Showing posts with label international suspense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label international suspense. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stalk Me - Richard Parker, Author

Barbecue Shrimp
A Richard Parker Special

(This is a great communal appetizer best served on newspaper spread over the dining table.)

8 lb. Large shrimp, unpeeled
2 sticks butter
1 cup Olive oil
8 oz. Chili sauce
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp. Smoky Chipotle Tabasco
2 Lemons sliced
5 Cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
3 Tbsp. Oregano
1 Tbsp. Cracked black pepper
1 Newspaper

Wash shrimp and spread out in a shallow pan.  Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat for about 10 minutes and pour over shrimp.  Once cooled, refrigerate, baste and turn shrimp every thirty minutes for a couple of hours.  When guests arrive pour some oil in frying pan and cook shrimp for five minutes.  Spread newspaper over table and pour shrimp in center.  Serve with beers, lemon wedges, raucous company and plenty of napkins.
Stalk Me - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds

Beth tried to look up and along the curving road, but her aching spine only allowed her to raise her vision enough to glimpse the bottom half of the skewed camper in front.  The chocolate-brown back doors were mangled and the French license plate lay in the other debris that had been smashed from it, but the vehicle was still the right way up.  In the gap between its underside and the road, she could see a pair of feet moving.  Dark navy trousers and black boots.  She cried out, not recognizing the mournful howl that emerged from her, but hoping it would be loud enough to attract their attention.  Her face dropped into the puddle a second time and she had to blow a few bubbles of air into the water before she could raise her head again.  Beth fought unconsciousness, and when she cracked her eyes and blinked the water from them, somebody was standing beside her, a smudgy black silhouette against the failing daylight.  She opened her mouth, fighting oblivion to alert them to Luc's predicament.  The foot swung back and kicked Beth squarely in the face.  Before the impact embedded her deep into unconsciousness, she heard the squeak of her teeth and a flat crunch as her jaw fragmented.

When Beth woke to find herself in the hospital, the doctors informed her that her jawbone had been in fragments when she was admitted and had to be replaced with plates.  She also learned that she had been in a coma for over eight weeks.   Her first question - "Luc?"  Where is he?  Did her survive the crash?  Unfortunately, the answers weren't what she wanted to hear.  But Beth was soon to learn that this was just the beginning of what awaits her as she travels from France to America in search of answers to the last word Luc uttered to her... "sorry" and the one word she was told he uttered to the emergency nurse at the site "Allegro." 

Author Richard Parker has a knack for writing books that will keep you not only on the edge of your seat but also finding it impossible to put down .  This book is no exception.  Each chapter fills the reader with nail biting action that draws you tightly into the story.   And with the chapters being 1 - 2 pages long, you'll find it hard not to read 'just one more.'  I can never get enough of his books.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Exiled Element - John L. Betcher, Author

Beth Becker's Hummus Bi TahiniINGREDIENTS:

4 cups ( 2 ½ cans ) garbanzo beans, drained
½ cup tahini ( sesame paste )
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup best-quality olive oil
Juice of 2 or 3 lemons

Blend, then add:

4 or more garlic cloves
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin seed
Freshly-ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process or bled until smooth.Note: Can store in refrigerator for 4 weeks.

The Exiled Element – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds
Inside a classified underground laboratory twenty-five miles northeast of Cairo, three white-coated Egyptian scientists labored over a small pile of aluminum casting on the table before them. They were building a model airplane. But it wasn’t just any airplane…it was Aurora. They had manufactured the parts in 1/30th scale with the highest possible precision based on digitized plans provided to the engineers by the United States of America. Well…the plans were definitely of U.S. origin, but perhaps the word ‘provided’ wasn’t entirely accurate. An operative of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GIS) – Egypt’s version of the CIA – had procured the plans from the Americans. A certain U. S. Senator with an immense assortment of scandalous baggage had facilitated the delivery. After acquiring the Top Secret information, GIS had sought out these three scientists – considered Egypt’s finest minds in aeronautical engineering. What was their opinion? Could they turn these technical drawings and specifications into a tangible product – into the fastest air-breathing plane on the planet?
Beth Becker is retired from the CIA but still works part-time doing CIA decryption work from her home in Red Wing, Minnesota. When she is summoned to their McLean, Virginia headquarters she is assuming it’s another decryption project. That turns out to be not quite the case. She will soon be on her way to the U. S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt to make contact with a woman she knew from past years while serving at the embassy. Apparently the woman known as Rasha is now in a computer programming position with her own government and has run across information regarding an assassination that will be taking place in the U.S., target unknown.
Beth’s husband ‘Beck’ has been asked by the Red Wing Deputy Sheriff Gunner to help out in a security job protecting an unknown Senator that will be coming into town. Seems that there have been other attempts on the Senator in the past so security has been beefed up and Gunner would like Beck’s ex military help. The security goes well in the beginning but becomes a failed assignment when the Senator is assassinated while leaving the Red Wing Hotel where he had just given a speech. To find his killer, Beck engages the help of his long time friend Mr. Red Feather, AKA Bull.

Unknown to Beth and Beck, their assignments are about to collide and become one. The key to their jobs are non-other than the U.S.’s Top Secret plane Aurora. And when Beth comes up missing, Beck sees the Embassy as doing very little to find her, making it his and Bull’s job to take on the task themselves.

I can’t get enough of the “Beck” Suspense/Thriller Series! The Exiled Element is the 4th in the series and I’ve read them all. They just keep getting better and better with the stories of espionage, the CIA and a couple, along with their friends, who refuse to let the U.S. down. John L. Betcher has truly become one of my favorite authors.

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.

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