Book Review: Plain Fame by Sarah Price (Book One)

Book Review: Plain Fame by Sarah Price (Book One)

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I’m always interested in Amish books, and therefore I’m used to a certain consistency. The story line in this series is definitely different, but I found it difficult to stay on track while reading. I believe the plot and story premises is a good, unique angle. However, the writing style could have been developed so much further. With that, some areas could have been deleted. I wanted to love Amanda, but I never really had a change to really like her (or even Alejandro).

The first book I flew thru, just to get to the end to start on the next book.

The one thing going for the book was the synopsis and the cover.

I downloaded this book from NetGalley.

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Book Review: 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symon’s

Book Review: 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symon’s

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The cover photo of this cookbook is what initially appealed to me. Colorful, and the author holding a carton of vegetables. Speaks quality and taste. Then, the promise of quick dinners, sides, holiday dishes and more drew me in.

I love cookbooks, and I’m always eager to try out a recipe or two within to see if a book is worth keeping or passing off to someone else.

First off, the book is full-color, but that’s to be expected. The first few pages of the book contain the introduction and a short list of suggested pantry items. And then it dives into the first season, spring. Each section in the book is divided by seasons, and the majority of recipes have a photo accompanying the recipe. There are a few sprinkled within, that do not. The pictures always help in deciding whether or not to try or recipe or not, especially if the trend in the book is to showcase it visually.

There were two recipes I tried in the book. First, was the White Bean Crostini with Arugula for the Fall season. I made the recipe exactly as described. My first try of a recipe, I try not to make any modifications, unless it becomes necessary to adjust the flavor. This recipe, I discovered uses too much salt. Well, actually the instructions for the recipe omitted just how much salt to use, instead within the instructions it would direct you to “season with salt and pepper”. The beans were to be “seasoned with salt and pepper”, no indication of how much is suggested to start from. Then later, it says to season the bread with salt and pepper. The arugula with the lemon juice also, included a pinch of salt. At least here a measurement was suggested. Still, all in all, there was too much salt added. If I did this recipe again, I’d omit the salt from the bread.

So when it came to that recipe, the flavors were good, just salt was an issue. Would I make it again, probably, but in cutting back on the lemon juice. That was way too much from my half of a lemon, which wasn’t by far a large lemon.

My second attempt at a recipe, I chose to make Pasta Puttanesca. It sounded easy enough and I had all the ingredients in my cupboard. I always like the prep ahead of time, so that is what I did. But, what the ingredient listing fails to tell you is that again, you will need salt and pepper for the recipe. Why that can’t be added at the listing of ingredients, I’m not sure, unless it would break out of his “5 ingredient” listing. That said, I found it a little disturbing to know that as I’m cooking I need to run across the kitchen and get a few extra ingredients not mentioned before hand. A small detail, but frustrating.

That said, my pasta dish again I made just as described. Unfortunately, I did need to edit to make my pasta more tasty and appealing to me. I guess I’m spoiled by other recipes or cookbooks where I can make a dish as is and end up with something awesome. This wasn’t my case. Twice I’ve tried making dishes from the cookbook, and both times I ended up with issues.

All in all, I probably wouldn’t buy this book on my own nor would I give it as a gift. It’s a great item to leave on a coffee table and dream of maybe one day cooking. For me, I’d rather go online and find a similar recipe.

I received this book from bloggingfrombooks in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Determined Heart by Antoinette May

Book Review: The Determined Heart by Antoinette May

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Well, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into with this book. I liked the cover and to be honest, I just skimmed the summary of the book. I never realized that Mary Shelley wrote the book Frankenstein.

It was a fascinating story about Mary Shelley, of her trials of life growing up with a step mother and step siblings. Her own sister, Fanny, whom was often ignored in the household, yet fell in love with the same man whom ended up with Mary. I never realized that Percy Shelley, the poet, was the wife of Mary Shelley the authoress of Frankenstein. I never realized that Frankenstein was written by a woman. It goes to show how much I know, right? Well, I know so much more now!

I loved the way the book was written, and upon my further research on Mary Shelley (yes, this book actually prompted me to read more about Mary Shelley), I discovered that Antoinette May followed along with her life and melded truth with fiction so well, that I want to know more about this intriguing woman.

It is a book I would most definitely recommend reading. It is a book that I stayed up late into the night to finish reading. My thanks for NetGalley for offering this book in an ebook format, which allowed me to in turn leave an honest review of this book.

Kudo’s the the author on a story well told!

Book Review: The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

Book Review: The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

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I loved this book. I didn’t think I’d like it, because I had such difficulty getting past the first chapter. But I stayed with the book, and by the time I made it into the third chapter, I was hooked. From there, I devoured the book, eager to find times in the day where I could devote myself to finish the story of The Lost Heiress.

As I alluded to in the beginning, the book was difficult to get into. I had no hopes for it. I felt as though I had been plopped down in the middle of a conversation or a story, without any warning. No gentle easement into what was to come, just a sink or swim situation. To be honest, I then let the book gather dust on my nightstand until one day I decided to skim thru and be done with it.

Well, I skimmed thru the first two or three chapters, then I became involved with the story. I began to like the character, the story to be told. The drama that was unfolding. Was she the real heiress, and if she was, would people accept her? What about love in the future, would it be possible?

I really don’t want to give anything away, but there was enough angst, twists and turns, laughter and even a few tears to rate this as a favorite book to read again. As it is, it is headed into my mom’s hand’s for her to enjoy this turn of the century tale.

Having never read Roseanna M. White before, I will be eager to read more of her books in the future. A round of applause!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review of this book.

Book Review: Centralia by Mike Dellosso

Book Review: Centralia by Mike Dellosso

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Wow. I’ve had this book for awhile and forgot I had this. Last night I finally grabbed it and started reading. Wow, is about the only words that I can describe this book. It is about a man who finds himself waking up to a reality that he doesn’t remember happening. Memories are intermingled with other memories, and invading on what he thinks is truth and is actually not. He finds himself being chased while searching for his family, whom he was told was killed, but he believes that are really alive. But who can he trust?

This book reminded me of the Bourne Identity and the Matrix. It kept me intrigued, following along with the story, At the end the of the story, the only thing I could think of was wow.

It is a book that I’m unlikely to read again. It was good, well written, but so totally outside my realm of regular reading material. I thought I would be able to expand, but in this case no.

I received this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in return for a review.

Book Review: Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Review: Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

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I am a fan of Cindy Woodsmall and the books she writes for the Amish genre. There’s been one series that was less to my liking, but 90% of the time I enjoy reading her books. They are descriptive, depth and keep me so intrigued that I turn page after page forgetting that other duties in life call.

Ties that Bind is about a young woman who is haunted by the memories of two friends who left the amish community five years prior. Both were good friends of her, and they left in the middle of the night while she was on a camping trip with them. A letter was given to explain the circumstances, but she never had the opportunity to read it. In turn, she’s haunted by her memories, especially when the young man returns and admits that he is there to help another Amish member leave the community.

Ariana is trying to buy up a closed shop so that she can put into action her dream of owning a restaurant, which she hopes will provide an income for her family who is desperately in need of help. Her twin brother and her is nearly to their goal, and a benefit suggested by her former friend (the one who left the community) helps her meet the goal.

Unfortunately, things that occurred at her birth throws everything into a melting pot of disruption, as she and her family must deal with the changes that promise to change their lives forever.

This book was good. I really enjoyed reading it, and groaned when it ended where it did, because I’m definitely going to have to go into book two to find out what happened. But fortunately, it ended at an okay area where I wasn’t left too much hanging in the day, but I want to know what happened next!

I received this book from Bloggingforbooks in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: All for a Sister by Allison Pittman

Book Review: All for a Sister by Allison Pittman

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I didn’t realize that when I had read this book, I failed to provide a review for it! So many months later, I discover my failure. Despite that, after reading the synopsis, I vividly remember reading this book.

The book initially intrigued me because it was during an era of women gaining a sense of independence, although they were still a long ways away from respectability from men. You had to really and truly earn it, almost become like a “man” to earn respect. But that’s not what this story is about, it is about Celeste’s story and how to gained a sister.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the story, the plot carried me along, as I flipped page after page, wondering what I was going to encounter next. There were a few moments of gaspfullness, as the unexpected came across the page.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I found it difficult to stay focused in all areas and spent many pages turning forward to get to the end. But then again, that may have been more due to my eagerness to find out what happened than the poor storytelling of the author.

This will be a book that I will return to in the future to reread.

I received this book from the Tyndale Blogging Network in exchange for an honest review.