Chill Run - Russell Brooks, Author

12:59 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Granny's Bajan Sweet Bread
(A Russell Brooks Favorite)

2 lb Self Rising Flour
1 lb brown Sugar
3/4 lb Butter
1/4 lb Shortening (optional)
1 grated coconut (approx 3 cups)
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
Raisins - Optional
Cherries - Optional
Makes approximately 3 medium sized breads 

Coconut Filling (optional)
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 tbs Sugar
1 tsp essence
2 tbs water
• Put all ingredients in small pan & place on low fire
• Stir continuously for approximately 3 mins or until sugar is dissolved.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together (except fruit). Mix butter & Shortening into mixture, using fingers, until mixture resembles large bread crumbs. Add fruit to mixture. Use enough liquid to bind mixture together. This could be coconut water, milk or just plain water. Knead dough for a few minutes. The longer you need the dough, the firmer the bread becomes. Sweet bread is traditionally a firm bread, but some people like it soft & crumbly. The choice is yours. Grease & flour loaf pan. Fill pan halfway with dough. Place a slender line of coconut filling lengthwise down middle of dough. Put remaining dough on top. Cut light crisscross pattern on top with a knife for decoration (optional). Bake for 30-45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Tip
For a crisper top, place a small pan with water at bottom of oven while baking.


Chill Run – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds Desserts

Eddie bit down hard to avoid himself from trembling.  The finger that his father used to point at him came from the same hand that used to spank him.  Wait a minute.  Why am I being scared?  This is why I’m always on the ropes, because my father always instilled fear in me.  Edward’s eyes narrowed as he spoke.  “You quit school, left this house on your own, and got that little job at the bookstore.  Now you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, running around like a hamster in a wheel. Running around and not going anywhere – that’s you.  You squandered everything that your mother and I invested in you.  Once you decide to do something meaningful and stop writing nonsense, then I’ll help you.”  He then finished off the last of his sweet potato.  The tightness at the back of Eddie’s throat suddenly went away.  He felt his pulse beating hard in his neck, something he never felt before.  It was bad enough to be kicked when he was down. But now his dad had crossed the line.  I stood up to Patrick at the bar, why shouldn’t I stand up to you?  “Dad, all I have to say to that is that I can respect you all the way.  You came from nothing and you became a pharmacist.  You faced an uphill battle to become what you wanted.”  His father didn’t appear to hear what he said.  He wasn’t landing his punches.  “And that’s why you are so wrong, in every way.”  Eddie felt the shock and awe around him at the table as everyone simultaneously stopped eating.

Eddie Barrow, Jr. has finally confronted his father and stood up for himself.  Eddie had always wanted to be a writer but that wasn’t what his parents, especially his father, wanted him to become.  The lack of support from his family is what caused him to move out of their home and seek a life of his own.  But, of course, independence came with its own ups and downs.

Eddie’s best friend Corey, who had once saved his life, became his roommate but he had his own problems, mainly the lack of a job.  So when Eddie lost his own job there was nothing else to do but find another way to make himself known and stop the rejection letters that were coming in from the publishers after reading his manuscript.  Through the help of Corey’s girlfriend Jordyn, the perfect publicity stunt was set up and put into action.  They would never have guessed that this best laid plan would end up in murder with Eddie, Corey and Jordyn all three running for their lives.

Chill Run is a fitting name for this book.  The twists and turns will keep the chills running as the trio has no choice but to find the real killers and expose them.  But how do you make that happen when the person in the background pulling the strings has people in his pocket that can prevent you from reporting what you know to the police?

Not only does Chill Run have the action, suspense and a laugh now and then, it also speaks to the reader.  Eddie’s family has shown no support for his choices in life.  They insist that he follow their dreams for him and not his own.  For a determined person like Eddie, this gave him no choice other than to do something he would have never even considered otherwise.  And now his only goal is to keep himself and his two best friends alive, again without the support of his parents.  Chill Run is a story that will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next.

To enter Russell's contest to win a free copy of his book simply write a comment and leave your email address with your post, but hurry because the contest ends 11/30/2011.  Russell will be giving away 10 copies of his book Chill Run.



Author
Twitter - @AuthorRussell

Buy your copy today Chill Run

Behind Closed Doors - Brian L. Porter, Author

1:26 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Meat And Potato Pie
(Brian Porter & Character Albert Norris' favorite)  


  • 17 ½ oz lamb shin , cubed
  • 5 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion , peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots , peeled and sliced into cubes
  • 11 ¾ fl oz beef stock
  • 17 ½ oz potatoes , peeled, cubed, parboiled
  • 1 packet of short crust pastry
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 medium saucepan with lid
  • 1 oven proof dish
  • 1 knife
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 pastry brush
  1. Dust the meat.  Sprinkle some flour over the cubed meat and mix it well together with your hands.

  2. Fry the meat.  Place the pan on a medium heat and add the oil. Allow to warm through and once warm add the floured meat and onions. Stir it all together with a spoon and allow the meat to brown, which will roughly take 3-4 minutes.

  3. Cook the meat.  When the meat is nicely browned add the carrots. Then season with salt and pepper. Stir it all together and bring it to the boil. Stir once more and cover with the lid. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for roughly one hour until the meat is tender.

  4. Preheat the oven.  During the last fifteen minutes of cooking the meat, heat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade.

  5. Add potatoes.  Add the par boiled potatoes to the cooked meat and stir them in with your spoon.

  6. Transfer to oven proof dish.  Carefully pour the pan of meat into an oven proof dish, then smooth it over with your spoon.

  7. Cover with pastry.  Lay the pre rolled pastry over the dish and peel back the protective covering. Then continue to crimp down the pastry at the edges with your fingertips. Slice off any excess pastry and make several slits with your knife to help the pie breath. Then generously brush with the beaten egg wash to help it brown.

  8. Bake.  Place the pie in the bottom of the oven and bake for 40 min.

  9. Remove from oven & serve.  Remove from the oven when golden brown.

  10. Served with boiled potatoes, roast vegetables and thick gravy. 

Behind Closed Doors – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts

‘Men have met their maker as a result of the greed and avarice of those who would turn the people of this fair city into denizens of the underground world.  Be warned that their deaths will be avenged.’  It’s true that a number of workers were killed in accidents, mostly cave-in, during the excavations of the original, and some of the newer tunnels.  This could be valid threats from someone with revenge in mind against the company, perhaps a friend or relative of one of the dead men.  ‘God will not allow this fiendish contraption, this infernal machine of the devil to prosper.  We will bring about its ruination and force the Metropolitan Railway to cease its operations forthwith, in the name of The Almighty.’”

These are excerpts from letters written to the owners, demanding that the operation of the Metropolitan Railway be stopped.  They were brought to the attention of Inspector Albert (Bert) Norris and his sergeant Dylan Hillman as they are being told by their Superintendent about a murder that has taken place in the underground railway owned by The Metropolitan Railway Company.  The murder takes place on the same night that Jack the Ripper made one of his own famous Whitechapel kills.  Could they be related?  Bert’s superior says no.  He is being told, from those high up, that this is an entirely separate act that must be handled as quietly as possible to prevent bad publicity from damaging the railway company.  But as other murders occur, again on the same days of the Ripper murders, it becomes quite difficult to keep these events quiet.

Author Brian L. Porter has always kept me in the dark with the endings of his books, but in Behind Closed Doors, I had him.  I determined who the murderer was and had the courts ready to slip the noose around their neck by the middle of the book.  Well…he did it to me again.  I wasn’t totally wrong but I was nowhere near the real truth that would convict the real murder.  I’m afraid my case would have been thrown out of the courts.  So, the master of deception has tricked me again. 

As always, Porter’s characters are believable and so real.  His descriptions of the scenes place you in the middle of the action.  One thing I can say with enthusiasm is this, ‘Watch out Sherlock and Watson…Norris and Hillman are on the case.’ And boy are they good!

I Am More Than Just a Girl - Leah Oviedo, Author

3:03 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Eggplant Lasagna

( Author Leah Oviedo says:  I never would have tried eggplant until I became a vegetarian. Turns out it's my favorite vegetable to cook with. Anything with marinara sauce and cheese is something I will eat, so eggplant lasagna is my favorite dish and the first eggplant recipe I tried. It is so simple!
*Gluten free noodles and fake cheese can be substituted for non-gluten and vegan eaters. My family has both so I have made that. It all tastes good. When in doubt use extra garlic!)


Ingredients
Marinara Sauce (1 jar)
Lasagna Noodles (1 package for a small dish, 2 for larger)
One whole eggplant (about 2 cups worth)
Cheese (sharp cheddar is my favorite) 2 cups
Oregano (2 tbsp)
Basil (1/4 cup torn up or chopped)
6x8 pan
Olive oil to spray

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Wash and cut up eggplant and basil. Put in bowl with garlic and oregano and mix it all together.
3) Grate or hand crumble cheese (this is always fun for kids who want to help).
4) Grease up bottom of pan with olive oil.
5) Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on bottom of pan.
6) Add layer of noodles, layer of cheese, layer of eggplant mix and repeat till you get near the top of the pan.
7) Lay out remaining noodles on eggplant mix and cover with cheese and marinara sauce
8) Stick in oven 20-25 minutes
9) Let it cool off a bit and then dig in!


I Am More Than Just a Girl – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts

‘You are not “just a girl”.  You are a human being who has strength, wisdom and a unique mind.  You have a million opportunities to grow and learn.  You are more than just a pretty face.  You are amazing and beautiful and have so much to offer our world.  You are equal to every woman, man and boy.  Your future is uncharted which gives you the chance to be whoever you want to be, do anything, and go anywhere.’

These are powerful words that each of us should not only listen to but hear as well.  Through the help and determination of women such as activist Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and my favorite Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, women have been allowed to step out of their shells and become integral parts of life as we know it today.  And it isn’t stopping there but continuing on with YOU.

Through I Am More Than Just a Girl, Leah Oviedo has given the young women of today a map to follow as they mature.  She touches on topics such as loving yourself first and keeping positive thoughts about yourself.  She talks about angry emotions and offers ways to deal with and overcome them.  And she emphasizes the importance of taking care of your body and mind which if left to stress usually leads to physical illness.

I Am More Than Just a Girl is a book that I know would have benefited me as I grew up.  So many of the topics discussed actually pertained to my childhood but at that time and age there was no one around to tell me how to handle and deal with the situations as they occurred.  I want to recommend this book to EVERYONE who has a young woman in their life.  Even the happiest, most content young lady may still be struggling with problems of her own that she feels she has no one to discuss them with.  This book could very well help.

Nate Rocks the World - Karen Pokras Toz, Author

2:43 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Feta Chicken
(A Karen Special)

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)
2 Tbsp lemon juice (divided)
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp pepper
1 package (4 oz) Feta cheese - crumbled
1 box couscous

Arrange chicken in baking dish
Drizzle with 1Tbsp of lemon juice
Sprinkle Cilantro and Pepper
Top with Feta cheese & drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through

Prepare couscous as per box directions - serve chicken over couscous
 
Nate Rocks the World – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
 
“What in the world?”  I say quietly to myself.  I turn back around to look inside the house.  Everything I see is in shades of gray.  The blue couch in our living room is gray.  The green front door is now gray.  The grass and the trees, all gray.  Even Mom’s bright red van parked in the driveway is gray.  I look down at my body.  Sure enough, even my clothes are all gray!  I take a step outside.  It is a clear day, unseasonably warm for October.  There is not a cloud in the sky.  The sun – gray of course – shines white beams of light.  As I walk down the street, people I do not recognize start coming out of their houses wondering, as I am, what has happened.  I see a black spot in the sky growing larger.  At first, I think it is a bird, but as it approaches, I realize that it is actually a person…flying toward me.  A circle of people I don’t know, gather around me.  The man from the sky gets closer.  He lands directly in front of me, and I immediately recognize him.
 
Ten year old Nathan (Nate) Rockledge loves to draw.  His specialty…superhero cartoons where he Nate Rocks is the hero that saves the moment.  Give him a pencil and paper, a little quiet time and just about any situation and he will solve the problem as he saves the world.  In his cartoon world, even Captain Asteroid seeks Nate’s help to save the world from the evil Dr. Shadow.  Even the President seeks Nate Rocks’ help in recovering stolen spy equipment.  But what happens when the situation is real and not make believe?  Can the real Nate Rockledge stand up to the plate and become a true hero?
 
Nate Rocks the World takes the ordinary life of the Rockledge family and brings it to life as something most of us can actually relate to.  If you’ve ever had an older sister or brother, you can understand Nate’s relationship with his older sister Abby.  If your dad was like Nate’s you will see the humor in the stories he constantly tells about his own childhood.  And if you were unfortunate enough to have a mother that couldn’t cook nor sew you will definitely relate to the bad meals and bad Halloween costumes created by Nate’s mother.  This book is full of humor and sparked memories from my own childhood.  It’s light hearted and a really enjoyable book to read if you’re an adult and a fun book to have read to you if you’re still a child.
 

In the St. Nick of Time - K. M. Daughters, Author

2:59 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


 K's Pumpkin Bread
(Heroine Kay Sullivan Lynch's recipe)

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts

GREASE pan [recipe makes enough for a Giant loaf pan 11 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 3 1/4]
MIX all ingredients together with a whisk
BAKE at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hour
LET STAND 15 minutes before removing from pan


In the St. Nick of Time – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

“Two sidewalk Santas died on the street recently from heart failure, according to the death certificates.  Both were St. Nicholas Society to End Hunger volunteers who annually played Santa at outdoor locations around the city.  They collected money during the organization’s Christmas fund drive.”  He consulted a paper he had placed on the lectern.  “Both were active, healthy men in their seventies with no prior history of heart disease, according to one of the deceased’s wives.  I fielded a call yesterday from one wife, Mrs. Heller.  She believes her husband was murdered and insisted that we open a criminal investigation.  She stated that Mr. Heller passed a full-body physical two weeks ago, purportedly in perfect health.  I’m not sure where this will lead, but I could use a volunteer to do some of the legwork for me.”

Hand raised, Kay Lynch holds her breath in hopes that Flynn Dowd will choose her to partner on this case.  The case has caught her interest.  So far there have been three incidences of sudden cardiac arrest.  Each victim is an elderly man posing as a Santa but each has apparently had no heart problems in the past.  It may have been passed off as a coincidence until Santa number 4 passes in the same way.  So, Kay wants this case to help prove herself but she also wants it for another reason.  For the first time since losing her husband 2 years earlier, Kay has found someone she really wants to be around and with.

Kay Sullivan Lynch, along with her brothers, were all police officers.  When she married Mike Lynch, she hung up her badge and became a mother of 4.  After Mike’s death Kay decided it was time to go back to the living world.  She requalified for her position with the department and was assigned to her brother Pat’s precedent.  Her oldest daughter Mary and the twin girls took her new life without problems.  Her son Mike was a different story.  He felt she should have continued life as it had been before his dad died.  So, when she hooked up with Flynn, Mike made it known how he really felt about the situation.

In the St. Nick of Time has it all.  It’s has love but I wouldn’t really call it a love story.  It has murder and suspense but I wouldn’t call it a mystery.  It has family affairs and problems but it’s not actually a self help book.  And there humor but it’s not a comedy.  What is it?  It’s all of these rolled into one and I simply loved it.  The trials Kay goes through as she juggles her life on the force, at home and her personal life, and her solutions and decisions for handling life, are so real.  As for the Santa Slayer, I could see the possibility of that happening in real life too.  This was a very enjoyable book.

Plymouth Colony II - Sharolyn Wells, Author

2:35 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves

Ground Beef Casserole
(An Author Sharolyn Wells favorite.This is a recipe my brother received from the diabetic camp he went to when he was 13. Our family loved it. It's a casserole.)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
6 cups egg noodles, cooked and drained
Brown ground beef, onions and red pepper until no pink shows in the beef. Drain and add the two soups and corn. Set aside. Cook egg noodles until tender. Use cooking spray to coat the sides and bottom of a 6 qt. casserole dish. Add ground beef mixture and noodles and mix well. Top with Panko bread crumbs. Cook at 375* for 45 minutes or until bread are golden.

Plymouth Colony II – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts
 
...Teris wiped her fingers across tear-streaked cheeks.  “It looks bigger than our village.”  Her fingers tightened on her brother’s arm and her voice shook.  “Do you think they’ll separate us?”  Eric leaned over and kissed his older sister’s forehead.  “You worry too much.  Just remember, out of all the billions of people on Earth, the lottery selected very few.”  His brow furrowed.  “Although, I can’t help wondering why they chose us.”
 
“I don’t think, for a society this advanced, they would need me as a doctor.  I’m sure they have doctors of their own.  And you?”  She shrugged. “I’m sure they have police officers, too.”  Her woeful gaze darted to his.  “Mother said they wanted people of breeding age.  I don’t know why but this makes me nervous.”  She began crying again as she thought about her family.  Starting from today, Eric would be the only family she had left.  Her children, if she ever had any, would never know the special people her parents had been.  “I wish Mom and Dad had the same chance as we do.”  One of Eric’s shoulders rose and fell.  He pushed his raven hair behind his ear.  “Don’t think about Mom and Dad anymore.  You know they wanted this for us.  They told us to put our names in the lottery, even though they knew they would be left behind here on earth.”...

Teris and Eric Keyes were both chosen by a lottery to be to leave earth before it’s destruction by meteors.  Scientists reported that over one hundred meteors were traveling toward earth, some as big as the ones that took out the dinosaurs.  After the discovery, a planet that virtually mirrors earth agreed to take one hundred thousand young people off Earth and to the safety of their planet Kelkan.  The one condition was that they must be young and of a breeding age.  Due to a plague that had been spread years ago by the reptilian beings from Novari, many Kelkans died or were became unable to produce children.  Unless outside life was introduced to their world, the Kelkani people would become extinct.

Imagine being chosen to leave the world you know to be taken to one you don’t.  As with Teris and Eric, they, as well as the others, want to trust these strange people who look like Earth people but can you really believe in them enough to put your life into their hands?  How can you be sure their promises are real and there aren’t other reasons for them rescuing your people?  You know nothing about their cultures.  You don’t even know what they eat.  But what if their promises are all true and they are really helping to save your world and way of life by rescuing as many as possible. 

Plymouth Colony II will make you realize that disasters are possible and hopefully rescues are too.  This was quite an interesting book that gave me food for thought.

Winds of Wildfire - Ronald P. Chavez, Author

2:58 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves














Red Chile Sauce
(By Chef Ronald P. Chavez)

Ingredients:

½ cup red chile-fine
¼ cup red chile-coarse
1/2 cup flour
½ cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons salt
½  pound  pork
1 large diced onion
6 cups broth

Combine pork, onion into two 2 gal. pot filled ¾ with water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Boil until pork is tender, usually 30 minutes.

Combine both fine and coarse chile, flour, salt and garlic.  Stir dry until well blended.  Remove pork and set aside to cool.  Pour 2 cups broth after it’s done into combined dry mix. Take care to stir broth as you dip from large pot to assure good flavor. Stir chile mix until well blended into a smooth uncooked sauce.

Remove bones if any from cooked pork.  Dice boneless pork into ½ inch squares.  Set aside.Now comes the moment of truth.  Your sensibilities come into play here.  Pour ½ cup cooking oil into 2 gal. pot.  Heat until it feels hot to the hand above the pot.  Do not allow to burn or smoke.  Once oil is hot, turn off heat.  This is a must.  You do not want to burn the chile.

Now you need all the angels you can muster.  Pour uncooked  chile mix into hot oil. Stir quickly and constantly.  Don’t worry about pouring all the chile mix.  At this point the stirring is paramount.  The remaining mix can be added after oil completely absorbs the chile mix.

Next: turn heat back on medium hot. Stir constantly, until a roasted chile aroma tantalizes your sense of smell.  Add pork and mix it into chile sauce.

Pour 2 cups of broth into the roasted chile mix.  Stir!  Stir!  Stir! Until sauce is creamy in texture.  Bring to a boil.  Stir!  Stir!  Stir!  Now simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often with last cup of broth added for desired thickness a little at a time as chile sauce simmers and thickens.

Done! Kept covered in the frig, it’ll keep for weeks.  Pour over eggs, enchiladas, potatoes, meats, beans.  Stretch your imagination and satisfy your appetite and warm your heart.  Have a chileee day!

Options:  substitute chicken, beef, fish, any kind of meat will do.  Or you can eliminate all meat for veggie sauce.  Your call.
To order New Mexico chile contact Chef Chavez at taosoiet@yahoo.com

 
Winds of Wildfire – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts.
 
‘Taos Pueblo is home to the Tiwa trib.  The first Spaniards named it pueblo, town, because they lived in a multi storied adobe complex.  The Pueblo has stood for over a thousand years on its original lands, even though it’s called a reservation or rez for short.  These ancient people have never known a forced march to a government imposed location which is the common stipulation for the word “reservation.”  Their long history has been preserved mostly by a secret oral tradition.  The tribe enjoys an autonomous form of government as well as full citizenship in the United States.  They rule themselves through elected tribal officials.  Their lands extend to Blue Lake, nestled in the pristine valley high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and in various sized patches in and around Taos.  No outsiders are allowed to enter the Blue Lake lands without special permission for they are held to be sacred.  The pueblo compound is open to the public for a fee.  At the approaches to the Pueblo stands a casino, where they have not lost the art of scalping.’
 
Billy Stonewofl works as a guide  for tourists that visit the pueblo.  Like most of us he’s possessed with his own personal demons.  Billy’s demons consist of drugs and alcohol and have taken him to the brink of suicide.  Through the grace of his god, this wasn’t to happen.  To live with or hopefully destroy Billy’s demons he has decided to revert back to the ways of his people.  He will go to the mountains, find a cave to call home and live off the land.  What Billy didn’t expect was to find one more demon to add to his collection.  This demon came in the form of gold.  Will this add to Billy’s depressing life or will it be the answer to his prayers?  I think the answer will surprise you.
 
Donato Atencio is Spanish American.  His demon came in the shape of losing his wife.  Her death brought him to the edge of suicide.  Even though he came close to his final destruction, he stopped and decided to take one day at a time.  In doing so he became a volunteer caretake for the 18,000 acres of land surrounding Taos.  He made a stipend of $10.00 a day, living quarters and all the fresh air he could breathe.  He owned nothing and owed no one.  But he still carried his demon with him wherever he went in his lonely world.  Would his living one day at a time finally run out and allow him to end it all?
 
Amee Brooks brought her demons all the way from Boston when she bought her small farm outside the village of Questa.  The man she had loved with all her heart had deceived her.  He had turned her away from the desire to love again and turned her into a recluse.  To add to her demon was a neighbor who cut off her weekly water supply that was the lifeline for her small garden.  Fighting him would be impossible.  He was a native and she was a white outsider.  Would her demons talk her into giving up and moving back to Boston?
 
Billy, Donato and Amee have nothing in common yet they have everything in common.  The three have to deal with their losses and move on with life but aren’t quite sure how.  Will they be able to help each other?
 
Winds of Wildfire became a book of thought for me.  It made me think about things in my own life and how I have handled them and how I might have handled them differently, making me wonder if I made the right decisions when faced with my own demons.
 

The Island Calls - Teresa Garrido Roberts

3:45 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves

 
Salsa
(A Teresa Roberts special)
 
1 Anaheim chili
2 Jalepenos
2 Serrano chilis
1/2 bunch of cilantro
3 cloves of garlic
1 big can of diced tamatoes
handful of salt
1/2 handful of cajun
Put it all in a blender and ready to serve!  I would take out all the seeds - and enjoy!

The Island Calls - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat & Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts



‘For a brief period, early in my life, things were wonderful.  When I was very young my family, which consisted of my mom and dad and my three sisters, lived in Northridge, California on Napa Street.  My mother, Nikki Philips, was young and beautiful – she was tall, blonde, slender, and a model at the time.  She had big beautiful blue eyes that grabbed you!  A perfect match for my father.  My father had come to the United States from Guam when he was 17 and still in the Marines, but he was 32 when meet my mom, and his dark good looks contrasted, yet complemented, our mother’s fair complexion.  My father’s name was Felix Montanona Garrido.  I felt lucky to have the parents I had.  My older sisters, Kim and Stephanie, were five and six when I was three.  They had a different father than Peggy and I, as our mother had been married before.  But we were a close family, always looking out for one another.  Peggy, the baby, was a year younger than I.  We lived in an old, two bedroom house with a very large fenced yard.  I felt safe and deeply loved by my family.’
 
Teresa Garrido’s life changed when one day her father left her mother, taking her with him.  He hoped her around from place to place until he apparently decided she would be better off with her mother.  Upon returning her, he made her promise him one thing and that was that she would always take care of her baby sister Peggy.  She made the promise and as life went on, she stepped in to rescue her sister more times than she could count. 
 
Peggy was blonde and fair skinned like her mother whereas Teresa took after her father with dark hair, skin and eyes.  This difference in looks caused problems for Teresa throughout her school years with kids calling her names and wanting to know where she came from.  Peggy was well accepted due to her beauty and trusting nature, which brought major problems when it came to men.  Even as a child, she was the target for pedophiles.  It became Teresa’s job to watch her constantly, as she had promised her dad.
 
Teresa loved her father and knew that one day he would come back for her but as the years went on and no dad she quit getting her hopes up.  Then the day came that she found out her dad was dead and had actually been murdered.  This started Teresa’s search for the truth about what really happened to her father. 
 
Searching for the truth opened doors that some would say should never have been opened, but after reading The Island Calls, I think I can understand the need for closure that Teresa Garrido Roberts may have never found otherwise.  I have to praise her for the bravery and persistence she showed throughout her life.  The Island Calls is a very involving story and knowing that it was real and not fiction made it even more so.