I have put off reviewing Mug Shot, thinking that I would attach it to with a recipe to a blog post but I just have not been able to clear my plate enoI have put off reviewing Mug Shot, thinking that I would attach it to with a recipe to a blog post but I just have not been able to clear my plate enough to do that--fingers crossed that will still happen. ;-)
Mug Shot is the 2nd book in the Java Jive mystery series (yes, you should go back and read Death By Decaf first) and I liked it even better than the first book. The story occurs shortly after the first book leaves off, with Julia still the manager of Java Jive and still in the "we're just friends" stage with Pete, her best friend and the owner. Unfortunately Pete is still with the awful Cecelia, although things are strained, so when Cecelia turns up dead at Java Jive's booth at the local holiday 5K charity race, Pete is accused of her murder and arrested. Julia of course investigates to clear Pete's name and find the real killer. Julia's ex-love interest Ryder, a cop, wants her to stay away from the danger and though she is still angry at him for lying to her, sparks are still flying between the two.
This is a fun cozy mystery series, with likable characters and good humor (and good coffee) mixed in with the mystery. I liked that there was more of a twist to who the guilty party was in this one and I didn't have it all figured out--always a plus in a cozy mystery. I'll be looking forward to the next book and to seeing where things go between Julia and Ryder, or Julia and Pete, or Julia and ...?
Note: I was given a complimentary e-book ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review and my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
I am a bit of an Anglophile and have long found the British Royal Family fascinating so I had a feeling that I would love The Royal Nanny and I did. II am a bit of an Anglophile and have long found the British Royal Family fascinating so I had a feeling that I would love The Royal Nanny and I did. I was not acquainted with Charlotte Bill, who was a real person and the much loved Lala of the children of the Royal Family from 1897-1919. The story that Harper tells about her is an absorbing one--a young woman dedicates her life and makes personal sacrifices for service, duty and a great love for the children in her care. There is romance in this historical novel, Charlotte turns down a proposal from Chad, the gamekeeper of Sandringham, as she felt her duty was to the children and a nursemaid or nanny was not allowed the distraction of a "follower at the door." But really the love story here is about Lala and her charges, especially the youngest child, Prince John (called Johnny by the family) and whom she bonded with as a sickly baby and cared for him throughout his life, fighting to keep him with her and the family as he developed epilepsy and it grew in severity. His epilepsy and his often unusual behavior, which would likely be diagnosed as some form of autism today, were misunderstood and feared at the time and for a Royal Family struggling with their image in troubled times, cause for shame and secrecy. One has to credit Lala, both the real person and the book version for her devotion to Johnnie and to the other five royal children including those that the world knows better--David (who became King Edward VIII, before abdicating the throne for Wallis Simpson--something that greatly angered Lala, along with his treatment of Johnny) and Bertie (who later became King George VI, father of the current Queen and who will ever be Colin Firth in my mind after The King's Speech). The book focuses mostly on Lala's years of service, but there is an epilogue that tells us what Charlotte did after (which I would have loved even more of and would root for a sequel).
The Royal Nanny is my first book from Karen Harper, author of many contemporary suspense and historical novels, but I am confident that it won't be my last. Her vivid descriptions of the times and life in a royal household brought me fully into the story and characters. I couldn't help but love Lala and reading her perspective about the family, The Great War, the Romanov family, and other famous people and events was absorbing and turned what might be a quiet close to 400 pages into a bit of a page-turner. Keeping track of all of the royals and their many names, both given and chosen, is an effort and I longed for a family tree before finally finding a list of the names and titles of the main characters in the back of the book. (Next time I will check there first before Googling!) ;-) Unless you are a true expert, you will likely learn something new about the Royal Family and the time period, and be inspired to look further (the author gives plenty of suggestions for further reading and viewing in her afterword) which to me is always the mark of a good historical novel. Definitely recommended.
Note: A review copy of "The Royal Nanny" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
I jumped on this book because I enjoy historical fiction--especially set around either WWI or WWII, and I loved the author's second book A Memory of VI jumped on this book because I enjoy historical fiction--especially set around either WWI or WWII, and I loved the author's second book A Memory of Violets (My review + recipe are here). Her first book about the Titanic, has been on my Kindle forever and I keep vowing to get to it. (I will! I will!) The Girl from The Savoy is similar in style to A Memory of Violets in that it follows multiple characters, is told from differing perspectives, and has some twists and turns that unfold with the story. We meet Dolly (Dorothy) Lane in the prologue, as she says goodbye to her childhood love Teddy, as he heads off to war in 1916. So many young lives were lost in the Great War, that although he promises that they will be married in the summer and have babies and the quiet life they always talked about, the prospects are not good. We catch up with Dolly again in 1923 as she is about to start her first day of employment at the famous Savoy hotel and bumps into returned soldier and uninspired composer Perry Clements. Perry is headed to weekly tea with his sister, the famed stage star Loretta May (in reality society darling and titled Lady Virginia Clements), at the height of her success (everything that Dolly dreams of) but is struggling with her own issues. Finally, mixed into Dolly and Loretta's stories we hear from Teddy, Dolly's boyfriend, who did return from the war but came back with an injured leg and severe 'shell shock'--what we call PTSD today--and in 1919 is in a hospital ward unable to remember much about his life and anything about Dolly, even with a young nurse reading him the many letters from Dolly that were found with him. Dolly and Loretta end up connecting through Perry when Loretta encourages him to hire Dolly as his muse since he has been unable to forget her since bumping into her. Loretta grooms Dolly to fit into their social circle and for the stage, and they find that as different as they are in life and in their upstairs/downstairs social statures, they have much in common when it comes to loss and heartbreak.
Hazel Gaynor does an amazing job of vividly describing the time periods she writes about--you can see the meticulous details of the research she does while feeling the passion she has for her subject. London, The Savoy, the theaters, the music, and the whole era come to life in her writing. The main characters are well written, particularly Dolly, whom I felt that I got to know and understand the most. There is a lot of story, backstory, and characters in the 400-ish pages, which means that some of the secondary characters' stories aren't as complete as I would have preferred. For the most part the different perspectives and shifts in time flowed well, but there were a few instances when I had to go back and determine what year I was reading about so that I understood the context. There are definite twists and turns in the book, most of which I saw coming, but which added to the emotional pull and poignancy of the story. There is a lot of heartbreak in the book but as the titles of the three sections (cleverly called "Acts" to fit with the theater scene) relay, there is also "Hope," "Love" and "Adventure" to be found.
Note: A review copy of "The Girl From the Savoy" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
(Spoilers only if you have not read any of Harper's Half Moon Hollow series--especially 'The Joys of Dating a Rebound Vampire'--which why you would be(Spoilers only if you have not read any of Harper's Half Moon Hollow series--especially 'The Joys of Dating a Rebound Vampire'--which why you would be reading this in the middle of the series novella without reading the other books is beyond me anyway...) ;-)
This is a short story (<100 pages) featuring the terrible, generally unlikable Ophelia getting her comeuppance (for both trying to kill Gigi and for her expense report fraud) by being sent to college and worse, being forced to live in a dorm by Jane. It is supposed to be Jamie and Ophelia's story but Jamie plays a small role in most of the action and the story is told from Ophelia's POV.
There has been little to like about Ophelia in the series so far other than her dedication to her vampire little sister but by the end of this story, I was (mostly) won over. I still don't quite get her and Jamie being mates--even if opposites do attract sometimes but instead of wanting Jamie to lose Ophelia, I kind of think Ophelia can do better than Jamie. Ah well... The fun in this one comes from Harper's usual snarky humor and witnessing Ophelia navigate the horrors of college and dorm life, dealing with humans as well as vampires and getting a chance to be a real young adult--something she has not had in her hundreds of years of existence.
A couple of cliff hangers or open points here with a followup book coming ('The Accidental Sire') that hopefully will explain them. (There is a 'sneak peek' at the first chapter at the back of this Kindle e-book. However, it tags it as "the next hilarious Half-Moon Hollow romance from Molly Harper" although "Where the Wild Things Bite' is up next in July. I get so confused about the order of this series sometimes...) If you are a fan of Harper and this series you will like this little treat. I liken these short novellas for some of the characters as a little 'snack pack' of chocolate--really good but gone way too quickly and leaving me longing for the next bite. ;-)
Not among my favorites from this author--a 'like,' but not a 'love.'
Normally a new book from Abigail Reynolds has me downloading it and dropping everyNot among my favorites from this author--a 'like,' but not a 'love.'
Normally a new book from Abigail Reynolds has me downloading it and dropping everything then, reluctant to put it down, finishing it in a night or two at the most. Unfortunately, I just didn't feel that way about Mr. Darcy's Journey. I think it was that too much seemed to be going on in the just under 300 pages that the Darcy & Lizzy romance got lost. Maybe it was so much of the Luddite uprisings in the plot line, the many fights and injuries to the characters, or one or two too-many Fitzwilliams and side characters that made me feel that way. It was for lack of a better word too 'busy' of a book for my preference. I usually have no issue with a few added/new characters in my Austen variations but there were so many here that I couldn't form much of an attachment to most of them. Some of my beloved P&P characters and their actions/choices seemed a bit off too--particularly Jane.
It did wrap up fairly well, the Darcy and Lizzy moments that were there were charming, the history lesson of the Luddite information was interesting (although I found the author's footnotes on the Luddites & the timing of Lizzy and the Gardiner's Derbyshire trip in P&P more informative and satisfying than having it so central to the story--if that makes sense.) I liked Sir Anthony Duxbury/Anthony Hopewell as Lizzy's 'honorary brother' and Lady Matlock was fun. My guess is that if you are a fan of Reynolds and her P&P variations, you will like it.
I've had this book for a decade, picked up at Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge on a visit to Seattle and autographed by Douglas as we were leaving. It predI've had this book for a decade, picked up at Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge on a visit to Seattle and autographed by Douglas as we were leaving. It predates my food blog and my goodreads participation so after reading through it and cooking from again this weekend, I thought I should finally review it.
As a rule, single-subject cookbooks are nor my favorite because seldom do I make one thing enough to have a cookbook devoted to it. Although I crave them frequently, I don't make crab cakes very often--crab is a bit of a splurge. But this book definitely gives plenty of options for different crab cakes--from traditional to what Douglas calls "global/new wave" and sandwiches and other interpretations. There is a useful section of techniques and a glossary of ingredients, and a section of different sauces and salsas. The recipes give a little story or history behind the dish and several are from other cooks--Mark Bittman, Jacques Pepin, Emeril, Thierry Rautureau, etc. and there are a couple from popular Seatlle restaurants like Etta's and WIld Ginger.
The recipes are written clearly and simply and offer up advice depending on the type of crab you have available. I've tried 3 recipes total; the Etta's Dungeness Crab (just like the restaurant--yum!) and Jacques Pepin's Crab Cakes--I actually got the recipe from Pepin's cookbook--although it's the same recipe as in this book. (They are delicious, as is his red sauce, here's my post: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...) and finally I just tried the Chesapeake Bay Classic Crab Cakes this weekend. They are crisp on the exterior and creamy and flavorful inside. (Here's the link to my blog post and photos: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...)
If you are a fan of crab cakes, you can't go wrong with this book. Tom Douglas, raised on the East Coast but transplanted to Seattle is an expert and shares his passion well. I admit I probably gave it half a point more than I would other single-subject cookbooks due to the fact I am a Douglas fan and he signed my book, but it's a worthy addition to a cookbook collection for crab and crab cake lovers. ...more
I gave this e-book, part of Kindle Unlimited a try based the author's recent 'Yes, Mr. Darcy' novella. I liked the novella overall and wanted to see wI gave this e-book, part of Kindle Unlimited a try based the author's recent 'Yes, Mr. Darcy' novella. I liked the novella overall and wanted to see what the author would do with a longer book and plot line. I liked this book better, there was more time able to be given to the growing feelings between Darcy and Elizabeth and more opportunity to spend time with all of the characters.
The first chapter explores Elizabeth's thoughts at the assembly as the Bingley family, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Darcy interact with the neighborhood for the first time. Elizabeth, not yet introduced, to the party, gives Darcy different names in her mind as she observes him--"Mr. Divinely Attractive, Mr. Heavenly Visage, Mr. Stately Sculpted, Mr. Overtly Gorgeous..." It was cute for the first four or so that I listed but as it continued, it began to wear on my nerves as it made me wonder if this was a P&P variation or an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Had she called him 'Mr. Dark and McSteamy" I would have quit the book. Of course Darcy insults her soon after and the names change tone to "Mr. Blatantly Offensive, Mr. Sour Puss, and Mr. Exceedingly Frustrating..." Thankfully it does not go much on past the first chapter with the exception of a brief reference back at the end.
The book is a definite departure from the original story and characters--some have more and earlier involvement involvement like Colonel Fitzwilliam, Charlotte, and Georgiana, and some have less presence like Wickham, Lydia, and The Gardiners. A few become better--Mary, Kitty, Lydia and even Mrs. Bennet show signs of growth and improvement, while some get decidedly worse (if possible) like Caroline Bingley, Sir William Lucas, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine. Many of the characters get a different outcome than they got in P&P and for the most part it is welcome and not out of bounds for the characters and the story. (Go Charlotte!) ;-)
Overall, a sweet and at times quite funny variation with some good twists and turns....more
There is something about a book with a house that has its own personality and even thoughts and feelings, but not in a horror story kind of way. TwinThere is something about a book with a house that has its own personality and even thoughts and feelings, but not in a horror story kind of way. Twin Oaks, built by an oilman, who broke ground on the lot in 1895, has seen a lot of history before Cassie ends up there in 2015 after the death of her grandmother June. June was one of Twin Oaks, favorite occupants, along with her friend Lindie, and the house holds the secrets of a terrible night in 1955 that changed several lives. June is an absorbing novel, with two story lines and time periods set sixty years apart, but woven together. It's a bit mystery and suspense with a gothic feel, centers around family and secrets, and it has a smidge of romance worked in there too. Set in the summer of both 1955 and 2015, it is a absorbing story, perfect for a warm summer night.
I have not read any of author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's previous books but I found myself quickly caught up with her lush and vivid descriptions and how well the stories moved back and forth. When the book switched between 1955 and 2015, I found myself eager to revisit each time period and its characters and learn more about the mystery, but I also was sorry to leave the previous decade and characters I had been caught up in--I take that as the mark of a well-written and strongly intertwined story. If pressed, I would have to say that the summer of 1955 and Lindie and June were most intriguing, but Cassie grew on me and I like her snarky humor and how she dealt with her possible family and the small entourage from Hollywood when they descended on her. Although the mystery and its details were not that difficult to figure out--Twin Oaks tells us almost from the start that a murder occurred and who did it, it did not detract from the pleasure of the story. My only complaint--the end came too quickly, I wanted more time at Twin Oaks. Add this one to your summer reading list.
Note: A review copy of "June" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
Although this author has a popular first book (Domestic Violets) out, I had not read it and instead signed on for this book tour based on the descriptAlthough this author has a popular first book (Domestic Violets) out, I had not read it and instead signed on for this book tour based on the description and the mention of "wry humor" (which I happen to like--especially if there is a touch of snarky and sardonic added to the mix--fingers were crossed!). We're All Damaged is all of that--wry, a little snarky and sardonic at times, but it is so much more. It's funny and touching, honest and completely relatable--even if you don't happen to be a 30-something who has his life basically implode beginning with his wife telling him that she is leaving him at Applebee's. It doesn't get better for Andy after the Applebee's incident--he loses his job and has an infamous YouTube video of his drunken outburst at the wedding of his best friend. He's hiding out, tending bar in New York City when his mother calls to tell him to come home to Omaha to say good-bye to his ailing grandfather. Andy isn't the only one who is damaged, each person in his family has their own damages, as do his friends, his self-appointed life-coach Daisy, and even his ex-wife--now shacked up in their old house with the hot paramedic she left him for. Heck, even the hot paramedic has some challenges.
We're All Damaged had me snort-laughing on one page and tearing up a bit on the next one. The humor is well matched with the heart in this book. You can't help but like Andy--as awkward and almost pathetically inept as he is, he has sparks of humor and sarcasm that shine through, and some truly hilarious thoughts and comments that quickly won me over. Daisy is an interesting character. I loved her wit and humor and how she pushed Andy: "We're in one of those movies. You're my hopeless teenage girl, all stuck in your shell, and I'm here to give you a fresh coat of makeup and a slutty dress. Push those boobies up Andy Carter, it's go time." (Bonus points for the plenty of '80s and '90s pop culture references peppered throughout the book too.) All of the characters had depth and I was surprised at how attached I got to many of them--even the less-lovable ones added to the story. I was sorry for the story to end, the under 300 pages flew by. I would definitely be on board if Matthew Norman were to revisit Andy and/or Daisy in another book and I will be adding Domestic Violets to my TBR pile too. If you like humor, heart, and stories about family and life drama, give We're All Damaged a try.
Note: A review copy of "We're All Damaged" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
It's not that you couldn't crack open Mystic Summer in the dead of winter for a bit of an escape to a warmer place, but it truly is a book meant for aIt's not that you couldn't crack open Mystic Summer in the dead of winter for a bit of an escape to a warmer place, but it truly is a book meant for a summer weekend--the kind of book you want to relax on the lanai or by a pool with, or tuck in your beach bag and read by the ocean. I am a sucker for books set in New England, a place where I have spent little time beyond Boston, but always intrigues me--especially the picturesque coastal towns. The author describes the town of Mystic Connecticut with such detail and obvious love that it feels like it is almost another character in the story. I have a soft spot for the movie Mystic Pizza, which pops up in the book, along with the pizza place that it was named for. In fact as I was trying to determine a dish to pair with Mystic Summer, I looked up a few other places mentioned like Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream and Bartleby's Cafe and was pleased to find they existed, making me feel even more like I was seeing the town as I read.
Maggie is is likable character, a caretaker of others, a good friend, and a caring teacher, daughter, sister, and aunt. I especially enjoyed the humorous scenes between Maggie and her sister's three young children. She's maybe not the best girlfriend, as in the process of determining what she wants, she vacillates between Evan and Cameron to the point of unfairness to both of them. There is a fairly obvious choice between her current relationship and her past love for Maggie to make, so there are no real surprises in the story, but it has enough charm, humor, and heart to keep it interesting. Mystic Summer is an engaging, light read about finding yourself, first love, family, and friendship. If you are looking for a beach book with romance and a setting that will transport you to a sunny summer in New England, add it to your TBR pile.
Note: A review copy of "Mystic Summer" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. ...more
So I was looking for the latest book in a favorite mystery series on Kindle Unlimited and it recommended this Pride and Prejudice variation novella soSo I was looking for the latest book in a favorite mystery series on Kindle Unlimited and it recommended this Pride and Prejudice variation novella so I downloaded it as well. (Sometimes I am just in need of some P&P comfort and it's been one of those weeks.) I started it last night and finished it in the waiting room of my allergist today. I liked it, it's short, sweet, and has a fairly swoon-worthy Darcy. I didn't love it, mainly because it was a short skim-of-the-surface and it was a bit too insta-love for me.
Granted Darcy and Elizabeth first meet a few months before most of the story when she is on the Lambton trip (out of order from P&P) with her aunt and uncle and coming to terms with her betrothal to Mr. Collins which both Bennet parents insist she accept. She comes across a weeping young woman in the local cemetery and the young woman is Georgiana Darcy, crying over the grave of her former governess and feeling guilty about what that wise woman would say if she heard about the Wickham mess. Elizabeth comforts her and Darcy overhears her and is struck by her beauty, grace and generosity of spirit but Elizabeth dissapears before he gets her name. They meet again at the Meryton assembly and (so I don't recap longer than the actual 140 page story) Darcy must stop the proposal from Collins from happening and win Elizabeth for himself. Darcy apparently has gotten over any arrogance he may have had because he wants to be a better man, worthy of Elizabeth so there isn't too much of a conflict here, other than a worse Mr. Bennet who in this story is almost as unlikable as his wife in terms of how willing he is to sacrifice Lizzy's happiness for his own ease.
Overall it was a fluffy, easy read without much angst or plot, but if you like a sweet P&P variation it is a pleasant diversion. ...more
Since I am always trying to find better solutions for my reoccurring allergy and asthma issues, I was immediately interested in The Allergy S4.5 stars
Since I am always trying to find better solutions for my reoccurring allergy and asthma issues, I was immediately interested in The Allergy Solution and did a little research by reading a couple of articles about the book and an excerpt, and since it all made a lot of sense, I downloaded the book on Kindle along with a bonus interview and food/recipe guide. I skimmed through the first few chapters and having a relatively quiet weekend planned, decided to do the three-day food reset included in the book before going back and reading it in detail. (Maybe not the best plan but how I operate!) ;-)
First, a little background on the Three-Day Power Wash since that's what I started with. The power wash consists of nourishing yourself with three components over three days: an Immune Balance Smoothie, an Immune Balance Soup and organic oolong tea (which studies have shown to offer anti-allergic benefits). You have the smoothie for breakfast and an afternoon snack, the soup for lunch or dinner and four cups of the tea throughout the day. (You can also add an extra glass of smoothie or bowl of soup if you get hungry, however, I am on day two and have been satisfied without any extras as the smoothie has an avocado and chia seeds and is quite satiating.)
I know cleanses or detoxes are not everyone's thing but I think they are a great way to reset the body. Dr. Galland says to think of it "like mediation, a program to access the inner stillness and wisdom of the body" and to "cut through the noise of everyday life and the usual eating patterns to get to a quieter place where you can listen to your body." He refers to the power wash as "clearing the tracks" to cleanse the body by reducing the common allergenic foods to help identify and ultimately eliminate your problem foods. Although I began attempting to do something similar on my own earlier this year by spending the first few months eliminating wheat/gluten, dairy and processed sugar, I started to drift off track and wanted to refocus and get back to finding a possible food solution for the allergy issues that trigger my asthma. Although my asthma is not severe (no emergency room visits), it is chronic and I go through periods after a cold or allergy flair up where it is defined as acute asthma and where it is definitely not under control, so I am trying to take it more seriously and crack the code.
The recipe for the Immune Balance Soup and other components of the three-day plan are in the book, along with steps for a two-week re-entry phase to add back in foods and test reactions, and the Immune Balance Diet, an ongoing eating plan. I would have liked a little more detail/direction for the Three-Day Power Wash. For example, the smoothie seemed like it should be divided into two servings as with everything included (fruit, greens, a whole avocado, chia seeds, green tea, optional banana), it makes two fairly large glasses and is extremely filling. It doesn't spell that out, but does say the smoothie becomes more creamy if allowed to chill (chia seeds) so I made the recipe in the morning and divided it into two servings, drinking one glass for breakfast and saving the other for my afternoon snack. Was that right or wrong? I don't know but I never felt hungry or too full which the book said was where I should be. The soup information said to enjoy a large mug or bowl, so I took that as a serving of 1 1/2 to 2 cups depending on my mood/hunger level. Also, I jumped into the Three Day Power Wash before reading beyond it (my bad!) and in further reading, there are several warnings for people with asthma not to do the two weeks of re-entry food testing (due to the complications of asthma as an allergy disorder, the many types of asthma, and the potential severity of allergic reactions) which was a bit disappointing as I was fired up. I do understand the reasons behind it and there is good information in a later chapter on asthma about diet and the balance of nutrition and environmental factors. I will be exploring some of the suggestions in detail, along with trying the Immune Balance Diet, looking into some supplements and making a bigger push for ensuring I am regularly getting higher intake of antioxidant rich foods. I have no known food allergies after being tested a couple of years ago, but I feel that what I eat definitely plays a role in my breathing and my lungs and overall health. I had an appointment with my doctor on Friday and I asked her about the power wash, trying some of the supplements and other advice in the book and she had no issues and wants to hear about my results in a few months. So even though I did things a bit backwards by not reading more of the book before diving in, I am not sorry I made the effort to clear the tracks for a few days and it's a good jump-start (or re-jump-start I suppose).
Although focused heavily on food and nutrition, the book addresses other non-food lifestyle aspects of allergy solutions too. The chapter on Cracking the Code with the Allergy Solution Checklist of Symptoms, Rate Your Symptoms, and Search for Triggers tools are very valuable, gave me a lot to think about, and I am continuing to go through those sections and exercises in detail. I like the clear way the authors explain the science and data researched, the reasons behind the nutrition connection, and the importance of lifestyle changes. Although the book advises repeatedly to get/keep your doctor involved in solutions, it gives encouragement and ownership of health to the individual where I feel it is best suited. With a quick initial read and more work to do, I am finding The Allergy Solution a valuable resource for me and I would recommend that anyone with ongoing allergies and symptoms that are negatively impacting their health and wellbeing look into this book.
Hard to believe this is book #17 of the Mary O'Reilly series--one of my favorite ghostly cozy mystery series. In this book, Mary is still pregnant andHard to believe this is book #17 of the Mary O'Reilly series--one of my favorite ghostly cozy mystery series. In this book, Mary is still pregnant and still trying to get a group of ghosts from a nearby cemetery to go to the light and cross over. She is directed to the cornfield next door by one of the ghosts where she discovers a young woman, recently deceased who was shot on a cold night. Mary gets an investigation going with help of husband Bradley and the local prosecutor to discover who murdered Ruth. There are usually a sub-plot of two of other cases in these books but in Frayed Edges the backstory is less mystery and more the upcoming Thanksgiving gathering and birthday party for Clarissa and a quilt that Mary promised Clarissa's birth mother that she would finish for her. All of the usual characters are here for this one, including Mary's family and it is a sweet addition to the series (Yes, even the ghost rats are kind of sweet...) ;-) ...more
I was drawn to this book from the description on the book tour list: "Contemporary women’s fiction - fantasy/metaphysical thriller. This is about persI was drawn to this book from the description on the book tour list: "Contemporary women’s fiction - fantasy/metaphysical thriller. This is about personal growth, relationships, science and romance. A bit of a genre-bender." It definitely is all of that. I think even with the metaphysical leanings, I was picturing something a bit lighter and a quicker read than the book turned out to be. It did take me time to get into the rhythm of the story and its complexity, with the many twists and turns back in time and location and the many characters (and/or reincarnations of characters) to keep track of; then there is all of the biology and science worked in through Kelsey's work. Speaking of Kelsey, I had some frustrations with her life choices that made me want to jump through the book and shake her soundly--especially the times when those choices put herself and others in jeopardy. Through the book, she begins to mature and understand herself and by the end I liked her much more than at the beginning. The story also starts out a bit slowly, but action and tension are steadily built and the 'thriller' description starts to kick in the later half. I found myself most swept away by the settings which ranged from Santa Fe, to Belize, to the mythical lost island of Atlantis. All were beautifully described in a way that brought them to life and made them feel both real and dreamily mystical at the same time.
Incarnation is a book that takes some thought and consideration to read, it's not a book to rush through. In the author's bio below, it mentions that she "writes with a mind balanced between right and left-brain capabilities that leads to a combination of flights of fancy and complexity of structure in her work" and I find that description also accurate of this book. It weaves between science, action, spirituality, and mysticism--so I think an open mind and a spirit of adventure are helpful to the enjoyment of the story. My advice for making the most of your reading experience is to find a comfy, preferably sunny, spot to read, play a little new age music (or relaxation music with ocean or water sounds), pour yourself a cool, thirst quenching drink (see the one below for inspiration) and settle in for a unique and absorbing journey.
Note: A review copy of "Incarnation" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own....more