12.28.2015

Review: Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas by Carol J. Walker




Title: Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas

Author: Carol J. Walker

Buy Link: CLICK HERE

Publisher's Insight:

During the infamously heartbreaking BLM 2014 Checkerboard Roundup in Wyoming, a chance encounter between a regal wild stallion and acclaimed photographer Carol Walker changes both of their lives forever.

The new photo documentary book, Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas, is the result of that encounter. In this, the third book for this multiple-award winning author and artist, Walker’s evocative photographs and poignant prose document the story of rescuing the stallion she named Bronze Warrior and his band of mares and offspring from different BLM holding facilities and reuniting them in a place where they could live out their lives together, safe and undisturbed. Like every satisfying animal story, the venture is not without difficulties and sorrows, but ultimately, this is a tale of triumph and joy. And even better: It is true. Aged horses such as Bronze Warrior (22 when he is captured) usually are the last to be adopted and therefore are the most likely to spend their remaining years in cramped BLM pens without their families. Especially concerned for this gallant stallion and his band, Walker reaches out to Manda Kalimian of the Cana Projects for help; the two share Thoreau’s belief that “in wildness is the preservation of the world.” Together, these two staunch and vocal wild horse advocates win over even the BLM bureaucracy to the effort. Susan Watt, of the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, is the third “Reunion Team” member.

The story is, by turns, nerve-wracking and frustrating, thrilling and surprising, charming, heart-warming and delightful. The captivating photographs likewise offer a widely ranging emotional journey, from touching to powerful. In combination, the images and story build to a victorious resolution. By journey’s end, one is struck by the horses’ timeless elegance and dignity, whether enduring a brutal holding facility or soaring in spirited freedom. One is equally moved
by the dogged perseverance of the humans in the story.

So, Reader, beware: This book might change your own life forever. Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas features more than 144 pages of full color photographs in hardcover, equally suitable for coffee table browsers, fine art photography admirers, or the libraries of serious equine science students. Appendices offer information on wild horse advocacy efforts, Cana Projects, and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.



Review:


I'm in awe right now. This book is absolutely stunning. Ms. Walker has captured the heart and soul of wild horses in her pictures in a way that I've not seen before. And being able to read along with the pictures the tale of these wonderful horses and their journey was a journey in and of itself. I was taken aback by what is done to these poor creatures. How could anything so beautiful be considered in the way, and uprooted from their home? It brought me to mind how the Indians may have felt when they were uprooted from their land, and the struggle that they faced. Except I can't see them having someone as kindhearted and loving as Ms. Walker on their side.

I wanted to cry, cheer, and be right alongside Ms. Walker as she journeyed with these magnificent beasts.

If you love horses, or just love to see stunning photography of what true wild freedom looks like, then Galloping Freedom is a must have. It would make an absolutely brilliant coffee table book, and a gift for any horse enthusiast.

My only problem with this book was the smell. When I opened it had a very strong printers ink (almost oil paint) smell to it. As a person with a high sensitivity to odors, this was a strong turn off to me. But of course this in no way reflects on Ms. Walker and her wonderful work with the horses, or the lovely writing/photography in this book. So, I couldn't in all good conscience use that as a part of my rating system, but it did need to be noted.



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I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. Most books are donated to the local library for circulation, or donation to the Friends of the Library, or to a Little Free Library near me. 

12.21.2015

Cover Reveal: Winterlust Tales by Ray Sostre

Winterlust Tales Banner
Title: Winterlust Tales - an Erotic Anthology
Author: Ray Sostre
Editor: Elicia S. Stoll
Cover Design: Tiffany Huegele
Genre: Erotic Anthology, Erotic Romance, M/F, Menage, M/M, F/F,
Release Date: January 4, 2016
Winterlust Tales Cover
Synopsis:

Prepare for a cold winter, but because the season has changed it doesn’t mean the sexual fantasies have to. Author Ray Sostre delivers six steamy reads, related to a winter theme. Whether you’re snowed in or vacationing, or celebrating a holiday with your passionate one, this book will guarantee to heat up your winter.

teasers
About Ray Sostre:
Picture Of Ray S 2014
New York born, East Coast raised, and West Coast bound.
Writing erotica happened by accident in the summer of 2010. That same year, he established a story submission site – AfterDark Online, a place for erotic authors.
He lives in Nevada with his long-time girlfriend, is an avid listener of electronica, and enjoys writing and publishing articles. He jokes: “I’m always looking for writing material.”
Links
BlogFacebookTwitterTSU

12.09.2015

Review: Wicked Game by Nakeesha Clues

Wicked Game
Title: Wicked Game

Author: Nakeesha Cluse

Buy Link: CLICK HERE

Publisher's Insight:

Nicolette Thorne is the privileged wife of powerful attorney, Jackson Thorne. She coasted through life jaded and uncaring, until she met David Morales, a young college student who worked at the local country club in Savannah, GA. 

For the first time in her life, Nicolette feels love; real love and it scares her. She tries to run from David but there is a magnetism between them that keeps drawing her back. To save him from her ruthless husband and his criminal clientele, she breaks David’s heart and tells him the child she carries is Jackson’s. David and the future they planned together are shattered. 

Four years later, David returns, a successful physician's assistant, who’s engaged to be married. This homecoming turns out to be a disaster when he cross paths with Nicolette and her four year old son. David suspects the child is his but Nicolette is determined to keep the truth from him. When old flames turn into a raging fire, David must choose between the woman who loves him unconditionally and the woman who possesses his soul. 





Review: OK, let's get my morality issues out of the way here. First, I should have better read the synopsis of the book before I decided I would take on the project to read this book. But I did read it the book in its entirety. I decided to put aside my OLD LADY - PRUDISH-type thoughts and just think of it as a fantasy in a book, for that's what it really is, is it not? So, I put on my big girl panties and said, to hell with the cheating. Besides look at that lying bastard, he's cheating on her with her BFF - he should be capped in the knees anyway! And have some hot grits poured on his back while he's down. (Guess I've watched too many Medea movies!)

So, we move on to the book. The book gets good. Then Ms. Clues decides to water down my bar drink. I didn't appreciate it at all. There was so much I really wanted to know about. I wanted to know more about Nici and Liv and how their friendship grew, how Liv (the slimy bitch) decided to get her hooks in Nici's man. And how Liv was dealing with it. Did it start out as diabolical? Was she riddled with guilt? That could have all been another 5,000 words right there.

Then I wanted to learn more about Jackson's brother. Why was he keeping his baby brother around? There had to be a reason that was nefarious and deceitful, right? We could have learned more about his personality and methodology of life. Another 10,000 words there.

Nici and Jason. Maybe the author wasn't comfortable with sex scenes, and that's fine. Not all authors are. And that really gives us a move varied type of romance genre. Kudos. But I would have liked to hear a little more about their time together, their love, how they fell in love (besides his smokin' body). That could have been another 5,000 words.

I think you see where I'm getting at, there are so many places that this book could have been fleshed out, and I wish it had.

I think the main problem is - the book may not have had an editor. After about 45% of the way through the book,  I found nothing but problem, after problem, after problem in regards to typos. It was as if someone hadn't even bothered to look at the book afterward. Which to me greatly takes away from the detail of the book.

I'm thinking that the ending of the book was a decent enough twist (no spoilers for you) to keep readers wanting to come back for more if more detail was spent on editing/proofreading.

I doubt I'll read another book by this author at this time, but you never know.

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I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. Most books are donated to the local library for circulation, or donation to the Friends of the Library. This will be deleted from my Kindle since I read it as a Kindle Unlimited Book.

12.07.2015

Author Interview: Samantha Snyder - Doodle Art Alley Coloring Books - and so much more.


Oh, it's been so much fun coloring with Doodle Art's Alley! They've given me hours of fun, and I've even been able to virtually meet the author for a little tête-à-tête. It was a little surreal, but very awesome at the same time. Remember my review of Doodle Art Alley Book 1? That was a good one! And of course my review of Magical Designs Art Coloring Book where I promised you a fly's view of my conversation with Samantha! Yeah, I can call her that! But before we begin, I wanted to show you my latest Doodle Art Alley coloring book, Saving Grace which is volume 5 of the series. Who knows how many volumes there will be. I colored again, and I wanted to show you off my handiwork. :) I'm proud. 





















Now as you can tell, the picture came out beautifully. I had so much fun. But when I lifted the page (even though I had card stock under it) it bled through to the next picture. I was a little sad. I'm not sure how I'm going to work that into the next picture. I still think that there should be a card stock piece attached to the cover, AND that each drawing should be able to be removed by having them attached by perforations. If it were close enough, I'd run my sewing machine needle over it, but alas, I can't.

But why am I talking to you when I could be talking to SAMANTHA?! (Sorry, I still love you, really!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today we are going to interview probably the most inspirational, wonderful doodle artist I know.
Everyone, please welcome the very sweet, Samantha Snyder.

Round of Applause


Samantha, I hope it's okay to call you that, Ms. Snyder if you're doodly. Sorry, had to do it. Now
to a semi more serious note:

It's no secret that I'm a fan of your work. I own Imagination Will Take You Everywhere, Amazing
Grace, and Magical Designs Coloring Art Book and I'm rather attached to your website
http://www.doodle-art-alley.com so having you here on Page Turners is an honor.


Thanks. I’m excited to be here.  And nice Janet Jackson reference, by the way.  I totally got it right away and had to explain it to my husband.  He’s not so hip... 
Husband's can be totally clueless, but let's not talk about that, we could be here all day! :)

You've probably been asked 1,000,000 times about how you got into doodling, so I'll save you
from answering that question again. But I do want to know where the first seed got planted for
the first Doodle Art Alley Book you drew.


My very first book was actually drawn up in 2009.  I started my website a year or so earlier and was trying to find a way to sell some of my stuff.  This was only like 2 months before Amazon came out with CreateSpace (self-publishing) - we have a way with timing :)...so we self published and printed 1000 Doodle Art Alley, Hand Drawn Coloring Art Books ourselves.  I put them up on my website for sale and my husband and brother-in-law went up the California coast trying to get them into stores.  Let’s just say the results were less than desired and we had more than a few people laugh in our face. It’s ironic to think about that now, considering how huge this whole adult coloring book thing is.  I did sell a few here and there through my website and a couple at a local farmer’s market.  I took them off my website a few years back and ended up giving most of them away. (I still have a box of 100 or so in my closet).  This book is like my “rookie card” of coloring books and maybe it will be worth something one day ;) Keep dreaming, right?
I'd be more than happy to take 5 or 6 of them off your hands if you don't want them in your closet.

Why didn’t you just turn to painting, or something wonderful like that? You’re so very talented?

You obviously haven't seen any of my paintings.  :)   I never took lessons as a kid/young adult and so my experience with art in general is just really small. Doodling really is all I knew.  After I started my website, I began to realize how much I could benefit with a formal education in art.  I wanted to try new things and bring new dimensions to my coloring pages.  In 2013 I started going to school part time at the nearby University in hopes to one day receive a BFA and later a MFA. I’ve got a ways to go but I’ve really seen a difference in my work and am excited to further my knowledge and experience.  You can see some of my non-coloring page stuff on my personal portfolio page - www.samanthasnyderart.com
For us blondes that Bachelors of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts. (I had to Google it!)

Do you intend for your books to be used in a clinical setting, such as a therapist’s office, or are
they meant to be used in real life? The reason I ask is I’ve shown these to my therapist and she
was so impressed with them, and their message that she immediately went out and bought 4
Volumes for use in her practice so people could color during therapy, or take home the
message knowing that it would be the perfect message for them.

I really didn’t have any specific audience in mind when I started drawing up my pages (and later, my books).  I obviously assumed teachers would benefit, being one at the time.  But it wasn’t long until I started hearing from therapists, counselors, and others in the field, telling me how beneficial my pages were.  So when it came to creating my books, I knew that they would be used in the clinical setting, which I’m super excited about.  Anywhere that they can be of positive influence is awesome.  

Did you ever imagine that your books would be as popular, and as wonderfully and widely
accepted as they are?

No, not at all.  Especially now with how many adult coloring books are out there.  I tend to lose confidence when I realize who I’m “going up against” and how most of these other artist/authors have an art education background.  But I remind myself that I’m happy with who I am and what I have produced.  I recognize that we have different styles and techniques.  Plus, I’m not done.  I’m still learning and growing and even though I may be doing things a bit backwards (again with the timing) I’m moving forward with my dream.  I’m thankful for the support people (like yourself) have shown, it’s definitely inspired me to keep going.

I mentioned earlier about your website http://www.doodle-art-alley.com I know that it’s geared
more towards teachers, but for those of us coloring page addicts, this is still a treasure trove of
wonders. I have to ask, why give away such resources? (And I know you were a teacher, and I’m so thankful for all you’ve done for students, it’s a thankless job!)

When I started my website 7 years ago, I just thought of it as a place to put coloring pages I already drew for my students.  The website slowly grew (until I “retired” from teaching) and I just never thought about charging for my stuff.  I enjoyed that my art had a purpose and others appreciated it.  That really was enough for me and still is.  There is nothing like the random email I get from time to time thanking me for offering my stuff for free.  I make what I need from Ads (and now books) to keep me being able to do this and not have to work outside the home.  And for that I’m thankful.  

Well, what happens if I want to keep in touch with all of the goodies that you have to offer on
your website and all of your new books?

Please keep in touch!  I post most of my new stuff on my Doodle Art Alley Facebook page and I also have a Doodle Art Alley newsletter that I try to send out at least once a month, where I feature my new books and printables available on my website.  You can sign up for free on my website.  

OK, silly questions now, are you ready?

Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely Chocolate.  Does anyone really say vanilla and if they do, can we trust them?

A question they asked on the TV series Bones I’ve always been tempted to throw in the mix of
questions to throw someone off.  Given the choice, would you rather be run over by one
steamroller or by 1,000 mopeds?

After giving this much thought, I’d probably go with a steam roller.  One quick motion all at once.  Plus it makes me think of Tom and Jerry and being smashed and then floating back and forth like a piece of paper.  Brings a smile to my face.

And last but not least, do you have plans for more books? How many are you working on?
(Oops, that was two in one!)

I do have plans for more books.  I would give you a set number, but it’s constantly changing as my publisher and I are always coming up with new and fun ideas to try out.  Hopefully there will be a couple more in the coming months with several next year.  I just love doodling and am thankful there is a way for me to display my stuff.  

Thank you Samantha for coming by to answer my real questions and my silly questions alike.
You have been such a wonderful inspiration to me, you’ve helped me in my times of stress and
anxiety. When nothing seemed to make sense. If it weren’t for this computer screen, I’d give you
the biggest hug.



Thank you again for stopping by, you’re welcome to come any time. The door is always open to
you.

Thank you so much for this opportunity.  It’s been wonderful and I’m so glad my books can have such a positive effect.


12.05.2015

Review: Ariel: NaNo Wolves, Book 1

Ariel: NaNo Wolves, Book 1
Title: Ariel: NaNo Wolves, Book 1

Author: Donna McDonald

Buy Link: CLICK HERE

Publisher's Insight:

Despite her sharp scientific mind and her degree in bio-molecular genetics, Dr. Ariel Jones hasn’t figured out how her life changed so much in a single day. Before she can blink and ask about what is going on, she’s being shot with a billion nanos and some very potent wolf blood. 

Now she can suddenly turn into a giant white wolf with the bloodlust of a starving animal. And she’s an alpha wolf…or so she is told by the even larger, very male, black wolf who was used to create her. Hallucination? She wishes. Whether human or wolf, Reed talks in her head and tells her how to handle things…or rather how to kill them…starting with the men who hold them all captive. Too bad he can’t tell her how to put her life back like it was. 

Admittedly, there are perks to being a werewolf, such as meeting sexy werewolf guys like Matthew Gray Wolf. It’s not like the science labs were overrun with sexy men in white coats. She also doesn’t mind learning about a side of herself she never knew existed. It's great changing into a real wolf whenever she wants, but being a living experiment wasn’t part of the scientific career she’d planned for herself. Neither was falling for the local werewolf alpha, but what else is a newbie werewolf caught in her burning time going to do?




Review:

She never thought her job was going to cause her to turn her into a wolf, but hell, who does. I know I don't wake up and think, "Hey, I'm going to pick up this book and read today and by the time I'm done I'm going to be a wolf." So I can understand why Ariel and her friends were a little bit aggravated about it, well, blood lust came into play at some point, but you get my point.

There were some really great HOT spots in Ms. McDonald's book, and I was very happy to see the character grow, but I do feel that it was a step from 1, 2, 4, 5 with a little bit of 3 missing. I just wanted a little bit more meat in there. That's why there was a star missing from my review.

She came what she intended to do, but I really hoped to find out more about why they were turned instead of going into a turf war right away, but I guess that's the writer's prerogative.


I was happy with how they ended the book, though I have a feeling it's going to have repercussions in other books. So look out Ariel and the gang, you've got a tough row to hoe.

Donna, you did a good job bringing the girls to life and making them likable and real to me. I can't wait to see what happens in Brandi: NanNo Wolves, Book 2.

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I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. Most books are donated to the local library for circulation, or donation to the Friends of the Library.

12.04.2015

Review: Simple Man by Lydia Michaels


Title: Simple Man

Author: Lydia Michaels

Buy Link: CLICK HERE

Blurb:

The trailer existed under a thick smog of dirty air. Everyone was laughing. He tried to smile at all the appropriate times, but felt nothing inside. The music, which was blaring suddenly cut off and everyone got quiet.
Shane opened his eyes and saw why. Kate stood at the stereo, scowling. Oh, pretty Kate. She was so good.
“Shane, what the hell’s going on?” she hissed.
She wore a shirt that said Save Ferris. “I like your shirt,” he slurred.
She shook her head. She wasn’t amused.
“Hey,” he yelled, trying to hoist himself off his couch. “Do you guys know that Kate has a tattoo of a gremlin?” The others acted interested, but Kate eyes widened with fury.
“Can I talk to you? Outside?”
God. Déjà vu. Noel, standing in that very spot, saying those very words, shimmered in his memory. He laughed, even though it wasn’t funny. “What’s up?”
“Outside. Now.”
She turned and marched through the door, which slammed behind her. She had a great ass. “Hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave,” he grumbled as he stumbled to his feet.
He tripped out the front door and saw her standing by his car. Kate did nice things, like bring his car back when he left it places. He clumsily walked up to her and hugged her.
She stiffened and pushed him away. He pulled her back and kissed her, jamming his tongue in her mouth until she shoved his face hard.
“What is wrong with you?”
He glowered at her, disliking the sharp sting of her open rejection. “Nothing. What’s wrong with you?”
“You stink.”
“Gee, thanks.”
“Shane, what are you doing? Do you think acting like this is solving anything?”
Anger made him turn away. What could he say? His head wasn’t thinking clearly. She was smarter than him and he had nothing intelligent to bring to the table. He walked to the trailer and pushed against the siding. “Why are you here?”
“Because I’m worried about you?”
“Why?”
“Because I care about you?”
He laughed and spit in the sand. “You’re supposed to be smart, Kate. When are you going to get it? I. Am. A. Loser.
“You’re sure acting like one now.”
He pivoted and nearly fell. Catching his balance, he scowled at her. “Don’t be like that. You’re not a bitch.”
“And you’re not a loser so stop acting like you are.”
“Really? I don’t have a job. I live in a trailer. I’m on fucking food stamps. And I just lost the only person, aside from you, that I care about in the whole world. It won’t be long before you wise up and leave me too. Yeah, I sure sound like a winner.”
She marched up to him and jerked a fistful of his shirt. He looked down at her. It was like being attacked by an elf, which was kind of funny.
“You listen to me, Shane Martin, the only way I’m leaving you is if you push me away. Now stop acting like an idiot and grow up!”
“I am grown up!” He’d been a grown up since he was seventeen fucking years old!
“No, you’re being a child right now! If you’re unhappy with your life, do something about it. Don’t sit here and drink your liver away, waiting for situations to fix themselves, because it’s not going to happen.”
“What do you know? You have everything!”
She got in his face. “Do you think those things were just given to me? I worked my ass off for everything I have—”
“And I didn’t? I sweat my ass off pouring concrete in a hundred degree weather. I bust my balls trying to make extra money playing guitar when I can. I’ve been struggling to make ends meet since I was seventeen fucking years old and God decided to pull the rug out from under me! I follow the rules. I play the game, but no matter what I end up getting fucked! I didn’t have the opportunities in front of me that you did, so excuse me if I don’t see us as equals.”
She shook her head. “You may not have had the same opportunities as me, but don’t act like this is your only option. You have yourself so pegged as this lower class bum, because you’re afraid if you try to be anything more, you’ll fail. It’s a shitty self-fulfilling prophecy and if you think that way, you’ve already lost.”
His jaw locked as he breathed rapidly through his nose. “You don’t know what it feels like to be me.”
“You’re right. I don’t. But I could say the same thing about you.” She put her hands on her hips and looked down, taking a deep breath, as if collecting her thoughts.
“I’ve watched you, for months, go against all odds and do something most men could never do. You sit here and claim to be this simple man. Well, I don’t see a simple thing about you. As a matter of fact, you’re so complicated, I was afraid of getting too close to you. I knew, the minute I let you in, I’d fall for you. Shane, I love you, but this,” she waved her hand in front of him. “This is not the man I love.”
He looked down. Everything he loved, everyone that ever loved him was always taken away. “Don’t love me, Kate.”
Her hands cupped his jaw. He fought her hold, too ashamed to meet her gaze. She turned his face until he finally looked at her. “Too late.”
It was too much. Everything finally collapsed inside of him and he broke. Shutting his eyes tight, he fought the tears, but it was a losing battle. His face twisted as a sob broke painfully from his chest. “I’m dying inside.”
She wrapped her arms around him. “I know.”
He hugged her tight, probably tighter than she could take, but she let him.



Review:

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at the beginning. Honestly, Shane was a shit. He really needed to get his stuff together, and I'd rather not read a book about a man who it all torn up all the time. Big baby, needs a diaper. But then...comes Logan the big baby that needs a diaper.

Through a tragic twist of fate Shane had to pull his head out of his ass and really decide if he was going to man up or just be who he's been. And thankfully for me, he manned up quite well. So much that I could fall in love.

Reading this book I was LITERALLY laughing so hard that I woke my boyfriend from a deep sleep. Tears running down my face. I had to stop mid scene or there's no telling what would have happened. It was great.

Then further in the book, there was a point that I was crying an UGLY cry. You know that snotty horrible cry that you don't want anyone but your best friend to see? That's the one that I had, at 2:30 in the morning I'm still up reading this book, snot rolling down my nose, tears rolling down my eyes and I'm just hooked.

The characters weren't characters anymore. They were friends. They were people I loved and cared about. People I wanted to fight for.

Lydia, you create the most wonderful worlds. The best place that I can be pulled from my ordinary world and live among the lives of someone else. I applaud your mastery, your skill, your grasp of life. Thank you for giving me a second home to live in if only for a few hours a day. It's been an honor.

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I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. Most books are donated to the local library for circulation, or donation to the Friends of the Library.

12.02.2015

Review: Top Secret Recipes: Step by Step by Todd Wilbur


Top Secret Recipes Step By Step

Title: Top Secret Recipes: Step by Step

Author: Todd Wilbur

Buy Link: CLICK HERE

Publisher's InsightFor more than twenty-five years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with recreating America's most iconic brand-name foods at home. In his first cookbook with color photos, the New York Times bestselling author brings you 125 new clone recipes: 75 first-time hacks and 50 overhauled all-time favorites. Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos so that even novice cooks can perfectly recreate their favorite famous foods with everyday ingredients. And your homemade versions cost just a fraction of what the restaurants charge! The result of years of careful research, trial-and-error, and a little creative reverse-engineering, Top Secret Recipes® Step-by-Step hacks: 


   • KFC® Original Recipe® Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw 
   • Cinnabon® Classic Cinnamon Roll 
   • IKEA® Swedish Meatballs 
   • Pinkberry® Original Frozen Yogurt 
   • Raising Cane's® Chicken Fingers and Sauce 
   • Arby's® Curly Fries 
   • Lofthouse® Frosted Cookies 
   • Wendy's® Chili 
   • Panera Bread® Fuji Apple Chicken Salad 
   • Starbucks® Cake Pops 
   • Cafe Rio® Sweet Pork Barbacoa 
   • McDonald's® McRib® Sandwich 
   • The Melting Pot® Cheddar Cheese Fondue 
   • P.F. Chang's® Chicken Lettuce Wraps 
   • The Cheesecake Factory® Stuffed Mushrooms 
   • Ben & Jerry's® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream 
   • Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich 
   • Chili's® Baby Back Ribs 
   • Chipotle Mexican Grill® Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken & Steak 
   • Cracker Barrel® Hash Brown Casserole 
   • Mrs. Fields® Chocolate Chip Cookies 
   • Ruth's Chris Steakhouse® Sweet Potato Casserole 
And over 100 more delicious dishes, from snacks and appetizers to entrees and desserts!


Review: It was a hard decision for me to make the call on a three star review for this book. I really wanted to like it, but there were some points that just made it impossible to give it the four or five stars that it needed.

I made the following recipes out of this book:

The Cheesecake Factory Mashed Red Potatoes - quite an addition to the Thanksgiving table I might add. It never fails that whatever I try to do, ends up messed up and I have to half ass something. So my heavy cream was curdled and I had to use my own hack of butter and milk to make it. I found it to be too garlicky, and that was with extra butter and an extra pound of potatoes. Not his fault if he thought that's how the restaurant's potatoes tasted.

You can tell I'm not a professional photographer! And that we ate the potatoes before I remembered to take the picture. OOPS!


Next we tried the Panera Bread Spinach & Bacon Baked Egg Souffle. Yumm! OK, so, I ended up having to do my own little hack because I don't have ramekins in my house. I'm not sure I know of anyone who does. But I guess that's just me. So I used my Pampered Chef mini loaf pan to make them. And I'll tell you what, it doesn't matter what you make these mothers in...they are good. I mean, eat until you die of stuffedness good. (Yes, I make up words!)



Now for the 3 star part. There are just so many recipes that have things that make it really impossible to do them. Like the Dippin' Dots. Who happens to have some spare liquid nitrogen lying around? And I don't know about you, but I don't even know where to buy it!

Then the Arby's Curly fries. Who happens to have a curly fry cutter?

It just seems that the vast majority of the recipes called for things that were not in the ordinary person's pantry. And I really wanted something that was going to be that way. I guess I was expecting it. Or at least something that was easily accessible, like heavy cream (even if you let it curdle).

If you're willing to go out and go the extra mile to hunt down the things you need for the recipes in this book, then this book might make it worth your while, but I just found it was too much for me.

Author Bio:

Since 1987 Todd Wilbur has been reverse-engineering America's most iconic foods for his series of 11 Top Secret Recipes cookbooks. With over 5 million books in print, the self-proclaimed "food hacker" has appeared in over 100 media outlets including The New York Times, People Magazine, Newsweek, The Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Food Network. His website http://www.TopSecretRecipes.com is the #1 copycat recipes website with 1 million visitors every month. He lives with his family in Las Vegas, NV.

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I'd like to thank Word Slinger Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. I would normally donate this book to the library, but when I put sticky notes on the pages, the stickiness made the pages stick together. So I will keep this book in my personal library.
  

12.01.2015

International Literacy Day #GivingTuesday

Global Literacy Infographic

I'd like to thank https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check for a wonderful infographic full of some wonderful information. Please take the time to get involved today.