Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Daring Proposition by Casey Hagen

I loved Emberly and Seth! They had such a great chemistry.  She is a photographer noted for her boudoir sessions and he is a security systems guru.  Em does a photo shoot for Seth to try and capture the successful, confident man he has become not the insecure chubby nerd he was in high school.  The sparks start flying and before they know it...they have agreed to spend  weekends together "helping" each other out with social obligations.  It is pretty predictable as far as stories go but still so worth the read if for nothing else than to enjoy the snarky conversations.  Thank you NK Blog tours for the ARC.

Mary and Vincent Price's Come into the Kitchen Cook Book

I love learning new recipes and if they happen to be from celebrities that is even better.  Vincent Price was an amazing actor and clearly a pretty awesome cook. He and his wife Mary looked forward to cooking for family and friends and considering the recipes in this book, I'd say they were pretty popular.  I love that the introduction is by their daughter Victoria. The dishes come from all different eras in American cuisine.  My Grandmother had this book when it originally was released in the 60's and I always remember trying to take it off her shelf and look at it but it was like a prized possession. The recipes are delicious and this new updated intro gives the reader a peek into what it was like growing up with celebrity parents at that time.  There are pictures not only of the food but also of different kitchens in different eras.  This cookbook isn't just meant to sit on the counter, it's meant to be a conversation starter.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Offical Chase 'N Yur Face Cookbook Review

This particular book holds a special place in my heart.  I was given the chance to review this amazing new cookbook by NetGalley and I couldn't be happier. I first was lured in by the cover. Superficial of me...maybe but I like what I like. Just look at how bright and colorful the cover is. I took one look at that smiling teen cook and all that glorious food and I was intrigued.  I then read the book blurb and I was curious. Don't believe me read it for yourself ( this came straight from the book):

Inspired by his journey with autism and overcoming food aversions, Chase Bailey's The Official Chase 'N Yur Face Cookbook entices people of all ages to experience familiar dishes done in different ways; and to discover new things about food while celebrating life and ourselves. Combining delightful recipes, uplifting anecdotes, fun facts, delectable photographs, and humorous animations, Chase teaches home-cooks to prepare a wonderful array of dishes under fun chapter titles: Get Up & Go; Feed the Beast; Pick-Me-Ups; Let's Feast; Life Is Sweet; and Cool Breezes & a Santa Ana Wind. Chase's cookbook includes omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes.

Then I read the author bio and was completely and utterly inspired.  This young man is simply fantastic.  He has overcome so much in his young life and taken the opportunity to reach out and help others. I have been following Chase on YouTube and watching his videos and to see him in action is wildly entertaining in the best possible way. I love the way he interacts with the viewers and the guests.  His personality really shines throughout this cookbook just as well.

This is a cookbook that will be used over and over again. The pages are bright and colorful.  He has found a way to include "Fun Facts" that help link the recipe to culture and history.  I learned quite a few facts while reading it.  The photos are gorgeous and the recipes are easy to follow even for the younger chefs in your house. I mean with recipes like Barnyard Breakfast Muffins, Pigs in a Waffle, Stuffed Hash Potato, and Hearty Chicken and Lemon Verbena could you not want to try the dishes?

Here is the author bio that hooked me:  

About the Author: Chase Bailey is the host and co-creator of the YouTube cooking show Chase 'N Yur Face. He also happens to be an African-American teenager with autism, whose mother was told when Chase was a toddler that he might not be able to speak or take care of himself. But Chase is proving the nay-sayers wrong! Not only is Chase hosting his own cooking show with prominent chefs and celebrity foodies as his guests, he has also been featured in GE's Our American Kitchen series and a GE commercial; appeared in magazines and local, national, and international newspapers; and made TV appearances on The Chew, and The Meredith Vieira Show. Some of the chefs he has cooked with include Roy Choi, Mario Batali, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Fenigar, Becky Reams, and Choc-Chick Founder, Galia Orme. He's also cooked with such celebrity foodies as actress Fuschia Sumner, as well as Anne Scioscia, wife of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Manager, Mike Scioscia. In addition to pursuing his ambitions in the culinary and entertainment industries, it is especially important to Chase that he inspire and tangibly support others who need help achieving their own dreams. So Chase's endeavors also include establishing his Chase Yur Dreams Foundation (CYDF), to provide resources and opportunities for those on the autism spectrum who are working toward independent living. With this goal in mind, Chase is donating a portion of all proceeds from his cookbook to CYDF. Chase believes that, ''We're ALL doing life with a little bit of help. We all have dreams, and need help fulfilling those dreams. And when you have a dream in your heart, you must chase it!''

I have included all the various sites that you can purchase this cookbook at as well as where you can follow Chase Bailey . I have rated this 5 out of 5 on Amazon and Goodreads and part of the proceeds go to his foundation.  Good food+good cause=great purchase....I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

I have found another new favorite author!  I love all kinds of books but romance always seems to be the genre I keep coming back to.  It is a pretty serious love/hate relationship.  I love the idea of a good LOVE story but I HATE when it's not entertaining. Hot and steamy or sad yet beautiful stories are wonderful but the best kind are the ones that make me laugh.  This book had me spitting my soda everywhere ( sorry to my friend who lent me the book....I may owe you a new one).  I love Alice Clayton and Carly Phillips because no matter what the story is about you are guaranteed to love it and laugh a bit.  Ms. Chase does not disappoint at all.

This is essentially a Cinderella-type story but not like anything else I ever read.  Nicholas Arthur Fredrick Edward Pembroke is the Crowned Prince of Wessco.  His fans call him "His Royal Hotness" ( see pic above as it is spot on accurate to the description in the book).  He is gorgeous, intelligent, witty, pervy, and a bit of a jerk.  He is perfect!  His grandmother, The Queen, has decided it is time to unify the country and boost moral and the best way to do that is a royal wedding, naturally.  She gives Nicholas 5 months to find a suitable bride and then sends him to NYC to find his little brother and bring him home to deal with the fallout from all his current partying.  Nicholas and his best friend wander into a coffee shop and stumble upon Olivia Hammond.  It doesn't take long for the first of many indecent proposals and witty banter to appear.

Oliva Hammond has been living a very uneventful and stressful life.  Her mother passed away unexpectedly years before and left Livvy to finish raising her little sister Ellie, taking care of their Dad and keeping the family coffee shop afloat.  She is so focused on taking care of everyone else that she forgot she deserves to be taken care of too.  The night Nicholas walks in changes her entire life, even before she knows he is royalty.   She just sees the man behind the image and responsibilities. She loves what she sees.

The story is told from both POV.  Sometimes this just gets confusing but not in this book. The individual voices of each character are so clear that I swear I could hear them in my head like I was watching a movie. Complete with their respective accents.  I was hooked from page one.  One of my favorite banter scenes.....
"What's your name? I don't know if I asked before?"
"You didn't.  And it's Liv."
"That'a an odd name. Were you ill as a baby? I mean, is live what your parents were hoping you'd do or did they just not like you?"

This is book 1 in a new series with the 2nd and 3rd scheduled for release in February and June.  Who is gonna preorder?  Oh yes, this girl right here.  FYI: I totally gave this 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Dress by Kate Kerrigan is a must read

I was looking for something new to read and I was browsing through NetGalley and came across this book. The first thing that caught my eye was the cover. It is very pretty.  I then read the overview of the story and knew I had to read it!  

Lily is one of the top vintage fashion bloggers in the UK when she suddenly loses her grandfather.  She tries to put herself back together after his passing and stumbles upon a picture of a dress from the 50's that she has been using as inspiration. She suddenly realizes she may be related the woman wearing it and begins trying to find out as much as she can about the dress, woman, and the great uncle she never knew existed.  The book is actually two stories that run parallel to each other. One story is all about Lily recreating The Dress and getting her life together while solving old family mysteries and the second story is all about Francis Fitzgerald ( Lily's unknown great uncle) and how he rose out of poverty to become one of the richest men in America and his young wife Joy, who became the inspiration for The Dress. 

I truly enjoyed this story more than I expected to.  The characters were interesting and the story just kind of grabbed me from page 1 and held on tight. I had to finish it in 2 nights because I couldn't wait to see what was happening.  I would recommend this to anyone who loves fashion, family mysteries, or just a plan great read. You can find it on Amazon in multiple formats.