Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Green Bird

This Kindle edition of Green Bird took me quite some time to review.  The reason behind that is I couldn't decide if I loved it or hated it.  Now, I'm sure you're looking at the picture of that very cute little green bird going how could she hate it?  But, before I go into any negatives let's start with the positives.  I have to say I love the little green bird.  I am a bird lover, so the idea of a children's book with a bird greatly appealed to me.  I mean look at him. How can you resist that cute fat green face?

The whole story is very similar to Are You My Mother? The green bird lives deep inside the pink forest with a pink squirrel family.  (I would love to have seen some more pictures of the pink squirrel family). He is happy living with his pink family but sets off to find his real family.  He finds other green things as he is searching for his family.  This is my favorite part of the book.  Because, before you see a picture of each green object he finds you see a shadow picture.  So it is a great opportunity for children to try and guess what animal or object the little green bird has come across.

my cat reading Green Bird with me

The ending does leave you a bit hanging.  But on the positive side, it does leave the possibility for a second book where the author could go into a whole other story. Or, you could get your children to tell you what they think could happen.

The whole reason I did not review this book before now is that I couldn't figure out how someone could write a 33-page book, half of which are pictures, and not get the grammar correct. If this would have been an adult's book it wouldn't have gotten under my skin quite as much.  This is when children are just learning to read and are very impressionable. Trust me when I say I am no grammatical genius. That which, I am sure is made very clear by my posts.  But, if I am going to write and sell a book, especially a children's book, I am going to hire a professional proofreader/editor to make sure my grammar and punctuation are correct and everything flows smoothly.

That being said, I really do like the Green bird and hopefully, they will do some editing.  I would love to see it as a board book for children and some more stories about the Green Bird in the future.The Green Bird is a cute book with some really cute pictures. It's only $ 0.99 on Amazon.  And if you have Amazon's  Kindle unlimited you can read it for free.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Overall,  I rate it

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian

 I love to cook, so I was was very excited when I got a chance to review Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm always swapping recipes with someone or have my nose in a cookbook looking for the next delicious meal to cook. What I like about this cookbook is that all the meals are quick and easy. Basically, all you need is a sheet pan and your off and cooking your way to a great meal.  Of course, you may need a mixing bowl here or there and maybe a blender but everything is really very simple.

I didn't even get finished reviewing the book and I was out in the kitchen making one of the recipes.  I couldn't resist.  I knew I needed something to add to my baked potatoes and black beans I was making for lunch.  And there it was staring right at me, Blissed Out Cheesy Broccoli Gratin.  I ran out to the kitchen rooted around in the drawers and the next thing I knew I was looking at a fresh sheet pan of broccoli gratin.Let me tell you the nice thing about broccoli gratin on a sheet pan versus a casserole dish.Well, you know how everybody fights over the nice crusty top on a casserole? Well, the whole thing on the sheet pan is that nice crusty top.

There are eight chapters which cover every meal of the day and then some.  And the meals are not just your average ho-hum variety either.  These meals have pizzaz that will whet the appetite and tickle the taste buds.  For instance, one of the next meals I plan on making is the Eggs in Guajillo Chile Sauce.  Now that is my kind of breakfast. I like something with a little oomph in the morning, something that wakes up the senses and says good morning.  What better way to do that than with chiles.  And guajillo is one of my favorite peppers.  So, I am very excited to try that one.

Then there is lunch. Soup and Salad anyone? Wait, did I just say soup and salad.  Yes, that's right you can make soup and salad with a sheet pan as well.  Because for that salad you're going to be showcasing some nice roasted veggies on it.Then there are recipes for main courses and desserts as well.

I think this book is a great way for people to introduce more veggies into their diet.  The average person consumes way more meat than is needed. And for those who are already vegetarians or vegans, this book will add some new quick, easy, and healthy recipes.

Raquel Pelzel has created original recipes for Saveur, the Wall Street Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Shape, and Epicurious, among many others. Formerly an editor at Cook's Illustrated and the senior food editor and test kitchen director for Tasting Table, Pelzel has written more than 20 cookbooks and has judged Food Network shows including Chopped Jr. and Beat Bobby Flay. Pelzel lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her two sons.

*The sheet pan that is used most in the book is a half sheet pan.   A few of the recipes she also uses a rack which fits inside the sheet pan.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gifts From Heaven Book Review

This book is a collection of stories written by the people who experienced what they felt were miraculous answers to prayer. Some of the stories seemed average, while others were absolutely jaw-dropping. You will read stories of joy, enlightenment, healing, and many others that touch the heart.
Gifts From Heaven is for those who love to read about other people's answers to prayer. Some stories are of everyday problems while others are what seems to be unscalable mountains. But, those mountains some of which may include death where the odds are surely stacked against the person have been moved. They are nothing short of a miracle and even have doctors questioning their own beliefs. What appeared to be facts of science that were sure to have led straight to an unforgiving outcome, where disease and illness had ravaged bodies, have now been intervened upon by a loving creator who seemed to reach down from heaven at just the right moment and provide his healing touch.

I read the book in the morning while having my cup of coffee. I thought it would be a good way to start my day off. I am sluggish in the mornings and need something to help get me going. Some of these stories were truly inspiring.and provided just what I needed to give my day a little boost

One of my favorite stories in the book is The Final Authority by Volke and takes place in Germany in the spring of 1946 just after the war. It's about the Typhus epidemic and what his family went through during this time.

I also read the book in the evenings before I went to bed as a way to relax and have something nice to think about before I went to sleep.

Overall I give the book

 For me, it's not a book that I can read from cover to cover in one fell swoop.  I believe the book is best read in short spurts so you can reflect on and digest everything you read better. .I received the book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

James Stuart Bell

James Stuart Bell is the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He consults with numerous publishers, represents various authors, and provides writing and editing services. He has previously served as executive editor at Moody Press, director of religious publishing at Doubleday, and publisher at Bridge Publishing. He also has more than one hundred books with cover credit. He coauthored the best-selling Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible (more than 300,000 sold) and numerous other Christian guides in that series for the Penguin Group. He has also contributed numerous Christian volumes to the best-selling Cup of Comfort series by Adams Media.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Murder on The Moor Book Review

I love reading mysteries and I am always looking for the next great mystery book series.  Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering was published January 31st 2017.  The book caught my eye right away when I saw that it was set in the Moors. The Moors itself is a place shrouded in mystery according to legends, with eerie lights, ghastly figures, beastly hounds, and strange stone circles.

One minute It's sunshiny and beautiful, and the next the fog begins to creep in and your disorientated turned around and upside down.Then comes the dark, the wind and the bone-soaking rain.

And it was on such a dark and rainy night in October 1930's when an old school mate Beaky Bloodworth had called upon Drew Farthering to come and help solve the murder of the town vicar whose body was found dead outside the church. Not to mention Beaky's new looker of a wife thinks she is being followed and Beaky admits he has heard strange sounds from out on the moor.   Hearing of Farthing's prior successes in solving murders Mr. Bloodsworth reaches out to Drew in desperation.  He wants nothing more to ease the fears of his London bred wife and help the police who he says are horridly slow.  So, snuggled up in the front seat of Bloodworth's Bentley Drew and his wife Madeline set off to Bloodworth Park lodge to help solve the crime.

Murder on the Moor is the fifth book in the series of Drew Farthering Mysteries.  This is the first book in the series I have read.  I received a copy of the book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  I liked it so much that I am going to go back and read the other four.  I love that the book is sets in the 30's in England and the main character is a proper gentleman who adores his wife. Julianna Deering is spot on in her descriptions of cars, architecture, and the like of the period. The book is filled with many twists and turns and will have you second guessing yourself when you think you have the whole mystery solved.

This book is for mystery lovers who love the old greats like Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr.

I like to hear about other people's favorite mysteries.  What is one of your favorite mystery books?  Leave me a comment below.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Books and Cocktails Book Club

Join us in 2017 for Books and Cocktails, a book club that meets in Lancaster county and or York county every other month, the second Thursday of the month. Each book matches up with a cocktail.We meet at various restaurants to discuss the book of the month, have a cocktail, and enjoy an appetizer or dinner. And yes, you may join us even if you do not drink, feel free to order your drink virgin or have a tea, coffee or soda instead. We read books across a variety of genres such as classics, biographies, memoirs, romance, Amish, mystery, historical fiction and many others. Most of the books come from the book Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern.

Examples of drinks from the book are Sweet Sherry Cocoa, Gin Rickey, Orange Champagne Punch, Salted Caramel Bourbon Milkshake, and various martinis. For our very first book club, we read Eva Luna by Isabel Allende.  For the cocktail, we had Madrina's Banana Rum Cocktail.  Eva Luna's godmother was a lover of rum. This is the recipe from the book which the restaurant made for us.

 Madrina's Banana Rum Cocktail

1/8 cup low-fat milk
1 tbsp. light rum
1 tbsp. white creme de cacao
1 tbsp. creme de banana (or other banana liqueur)
1/2 banana
wedge of pineapple
maraschino cherry

Place all ingredients except the fruit in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with fruit. Serves 1.

We will also be having some additional events such as book festivals, day trips to bookshops, and author events.
Here are a few of the upcoming books we will be reading:

Murder is Binding

Wuthering Heights

Dan Gets a Minivan


We look forward to you joining us. Questions or comments, email or to sign up go to and request to join.

Anyone who may be visiting the PA Dutch country and would like to drop in the book club for a visit is more than welcome.  We like meeting new people!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

Today across the U.S. we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day. I'm honored to share my birthday with one of the nations greatest leaders of our time. I'm writing this post because so many people are celebrating today and spending time with their family friends but, really don't know the man behind this national holiday. A man who lived his life for God, but was not without fault. A man who strived to make change in an unfair an unjust system, and who ultimately helped bring about desegregation.

He was born on January 15, 1929 to Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was actually born Michael King, as well as his father. But, after a trip to Germany his father changed their names in honor of Martin Luther the great reformer.

After years of investing his time and energy into the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. His death was mourned by thousands of people. It took 17 years but Martin Luther King Jr. day was finally a federal holiday recognized by all the states. Whether you already knew a little about Martin Luther King Jr. or you want to know more about him. Check out some of the resources listed below.

And on a closing thought I would like to leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.