Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Review: For The Love Of Bobbie

Reviewed by Dawne Prochilo

Book Review:
For the Love of Bobbie
Author: Jodi Olson
Publisher: Romance Divine
Recommend: Yes

Review:


Bobbie McDaniel loved Clint Ericson from years ago...from the moment he and his mom moved into the neighboring ranch Bobbie knew he was the one. Over the years their love grows and becomes special. But then Clint left.


And when he left, Bobbie found Devlin Lyons- employee of her father. She needed the comfort and Devlin was willing to help ease her pain. All was well until the secret Devlin had was more than Bobbie could handle and life became a challenge.




The menage scenes in this novella are beautifully crafted and descriptive. Olson makes you root for Bobbie and love. If you like cowboys, this is a must read. Olson spins a tale of erotic love, happily ever afters and develops the characters to perfection.


Full of humor, laughter, tears and real life instances, Olson weaves the perfect romance novel.


I highly recommend this book to all lovers of romance.




Buy Link-


Monday, June 27, 2011

Food Product Review: Harvestland Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts


Reviewed by Sarah Porter-Pennington

Product Name: Harvestland Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Retail Price: $9.58

Where to Get It: Walmart

Product Description:

  • Not fed hormones, steroids or antibiotics
  • Raised humanely and cage-free
  • Fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products.
  • No added salt
  • USDA Processed

Recommended? YES

Review:

My husband and I watched a documentary past December that convinced us we needed to switch to organic meats and avoid many processed foods. We were also overweight and looking for ways to lose weight and become healthier.

I found Harvestland’s Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts at my local Wal-Mart. The fact that the chickens were fed all-vegetarian diets and were never exposed to steroids, hormones and antibiotics was the major selling factor for this product. We were a little skeptical to try it, afraid the meat would have an odd texture or disgusting flavor.

But now we both agree that Harvestland chicken, although not labeled as organic, is the best choice for our grocery dollar. And, the price is reasonable, considering you get 5 to 7 rather plump breasts.

We’ve enjoyed the chicken breasts fried, cut into cubes and added to teriyaki stir-fry and also used the breasts to make chicken and dumplings.

If you’re looking to kick the processed-food habit, this chicken is for you!

Book Review: The Asking and other stories…


Reviewed by Susan Roebuck

Title: The Asking and other stories…
Author: Charles G. Timm
Publisher: Smashwords
Recommended? Yes

Review:

This collection of seven short stories is entertaining and thought-provoking. The title comes from one of my favourite stories in the anthology, but the theme of “asking” prevails throughout.

Each of the stories has its own characters and circumstances, yet each features a young (in one instance very young) man on the verge of personal discovery. The angst of the teenage boy searching for love - perhaps his first love, or even his father’s love - is a unifying theme which will resonate with both young adults and adults.

Asking and other stories…is populated with believable and well-rounded characters. There’s little Nick who’s suffered a huge loss in his young life and whose father is no longer the loving one he remembers; Christian who will resort to anything to integrate with the rest of his classmates; lovelorn Warren and his unrequited love; Knight who is discovering what attraction is – and it doesn’t mean wearing the same colour jacket; Gig and the horrors of a barbeque; the young man who’s tempted by a pregnant girl; and Nerian whose courage saves his sanity.

Each story is skilfully crafted and I particularly liked, if not the surprise, then the directness I felt with each main character even though I’m female and a good twenty years older than they are. The wisdom behind each tale made me ponder their predicaments and their often surprising solutions. Charles G. Timms is a master at creating real characters who I already missed once the story was over.
Saturday, June 25, 2011

Product Review: Mustela Stelaker for Cradle Cap


by Anjanette Belloni

Product Name: Mustela Stelaker

Retail Price: Suggested Retail $12.50

Where to Get It: Mustela.com

Sizes/Specifications: 1.3 US FL. OZ

Product Description: Cradle cap is not a serious condition, even though the whitish/yellowish flakes on baby's scalp and face can thicken and look unsightly. It is not caused by poor hygiene but simply due to an excessively oily scalp caused by the transfer of hormones from mother to baby at the end of pregnancy.

Properties:

  • Helps remove cradle cap quickly to restore skin's balance and comfort.
  • Helps limit the proliferation of micro-organisms (malassezia furfur) to maintain a healthy scalp.
  • Soothes and hydrates skin with Aloe vera and Borage oil to relieve sensations of itching and skin discomfort.
  • Tested under dermatological control and in pediatricians' offices.
  • Practical squeezable nozzle tube to target only affected areas.
  • Non-irritating, does not leave an oily film and does not sting the eyes.
  • Fragrance-free, formulated without paraben.

Recommended? YES

I've never had to deal with cradle cap on either of my older children, until my third baby. Within a month of having my newest son home from the hospital he developed cradle cap. I was left feeling clueless. And of course I spent almost an hour standing in front of the infant hair care products at the local baby store. After comparing specific cradle cap products I settled on Mustela, feeling it was my best option.

I have never been happier with any infant product. The cream is not thick and greasy. Nor does it have a strong odor. Use of the product is very simple, massage in lightly over affected areas and leave overnight. Wash cream out in the morning. Simple. In about 5 days I saw fabulous results! We have not had any issues with cradle cap since. I would definitely invest in this product if the issue arises again.
Thursday, June 23, 2011

History Book Review: In the Garden of Beasts


Title: In the Garden of Beasts—Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
Graphic Source:
Random House site
Author: Erik Larson

Publisher: Random House Large Print

Recommended? Yes, to those who want to know more about History.

Review:  Have you ever wondered what life was like in pre-WWII Germany? You can read about what it was like in Erik Larsen's book, In the Garden of Beasts.

In the 1930s, American History professor, William E. Dodd, accepted President Franklin Roosevelt’s request that he take up an appointment as Ambassador to Germany. Dodd accepted, relocated his family—wife, grown son and daughter—to Berlin. Literally, he and his family would find that they were In the Garden of Beasts.If you want to know more about pre-WWII days in Europe, from an American perspective, you will be interested in this book by Seattle author, Erik Larson

Larson has thoroughly researched the tenure of Dodd as American Ambassador to Germany during the pre-war years. The author, in his narrative of the Ambassador, reveals Dodd’s gradual realization of the growing Nazi presence, expanding powers and brutality of Nazi stormtroopers towards the Jewish sector of German citizens, increasing disregard of terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and the eventual total takeover of German state and society by Hitler and his vanguard. Early days of the Holocaust are evident.

Also, interestingly, Larson notes the complexity of American views back in the U.S. The isolationist views, prejudices, financial concerns, all weigh heavily on the President and the Ambassador during the troubled days of Hitler’s rise to power
  
The story of Dodd and his family is followed by a lengthy addendum of Sources and Acknowledgments, Chapter Notes, Bibliography and Index. This is a real treasure trove of information.

Larson's book, Large Print Version, is over 500 pages in length. It is also available in regular print and ebook formats.

In the Garden of Beasts is not a casual summer read; however, if you, like many people, want to try to understand the past, this Larson book will keep you riveted to it for quite a while. 


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Product Review: Big Top Giant Cupcake


by: Anjanette Belloni


Product Name: Big Top Cupcake Silicone Bakeware

Retail Price: $19.95 plus s&h

Where to Get It: Big Top Cupcake

Product Description:

  • Giant Cake size Cupcake Mold
  • Fun and easy to use
  • Non-stick, easy release
  • Dishwasher safe, heat resistant to 500 F
  • 9 x 5 x 8.5 inches ; 10.9 ounces

Recommended? YES

The Big Top Giant Cupcake is something I had been wanting for a while. As a mom of young kids I thought this cake pan would be a blast to have. Luckily, I had made the cut for Santa's NICE list and wrapped under the Christmas tree was my cake pan! It was high time I got to the kitchen to start baking.

I became quite frustrated the first time I used the giant cupcake pan. I followed the directions exactly as the manual instructed. However, my cake rose way too much and I had to scoop out the center for the filling. I was determined not to be defeated by this pan! I tried baking another cake this time adjusting the amount of cake mix I used, less is more. Out came a perfect giant cupcake. The kids at Cub Scouts loved the cake and it really isn't that bad to use.

Decorating this massive cupcake is pretty simple. You can let your imagination run wild with flavor combinations. As a mom, I love the fact that the clean up is so easy! This pan makes a fantastic gift for the baker in any family.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: 'Perfect Score' by Susan Roebuck

by Marina DelVecchio

Title: Perfect Score

Author: Susan Roebuck

Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing

Year Published: 2010

Recommend: Yes


Summary: Susan Roebuck's 'Perfect Score' is about the rite of passage of two young men, Alex and Sam, from the opposite side of the tracks. Alex lives in his uncle's mansion, and while money and a stable future have been lined up for him by his powerful and withholding uncle, he wants nothing more than to be a song writer and to live happily ever after with Sam -- a boy he met once when he was in his teens. Sam's life is more wretched: he was abused, ran away from the fists of an abusive step-father and unstable foster homes, and lived most of his prepubescent and teen years in the streets, fending for himself and taking on as many jobs as he could to pay for his sister's bills at the hospital for the crippled. Struggling to make sense of the two divergent lives they have been dealt, Alex and Sam find their way to one another through a journey full of boundless love and compassion, growth, and strength.

Review: As different as they are, Alex and Sam are like two halves of a glimmering star: they travel on divergent paths, fated to one another. Separately, these two young men deal with being misunderstood and ostracized: one for being a snooty and ego-centric rich kid; the other for being different due to his speech impediments and dyslexia. But together, they become strong forces, realizing that one needs the other to overcome the burdens of familial betrayals, personal responsibilities, and the scary part that comes with leaning on someone else. Susan Roebuck does a wonderful job moving the story forward by fastening an edginess to the conflicts each young man faces. This novel is filled with excitement, portraying the complexities of family dynamics, personal responsibilities, moral dilemmas, and fulfilling one's dreams and passions when everyone tells you that it's "wrong."

Of course, the most riveting part of this book is the character of Sam. In her ability to envision this character and to establish his complexities with such intricate and capable brush strokes is a wonderful gift. He is simple and yet a multi-dimensional character whose goodness and uniqueness drives the development of Alex's character from thinking about himself to thinking about others. Sam is like a Holden Caulfield who sees the world and its inhabitants with clarity and in all its shades and colors. Nothing gets past him, and yet his ability to empathize with the needs of others and to lend himself to them without asking for anything in return indicates the utter depth of this character. His presence resonates and clings to memory and heart  long after the book is finished. 
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review: Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro



By: Anjanette Belloni

Title: Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro

Author: Tris Hussey

Publisher: Sams; 1 edition (January 10, 2010)

ISBN-10# 9780672330650

Recommended? YES, especially for beginner bloggers


Blogging is a world all unto itself. If you had tried to explain blogging to me oh lets say 6 months ago, I'd have been scratching my head looking at you with the good ol' dear-in-head-lights expression. I mean, come on, I'm a stay at home mom with 3 boys (one not even 5 months old) and a bbq seasoning hobby/business. To say I was terrified of the web and blogging was an understatement! So, I went on a search to find a book that would teach me blogging and teach it to me like I was a kindergartner. And that is when Create Your Own Blog found me!

Tris Hussey has created a very user friendly blogging tool! Here are some reasons I found this book to be an asset to my resource library (actually, I loaned it out to a friend about to venture into the blogging world):

  • NO complicated techy vocabulary!
  • Specialty chapters to skip around with (video blogging, lifestream, portfolio blogging, etc)
  • Step-by-step instructions for setting up a blog.
  • Screen shot explanations.
  • and my favorite......LARGE print!!
Book Description:
Want a personal or business blog of your own? It’s easy! In this simple guide, one of the world’s most experienced bloggers walks you through every step, from getting started to building a worldwide audience. Tris Hussey covers it all, from low-cost blogging tools to high-powered writing tips! Get this book, and get started fast–with a professional-quality blog that meets your goals, whatever they are!

Sleek and Shiny Hair

Beauty product review: Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Perfector
Manufacturer: Garnier Fructis
Available: Amazon and drugstores
Price: $12.99
Recommend: Yes, unless you have over-processed or bleached hair

After washing my hair, I applied Garnier's Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Perfector 20-minute Smooth-It serum and was taken back to my 80s perms. The smell is a reminder this is not a casual commitment - you are giving yourself a reverse perm, practically speaking.

After rinsing, I applied the Perfect-It cream and heat via blow dryer and iron. When all was done, I had delightfully smooth hair, albeit with a "fragrance." If the sleek outlasts the smell, then I will be pleased. I'd love to know your results.











Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: Maple Syrup Cookbook


Available at Amazon.com

Title: Maple Syrup Cookbook  
      
Author: Ken Haedrich 

Publisher: Storey Publishing. Cost: $10.95 US. Available at Amazon.com & bookstores.

Recommended? Yes

Review: Travelling to see new-for-me places is always exciting but an added benefit to seeing the sites is finding some treasures to bring back home.

On a recent visit to St.Louis Missouri, I found a gem nestled in the bookstore of the museum at the Arch
My eyes lit up when I saw—the Maple Syrup Cookbook—Over 100 Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner by award-winning  food writer, Ken Haedrich.

This “gem” is filled with historical facts about maple syrup along with hints for cooking with maple syrup, everything from breakfast and breads to barbecue sauce.

The range of recipes and tips for meals and dishes from dawn to dusk will inspire you to incorporate this healthy sweetener into your cooking.

This book with its rustic red and green farm scene by Vermont folk artist, Warren Kimble, is ideal for a small coffee table book. Ilona Sherratt has illustrated the interior pages with simple drawings of syrup pails and trees to accompany the sidebars of quotes from Americana plus tips about maple syrup, itself.

I have been searching for a Maple Syrup Cookbook ever since I read a vegetarian cookbook by the Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner, several years ago.

In my travels, looks like I found one!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beautiful Things That Happen To Ugly People

Book review: Beautiful Things That Happen to Ugly People

Author: Sarah E. Melville
Publisher: Year Zero Writers
Copy provided for review: Yes
Recommend: Yes




This book is delicate, perfect and messy. In this ode to Paulie, who is your age, more or less, Sarah's drawings and snips of verse create a dream of an image of Paulie's life, where people take their time and loan their slippers and toast.

Sarah's talent as an artist is evident, while Paulie remains elusive, and this book will charm the dreamer in your life.

BeyondBeautifulBabe






Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review: Hannah


Reviewed by Alyssa Ast

Book Title: Hannah
Author: Sharon Poppen
Publisher: Virtual Tales
Genre: Western/Thriller
Recommended? Yes

Review:

"Hannah and Caleb are young newlyweds on the plains of Texas in the late nineteenth Linkcentury. They've staked their claim and have built a new home and a new life as cattle ranchers. But a cloud of dust in the distance rides towards their cabin and changes Hannah's life forever. Caleb is shot and Hannah is abused and raped by a gang of rustlers. Left for dead, Hannah recovers and sets off to exact revenge. Join Hannah on her determined quest through the bordellos, churches, and shanty courts of the old west as she makes her own justice - and finds a new love along the way."
Courtesy Amazon.com

When I purchased Hannah, I was lucky enough to meet the author, Sharon Poppen. She was able to provide me with a little inside information regarding the book, which intrigued my interest in the novel even further. Hannah is about a young bride who endures a brutal attack and survives to seek revenge against the men who killed her husband and raped her. Through a story of twists and turns, packed with adventure, Hannah sets out on her journey and finds a new love in the process.

Although this isn't the typical book I would read, I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was a quick and easy read. I like the fact the story began right away and there wasn't any dilly dawdling to get to the plot. Normally, I skim over areas in books that are basically boring and pointless to me, but there weren't any in this book. The story flowed very smoothly without any unnecessary scenes or plots. The book does contain some intimate and sexual parts, but the details are slight and the scenes are merely suggestive.

I would recommend Hannah as a good read. I feel Sharon Poppen did an excellent job connecting the main character with her readers. Very well written and well thought out.

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