Feature and Follow: Looking Up Strange Words and Terminology

Q: What is the BIGGEST word you’ve seen used in a book lately – that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.

A: This is a great question. :) I'm doing research for an article I'm writing and right now I'm combing through old cookbooks. A term came up that I couldn't identify. I'm pretty 'offal' literate (variety meats like kidneys, liver, and the like) but I didn't know what pork melts were. I actually had to look it up. For those that don't know or who want to know - pork melts are the pork spleen, and yes, some people eat that part of the animal. For the life of me I can't remember the book, only that I wrote it down, but it came from one published in the early 20th century.


Hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog.

F&F: First you leave your name here on this post using the linky tools, grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post, and then visit as many blogs as you want on the list and tell them “hi” in their comments or respond to their question. If someone follows you, it's courtesy to follow back. It's a great way to see what other book bloggers are reading now, and how they feel about the weekly question.

OK, what term did you have to look up? Enter the linky and leave a comment below.



Book Tour & Giveaway: Primal by D. A. Serra

Book Trailer:
PRIMAL by D.A. Serra (screenplay originally purchased by James Cameron). The most dangerous place on Earth is between a mother and her child…With everything at stake – what are you capable of? What if the worst happens and you’re not a policeman, a soldier, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart? What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mom? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must learn to kill or watch her family die. And then, things get worse.

Things to like about it - it's a fast paced thriller with a good story. I really liked the story line and whenever this makes it to the big or small screen, I'll definitely watch it. I thought the idea that a 'normal' mom and school teacher goes into 'Rambo' mode to hunt down and looks to actually end the lives of those who threatened her family was a complete guttural response to her situation.

This book was a little choppy for me, and I think it is because it read more like a screenplay rather than a novel, which incidentally and congrats to the author, this story was purchased for film. Some of the dialogue was back-and-forth too fast yet some paragraphs were three pages long. For me, while the book jumped between the characters too quickly it would be great to watch.

The four brothers were pure evil (they really took care of their mother, yikes), and her husband was a strong support for Allison in the end. I liked their relationship, and it seemed to play out naturally in the course of events, including his feeling of helplessness in the role-reversal (she's the protector and hunter rather than he). This is a book where a mother protects her family in the most primal way.

The author, D.A. Serra, is conducting a giveaway for this book! The entry is below, and she is offering it in PDF or Kindle formats. The winner will be chosen by random, and the book delivered by the author herself. Good luck!

Book Information:
  • Primal by D.A. Serra 
  • Self published via CreateSpace; 2012
  • ISBN13: 9781478198031
  • Ebook and paperback format.
Author Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own.
There was a winner to the giveaway! The winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered!


Feature and Follow: Hyped Books Worthy of the Fame

Q: What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?

A: I have to say, Harry Potter. I remember there was so much press about those books, especially with the first few, and was pleasantly surprised that the words inside were worthy all the hype the books received.


Hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog.

F&F: First you leave your name here on this post using the linky tools, grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post, and then visit as many blogs as you want on the list and tell them “hi” in their comments or respond to their question. If someone follows you, it's courtesy to follow back. It's a great way to see what other book bloggers are reading now, and how they feel about the weekly question.

What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?




Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Anthology

Book Trailer:
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell, or if Jill pushed him instead, to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. 
Two and Twenty Dark Tales is a collection of background stories of different Mother Goose nursery rhymes, such as Sing a Song of Six Pence, Little Boy Blue, There Was an Old Woman, Jack and Jill, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Some of the stories were based on rhymes I'd never even heard of, and while most were dark (deliciously so) some were actually sweet in a way, and some left me confused. Some stories I didn't have a chance to review as my eARC was incomplete; the final version for sale will have all the stories as a complete anthology.

But as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed how the different authors came about with the rhyme's history, and overall theme and feel. While some stories I liked better than others, I did like the fact that no two stories had the same style or setting. For those who enjoy quick-hit horror or fantasy, this would be an easy gift to give - and receive.

The publisher notes this is the first book in a new series of annual anthologies for charity, where the proceeds from the first 5,000 books will be donated to their choice of charities. I'm thinking this is a win-win - an easy way for readers to help out and read deliciously dark short stories at the same time.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This eARC galley was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett


Book Trailer:
Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger. Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn't count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn. 

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who's great at helping everyone-except herself. Avery's demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn't backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it. 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Deep Autumn Heat, Callie's Cowboy, and About Last Night.

This was a fun and intoxicating read. I'm beginning to love Barrett's writing style, and getting to know yet another Grayson brother was worth waiting for after Deep Autumn Heat's wonderful Sebastion and Lexie story.

Theo Grayson is a writer well-versed in romance and game-playing in metropolitan San Francisco, but when he hits a wall with his writing he comes back to the small East Coast village that was his childhood hometown. He finds comfort in family, and what he is looking for in more ways than one but having to convince Avery of is frustrating him. Theo is both protective and honest with her, yet shows he has a reputation as a lady's man. All around good guy who knows what he wants. Avery is hesitant and needs to find herself before she can accept anyone in.

I enjoyed the subtle treasure adventure theme running through the books, and hope it plays out with all the brothers. It is set around Christmas time, so if a holiday romance is in order this would be a good pick. And, of course, my pastry chef side was well rewarded with a little 'goodie' from the author at the end - or I should say, Lexie finally submitted and shared her secret with Sebastian. :) Loved it.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.


Writing Winning Business Plans by Ann Carrington

iconBusiness plans are a blueprint for businesses, both established and brand new ventures. Writing Winning Business Plans helps to write one step by step. The book is separated by topic: Business Plan Positioning; Business Plan Overview; Investors and Fundraising; Starting a Business Venture; Executive Summary; Business Overview; History and Current Business; Marketing Plan; Product or Services Plan; Sales Plan; Web Plan; Organization Plan; Financial Plan; Business Plan; and Business Plan Presentation.

Each section goes deep into what iconat is needed. Examples are included to explain further and prompting ideas and responses from the reader. For example, Marketing Plan explains the Marketing Niche, Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis, and Regulatory Restrictions. The Marketing Plan sample is from a fictional design house with hypothetical charts to help incorporate stuff like market trends and promotional strategies, which may changes with a different business.

For those that would like different approaches to distributing and giving a business plan presentation, Writing Winning Business Plans shows what a finished business plan looks like in both text and power point formats, as well as help with a business plan pitch. A sample business plan presentation invitation is included.

Useful for those who have never tackled a business plan as well as those who would like to update their current one, this book is straight to the point.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This was provided from the publisher and any opinions are my own.


The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman

Book Trailer:
Corrie Saunders grew up in a life of privilege. But she gave it all up for Jarrod, her Army husband, a man she knew was a hero when she vowed to spend her life with him. She just didn’t expect her hero to sacrifice his life taking on an Iraqi suicide bomber. Six months after Jarrod’s death, Corrie retreats to the family home her husband inherited deep in the Missouri Ozarks. She doesn’t know how to live without Jarrod—she doesn’t want to. By moving to Saunders Creek and living in a house beloved by him, she hopes that somehow her Jarrod will come back to her. Something about the house suggests maybe he has. Corrie begins to wonder if she can feel Jarrod’s presence. Jarrod’s cousin Eli is helping Corrie with the house’s restoration and he knows that his dead cousin is not what Corrie senses. Eli, as a believing man and at odds with his mystically-oriented family members, thinks friendly visits from beyond are hogwash. But he takes spirits with dark intentions seriously. Can he convince Corrie that letting go of Jarrod will lead to finding her footing again— and to the One she can truly put her faith into?
The Widow of Saunders Creek has a supernatural element to it, and while it isn't scary some parts in the book had the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It's a Christian fiction novel so expect good vs. evil. The main characters deal with a demon that has been 'living' in the house, seemingly peacefully for generations. It is only after Corrie wants it out, and move on with her life does it react forcefully against her. Tracey Batemen gave a good fictional description of what a seance would be like, too. I've watched enough spooky movies to totally believe what she wrote.

I enjoyed her different point of views throughout the book. Each of the chapters has Eli or Corrie speaking, feeling, and experiencing the different scenes. The love story was light, and it wasn't very scary. All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable 'scary' Christian fiction.


Children's Specialteas: A Child's Introduction to Tea

Book Trailer:

Michele Pollard Patrick's Children's Specialteas: A Child's Introduction to Tea offers a step-by-step primer on the ritual of "taking tea." An elegant collection of pictures enhances this simple text to create a classic which every child should own.
 
This book is geared for, and would be appropriately aimed at, young pre-schoolers who enjoy tea parties, coloring books, and simple hand drawn images. It would be good for young girls who would be interested in hosting Teddy Bear tea parties in their room. Images are in black and white, with a brief explanation of the picture below.

It is not a comprehensive guide for tea and tea parties, but rather a hard back version of a coloring book. As such, if you are looking for something to add to a gift basket for a youngster this would be something to seek. But if you are looking at a comprehensive guide for older youth, there are other books that would be better for them. There is not much to it other than roughly drawn images of a girl at a teddy bear tea, with drawings of things the author wishes to explain.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.


Feature and Follow: What I'm Reading Now

Q: What book(s) are you reading right now? What do you think of it?

A: As usual, I'm reading several book at the same time. The one that has caught my attention though, is Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes. It's an eARC that has been incredibly hard to put down. My review for it will be up shortly, and I'm loving every word of the different stories right now.


Hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog.

F&F: First you leave your name here on this post using the linky tools, grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post, and then visit as many blogs as you want on the list and tell them “hi” in their comments or respond to their question. If someone follows you, it's courtesy to follow back. It's a great way to see what other book bloggers are reading now, and how they feel about the weekly question.

What are you reading now, and are you enjoying it?

Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt

 
This isn't a baking book per se, but it does have something related to the pastry kitchen: candy. As a mom, I know how much fun my kids enjoy experimenting and working on home science projects. Their science kits complete with microscopes, tweezers, petri dishes, and empty and prepared slides to look at things up close makes any rainy day (or day too hot to play outside) a fun one. But as someone who works with pastry, I'd love to combine the two. I found that in the book Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt, due out in January, 2013.



Read the full review of this book on my pastry blog.

A Scandalous Affair by Karen Erickson

Book Trailer:

From the moment Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, meets the mysterious Marquess of Hartwell at a masquerade ball, she's determined to seduce him. The handsome, charming man cannot possibly be the cold, calculating lord who Society calls "Black Hart." Risking everything, the lonely widow invites the elusive Hartwell to her dinner party...for two. Hartwell's arrogant reputation is built on a lie. For he has a shameful secret that keeps him in the shadows: a stutter-his downfall since childhood. He'd rather keep his mouth shut than look the fool. But he's shocked to discover that in Daphne's company-and in her bed-his stutter vanishes. After one wanton evening together, Daphne is hurt when the lord lives up to his Black Hart name. Yet his reasons for leaving surprise even him. Now he must confess everything or risk losing Daphne forever...

This was a quick read and the descriptions of the time period draw you into the characters' world. The book ended up being a sweet love story between a widow and a man perceived to be cold and calculating. In actuality, he isn't cold at all but has a stutter that gives him reluctance to speak publicly - which gives off his notorious persona. Lady Pomeroy has enough patience to understand his difficulty and Hartwell finally finds a person who calms his nerves, so to speak, and takes him as he is, speech impediment or not.

For those that are interested in these details, it was a shorter read (just over 20,000 words) with one major love scene that wasn't too steamy. It was nice to read a love story about a person with a disability that doesn't get too much publicity which affects so many people.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This eARC was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston

Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston is dedicated to parents of teenagers and focuses on the relationships between the two, namely with communication. It has a Christian element to it, but isn't overtly so. The author instead chooses to talk about the main influencers in a kid's life: television, advertising, and over-responsible parents - parents who do everything for their kids without letting them grow as individuals which ends up making them children as adults.

I liked that Gregston puts examples in the book from his own experiences counseling teens and their families. Over-exposure from the media is for sure at the heart of many disagreements of parents and kids, such as both sexes wanting to wear provocative yet fashionable clothing, but also not giving kids (older kids) the freedom to make their own choices whether good or bad. Trust is key, and shows when a kids he counsels says "I'd rather do wrong and be in control than do right and not be in control." That's powerful in that sometimes as parents (and I know I'm guilty of it) we try to make all the right choices for our kids so that they succeed in everything. Looking back, I didn't have that growing up yet I made all the right choices anyway, and learned a great deal from the wrong ones. I know I'll have trouble with this part as the kids get older as I'll still want to 'help' them out in anyway I can and am reluctant to give them the freedoms I had (the world is so different from back then!).

Reading this though gives parents a reminder that values are important in the home as well as setting a good example. Gregston puts it out there that if kids see that in their parents or adults in the household, then they are more apt to communicate and make better choices as they grow older.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.