Friday, April 30, 2010
I'm such a fan of Debbie's and love her Cedar Cove series. I'm amazed how beautifully illustrated this book is and it of course features characters from the series.
The recipes are mouth watering! It certainly would make a wonderful gift for that special friend or family member.
At this very moment the sun is shining and I'm here at our cabin on Hood Canal and eating Debbie's banana breat with honey/cream cheese from her cookbook. Yesterday had lunch at her Tea Room in Port Orchard, Washington.....lovely.
Between my mother and I have now tried over 10 recipes and they are wonderful.
Now, from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook, you can relish in your own home the same superb meals found in Cedar Cove's households. Charlotte Rhodes, one of the series' most beloved characters, invites all fans of Cedar Cove, as well as anyone who enjoys classic home cooking, to join her in touring the town's kitchens as she shares more than 130 of her treasured family recipes. (And she's got plenty to tell you about the people of Cedar Cove, too!)
You'll find such mouthwatering dishes as:
• Justine Gunderson's Grilled Salmon with Lime-JalapeÃ±o Butter
• Teri Polger's Macaroni and Cheese
• Charlotte Rhodes's Cinnamon Rolls
• Olivia Griffin's Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad
• The Pot Belly Deli's Broccoli and Cheese Soup in a Bread Bowl
• And many more
Whether you've just discovered the world of Cedar Cove or have devoured all the books, you can now partake of the town's culinary traditions and cook just like Charlotte, her family and friends!
About the Author
Debbie Macomber, the author of Twenty Wishes, Back on Blossom Street, Between Friends, and the Cedar Cove series, is one of today's leading voices in women's fiction. A regular on every major bestseller list with more than 100 million copies of her books in print, the award-winning author celebrated a new career milestone in September 2007, when the latest in her Cedar Cove series, 74 Seaside Avenue, scored #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Bookscan bestseller lists. Her popularity is worldwide with her books translated into twenty-three languages. Debbie and her husband, Wayne, are the proud parents of four children and grandparents of nine grandchildren. They live in Washington State (Port Orchard) and in the winter they live in Florida
Monday, April 26, 2010
I wasn’t prepared for A Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge because I was expecting the storyline to revolve around the celebrities who were getting married at the African high end destination. However, they were the secondary characters. The two main characters were the owner of the Lodge, Gideon McGrath and the event planner Josie Fowler who was sent at the last minute to oversee the event. Josie stole my heart with her purple streaked hair and her wild outfits. As for Gideon, not too much to say about him, he was just plain sexy and gorgeous. Their journey was so tender, so very romantic as this couple was destined to be together.
Josie Fowler was rescued by her new business partner Sylvie and that was a story which was revealed later in the book. She ha been given the opportunity to oversee the event of the year which if she pulled it off, would put her at the top of her field. She was to oversee the wedding of two celebrities, one being a famous football player and the bride a beautiful blond in a very remote African setting. Their wedding would be featured in Celebrity magazine. There were all sorts of challenges because of the lodges remoteness. Communication was very limited and on her very first day she found out that the bridal suite was occupied by a very charismatic man who was actually the owner of the lodge. He was recouping in the room below hers due to a bad back. Or should I say tree house, because each of the rooms were actually built in a “tree house fashion.
From the moment they met one could actually feel the sparks fly. Both Josie and Gideon liked to be in control of all situations. At times is was a real challenge to their friendship. However, it was very obvious they were both intrigued. Even though Gideon's back problem was stress related, Josie needed him gone because the bride and groom were to arrive soon and his room was planned to be the bridal suite.
Gideon came from a travel background and traveled the world to find new eco-friendly destinations. Leopard Tree Lodge was his first property and he hadn’t been back in years. In fact, he was honestly thinking of selling it. And now he finds himself stuck at the lodge and in serious pain. Then Josie Fowler storms into his life which actually made his life more enjoyable. He’s intrigued by this interesting woman, he actually likes her and wanted to do everything in his power to help her with her wedding event. In fact, he helped her too much at times and she didn't like the feeling of not being in control. Josie was so attracted to Gideon, she looked for him everywhere but she was also so driven to succeed because if she could pull this event off, especially with all of the media coverage, she would be at the top of her field and in demand. Josie also had a secret past and she felt indebted to her business partner Sylvie to make this wedding a success.
There were all sorts of challenges Josie faced. First and foremost was the place where the event took place was so primitive, no cell phone service, the only way in was by small aircraft, the chef didn’t work on Sundays, a riverboat would be used for the overflow of guests and then the maid of honor and best man break up and are each bringing new partners which increased the guest list. However, at the top of Josie’s list was Gideon and getting him out of the bridal suite. And then there was Gideon who was used to issuing commands and moved Josie into his suite to make room for the bride and groom. Talk about stressful and then add to the mix when they share with each other their pasts….get the Kleenex out, you’ll need it!
Gideon and Josie’s story was amazing to read. Their attraction was immediate, they were so opposite from each other yet so meant to be together. When they each revealed their pasts and hurtful revelations you’ll be overwhelmed yet you’ll be cheering for them because they both sincerely cared for each other, they both really listened to each other,they helped each other and they loved each other. Liz Fielding did an amazing job making this such a romantic and sweet love story set in exotic Africa and one I shall long remember.
Events planner Josie Fowler has scooped the wildest celebrity wedding of the year in a luxury lodge hotel in Botswana! She's surrounded by prowling leopards and crocodile-filled rivers, but more dangerous to her sanity is the resort owner—enigmatic entrepreneur Gideon McGrath.
As Josie wrestles with taffeta and table plans, Gideon's take-charge approach is getting in her way—and his sexy smile is getting under her skin….
About the Lodge
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Chloe had been Lorenzo Valente’s personal PA until they began dating and then lovers and months later when it should have been their wedding night, his bride walked out of his life shortly after their wedding reception. Why one might ask? Because she told him she loved him, he rejected her declaration and told her under no circumstance would he ever love her. However, he would be a good husband, father and provider.
They were complete opposites, Lorenzo from nobility and she just a plain and curvy young English woman who had run away from her groom and moved in with her best friend and her baby. However, what Chloe didn't know until she arrived back in England was that her dear friend was terminally ill and wanted Chloe to raise her baby Emma when she passed. And then on top of loosing her friend, who should show up on her doorstep but her husband demanding she return to their marriage so he takes her to a lovely English country estate, the very one he had purchased for her as a wedding gift.
As one read more of their story you learned that Chloe had no father and that her mother and sister moved to Australia. As for Lorenzo, his mother adbandoned him as a child and his father went through many wives. Both of them came from loveless homes. However it seemed to me Chloe understood her past better than Lorenzo.
Lorenzo had originally wanted a wife to provide him with an heir and he had no faith in marriages based on emotion. He had wanted a stable, non-materialistic wife who would stand by commitment and motherhood and not abandoned her child. He believed most marriages fell apart and Chloe believed happy marriages existed but how could she prove it to him?
The Blackmailed Baby by Natalie Rivers was an excellent read, especially the last chapters when one learned Lorenzo felt emotions for his wife and also for baby Emma. The entire time he was trying to make Chloe happy and didn’t realize it was his love for her driving him on, plus his love for the baby. It was a very emotional read, but a wonderful one. Their journey to happiness was one roller coaster romance!
Once Lorenzo Valente sets his sights on something—or someone—he will not be deterred! His estranged wife, Chloe, might profess to hate him now, yet only weeks earlier she was claiming adoration…proving Lorenzo's belief that love is fickle.
But now the stakes have gotten higher…. Chloe has become guardian to her friend's baby and wants a fresh start—plus a marriage annulment. Seeing Chloe as a mother, Lorenzo is more determined than ever to keep her…and claim the wedding night from which she fled!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Sincerely, Billionaire M.D. was certainly one of the most intense romances I’ve read with so many twists and turns plus the emotions running wild between the very sexy Spanish Dr. Rodrigo Valderrama and the very lovely surgeon and patient Cybele Wilkinson. Author Olivia Gates knowledge of the medical field was quite evident during this entire story and will certainly appeal to fans of medical romance. As she said in “Dear Reader”, Ms. Gates wanted to “demonstrate in full measure, why a surgeon can be such an irresistibly romantic hero” and Rodrigo was certainly that and more as he was a self made billionaire, soft hearted, loyal to his family and Cybele’s protector.
Conflicting emotions leap off of the pages because of the emotions Rodrigo Valderramna feels for the woman who has survived an airplane crash and is now in a comma. Those feelings are revealed towards the end of the book, shocking revelations which will have the reader shaking their heads in disbelief. Cybele survives the airplane crash and her husband dies. When she awakes she’s sure knows the attending physician, and then parts of her memory return and she realizes he was her husband’s best friend, or so she thinks. On top of that, she learns she’s pregnant.
And then the day of his funeral she insists on going along with Rodrigo because her in-laws will be claiming her husband’s body. What she doesn’t count on if finding out from her mother-in-law, that her husband Mel and Rodrigo were brothers not best friends. Mel and Rodrigo’s story was quite fascinating, more than fascinating is all that can be revealed or it would ruin this story.
Trust me, that’s not the end of the secrets and when Rodrigo insists she stay with him at his Spanish villa to recuperate and rest she agrees because she cannot fight the feelings she has for him. Several times she tries to show him but he makes it clear by ignoring her and she’s confused because she can see in his eyes that he desires her. However, they finally fall into each others arms and in the end marry.
Family, love and the sense of belonging have always been important to Cybele because she didn’t have it when she was a child. When her mother remarried and had children, she felt left out and felt she was a reminder of her mother’s first marriage. So now that she and Rodrigo have declared their love and he has told her he wants to marry her and love her child she is beyond happy. And then the secrets just keep on coming along with Cybele’s memories returning and everything blogs up.
In the end, Olivia Gates ties this romance into a perfect package even though they both had to suffer misfortune and unhappiness, they’re able to work everything out and get their perfect happy ending. Some of the very last chapters had me wishing for more as the passion was so incredibly intense and deeply emotional as Rodrigo’s love is so pure and sincere and has always been since he first set eyes on Cybele.
Mr. April: Rodrigo Valderrama, billionaire Spanish surgeon.
His Patient: The woman he's always wanted.
His Problem: An explosive pregnancy secret.
He'd rushed to her side the moment he'd learned of her accident. Whisking the recovering Cybele away to his palatial seafront estate, the wealthy doctor vowed to care for and protect the pregnant young widow…and never let her know his true feelings. But he feared that even with all his brilliant skills, he might not be able to keep Cybele if she learned the truth about his role in her pregnancy
Olivia Gates website
More About the Book
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Anna Cleary has written an intriguing romance which was absolutely fascinating and lovely to read. The way they met, how they first reacted to each other, how the tables were turned on both of them was a sweet, soft and tender romance.
Ariadne Giorgias sole my heart because of all she’d been through’ from loosing both of her parents as a young child, to being raised by a dominating older Greek Uncle, for her reason she left her groom at the alter causing a scandal for her Greek family. Now her family sent to Australia for a holiday and to get away from Greece and the press. She believed it was a fully paid holiday from her Uncle until she phoned them before her plane departed and found out that her uncle had arranged a deal with an Australian businessman. She was shocked because her family expected her to marry him. She was terribly upset and didn’t want to go. And then she found out that the holiday had not been paid for and she needed money to survive, money she didn’t have and the question was how was she going to get it?
As a courtesy to her uncle, Sebastian sets up a meeting with Ariadne because her uncle had made a deal with him. He would provide the cash flow to put his business back on top if he would marry his niece. What he didn't know was that she came with baggage but so did he because he vowed never to marry again as his wife died three years earlier and he never wanted to make that sort of commitment again nor experience the loss. However, he felt a duty to his company and employees and so he decided to meet her; but it started out badly. He didn’t meet her as planned at the airport and she found him frosty. He felt she was a spoiled rich girl. What he didn't know was that she didn't inherit unless she married and at the moment she really needed the money because she was actually stranded in Australia and would have to leave her hotel to seek a place to live and a job.
Boy oh boy did the sparks fly between them. I actually felt like a third wheel while reading their first encounters. And then I felt so badly for Ariadne because she tried to hock her jewelry so she could find a place to live; in the end she didn’t have enough money and had to settle for less and agreed to marry him, stay married for a short time and then when she got her inheritance walk away. Honestly, reading about their married life, how hard they both tried, how sweet Sebastian was to her, how much she adored him and wanted to make a special home for him was very special until everything blew up in their faces. However, like all relationships that were meant to be they had to learn what was important, search their souls so that in the end they could have their happy ending. Charming, sensual, emotional and happy endings all rolled into one by the talented Anna Cleary.
Behind the Book from author’s website:
“Imagine you're stranded in a strange country without money, a place to live or any connection to a living soul. Except for an icy, angry, stunningly gorgeous Greek who despises you, that is.
This is the situation Ariadne Giorgias finds herself in when she steps off the plane from Naxos and into a nightmare.
Can this beautiful, sad, and until now very sheltered heroine survive the cruel shocks of life in Australia?”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It was immediate for both of them when they met at his sister’s wedding her marriage to a business associate and friend. Samantha felt his immediate dislike for her and she couldn’t understand why until he accused her of having feelings for the groom. No one, no one was going to hurt his sister Rachel. And then weeks later she sees him at a conference and realizes that Jase Moore is a self made billionaire in his own right, first on developing computer games and then in computer business technoolgy.
Samantha Magnussen inherited her father;s business when he passed away. As an only child, at thirteen her mother died and it was always clear to her that her father had wanted a son. She strived to please him and when she couldn’t, she went into business herself. However, when he passed she took over his responsibilities and always had to be on her guard because she was a woman in a man’s field. She kept her feelings to herself, an her friend Bryn Donovan was there for her giving her advise. She realized at his wedding that she probably should have made her feelings known to him before he met Rachel but also realized that he was happy. She wasn’t, however, too keen on his new brother-in-olaw Jase and now he employed Jase and suggested they both use him to improve their technology. She even invited Bryn to be on her Board of Directors which really riled Jase, making him again doubt her. However, Jase was insightful into Samantha and her attempt to hide herself from others. He wanted to get to know the real her and then some things happen, Rachel leaves her new husband and returns home. After a few glasses of wine she gies her brother a story which leads him to assume Samantha still wants Bryn and will possibly do anything to get him.
They agree to disagree, they fight their attraction every step of the way. They take walks on a secluded beach, he invites her for a family lunch and then because of his sister’s accussations, they have an explosive argument which lasts for weeks. However, Samantha realizes she has feelings for him and isn’t quite sure what to do about it and then such an emotional scene in her office and everything chances.
Just when Samantha didn’t think she could stand it any longer, Jase arrived on her doorstep, they make love and began their romantic journey. She actually laughs, he sees and understands her for who she is and adores her. And then again, Jase sister’s actions and the reason she returns to her husband set another explosive argument between the couple and you wonder even though you know Samantha now loves Jase, do that have a chance at love? Well, you’ll just have to buy the book for the answer, but the ending is a happy one which is all I’ll share. Author Daphne Clair wrote a beautiful romance in Taken by The Pirate Tycoon with a sexy alpha who in the end, “melted the ice princess!”
Jase Moore is determined to shake Samantha Magnussen's touch-me-not facade. Could this ice princess really be out to steal his sister's new husband? This pirate tycoon will distract her—the only way he knows how!
Why does this provocative stranger have such a low opinion of her? Jase's angry contempt gets under Samantha's protective shell. While his voice—dark and full of unspoken sinful promise—storms her heart and offers temptation too hard to resist
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Santo De Luca was one charming, handsome and very rich man and he had a small daughter who needed a nanny. Santo didn’t even know he had a daughter, until he was notified that his ex-wife had died. She was deceitful and knew when divorcing him that she was pregnant but she never told Santo. He missed out on so much and wasn’t quiet sure of how to raise a five year old.
Penny Keeling came highly recommended as a nanny and when she was offered a salary beyond belief she took the position. As she wasn’t dating nor in a relationship living and working at the De Luca mansion suited her just fine. However, what Penny didn’t count on was how handsome and sexy her boss was and how attracted she was to him. She didn’t like the feeling because her past boyfriend who she thought she would end up marrying her, cheated on her, broke her heart so she certainly was interested in having an affair.
Immediately they were both attracted to each other, their feelings and emotions on high alert. He definitely was interested and she was determined not to get involved. Penny adored his little girl Chloe and was constantly berating Santo for working long hours, not being home when she went to bed or in the morning. And then Chloe tells her nanny “the secret” that she didn’t know she had a daddy until her mommy died.
Well from then on, they banter back and forth, they act on their passion and then at every turn, Penny tells him no more. It’s always there, the passion for both of them, circling them, taunting them. So when it’s Chloe’s school holiday, he takes them to Italy and they stay at his family’s mansion. The family that Santos doesn’t talk about. And they become more involved and there’s more drama because Santo’s decides to take them all to Rome so that Chloe can meet her grandfather. And then the bomb drops, Penny’s pregnant!
Will there ever be a chance for this couple? Could they all find happiness and become a family? The last few chapters were difficult to read because I felt so sorry for this sexy Italian because of his reasons for leaving Rome in the first place, for him not trusting, for his lost childhood, for his time lost and the missing five years of his daughter’s life. But in the end, Penny, Chloe and Santo got their happy ending and Santo made peace with his family.
Pregnant with the boss’s baby!
Nanny Penny Keeling knows working for the strong-but-silent Santo De Luca will be a challenge, but she’s determined to do it for his little girl’s sake. And she’s equally determined not to fall for her dangerously attractive boss – she’s been burnt before…
Penny is pretty, charming and utterly beddable – and under the fiery Italian sun Santo seduces her…
It was only meant to be an affair. Now Penny has announced she’s pregnant...
Author Carol Marinelli has again charmed me as well as answering my wish for this particular story to be written with Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen. It’s an absolutely magnificent love story and the first book in the Dark Hearted Desert Men series.
If you read The Royal House of Karedes in the very last book there was a stranger at the Queen of Aristo’s wedding who noticed a man with eyes so like her new husbands that she was shaken. For she new that her husband and brothers as children had been kidnapped and that the youngest Al’Farisi brother, Zakari was swept out to sea and never found. The brothers never got over their loss nor did the country of Calista.
This incredible story is about that lost brother, now known as Xavian, the ruler of Qusay, the sheikh playboy who has been promised to Layla, the Queen of Haydar. A very strong Queen, a beautiful woman who rules alone and is a virgin. A woman not to be kept waiting, a proud woman who gives as good as she gets and who almost faints at her wedding because her future husband is so handsome and powerfully built, who oozes sensuality and takes her breath away.
Throughout reading this story one is made aware that Xavian takes his duties seriously and puts his country first. However, he is trouble by the scars on his wrists, he has bad dreams at night, and since the wedding of the Queen of Aristo, he’s troubled because they keep contacting him all of a sudden and it makes him unsettled. Now he is about to marry a woman who is queen of another country and he’s expected to produce an heir and possibly assist her in ruling her country, uniting both lands.
Queen Layla was nervous, it was her wedding day to a man she had been betrothed to since childhood. A man with a reputation of a playboy, a man who would take her on their wedding night. This sheikh, her future husband kept her waiting and she was furious. She just wants the honeymoon over and wants to get back to what makes her comfortable, ruling her country. Let’s just say, you won’t want to miss their time in the desert because it’s just as hot as the desert sun, it’s a complex, beautiful and extremely passionate love story with lots of conflict.
However, it’s a rollercoaster love story because one just knows that it’s going to explode in both of their faces when the King of Qusay finds out he’s been living a lie and the wrong life! When the truth is revealed, it’s devastating for this couple, not just for Xavian but for Layla because she loves her husband and she’s torn on what to do because she also loves her country. You’re happy for him because he’s found his lost family but you also cry for him because he now must step down from being the ruler of his beloved country. He feels cheated for what his so called parents did to him and the son who died, the son and heir to the Qusay throne.
Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen was as I’ve said a stunning love story and how author Carol Marinelli tied The Royal House of Karedes and this new series together was incredible. A personal thanks to the author as I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
About to lose his kingdom, Xavian is marrying for power—his wedding night will be purely for duty. As he unveils his new queen, nervous and naked, bathed in fragrant oils, he's stunned that she's as beautiful as the desert stars….
This queen deserves a royal bedding worthy of the Arabian Nights…and in her arms Xavian discovers that, though he may not have a kingdom, he has the strength and power of a thousand kings.
But this untouched queen could be his undoing….
Carol Marinelli's website
Carol talks about her first sheikh and the last book in the Royal House of Karedes which let to this sheikh's story.
Carol's Dear Reader
For a chance to win the book, go to my April contest.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Anonymous, you're the winner of Sharon Kendrick's Book. I have one more up for grabs if anyone is interested. Put the authors name in subject line.
firstname.lastname@example.org with your details.
Thanks, and congratulations.
International Winners of Natalie Anderson's Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress books are Mariska and Spav. Same goes, title and author in email along with your addresses. Congrats!
Thursday, April 01, 2010
April 1st many things are happening on Susan Mallery's Facebook page. Her Fools of Love contest ends tomorrow and she's celebrating the launch of Fools Gold, CAand her first book in the series Chasing Perfect.
Fools Gold Cast of characters
Fools Gold Trailer
My co-worker had this a her golf luncheon and said it was to die for. She said they were all laughing about having the telephone near just in case they had to call a cardiologist.
OVERNIGHT CROISSANT BAKE
1/2 croissants 2-3 large or 8 to 10 small, can be day old
1 stick butter room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1.5 cup real maple syrup
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
5 cups sliced fresh peaches or fresh raspberries
Powdered sugar (optional)
Tear croissants into small pieces and line the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan. Pan should be as deep as a standard cake pan or lasagna pan.
In a food processor, mix butter, cream cheese, 1/4 cup of syrup until smooth and creamy. Place spoonfuls evenly across top of croissants. With a large spatula, gently spread like frosting over entire top of croissants.
In electric mixer, blend eggs, cream, 1/2 syrup, Cinnamon. Beat until frothy. Pour half over croissant mixture. Let soak in (around two minutes) and add the rest.
Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours ahead of cooking time.
Place remaining 3/4 cup syrup, pecans and fruit in covered container and refrigerate until use.
To cook, uncover baking dish and bake in 350 degree over 45 to 55 minutes, until souffle is golden and jiggles slightly when shaken.
Warm fruit mixture in sauce pan or microwave.
Serve souffle with spoonfuls of fruit mixture poured over top. Fruit mixture will be runny but will soak somewhat into the souffle. If desire, garnish with powdered sugar.