Saturday, January 31, 2015

Good Reads: The Deep End

The Deep EndThe Deep End by Julie Mulhern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Deep End is a very well written and professionally edited murder mystery. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down.

The heroine is a country club wife, barely existing while under the thumbs of her philandering husband and manipulative mother. Only her art gives her hope. When she discovers the body of her husband's mistress she becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders. She decides she must solve the murders in order to prove her innocence.

At times I was annoyed with the h's passivity, but she did begin to grow stronger as the plot developed. The secondary characters were interesting, especially the two men that become romantic interests.

The plot was full of twists and turns. It held my interest and at times contained a quirky humor. I didn't figure out who the murderer was until it was revealed.

I highly recommend The Deep End and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Good Read: Devil in the Deadline

Devil in the Deadline (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery #4)Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Devil in the Deadline is the fourth book in the A Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. It is a very well written and professionally edited novel.

The heroine, Nicey, is a reporter investigating a murder connected to the mob and a televangelist. It has been so nice to read a series where the main character grows and matures as time goes by. Nicey and her two love interests are constantly evolving.

This is a complex plot, but was presented in a clear and easy to follow way. It held my interest throughout and I always look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Devil in the Deadlines could be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading the series in order. It ends with a satisfying HFN.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Amazing Exploding Potato Returns

Many years ago, about twenty, I bought a bag of exploding potatoes.  Obviously, when I bought them I didn't know that they were explosive.  One night I washed some, pricked them with a fork, and stuck them in the microwave to cook.  Within a minute I heard several booms and raced into the kitchen.  I found the inside of my microwave coated with potato guts.

I thought that I had forgotten to put holes in them, so I washed several more, pricked them with a fork and put them in the regular oven to bake.  As I cleaned my microwave, suddenly, there was a loud explosion and I watched the oven door shoot open.  Once again the potatoes had spewed their insides all over the oven.

At this point I gave up and threw the whole bag away.  Now I had two ovens to clean and I was defeated.  I never had it happen again, until tonight.

Yes, twenty years without potato explosions and this evening it happened again.  Out of three potatoes only one blew, but it was deja vu.  Thanks to phones with cameras I have evidence.

Taa Daa!

Before you ask…yes I pricked it with a fork.  I have no idea why this happens.  If anyone one knows, please comment.

God bless,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good Reads: Nun Too Soon

Nun Too Soon (Giulia Driscoll #1)Nun Too Soon by Alice Loweecey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nun Too Soon is the first book in the Giulia Driscoll mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited novel.

The plot is original, not fast paced, but moved forward steadily to the conclusion. The heroine is an ex-nun, and private detective, married to a police detective. Her agency is hired by a private company to investigate employee theft and an attorney to investigate the murder his client has been accused of committing. Both cases end up overlapping with common perpetrators. I found the plot to be interesting, because I enjoy investigative details.

I would have like more details about the main characters' background. I was left wondering why Giulia was no longer a nun, how she met her husband, how they married and how did she become a private detective.

Overall, this is an entertaining mystery novel and I look forward to reading more books in the series.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Frugal Gadgets: Car Duster

I am not someone that has an immaculate car.  The inside may be a bit cluttered at times, but I can't stand for it to be dusty, especially the dashboard.  When I used to wipe down my dash with cleaners, especially the oily ones, it would end up oxidizing and create a film on the inside of the windshield.  That was an even bigger cleaning job and I never could get it completely streak free.

Enter the FlyLady car duster.  I read about it several years ago and have used it ever since.  It is a cotton yarn type duster that has something in it to attract the dust.  I sweep it around in my car a couple of times a week and it keeps my dashboard looking spotless.  This last year my duster disappeared (I found out that it was kidnapped by my husband), so I asked for another one as a Christmas present.

So, now each of our cars has a duster stored under the front seat and clean car dashes in our future.

God bless,

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John is a traditional southern dish made with black eyed peas.  I made a big batch of it yesterday since black eyed peas are supposed to be eaten on New Years Day to bring good luck.  I made two batches:  one vegetarian for my husband and one with meat.


1 medium sized (16oz) bag of dried black eyed peas
2 medium size onions, roughly diced
1 stalk of celery, roughly diced (optional)
1 green pepper, diced (optional)
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 large smoked hamhock, or 2 small
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 or 4 bay leaves
1/2 - 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 - 2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
5 - 6 cups water
2 cups white rice

Pick through peas (I have found stones), then cover with a generous amount of water in a bowl.  Cover and soak overnight.

Before soaking

After soaking
Drain and rinse peas well.  Add oil to a heavy weight pot, over medium heat.  Sauté onions, celery, green pepper and garlic until just becoming golden on the edges.

I left out the celery and green pepper
Add the smoked ham hock, peas and five or six cups of water.  Next put in your spices.  Don't put any salt or acid in with your dried peas (beans) until they are done cooking.  Salt or acid added at the beginning will keep your beans from getting soft enough to eat.

Smoked Ham Hock

Plenty of water

Bring to a brisk boil, then lower heat to low.  Cook, covered, for one and a half or two hours (or until beans are soft enough to eat). Remove ham hock, shred any meat and add back to pot.  Now, slowly add salt until the broth tastes salty enough for you.  Add rice and cook until rice is done.  You may need to add more water as the rice absorbs it.

I got so excited I started eating before I took the picture.
This recipe can be done in a crock pot, but I am not sure of the cooking times.  This will feed a large family and is good for leftovers.  Enjoy!

God bless,