Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cozy mystery review of A Literal Mess (Allie Cobb Mystery #1) by J.C. Kenney

Title: A Literal Mess (Allie Cobb Mystery #1)  
Author: J.C. Kenney 
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel 
Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Laurie 


The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .

Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.

Determined to clear her beastie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic's ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .


I really liked the storyline, the setting and I loved the clues the author places for you along the story, what I didn’t like was Allie character seemed to be a bit stuck up from time to time and there are times when she goes to questions suspects that he is a bit out of sorts with them. Allie is also instructed to a bit of romance so you get a bit of romantic dialog too, which was great for the first book in the series. If you have never given thought about what goes on behind the scenes of writing a book this story will take you into some of the things that take place during writing. 

I recommend this book for any cozy mystery lover that wants a light read. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cozy Mystery review of Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery #3) by Misty Simon

Title: Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery #3) 
Author: Misty Simon
Source:Netgalley 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Rating:4
Reviewed by: Laurie 





Window of opportunity . . .

Most housecleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she's started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she's standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn't open for business yet—and the man's not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it's going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer's motive. But she'd better be careful, or it'll be curtains for this window cleaner . . .



My first book by this author and I really liked it, it was a bit different read to me as in I have never read a cleaning lady sleuth before so it was quite enjoyable. I liked Tallie she didn’t let anyone stop her from doing what she does best snooping and finding the murder. The author kept me guessing all the way so kudos to her on creating a great mystery.
The only downside is a few of the characters in the story really seems to pick on Tillie and her getting involved with this being the third book this leaves me to wonder if they don’t do it all the time and if they do, this would get my goat.  

This being my first book from the series I never found I was missing anything important enough to have to go back and read the first of the series. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Cookbook review of Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for One-Pan Meals for Any Time of the Day by Lucy Vaserfirer

Title: Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for One-Pan Meals for Any Time of the Day  
Source:Netgalley
Genre: Cooking
Rating:4
Reviewed by: Laurie  




The cast-iron renaissance is heating up, and Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is here to show you how to make the most of these great pans!

Modern cooks are realizing that grandma's had it right when she cooked with the big cast iron skillet. Cast iron has the incredible ability to spread heat quickly and evenly to create a crispy, seared surface that locks in freshness and flavor.

Author Lucy Vaserfirer knows how to work magic on cast iron, and in Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook she shows you how to prepare more than 150 recipes that are definitely not the kind of fares your grandmother cooked up. You'll get to see how to cook up vegetables (something previously thought to not be possible on cast iron); see how cast iron is the perfect vessel for cooking all types of fish and shellfish; and even how you can use your skillet for baking.

Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is loaded with recipes that keep up with specialty diets like paleo and no meat, and even includes unique ways to bring your cast iron directly to the table as a serving vessel. So don't wait, just because your grandmother swore by her cast iron doesn't mean it's boring!




This book works for great for a beginner and an advance cast-iron cook. The first part of the book introduces you to how to care and use your cast-iron then comes the great recipes from breakfast to dessert this cookbook will give you a recipe for every meal.
Let me just say the biscuit recipe alone is totally worth the kindle price that is how amazing they were. I am not a newbie to cast-iron and have backed several different recipes of biscuits in my cast-iron but nothing like the amazing taste of these.  
Recipes are easy to follow the only downside to the books was it just needed more pictures of the finished products. 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Claws for Celebration (Cat Lady Mysteries #3) by Linda Reilly

Title: Cozy Mystery review of Claws for Celebration (Cat Lady Mysteries #3)  
Author: Linda Reilly
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by Laurie  
Rating 5 


Feline deadly this Christmas . . .


Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, celebrates all things Christmas, and few things are more beloved than the town’s annual holiday cookie competition. Lara Caphart, who runs the High Cliff Shelter for Cats with her Aunt Fran, is waiting for the green light for a brand-new category: pet-friendly cookies. But when the woman filling in as a last-minute judge dies after sampling someone’s Santa-themed treat, Lara’s recipe for healthy cat snacks will have to be put on the back burner.

The victim, Gladys Plouffe, was the town’s roundly despised former home economics teacher. The chief suspect is the mother of Lara’s best friend, who was hellbent on walking away with the bake-off’s cash prize. Cryptic clues from beyond the grave only deepen the mystery, pointing to a cat with striking blue eyes—a cat who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lara’s mysterious Ragdoll. As Lara begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse, not even her significant other may be able to stop a perfectly clawful killer from getting away with the purr-fect crime . . . 



Linda Reily creates great characters and edge of your seat mysteries that will keep you coming back for more. I totally love this series and hope it never ends.

Caws for Celebration, is my favorite so far, in the series. I enjoyed the twist of the cookie contest and I really enjoyed how the mystery began, who would have ever thought a library book would be the start of an awesome mystery.


If you love cozy mysteries this series is a must try. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Dump Cake Magic: The No-Bowl, No-Mess Method of Fuss-Free Baking by Anne Schaeffer

Dump Cake Magic: The No-Bowl, No-Mess Method of Fuss-Free Baking 
Author: Anne Schaeffer
Source: NetGalley 
Genre: Cookbook
Length: 128 Pages 
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating 3 




Short on time or just looking for a quick and easy dessert? With no dirty bowls and no tedious mixing time, you can toss together a delicious dessert in just minutes. No wonder dump cakes have skyrocketed in popularity lately--they're perfect for busy bakers. All you have to do is layer your ingredients right in the pan that you are going to use to bake, and pop it in the oven. What comes out is a delicious treat! Dump Cake Magic offers more than 75 creative recipes for tarts, pies, cookies, bars, cakes, and more. Perfect for spur-of-the-moment baking, moist dense cakes like Lemon Blueberry, cobbler-type desserts like Peachy Butter Pecan, or rich brownie creations like Orange Chocolate Truffle are a "piece of cake." Layer upon delightful layer, desserts have never been easier. And clean-up? It's a snap!



 I was really looking forward to this book, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. I did enjoy that each recipe had images and that they walked you through each step, but I didn’t care for the complete image of the featured recipe being at the end of the recipe. I guess I am used to the standard all images of the full recipe being at the beginning of the recipe.  

The majority of the recipes you have to use store-bought cake and cookie mixes and with times being like that are now, I along with many others have quit buying all of the processed foods so I was again left disappointed.

When I review a cookbook or baking book I always at least make one or two recipes. I chose to make the Chocolate Mocha Cake and wasn’t impressed with the taste or texture.


I am sure this book is great for a lot of cooks out there, but it’s just not something I would keep on my cookbook shelf to grab every day. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Cozy mystery review of Death and Daisies (A Magic Garden Mystery #2) by Amanda Flower

Title: Death and Daisies (A Magic Garden Mystery #2) 
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Length: Novel
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating: 4  

Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.

Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland—complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent.

But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach.

The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.




I enjoy the mystery sounding the minister’s death and Fi’s sister being added in the story brought a good hominess to Fi and I enjoyed her continued love interest with the chief inspector, they seem so great together, but I missed the whimsical elements that were in the first book surrounding the garden. You do get a few clues about the mystery of garden in this instilment but the garden was not center of the mystery as it is in the first book.


All, in all, the story is very entertaining I just missed reading and learning more about the garden and the magic it holds in the town and I look forward to the next installment.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by Karyn Gerrard


Title: Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by 
Author: Karyn Gerrard 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical romance 
Length: 
Rating: 5
Sexual: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 



He's as dangerous as he is irresistible...

The heir to his family's fortune, Aidan Wollstonecraft is ready to put his prodigal ways in the past and prove himself worthy of his illustrious name. Going undercover in a factory to expose the wretched working conditions, Aidan believes his noble act will lead him to a better future. Until he's reunited with the sweet beauty who saw him through his darkest days. Cristyn Bevan stirs him like no other woman before. Makes him yearn to claim her, despite the damning curse that dooms any Wollstonecraft wife to an all-too-early death...

To fall for Aidan would be her undoing. Yet, something about the blue-blooded scoundrel draws Cristyn to him like a moth to a deadly flame. Is it a desire to heal him that keeps the lovely nurse close? Or her secret hope that somehow, some way, Aidan can let go of his dark past and see the light—and the love—waiting for him?
 


This book is an emotional roller coaster that will take you into our past and even present working conditions.

First off I want to say kudos to the author for the amount of research that she had to have put into writing this book. People tend to think child labor was thousands of years ago, but it really wasn’t and even in the 1920’s America corporations was still using child labor and even today several countries including China still uses child labor so keep that in mind while you are paying for cheap goods.

I have loved Cristyn’s character since I first meet her, I knew she was a strong willed and minded woman of her time and she just proves this in hers and Aidan’s story.  These two go into horrible working conditions to help those that don’t have the means to help themselves and before you know it they are working together to fight for those less fortunate, this is true romance at its best.

Warning this story is not for the faint of heart if you love kids, but for those of you who buy cheap goods, you really need to read this to find out what real child labor is all about and this is why I look high and low for made in the USA or any country goods that don't have child labor and I will pay more for these goods because of things such as this.


I recommend this to everyone, you need to remember our past and present in child labor and you get a good romance story along with it. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cookbook review of Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker by Nancy S. Hughes



Title: Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Review by Laurie 
Rating: 3



Team up with your Instant Pot (or any other brand of electric pressure cooker) to control or lose weight with the quick, delicious, and waist-conscious recipes of Thinner in an Instant.

There are loads of Instant Pot cookbooks. However, almost all are filled with rich recipes that taste decent but deliver a nasty caloric punch right to your waistline.

Here's a tasty and good-for-you alternative. In Thinner in an Instant, Nancy S. Hughes, one of the most-respected and best-selling cookbook authors in the US on health-related topics, offers up the first and only book that will help you watch or lose weight by cooking with an electric pressure cooker.

Each recipe maxes out at 350 calories per serving and comes with a complete nutritional analysis, including calories, fats, cholesterol, salt, and other information that is important to you if you are a health-savvy or weight-conscious cook—or if someone you cook for needs help losing a few pounds.

These are soul-satisfying dinners that won’t leave you hungry: Beef Burgundy on Sweet Potato Mash, Seafood Gumbo, and Greek Lemon Chicken with Asparagus, to name just a few. Plus, there are delectable, yet lo-cal, desserts, like Upside Down Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake and Lemon-Berry Bread Pudding, to round out the meal.

At last, weight-watching and calorie-conscious cooks and eaters can enjoy the speed, convenience, and ease-of-use of the Instant Pot and its cousins



** spoiler alert **
The nutrition facts for each recipe is great, the recipes are very easy to follow and I also like the tips in the front of the cookbook, but there are only 50 recipes and none of the recipes have images. 

Now, my biggest problem is the sodium content in each recipe, a lot of the recipes has over 500 milligrams of sodium and for someone wanting to watch their sodium intake this something, you’ll have to consider before buying.
If you are new to pressure cooking and you are just concerned about cutting a few calories than this cookbook would really work for you, there are quite a few great recipes from Sandwiches and Wraps, One-Dish Suppers, Main-Courses, Sweets and Desserts and more. 


If you are like me and have way too many cookbooks on hand now and are really watching your sodium intake, I would suggest looking at more cookbooks like this one before you decide to get this one, even if you have to pay a bit more for it. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Title: Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Rating: 4
Reviewed by Laurie 



Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect.

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .



Amish Candy Shop Mystery has become one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series I love the characters and settings.

Amanda Flower is a very talented author. You don’t find many authors that can create different worlds and different characters in different series. Most of the time when you read different series by the same author you’ll read either the same likeness of characters or somehow the storyline will feel like you’ve read it before. This is one reason I love reading books by Amanda Flower because you don’t feel like you read the same book or characters before.


So far, this story is my favorite book in the series, the twist and turns in this mystery had me coming back for more until I was done and shocked as to who done it. Bailey relationship picks up more as she and Aiden get close, but with Bailey’s new job offer we are left with a lot of questions as what is going to happen next, which leaves me with I can’t wait for the next installment. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Health and fitness reference book review of The Healing Powers of Superfoods by Cal Orey


Title: The Healing Powers of Superfoods
Author: Cal Orey
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Health and fitness 
Length: NoveL
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 





Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?

Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt--even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you've always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they're affordable--plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.

With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.

*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried.

*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!

*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.

*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas.

*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed.

Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature--enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!





The Healing Powers of Superfoods, is more of a reference book than a cookbook although you will find quite a few recipes to indulge yourself in during each chapter and a whole chapter of recipes before the end of the book.

Cal Orey takes you through each superfood per chapter and she dives right into each nutrient, history etc of that certain superfood and before the chapter ends she gives you a recipe or two.

You will also find chapters for shelving life of foods, five-day menu plan, and much more. If you are looking for a book to help you figure out what superfood is best for you, this book will do the trick.


There has been new progress with superfoods over the past couple of years and I believe Cal Orey gives you an updated superfood reference book. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Romance Review of Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) by Elizabeth Jordan

Title: Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) 
Genre: Romance
Length: Novel
Source: Purchased at Indie Romance Convention 
Rating- 4
Sexual- 1


Lady Caroline Alton is young, beautiful and in London for her first season. She is excited about her first foray into society, but family secrets seemed to be piling up around Caroline more and more each day. She thought she might discover the great secret in her own life one day, except when she did, she had a feeling that it just might change everything. When she meets Lord Thomas Steele at her home in London, she is immediately intrigued by the handsome, dashing young barrister, who is a friend of her father. Each time she sees him, she becomes more and more aware that he, too, is deeply involved in the secrets that surround her, and she sets out to prove to him that she has the courage to face whatever it is and to stand beside him as he confronts the evil that threatens him.

Thomas, the youngest son of a Marquis, has been fighting an uphill battle against vampires most of his life. London is under attack and Thomas is the captain of the guard of Orion’s Shield, a clandestine group of vampire hunters sanctioned by the Prince Regent himself. Having been attacked and bitten by a beautiful and seductive vampire at a young age, Thomas struggles against the forces of darkness that have never stopped trying to consume him. An ancient and powerful evil has come to England, and a physical battle, as well as a spiritual one, must be waged against it. If the battle is lost, it will leave Regency England vulnerable to hell on earth. And yet in the middle of the fray, two souls try to find their way both to the light and to each other before the darkness destroys whatever happiness they may find.… Can love truly conquer all, or will evil consume them both?



Enthralled is a true romantic gem, I couldn’t wait till my reading time each day so I could dig back into the story.

If you love the older type of vampires that enthralls humans, kills humans, drinks blood, you can kill them by stakes through the heart, you’re bound to enjoy this.

Elizabeth Jordan writes a loving yet harsh world where Lady Caroline and Thomas has to deal with lawlessness vampires and let me just say Lady Caroline is no dismal in distress, nope she knows how to handle herself around them even though she has no clue vampires exist beforehand.

My only reason for not rating it a 5 is the majority of the time I felt like the story was set in modern times by the way they talk to each other, but yet I am very picky so, some of you may never notice this.


I recommend this to anyone that loves action pack clean romance. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell

Title: The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering 
Author: Elizabeth Heiskell
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Length: 368 pages 
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Laurie 


Say “hello” to the modern-day reinterpretation of the best-selling Southern Living cookbook of all time, 1972’s Southern Living Party Cookbook.

This new essential guide to entertaining is divided by occasion, offering a fresh lineup of menus and ideas for every celebratory scenario life serves up from What Can I Bring? Author, Elizabeth Heiskell, In this update to the best-selling book of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ era, Elizabeth’s tell-it-like-it-is voice provides a twist to the classic Southern advice that is a refresher for entertainers of any age or experience. Packed with delicious recipes from the original book like Smoked Salmon Canapes, Hot Cheese Squares, and Brandy Alexanders, the book also includes popular picks from the current pages of Southern Living as well as Elizabeth’s treasured recipe box. The Southern Living Party Cookbook is an entertaining handbook loaded with lifestyle tips and hilarious Heiskell stories, along with lush photography to help you get the look from table setting to plated dish.
 


This cookbook is not only great for entertaining and parties, but it’s also excellent for everyday use.  

Each chapter offers you a different party and at the beginning of the chapter, you get a picture of a decorated table so you can grab some inspirations off of that and then you dig into the recipes for that party. You have parties such as Graduation Coffee, Welcome Tea, Tailgating, Thanksgiving dinner, Garden Club Luncheon, Impress the boss and many more party choices.

Now, as I said this cookbook can also be used every day, but with the majority of these recipes severing 10 and up all you have to do is cut the recipes in half as I did. So, far I have made the Chocolate –Bourbon Pecan Pie and The Cowboy Bean and loved both of them.  

Great images, easy to follow recipes what more can anyone ask for.


Take this from someone who has way too many cookbooks and cooking magazines, this cookbook would be an excellent addition to your ever-growing collection.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

DIY Book Review of She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own by Erika Kotite

Title: She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own 
Author: Erika Kotite 
Genre: Craft Hobbies
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 4  



With She Sheds Style, you'll browse ideas, step-by-step projects, and decorating tips from a variety of creative “she shed” owners—then add your personal style to your own shed!

It's no secret that the she shed revolution is underway and gaining steam. What is a she shed? It's simply any outbuilding that has been renovated, outfitted, redesigned, or otherwise reassigned into service as a refuge from the intense pace of modern life.

Consider it a woman's response to the “man cave” craze. Whether you already have that sought-after shed or are still in the dreaming phase, author Erika Kotite (She Sheds: A Room of Your Own, Cool Springs Press, 2016) will help you on your journey. You'll start by browsing the sheds and shed interiors, which range from modern and eclectic to rustic and shabby chic. Learn what architectural details play into a shed's look and consider how these elements work with your preferred decor.

Once you're charged with inspiration, explore loads of DIY projects and ideas from some of the most creative she shed owners around the world. A variety of front entrance ideas provide inspiration for welcoming guests to your space. Ideas for re-purposing furniture abound, such as transforming an old door into a drop-down potting bench. You can even extend your shed's impact beyond the walls with garden features like stepping stones and string lights. Most projects are shown with detailed, step-by-step photos so you can see exactly how the work is done.

So get started and create your own she shed style! 



This book is great if you have a shed and are looking to spruce it up with a style to be all your own.

I bought a medium size shed a few years back with plans that it would be my garden shed all to only become a place to house my holiday junk and my daughters one day but never happening moving out junk for the past few years and I needed some inspiration so I could work on cleaning it out and creating my garden shed. So, when I noticed this book on Netgalley you know I had to give it a try and it had worked with all of the different styles, colors and simple projects I know this spring I will have my garden shed.


No matter if you looking for craft space, office space, writing space, garden space, or just a place to read your books, this book will help you want to change your shed into something you’ll enjoy for years to come all with the authors simple tips and step by step projects to get you on your way to designing that perfect space. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Death on the Menu (Key West Food Critic Mystery #8) by Lucy Burdette

Title: Death on the Menu (Key West Food Critic Mystery #8)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: NetGalley
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating: 4 


When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case. 

Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom. 

Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu



I requested this one off of Netgally out of a whim and I am glad I did, I really enjoyed the story.

Let me start off saying I have never read anything from this author and this should also tell you I have never read any other books in the series so I was amazed that I never really felt as if I needed to start with the previous books. I do love hitting standalone in series.

 I enjoyed the characters, mystery, and the bit of politics that was added into the mix.  The author puts your imagination to work as you about a treasured Cuban award come up missing during the event. The author also gives you quite a few Cuban recipes in the back of the book for you to try.

I recommend this one to anyone that likes a good Cuba/US relations mystery.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Gardening book review of Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden by Julie Thompson-Adolf (Goodreads Author)

Title: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden 
Genre: Gardening 
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 5




Grow fabulous food and flowers from seeds, then save seeds to make next year's garden even better.

Creating dinner from food you’ve grown provides a fantastic sense of accomplishment. Now, imagine the pleasure of starting plants from seeds, tending them, planting them in your garden, harvesting their fruits, and enjoying a delicious meal or bouquet. But that's not the end of the journey. Now you can turn around and save the best seeds for next year’s garden. Suddenly, you’re self-sufficient; you’ve grown your own garden from seed to seed.

In this book, you'll find the tools you need to become a seed starting and saving champion. Author and gardening expert Julie Thompson-Adolf walks you through every step of the journey, making the entire process a joy. You’ll find hints to encourage stubborn seeds to germinate, lists of varieties to add to your garden, charts for quick growing reference, and simple DIY projects to aid your seed starting and saving adventure. (Learn how to make seed bombs and an indoor seed-starting station.) The extensive plant entries inside cover all the most popular vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Get started with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and melons, or chamomile, cosmos, sweet peas, and poppies—accompanied by beautiful photography from Libby Williams.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener new to seed starting and saving or a brand-new grower, you’ll soon have healthy, productive, beautiful plants for your garden.




Awesome reference from starting seeds to saving seeds book, I for one will be buying this book for my future gardening journey.

When I put in a request for this book I didn’t expect to get approval being a romance book blog but when I see the book in my Netgalley shelf I jumped for joy and I was not disappointed.

I started raised beds for my vegetables a few years back and had figured out how to save several seeds myself and have been pleased with my progress, but as I bring in new vegetables there are some I have no clue how to save the seeds so, I need some kind of reference or help to figure out how I save seeds for them plus, this year I expanded my gardening and bought over 300.00 dollars worth of flowers this summer so I knew I had to do something to save the seeds because I refuse to spend that kind of money each year. So, when I saw this book on Netgalley you know how happy I was to see it on my approved shelf.

Now, for the book review, I really loved how the author starts with simple sowing technique and brings you to save the seeds. No, she does not go into each plant on how to save the seed of that plant but she gives you both methods and she lists the way to save the seeds in each plant reference in the back of the book.

I’ve been direct sowing my seeds because my indoor seeds were a flop the first year, so I am hoping the simple tips will help me try indoor sowing again and succeeded next spring.   

This is a great book for any gardener to have on their shelf.