Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scare Me - Richard Parker, Author

(This is my favorite appetizer that's very easy to cook but looks really impressive.  The batter is bubbly, light and crispy because of the chilled soda water.  If you don't like scallops I'd suggest whole mushrooms, discs of sweet potato or trimmed spring onions/scallions.  The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn't need to be too precise.  Adjust it for your own taste and add any seasonings or spices you like - turmeric is a favorite if you want a yellow rather than red look to the batter.  You can use chilled beer instead of soda water.  Richard Parker)

King Scallops - allow at least two per guest.
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of Corn Flour
Tbsp Smoked paprika
Tbsp Garlic Salt
Tbsp Chilli Flakes
Bottle of Chilled Soda WaterOilLimesSeasoning

Cut limes into wedges.
In a mixing bowl combine both flours, smoked paprika( It's worth tracking down smoked rather than plain paprika because it has an entirely different depth of flavor), chili flakes, garlic salt and seasoning.  Gradually add chilled soda water and stir until you have a batter that has the same thickness as paint.  Don't worry if it's lumpy.  Thick is better than thin.
In a wok or deep pan heat oil until hot enough for deep frying.  Test with a drop of batter to make sure it crisps on contact.
Dip scallop in mixture and coat.  Drop it in oil for thirty seconds max and then remove with slotted spoon.  Place onto kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil and serve in batches.  Eat with lime wedges and rock salt. Chili jam is also good. Let your guests have a few mouthfuls each and cook another batch.
Beware - guests will eat this as long as you keep serving it up!
Scare Me - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
***Poppy wondered if he'd locked himself in his bedroom but she had the key to that as well.  It looked like blind panic had won out, howeer.  She met Brett when she was a third of the way up the stairs.  He was naked from the waist down.  She jabbed a taser into the center of his chest and he dropped like he'd been fileted.  He juddered down the rest of the staircase on his spine and his tee shirt rode up his back.  She followed his body to the bottom.  Then she took the same broad-bladed sushi knife she'd used on the rest of the family out of the pocket of her robe.  Poppy pushed it into his stomach and his spasms haulted.  He turned to face her with incredulity.  She gripped the handle firmly and draged it towards her.  She felt it hot on the heel of her hand but Poppy didn't see the blood, had prefected the art of creating blind spots where she needed them.  Like biting down on her lip and not feeling it... as she slipps out of the white robe and kicked off her flip-flops, she only vaguely registered the footprints of blood she left before diving into the pool.  She didn't hae to worry about leaving fingerprints or hair strands because Poppy didn't really exist.***
Will is CEO of Ingram International.  He has great plans for his wife Carla and daughter Libby as they celebrate Will and Carla's nineteenth anniversary.  He plans to spend a few days with his wife and daughter before she leaves the nest and moves in with her boyfriend and father of her unborn child.  But things are about to happen that will change his comfortable world into total hell. 
After receiving a light night call asking "When did you last google yourself, Mr. Frost?" Will's gut feeling told him things weren't quite right.  After inserting his own name he ended at a site that brought up pictures of his house that had been taken through the windows.  Then he found pictures of his daughter Libby and her boyfriend Luke tied together in a livestock shed. 
After being shown pictures of 6 houses, Will is instructed to travel to 5 locations around the world on a sort of scvanger hunt to retrieve items belonging to Libby.  The 6th house on the list is his own and this is where it will all come together and possibly make sense.
Will's 1st house is in the U.S. in the state of Florida.  There he must go and retrieve his first item but before he gets there the house's picture is opened showing inside pictures.  Pictures of the family.  All are dead leaving Will to enter the house before the police arrive and find the item he needs.  Knowing now what to expect from the other 4 houses, Will doesn't know how he will be able to go through this little game of scavanger hunt but knows he must if he wants to save his daughter.
I've made this statement about other books I've read but I have to say Scare Me really does live up to these words... This Was A REAL Page Turner.  I don't think I've ever read a book that is so descript in details yet one that I simply couldn't put down.  And to make it even better, Author Richard Parker tells me that the Hollywood movie rights have already been acquired by Relativity Media and Wentworth Miller is currently contracted and working on the screen adaptation.  This is a movie I don't want to miss, even if I do have to look away when it gets too gory.  As for the actors maybe Angelina and Brad?
So if you're looking for a good late night keeper upper, I've just found it for you. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Missing Clayton - Bev Irwin, Author

Lemon Cranberry Tea Cookies
(A Bev favorite)


  1. 2 lemons
  2. ¼ cup (50 mL) granulated sugar

Cookie Batter

  1. 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup (50 mL) whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tsp. (5 mL) ground nutmeg
  4. ¼ tsp. (1 mL) each salt and baking soda
  5. 5 tbsp. (75 mL) margarine
  6. ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  7. 1 egg white
  8. 3 tbsp. (45 mL) plain yogurt
  9. 1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
  10. 3 tbsp. (45 mL) dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely grate peel from 1 lemon and set aside. Squeeze juice from 2 lemons. You should have about ½ cup (125 mL) of juice. Place juice in a small saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Stir in ¼ cup (50 mL) sugar until dissolved.

In a small bowl, stir flours with nutmeg, salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl, beat margarine with remaining ½ cup (125 mL) sugar and lemon peel until combined. Beat in egg white, yogurt and vanilla (it may appear curdled). Stir in flour mixture just until combined.

Roll dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls and set about 2-inches (5 cm) apart on a baking sheet. Press gently, flattening slightly to form a cookie. Press a cranberry in the centre of each.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in centre of the preheated oven until the bottom is golden brown for 7-9 minutes. Place cookies on a rack set over a baking sheet. When cookies are cool enough to handle, dip tops into lemon glaze. When glaze looks dry, re-dip. 

Missing Clayton – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Clayton awoke to shivers running up and down his body.  The blanket had slipped while he slept, and now, only partially covered him.  The short-sleeved puppy-dog T-shirt he wore left his arms exposed and goose bumps covered the bare area.  He reached out a hand and grasped an edge of the blanket.  It was threadbare; several small holes scattered across its length.  The blanket gave him little warmth in the dampness of the dirt hole.  He pulled the blanket up to his chin and curled himself into a tight ball.  Shivers traveled along his arms and legs.  His body felt like a block of ice, and his forehead felt hot, so hot.

He wanted to go home.  He wanted to be in his own soft bed with his mother tucking the blankets around him, blankets that were thick and warm and had no holes in them.  He wanted his mother hugging him.  More shivers.  Grabbing the edge of the blanket, he tucked it around his limbs.  He shut his eyes.  He wanted to keep them closed.  He tried to go back to sleep.  At least then he didn’t have to think about anything.  He didn’t have to think about why he was here.

What did I do?  Did I do something bad?  Why won’t Mommy come and get me?  Why is she leaving me here?  Why?  Mommy, please come.  I want to go home.

Five-year-old Clayton Kingsley and his mother Jenny have moved to a new home.  Jenny left her abusive husband and obsessive mother and took Clayton to a serene bedroom community that she thought would be the perfect place to raise her son.  At least that was until the day Clayton came up missing.  She had only left him for 5 minutes to go inside and make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  Jenny searched every place a child could hide and still no Clayton.  He neighbor Steve took up the hunt but still had no luck finding the child.  Who could have taken him that quickly and left no trace, no clues?

Tyrell was a loner who lived in what could only be described as a shack in the woods.  After high school he had joined the army and served his time but before he left he had met Patty.  They married and had a child and what Tyrell thought would be a happy marriage.  But when he came home after being wounded everything had changed.  Patty had changed.  She was no longer the quiet, mousey girl he had married.  She kept her hair bleached and when she saw the limp from his war injuries, she called him names.  Eventually she took their son and left.  Could he be the one who took Clayton?

Steve the next door neighbor had a police record.  He had helped his friend kidnap the friend’s newborn child when the mother planned to give it up for adoption.  The child’s mother went to one of the police deputies to report the missing child and Steve’s friend ended up being beaten pretty badly and eventually dying.  The deputy who came after the baby later accused Steve of possibly kidnapping another child that came up missing.  And now Clayton is missing.  Coincident?  Could Steve be the one who took Clayton?  He lived close enough to snatch him quickly and without being caught.

Missing Clayton kept me wanting more.  The suspense kept me on the edge in hopes that Jenny would find her child before it was too late.  And when she was taken to the morgue to identify a child's body, it had me holding my breath.  This is an experience that has to be one of the hardest things a parent can do and go through.


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.

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