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Review: Knit Your Socks on Straight by Alice Curtis

Straight Socks cover

Back Cover:

Not interested in knitting in the round? Wary of double-pointed needles? Now you can knit comfortable, attractive socks on straight needles. Alice Curtis shows you the secret to straight-needle sock knitting with her elegant technique for turning the necessary seam into an appealing design element.

Step-by-step instructions and photographs introduce the stitches and explain how to make a beautiful seam. Twenty unique patterns feature a variety of yarn weights and motifs and include instructions for a range of sizes.

Review:

This book contains instructions for making socks on straight knitting needles—an innovative idea for sure! There’s the basic sock pattern plus nineteen others for keen knitters. I was thrilled with the way this book is set out in a clear and concise manner with little tips and troubleshooting throughout. Details of gauge and pattern notes are shown with each pattern. The photographs illustrating the socks and the different methods used in the making of each pair of socks are beautiful and enticing.

The socks come in different sizes, which is a bonus for me with my big feet!

This book made me want to start knitting immediately. The patterns are suitable for immediate to advanced knitters. Knit Your Socks on Straight would make a great addition to the library of keen knitters and an excellent gift for the knitter in your family. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Knit Your Socks on Straight

Review: Storm Force by Susannah Sandlin

Storm ForceStorm Force

Omega Force #1

Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: March 19, 2013, in serial form for Kindle; July 9, 2013, in print, digital, and audio.

ISBN: 978-1477807576

Word Count: approx. 90,000

Amazon

Book Description:

As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

Review – Storm Force by Susannah Sandlin

Storm Force is episode one of a serial.

A terrorist attack starts Kell and his paranormal team, Omega Force, on a new assignment. He’s new to the job and new to the reality of shifters inhabiting the world along with humans. The team members are feeling their way and gradually growing into a cohesive force. Mori Chastaine is part of an environmental action group who are suspected of the terrorist attack. Kell arrives to join the group and hopefully learn the truth from the inside. Meanwhile the FBI arrest Mori.

This first episode introduces us to a lot of characters, both human and paranormal, plus the aftermath of the terrorist attack. There’s a lot happening in a short time. The last chapter really shook things up, raising my curiosity. I ended the serial thinking, “What????” so the author did her job well. She’s made me ponder what happens next. How will Omega Force handle the situation? What happens to Mori, to Kell? I’m presuming that there might be a romantic connection between Mori and Kell, but so far it’s not hinted at. I’d definitely like to read the next episode.

This serial was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review.

clip_image004_thumbAbout the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

Website: http://www.susannahsandlin.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susannahsandlin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susannahsandlin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828129.Susannah_Sandlin

Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612183541

New Episode Release Schedule for Storm Force

March 19–episode 1

March 26–episode 2

April 2–episode 3

April 9–episode 4

April 16–episode 5

April 23–episode 6

April 30–episode 7

May 7–episode 8

May 14–episode 9

The release date for the complete book is July 9.

Recipe Review: Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetable Soups, Stews and Chilis by Phyllis Pellman Good

Fix It and Forget It Vegetarian Soups, Stews and Chilis

Today I’m reviewing a vegetarian cook book.

Blurb:

Fifty scrumptious and savory soup recipes for any season

These time-tested, easy-to-manage recipes for soups of all flavors have one thing in common: loads of healthy vegetables. Whether you’re looking for a hearty supper or a light weekday lunch, Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Soups offers delicious choices to make in your slow cooker or on your stovetop, such as:

Vegan Chili·      Corn Chowder·      Homemade Vegetable Soup·      Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

And much more!

Review:

As the title suggests, this book contains a collection of vegetarian recipes for soups, stews and chilis. The recipes are from home cooks and most of them are perfect to cook in a crockpot/slow cooker.

What I liked about this book:

1. The recipes give an indication of preparation and cooking times.

2. The ingredients were all things I’d find in my fridge or pantry.

3. As a New Zealander I often find American recipes use measurements that I need to convert. This book is easy to follow with no maths required. Measurements used are cups and spoons.

4. The recipes were appealing. I’d be happy to try most of them, and they weren’t overly complicated.

5. They’re mostly recipes that can be made ahead and are perfect for busy cooks.

6. It’s a vegetarian cook book!

What I didn’t like about this book:

1. The title suggests that there are soups, stews and chilli recipes. While this is true, the majority of the recipes are for soup with only about four chilli recipes and one or two stews.

2. Not every recipe has a photo to go with it. I think that most cooks like a photo so that they can compare their final dish with the one in the recipe book. At least that’s what I do when I’m cooking. I like to think that my dish turns out just like the one in the book.

Conclusion:

This is a handy and inexpensive book to have in your cooking library. It would be a great gift for a busy parent or maybe a student who flats and doesn’t have much time to make nutritious dishes. It would also be excellent for a beginner cook since the instructions are clear and concise.

Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Fix-It and Forget-it Vegetable Soups, Stews and Chilis

Review – Hero of My Heart by Megan Frampton

Hero of My Heart

In this emotional and powerfully erotic tale of love and redemption, a tender vicar’s daughter and a tortured war hero discover that sin may be their only salvation.

When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material. Although he is exceedingly handsome, with a perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes, Alasdair is also too fond of opium, preferring delirium to reality. Still, he has come to Mary’s aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled.

Review:

Alasdair Thornham is a good man, but he’s addicted to opium. He finds himself in a pub where an auction is taking place. Mary Smith’s brother is selling off his virginal sister in order to earn money to pay his debts. Alasdair realizes something is wrong with the woman, suspects the use of drugs, and decides to act. He buys her, and thus starts an adventure that changes both of their lives. At first Mary fights the situation, but Alasdair decides they should travel to Scotland and get married.

Both Mary and Alasdair are great characters. Alasdair, in particular, is interesting and not your typical hero. He’s addicted to drugs, and although he doesn’t care about himself, he tries to do the right thing for Mary and to protect her with his name. Once she is safe, he’s determined to complete his downward spiral into drugs and oblivion. Mary will be his last good deed. Meanwhile, Mary hopes to go to London to find her missing mother—she’s recently discovered her mother is still alive and that her parents weren’t married—then she intends to disappear and leave her husband to his insanity. Both main characters have solid goals and set about trying to make them happen. But the stakes change when they make love. Gradually, their feelings for each other shift, and it was wonderful to watch.

The secondary characters—Mary’s brother and Alasdair’s cousin—are both determined to stop the marriage. They’re both motivated by greed and money, and make suitable villains, forcing our hero and heroine to take action.

Hero of My Heart is an unusual historical because it takes place away from the social scene of London. The hero and heroine attempt to steal in order to get what they need, and suffer the consequences when things go wrong. I liked the unexpectedness of this story, and enjoyed the closure at the end. An unusual and satisfying read that takes the reader on an emotional journey while two people learn what they want isn’t exactly what they need. Recommended.

ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hero of My Heart is out on 8 April 2013

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Review:The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

TheZombieAlwaysKnocksTwice

 


clip_image002The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
E. Van Lowe

Hollyweird #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Imajin

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

Kindle ebook: 978-1-926997-74-2

Trade paperback: 978-1-926997-81-0

Page Count: 177 pages

Book Description:

Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead

Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?

REVIEW:

The Zombie Always Knocks Twice is a first person young adult story featuring female protagonist Kris Golden. This is book one in a new series called Hollyweird.

On the surface Kris is a normal fifteen year old girl. She lives in Hollywood and has an agent who books her auditions for shows. She goes to school, works part time at Disco Diva’s Diner, and has a father who loves her even though he smothers her a little. Oh, and she doesn’t have a boyfriend and is failing algebra II. Just a typical teenage girl…

But Kris is also a necromancer. She can spot the walking dead and raise the dead, but it’s her sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest. It’s a duty Kris takes very seriously, even though she worries about her peers thinking she’s weird. It’s a secret she doesn’t talk about, except with her family and the man who trained her.

Kris is busy working at the diner when she spots a dead girl. The girl takes off, and Kris gives chase. Unfortunately the dead girl is fast and she evades Kris. Thus starts Kris’s search for the dead girl and the person who raised her from the dead. Then there’s murder…

Kris is a very likeable character. She adores her solo parent father, but has problems after the return of her runaway sister. She’s a loyal friend and determined to carry out her necromancer duties to the best of her abilities.

Alex, her romantic interest, is interesting—a famous actor—and I’m curious as to where this relationship will go. I grew to like Alex. Despite his fame, he comes across as sincere.

The rest of the secondary characters have their own agendas, and they usually end up making Kris’s life more difficult. I enjoyed the Hollywood setting with Kris’s semi-normal world jostling up against the world of movie stars.

My only quibble is that the story took a couple of chapters to get going for me, but after that it was plain-sailing with excellent chapter hooks that kept me turning the pages.

I loved The Zombie Always Knocks Twice. Once the story hits its stride it’s fast paced and enjoyable with each plot twist complicating Kris’s life. The main puzzle of the dead girl is solved by the end of the story, but the subplot related to Kris’s romantic interest isn’t tied up yet. Even so, I was happy with the conclusion, and thought Kris was both courageous and likeable—the perfect heroine. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended.

This book was provided by the author and Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

Review: Hollywood Ever After

Hollywood Ever AfterHollywood Ever After

By Sasha Summers

Inkspell Publishing

Release Date July 14, 2012

She wasn’t meant for movie stars, Hollywood, or happy endings. And then she met him.

Blurb:

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises.

Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two…

And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair?

Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?

InkSpell Publishing Link:

http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/store.html

 

REVIEW:

Hollywood Ever After is a first person contemporary romance featuring an older woman/younger man scenario and is set mainly in Los Angeles and for a few chapters in London.

Claire has come out of an abusive marriage and is starting to get her life together after her divorce. She travels to Hollywood to spend a few days with her friend, Shannon who works in the movie industry. Shannon treats Claire to some new clothes to wear to the premiere of a movie and this is where she meets Josh, an English actor who is the newest sensation in the film world.

At first Claire can’t believe Josh is interested in her, but he gradually talks her around and shows her with both actions and words that it’s Claire he wants. Even after she returns to her normal life with her kids he continues to pursue her.

The ongoing conflict in this story comes from Claire’s ex-husband and Josh’s burgeoning fame as an actor plus Claire’s recovery from her husband’s abuse. This story is Claire’s journey from abused wife to independent woman.

I loved this story from page one and read it in a couple of days. Although Hollywood Ever After deals with some weighty issues, it was very much a feel good story and had me cheering for the hero and heroine. I enjoyed the main characters and the way their relationship developed during the course of the story. The slight suspense element added to the story, although it was easy to guess what would happen in this respect.

If you’re a fan of contemporary romances, I think you’ll like this one. I’ll be looking for more from this author.

This book was received from Bewitching Book Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Top Pick! First Review for The Spurned Viscountess

I was delighted with this review I received from Night Owl Romances. It’s actually my very first review for The Spurned Viscountess. I’m glad it’s a good one.

“Shelley Munro’s revised story is a beautiful, adventurous tale of the strength of love and forgiveness. Set in 1720 England, the landscape is so well defined that the reader is immediately drawn back to the past. With hints of a gothic story, the tale moves along at a quick pace with hints of mystery and a very satisfying romance. The characters are evocative with the reader quickly sympathizing with Rosalind and Lucien, though troubled by the past, is definitely a hero of the first order.” TOP PICK.

Here’s the link to the entire review at NOR



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