Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rocky & Bullwinkle by Mark Evanier

Rocky & Bullwinkle #1

This graphic novel will be released on October 7, 2014

My thoughts
A flashback to childhood – Rocky and Bullwinkle are back. This graphic novel contains four stories involving the popular squirrel and moose. Boris and Natasha are still trying to get the duo. There are also mini stories involving Dudley Do-Right. There are a lot of current pop references and the artwork is very good in capturing the characters in what I remember. I may have grown up but reading these new stories was a nostalgic trip back to a fun time.

Book Description
They're finally here! Welcome Bullwinkle the Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel back to comics in these four great tales, "The Psychic Sidekick," "The Washed-Up Wizard," "First Moose on the Moon," and "The Burger Monster." Plus, four back-up stories featuring everybody's favorite mountie, Dudley Do-Right.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through netgalley.com. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Pal Spike and Gumby

It's been a while but my pal Spike is back and he has a new friend, Gumby!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Oliver and the Seawigs

This book will be released on July 22, 2014 

My thoughts
Ten year old Oliver Crisp travels with his parents who are explorers. When they decide to explore some islands that sudden appear and then disappear themselves, Oliver takes it upon himself to search for them. He encounters and befriends a mermaid, albatross and many other fun and silly things.

This story will be a delight for those whom it is written for (7-10 year olds), but also enjoyable for the whole family. The artwork adds much to the book. It is not too cartoonish and supplements the story. The characters are a fun bunch. Very entertaining indeed!

Book Description
A lively step up from early chapter books, this seafaring romp is packed with hilarious art, lovable misfits, meddlesome monkeys, and tons of kid appeal.

When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail on a rescue mission with some new, unexpected friends: a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are even more exciting, unusual, and full of mischief than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad?

Disclosure: I received this book for review through netgalley.com. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Fourth of July Pullaway Cupcake Cake

These are the cupcakes we made for the Fourth of July. There are 30 pineapple cupcakes with coconut icing in the shape of an Aloha Shirt all in Red, White and Blue! Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield

The Missing Place

My thoughts
Two mothers from different areas of the country and from different walks of life end up in the North Dakota oil fields to search for their sons, who both have gone missing. With no help from the oil company or the police, they help one another to search for their sons.

Two strong female characters with a strong love for their sons makes this a worthwhile book. Not only is about the mystery of what become of their sons but the journey of what each woman learns about herself. It is a truthful view at what a mother would endure for her child.

Book Description
Set against the backdrop of North Dakota’s oil boom, two very different mothers form an uneasy alliance to find their missing sons in this heartrending and suspenseful novel from the Edgar Award–nominated author of Garden of Stones.

The booming North Dakota oil business is spawning “man camps,” shantytowns full of men hired to work on the rigs, in towns without enough housing to accommodate them. In such twilight spaces, it’s easy for a person to vanish. And when two young men in their first year on the job disappear without a trace, only their mothers believe there’s hope of finding them. Despite reassurances that the police are on the case, the two women think the oil company is covering up the disappearances—and maybe something more.

Colleen, used to her decorous life in a wealthy Massachusetts suburb, is determined to find her son. And hard-bitten Shay, from the wrong side of the California tracks, is the only person in town even willing to deal with her—because she’s on the same mission. Overtaxed by worry, exhaustion, and fear, these two unlikely partners question each other’s methods and motivations, but must work together against the town of strangers if they want any chance of finding their lost boys. But what they uncover could destroy them both...

Sure to please fans of Sandra Brown and Gillian Flynn, The Missing Place is a moving chronicle of survival, determination, and powerful bonds forged in the face of adversity.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through the amazon.com vine program. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Colorful Cupcakes

Here are photos of the cupcakes my wife made this past weekend for a BBQ.  Later this week I will post a photo of the pull-away cupcake cake we made for the Fourth of July!  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stay Another Night by P.S. Meronek

Stay Another Night

My thoughts
This is the story of Coco Stevens and Sam Spielman. Coco is a stripper in the Gentlemen’s Club owned by Sam (who is a Don in the Mafia) and they embark on a love affair that changes their lives. Coco soon becomes famous as a model then actress. But Sam has a secret and it has to do with Coco’s past; something she is unaware of.

As the story evolves Coco grows from a young teenage stripper, to world famous model to one who tries to beat her lover in his game. Coco is a strong woman and I appreciate that but I still didn’t relate to her and she didn’t seem believable. The secret that is the motivation of the story plays out in the last few pages and was a big letdown. Although, well written, the story had interesting segments but then it suffered with a substandard finale.

Book Description
From the first time the underage stripper meets the dangerous Mafia boss during a raid on his infamous San Franciscan Gentlemen's Club, Coco Stevens is hypnotized by the young charismatic Don. Like a doomed moth drawn helplessly toward an enticing yet lethal flame, Sam Spielman also falls helplessly under her spell. The two could not be more different - and more alike - and more in love. Guided by Sam's clever mentoring, Coco begins her meteoric rise to the very pinnacle of the international fashion trade. She proves to be as wily and intelligent as she is beautiful as she swiftly adapts to the jet setting world of haute couture. She segues her supermodel status into a blossoming acting career, remaining glued to the fast track of a world of power and privilege. For the better part of a decade, Coco balances life on the edge of a deadly and enticing razor. It's a dangerous game with its own set of nasty rules. Although she plays it with a master's touch, Coco knows full well that one mistake could cost her everything. Then the unthinkable happens. From the exotic African svelte lands of Kenya to the breathtakingly beautiful sands of Barbados, Coco rides the golden bullet, hanging on for dear life until finally and inevitably, the gold begins to tarnish. In the end, Sam Spielman is forced to choose between the unthinkable and the impossible. Would he rather pay the ultimate price for the most grievous of this world's sins, or go on living in the darkness of his own creation? Seemingly trapped with a one way ticket on the voyage of the damned, can Coco and Sam find the only way out? Coco finally reaches for redemption in the barren deserts of Nevada. Hanging in the balance is a modern day fortune which rivals the worth of King Solomon's Mines. In a riveting conclusion with a surprising twist, perhaps the wages of sin can be spent more wisely than even they would have believed possible.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through goodreads.com. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

McCormick Grill Mates make the holiday flavorful!

Thanks to Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Mates, I was able to have a fabulous Day after Independence Day BBQ. With the package they sent me including a barbequing apron, I was able to try different flavors, marinades and rubs. My guests were certainly in for a surprise to their palates.

Numerous packages to choose from, but between my wife and I we decided to try the Tennessee Smokehouse BBQ Rub for the chicken. The recipe said to cook it slow and low and after 90 minutes of a slow cooked, the chicken came out tasty and juicy. It was the number one favorite among the guests. They said it was moist and had a kick to it.

I had two pieces of steak that I marinated using their Smokin’ Sweet Tea marinade and the Montreal Steak seasoning with marinade. Let them cook awhile, but not too long since everyone likes their beef medium rare. The Smoking’ Sweet Tea marinate and a slight lime taste (that would be the citrus) was also enjoyed. I am not a red meat eater but the way my guests were feasting, I would say they enjoyed it. I believe the Montreal Steak was average.

Other seasonings to try this summer are the Worcestershire Pub Burger, the Chipotle & Roasted Garlic Seasoning and the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub. These will certainly spice up any type of meat on the grill. One thing I didn’t make this BBQ but am looking forward to this summer are burgers. Grill Mates have seasonings like Steakhouse Mushroom, the Classic Burger and the Smokey Applewood. Easy to prepare and I bet they are delicious.

Not only did my guests leave the BBQ with full stomachs, they also got to take home some of the seasonings to try at home! I have to keep the rest for myself as I have another BBQ next month. I have to say that the various offerings from McCormick Grill Mates will make a master griller out of anyone! Check out the website for recipes too.

Disclosure: I received these products for review through the Crowdtap.com. I received no compensation for my thoughts.


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