Monday, July 25, 2011

Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh

Tamara Leigh books are too far and few between for me. This lady can write a fun book with relatable characters. In Restless in Carolina we meet up with Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan, an environmentally aware widow who is trying to right some decade old family wrongs and make sure that the Pickwick estate is kept in its natural state, no matter who purchases it.

Bridget has been widowed for four years, something that she still struggles with. She doesn't believe in happily-ever-after because it didn't happen for her and she places the blame on God for taking Easton from her far too early.

This book was easy to read and made for a nice escape from my own reality of packing up and moving across town. Curl up on your back porch with a cup of tea and enjoy Tamara's latest glimpse into family drama, North Carolina style.

Tamara Leigh began her writing career in 1994 and is the best-selling author of more than a dozen novels, including Splitting Harriet, Faking Grace and Leaving Carolina. A former speech and language pathologist, Tamara enjoys time with her family, faux painting, and reading. She lives with her husband and sons in Tennessee. Get to know her here.

This book was provided for review by Multnomah, opinions are my own.

Thanks, Tamara, for this CLEAN READ.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

River's Song by Melody Carlson

If I had to describe Melody Carlson in one word, it would be versatile. I've yet to find an author who can boast authorship of over 200 books that manages to keep them fresh and different. River's Song is such a different book that it took me by surprise.

Anna is of Native American descent and is coming home to her roots along the Siuslaw River in Oregon in the late 50s. She leaves her teenage daughter to live with her overbearing mother-in-law while she tends to loose ends after her mother's death. Her visit cuts straight to her heart and she finds herself drawn to the simple life that she once knew. Couple this with Hazel, a woman researching the Siuslaw Indians, and Anna knows she can never return to the life she's been living since her husband died, but will she have the strength to stand up to the woman who's done nothing but put her down and treat her like a slave for years?

This was a truly fascinating look into a lifestyle that is now almost extinct. Melody captures the essence of her characters and makes you feel like you're reading a true account and not a fictional work.

Highly recommended reading.

Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she has been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time. With total sales of over 1.4 million her award-winning books include: Homeward, Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon; Limelight; the Diary of a Teenage Girl series; the True Colors series; and the Charter House Girls series. In her professional life, Melody has worn many hats: from pre-school teacher to political activist to senior editor. Currently, she writes full-time, and freelances from her home. She has two grown sons and lives in Sisters, Oregon with her husband, Chris, and Bailey, her chocolate lab. They enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Thanks, Melody, for this CLEAN READ!

This book was provided for review by Glass Road Public Relations.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jump off the Hormone Swing by Lorraine Pintus

Jump off the Hormone Swing by Lorraine Pintus is a fascinating look into how the female body works (turns against us on a regular basis) from month to month. Lorraine takes us on a tour of the menstrual cycle through various stages of life, from teen, to young woman, to mid-life to the beyond. I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. To be honest, this book angered me. Not the writing, but the fact that these things are true and are seldom spoken of. A woman who stabs her husband due to a pms induced rage? I believe it to be true (although not something I've done nor plan on doing!). I believe all of it. I feel the rage on a monthly basis, some months are worse than others. I haven't hidden myself in a closet to cry, but I have stayed off of the road and out of public! I did appreciate all of the helpful ideas and proven ways to ease the monthly...stress, but being in an instant world, I want help NOW! Perhaps I will take the time to track everything for three months so I know what is coming (or so I can warn those around me what is coming and when).

I learned more from this book than I did from my last yearly gynie visit. At that time I explained my horrible days to my doctor and she just patted me on the knee and told me to take a good multi-vitamin. Lorraine, it seemed, held my hand so to speak and told me that everything was going to be alright while giving me good ideas of practical things to do to help ease my symptoms. And she sprinkled it with humor.

I still haven't gotten to the point that I'm embracing my cycle, don't think I'll ever quite fall in love with it (to me it'll remain "the curse") but now I'm a little more aware of what's going on inside of me.

This book also contains a study guide for individual use or for group study. Hmmm....a bunch of hormonal women doing a study together. I don't think I want to be in that group! LOL

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seeds of Change Organic Amantani Whole Grain Blend Quinoa & Wild Rice

Seeds of Change is one of my favorite companies that produces organic products. Their organic chocolate bars are to die for! I've recently discovered their line of organic rice & whole grain mixes. I'm not usually one to purchase boxed mixes for anything, but the Persia Seven Grain Pilaf caught my eye a couple weeks ago while I was shopping so I thought I'd give it a try. It was perfect. So much so that today I picked up a different blend. I decided to go with the Amantani Whole Grain Blend Quinoa & Wild Rice.

I followed the directions of one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and adding the grain mixture to it, heating until they all turn golden brown. The only problem I had with this step is that the smaller grains (quinoa) were popping out of the pan like tiny pieces of popcorn. I had to stir it continually to keep control of it.

Then I added the water and ran into the same situation that I faced the first time I made something from this product line. When you've spent several minutes cooking something in hot oil and then add two cups of water the mixture almost explodes from the pan in a furious boil. If you're not expecting this you could get burned. It's unfortunate that there isn't an easier way to make this other than the microwave, because the flavor is unusual but good. Nutty from the different grains and spicy from the seasoning packet, this is a step out of the ordinary. A nice product to have on hand when you want something a little different.

You can find this product in the organic foods aisle of your supermarket.

I was not compensated at all for this review. It's a product I purchased and thought I'd share.