SISTERS of the WAR by RANIA ABOUZEID

Sisters of the War: Two Remarkable True Stories of Survival and Hope in Syria (Scholastic Focus)

Living in the United States we think we know what is going on in the world. We have 24 hours of news coverage and constant updates on social media sites.

But a few years back when I began to try and figure out who was telling the truth about Syria, it was obvious we know nothing. The reports I was given told two entirely different stories depending on who was writing them.

This book lets the children and adults who are living on both sides of the conflict tell their own stories.

There are innocent people on both sides, and the children’s sense of hope was inspiring. The differences in their lives while living only a few hundred miles apart were stark. One set of parents determined to shield their family from the ugliness beyond their own door while the other encourages rebellion.

Rania Abouzeid is a journalist I admire and can trust. Her writing in this book is exceptional and honest.

I will be sending a copy to my granddaughter!

Scholastic September 2020

THE CROHN’S DISEASE COOKBOOK by Amanda Foote,RD

Never have I been happier than the day this book arrived! Finally someone who understands Crohn’s Disease!

Whether you have just been diagnosed or like me, have been doing the best you can to avoid flares and figure out how to eat to keep yourself healthy and alive!

There are customized meal plans as well as food to eat during and after a flare up. And there is a lot of information on CD and other issues that may come with it. I have CD along with Celiac and Lactose Intolerance. All the women on my mother’s side have this. No one talked about it. We jokingly called it our secret diet since you eat and then you spend hours crying in the bathroom feeling as if you are giving birth to a large demon.

This cookbook has opened up a lot of options for me. I don’t do soy either and I was happy to see I could substitute with almond milk. The Bone Broth recipe was my favorite. That may seem odd but during and after a flare this is one of the only things I can eat. I can tolerate some meats but I don’t like meat so roasted chicken and salmon are the only ones I eat and then only after a flare.

And it’s hard to know what will kick off a flare. For example yesterday I was feeling too lazy to get out of the pool so I just grabbed two small pieces of OU Boy’s beef jerky. It was peppered. It took all of 5 minutes before I was running to the bathroom and I have been in pain since then. That is a flare.

Love the book and grateful to the author!

BLACK WIDOW by Leslie Gray Streeter

Leslie Gray Streeter offers us a portrait of widowhood we haven’t seen before, one that “will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page” (James Patterson).

Palm Beach Post columnist Leslie Gray Streeter entered her late thirties with her husband Scott, moving in together and starting the process of adopting a baby. Yes, she is Christian and a black woman and he is neither. He is a white Jewish man. But together they are perfect for each other.

And just like that, they were making out and he died. Right there. And this is the story of her path and how she traveled it. I loved this book. I am this book. My husband died the same way at 36. There should be a period of a week at least before you have to start making decisions that are probably all bad. I laughed, I cried, I understood. Someone said you never understand death until it knocks at your door. So true. Thank goodness for friends who will not let you wallow in quicksand, but show up and care and drag you back from the edge and tell you that you aren’t crazy and it’s okay to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

I am honored to have read this!

NetGalley/ March 10th, 2020 by Little, Brown, and Company

 

 

 

THE SCENT KEEPER by ERICA BAUERMEISTER *Blog Tour and Giveaway*

The Scent Keeper

“Back before there was time, I lived with my father on an island, tucked away in an endless archipelago that reached up out of the cold salt water, hungry for air.”

The Island is all Emmeline has ever known. Her father teaches her about magic and the world of scents and how they are tied so closely to our memories.

Since she was a small child she has believed in the magic of the island. How mysteriously things appear when they need them. The walls of small drawers in their little cabin full of tiny pieces of paper from the mysterious machine that can capture a memory with scent. She believes it all.

As she gets older and begins to question her father and his actions, she finds her own answers and feels betrayed and angry. When tragedy occurs, she is suddenly removed from her island and enters the real world. A world that is ugly and mean and one she wants no part of.

She sets out on her own to find who she is and why she is so different from other people and in doing so will find out about family, loyalty, and betrayal by the ones you love the most.

This may be the most beautiful piece of writing I have seen in a long time. I was left with a beautiful ending and had tears streaming down my face.

This is a must read!

NetGalley/ St.Martin’s Press May 21, 2019

Scent Keeper - Author Image_credit to Susan Doupé

About the Author:
Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

 

I am doing a Giveaway for this book!  Comment below on the subject of scents! Will draw on Monday!
xxP

 

 

WHILE YOU SLEEP BY STEPHANIE MERRITT

While You Sleep


It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

Zoe Adams has Scottish roots,  so when she needs some time apart from her husband she heads to a remote island in Scotland. Responding to an advert for a recently restored Victorian on the beach. No cell service or internet is just the thing to help her reignite her passion. Painting landscapes.

An island so small there isn’t even a real policeman.  The McBride house stands alone against the forces of nature and man. A beautiful place in a beautiful setting. The owner and his family operate the pub and live above it, which Zoe is curious about. Such a gorgeous place, why wouldn’t you live in it?

The people of the island are not exactly welcoming and Zoe knows they are hiding something from her and her first night in the house she finds out firsthand what that might be. The house may look shiny and new but it has a dark and dangerous past. One full of ancient practices, buried bodies, ghosts and murders. Stories of a widow and her son dying there and most recently a boy disappearing there. But Zoe thinks the bad guys are very human. But can she figure it all out before she becomes one of the horror stories?

This book had it all. Horror, Thriller, Ghost Story, Gothic, Mystery and more. And that is all I’m telling you. I started it and finished it in one day. This is not your average haunted house, it comes with some special benefits that had me reading some chapters again just to be sure I understood what was going on! And that is good! The ending was perfect for this tale and I’m sure I will read it again.

Well Done!

Netgalley/ Pegasus Books March 05, 2019

coffee and cake by Rick Rodgers

Coffee and Cake: Enjoy the Perfect Cup of Coffee--with Dozens of Delectable Recipes for Café Treats

Rick Rodgers is an expert at writing really good cookbooks! And this one is exactly what I was looking for. Focusing not only on the cake, but on making the perfect cup of coffee, no matter what type of machine you choose to use.

I prefer the French Press. It’s always reliable and gives me a smooth cup. He takes us through all of the different brewing methods and shares some excellent coffee drinks with us so by the time the cake portion comes around, you are ready with your cup of choice.

The cakes are the good old-fashioned kind our grandmothers made. Plus some European treats and two of my all time favorites, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple-Cranberry Ginger Loaf. Oh my goodness were those good. I plan on working my way through the entire book and pairing them with the appropriate coffee. Or tea. If you know me you’ll know it’s probably tea.

I can say honestly I love this little book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

naked cakes: simply stunning cakes by Hannah Miles

Confession Time….I am obsessed with naked cakes. Whoever thought of this idea must be a relative of mine. The reason I don’t eat a lot of cake is I’m not overly fond of the thick icing. It overpowers the taste of the cake and I love the aesthetic of a naked cake.

This one is probably my favorite. I have not found a single recipe I didn’t love. Especially the Earl Grey tea cakes. Oh my goodness those are good.

This book was a gift and has been well used for the short time I have had it. Nothing is as impressive as one of these naked cakes!

Give one a try and you won’t go back to a full frost!