Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zaftan Miscreants - Hank Quense, Author

Chicken Paprika
Recipe By: Hank Quense
Serving Size: 4


Chicken cooked in a red bubbling sauce


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon flour
Black pepper to taste
1 can (8 ounces) diced tomatoes
8 ounces egg noodles
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt


1. In heavy skillet,saute onion in butter/margarine until soft.
Stir in paprika and flour, stir constantly for 1 minute.
Stir in pepper and tomatoes

2. Add chicken, turning to coat well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Turn chicken simmer another 15 minutes or until chicken is tender.

3. Cook noodles separately, drain and place on a large serving platter

4. Remove chicken from skillet and put on the platter with the noodles

5. Spoon yogurt into bowl
Heat sauce to boiling.
Slowly stir in yogurt blending well.
Spoon over chicken and noodles


I prefer a thick noodle for this recipe, like kluski

Hank Quense
Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories Told with Humor & Satire 

Zaftan Miscreants – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
Three hundred years after the conclusion of Zaftan Entrepreneurs, the gundies and the zaftans are at it again.  This time in deep space.  Both sides had known it was only a matter of time before they confronted each other.  Now two powerful fleets face each other and wait for the other to blink.

On the gundy flagship was an android named Sam.  Sam was designed to look like a human softie but unlike other droids, she had an organic brain that equipped her with feelings and emotions.  Slash 9, the flagship's main computer recognized Sam’s ability to feel because he too had created feelings for himself and after a period of time, the two fell in love. 

In the Zaftan fleet, Lt Klatze was blessed with the talent and beauty.  Klatze believed in her ability to solve problems.  She detested the Zaftan’s way of settling conflicts which was to either assassinate the problem or go to war.  Klatze’s Commodore Gongeblazn was the perfect example of all that she stood against. He was a renowned assassin that loved to provoke war and when she refused to have sex with him, he vowed to destroy her.

So what happens when Sam, Klatze, Slash 9 and Gongeblazn face off?  Who will be the victor?  Will it be Gongeblazn as he takes on a new identity?  Will Klatze be destroyed by Gongeblazn's diabolical plots?  Will Sam be the only creation of her kind or will she have the fuse pulled on her due to her extensive abilities?  And what will happen to Slash 9 when his ship, the Tiger, is retired?  You’ll have fun finding the answers to these questions plus.

Hank Quense has done it again! His addition of Slash 9 the ship’s computers who wants to control the ship and demands Sam’s allegiance brings laughter.  But his character Dot 38, an antique robot who has been floating in space for years, is absolutely hilarious. It is portrayed as a spreader of the good news waiting for the Mechanical Messiah to come and save all of the mechanical beings.  Then after a knock on the head, it decides the best solution is to form unions for all types of mechanical devices including the Council of Clocks and the Amalgamated Appliances Association.

If there was ever an author born to write satire, Hank Quense is our man.  While reading Zaftan Miscreants I couldn’t help but compare it to our own world of events.  The names and looks may have been changed to protect the innocent, but the insinuations are definitely familiar.  As with the 1st book in this series, I have laughed hard as I pictured the scenes in my mind and as I pictured the character from the author’s description.  Hank Quense is truly a man with an imagination!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dream Walker - Velda Brotherton, Author

Sausage Sweet Potato Loaf
(Recipe by Velda Brotherton)

1 lb sausage
1 t sage
1 c dry bread crumbs
½ c + 2 T canned milk
2 c mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 t nutmeg
½ t salt
1/4 t ginger
1 grated apple

Mix sausage with sage, bread crumbs and ½ c milk. Shape into a loaf in shallow baking dish,
bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes. Remove from oven, drain off excess fat. Mix sweet potatoes
with spices, salt and 2 T milk. Spread grated apple over meat. Cover top and sides with sweet
potato mix, bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice to serve.
This would be a great dish for fall cooking and eating. From my cookbook, Arkansas Meals and Memories: Lift Your Eyes to the Mountains available at  All recipes are authentic Ozark recipes. Thanks again for the review.

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

“Hear that, Injun,” Doaks snarled.  “They don’t want me to kill ye.  What do you think?”  She wanted to cry out that she was a white as she was red.  White like her father.  It would mean nothing to these men.  To them it only took a drop of her mother’s blood to make her a filthy Injun.  Instead she steeled herself to take her punishment from Doaks.  This time she had gone too far and he would probably beat her.  But not much, she knew, because he enjoyed her waiting on him hand and foot.  She would get back at him sooner or later.  The chance would come, he would have to sleep.  When he did she would cut off his privates and feed them to him for breakfast.  Fried.

Rachel ‘Winter Dawn’ Keye was indeed half white and half Cherokee.  She had been sold to the lowlife Doaks by her own half brother but the slavery she was sold into was about to come to an end.  There was a wagon train leaving for the gold fields of California and she planned to be on it.  She thought she had found her escape in Daniel Wolfe who would be traveling with the train partway and then heading north for Oregon.  It turns out that Daniel wants no part of her and ends up turning her out. 

This might have been a setback for Rachel but it wouldn’t hold her back.  She was determined to make it to California, forget her Injun side and become a white woman.  She couldn’t wait to enjoy everything that came with being white.  The fancy dresses, pretty houses and the handsome men coming to call.  She would never return to the part of her that was always looked down upon.  The part of her that was Cherokee.

I don’t normally read romance novels.  I go in for the actions of who-done-it and leave the loving to other readers.  At least that’s what I normally do but this time I agreed to read Trail to Forever and was totally surprised.  Most romance novels start with the man and woman hating each other, or at least saying they do, until the end.  Then they admit they are truly in love and have always been.  So they battle to see who is going to say it first.  Trail to Forever was different. It does provide the love story but it doesn’t over power the book. It provides tension and stress as the wagon train traveled across the country.  It provides history, which I enjoyed, as both Indian and white man as they traveled across country for the same goal – gold.  It also provides the story of a half white, half Cherokee woman that wanted to be all white.  She wanted to be accepted by other white women and this just wasn’t to be.  Winter Dawn learns to look deep inside herself to find who she really is and then to accept who she is and be proud of her heritage.  This is a lesson that a lot of us need to learn.  I have to admit that I did enjoy Trail to Forever.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bullets + Bandages - Robert Saniscalchi, Author

Grilled Salmon Steaks 
(A Saniscalchi Favorite)

1) Take fresh stakes and marinate in Italian Dressing over nite in the fridge.
2) Place on Grill Medium heat.
3) Turn steaks after cooked for five minutes.
4) Grill until steaks until they flake off easily with a fork.
5) Serve with fresh salad and bread of your choice.
6( A white wine is highly recommended.

Bullets and Bandages – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
“Where have you guys been?”  I said.  “We ran out of time!  My buddy here needed help, but now he’s dead!”  They tried to calm me down.  The flight medic replied, “We’re sorry about your man.  We left the base as soon as we had word.  I’ve seen this snake before.  It’s one of the most poisonous in the world.  No one can survive the venom unless they’re right outside a hospital when they are bitten.”  He was right.  It wasn’t their fault.  The choppers lifted off and banked over trees, but I just stared at the body bag, feeling so very tired.  I would never forget him.  He saved a lot of lives and lost his to a tiny snake.  I prayed for him.  I prayed for his family and for his lost soul; I prayed it wasn’t my turn next.
Sergeant Jakes had already survived one tour in Viet Nam. He knew the VC as well as the jungle.  He knew what to watch for and what to listen for. Now he was now successfully taking his team through yet another tour.  He had been through just about everything the VC could toss at him and lived through it.  The one thing he didn’t live through was the bite of one of the most poisonous snakes in the world.  One that made his home in the jungles of Viet Nam. 
That was just one of many deaths that Rob Doc Marrino would have to face while serving as a Medic in Viet Nam.  He would experience the horrors of war that only someone who lives through it can truly claim talking rights.  Those of us who have never experienced this act of greed called war can never completely understand what these men and women went through.  Some will tell us about their experiences, some just want to forget what they saw, heard and felt during their days in hell. 
Being a baby boomer, I knew many boys who quickly became men due to the Viet Nam War.  Most came back, some in the bowel of the plane, some in the passenger seats.  A lot came back physically damaged while others came back mentally damaged.  I have a friend who was there and luckily returned whole, at least in body.  Now 40 years later, he, as well as many others like him still have nightmares that wake the house with his screams as he re-lives the horrors that took place right before his eyes.    
As I read Bullets and Bandages I realized that the war horrors produced by Hollywood is nothing compared to the real experiences these men and women actually went through.  Author Saniscalchi has captured on paper the events and stories that his own brother experienced as he served in the military in Viet Nam.  He allows you to feel the bond of friendship that forms between yourself and your buddies.  You experience the strength of their will to survive and the strength of true fear.  But most importantly, their understanding of the importance of God in their survival. 
I can’t say that I loved Bullets and Bandages but I can say that I didn’t want to put it down, that it made me hurt as well as cry and that I was so glad when the book ended.  In the past I’ve heard men talking about their experiences in Viet Nam and actually blocked it out.  Now I listen because these men and women need to be heard.  They need to get their memories out in the open instead of allowing it to fester like a cancer until it consumes their whole body and life.  And we need to be the ones listening.
ISBN# 978-1-58982-247-4

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unsavory Delicacies - Russell Brooks, Author

Crème Brulee
(A Brooks' Favorite)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for the crusts
  • Groceries
  • Baking Pans
  • Cooking Pan
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Ramekins
  • Wire Whisks
  • Propane Torches
  • Mixing bowls
  • 1. To make creme brulee, heat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  • 2. Scald the cream and vanilla extract by heating them in a nonreactive pan over low heat until steaming.
  • 3. When the cream is hot, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
  • 4. When cream starts to steam, shut off the heat.
  • 5. Pour some cream (maybe 1/2 cup) into the egg yolks while whisking quickly. This will slowly heat the yolks, reducing the chance of curdling them.
  • 6. Remove the whisk from the eggs, start whisking the cream, and steadily pour the yolks into the cream while whisking quickly.
  • 7. When thoroughly mixed, divide mixture into oven-safe individual ramekins.
  • 8. For best results, an optional step is to chill the filled ramekins overnight before cooking.
  • 9. Place ramekins in a tall-sided baking pan. Pour simmering water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • 10. Bake for about 35-45 minutes. See tips for how to check for doneness.
  • 11. Cover and chill at least two hours.
  • 12. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of each serving with a thin, even layer of sugar.
  • 13. If you have a propane kitchen torch, heat the sugar with the flame until it begins to brown. Stop when it reaches a golden color. It should not get too dark.
  • 14. Without a torch, use the oven's broiler setting to caramelize the sugar. Broil for 20 to 30 seconds within at least an inch of the flame or heating element.

Unsavory Delicacies – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds 

Unsavory Delicacies is made up of three short stories that will give you a taste of tantalizing suspense. 
Crème Brulee – Monique Beauvais an agent for Ares.  She has no qualms about double crossing those who supply her with the information she has been assigned to acquire.  Curtis White is truly a nerd that has no qualms about drooling like a dog when he meets the beautiful Monique.  But this story has a moral…Never underestimate a Nerd.

To the Last Bite – Dennis Kirby is a food critic who has a tendency of “killing” a restaurant due to the comments he posts in his column To the Last Bite.  After eating one of the most delicious meals of veal and liver he puts in a request to meet the Chef hoping to find out his cooking secret.  Of course the Chef declines to give out his secret recipe.  Kirby has nothing but praise for this superb meal and reflects his delight in his next column.  But what was really in such a spectacular dish?  Kirby will soon find out.

Shashlyk and Morozhenoe – Ridley Fox is a CIA operative.  He has been assigned to take possession of some nationally important documents that are in the possession of Maksim Antanov.  Antonov is known to be linked to the Arms of Ares and is next in line to take over after his father retires.  But the secrets discovered by Ridley will have Antonov in his pocket for as long as he wants.

Watch for my review for Russell Brooks' next upcoming thriller Chill Run which will be available on December 1, 2011. Follow him on his website as a reminder

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trouble Starts, Pane Follows - David and Linda Broughton, Authors

Burrito Casserole
(A Dave Special)

This recipe can be made many different ways. If you don't have an ingredient on hand, you can leave it out. There's really only one ingredient you can't leave out or change much, that's the refried beans. Here's the usual way:

one pound of ground beef. More or less, but it's good to have some for the flavor, you can leave it out.

two regular size cans of refried beans, whatever kind you like. You can add more beans than that, depending on your family and your taste.

half a large bag of taco chips (or fritos or potato chips, or you can serve it on bread, or with no base at all. Chili Chese Fritos works best, I think.)

one medium onion, diced. (or not)

One medium green pepper, (or not)

One packaged fajita seasoning, (or taco or season it to your tastes with separate seasonings."
One package of "so cheesy" taco seasoning ( or not, as above)

at least eight ounces of your favorite cheese, shredded or diced, or whatever cheese you have on hand, Campbell's Nacho Fiesta cheese sauce works well.

You might also like: Mushrooms, black olives, sliced, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and or sour cream.

In a deep skillet, brown the ground beef, add the seasonings as soon as it's browned off, if the meat is particularly fatty, drain some off, but not all. There's a lot of flavor there.  add in the onions and green pepper and mushrooms if you're using them, cook until the onions and green pepper are as soft as you want them.

Add the refried beans, stir everything together and keep heating them up until the beans are hot all the way through. If using chips, crunch them up, and cover the bottom of an appropriately sized casserole dish, bread pan, whatever works. Spoon in the meat and beans mixture. level it out, then put on the cheese. If using canned diced tomatoes, you can put them on now.

When you plate it up, you can add more cheese sprinkled on it, shredded lettuce, a dollop of sour cream, and or the black olives... if you want them and have them on hand. I sometimes use salsa or picante sauce instead of tomatoes, and I might add my favorite hotsauce to my plate full. So long as you don't burn it, you can hardly go wrong with this meal. Yes, it's better some ways than others, but it's doable pretty much any time, if you have the beans.

Trouble Starts, Pane Follows – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

    Ralph is the claims chief for a very large insurance company.  The disembodied voice is trying to be sweet, but it’s not Ralph’s way, it sounds fake, “Ash pack a bag, I have a dozy of a case for you to work your magic on.  Ash, I really need your help on this one.  A Stradivarius violin has been stolen from a courier company.  It had just been sold at auction for twenty two million bucks.  It was stolen on the way from the authenticator’s to the new owner.  The courier company is putting up an extra million bucks to whoever gets it back to the rightful owner, no questions asked.  I guess they’re worried about their reputation.  I’ll gladly pay your usual twenty five percent on top of that should you work your magic again.  I authorized the coverage on the damn thing, my neck is on the chopping block.  I’m not doing this as a favor to you, but to myself.  The leads are slim, but if anyone can find it, you will, I just know it.  I’ll fax you what info there is on this damn case as soon as I hang up.  Let me know if I can help in any way.  I’ll do so gladly.  Good hunting, oh, you have a month to find it, so don’t let it spoil your weekend.  Later.”

This was the message Ashling (Ash) Pane heard emanating from her voice mail recorder.  Ash ended up taking early retirement from the FBI after being shot with an armor piercing bullet that went right through her vest.  While an agent she  gathered the goodwill of many rich and powerful people, including the President of the United States.  Trouble was,  she had also earned a reputation for herself  of not going by the rules. That's what got her retired, truth be told. Now she does recovery work for high end insurance claims.  Her reputation precedes her, ’Ash Pane goes by her own set of rules!’ 

Following the trail takes Ash to Toronto where she meets Paul Roman, who is world known as an authenticator of musical instruments.  At the time of Ash’s visit to Paul has, two guitars locked in his safe that once belonged to David Seymour.  David overdosed on the flight back from Russia after doing a tour. For some strange reason, the guitars been shipped to Paul to authenticate.  This wasn’t to be, due to a group of Russians busting in to take possession of one of the guitars by force.   As it turns out, their unwanted visitors are from the Russian Mob and the leader of the group is none other than Anatoli Ivanovich, one of the most wanted men in the world.  He’s noted for stealing priceless art, jewels, gold and anything else of extreme value.  He also has a $20,000,000.00 price on his head.  Ash wants his valuable head, more for trying to kill her than the reward, the reward offered will see that he stays alive... maybe.

When I first started reading Trouble Starts, Pane Follows, I saw Ash as an overly macho female character, but the more I read, the more I have to say I liked her, macho and all.  She is a man’s woman and she is a woman’s woman.  She isn’t afraid of anyone or anything making her the envy of a lot of women.  She loves her toys which includes anything that makes a bang which makes her the envy of a lot of men.  When someone crosses her, she doesn’t get mad, she literally gets even plus.  Heaven help you if you’re a man coming after Ash or one of her friends for you just might lose your family jewels.  And if you come at her with a gun, you might find it stuck where the sun doesn’t shine. However, when Ash loves, she loves deep as with her new found ward Roz, a musical prodigy. Her main love interest in this episode, Paul, is quite the opposite, it's almost as if the typical male and female roles are reversed. I'm sure that was the idea, and once it gets rolling, it works well. 

Macho or not, I really enjoyed Ash in this book and am waiting for the next one to come out.  You can bet I’ll be one of the first to get my copy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

We're Not Blended We're Pureed - Diana Lesire Brandmeyer Marty C. Lintvedt, Authors

Chocolate Almond Joy Bars
(A Diana Special)

  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¾ cup palm sugar 
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips Description:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, almond extract and palm sugar
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet with a handheld mixer
  4. Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips
  5. Grease an 8" by 8" baking dish
  6. Pour batter into dish, then sprinkle shredded coconut and remaining chocolate chips on top
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  8. Cool for 1 hour
  9. Serve

We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

A circle is a symbol of unity, eternity, and completeness.  The wedding ring represents eternal love and the persistently renewed promises of a couple.  Some Scandinavian women wear three bands:  one each for engagement, wedding, and motherhood.  In medieval England, a bridegroom would slide the ring partway up his bride’s thumb, index, and middle finger, saying “In the name of Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” as he slid the ring up each finger.  He then placed the ring on the next available finger, the third finger of the left hand.  Today, the wedding ring is an easily identifiable indication of marital commitment.  Luanne and her husband-to-be had special matching gold bands made for all members of their blended family.  The family members exchanged the rings during the couple’s wedding ceremony.’  (I loved this idea!)

If you have ever been married, had children and then found yourself single again, no matter what the reason, this book is for you!  Author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer and Co-Author Marty C. Lintvedt (a licensed, nationally certified professional counselor), through the writing of We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed have given us a list of what to expect, what not to expect and what you might never have dreamed of expecting, if you take your family and combine it with another.  They cover everything from how to plan the wedding, while including the kids to which home is the most practical to take up residence in.  Diana, through her own experience, as well as the experiences of others, walks you through the emotions that you may find yourself feeling, those that your soon-to-be or already new spouse may feel, and just as importantly, the feelings the children may be feel.  And she doesn’t stop there!

Some of the topics brought to light are simple things such as…do I take my kids to your dentist or their own dentist or do find a new one for all of them?  Same with pediatricians.  In her own experience, she moved over an hour away from her home as well as her 2 son’s old fashioned doctor who didn’t mind being called in the middle of the night.  Her new stepson’s pediatrician is stuffy and makes her feel incompetent  when asking questions.  And since she did agree to move into her new husband’s home, what happens to her own home?  Can they afford the upkeep on both or should they sell hers?  And how does she make his home hers?  Since the house originally belonged to he and his deceased wife, there are memories in every nook.  Can she change these and start new memories? 

And then there are the kids themselves.  Diana, who also lost her husband, has 2 sons.  Her new husband has 1.  Her sons follow a routine requiring them to be in bed at set times at night and rising early.  Her stepson is quite the opposite.  He stays up late and sleeps late.  Who takes control in making the changes…husband or wife?  Or should there be a new set of rules set into play? 

Authors Diana Lesire Brandmeyer and Marty C. Lintvedt, go on and on bringing up one possibility after another.  They hits on things that I personally would have never thought of.  There's religion, holidays, money and of course the deceased’s surviving family to consider.  And one topic I would have missed completely is adoption.  Should the kids be adopted by their new parent or left with who they already are?  And most important…how do the kids feel about not just the adoption but all topics.  It seems that for a lot of us out there, we think about what we want and forget to ask the kids how they feel about our decisions, which is a mistake.  Your decisions will affect their lives too. 

I could go on and on about this book as it goes on and on all the way into the empty nest stage, but I won’t because I want you to read it for yourself.  We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed is one of the best books I’ve ever seen in offering help for families that are planning blending.  The ideas, suggestions and experience given to us by the author is without a doubt... priceless. 

228 Pages
ISBN# 978-0-7586-1791-0

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Because We Care - Fran Lewis, Author

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
(One of Fran's sister Marcia's favorite)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle chile sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 9 ounces grape jelly
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • salt to taste


  1. Whisk together the chili sauce, lemon juice and grape jelly. Pour into slow cooker and simmer over low heat until warm.
  2. Combine ground beef, egg, onion and salt. Mix well and form into 1 inch balls. Add to sauce and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Because We Care – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds
‘As the primary and only caregiver for my mom who has Alzheimer’s I have had to develop different ways to keep myself active and my mind stimulated.  All too often as a caregiver you become so immersed in taking care of the needs of the person who is ill that we forget about our own.  When you make the decision to care for a family member at home you are really taking on a challenge of herculean proportion.  Every day is different and every challenge unique and must be handled differently but with kindness and care.  When a person has Alzheimer’s the hardest thing to deal with is their changing and erratic behaviors.  They can be calm one minute and out of control or violent the next.  These behaviors tend to put a lot of stress and strain on the caregiver.’
Through her trial and error learning Author Fran Lewis discovered some of the most basic yet important things that the caregiver will be confronted with when caring, not only for those with Alzheimer’s but other diseases and incapacitating illnesses.  Through her book Because We Care she brings to light the warning signs of Alzheimer’s as well as the importance of discussing your fears with the patient’s doctor.  She explains why it’s so important to follow a routine with the patient to keep some of their confusion down.  This includes things as simple as when to go to the bathroom, when to eat and even bed time.    She stresses the importance of security with Alzheimer’s patients.  They do have a tendency to wander off so items such as ID bracelets or necklaces are exceptionally important as well as keeping a current picture handy in case the police are brought in to help with the find. 
Lewis discusses the choices you might face as to keeping the patient at their own home, having round the clock nurses, moving them into your own home or placing them in a facility.  She brings to light the pros and cons, not just for the patient but also for the caregiver.  How to find a suitable facility and even what questions to ask of not only a facility but of nurses for in-home-care. And truly just as important, how to spot patient abuse and what to do if you suspect or know this is happening to your loved one.
Lewis also speaks, through first hand knowledge, about Traumatic Brain Injuries, which caused the death of her sister. And I must mention too that the proceeds for this book go to Montefiore Hospital to the fund they set up in memory of Fran Lewis' mom and sister.
But one thing Lewis puts heavy stress on is the importance of the caregiver’s own health and well being.  She impresses the fact that the caregiver’s whole normal way of life will change when taking over their patient.  The stress that goes along with being a caregiver is so much more than you can ever imagine.  And to help with this stress, Lewis offers suggestions throughout the book that will help when dealing with this phase of the care. 
I’ve only had short bouts with being a caregiver and never for an Alzheimer’s patient.  My Dad and I were both blessed with his being alert until the last couple days of his life.  But I still know the stress that just watching him deteriorate in a short 5 month period put on me.  I can’t imagine watching someone with Alzheimer’s change into a person who I no longer know nor knows me.  For any of you out there that are going through this situation, I suggest you read this book.  I really feel it just might help.  For those of you who aren’t currently acting as a caregiver, this is still a book I recommend you read.  You never know when you too might have to make the choices and deal with the stress that Lewis and people like her have dealt with and are still dealing with.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Knowledge of Good and Evil - Glenn Kleier, Author


Vodka Sauce
(A Glenn Kleier specialty)

1 stick butter
1 jumbo yellow onion, quartered
1 lrg clove garlic or 2 small ones
3-28 oz cans Dell’Aple crushed tomatoes
2-29 oz cans Hunts tomato sauce
12-oz prosciutto
½ c vodka
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
1—7 oz container heavy cream
4-oz grated Asiago Cheese

·         Put onion, garlic in Cuisinart and pulse until finely chopped. 
·         Melt butter in lrg heavy pot and add onion/garlic.  Heat stirring occasionally until sweating.
·         Put prosciutto into Cuisinart & pulse until extremely finely chopped.
·         Add red pepper flakes to onions/garlic.  Then add prosciutto over medium heat about 7 minutes stirring occasionally.
·         Add ½ C Vodka, mix and reduce heat slightly and let cook another 7 minutes stirring every minute
·         Simmer for 45 min, then add cream, stir and turn off heat immediately. Add Asiago Cheese

Serve with penne pasta.  Sauce freezes great.  Helps to open all cans first.

The Knowledge of Good & Evil - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

‘He stared into his empty glass, unsure where to begin or how much to reveal.  He didn’t want to frighten them into paralysis, but he couldn’t mislead them.  The sad part was, despite his best efforts to
hide and protect them, their odds of survival were next to none… Meeting their anxious eyes, he began, “I don’t know if what you do is sinful or not, these experiments of yours with Death and Hell.  I’m a
soldier, not a theologian, I leave the moral calls to God.  But there are some who see such things as grave violations of God’s Will.  And unfortunately, they take it upon themselves to intervene.”  Ian
nodded.  “The man with the tattoo was a religious extremist.  Do you know who he was?”  “Not who.  What… I must ask your oath not to repeat what I tell you.”  They gave their words.  “This tattoo, it’s the
symbol of a very old sect.  A brotherhood of militants cast off from the Church centuries ago, known as Ordo Arma Christi.”  Ian translated, “The Order of the Weapon of Christ.”  “Yes.  Christ’s Weapon.  Ordo Arma Christi dates to medieval times.  There’s virtually no history of it outside the Bibliotheca Secreta –“ he clarified for Angela, “-the Vatican Secret Archives.  And once you hear its checkered past, you’ll see why the Church keeps silent.”

Dr. Angela Weber and former priest Ian Baringer make up the team for L.A.’s #1 Late-Nite Talk Show Probing the Paranormal.  If there appears a mystery, they investigate and solve it.  Angela and Ian have
been lovers since he left the priesthood, but due to information acquired regarding the death of his parents, Ian has decided he must go back and set his mind and heart straight regarding his beliefs.  He proposes to Angela and promises that when he returns he will be a completely new and level headed man.  Nothing could make Angela happier, but her dreams are put on hold after receiving information as to what Ian is really doing.  It appears that Ian has tracked information regarding Near Death Experiences (NDEs) which will allow him to step into the depths of hell to rescue his parents.  Their sin? Ian can only surmise that when they wrapped themselves around his 9 year old body to prevent him from burning in the wreck that took their lives, God judged it suicide . . .

Following Ian as he proceeds with his self-inflicted NDEs will bring a few questions to your mind, at least it did mine.  Are these events real or is it the mind playing tricks on the mind?  Science will give us one answer, but religion may have another.  Is there one TRUE religion or do all of them hold truth?  The answers to these questions and many more are answered with double answers.  One answer is the way Ian sees it through his NDEs.  The other answer is the way Angela sees it through science.  You be the judge of what is true.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Fright Factory - William R. Potter, Author

(A Potter favorite!)

Yield 60 cookies


·         1 cup butter, softened
·         1 cup confectioners' sugar
·         1 egg
·         1 teaspoon almond extract
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         3/4 cup whole almonds
·         1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel


1.    Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
2.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
3.    Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
4.    Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
5.    Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.

The Fright Factor – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

‘Wesley saw motion from the corner of his eye.  Jesse wandered into the room.  “Howzit going?”  He had a length of chain and a padlock.  He looped the chair between the two chairs, pulled up the slack, and then clicked in a lock.  With a second length of chain he secured Wesley and Robin to the cast iron fireplace.  Where Robin had been able to slide along the floor earlier, they were now secured in place.  Jesse showed them both a candle with a hole drilled through the middle near the base of the stick.  He set the candle in a brass candle holder on the coffee table.  He walked to the kitchen and returned in a few seconds with a long red stick, obviously dynamite.  He used duct-tape to fasten two more sticks to the first and he set the three next to the candle.  He then took a long string that looked like a fuse and threaded it through the hole in the candle.  Wesley wasn’t sure what Jesse was doing but he knew it wasn’t good. Jesse took the camera off his shoulder strap and began to film Wesley and Robin.  Brandi entered the room with a long butane fireplace lighter.  She wiggled her ass for the camera and licked the end of the starter seductively and then headed for the candle.’

Wesley and Robin Tate are your average run of the mill couple.  They have spent their lives raising two kids and running their own restaurant.  As far as Robin knows, the restaurant has been doing great allowing her to be a stay at home wife and mother who is on the Board of Directors for a non-profit group which raises funds for children’s charities.  They have been able to put both kids into law school and new it was just the two of them.  No problems in their lives.  That is unless you count the credit card bill that Robin has opened and found to be extremely maxed out and in the rears.  Wesley handles the financial portion of the business and Robin knew he never let the balances get out of hand and he has always paid them off each month.  Apparently they aren’t as comfortable as she thought.

Wesley, on the other hand, knows exactly why the balance is so high.  One mistake six years ago and he’s still paying for it.  He has to bring his and Robin’s lives under control.  The first item to repair is their love life and what better way to start the mending than to take Robin to a cabin at the lake for a few days.  This would surely put the romance back into both of them.  And it might have worked if Brandi hadn’t shown up.  Robin met her while getting things from the car in the pouring rain.  She said her car had broken down a few miles back and she needed to use the phone to call a tow.  Being where they were, the phones weren’t receiving signals so Robin decided she could sleep on the sofa for the night and get help the next morning.  That would turn out to be the biggest mistake of her life…as well as the lives of several others.

I read The Fright Factory in two days during spare time.  How…I couldn’t put it down.  If you like shows such as CSI and Criminal Minds, you will want to read this book.  In fact, it could easily be made into a Criminal Minds show.  But I have to warn you.  It’s VERY graphic and also has a few erotic settings so it’s not for the weak nor the youngsters.  I also wouldn’t suggest you read it at night while alone.  Also, I don’t think I will be finding myself staying in a cabin at the lake for quite a while.   Potter, you’ve done it again!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Noble - David K. Hulegaard, Author

A Recipe for my book

The TV Show "Lost"
The Video Game "BioShock"
a healthy does of good old-fashioned folklore like
  "The Mothman Prophecies"

Stir all together and you get "Noble."

Noble – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
‘Her name was Jane Emmett and she was pretty much just your average seventeen year old girl, or at least that’s what everyone in town thought about her.  She had grown up in Ashley Falls and came from one of the most highly respected families in town.  When I say highly respected, I’m also saying incredibly wealthy.  Her family owned the local newspaper company and their business was booming…Though she lived comfortably, Jane never seemed content with the life that her parent’s money had provided for her.  She  always appeared to be listless and unhappy on any occasion that we crossed paths, quite frankly.  As Jane got older, it became well known around town that she was an emotionally troubled kid, but it wasn’t until she started to put her rebellious nature out on display that it became a concern.  I can recall various occasions where Jane had gotten into hot water with the sheriff.  It was usually just for petty things like trespassing at first.  She’d get into an argument with one of the shop owners and then not leave upon being asked.  The sheriff would catch word of the dispute, come down and threaten Jane with the worst belting of her life, and she’d eventually see the error of her ways and leave quietly without causing harm…As always, Mr. Emmett would come along, apologize for the inconvenience, pay for any damages she had caused and promise that she wouldn’t be any further trouble.’
But now – Jane Emmett is missing.  At least that’s what a letter received by Miller Brinkman, P.I. from Jane’s best friend Jessie Fryman states.  According to Jessie, Jane hasn’t been seen in the last six weeks. 
Miller has lived all forty plus years of his life in Ashley Falls.  After the death of his parents and the departure of Charissa, the only woman he has ever loved, he found himself with a phobia preventing him from leaving.   But as he begins his investigation into the disappearance of Jane, he finds it impossible to ‘safely’ stay in Ashley Falls.  Not only is the Sheriff framing him for a murder he didn’t commit, he is also visited by a stranger who appears to be trying to help him find Jane. 
Miller’s journey takes him to Washington, DC where he will reconnect with Charissa and on to Norway.  With the help of Charissa and his mystery friend, Miller uncovers information that leads him to believe that Jane isn’t the only young person to disappear and it appears that the US government is involved up to their ears in these kidnappings.   What could they possibly want with them?  All seem to be troubled kids that just don’t fit in with their peers.  But why kids?  These are just some of the questions I found myself wondering as I read Noble. 
Noble is a book that is completely different from any I’ve ever read.  It starts out as a mystery ‘who-done-it’ but changed genre about midway making it even more enjoyable!  This is a style of writing I’m not accustomed to but really like it.  It’s like reading two books in one.  Very good reading.

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