Christmas in the Smokies - B. J. Robinson, Author

11:32 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Alli's Famous Louisiana Cornbread Dressing
(the author's mother-in-law's recipe)


5 leg quarters of chicken
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 yellow onion
1 bunch of green onions
2 bell peppers
1 stick of celery
Cornbread mix or homemade cornbread (not the sweet kind)
Garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, sage (all to taste)

Boil the chicken, debone.  Cook down seasonings together until tender.  You can smother or boil.  Mix seasonings with soups.  Bake cornbread in oven until done.  Crumble cornbread.  Mix all ingredients together.  Bake 30 minutes uncovered in a 400 degree oven.


Christmas in the Smokies - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish


Christmas music softly played as Sierra Faith Lawson peered out the window of the Smokey Mountain, Tennessee cabin.  Tears cascaded down her cheeks like a waterfall.  The sad Christmas songs pierced her heart and broke it anew with each thought of her lost love and the trail of tears that'd caused her to flee to the mountains seeking the very serenity that now make her heart ache because she knew she'd spend this holiday season single with no love in sight. 


After her fiance postponed their June wedding, Sierra returned his ring and left New Orleans where she had been raised after the death of her parents.  All of her dreams had been crushed with no happiness in view. 


After moving into her family cabin deep in the Smokie Mountains, Sierra had taken a job as a waitress.  Her quiet, lonely life was interrupted with the meeting of a park ranger named Landon Jordan.  Could God be giving her a second chance at happiness?  It appears so until her old fiance Gillman finds his way back into her life.



This is such a beautiful story of love lost and love found with a beautiful Christmas story woven in.  It's a novella that comes with the warmth and beauty of love that this author is known for putting on paper.  

A Millionaire's Christmas - Brian L. Porter, Author

11:19 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Strawberry Twinkie Cake
(Perfect for the holidays)

1 box Twinkies (or any cream filled snack cakes)
1 box vanilla instant pudding mix
2 (10 oz. each) boxes sweetened strawberries
8 oz. Cool Whip

Layer in a casserole dish in the following manner.  Twinkies (cut in half lengthwise) on bottom, pudding (follow package directions to make), strawberries and cool whip.  This is a pretty dish and oh so delicious!




A Millionaire's Christmas - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Never the most gregarious of men, the shipping magnate Aristedes Miklos found himself further removed from everyday life as his empire grew.  He had few friends and no other family to divert his attention from work, and Aristedes became something of a recluse.  By the time his illness struck him, Bob Garrett had been the only real friend he'd made in the previous twenty years.  He had worked tirelessly at building his fleet and his bank balance, and though his employees respected and revered him as a good man to work for, he would never have considered any of them as anything more than what they were.

Aristedes has found himself in a hospital room all alone.  He has a brain tumor that is aggressive and inoperable.  He is dying.  As his memory begins to fade he becomes aware of his past life.  With his life holding no future, what will happen to his fortune that he spent his life to develop?  He simply has no one!

Then he meets Dr. Elijah.  Elijah knows Aristedes is dying and introduces him to a young boy named Christos Karamanlis who is also dying of cancer.  But, with just a little help from Aristedes, Christos' family could pay for the treatments needed to keep him alive.  Elijah also has the idea that more money could be given to help other children who need medical help.  Well, Aristedes didn't create his fortune by falling for cons and decided to do a little checking on Dr. Elijah before handing over any money.  But first he needed some sleep.

So, is it a con by Elijah or is he and the boy for real.  That my friend you'll have to find out by reading this Christmas story that has a real twist.  You won't regret it.


All Because of the Tip of a Needle - Philip Nork, Author

11:22 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Reuben Dip
(A Philip Nork favorite)

4 packages of Bunning Corned Beef shredded
8 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese
8 ounces of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 16 ounce can of sauerkraut
1/2 cup of mayonnaise


Mix all together and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Try to serve on a hot plate along side rye bread slices or your favorite cracker.

All Because of the Tip of a Needle - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

An excerpt from the book- This last six years was a mentally draining one for me. I had everything I lived for - horse racing, my family, and my wife and kids - taken away from me.  All I could do was wait and wait and wait.  The lawyer told me not to talk to anyone, including my family, about what had happened.  He said it would hamper our case.

Sam Newman, twenty-one years of age, became known as 'Sam-the-man' at the track because he won with regularity.  He was disliked by some, and apparently, hated by more. His young life was going just as he dreamed it would. Using the advice his grandfather had taught him he found the best ways to work with horses and also to make them work for you. He had learned well and it was paying off in more ways than one.  Thanks to his success he was able to marry the girl of his dreams, have kids, and most importantly to him, he was winning at the tracks of his hometown, Chicago, Illinois.  His special 'way' with horses allowed him to spot a rundown horse and turn him back into a winner.  How did he do this?  He just had a way with the equine, but if you talked to the other owners and drivers of Chicago they would tell you it was because of a needle and a drug known as Etorphine, an elephant tranquilizer also known as M-99.  This drug was rumored to make the horses run, fast and straight, to the finish line.

Sam's longtime vet, known as Doc Brown, turned against him when Sam replaced him with another vet.  After losing his temper, he made a promise to Sam's brother, Dave.  His threat was "Payback is a bitch..." and apparently this threat was carried out.  It wasn't long after the threat was made that officers from the Illinois Bureau of Investigations searched Sam’s barn area and discovered a hypodermic needle in his car.  After supposedly testing it, it was confirmed that the needle had contained the M-99 drug.

This book is written as fiction but it based on the 'scandal' back from the 1980's between Scott Nance, the Illinois racing board, and the owners of the harness tracks in the Chicago area. From what I've read, it leads me to believe this young man was 'thrown under the train' due to revenge and greed of others. I'm a horse lover and from this man's story I feel he had a special gift in dealing with them. I find it hard to believe that with the constant testing of the horses, anyone can train and/or drive in over 2,000 races in eight states and two countries, have 300 winners with many seconds and thirds, and still be accused of drugging his horses.


A recommended read for harness fans, conspiracy fans, and just the everyday reader.

The Case of the Death Dealer - Lawrence Johnson, Sr., Author

1:22 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Salmon Loaf
(An Alex Special)

1 Can Alaskan Sockeye Salmon (Red) 14.75oz
2 Cups Bread Crumbs
2 Heaping tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 One tablespoon of dry Mustard (you may use wet mustard as a substitute)

½ Onion (diced) or tablespoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Egg (beaten)

2 Cups Chicken stock (you may use beef stock or water as a substitute.)


Place salmon (including liquid) in a large mixing bowl, discard bone.  Use the back of a fork to break salmon into small pieces.  Add breadcrumbs and mix with salmon.  Add mayonnaise, mustard onion and egg then mix ingredients together thoroughly.  Add chicken stock and pepper,  mix well.  Note:  If you substitute water for chicken stock you may add a level teaspoon of salt.  Form into a loaf then place into loaf or baking pan.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes depending on oven.   Serves 6.  Leftover taste great when sliced and fried with oil or butter.  Original recipe from the Budget Gourmet 


The Case of the Death Dealer - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Alex Steele is at it again in this short story involving Fat Daddy and Dr. Death.   It seems that both deal in drugs and were actually associates, that is until Fat Daddy had Dr. D's sister killed.  Now the good doctor is out for revenge and his revenge will be targeted at Fat Daddy's customers.  His plan... he has taunted Fat Daddy's next cocaine shipment with an odorless poison that has been sprayed on the drugs.


Alex, hired by an old schoolmate, which he really has no use for, takes the case to hopefully prevent this mass murder of some of the local junkies.  Will he find the drugs in time?  Let's sure hope so.



As with all of the Alex Steele books, this one is filled with action, suspense and the reader holding on to the edge of the seat.  I'm crossing my fingers that we'll see even more of this character in the very near future.