Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: Beware the Signs

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Beware the Signs - Jo Ho
Her worst nightmare has come true and it's still only her first day of college.

A new urban fantasy series from the award-winning screenwriter of ground-breaking BBC TV series Spirit Warriors.

With death on her hands, Marley is haunted by her actions and terrified by her new powers. Christian won't let her forget what she has done but worst than that, there's the terrifying ghost who keeps coming after her, right when she is at her most vulnerable. What does she want with her?

After almost causing another terrible accident, Tyler knows they must learn to control their new powers - whatever they are - or risk killing again, but a self-taught lesson doesn't go as planned, leaving the girls more fragmented than when they began.

Cassie's weird hang-ups make it hard for the others to connect with her, while uninterested in being part of the team, Eve leaves them to fend for themselves.

When one of them is attacked by something less than human, it suddenly becomes clear just how dangerous their world has become.

Will Marley and the girls be able to set aside their differences and work together before tragedy strikes again?

Saving the world has never been this Twisted.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars will love this new series.

~~~~~~~~~~~
The one bonus with this serial is that when I picked it to review, the next two sections were also available. So let's dive into the second part!

The Good:

Another quick moving section and as a reader, I could start to see the story itself starting to come together. The girls are still very much individuals and dealing with their own insecurities and issues while trying to figure out what's going on. It can be hard not to have characters blend into one another so I appreciate their differences.

The Bad:

I find Christian to be a bit on the overwhelming side. I understand his emotional intensity but he's a bit much for me. I think it revolves around the way that he has to communicate. 

The Summary:

I found this to be another quick read and I'm already eager to start the third part. I sincerely hope that the author continues to put her books out for review because I would like to see where this goes. My only fear is that because it's being written in an episodic format that it might continue on far past where it should end. The only way to find out though is to keep reading!






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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Monday, September 24, 2018

Crockpot Monday:Turkey Tetrazzini

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Crockpot Monday - Turkey Tetrazzini
Yesterday was my birthday and while I'm officially older, I also officially still love food! This recipe is a bit fancier than usual but so good that I couldn't leave it out!

Turkey Tetrazzini:

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce package) dry spaghetti, cooked
1-2 pounds turkey breast tenders, cut in small chunks
5 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, chunked
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. 

Layer all ingredients, except for pasta into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Add cooked pasta and then cover and cook for an additional hour.

....and now I'm hungry! Time to get something yummy cooking!




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Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review: What Doesn't Kill You

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What Doesn't Kill You - Jo Ho
OUTCASTS. MISFITS. FREAKS.
And that was before they discovered they commanded some super dark powers.

A new urban fantasy series by the award-winning screenwriter and creator of ground-breaking BBC TV series Spirit Warriors.

When Marley moves into her dorm at Blackville University, the recent murder of a Tennerson student is the last thing on her mind. She has roommates to get to know, classes to sign up for, parties to attend, and an over-protective father to avoid, who, as luck would have it, has just been hired at BU as its newest History professor.

After a childhood of being bullied due to a condition she can’t help having, all Marley wants is to be normal. She hopes a new start in a new city will provide that.

Unfortunately, life has other plans for her.

When she, along with three other troubled girls: Goth Eve with a dark secret she is desperate to keep hidden, wealthy Cassie who can buy anything except for a new face, and newly orphaned Tyler, try to stop a brutal attack, a secret new world opens up, one where supernatural beings rule the night.

But that’s not the worst thing, not by a long shot. Try never knowing if what you’re seeing is real, especially when one of those things is a murder…

Saving the world has never been this Twisted!

Fans of The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars will love this new series.

What Doesn’t Kill You is episode one of the Twisted series. A new episode will be released every eighteen days! Free on Kindle Unlimited.
~~~~~~~~~
They say you should never judge a book by it's cover, but it was the cover that drew me in. It's so striking! Now, on with the review!

The Good:

This is one fast paced book! It was written with the idea of it being a tv series and that's just how it reads. I could easily imagine it being a 30 minute episode that I curled up on the couch to watch each week or even better, binge on Netflix. Each of the characters is a complex and unique individual and yet somehow come together to make the story work.

The Bad:

It's really tough to find something wrong with this book. I'm not sure how much I enjoy the serial style, but that's not the fault of this book. There were moments that felt slightly done before but then there would be a twist and I'd go nope, never mind.

The Summary:

If you're a lover of serials, the paranormal, and teen girls trying to possibly save the world, this would be a great series for you to check out, especially if you have Kindle Unlimited.






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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Monday, September 17, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

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Crockpot Monday - Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce
I love meatballs. I love bbq. I love cranberry. Do you see where this is going? Yep! Turkey meatballs with cranberry bbq sauce! Mmm....Is dinner ready yet?

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 pound turkey meatballs (already cooked)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 can (16oz) jellied cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Directions:
Cut cranberry sauce into slices and place into the bottom of your crockpot. Add barbecue sauce and soy sauce. Top with cooked meatballs.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4.

You can't really get much easier than that! Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes and enjoy!




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Friday, September 14, 2018

Book Review: Fearless

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Fearless - Tawdra Kandle - Book Review
Tasmyn Vaughn didn't expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am a long time fan of Tawdra's work so when I discovered this book, I just had to check it out. Then, I discovered it was book 1 in a long series and I got even more excited!

The Good:

The story, though it starts slow, moves along at a fairly good pace. I found the characters to be well developed and 

The Bad:

It just seemed a bit too easy. Tasmyn and Michael fall in love at first sight. Everyone accepts her abilities. This may seem an odd statement since this book is listed as paranormal, but a lot of it just didn't feel realistic. I don't mean the woowoo voodoo type stuff, but the actual relationships and things like a teenager having their phone shut off.

The Summary:

While this book may really appeal to others, I'm afraid that I'm just not the right audience for it. The book is well written but it felt like a stand alone and I wasn't tempted to buy the next book in the series.



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Monday, September 10, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Turkey Cutlets in Mango Salsa

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Crockpot Monday - Turkey Cutlets in Mango Salsa
Just because school has started and fall is right around the corner, I'm not quite ready to give up on some summer flavors!

Turkey Cutlets in Mango Salsa:

Ingredients:
1 pound of turkey breast cutlets.
1 can tomatoes and chilies
2 mangoes
2 peaches
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 cup water

Directions:

Peel and chop up the fruit. In a small bowl, combine the can of tomatoes and chilies with the chopped fruit, water, and dried onion flakes. Lay the pieces of meat into the bottom of the crockpot. Stagger them slightly so that they don’t stick together. Cover with your newly-made salsa!

Cook on low for 5-8 hours.

Serve up and listen to your family say yum!





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Friday, September 7, 2018

Book Review: Forevermore

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Another unforgettable heroine!
Like a dandelion in the wind, Hope Ladley blows from one farm to the next, helping cook for the field hands during the harvest. Illiterate and often twisting cliches and Bible verses into mind-boggling observations, Hope leaves widower Jakob Stauffer baffled by her unconventional ways. But her sunny disposition and unstinting love make changes of a different kind around the place. His little daughter and the pregnant sister he's shielding from an abusive husband adore Hope, and things are getting accomplished even if Hope's methods are unique.
Then Jakob's brother-in-law shows up and threatens the newfound peace and happiness of the farm. With Jakob's future uncertain and his heart tangled, can the farmer convince Hope to take root and remain as his wife?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last night I decided to go back and see what the oldest book on my Kindle was that I hadn't read. It turns out that it was Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake. It looked interesting so I settle in....and read until 4 am. Oops!

The Good:

I adored the characters in this book. Hope and her mixed up cliches but tender heart drew me in and I found a new favorite heroine to add to my list. Each of the characters felt as if they were people that I had come to know and love before I clicked close on the file. I loved the realism depicted in the book. It didn't feel made up, but had those little details that told me that the author had done her research.

The Bad:

If I had to find a bad, it would be that I was a bit confused at one point as to what the family's first language was. Early in the book, they ask Hope if she speaks Dutch but later in the book, Hope mentions the siblings conversing in German. I'm sure there's a logical explanation for this but I haven't taken the time to research it.

The Summary:

A sweet Christian book that kept me engaged from beginning to end. The book wasn't so much a romance but a telling of people's lives and I really enjoyed that. This book is about 8 years old now but if you enjoy sweet Christian stories, I'd see if I couldn't find a copy of this one.






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Monday, September 3, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Shepard's Pie

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Crockpot Monday - Shepard's Pie
Shepard's pie is a huge favorite at our house. The only problem? At this time of year, sometimes I just don't want to turn on the oven. Enter my crockpot!

Shepard's Pie:

Ingredients:
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 pound ground turkey or beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups frozen vegetables
1 medium onion, chopped finely, or 1 Tablespoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika (then a bit more for garnish)
1 cup water
2 cups shredded cheese

Directions:

Brown the meat and onion on the stove with the spices, and drain any fat.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. Put the meat in the crockpot and stir in the frozen vegetables and a cup of water. Add two cups of cheese on top. Press the mashed potatoes down on top of the cheese and meat. Sprinkle with a bit of paprika.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for about 3, then remove the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes to release the condensation and allow the potatoes to brown a bit on top.

Serve and enjoy!




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