Book Review: Dashing Dish

Posted by Katrina Roets at 10:22 AM

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"The Dashing Dish"is an inspirational cookbook chock-full of healthy, innovative yet simple recipes, most of which are gluten-free, sugar-free, and abundant in whole grains.

Like many of us, twenty-four-year-old author Katie Farrell has struggled with her weight and healthy eating. As a teen she went through yo-yo dieting and was prone to eating disorders. But through God and a passion for food and cooking, she hit upon the formula that would transform her from unhealthy girl to confident woman.

In warm, accessible language and beautiful photographs, Katie shares100 recipes for clean eating. Every recipe is simple to make and delicious to eat. Katie uses gluten-free oat flour in place of wheat flour, cottage cheese and yogurt in place of fat, and Stevia in place of sugar. Her tips are practical, her tone inspirational. Anyone looking to eat better for the rest of their life will want to own this book."


Okay, my obsession with cookbooks continues with Dashing Dish which is one dashing book. Yes, I know that was cheesy but I'm one tired mama today. I just spent some time going through this cookbook and I'm still drooling just thinking about all of the amazingly delicious looking recipes in this book.
My loves:

  • Pictures - this book is filled with delicious pictures of every recipe. 
  • Healthy - Since this is a clean eating cookbook, these are healthier versions of our favorites!
  • Layout - Easy to use, easy to read.
My dislikes: 
  • Waiting - The boys and I are going to start doing 1 week cooking sessions from different cookbooks, but we won't have the time together until Spring Break...and I want to eat all of the foods now!
Seriously, if you're looking for healthier alternatives to some seriously delicious recipes, don't hesitate to pick up this book. You won't regret it!


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Aoleon The Martian Girl Part 2

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:35 AM

Monday, February 23, 2015

Aoléon and Gilbert receive a special mission from PAX, a wanted criminal and leader of the Martian resistance movement to investigate the Luminon of Mars, who he suspects is planning an invasion of Earth to steal its milk cows. Gilbert has an encounter with the Luminess (the mate of the Luminon) and discovers something strange about her during a procession, and the duo are chased by the Royal Paladin Guard.

At Aoléon’s home, Gilbert meets Aoléon’s family, her sister Una, mother Phobos and father Deimos as well as her overzealous pet Zoot. He is also introduced to Bizwat, a covert operator and Procyon Commando, who uses his Saturn Pizza delivery job as a cover.

Gilbert then gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates. After class, Gilbert and Aoléon get to train in zero-G and Gilbert is treated to a Psi-ball match between Martian Space Academy and Martian Science Academy.

Brent is back with part two of this series and if you loved part one, you're going to love part 2 even more. The story continues to move along and this time, we're introduced to life on Mars as Aeleon knows it. Just like in the first part, the illustrations are beautifully done in a style that fits perfectly in with the story. I will say though that they really need to be seen in color to be fully appreciated, so if you're trying to read this on a black and white e-reader, check it out on your computer. You'll be glad that you did. Honestly, I could go on and on about how great the dialogue is, how fun the story is, and that's all true but what I want to say is go and get this series...if you'll have any complaint is that you have to wait for the next segment to come out.

Looking to get it now? Click here.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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The Trouble With Being a Nerd

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:31 PM

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Image via Tumblr
The other day, I was approached about writing for a site that considers themselves to be a nerd blog. Now, I  confess that I've read all of one post on their site, but my immediate reaction was that I don't think I'd have anything to possibly contribute. I know that one of the two contributors writes about comics/games and I have no idea what the owner writes about. It bothered me though that I was so quick to reply with, "I have nothing to offer."  It bothered me more than the fact that the owner immediately responded with something along the lines of me not being a fit, after all.

Why was I so quick to jump to that answer?  Is it because I really believe that I have nothing to offer to a nerd blog? Is it because I run a geek site of my own and I rarely write for it so it'd almost feel traitorous for me to start writing someplace else? Or is it because it's really hard to be a nerd within the nerd kingdom sometimes?

The term nerd these days encompasses just as much as the term geek.  It used to be that these were very separate terms with different definitions. To some, they still are. For the most part though, I hear them interchanged without anyone blinking.  The problem is that they encompass so much. It's become overwhelming. The idea of picking just one subject to write about is like asking a person to reach down into a pile of gemstones and pull out the one tiny chip of a diamond that's in there, but you can't look as you reach. It's a blind pull.

So, when I was asked, my brain panicked and tried frantically to sift through any and all of my interests to find the one thing that would make my writing worth writing.  A panicky brain is not a good brain. I blanked. If asked the same question right now, I would have the same answer. I don't know. There are too many options and so many that I don't feel like any sort of expert in.
This leads me to the other problem when being asked to write for a site like this, nerd panic. This is a very really thing, folks. It's that feeling you get deep inside when someone asks about your fandom. It's that series of thoughts that go buzzing through your head:  "What if they don't like my fandom? What if I don't do a good job of representing it? Will all the nerds/geeks hate me?"

I would love to say that even a geek/nerd as secure as myself and who stands up every single day for the individual and that your fandom is not my fandom and my fandom is not your fandom, but no fandom is better than another, is immune to this, but I'm just not.  It can be hard to be a nerd in today's kingdom of nerdom. There are so many things to be a fan of and each and every one of these has a handful of ultra-nerds that know every single detail about whatever it is. Those are the ones who scare us; the ones who not only know everything, but will be the first in line to tell you that you're wrong.  The last thing any of us want to hear is that we're not really a geek or a nerd or a part of the community.

After all, humans are meant to be a part of things. We're meant to seek out those like us and to join with them. To be told that we can't be a part of that is not only humiliating, but on some levels, it's also painful. It's as if a piece of your identity is being ripped away and depending who you are, that can be a tiny piece or it can be a huge part of who you feel that you are. There are some of us who live very solitary lives and when we connect with a group of people and we feel as if we're a part of something, it is a very big deal.  We've finally found a place where we fit in. Knowing that there are those who could rip that away from us is very scary. It's why people won't speak up about their fandoms or they keep them secret. Yes, there are closet bronies, browncoats and whovians. They exist and they exist because these shows represent a piece of their own personality and there is a fear that if they speak up about them, someone may judge that piece of them. Sometimes, it's more than a show, a comic, a movie; it's a piece of us on paper or screen.

So, why didn't I jump at the chance to do something that I love (writing)? It's probably a blend of all of the reasons, but the biggest one? A fear that my fandom, my geek girlness would come under attack and it's easier to accept that someone doesn't see you as one at all than to have them see a piece of your very self and have them rip that apart. Remember folks, that just because someone may not know what color the blade of grass was on some far off planet on some far off date doesn't mean that they don't heavily relate to some character who is standing on that same blade of grass and because they relate, it's like watching themselves. Each of us is entitled to not only our own fandoms, but our own level of fandom.  Next time someone asks me to write, I'm hoping that I remember this and I step out, even if I'm afraid, and I write some kick ass piece for a site that celebrates that very premise. 


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Book Review: The Babylon Contingency

Posted by Katrina Roets at 2:23 PM

Friday, February 20, 2015

A riveting international adventure-mystery

Investigating a burglary at an English country house, Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Peele comes face to face with one of the most mysterious objects in world archaeology, the Phaestos Disk--and with the Middle Eastern terrorist cell determined to steal it.

The vital clue is a long abandoned Muslim village in Crete, where a Victorian gentleman explorer witnessed horrors that were meant to be secret and recorded what he saw in coded diaries. Seeking the truth about the Phaestos Disk, Peele and his assistant, Sarah Shipton, are on the cusp of solving the mystery when they are caught in an ancient Egyptian burial chamber during an earthquake.

In the end Peele has to ask far harder questions than simply who committed the original burglary. The origins of the Phaestos Disk are inextricably bound up with the Middle East peace process in ways that frustrate and astound him.

Certain to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international intrigue, The Babylon Contingency is the first in a riveting new series from experienced journalist and broadcaster Clifford Longley.


Another book that had amazing potential but just fell a little bit short. This book is filled with abbreviations that unless you're familiar with the British police system, you're just not quite going to get it right away. The book is also told from the first person point of view, which is fine but it did seem to limit the amount of character development that happened within the book. Sadly, the pacing was off as well. Just when you thought it was going to crank right along, it slowed down and then right at the end, everything sped up to wrap it all up in a hurry. My recommendation is that the author, who is by trade a journalist, work with someone who has more experience with writing fiction.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Crimson Cord

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:04 PM

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.


How many of us are familiar with the story of Rahab in the Bible? I confess that it's been many years since I had read or heard it and to be honest, when I read the description of the book, it didn't click with me. That's okay. Not all of us fall into the same religious beliefs or level of biblical knowledge, but hopefully we can all enjoy a well written book. This particular book is divided into three sections and each flows seamlessly into the next. I found her story to be fascinating. The book covers not only her life, but the laws of the Israelites and how they were explained to Rahab and how they applied directly to her life. If you're interested in amazing women, Biblical fiction or just a well written book, I suggest that you check out this one.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Baby Comes Home

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Unlike most baby care books, expert pediatrician and health communicator DR. PAUL Roumeliotis takes a unique approach by emphasizing what scientific advances have confirmed-that what happens early on in life affects one's overall health decades down the road. Baby Comes Home communicates the latest science that explains how positive or negative early childhood experiences can have lifelong consequences. The book begins by describing the vital changes that occur in a baby's brain during the first 18 months. It then explores the new "Science of TLC," that shows how tender, loving, and caring relationships with babies help to positively shape their brains. The book then presents important practical information on safety in the home and outdoors, baby routines/patterns, immunizations, injury prevention, nutrition, and more. To complete this useful guide, DR.PAUL also reviews common baby care issues and concerns as well as illnesses and conditions commonly seen during the first few years of life. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, daycare teacher or child caregiver, this book is an excellent reference resource for your baby's current and future health, wellness and prosperity.

It's been a long time since I've had babies. My two are 14 and 15 now, but I remember those early days with fondness and sometimes a sense of longing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't precisely start over now, but there is something amazing about those first couple of years of life and whether you're a parent, grandparent, babysitter, or just someone who spends a lot of time with small children, this book holds something for you. Filled with valuable information, this is one of those books that you're going to want to keep on the shelf and pull down whenever you need it.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Defcon Darcy

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

defcon darcy tour banner

Fisher Stanton, Valley High School’s Nantucket wannabe, has a cheating girlfriend. When he hires Darcy Walker to chase her to a local club, in true Darcy fashion she stumbles upon a dead body. Thing is, this body has secrets...and Darcy’s mysterious friend, Jaws, and the reporter, Tito Westbrook, have a vested interest. Both enlist Darcy to find the person responsible who has eluded them for years, but Darcy doesn’t solve crimes for free anymore, especially where Jaws is concerned. Knowing Darcy’s Achilles heel, Jaws blackmails Darcy into working for him. In a true test of wills, Darcy and Jaws battle head-to-head to see who can outsmart the other—Jaws needs Darcy to help him end a bitter grudge war; Darcy needs Jaws to divulge the mystery surrounding her mother’s death. Haunted by a past that shaped her present, Darcy will stop at nothing to get answers. Even if it means breaking the law and being disloyal to her new boyfriend, Dylan Taylor, in the process. DEFCON DARCY gives Darcy’s demons a name and ties up loose ends that made Darcy into the verb that she is. What she thinks she knows as truth, isn’t. What she wishes wasn’t true…is. The problem is, when your life goes DEFCON 1, not everyone lives to tell about it. Put Defcon Darcy on your TBR list! Goodreads

Buy on Amazon


AJ LapeAbout the author:

A. J. Lape is the Amazon bestselling author of the Darcy Walker Series. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola--and a lifelong love affair with bacon. If the FBI ever checks her computer, she'll be wearing prison orange due to the various "wiki" articles she looks up…all in the name of career research, of course. Find out more about A. J. at


Find A.J on:

Twitter | Darcy's Twitter | FaceBook | Fan Club & Street Team | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes I think that books come in and across my desk in groups. Sometimes, it's cookbook, other times it's fantasy and right now, there seems to be quite a few in the young adult category. When I started reading this series (this is book 3), I wasn't sure what to expect. You have a teenager girl who seems to manage to get into all sorts of trouble without even meaning to. The books are filled with pretty much every type of person that you have ever met and your feelings regarding them may change as the books progress. I know that mine did. I would say that I would suggest these books to my boys, but they're still in that weird "omg, the main character is a girl, no way" stage. I don't get it, but I'm not a boy either.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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