Friday, January 29, 2016

Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen

  • Series: Food52 Works
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607747995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607747994
An essential collection of hassle-free, vibrant vegan recipes, from the author behind Food52's wildly popular The New Veganism and Vegan Lunch columns.

Omnivore or vegan (or anywhere in between), we’re all looking for memorable, flavorful dishes to cook for ourselves and the people we care about. If those recipes happen to be healthful, nourishing, and friendly to vegetarians and vegans, even better.

With her wildly popular New Veganism column on Food52, Gena Hamshaw has inspired home cooks  to incorporate plant-based recipes into their everyday routine—and even gained some nutritional yeast and cashew cheese converts. This vibrant collection of all-new recipes plus beloved favorites from the column—along with exquisite photography and helpful tips throughout—will show all of us innovative ways to cook with fresh produce and whole foods.

From Savory Breakfast Polenta to Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos to Ginger Roasted Pears with Vanilla Cream, these recipes are delicious, dependable, and deeply satisfying. Cook from this book just a couple of times and you’ll soon find yourself stocking up on coconut oil, blending your own nut milks, seeking the sweetest tomatoes at the market, and looking at plant-based dishes in a whole new way.

My Impressions: 
I initially got this book for my family so we could all learn to incorporate vegan foods into our diet 3 days a week. We all have been wanting to go vegan,but felt we really needed to ease into it instead of going gun ho all at once and then backsliding. What we did not have our the resources and nohow to pull it off. That was until we got this little handy book. This was a god sent, literally. The recipes were easy enough for my teens  to help pull off and still allow my 9 year old to help out. My kids loved all the colors on their plates and the different textures of the foods. I really enjoyed the fact that most of the ingredients were things we had around the house or could purchase within our budget. My biggest fear was cost with going vegan and this book really helped us find some great recipes in all categories without having to sacrifice other bills to afford to make the recipes.

I loved that the index includes both ingredients and recipe titles that made life so much less complicated than it could have been. This was very convenient when making our shopping lists for things we needed to buy versus what we already had on hand. I also really enjoyed the tips that were thrown in scattered throughout the book.  Overall, we enjoyed most of the recipes we tried. There were a few the kids hated, but even the ones they disliked they enjoyed making, which in my book is a win for family time! Desserts were a huge hit, along with soups and salads though. I would and have already recommended this book to several friends who have an interest in eating healthier.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.


Dead in Dubai (Lee Carruthers #2)





BLURB:

Why is CIA officer George Branson dead in Dubai? It looks like straight detective work, finding out what George has been up to and why he’s dead, but when former CIA analyst Lee Carruthers arrives in Dubai, she walks into a deadly war between two rival Merchants of Death vying for market share. She learns that George has worked for each man under a different name. With his own, that gives George three identities. Which man is dead? Has George really been working for the Agency, or has he sold out and, if so, to whom? Who are the men following her? And why does she keep finding diamonds?


Giveaway: 
 


Marilynn Larew will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host. Don't miss out and enter below for your chance to win a copy of this amazing book!


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review: 

One word can sum up this book....amazing! I loved every second. Filled with enough twists and turns, mystery and action to keep you guessing and your heart pounding.  I think I have a found another amazing author to add to my favorites list. “Dead In Dubai” is the 2nd book in the Lee Carruthers series published by Artemis Hunter Press and is not one to be missed. I did not get to read the first book, but honestly there was enough background given that I did not feel lost. I adored taking this walk through Istanbul with these characters and trying to unravel the mystery with them of international terror and criminal activity. The only thing I felt this book lacked with a good thriller is some actual violence, I was kind of disappointed on that front. Other than that, I would recommend this book for anyone that enjoys a fast paced page turner, that has tough female characters, with no sexual references. 


Enjoy this Excerpt: 



The cafĂ© on the first floor of the Luxe charged a king’s ransom for a hamburger and fries.

“It’s a good thing you’re getting paid in diamonds,” Fred said.

After lunch we strolled in the mall. Natalie’s travel agency was still closed, but workmen were putting in a new window. We decided we might as well walk on their beach while we could use it for free. We strolled to the waterline, past the tourists rubbing sunscreen on each other, past the lovers walking hand-in-hand, past the children building castles in the sand, the afternoon sun casting small shadows in front of us.

I looked up at the sound of a small plane, a private jet climbing west into the sun. It was a pretty little thing with a nose like an insect. I stopped to look at it, and as I watched, the little insect exploded into a ball of flame, and debris twinkled down into the Gulf like fragments of a spent firework.

Fred and I looked at each other, and instinctively I moved closer to him. He put his arm around me, and I put my face into his shoulder, shuddering. Sunbathers rushed to the water’s edge, the women screaming and picking up their children.

“I’ve seen a plane like that before, Lee,” he said. “It’s a Gulfstream. Natalie Malyakov owns a Gulfstream.”

Before all the debris had finished hitting the water, the beach was filled with people who had come from everywhere to stand and gawk. Disgusted, I turned away.

“Come on, Fred, let’s go,” I said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marilynn Larew has had a lot of variety in her life. She lived in six states and two foreign countries before settling down in southern Pennsylvania. She went to twelve schools before she graduated from high school and two more before she finished her PhD in history. Moving around so much, she found the public library a refuge and her library card a magic carpet to foreign lands. She taught for some years in the University System of Maryland, courses such as US history, architectural history, the history of terrorism, and Vietnamese military history. She also worked in historic preservation and wrote two books of local history about Bel Air, the county seat of Harford County in Maryland.

She writes what she likes to read – thrillers that are located in foreign countries. She likes to collect cookbooks on foreign cuisines and often cooks from them.


She’s married, with two children, two grandchildren, and a new great granddaughter. She lives with her husband on the Mason-Dixon line in southern Pennsylvania in a two hundred-year-old brick farmhouse.

She’s a member of the Sisters in Crime, the Guppies, and the Chinese Military History Society.

Links:

Buy links:


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Goddess Fish. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours


By Dorothy Thompson, CEO & Founder of Pump Up Your Book

By now, most authors know what virtual book tours are or at least have heard of them.  They’re that wonderful marketing tool that should be a must have in every new book’s campaign.  With each new book I write, I’m making a game plan before the book is even published and a virtual book tour is the first promotional venue on that list.

While most of us know what they are, there are still a few new authors who might have heard of them but have no idea what they involve.  I give you my top 10 things you need to know about virtual book tours so that you will know what to expect.
  1. Virtual book tours are the BEST way to get the MOST online exposure for your book. Not only are you presenting your book and yourself to thousands of people, all of your interviews, guest posts and reviews are archived which means months down the road, you’re still selling your book because of that one tour.
  2. Virtual book tours ARE a lot of work. Not only are you searching for the perfect blogs to host you, you are acting as the middle man between you and the blogger unless you are using a paid service such as Pump Up Your Book who will do all the work for you.  Even if you do sign up with Pump Up Your Book, there is still lots of work to do completing assignments – filling out interviews and writing guest posts unless you choose an all review tour.  Even though it requires a little bit of your time to fill out interviews and write guest posts, it’s well worth it.
  3. You will learn more about your book than you ever did. I had an author tell me that through the interviews and guest posts she had to complete, she never learned so much about her book which caught her off guard.  Now when she is interviewed on radio shows and makes television appearances, she is better prepared.
  4. Virtual book tours will build up your author platform.  No matter if you’re a fiction author or a nonfiction author, virtual book tours will build up your author platform using your key search words.
  5. Your reviews are guaranteed. Offline publicists while they mean well do it all wrong.  They query a book blogger, make arrangements to send the book, then that’s where it stops.  The review is not a guaranteed thing.  The reviewer can post the review anytime they see fit.  With virtual book tours, your review is guaranteed on a certain date unless the reviewer jumps ship which rarely happens.  I had an author tell me she signed up with an offline publicist who sent out many books and only one or two reviewers actually came through for them.  That was money loss for the author.  Books don’t come cheap these days so coming up with a date you and the reviewer can agree upon guarantees that review will be a given thing.
  6. Many reviewers now take ebooks which save you money. Thank goodness someone was smart enough to invent a device that automatically loads a book in a few seconds (no waiting to go to the book store anymore my friend) and makes it fun to read.  When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle, sales soared and book lovers started talking about getting one.  What that means is that it opened up a wonderful way to get these books to the book reviewers quickly and less expensively.  Have you noticed how much books are and how much it takes to ship them?  Not saying all reviewers will take ebooks, but as time goes on, most will have an e-reader and, as a matter of fact, will prefer an ebook.
  7. More website hits, more blog hits, more Twitter hits and more Facebook Fan Page hits. All authors should have a website or blog and accounts at Twitter and Facebook.  No matter if you think they’re all a waste of time.  A virtual book tour will definitely give you more hits at all places as long as your links are in your bio.
  8. Going on a virtual book tour raises your Alexa rankings. What is Alexa?  Alexa measures how well you are doing in the search engines.  By going on a virtual book tour, and including interviews and guest posts during that tour, your website and blog links are included in every bio (or should be!).  Those are incoming links which Alexa uses to measure your ranking.  The more your website or blog link shows up on other sites, the more valuable your site is to them and thus, your rankings soar.
  9. You will learn how to sell your book through media exposure. Not all authors take advantage of their interviews and guest posts by gearing them toward their audience, thus luring them to their book and/or website/blog.  I’ve had many authors on tour and the ones who really take the time to make their interviews and guest posts effective selling tools are the ones who profit the most.  The key thing here is to make your audience curious.  One liners in the case of interviews may not cut it.  Of course there are only so many ways you can answer “What’s your book about?” but take your time and get your audience’s curiosity peaked so that they do make your way over to your website or your book’s buying link.
  10. Virtual book tours teach you how to connect well with others. There is no better way to learn how to network.  All these wonderful book bloggers who agree to host you are your new friends in your extended network and they will be there for you the next time you have a book to promote (unless they completely hated it of course).  You’ll also learn how to use the social networks effectively as you study how to get people over to your stops by persuasive wording.  Remember to talk to your audience, not at them.

There you have it.  10 reasons I feel you need to know about virtual book tours in a nutshell.  If you have a tour coordinator as opposed to setting one up yourself, she will walk you through it so that it will be a fun experience for all.  Your book will thank you for it.

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an award-winning public relations company specializing in online book publicity.  You can visit her website at www.PumpUpYourBook.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pumpupyourbook and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumpupyourbook.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum; First Edition edition (April 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414397836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414397832
The heartwarming tale of an irrepressible donkey who needed a home―and forever changed a family.
 
Rachel Anne Ridge was at the end of her rope. The economy had crashed, taking her formerly thriving business along with it. She had been a successful artist, doing work she loved, but now she felt like a failure. How would her family pay their bills? What would the future hold? If only God would somehow let them know that everything was going to be all right . . . and then Flash the donkey showed up.

If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. The local sheriff dismissed Flash as “worthless.” But Rachel didn’t believe that, and she couldn’t turn him away. She brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour―and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most. Flash is the true story of their adventures together in learning to love and trust; breaking down whatever fences stood in their way; and finding the strength, confidence, and faith to carry on. Prepare to fall in love with Flash: a quirky, unlikely hero with gigantic ears, a deafening bray, a personality as big as Texas, and a story you’ll never forget.

 My Impressions: 

I was not really sure what to expect with this book, but I know what I got. A well written,  delightful, page turner that had me laughing and intrigued all the way through. This was simply a great book that was a true treasure to find. Flash is by all standards a stubborn donkey, right along with his owner! Plus, you get a lovely history on the roles donkeys have played throughout biblical times. After all, it was a donkey that carried Christ and His mother! I really adored reading about Flash and his antics that encouraged his family to find their own passion in life and taught them how to embrace change along life's journey, no matter what is thrown at you. This book is a great read for animal lovers.


Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest appraisal



About the Author
Adopting a stray donkey was about the last thing Rachel imagined she'd ever do. She remembers seeing some donkeys that were kept as pets, and wondering, "what's the point?" After all, what did one DO with a donkey, anyway?

Rachel found out the answer when a shabby, homeless donkey showed up on her doorstep - at a most inopportune moment. Unable to find a home for him, Rachel and her family took him in...and their lives were never the same.

Rachel is an artist and writer in Texas. Mom to three grown kids and Nana to two babies, Rachel writes online at HomeSanctuary.com



Monday, November 30, 2015

Stranger Than Fiction





~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Set in New York City and Narragansett, Rhode Island in 1990, meet Claire Kennedy, successful mystery book editor at Cauldron Press. Her most famous client, the reclusive Sarah Winesong, has written her first new novel in five years, and Claire is ready to break out the champagne!

And then, in walks Tony Nichols. He’s gorgeous, angry and full of accusations that start with “Cauldron Press stole my book” and end with “Sarah Winesong is a fraud”.

This contemporary cozy mystery has a stellar cast of would-be villains and one real one who will stop at nothing to eliminate his nefarious scheme from coming to light, including stalk and try to kill Claire and Tony!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Impressions: 
This was a great book filled with twists and turns I did not expect. I love the dynamic between the characters. They had so much life breathed into them that it was easy to get wrapped up in their individual stories and bond with them. Plus I love a great mystery!  I don't want to say too much about the book and give anything away. Read the excerpt and you will fall in love.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Tony had not shown up to get her at the inn, nor had he called with a message. She had checked the inn not more than a half hour ago. Was his lack of punctuality further proof of his criminal makeup, she wondered?

Her determination not to be manipulated propelled her up the stairway to the second floor. The lighted hallway was empty of any security guards, secretaries or students to direct her. Turning away from the stairs, Claire walked toward a closed office with English Department stenciled on the frosted glass and knocked.

There was no answer. A lectern stood next to the door, and .the black notebook on it listed the instructor’s office hours. Turning hastily to the Ns, Claire found the entry.

 Nichols, A.A. (Tony), Assoc Prof, Creative Writing #319.

The space for appointments was crossed through with a large black X.

She ought to just go see Sarah Winesong, Claire thought as she hurried down the hall. If Mr. Harrison and Tillie had not babied the author all these years, Cauldron Press might not have been in this predicament. And she would not be chasing around after Tony Nichols.

Claire took the stairs up to the third floor, pausing out of breath on the landing. A black arrow with the numbers 311-321 led her to the left.

That hall was dark, the only illumination coming from the gray sky visible through a single window at the far end of the corridor. All the offices appeared locked and unoccupied.

There was no lettering on the frosted glass of room 319 other than its number, and the small metal nameplate holder above it was empty. Claire’s stomach churned. She rapped loudly and waited.

Nothing. “Tony? Are you in there? It’s Claire.”

Her inquiry was met with silence. Rubbing one hand with the other, Claire looked around. Though everything was silent, she had the feeling that someone was nearby. Gingerly she put her hand on the brass doorknob and turned it. It opened easily, into almost complete darkness.

“Tony?”

The instant she spoke his name, the shrill cry of the telephone rang out like a startled sentry’s gun. Clutching her chest, Claire gasped and stepped back.

With a sigh of exasperation, she decided to answer it and groped for the light switch. As she did so, she noticed the room was dense with the odor of Tony’s tobacco. Inhaling, she tried to ignore the vivid pictures that rose to mind. She found the switch and flicked it and the room lit up.

The first thing Claire saw was the blood pooled on the dingy carpet just inside the office door.

She froze. Dully she realized the phone had stopped ringing. Then her ears picked up a new sound. In the hallway she had just vacated, she heard the creaking of a door hinge followed by footsteps.

Footsteps that were coming closer.

Frantic, Claire snapped off the light and moved deeper into the small office. Her hands groped in the dark for a weapon. Heavy, leather bound books were everywhere. Gripping the smooth surface of a large, anonymous text, Claire raised it above her head and waited.

A bulky silhouette filled the doorway as the hallway light tumbled into the room. Though Claire had made no sound, it was clear she had been spotted. Without a word, the figure lunged across the small office at her. She brought the book down squarely on the intruder’s face and the corner of it stabbed into his cheek.

She was tackled and thrown against the edge of the desk while her attacker howled a curse at her blow. Claire struck him repeatedly with the book.

As they both crashed to the floor, Claire beat him with every bit of adrenaline pumping into her body. Then, quite suddenly, she knew who it was cursing her in the dark. She recognized the strong hands that hugged her waist, the wavy hair brushing against the tender skin on her arm.

Her body identified her captor even when her terrified mind had not. “Let go of me, Tony. You’re hurting my arms.”

He was straddling her hips. She could now clearly see his eyes in the dim light from the hall.

“Claire, what are you trying to do, kill me?”

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Emelle will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emelle Gamble became a writer at an early age. At six years old, she was bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection, and this itch to tell tales evolved into bad teen poetry and tortured short works that, thankfully, never saw the light of day, or an editor’s red pen.

She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue. She now publishes novels of Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Situations with SoulMate Publishing and Posh Publishing …works ranging from women’s fiction to thrillers and romantic suspense.

Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.

Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.

Emelle welcomes any reader interested in emailing her at emellegamble@aol.com and hopes they will visit her website, www.EmelleGamble.com or her Author Emelle Gamble FaceBook page.