Showing posts with label Mary Deal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Deal. Show all posts

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sea Cliff - Mary Deal, Author


 2 cups  Zucchini, chopped
1 cup Tomato, chopped
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Bisquick
3 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or spray 10 inch quiche dish or 10 x 1 1/2 inch pie plate.  Sprinkle zucchini, tomato, onion and cheese to cover bottom of dish.  Beat remaining ingredients until smooth (15 seconds in blender on high; 1 minute with hand beater). Pour over ingredients in dish.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool five minutes. Serve.

Sea Cliff - Review by Martha A. Cheves

All her life, her father reminded that she didn't know how to do anything competently.  He'd painfully flick her ear, or slap or kick her when he was frustrated.  He'd use a board if he had one in his hand.  He destroyed what little self-confidence she had and denied her any opportunities to prove her abilities.  In one way or another he'd convince himself he was right...  and it wasn't just Rachael that was rewarded with his abuse... He griped about raising two kids alone.  He cursed her mother for having died, then mumbled something about it being better anyway because she was another burden to him.  He was vicious and self-serving.  Rachael's brother Brandon's grades were poor.  He had a broken arm and ended up making excuses about how it happened.  

Rachael is a writer and the book she is working on at the moment is about the life of a fictional woman who has gone through abuse as a child.  Her character finally meets a man who seems to be able to take her as she is, hang-ups and all.  But due to her abuse, the character has a hard time accepting affection of any kind... just like Rachael herself.

I don't normally read romance novels.  Most seem to be the same - girl meets guy, they have their problems, they have their heated intimate times, fight, finally get together and live happily ever after.  This book was so different.  The author talks about the abuse and the damage it can do to a child and how it carries on into adulthood.  And on top of that, she has written a beautiful story that I, who doesn't like romance novels, had trouble putting down.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Legacy of the Tropics - Mary Deal, Author

Puerto Rican Style
(A Mary Deal Special)

SOFRITO (Sauce):


10-15 Garlic cloves
A bunch of Cilantro
4-5 sweet Pimientos (also known as
Hungarian or Cuban peppers. They
are sweet peppers.) If pimentos
aren’t available, use Green Bell
20-30 Small sweet peppers

Liquefy all the ABOVE ingredients.

Salad Olives
1 14 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
Potatoes, quartered

For 2 Pounds of Meat:

(Goat meat should be washed with or soaked in lime juice before cooking to remove the wild odor.)

In a thick bottom pot, pour olive oil to cover the bottom. Heat and add 4-5 tablespoons of the Sofrito. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Add capers and salad olives in quantities you desire. Add 1 can of tomato sauce. Salt to taste.

Add the meat. Cook until half tender. Add potatoes. Cook until the stew starts to thicken and potatoes and meat are well done. Serve with rice.

If four pounds of meat are cooked, double the recipe.

Refrigerate or freeze any remaining SOFRITO for future use.

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

“Why don't you sleep in our house, Mama,” Pablo asked. “So we can be a family, like my friend Jose next door. His mama and papi live together. A renter lives in their cottage.”

Pablo, son of Rico Rey and soon to be step-son of Ciara Malloy, doesn't quite understand why the two people he loves most in the whole world aren't married and living together. Neither Pablo nor Ciara knows the secret that Rico holds that keeps them apart. Rico has promised that soon, they will be a complete family but first he has promised to take them on a vacation that will have them sailing the seas near their home east of Puerto Rico. All goes well, until a sudden freak storm blows in, sinking their ketch and leaving them struggling for their lives.

“People die at Ke'e Beach, Lillian,” he said. “Why do you keep going back there?” She forced herself to remain quiet a moment longer than usual to quell an urge to put Glen in his place. “Careless people,” she said, enunciating each word, “die at all beaches.”

Lillian Avery is an underwater photographer who has made her home on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. She has her goal set to take pictures of every fish living in the beautiful waters around her island but became distracted by the docile green sea turtles that seemed to take a liking to her, nipping at her bathing suit. Her friend Glen tags along with her and all goes well until a vicious rip current pulls them both well out to sea till losing sight of land. Will Glen’s neuroses and actual fear of water cause their drowning deaths as he loses control of his emotions?

“Hurricane season's almost over,” Ciara said. Rain pelted down outside the window. “Most likely that storm south of us will die out, don't you think?”
“All the others have this year,” Lilly said. “But every storm is different.”
This tropical storm had more to offer than either could foresee.

Ciara and Lillian had lived next door to each other years earlier in Puerto Rico but had never met. Ciara had always wanted to meet the lady next door who took much sought-after underwater pictures. Lilly had always wanted to meet the lady next door who wrote darling children books. It never came to be until some years later when Ciara moved to Hawaii with her grandson and bought the house next door to Lilly. Even though the two ladies had never met, they found they had a lot of history to share as they caught each other up on their lives.

Life in the tropics seems to be going great until the hurricane hits their island. Will these two ladies, who have lived through so much already, be able to ride out yet another storm in their lives? Or will this be the end of a friendship or even their lives which seem to have come full cycle? Will Lilly finally learn Rico’s secret that even Ciara has kept hidden all these years?

This book has taken me to Puerto Rico and Hawaii, two places I've never been but now feel like I've been there many times. It has taken me under the waters watching not only the fish but the beautiful sea turtles. It has taken me through two storms that I hope and pray I'll never have to live through in real life. Even though I've experienced all of these through reading, it still feels like it has all been real. A great book that gives you three stories, or novellas, that combine to make one incredible adventure for these ladies, a true Legacy of the Tropics.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Howling Cliffs - Mary Deal, Author

 (A Mary Deal Special)

1 lb. fresh jumbo mushrooms
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup Olive oil
6 Crumbled saltine crackers
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Red wine
Pinch Basil
Pinch Thyme

Wash mushrooms. Remove stems, set caps aside. Chop stems and combine with chopped onion. Sauté in olive oil until tender. Remove from heat.

Add saltine crackers, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pinch of basil and thyme. Add chopped walnuts and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour wine in shallow baking pan. Carefully stuff mushroom caps with crumb mixture. Arrange in pan with wine, cap side down, stuffed side up.

Bake in moderate oven until tender (depends how many in pan). Do not overcook. Serves 4-6.

When served, crumbly mixture should be kind of crunchy or dry to hold everything together so you can pick them up to eat, if you choose. If overcooked, or if too much wine is used, mushrooms and everything may be soggy.

The Howling Cliffs - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Ka'imi's ears rose rigid.  She gave a short whine.  The howling of dogs came from a distance.  It seemed to fill the valley.  It was the howls of two dogs.  No wonder the locals wanted to ban noisy dogs from the trail.  Ka'imi pulled hard on the leash.  Sara picked up the pace.  Ka'imi seemed onto something.  A winding ascent later, they crested the plateau.  The round hewn rocky trail on the plateau was well-worn, wide and rimmed a canyon. Trail did not get too close to the edge, which was marked by low brushes and other grown.  Sporadically the trail simply dropped off sharply into the valley.  Foot-tall signs warned hikers to stay away from these areas.  The foliage, clouds and mountain views would be a photographer's heaven, easily distracting the unwary close to the precipice.  Ka'imi was very agitated.  She paced, pulling on the leash, turned and paced and turned back and paced.  She sat facing the canyon.  Her head went back and her neck stretched.   She howled mournfully and kept howling.  She was evidently sensing what other dogs did. 

Sara Mason has just bought a home in Hawaii where she plans to make an R and R camp for members of  her team who search for MIA vets whose bodies have never been recovered and returned to the states.  Her soul mate Huxley Keane is in search for his brother's remains along with her best friend Esmerelda Talbot who is searching for her daughter's remains. Both were taken prisoner, along with others, by the Viet Cong and their bodies had never been recovered.  The work was stressful and a resting place in Hawaii would be perfect for all involved in the search.

Sara also works missing cold cases.  After meeting her new next door neighbor Birdie, Sara learns that the neighbor on the other side of her had a sister who turned up missing ten years earlier.  The child was in the watch of her brother Maleko when she simply disappeared.  The girl had Down syndrome and it apparently hurt the boy more than anyone realized.  Sara also learned, through Birdie, that there was a section of the mountain that they called The Howling Cliffs.  When hikers traveled with their dogs along this area the dogs stop and howl into the wind.  Sara found this to be true after taking Birdie's dog Ka'imi along with her on a hike to the area.  The howling along with the anger shown by Maleko when she tried to communicate with him, have both peaked her curiosity enough to solve the two mysteries.  But along with answers come attempts on her life.  Someone doesn't want her to find the answers to either mystery.

Author Mary Deal has a way of writing mysteries that will keep you turning just one more page to see what happens next.  I found myself in this position way up into the night as I had to read just a little more.  After finishing the book, I also found that I had learned a lot about the Hawaiian Islands as well as the Viet Nam War.  This was an enjoyable book filled with action, mystery and history.  I loved it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

River Bones - Mary Deal, Author

(With Prawns)
(One of Sara's favorite)

1 10-12 oz. Trout, per person
3-4 Orange slices, thin
2 Lemon slices, thin
1 Large shrimp or Jumbo Prawn, shelled
1 Sprig of Parsley
Orange juice
Lemon juice

Clean & wash trout with head and bones remaining intact.

On a square of aluminum foil, large enough to wrap fish completely and loosely, place several spots of butter. Lay the trout on the butter slightly off center - so thickest part of fish (near spine) is in the center.  Sprinkle inside of fish with salt and pepper. Squeeze orange juice on inside of fish and close on its side. Dot top of fish with more butter.  Place prawn ON center of fish. Place orange and lemon slices over fish and prawn entire length. Place sprig of parsley on top of shrimp and slices. Squeeze more orange and lemon juice all over.  Close foil securely but loosely. Packet will balloon up when cooking.  Place under broiler 10 - 20 minutes depending on how many packets go in at the same time. Serve by gently sliding total contents from foil wrap onto plate.
Part of the fun of this meal is BONING of the fish before eating. Use a small sharp knife. Make a cut along the backbone on the top side. Either push the loose top fillet to the plate or flip it over onto the plate. Once exposed, you should be able to lift the tail and watch the backbone work loose all the way to the head, which will also lift apart from the remaining fillet.  If you have not handled the fish too harshly, when the backbone pulls free, all the other bones will still be connected and will come right out as well.

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

“The graves of two unidentified skeletons did not contain ID and personal belongings, as was the case with previous burial sites found. Cat bones buried in the graves were the tie-in with previous victims, all found with bones of a small animal. Cold case detectives identified one set of remains as that of Paula Rowe, a convenience store night clerk from Sacramento. She had been missing twelve years.

“Previous reports indicated the victims had been put into the ground with whatever they had on their person at the time. The killer dug the graves in remote areas near rivers and streams where the ground was soft and damp, promoting decay. A police profiler indicated the perpetrator probably lived within the crescent shaped area where graves were found across the Sacramento Valley.”

After great tragedy in her life, Sara Mason has returned to her homeland of the Sacramento River Delta after purchasing Talbot House, a decrepit old Victorian once owned by Esmerelda and Orson Talbot. This grand home was sold after Orson went panning for gold and never returned. After the sale of the old home Esmerelda opened River Hospice, which had been the dream of both she and Orson. It is at River Hospice that Sara meets Huxley Keane who frequently treks to Vietnam, searching not only for his MIA brother but Esmerelda’s daughter as well.

Sara loved the old house but with it came a few unexpected happenings. Someone had been trying to get into the house either before or after she moved in, or both. Someone tried to kill her and an old school friend. Then she is hit with word that the house is haunted, but this won't stop her from continuing with her dreams of making this mansion an even more beautiful place to behold. Since money is no problem, she can afford not only to complete this project but to also help her friends along the way. That is as long as she can stay alive, as a stalker leaves horrific evidence of what is planned for her.

In setting herself up as a decoy to help the Sherriff’s Department identify the psychopathic madman, Sara’s own involvement stirs her interest in helping Huxley search for his brother in Vietnam. As she and Huxley draw close, their relationship offers another chance to heal her life and to find love, but he is suddenly considered a suspect.

I had the hardest time putting this book down. Author Mary Deal throws you a clue here and there but the clues could lead you to several of the book's characters. Before I made it to the end, finding out who the psycho was, I had already convicted at least 4 others. I was surprised and yet not when she revealed who it really was. I can't wait to read another book in this series, which I understand is titled The Howling Cliffs

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