Monday, May 25, 2015

Good Reads: Dying Brand

Dying Brand: An Allison Campbell MysteryDying Brand: An Allison Campbell Mystery by Wendy Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dying Brand is the third book in the Allison Campbell mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Allison Campbell, an image consultant, is surprised to hear that her ex boyfriend has been murdered during an apparent drug deal gone wrong. She is horrified when photos of their love making, that she was not aware of, are mailed to her friends and relatives. With her professional and family relationships endangered, she is determined to investigate the murder.

Wendy Tyson writes deliciously complex plots that keep me interested from beginning to end. There are also several sub plots involving secondary characters which add to the book's depth.

I did have a problem with the relationship between Allison, her ex mother in law, Mia, and her ex husband, Jason. Despite their protestations of love neither Mia or Jason seem to trust Allison. Neither relationship seemed promising or convincing to me.

Overall, I highly recommend Dying Brand and I look forward to reading future books in this series.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Swanson Thai Ginger Broth

If you've always wanted to make Thai soups, but didn't want to search for the complex ingredients; your day has come.  Swanson has a Thai Ginger broth that makes cooking Thai a breeze.

Add some poached chicken, sliced green onion and rice or rice noodles to this broth and you have a restaurant quality Thai soup.  It is delicious, easy and quick.

Or substitute this broth for water when making rice and you have a unique side dish.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Oyakodon is a Japanese comfort food.  Just like we think of home when we eat chicken noodle soup or macaroni and cheese, the Japanese turn to Oyakodon to return them to their grandmother's home.  It is a very easy dish to make and well worth buying a couple of special ingredients.


4 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
1 onion
2 cups dash stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese rice wine)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. flavorless cooking oil

Start by cooking enough rice for four people.  I used a long grain white rice.

Cut the chicken into one inch pieces (bite sized).  Add the oil to a large skillet (one with a cover), heated to medium.  Add the chicken and cook until all the pink is gone and it is starting to brown.

Cut the onion in half, then slice thinly.  Add to the chicken and stir until onion is soft.

Add the stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.  Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for about ten minutes.  You want the stock to reduce to concentrate the flavors.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until well beaten and pour over the ingredients in the pan.  Do not stir.  Cover and cook until the eggs are done, about five minutes.

After cooking it will look like this:

Place the cooked rice in the bowls, then spoon up the egg and chicken mixture.  Make sure to include about a 1/2 cup of the liquid.

This is so good; it's hard to describe the flavor.  Slightly salty, slightly sweet chicken goodness,  Enjoy!

God bless,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Good Reads: With Vics You Get Eggroll

With Vics You Get Eggroll (Mad for Mod #3)With Vics You Get Eggroll by Diane Vallere
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With Vics You Get Eggroll is the third book in the Mad for Mod series. It is a well written and professionally edited mystery/romance novel.

The mystery element was nicely done with possible and plausible suspects popping up here and there. As soon as I thought I had the murderer figured out I was proven wrong.

Unfortunately, for me, the romance and romantic leads left me unimpressed. The two love interests are washy washy and not passionate about the heroine at all. Instead of committing to her they move in and out of her life without much regard to her well being or needs.

Overall, I enjoyed WVYGE and I look forward to reading future books by this author.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Plague of Flies

Last week was a real doozy.  Something must have died somewhere in the attic (we never smelled anything) because on Monday we were overwhelmed by flies in the house.  They were located in the living room and kitchen; attracted to the large windows in those rooms.

We tried spraying with a less toxic flying insect spray, but that didn't keep up with them.  So then we tried a sticky trap which worked, but not real well.

Finally after much online research I went out to buy what ended up being a wonderful product.

It costs $3.98 for two decals which you place on your windows.  They can't be used where pets or children might touch them.  Once they are applied they last 7 months inside or 3 months outside.

They are a contact poison with an attractant.  They work so well that within a day the number of flies were drastically reduced and the ones I see now are dead.  Once the insect touches the decal they die within 1 minute.

This is what they look like:

Basically, a semi transparent square.

I thought I would share this with you, even if it is a disgusting subject.  Someone out there may find it helpful.

God bless,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Good Reads: Bridges Burned

Bridges Burned (Zoe Chambers mysteries, #3)Bridges Burned by Annette Dashofy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bridges Burned is the third book in the Zoe Chambers mystery/romance series. It is a well written, professionally edited, full length novel.

Zoe finds herself embroiled in a series of murders and mysterious fires while working as an EMT. Her relationship with the chief of police, Pete, was moving forward until they disagree about likely suspects in the murder cases.

The plot is fast paced and the mystery interesting, but I thought that Pete's handling of the investigation and dealing with Zoe was unprofessional. It did add needed conflict to the plot.

Secondary characters were well developed and added diversity to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed Bridges Burned and I recommend it to mystery lovers. It ends with a satisfying HFN.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good Reads: Lowcountry Boneyard

Lowcountry Boneyard (Liz Talbot Mystery, #3)Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lowcountry Boneyard is the third book in the Liz Talbot paranormal/mystery series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel. There are a few misspellings in this ARC, but I am assuming they will be corrected prior to publication.

Liz, her boyfriend/partner Nate, and her spirit guardian Colleen are hired by an influential family to investigate a missing persons case. Soon it becomes apparent that evil and disfunction run rampant in the family of the missing girl. I enjoyed this complex plot, both for the interesting investigation and the growing relationship between Liz and Nate.

LB can be read as a standalone, but I suggest that the series be read in order to fully understand the characters and the plot nuances. The ending is a satisfying HFN. I look forward to reading more of this author's books.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.