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Italian Street Food ~ Spotlight and Giveaway

About the Book:

Italy’s classic recipes are well known the world over, but few are aware of the dishes that reign on the flourishing Italian street-food scene. Hidden behind the town squares, away from the touristy restaurants, and down back streets are little-known gems offering up some of Italy’s tastiest and best-kept secret dishes that the locals prize.

ITALIAN STREET FOOD is not just another Italian cookbook; it delves into truly authentic Italian fare—the kind of secret recipes that are passed down through generations. Learn how to make authentic polpettine, arancini, stuffed cuttlefish, cannolis, and fritters, and perfect your gelato-making skills with original flavors such as lemon and basil or affogato and aperol. With beautiful stories and stunning photography throughout, ITALIAN STREET FOOD delivers an authentic, lesser known take on a much loved cuisine.

Buy the Book:

Author's Bio:

Paola Bacchia is one of Australia’s most popular Italian food bloggers. On her blog, Italy on My Mind, she shares family memories and their connections to food. It won awards for best food blog in 2013 and 2015 from ITALY Magazine. Paola returns to Italy every year to expand her knowledge of Italian food, its traditions, and innovations.

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Prizes:5 copies of the book
(open to USA only)
Giveaway ends Oct 29


Tangled Webs ~ Review

Tangled Webs
Men of Valor #3
By Irene Hannon

Finn McGregor just needs some time to regroup as he recovers from the injuries he sustained in the Middle East. As much as he appreciates his brothers he wants some away from their over the shoulder hovering concern and a month in the cabin sound perfect.

There's just one problem with Finn's plan ~ his neighbor Dana Lewis is having recovery issues of her own. And a middle of the night meeting is not how Finn expected to meet a neighbor. But nightmares are soon the least of Finn and Dana's worries when Dana becomes the target of vandals.

But when the vandalism takes a personal turn it becomes apparent to Finn that Dana could be in danger. The question is why. Those who know Dana don't seem to wish her ill, but it's obvious that someone is trying to drive Dana from the home she inherited from her grandfather.

The older McGregor brothers, Mac and Lance, make a couple of appearances but like the previous books in the series one McGregory takes a starring role and this time it is Finn. Finn is a crossroad in his life and has some important decisions make regarding his future. And who knows maybe Finn will find his perfect someone just as his brothers have.

Fans of Irene Hannon's romantic suspense won't be disappointed in her newest book which will bring the Men of Valor series to its conclusion. If you haven't read her books in the past this is a good place to start and you can go back and catch up on Mac and Lance's story later. One can easily follow the story without reading the previous books Buried Secrets and Thin Ice.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review, all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Finn has packed away his combat instincts--
but he may need them again when danger 

begins to stalk his quiet hideaway . . . 

After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.


A Kennedy Stern Novel #4
By Alana Terry

Kennedy Stern is returning to America and her sophomore year of Harvard. She has days to acclimate to the total change in time night-is-day and day-is-night. Ruben won't be returning and Kennedy just isn't sure how she'll get through this year without her best friend and lab partner. The Lindgrens have adopted Woong a young orphan from Korea. And she's about to step into another potentially explosive situation with the Abernathy family - the last she needs after last year's kidnapping.

But this time she quite literally walks in as Senator Abernathy and his teenage son Noah are seeking help from Pastor Carl Lindgren. Noah has been struggling in secret with his feelings, seeking help from those who have left the gay lifestyle behind. But Noah's efforts have had no affect on how he feels. With his long held platform of traditional family values Wayne Abernathy is determined to see his son fix or out of the house.

What should have been a family matter is about to become network fodder when an unexpected act of violence ends a life and suspicion is cast upon a member of the family. With her unusual upbringing in China Kennedy is left with questions as to what and who is right when it comes to the issues that have been raised around her.

If her return to the US is any indication her second year of college may make the first year seem like a breeze (which anyone who has read the preceding books would know it wasn't).

One thing can be said about Alana Terry's Kennedy Stern series, she doesn't shy away from issues that can divide people and tear rifts in families, friendships, communities, and churches. And Straightened is no different.  With characters who fall on all the sides of the issue one is given insight into different points of view.  And as Carl says to Nick, "...this is an issue we'll never agree on. And that's ok. I'm not afraid to hear your views, because I know what I believe." And in today's world this is one topic that will remain a point of contention. And I'm sure there will be points in this book that different readers will take issue with, but (and this is important) the author presents characters who are real and not just a platform for her opinion.

I was provided an uncorrected ARC of this book by the author.  No review was required and all opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A teenage boy begging God to make him straight. An evangelical father refusing to accept his son is gay. A college sophomore who could never predict the dangers about to overtake her and the ones she loves. 

An intense and compassionate novel from beloved indie suspense author, Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Readers' Favorite, and many others. 

No matter where you stand, Straightened will challenge you to delve into the controversy with your eyes wide open and extend the grace and empathy too often lacking from all sides of the aisle.


Natural Color ~ Review

Natural Color
By Sasha Duerr

Vibrant plant dye projects 
for your home and wardrobe

Natural Color is a delightful and educational look at the world of natural plant-based dyes. There is a wide range of projects for both your home and your attire. The projects are detailed with the needed ingredients and equipment and step-by-step directions. The accompanying photographs are gorgeous. 

Natural Color addresses the healthy attributes of dyes that are based from natural sources. But the safety concerns are addressed as well as what steps to take both in the making and disposal of the dyes.

The sections discussing fibers, water types and mordants are completely fascinating. I also enjoyed learning about the different dying processes and that some dyes can take up to a year to complete (using persimmons). 

For those looking for an added benefit of creating your own unique look, depending on what plants one uses can, one can have a health boost from this process and not just from absence of harmful chemicals from commercial dyes. 

This book would be a great gift to give to the family making for some fun memories as you work towards various projects.  With the options for changing the colors subtly or drastically you could end up with a rainbow of projects that you love.

I'm looking forward to working with the citrus based dyes along with some of the fragrant herbs. I can just imagine how much fun it will be to explore all the colors that can be created at home. There is a time commitment involved but I believe it will be worth it. 

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

A beautiful book of seasonal projects for using the 
brilliant spectrum of colors derived from plants to 
naturally dye your clothing and home textiles.

Organized by season, Natural Color is a beautifully photographed guide to the full range of plant dyes available, drawn from commonly found fruits, flowers, trees, and herbs, with accompanying projects. Using sustainable methods and artisanal techniques, designer, artist, and professor Sasha Duerr details achievable ways to apply these limitless color possibilties to your home and wardrobe. Whether you are new to dyeing or more practiced, Duerr's clear and simple ingredients lists, step-by-step instructions, and detailed breakouts on techniques such as shibori, dip-dye, and block printing will ensure beautiful results. With recipes to dye everything from dresses and sweaters to rugs and napkins, Natural Color will inspire fashion enthusiasts, home decorators, textile lovers, and everyone else who wants to bring more color into their life.   



A Time to Rise ~ Review

A Time to Rise
Out of Time series #3
By Nadine Brades

Parvin Blackwater is dead....

In an attempt to prove that Parvin was wrong and that the new clocks were not faulty the Council tested her. But to the Council's dismay Parvin's new clock was overridden and she died while they watched. This is the story that follows Parvin's untimely and unexpected death...

Parvin's friends, family, and the Radicals are shocked at this unexpected turn of events.  The Wall to the USE had been breached and they were going to rescue Tawny and free Willow from the Council. But their capture changed everything.

A secret burial hidden away from anyone except a few Enforcers, Parvin is to be forgotten. There is just one problem God has other plans for this young woman who has finally determined to live life. And she has an important role yet to play.

But the Council was wrong - Parvin did die and yet she managed to survive. And she is gong to bring down the Wall. And this time a small breach that can be blocked isn't enough - she's going to bring down the Projected Wall.  There is just one problem - the information they need is in Russia and travel is under the control of the Council. But where God wills there is always a way.

A Time to Rise has some unexpected twists that one didn't see coming but looking back on the previous books there were little hints that this could have happened. There are moments when it appears that all has been lost and Parvin's struggle for Shalom may have been in vain. But that is the beauty of life until the last breath has been breathed there is always hope.

The Out of Time series unlike many dystopian works offers hope and this hope is an eternal kind not one that can easily be lost when a governmental change. This hope is not found in the promise of war and rebellion but rather in a change of heart.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. I so enjoyed this book that I have purchased a paperback copy to complete the series.

About the Book:
What more can you sacrifice than your life?

Parvin Blackwater is dead.

At least that's what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.

Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

Murder at Alastair Castle ~ Review with Trailer and Giveaway

The Murders at Astaire Castle
A Mac Faraday Mystery #5
By Lauren Carr
Narrated by Dan Lawson

Astaire Castle is to be feared - it is haunted and it is the site of several murders, suicides, and unexplained disappearances.  And Mac Faraday owns it. And unfortunately Mac Faraday is determined to explore this mysterious and forbidden castle. He's been warned and that's the worst way to keep Mac from doing something dangerous.

But when Mac explores this foreboding construction on Spencer's Mountain he is not ready for the newest string of murders that are about to become part of the lore of Astaire Castle.

Does the past have any bearing on the present murders? Or is Astaire Castle truly haunted? A ghost, a wolf man, a shape-shifter, a black widow, a full moon, and Gnarly - this will be one Halloween that no one in Spencer will soon forget.

The opening of The Murders at Astaire Castle is creepily scary, perfect to listen to in the dark, which I did not realizing just how perfect this was for setting the mood for a scary night up. Then the story shifts to the present day and the seemingly normal day-to-day life of Mac Faraday in Spencer. The search for a missing elderly woman leads to Mac learning of his unknown castle and Gnarly being his thieving, helpful self.

With a wide range of characters there are plenty of suspects unless one believes the rumors that the murderer is not of human variety... And I might suggest another location for vacations other than Spencer - it can be dangerous to your health.

My favorite scene is when Mac is dreaming about bologna and Gnarly is helping himself to it out of the refrigerator. It is quite memorable and I think Mac needs to have real hard look at his late night snacks if he gets these kinds of dreams.

The narrator does a fine job moving the story along with his reading. The various characters have discernible voices that differ from the story narration.  

I was provided a review copy of this audiobook by the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book
Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

Spencer's police chief, David O'Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer's mountaintop - even though he owns the property. It doesn't take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago - and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David's warning, Mac can't resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn't seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet - including a wolf man. No, we're not talking about Gnarly.

Buy the Book:   Amazon  ~  Audible

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


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