Thursday, July 19, 2012

Magic In The Storm - Meredith Bond, Author


Beef Kababs
(A Merry Special)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup minced onion
2 Tbs minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro (can also used the chopped frozen cilantro)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
a dash black pepper
dash ground red chili powder or chili flakes (to taste)
1 lb extra lean ground beef (can substitute lamb)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine everything into a bowl and mix well.
3. Form mixture into 1" balls
4. Place balls (either flattened or not, as you wish) onto a foil lined baking pan and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Turn them and then bake for another 5-7 minutes or so until cooked through.
Serve with raita (plain yogurt mixed with shredded & drained cucumber and about one tsp ground cumin -- to taste) or ketchup. 

Magic in the Storm – Review by Martha A. Cheves – Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Jack took a few steps back while he was thinking and leaned himself against the wall.  “Hmmm.  That’s a tricky one, ain’t it?  Never heard o’anythin’ like that happenin’, not that I know a lot of Vallen, mind ye.”  He thought for a moment, then said, “I’ve always thought the power came from within.  There must be somethin’ changin’ within ye.  What is it, inside of ye, that’s changin’?”  Morgan shook his head, thinking hard.  “I don’t know.”  “Well, when ye figure that one out, then you’ll know where the power’s comin’ from.”  What was changing within him?  Morgan stood back and began to think about this.  So many things had changed within him recently.  It could be his self-confidence, it could be Adriana, it could be his determination not to wait for his destiny to come to him, but to go and seek it out on his own, it could be so many different things.

Morgan Vallentyn is a Vallen.  Most people compare them to and even mistaken them for witches but their powers are real and true with each having a different specialty.  Morgan was born the 7th child of the 7th generation Vallen.  His mother Lady Vallentyne should have been happy but when she discovered that Morgan was a male child what would have been a strong mother’s love turned to hate.  No Vallen leader had ever been a male and had it not been for her husband, Morgan’s father, she would have killed the child just after birth.  Instead, Morgan was banished to the forest where his mother cast a spell that would imprison him for life. 

Adriana Hayden was an orphan who had been entrusted into the care of a distant relative, Lord Devaux.  Devaux had one desire in life and that was to climb the ladder of Parliament.  To do this he needed influential people and money.  He found both in Lady Vallentyne.  Her oldest child and son, Jonathan, the sixth Viscount Vallentyne would be the perfect husband for Adriana.  Jonathan wanted nothing more than to run the Estate but his mother had higher expectations for her son.  He was to enter politics and with he and Devaux combining their minds and skills, Jonathan would be quite successful.  She would see to this marriage even if it meant using her powers and with her being the highest priestess within the clan, no one could refuse her.  So she thought.

The last thing Adriana wanted was to marry, especially without love.  Her heart’s desire was to paint.  Nothing mattered more to her than her paintings.  Unfortunately, Devaux knew of this love and used it to blackmail her into agreeing to marry Jonathan.  While visiting the Vallentyne Estate, Adriana had ventured into the woods that acted as Morgan’s prison.  Not knowing the history of his being an outcast, she made the mistake of mentioning him to Lady Vallentyne.  This brought more injustice to be inflicted on Morgan by his mother.

Morgan is nearing his 21st birthday and knows that he must reach his full capacity of powers before that day or lose all powers.  Through his experimenting he finds his powers have increased but has no idea why.  All Vallen are born with their powers which are revealed at an early age.  His powers growing as he nears his birthday is unheard of.  Something is different and something is causing this to happen.  But he’s running out of time and has no idea as to how he will find his full potential, especially while being encased within the forest.  He must find a way to break his mother’s spell and escape.

Magic In The Storm was an edge of the seat read.  I kept hoping that Morgan’s mother would change and give in to him allowing him to find his own strength and powers.  When he finally made it out of the forest I knew she would see that he was truly the 7th of the 7th generation and accept him even though he was a male, not a female.  Did she?  I’ll never tell.  I will say that a lot happens as his powers increase but does he ever become more powerful than his mother?  If so, does she help him in his endeavor?  I’ll only tell you that Magic In The Storm was a very enjoyable book.

 
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