Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Book Review Club (March 2014)

Happy March Book Review Club Day! One of my favorite days of the month. And...Happy Multiple Personalities Day*. And I will wish you Happy Frozen Food Day* (March 6) and Happy Potato Chip Day* (March 14) in advance.  But mostly I hope you enjoy the wonderful book reviews we've put together for you.

DYED AND GONE by Beth Yarnall 
(adult mystery)

Yes, I know it's a shocker. I'm actually reviewing an adult book.

In a nutshell: To snap her out of a depression brought on by relationship woes, hairstylist Azalea March's friends drag her to Las Vegas for a weekend of fun and games and a huge hair show. What follows is a fast-paced, SUPER humorous, over-the-top cozy mystery. You can expect dead bodies, a cast of wacky characters and a lot of unexpected twists. I especially loved the discovery of that first body. So creative and ghoulish.

What I loved: THE HUMOR. There are lots of great, laugh-out-loud lines. I especially loved the references to hairdressing.  Here's an example: "I was sure he'd scared at least three years off my being a natural brunette." THE ATTITUDE. Azalea is beyond spunky. She's fun to read. THE ROMANCE. Romance for several characters was woven into the plot and enriched the book. THE ENDING. I did not figure it out. THE COVER. You have to admit it's very cute.

Beth Yarnall is one of our very own reviewers. And she used to be a hairdresser. So, you know all the hairdressing stuff is authentic.  Thanks for trusting me to review DYED AND GONE, Beth.

DYED AND GONE will be available  March 25. You can pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Okay, people. Below are links to everyone else's reviews. Please click through. It'll make your day!


Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: HOW I BECAUSE A GHOST by Tim Tingle (MG fantasy)

Sarah Laurence: THE TYRANT'S DAUGHTER by J.C. Carlson (YA Fiction/Middle Eastern Politics)

Stacy Nyikos: MIDWINTER BLOOD by Marcus Sedgwick (YA)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE BROKEN CIRCLE TRILOGY by Cheryl Potter (YA, fantasy)


Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion

Patti Abbott: GHOST TOWN by Ed Gorman


Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: JUST ONE EVIL ACT by Elizabeth George (mystery)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Belated Saint David's Day

Saint David (Dewi Sant in the Welsh language) is the patron saint of Wales. March 1st is a Welsh national holiday.

You might be wondering why I'm celebrating Saint David's Day. (My family is wondering the same thing.) There isn't a drop of Welsh blood in me. That I know of, anyhow. But one of my New Year's resolutions is to have more fun. And what could be more fun than celebrating other countries' special days? Actually, quite a lot could be more fun, but it's only the beginning of March. I'll have to ramp up the "funness factor" as the year progresses.

So, here are a few facts about Saint David:
-He lived in the 6th century and was into spreading Christianity to the Celtic tribes across western Britain.
-He founded a very strict monastery where the monks farmed, celebrated mass and kept bees.
-He was a fiend for water. A fiend. For his entire life, he only drank water. Things might have been different had diet Coke been invented during his lifetime.
-Sometimes, he submerged himself up to his neck in cold water and spouted (pun intended) Scripture.
-He mostly ate breads and herbs, especially watercress, yet was apparently very strong.
-He lived for over 100 years. Obviously breads, herbs, with an emphasis on watercress, and gallons of water is a winning combo for longevity.

In honor of St. David's Day, I'm cooking the national dish of Wales: cawl.

I'm sure my family will rave over it. Well, perhaps not Child #3 because cawl doesn't resemble rolled tacos from the taco shop down the street or pizza.

Sorry for the blurry pic of my bowl of cawl. Here's a link to the slow-cooker recipe I used. Oh, and a "swede" is not a person. It's a rutabaga. And, of course, there are leeks in cawl because, as you well know, leeks are a national symbol of Wales. They're even on the flag.

Happy Belated Saint David's Day. Let the fun begin!