Reading, makes me feel relax.
Reading, helps me to de-stress.
Reading, makes me ponder a lot, reflect my own life.
Whether it is romance, suspense, thriller, mystery, historical, horror, or chic-lit,
Reading, brings me a new level of pleasures and satisfaction.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Title:          Desserts 4 Today
SubTitle:    Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients
Publisher:  The Taunton Press
Pub Date:  09/07/2010
ISBN:         9781600852947
Author:      Abigail Johnson Dodge

There are 125 recipes of desserts are included in this book. What I like about it is, all of them using just four ingredients. There are mostly simple pantry ingredients, though some may be not commonly available locally. Most of the desserts are simple and easy to make, with steps clearly stated and can be finished in about 30 minutes. Another thing that I like about this book is, flavor variations and substitutions as well as dress-up options are included at the end of the recipe, so we can switch according to our own liking. However if the author can include an illustrated picture for each recipe inside this book will be perfect! As I'm the type that I prefer to see how is the food look like, before I start baking.

About the Author

What began as a love for baking at a young age, developed into a passionate and successful career for Abby Dodge. A widely respected expert in baking and cooking for both kids and adults, as well as a popular food writer, instructor and media personality, Abby has a simple mission: To streamline baking and cooking for home cooks of all ages. Stress-free strategies and simple techniques for busy people have garnered awards, rave reviews, and a loyal following for Abby, because “.. despite her serious experience, her approach is relaxed and realistic.”
—Publishers Weekly

Abby began cooking and baking as a young girl at home in New York and Connecticut. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and later worked under superstars Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has held editorial posts at Parents and Woman’s Day, and has contributed to over three dozen special-interest publications focusing on baking and family cooking. Abby is currently a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, where she has been on the masthead since 1994. She founded the magazine’s test kitchen, has written and contributed to over seventy articles to date, and serves as the magazine’s guru for all things baking. Abby’s practical advice, recipes, and tips continue to be picked up by myriad consumer magazines, websites and, TV and radio programs.

Abby has written seven cookbooks:
Desserts 4 Today - Flavorful Desserts with just FOUR INGREDIENTS (September, 2010)
Around the World Cookbook, 2008 (Good Morning America Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008; Parents Choice Recommended Award 2008; Cordon d'Or Culinary Academy Award 2008)
The Weekend Baker, 2005, reprinted 2008 (Food + Wine Top Ten Cookbooks of 2004; IACP Cookbook Award Finalist)
Kids Baking, 2003 (Over 347,000 copies in print, translated into Spanish)
Williams-Sonoma Dessert, 2002 (Over 300,000 in print, translated into Spanish)
The Kid’s Cookbook, 2000 (Over 347,000 copies in print)
Great Fruit Desserts, 1997 (Translated into six languages)

Abby has contributed to four additional books:
The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition, 2006
Savoring America, 2002 (James Beard Award nominee; Ben Franklin Award winner)
Cookies for Christmas, 1999
The All New Joy of Cooking, 1997

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat

Title: I Am Tama, Lucky Cat
SubTitle: A Japanese Legend
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Imprint: A children's picture book from Peachtree Publishers
Pub Date: 08/01/2011
ISBN: 9781561455898
Author: Wendy Henrichs
Illustrated by: Yoshiko Jaeggi

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat is a story based on Japanese legend. Lucky Cat, or Beckoning Cat, is called Maneki Neko in Japanese. Owners like to place a Lucky Cat figurine at the storefront windows or restaurant counters, beckoning the visitors in with promises of good fortune.

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat by Peachtree Publishers is a children picture book. The story is about how Tama, the Lucky Cat brings good luck to a warlord. It is beautifully illustrated, with simple text, just right for the children. However I think the text can be larger. This book is very suitable for quick bedtime stories for the children as it has 18 pages only. I could not comment on the paper quality of the book as I'm receiving an eBook version for review purpose.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fairer than Morning (A Saddler's Legacy Novel) By Rosslyn Elliott

Book Description:

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor-until she meets a runaway apprentice who knows what a truly noble man is.

In 1826, Ann Miller travels to Pittsburgh with her widowed father and two young sisters, only to find that a mysterious man has pursued them all the way from Ohio. Is Ann's father just a circuit minister, or is he hiding something that may endanger them all?

Will Hanby indentures with a Pittsburgh saddler maker, only to discover that his master is a cold-hearted tyrant. After years of abuse, Will becomes a prisoner of his own mind. But then lovely Ann Miller comes to stay next door and her compassion lights a long-dark part of Will's soul. His renewed courage puts his life in jeopardy as he begins to assist fugitive slaves.

Will's murderous master and Ann's questions about her family may keep both of them bound in the shadows forever. Or will they find freedom-together?

I'm not really a fan of historical fiction, but I enjoy reading this book very much. I like the steady pace of the story, not fast but not too slow that make me feel bored. I admire Will for having the kind heart and courage to help others despite his own tough life with his cruel master. There are quite a number of dramatic events that captivate my heart and few twists that made me feel hard to put down the book. 

Fairer than Morning is a story based on the real people who lived at that time. The main characters are real people. It is a wonderful story. Being the debut novel of the author, I think Elliott has done a very good job on the development of the story and its characters. I like the way Elliott brings out the good heart of the people in the story. 

For most part of the story, Ann and Will had separate life of their own. To me this is more like an introductory to Ann and Will in this series. It really makes me look forward for the next book in this series. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. 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.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Twilight Prophecy by Maggie Shayne

Title:         Twilight Prophecy
SubTitle:   Wings in the Night series
Publisher:  Harlequin
Imprint:     MIRA Books
Pub Date: 04/26/2011
ISBN:      9780778329800
Author:     Maggie Shayne

Book Description:

According to ancient prophecy, there's only one chance to avert the complete annihilation of the Undead. Twins James William and Brigit Poe, part human, part vampire, believe that they are that chance. In truth, the key lies with the reclusive—and mortal—scholar Lucy Lanfair.

As Armageddon approaches, antivampire sentiment fuels a war neither side can win, driving James to abandon his moral code and draw Lucy into a deadly battle she wants no part of.

But Lucy soon realizes that she holds this powerful immortal's soul in her hands and that it's her destiny not only to stop a war but to save him from his inner darkness. If she fails, his race will die—and so will her heart. Is the power of love strong enough to save the world?

I have not read other books in this series but I have no problem reading Twilight Prophecy as a stand alone story. The whole story is full of actions, drama and mystery, with lots of twists and turns to make me just want to keep on reading. It has some romance too between James and Lucy but I found the romance element is not very strong in the story. Lucy was not attracted to James at the beginning because he is an vampire. They were also have no time for romance as they kept on running since the beginning of the story. James was a vampire different from the rest as he had the ability to heal. While his twin sister, Brigit was a destroyer. It was their destiny to save their race. But Lucy was being dragged into their mission due to her ability to able to read the tablets from the Sumerian area. Those tablets were about the prophecy. The romance between James and Lucy get tension towards the end. The ending was a little unexpected but that's how it make it more exciting and get ready for the next book in the series. 

I enjoy reading it very much. And I'm looking forward for her next book in this series. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher Harlequin via Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.