Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction - Amy Metz, Author

Better Than Sex Cake

box chocolate cake mix
2 medium eggs
1/4 c water
3/4 c oil
1 pkg 10.5 oz tub caramel
4 pkg heath bars
1 pkg whipped topping

1. Bake cake as directed on box
2. Let set for 5 - 10 minutes or until warm
3. Poke holes with fork or knife
4. Cover with caramel, let set for 3 - 5 minutes
5. Top with cool whip and cover with Heath bars (crumbled) or Heath chips

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction - Review by Martha A. Cheves

"But Squirt, the man had evidence.  He told me so, right before I killed him.  I laughed at him at the time.  Laughed right in his face; thought he was bluffing.  He said he took precautions and one day the world was going to know what a yellow-bellied coward I was.  It wasn't until after I killed him that I found the note in his pocket.  It said, 'Maye, if you're reading this I must be dead.  Look in the chest, Maye.  It's all there.' Of course I threw the note away and his woman never knew about it.  But I know he was telling the truth.  He had something, some kind of proof.  I'm afraid it's going to surface some day and ruin all y'alls lives.  Look in his house.  Promise me, Squirt, that you'll find and destroy the eidence before it destroys our family.  I don't want y'all saddled with my dirty deeds for the rest of your life.  Promise me...find the evidence John Hobb hid, and promise me you'll destroy it."  "I promise, Papa," the young man said, followed by a sob from his throat.

Tess Tremaine is a recent divorcee that was looking for a new place to start a new life for herself.  She found that new life in a small town called Goose Pimple Junction.  All goes well for her as she starts to get to know the people, with one exception and that exception is the language.  She found that just because you meet someone, which is called 'howdied' doesn't mean you've really met them until you 'shook.'  Or when someone tells you to 'get your straw out of my Kool-Aid' it means to mind your own business.  And you'll never guess what you ordered when the waitress calls out for the cook to 'Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it.'  That one is really quite simple.  It's a hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion.  These are just some of the life changes Tess must get use to if she expects to find her life in Goose Pimple Junction.  She also has to solve a mystery that seems to revolve around a key that she found in her new home.

This book switches from the 1930's to the present with happenings way back then still taking a hold on the town and its residents.  The language, both past and present kept me laughing, as did some of the names but when I read the acknowledgements for this book I learned that the happenings from the 30's were actually true.  The present, not so much but both still made for a very enjoyable read.  I found myself hurting for some of the characters of the past but for the most part, laughing when it came to the now day characters.  Now I'm ready to read Book 2 in this series which is titled Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Diamonds Aren't Forever - Connie Shelton

This book will be released 8/14/2017.  You can pre-order at all major online retailers for just $.99 but on 8/21/2017 the price will go up to $4.99 so get your order in now!

Coca Cola Cake
(A Pen special)

2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1-1/2 c. small marshmallows
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil
3 T. cocoa
1 c. Coke
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 (325 for glass pan). Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Sift together the flour and sugar in a large bowl, add marshmallows. Stir together and set aside. In a saucepan, mix together the butter, oil, Coke, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, then add to the dry mix and blend well. Dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk and quickly add it to batter. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Bake 45-50 minutes. Test for done-ness with a toothpick.

While the cake bakes, make the frosting:
1/2 c. butter
3 T. cocoa
6 T. Coke
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans

In saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and Coke. Bring to a boil, then pour over powdered sugar in a bowl and blend well. Add vanilla and pecans.

Remove cake from oven when done and pour frosting over it immediately. Let the frosting soak into the cake. Cool completely before cutting.

Diamonds Aren't Forever - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

The whole story spilled out.  The necklace going on loan to the Philpont Museum for a show on the royal jewels of Europe, the robbery six months ago where three armed men took the night guards by surprise and were able to bypass the museum's supposedly state-of-the-art security system.  The police working the case for the few months but leads petered out quickly.  Penelope's desperate hope that the private investigator might have better luck, not being constrained by the complexities of a bureaucracy.  Dick Stone's call yesterday that he had located her piece and would deliver it today.

Penelope Fitzpatrick put all of her faith in Dick Stone.  He has found the necklace that her grandfather had made many years before for the last tsar of Russia.  He has now returned it to Pen who decided the best place for this million dollar necklace was in her safety deposit box at the bank.  That was the day that she thought this nightmare would end only to find that it had just begun.

Author Connie Shelton held my attention as 72 year old Pen is joined by 3 other ladies that became the 'Heist Ladies.'  Their travels to find the man known as Dick Stone, which is only one of his many names, takes them to the Cayman Islands where 'Mr. Stone' posing under another alias is working his next mark.  They follow him to Zurich where he is to meet with a shady jeweler.  And on to Nice where one of the largest jewelry exhibits was to be held.  It was also the location where plans for one of the largest jewelry heists were being made.

As I read Diamonds Aren't Forever I pictured this little 72 year old lady and her 3 companions in my mind.  I admired her spiff and determination.  This was a book that was entertaining, humorous at times, and very enjoyable.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Crossover Murder: Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Nikki Haverstock, Author

Strawberry Daiquiri from Captain Morgan

1.25 ounces of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1.75 ounces of Sweet and Sour Mix
3 ounces of frozen strawberries
1 cup of ice 
Blend and garnish cup with sugar

Enjoy responsibly with a favorite book - Nikki :)

Crossover Murder:  Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The plan was that we would try another live cast over the Internet of Heather welcoming Texas Shore Cowboys to the area.  Then she'd pass the microphone over to Peppin, the star of the bank and the show, who would announce the private concert the following evening at Priscilla's theater, the Fish.  Peppin would hype up the even, and we would stop the live cast.

Tomorrow, we would also do a quick live cast of the first few minutes of the convert.  Both the live casts would serve to advertise next week's episode.  One of the biggest issues with promoting the show had been a lack of commercials.  How could you advertise upcoming episodes when they weren't even filmed yet?  The best approach so far had been to have a murder on set - then the media did the advertising for you.

The cast of Savv Socialites of Fishcreek Falls, is back and Melissa finds herself solving yet another murder.  The reality show joins temporary forces with the band Texas Shore Cowboys which spices up the story as well as the action.  You'll meet Peppin who is the lead singer of the Cowboys, as well as some of the others in the band, as they come into Fishcreek Falls with their desire to party, fight and have a good time.  You'll also enjoy the sneaky antics of Heather as she does her best to discredit and destroy Melissa.

I read a lot of books and can normally come up with the 'bad guy/gal' at least half way in.  With this Author Nikki Haverstock, it seems that I know who I think it will be but the more I read the more I doubt my choice.  She will take you to the end before giving you full confirmation as to whether you are right or wrong, and that I like in a good mystery.  Oh yeah!  Bubbles is in full character throughout.  If you read Book 1 you'll remember Bubbles as being the 'gassy' dog that Melissa adopted from the shelter.  He will keep you smiling and laughing from beginning to end.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Diamonds in the Dumpster - Morgan St. James & Phyllice Bradner, Authors

Baked Alaska
exercise your culinary skills)

Total Time: 6 hr 29 min
Prep: 45 min
Inactive: 5 hr 40 min
Cook: 4 min
Yield:12 servings

For the Ice Cream Cake:
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1 pint raspberry, passion fruit or other sorbet, softened
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 17 crushed wafers)
1 loaf pound cake
For the Meringue:
1 cup egg whites (about 6 large), at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup sugar

Make the ice cream cake: Brush a 3-quart metal bowl with vegetable oil; line with plastic wrap.
Fill the bowl with scoops of the sorbet, vanilla ice cream and half of the chocolate ice cream, alternating small and large scoops to create a mosaic of colors and shapes.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream; press down to close the gaps between scoops and even out the surface.
Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle the ice cream with the wafer crumbs and re-cover with the plastic wrap, pressing gently. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
Remove the wrap and spread the remaining chocolate ice cream in an even layer on top of the crumbs.
Cut the pound cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices; completely cover the ice cream with the slices, trimming as needed (you'll use about two-thirds of the cake). Cover with fresh plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Make the meringue: Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then invert the cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If necessary, let the cake stand overturned until it slips out.) Remove the rest of the plastic wrap and cover the ice cream completely with the meringue, making the dome-shaped top slightly thicker than the sides.
Form swirly peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon. Freeze for at least 3 more hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Bake the cake until the meringue peaks are golden, about 4 minutes, or brown the meringue with a blowtorch.
Let the cake soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Freeze any leftovers.

Diamonds in the Dumpster - Review by Martha A Cheves: Stir Laugh Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

Like two undercover agents, the duo began to inch around the corner keeping Waldo behind them.  Just before the full turn, Flossie signaled Sterling to stop.  He looked at her with a quizzical expression and raised his eyebrows as if to say "What's going on?"  She pushed him back so they were both out of sight, then whispered.  "It was him - the angry man.  He was backing out of Jade's cabin like a thief, looking to both sides to see if anyone was watching.  He's up to no good, Sterling.  I can feel it in my bones."

The 'oldsters' Flossie and Sterling Silver have been treated with a cruise by Flossie's son-in-law who just happens to be the ship's captain.  The cruise will, in part, be made up of old and new magicians which fits them perfectly since they too are magicians - on the old side.  Sterling has his eye on a turban that is being worn by one of the performers, and believe it or not, ends up with it, in a shady way.  What follows is far from what he nor Flossie ever expected.

Goldie and Godiva are twins.  Goldie is married to Red Pepper, the cruise captain.  She owns Silver Spoon Antique Shoppe in Juneau.  Godiva married a VERY wealthy man who was a real obnoxious person.  Fortunately for her he passed away leaving her VERY wealthy.  She has an advice column called Godiva's Ask G.O.D.  Both women are like night and day.  One homey and one who enjoys her money and the men that can come with it.  But put these two together, add Flossie and Sterling and you have pure excitement with humor added in, especially when a little murder is thrown into the pot, and money, and jewels, and magic, and humor, must I go on.

I've read all of this series and can't get enough.  This is a series that I hope lives and continues as long as I'm able to read.  The authors are creative and the names they give their characters are the best!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Just Add Salt - Jinx Schwartz, Author

Since Hetta is always boating in places without stores now, I thought I'd share her:
Emergen-Sea Ice Cream Recipe

1 Gallon sized Ziploc
1 Qt. sized Ziploc

Cream or canned milk to fill Qt zip to 3/4 full
OR if feeling ambitious, make french custard mix

ADD: Vanilla to taste

           Sugar to taste
           Flavoring: Chocolate syrup is great!
Seal qt. bag and place inside gallon bag.
Seal gallon bag.

Shake, shake, shake your booty until frozen.
This also acts as an on-board aerobic activity.


Can also serve a slushy Margarita maker with lime juice, salt, sugar, and tequila. Not recommended when underway.

Just Add Salt - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Nothing like a new project or romantic rejection to get my lazy self motivated.  So, fired by an emotionally charged combination of excitement and choler, I compiled an extortionate list of demands for my new client... The Trob had given me the basic of the project, so I still was a little scarce on details... Tanuki wanted me to do some major snoopery before they spent too much time and money on this project.  Or so they said.  My experience was that Japan Incorporated rarely takes the environment too seriouskly, especially the ecosystems of others.

Hetta Coffey along with her friend Jan and their boyfriends Jenks and Lars, had been planning a trip to Mexico on Hetta's boat for some time, so when she finds out that Jenks and Lars are both on a job in Kuwait that will keep them there for some time she decides to take the job offered by Tanuki and go to Mexico without them.  She and Jan combined can manage her boat, which is also her full-time home, but Jan insists they hire a captain and so starts the search for a captain that isn't afraid to tread into those waters during hurricane season.

This book is full of adventure as well as humor.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud when Lonesome the male whale started 'courting' the boat.  Author Jinx Schwartz has given the characters of Hetta and Jan a real sense of humor as well as adventure that keeps you reading to see what they will get into next and how they will get out of it.  Can't wait to read Book 3 in this series.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hale Mary - C. M. Albrecht, Author

Curried Egg Appetizer
(ala Dorothy Sale)

Gently boil one dozen large eggs for 14 minutes.

Immediately place in cold water, the colder the better. Gently begin tapping each egg all around until the shell begins to come apart and gently peel, placing the peeled eggs back in cold water.
After eggs are completely cool, carefully cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolk to a bowl.

When all the yolks have been placed into the bowl, add a bit of mustard (I prefer dry, but that's just an opinion), a bit of salt and pepper to taste and a goodly portion of curry powder. Mix well with a fork and then, either with a small pastry bag or spoon, place a nice portion of curried yolk on each egg half. If you have empty halves left over, enjoy them before someone else gets them.

Arrange the prepared curried eggs on an egg server, or lacking that, take a plate of suitable size and arrange them on a bed of lettuce.

Your guests will love them. Bon appétit.

Hale Mary - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Inside the guest bedroom, Mary and Gracie lay back on the twin beds, watching a little TV as they passed a fat joint back and forth between them, slowly filling the room with smoke.  Gracie got up and opened the window all the way.  "Have to keep this on the down low," she said, giggling.  "We don't want your son to be shutting us down."  "No way," Mary agreed.  She got up off the bed and fumbled in the pockets of a heavy bathrobe, bringing out half a pint of whiskey.  "We can always depend on Maudie."  She held up the bottle in a sot of pre-toast.  "Here,"  she said with a wide smile.  "let's drink to better days ahead."

Meet the characters:
"Hail" Mary Drummond married to Police Detective "Bulldog" Drummond, recently deceased.
Cray "Crayfish" Drummond - Son of Mary and Bulldog - recently fired from his job and looking for work.
Estelle - Daughter of Mary and Bulldog - following her father's footsteps she has become a Police Officer.
Grace "Gracie" Prevost - one of two best friends of Mary since childhood, widowed, living in Arizona.
Maude "Maudie" Greene  - Mary's other best friend since childhood, babysits for income but the majority of her money comes from selling pot.
Celie Drummond - Cray's wife; Brooke Drummond - his daughter; and Harry Drummond  his son.
And then there is Rowlf - a hundred forty-eight pound yellow/tan, huge hound dog that spends his days and night laying in front of the door sleeping - and he doesn't move when the door needs to be opened.

Did I mention that the ladies Mary, Gracie, and Maudie are senior citizens?  Well, they are and the antics they get into has kept me laughing throughout the whole book.  They're whiskey drinking, pot smoking women who are out to bring back their good old days and I think they succeeded and I enjoyed riding along with them.  You gotta read this book if you want a fun filled laugh.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Terror in a Teapot - Morgan St. James & Phyllice Bradner, Authors

Flossie's Fabulous Noodle Kugel

8 oz. pkg. of Wide Egg Noodles
1/4 lb. Butter (melted) (margarine substitute optional)
1 cup Golden Raisins
3 Eggs (beaten) (4 eggs optional)
4 heaping Tbsp. Sour Cream
4 oz. Cream Cheese (softened and rolled into tiny balls)
1/2 cup Sugar (to taste) mix with a small amount of cinnamon for taste and color
1 cup Milk (a little more if you like it more moist)
Package Cornflake Crumbs (optional)

Mix all ingredients with cooked noodles that have been rinsed in cool water.  Put in 8 x 10 (or similar size) Pyrex pan that has been greased with a little butter or margarine.  Top with packaged cornflake crumbs (optional) and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour.  Cool and cut into squares for serving.  (You can double the recipe and freeze some, too.)
(Based on a recipe from the authors' mother, Rosetta.)

Terror in a Teapot - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Goldie Silver
- Owns an antique shop in Juneau, Alaska
Godiva Olivia DuBois - Author of the famous relationship column Ask G.O.D.
Caesar - Famous TV chef - or is he?
Flossie Silver - Female magician.
Sterling Silver - Male magician.
Two Ladies from the Russian Orthodox Church - church ladies.
Father Innocent - Retiring Priest.
Rimsky - Father Innocent's helper.
Father Augustine - Priest that will take over for Father Innocent.
Two very ugly ladies - Very possibly not 'ladies.'
Boris & Igor Dumkovsky - two very mean Russians.

Now, just what can all of these people have in common?  Well, Goldie and Godiva are twin sisters.  Caesar is Godiva's boyfriend, Flossie is the mother of the twins and Sterling is their father's brother, known to them by the affectionate name of 'Unk.'  

But where is the connection between the 'family' members and the other characters?  It all has to do with The Seven Deadly Samovars, or Tea Pots if you live in America.  It seems the Tea Pots were shipped from Russia to Goldie's shop but were lost in transit.  The Church Ladies had ordered one through Goldie as a retirement gift for Father Innocent.  When they are finally discovered they seem to live up to their name 'Deadly.'  People start dying, Tea Pots start missing and the mystery starts spinning as the twins do a little detective work to track down the missing pots and find the killer or should I say killers.

This book, as all Morgan St. James and Phyllice Bradner books, gives you suspense, humor and a special surprising twist at the end.  I can't get enough of their writings and hope they come out with yet another Silver Sisters Mystery very soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ghost Writer - Lorna Collins, Author


1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeded and diced
1 medium apple (I like Granny Smith or Fuji), pared, cored, and diced
1 cup diced or shredded chicken or turkey (I love using left-over Thanksgiving turkey, just like Helen)
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon mace
2 whole cloves
1 sprig parsley, minced
2 cups stock (chicken or turkey)
1 cup cooked tomatoes (I use canned diced ones)
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion in the ¼ cup butter or margarine. Add the carrot celery, bell pepper, apple, and chicken or turkey. Gradually stir in the flour, curry powder, mace, cloves, parsley, chicken or turkey stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for half an hour or longer. Serve hot.

Ghost Writer - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

 "I don't believe in ghosts," I used to tell anyone who'd ask.  I'm a 'techie,' a computer programmer.  I deal with data and facts, not fiction and fantasy.  So how did I get mixed up with a temperamental, egotistical, rude, smart, funny, aggravating, self-centered, loveable... uh... spirit?  Okay, if you insist, ghost. 

Nanette (or Nan as most called her) Burton found herself caught up in the downfall of the mortgage industry only five years after graduating from college.  But that was just the beginning of her problems.  The building she lived in went into foreclosure, so she was also out of a place to live. Then her live-in boyfriend decided to bail out when she received an eviction notice.  Well, his leaving was actually a blessing because he didn't work, wasn't looking for work, and simply lived off Nan. So when her paycheck left, he found himself another victim to mooch from.  Final step, move back home with Mom and Dad until she could find a job and buy a car.  Oh yeah, her car died, too.

Living with Mom and Dad wouldn't have been so bad except they had turned her bedroom into Dad's study so she had to sleep on the sofa.  The Victorian sofa with all its wood and firm springs.

Then Nan's great-great-aunt Nanette Burton, whom she had been named after, passed away at the age of 104.  When Nan and her dad were called to the lawyer's office for the reading of the will, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Nan would soon be living at her rich great-great-aunt's beach cottage.  Finally a place to live and a bed to sleep on.  But her living at the cottage came with a few things Nan didn't expect.  One being her aunt's dog, Mitzi, and the other being her aunt's famous author friend Maximilian Alexander Murdoch.  Max actually wrote women's fiction under the name of Maxine du Bois and had done extremely well.  But when Nan moved into the beach cottage, Max didn't take it too well.  This was his house and had been for years... before and after his death.  Yes, Max is a ghost, who ends up allowing Nan to live in 'his' house if she will help him finish his last book.

I can never get enough of this writer's light reading.  She always grabs me right in the beginning and continues until the very last page.  She makes me laugh and she makes me feel sad now and then but she always delivers with a great book.  You can't help but love this book.

Loran's Bio:

Lorna Collins and her husband, Larry, helped build theUniversal Studios Japan theme park. Their memoir, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was published in 2005. They have also written two mysteries: Murder… They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, and are currently working on more. They just completed The Memory Keeper, set in San Juan Capistrano.
Lorna co-wrote Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, The Art of Love, and Directions of Love, 2011 EPIC eBook Award winner. Her fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, was published in 2012.

In addition, Lorna is a professional editor.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Your Fault - Wendy Coblentz, Author

Tinker Cookies

1/2 lb. butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter, add sugar, egg, flavoring and flour. (Measure flour before sifting)  Put dough in a press.  Make cookies and place on an unbuttered cookie sheet.  Bake 5-6 minutes or until light brown.

(These cookies are called "Tinker Cookies" because my great aunt made them every time we'd go to Reno.  Wendy Coblentz)

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

I had followed the recommendations from the exercise teacher, physical therapist, yoga instructor, and pain psychologist.  My brain surged into overload with advice.  The therapist whose expertise was human and equine neurofeedback suggested I eliminate dairy, meat, gluten, sugar, and salt form my diet, dismissing my pleas that I would starve.  A practitioner advised using the $75 water pillow for better alignment.  I spent a week of sleepless nights sloshing around on the high seas.  I began to second-guess myself with every move, ranging from how I walked to how I picked up a pencil, always wondering if I was doing anything right.  The lure of alternative medicine was leading me into the bowels of despair.  I felt batted around like a tether ball, dangling in the wind when the game was over - and my back still hurt.

When I picked up this book to read I thought "boy, someone who has the same problem I have - back pain."   Most people either know someone who has a back problem or have the problem themselves.   If you happen to be someone who doesn't have or never have had back problems, there is no way you can fully understand what we go through.   There is, of course, tremendous pain that you have no control over.  Then there is the constant moaning that eventually seems to get on everyone's nerves.  We finally learn to live with our pain but at the expense of our own sanity, which is at times controlled by meds and tears.  Then there are the doctors.  I really believe that one qualification a doctor must have is to experience back pain themselves before proclaiming to understand or treating our problem.

Fortunately for me, and others who read this book, we now have a list of just about every treatment that has been created.  Wendy Coblentz takes us through how every treatment is supposed to work and how it really works.  This book will save you so much money by giving you a choice of what might and might not work for you by following how it worked for the Author.

 It is like a dictionary of back treatments, but it's more than a book of possible medical treatments for the back.  The humor woven throughout gave me another laugh that I could relate to.  The Author's raising of a son brought back memories of my raising a rebellious daughter of my own.   This book is not just for those who have back problems, it's actually for everyone.  I loved it!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Divorcee.Biz - Eileen Thornton, Author

Simple Chicken and Rice Casserole
(Eileen Thornton's Special)
Long Grain Rice, drained
Cooked, small diced vegetables, (carrots, turnip, parsnip) and peas
Cooked chicken sliced or diced.
Boil the rice until it is cooked. Add the diced veg and peas and mix well. Add the cooked chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Turn into a casserole dish and place in a pre-heated oven  (180 C)  until it is heated right through. Stir occasionally to make sure the chicken is piping hot.
Divorce.Biz – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
“We had twenty people requesting meetings last night,” Connie told Jenny, as she and Sadie strode into the office.  “That’s great news,” Jenny replied.  “I know it’s early days, but it looks like our venture into the business world is working out well.  Hopefully we’ll hear from more people today.”  “It was only twenty people, Jenny.”  Sadie flopped into a chair.  “Don’t get too excited.  We haven’t hit the headlines of the Financial Times.”  “There’s no need to be so grumpy, Sadie.  I was only saying it’s good because it means we earned three hundred pounds last night.”  Jenny paused.  “So what’s eating you this morning”  “Sorry, Jenny.  I didn’t mean anything.  Yes, I suppose from that point of view it is good news.”
But Sadie did have something else bothering her.  Connie’s ex-husband Andrew had appeared at the launch celebration for Divorcee.Biz and even joined.  Sadie knew how much he still loved Connie and how much she loved him but his onetime slip-up with another woman had put an end to their marriage.  It was up to her to show Connie just how much they both still loved each other and get them back together. 
Divorcee.Biz is a divorcee only dating service that was just a thought in Connie’s mind until she mentioned it to her three best friends.  Her idea was to create a service that would require a fee to join and a fee to set up meetings/dates.  The fee would not only pay the bills for the four friends but due to the amount being charged it would appeal to only the most serious.  Along with the meeting fee and the fact that they would be setting up the meetings for the customers, this should keep the members safe.  But would it work?  But just as important to the making of money was the desire of all four women to find mates of their own.  All four had gone through divorces of their own, for various reasons, and were wanting to find that perfect match for themselves.  Someone unlike their ex-spouse.  Boy were these ladies in for a big surprise with their new venture.
Divorcee.Biz, to me is ‘Sex in the City’ gone UK.  I used to watch that show every week just to see what would happen to the 4 best friends next.  The ladies Connie, Sadie, Jenny and Lucy all remind me of the characters in that weekly show.  They are full of hopes and dreams of finding Mr. Right.  And as much as I loved Sex in the City, I’ve found that I love Divorcee.Biz just as much.  It kept me cheering each girl along through her own search and crossing my fingers when she would meet someone.  I’ve felt laughter as well as pain and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Divorcee.Biz.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Slightly Cracked - Susan Whitfield, Author

Mountain Dew Cake
(A Susan Special)

1 box lemon cake mix
1 3.4 oz. box lemon instant pudding mix
1 12 oz. can Mountain Dew (born in North Carolina!)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. Combine all ingredients. Beat with mixture until smooth batter. Pour into pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool.
Slightly Cracked – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
After eighteen holes of golf with his pals, Clayton ran into the kitchen from the mud room with a white face, his underwear dropped to his knees. Mackie Sue flung her spoon into the sink.
“Clayton, what on earth are you doing with your underwear down? I’m busy here, and I’m in no mood for sex right now.”
“Tick on my testicle! It’s seizing up. Get it off!” Mackie Sue sprang into action, getting the tweezers and heating the tips to remove the entire tick—head and all—on the first attempt.
“Just where have you been to get ticks, Clayton?”
“I stayed in the woods on every hole. I played like I’d never picked up a club before in my life.”
“Hold still while I finish up here.” She coated the injured gonad with Vaseline, just in case she’d missed something, and to soothe the traumatized area. Then Clayton tottered off to the sofa while she got back to her cooking, soon hearing a snore from an apparently relaxed if injured husband.
Ladies, if that isn’t enough to make you laugh and want to read Slightly Cracked I don’t know what will. And yes, I see this as a ladies book even though you guys would probably enjoy it too if you would just allow yourself to read it.
Clayton is Mackie Sue’s husband of many years. She is a high school principal and he is an accountant. Daisy is Mackie Sue’s best friend and has been almost since birth. They know each other like the back of their hands and a bonded friendship that nothing nor no one will tear apart. Daisy is married to Stanley who is a mortician with a deep dark secret that even Daisy doesn’t know. Actually he didn’t know himself that he had a secret until recently. And when it does come to light, it will have a tremendous affect on his and Daisy’s marriage.
This book is full of humor. We have two overweight friends who give it their all to lose weight, while eating anything that isn’t on the healthy food list. Both are going through menopause and both feel they have husband problems. And then there are the ‘gaggles’ of geese that Daisy has helped create over the years through feeding and protecting. I’ve read every book written by Author Susan Whitfield and there hasn’t been a one that I haven’t enjoyed but Slightly Cracked has brought out a side of this author that I didn’t know existed. I can’t remember reading another book that has made me laugh as much as Slightly Cracked. Yes, as I said before, it’s basically a female book but it’s also an adult book. It does get a little risqué but with so much humor that you can’t help but love it. Got you guys interested now? I think you would enjoy it too.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Road Trip - Mari Sloan, Author

$1000 Split Second Cookies
(Mari's favorite cookie)

Sift: 2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream: 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup soft margarine
1 egg
2 tsps. vanilla
Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture. Roll into a large ball then divide that ball into four equal parts. Roll each part into a long roll, then flatten each roll with the heel of your hand, leaving an indentation on the top of each roll. Fill each indentation with your favorite jelly, fancy or plain according to the occasion. Be inventive! Place the flattened rolls 4" apart and 2 " away from the edge of a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees until light brown. When cool, cut into strip cookies and dip in granulated sugar if you want. Enjoy a cookie loved by all of the children I have ever known and my own personal favorite.
Road Trip – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
"Molly was the only person who knew what really happened in the cave and Anna realized she was never going to tell. When asked, Molly met her eyes with a dark, glazed look and walked away. Not one more word was ever said about J. D. by her; not about J. D. or the man he had killed – the itinerant preacher serial killer Charlie Callahan, whose hobby had been collecting and mummifying human heads. They both disappeared. Neither came back, and the residents of Beaufort Falls didn’t care. Gone, they made a better story, and one that grew each time the wind rustled the limbs of the ancient water oaks that lined the road to Sicily." -- From Road Trip.
After the murder of their mother, brother and the death of their father, Molly and her sister Tessie were taken in by Anna Johnson a one-time social worker. Anna adopted Tessie but Molly refused her offer to adopt her. She had always felt as though she wasn’t a real part of the family and it showed in her actions both at school and out. And when she met Charlie, who introduced himself as her uncle and told her that her real father lived in California and had sent him to fetch her, she made up her mind to leave just shy of her 18th birthday and find out just who she really was. Then she runs into the little man at the cemetery. He’s naked, seems lost and Molly can’t help but take him under her wing naming him Al. After finding an old truck in the junk yard, getting it running, hitching up an abandoned pink trailer, the 3 head west only to find their little group growing as they go… Roger the ‘Apple-Cheeked Bandit,’ Harry who has no idea who he is, Tu the Oriental prostitute who has been paying off her family’s debts and then there is the ‘black cat.’ Each member of the group seems to be carrying their own problems but together they make up a pretty good team. That is until Tu is grabbed by gang members who have been sent to retrieve her and something makes one of the members disappear, I think it might have been the cat. Disaster seems to follow in the wake of this caravan no matter where they go. Why? Is there something unnatural about someone in the group? Who is Charlie really and why does he carry around that canvas bag? Who is Al and where did he come from? Who is looking for Tu? Who is Harry and will he get his memory back? And who let that black cat into the group?!
Some time back I read Mari Sloan’s book Beaufort Falls and loved it. It was one of those books that you just have to force yourself to put down. Road Trip is even better. As each character was introduced I knew there had to be a connection but couldn’t seem to guess what it might be. The connections finally started to come together but then a new character Rick was introduced and it was Rick that put the whole story together. This book has drama but with humor. It’s so well written that even if it’s farfetched, you can still picture every event and character as they unfold. Mel Brooks needs to check this one out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Looking for Pork Chop McQuade -

Tropical Grilled Pork Chops
(Recipes from Darlene)
(This is my favorite way to cook Pork Chops.  I love food with a
'tropical' flavor. Darlene)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped jalapenos
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon all spice
1 pound of pork chops, trimmed
Combine lime juice, jalapenos, gingerroot, salt and all spice in a heavy duty [large] ziplock bag. Add pork chops, seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Place pork on grill rack sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook over medium-hot coals for about 30 minutes or until meat thermometer shows 160 degrees. Baste occasionally.  Serve with rice, steamed vegetables and Hawaiian style bread for a tropical treat.
Here’s my favorite way to eat hamburgers.
Lean ground beef, buffalo or venison
Pepper Jack Cheese
Pineapple slices [from a can will do nicely]
Sliced ripe, red tomato
Sesame seed buns
Pat out about 1/8 to 1//4 patties of ground beef, with less fat is best or use buffalo meat for best results.
Cook burgers on grill over medium coals for about thirty minutes or cook on indoor grill five minutes on each side at 350 degrees.
Top with pepper Jack cheese while burgers are still hot. Add a slice of pineapple, a piece of lettuce and a thin tomato slice to each burger. Serve on a sesame seed bun.
Looking for Pork Chop McQuade – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
‘My illicit love affair began with a jar of homemade pickles. The whole thing started the same day Uncle Faucett got arrested for indecent exposure. I’d gotten up before daylight to fix breakfast for Bob. Then like he did every day, Uncle Faucett pecked on my front door and, like I did every day, I opened it. “Damn fool chickens ain’t layin,” he muttered. “Where’s the damn fool chickens?” He leaned on two canes. His black-rimmed spectacles, like two magnifying glasses, made his gray eyes look too big for his body. “We sold them last Thursday,” I said. “Remember? Daddy took them off.” “Oh, I forgot,” he mumbled and shuffled away. I knew he would go stand on the edge of our lane and catch a ride into town with some local farmer. He had done that each morning since he had lost his license, the unfortunate results of an accident involving a cattle trailer. Every morning he asked about the chickens and every morning I told him Daddy had sold them on Thursday, because even though it had happened when I was a girl and Daddy was now long gone, I remembered clearly that my father had sold the last of our chickens on a Thursday.’

This was the day that Raspberry Cupcake McQuade and her twin sister Cookie Thompson found themselves visiting the local police station and coming face to face with Sheriff Daniel Ransom. Apparently Uncle Faucett had run across a box, took his clothes off and was walking around town wearing just the box. This also became the beginning of changes to come in the lives of Cupcake, Cookie and Sheriff Ransom.
Cupcake and Cookie both have their own problems. Cupcake is married to Bob ‘Pork Chop’ McQuade who has papered their trailer with tin foil in the attempt to keep the government and aliens from being able to penetrate their home with their spy technology. He is so paranoid that the government is abducting their own people that he has joined a militia and is storing arms to defend himself. So, when he comes up missing, was he abducted by aliens or his own government? Cookie is the total opposite of her sister Cupcake. She is pushing 500 lbs. and becomes depressed when any form of bad news comes her way. Then we have Sheriff Ranson who became sheriff after his wife was hit by a drunk driver.  He wanted to do his part to prevent this from happening to anyone else.  And of course there is Uncle Faucett who is approaching 94 and seems to be losing his memory as well as some of his facilities.
After reading the first page of this book I knew it was going to be good. What I didn’t know was that it was going to be more than good, it was going to be great! With names like Cupcake and Cookie, I found humor, but that wasn’t all. This book is filled with love, compassion, heartaches, and sorrow. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book that makes me feel so many emotions at the same time. And when you put all of these together you have Looking for Pork Chop McQuade in the form of a book that I didn’t want to put down.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vanishing Act in Vegas - Morgan St. James, Phyllice Bradner, Authors

Lamb Chops with Sweet Rice
(This is one of those “take a handful of this and a pinch of that” recipes handed down from my mother. I’ve tried to translate it into real quantities, but feel free to take creative license. It has been one of my favorites for years... Morgan St. James  Phyllice Bradner)

4 to 6 Shoulder Lamb Chops
2 cups of instant brown rice
1-1/2 cups of water (after trying this recipe, you might want to adjust the amount of water to make the rice firmer or fluffier)
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 medium onion, chopped
Sprinkling of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the uncooked instant rice, raisins, chopped onion, water and cinnamon and place in the bottom of an oblong pyrex baking pan - size depends upon how many chops you use. You can also add sliced mushrooms and/or pine nuts as an option. Salt and pepper the chops to taste and arrange on top of the rice mixture. Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes. Time might vary due to the oven. The chops will be baked through, the rice will be fluffy and the flavor from the lamb seeps into the rice. There is a slight Mediterranean flavor to this dish.

Vanishing Act in Vegas (A Silver Sisters Crime Caper) – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of A Book and A Dish, Think With Your Taste Buds and Stir, Laugh, Repeat.

Poor Torch.  He finally lands a great contract as a special effects director in Las Vegas, bought a condo with a view of the strip and his grandmother and great uncle are planning on paying him a visit to help him ‘settle in.’  He loves them both but he also knows them very well.  Both are retired magicians and trouble seems to be what they conjure up the most. 

“Well, Mom, the last of my stuff is loaded.  I just wanted to say goodbye before I take off.”  She kissed him on the cheek, sensing her son couldn’t wait to hotfoot-it out the door and begin his life as a swinging bachelor.  Sterling turned the sound back on, but Flossie grabbed the remote and turned it off again.  She looked at her grandson and smiled sweetly.  “So, tottelah, your Uncle Sterling and I will be there in two, maybe three days.  You know your uncle is afraid to fly so we’ll just tune up the Caddy tomorrow and be on our way.”  “Whaa-“ Torch stared at her blankly.  “Torch, honey, you’ll need help getting things in order, and no one does that better than your Uncle Sterling and me.  I’ll set up your closets and kitchen and cook some good Jewish meals for your freezer and Uncle Sterling can putter around and help you hang pictures and do little odd jobs.”  Torch looked to his mother in desperation.  Flossie jumped up and tweaked him on the cheek.  “Look, Sterling, he’s so happy we’re coming, he’s speechless.  Good thing you bought a three bedroom.  I guess we’ll stay for three or four days.  Who knows, maybe longer if we get lucky.  Magic acts are big in Vegas again.” 

Torch’s mother Godiva Silver DuBois and his mother’s twin sister Goldie Silver decide to take a trip to Vegas too.  Godiva is a famous advice to the lovelorn columnist who’s column is called Ask G.O.D.’  She is also the millionaire widow of Max DuBois which gives her the time and money to do whatever she wants at any given time.  Goldie is an over-the-hill hippi antique dealer from Juneau, Alaska and Godiva can easily afford to treat Goldie to the trip to Vegas.

Godiva loves to write her column but her favorite hobby is dabbling into the mysteries of crime with her twin sister.  So, when Goldie flew to Vegas from her home in Alaska the two twins put their heads together to solve the murder of Mara  the Magnificent.  What the twins also discover is that Mara isn’t just a magician, she is also Torch’s girlfriend and she has a secret that blows them all away!

I fell in love with the Silver Sisters after reading A Corpse in the Soup.  Their antics as well as those of their mother Flossie and their Uncle Sterling will keep you laughing along as you try to solve the murder that they always seem to step into.  Vanishing Act in Vegas was one that really lost me as an amateur reader detective.  Every time I thought I knew who had done what to who and why, I found myself scratching my head to come up with another solution because my original was all wrong.  I couldn’t help but wish I knew these people.  They were so much fun to be around even when they found themselves in trouble. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Things That Make Me Nuts - Annette Bergman, Author

Almond Joy Cake
(An Annette Bergman Favorite)

Cake: 1 Chocolate  cake mix
            1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
Foe cake: Mix as directed on cake mix, adding chocolate pudding mix
Bake in a greased and floured cookie sheet according to directions on cake box.

First topping: 1 cup sugar
                        1 cup milk
                       24 large marshmallows
                       14 oz coconut
Bring sugar and milk to a quick boil. Melt marshmallows in hot mixture. Stir in coconut.  Pour over cake.

Second topping:  1 ½ cups sugar
                            1 cup evaporated milk
                            1 stick butter 1 package chocolate chips
                            1 ½ cups nuts (almonds or pecans)
Bring sugar, milk and butter to a quick boil. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted, stir in nuts. Pour over cake.

Things That Make Me NUTS – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts

Ball Games

‘A lot of Sunday evenings, I plan on watching a movie or maybe a favorite show and it will be delayed by an hour, an hour and a half or more so they can finish a ball game.  I’m not a late night person and I don’t want to stay up until twelve watching a movie that was supposed to come on at nine and is over at eleven.

Sports fans just think about this for a minute.  Let’s say your ball game came on at seven and you turned on the television to find there’s a live Quilting Bee in progress and it won’t be over until the last knot is tied.  There isn’t a half time, but it will be interrupted by frequent breaks that will include potty breaks, coffee breaks, snacks and an occasional interruption from a cell phone.  All quilting will have to stop until the breaks are over, hands must be washed after eating donuts and nothing can continue until the cell phone conversation is over.  Can you just imagine the turmoil that would cause in your living room when you were expecting to watch your favorite teams play?’

Apparently, like Author Annette Bergman, I’m not a sports fan so I can truly relate to this Thing That Makes Me Nuts.  I even hate it when I’m doing something else and have someone watching a game, yelling at me, ‘watch this.  You have to see this play!’  Even if I humor them and watch the replay I have no idea as to what I’m watching nor what’s even going on with what I’m watching.  So yes, I do understand her frustration.

I also understand her other frustrations and believe that if you’re a female, you too can actually say ‘yeah!  That really gets to me too!’  Have you ever wished someone would write a ‘Husband Hand Book for Dummies?’  They do need a few directions now and then and since they won’t ask, maybe a book to read would be the answer. 

Bergman doesn’t stop with just husbands and men, she even goes into the problems we women have when buying a bra.  You can only take 4 into the dressing room at one time so you undress, try them on, redress, go back out and get 4 more repeating the same procedure until you either find one that fits or you just give up.  And why do men have pockets in their pants but most women’s pants don’t?  That’s not all!  She will open your eyes to the actual cost of a gallon of makeup! 

As I read I could hear one voice in my head…Andy Rooney.  I have decided that Annette Bergman is the female version of Andy Rooney.  I’ve laughed as she voiced her feelings on topics that we all face but most of all, I understand and feel the same with EVERY ONE of her feelings.  This is a must read for women and a should read for men.  I know that some of you men can’t relate to a few of the topics but look at it like this.  Things That Make Me NUTS will give you a better insight to the true feelings of women.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Dead Red Cadillac - R. P. Dahlke, Author

 (A favorite recipe from R. P. Dahlke)
1 ½ lbs fresh green beans-stringed
1/3lb. julienned cheddar cheese
½ C. slivered almonds
½ C. chopped each: olives, green bell pepper & red bell pepper

5 T. Lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic
½ olive oil
½ tsp Tarragon
1 tsp. dill week
Dash pepper and salt
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ C. fresh parsley
Steam green beans until dark green but still crisp—drain and cool
Add dressing, cheese, etc.
Cover and chill overnight
Lasts in Fridge until your friends eat it all gone! 

A Dead Red Cadillac – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘I hung up, and with hands that palsied, I grabbed the nearest set of keys and drove our old farm truck into Modesto.  I ignored the familiar rattling of the loose drive shaft, the torn vinyl headliner, the missing door handle, and the growing spider web of broken windshield on the passenger side.  The drive was a no-brainer, one where I can easily divide my attention between the road and work schedules before hitting the outskirts of the nearest mall.  But, not today.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Caleb’s words.  Of all the answers to the whereabouts of my car, not in a million years would I have guessed that my Caddy would be found tail fins sticking out of the shallow end of Turlock Lake.  And behind the wheel, neatly buckled into her safety belt, was none other than the blue ribbon winner in this year’s county fair’s jam making contest, Patience McBride.’

Lalla Bains has had a few mishaps in the last few days.  Her Ag-CAT plowed into a row of tomatoes while making an emergency landing, breaking her leg.  Her dad, who owns the plane and the crop dusting company that she was flying for, would never believe it wasn’t pilot carelessness that caused her to make a crash landing.  And now her best friend Caleb, who is also the sheriff, has just informed her that he has found her bright red Caddy in the lake with a dead body in the driver’s seat.  So she can’t fly and now she can’t even drive her luxury car around town.

Patience McBride was a widow who kept to herself and never bothered anyone, so why would anyone kill her?  Well, since it was Lalla’s car she was in and she herself has become a suspect, Lalla has decided to find out.  Her first suspect becoming Patience’s nephew who appears in town around the same time as her murder.  He seems to be quite a smooth talking con artist, especially with the women, Lalla included.  Making him less and less of a suspect in her eyes but not in Caleb’s.  The confusion really starts when Eddy steps into the picture.  After taking a couple of shots at Lalla, in her own home, she is able to knock him out with a book end only to have her own father Noah turn him lose.

Another roller coaster ride of suspects and murders.  Author R P Dahlke has given us the works with A Dead Red Cadillac – murder, mystery, suspense and humor.  About half way through the book I was given 1 clue that lead me to the person I felt was the killer.  The more I read, the more I doubted my conclusion.  It wasn’t until the end the last few pages that I was able to determine if I was right or wrong.

Amazon page for A DEAD RED CADILLAC, available as Kindle @$2.99 and as a trade paperback @$12.95

Design by Wordpress Theme | Bloggerized by Free Blogger Templates | coupon codes