade Crab Cakes and Lemon Hollandaise Sauce.

Capturing the independent and creative spirit of Asheville, Tupelo has garnered praise from the New York Times, Southern Living, and the Food Network, just to name a few.

My Take:

I am reviewing the ebook edition provided by Net Galley.  Wow...I loved it.  What an awesome cookbook.  The cookbook is well laid out. It is filled with interesting tidbits about the restaurant and Asheville.  I want to go there!  Right now!  And have some southern fried chicken! The recipes are easy to follow and well they just sound yummy!  A definite winner!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

  • Author: Chelsea Cain
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (July 29 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312947151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312947156
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm 

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this outstanding thriller, the first in a new series, Cain (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth) puts a fresh spin on a scenario familiar to fans of Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs. When someone starts dumping the bodies of teenage girls around Portland, Ore., after soaking them in tubs of bleach, Archie Sheridan, a police detective addicted to pain killers, turns for help to Gretchen Lowell, an imprisoned serial killer who once tortured him (the big scar on his chest was shaped like a heart). Covering the crimes is reporter Susan Ward, a smart-alecky punk with pink hair and authority issues. The suspense builds as the narrative shifts between Sheridan's new case and his ordeal with Lowell, who in her own way is as memorable a villain as Hannibal Lecter. The damp Portland locale calls to mind the kind of Pacific Northwest darkness associated with Ted Bundy and Kurt Cobain. A vivid literary style lifts this well above the usual run of suspense novels. 200,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Take:

I love Portland and I love a good thriller so as it turns out, I loved this novel as well.  When I first started reading it I was a little undecided but before long the author had drawn me into the story and I was hooked.  A book full of damaged interesting characters set in soggy Portland provided just the right mood for a good story.  And a good story it is with lots of twists and turns that kept the story moving along quickly. I felt for Archie Sheridan as he moved through the book in a fog of prescription drugs.  And I despised mass murderer Gretchen Lowell who continues to shock with her evil brilliance.  I am looking forward to the next two books in the series: Sweetheart and Evil at Heart. Hopefully I won't have nightmares tonight!

Review - Quick Fix Southern

  • Author:  Rebecca Lang
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (Mar 8 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449401104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449401108

From Amazon.CA

Product Description

In Quick-Fix Southern, Rebecca Lang, cookbook author and contributing editor for Southern Living magazine, promises homemade hospitality--Southern style--in 30 minutes or less. Lang dishes up 115 recipes grouped in 10 themes ranging from Rise and Shine breakfasts to Sipping on the Screened Porch beverages, Girls' Night In party pleasers, and Southern Sweets desserts. In addition to photography, the book features cooking and preparation time for the effortless recipes.The ultimate goal of Quick-Fix Southern is to present novice and experienced cooks with authentic homemade dishes reflective of New South cuisine that are delicious, fast, and easy to prepare. From Three Cheese Grits, Peach Yogurt Parfait, and Spiked Lemonade and Lime Mint Juleps to Fried Green Tomatoes and Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan Grits, Benne Seed Sugar Cookies, and Lazy Girl Berry Cobbler, the delectable flavor combinations offered up inside Quick-Fix Southern transition to any setting. So, whether you're cooking up a side for a church potluck or preparing a main course for Sunday dinner or a Sunday spent at a sporting tailgate, Quick-Fix Southern promises to be your go-to guide for every occasion.

About the Author

As a contributing editor for Southern Living, Rebecca Lang is featured in weekly cooking segments on the nationally syndicated show Daytime, which reaches 85 million households. She is a contributing editor for and writes a monthly column, "Girls' Night In," for the site. Her food writing has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Flavors Magazine, Edible Atlanta, and Legacy Magazine. Having taught hundreds of classes, Lang is an accomplished cooking instructor and travels the country teaching classes in cooking schools and to groups as large as 1,200 students.
My Take:

I am reviewing the Adobe Digital Edition provided to me for free from Net Galley.  I am getting so hungry reading these marvelous recipes!!! I have always thought that the food of the south is distinctively wonderful and these quick fix recipes make them so much more easy to enjoy.  At the beginning there are some very important and interesting tips for cooking southern such as how to make your own buttermilk and self rising flour...both helpful because I do not always have these ingredients on hand.  There are recipes for grits, biscuits and even fried green tomatoes!  Yummy...I'm going to have to try these slow cooker boiled peanuts!  And bring on the sweet tea!

Neutrogena Clinical

Try It Free Mail In Rebate (Canada)

I found the coupon for this originally in Flare magazine...I believe it was in the February issue.  You need to purchase the Neutrogena Clinical product and then send in for a rebate so you could be out of pocket for about 2 months.  When I went to London Drugs (western Canada chain) to purchase the kit, the coupons for the rebate were available there as well.  The product I purchased was $60.  I will be rebated the $60, plus the tax and the postage for claiming the rebate.  It is only valid on purchases between January 21st to February 4th.  I am really thrilled with the product so far (and I am obsessed with moisturizers) so even though I will have to wait for my money to be refunded I truly believe this is a great deal!

The Neutrogena site ( also offers a $10 coupon and a money back guarantee.

Free Nice and Easy Foam

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Coloring your hair is fun and worry-free with Nice ‘n Easy. Simply foam in permanent, dimensional hair color with NEW Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam and get tones and highlights with 100% gray coverage — without the drips.
Give it a try and become a Foam fan! To request a coupon for a free box of Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam, just visit this link ( beginning at 12:00 PM EST. They’re giving away 25,000 per day, every day through January 27th.

I tried it yesterday right at 12 PM EST and the site was very busy but I was able to sign up.