Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? July 21 Edition

>> Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

A review book for my son and I:

Kids Who Are Changing the World by Anne Jankeliowitch

Forty-five young people from around the world (including twelve from the U. S. and four from Canada) are doing something every day to make the world a better place. They discovered issues thatconcerned them and did something about it. With skills ranging from singing, drawing and painting to fundraising, public demonstrationsand events, they have fought climate change and pollution, and worked to protect animals and their natural habitats. This inspiring book also includes reference materials and suggestions on how readers can get involved.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery by Nikki Danforth (reviewed by Sandra)
Some Bunny Loves You by Jesse Thom (this will become a classic! includes musical CD)

Bookish Posts:
Book Spotlight Tour: Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia with Giveaway! Love Italian cooking? Enter to win this cookbook.

Currently Reading:
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (very good)

Up next:
The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristin Cambron (can't wait to read this one!)

Hope you all have a great reading week!



Some Bunny Loves You by Jesse Thom (book and musical CD)

>> Saturday, July 19, 2014

Some Bunny Loves You by Jesse Thom, illustrated by Christache
Thom Foolery Books & Music
ISBN: 978-0991919109
Published January 1014
Hardcover with CD, 20 pages

Simply put, this little book is an absolute gem! It is charming and so heartwarming it will steal your heart. My son loves it just as much as I do. We both felt it made the message of "I love you" special, introducing a cast of cute and eccentric characters.The illustrations are simple and adorable, with splashes of colour.

This book comes with a full-length CD with the song 'Some Bunny Loves You' which my son and I loved instantly the moment we heard it on the book trailer. Jesse Thom has the soothing voice that you can listen to for hours. The rest of the tracklist is made up of beautiful instrumental music, some of which are different variations of 'Some Bunny Loves You'. Each song is so unique, highlighting a musical instrument with the occasional sound effects.

The accordion music of 'Waltz of Chester's Moustache' reminded me of my favorite French composer Yann Tiersen and appealed to my European roots. Liza's Dream with its twinkling bells transported me to a land of soft clouds and multi-coloured rainbows. The flute renditions, especially Gwen in the Glen reminded me of Enya's music. Truly, I enjoyed every single song on this CD and I applaud the musicians for the variety it included. It will appeal to families of various cultures.

This is a beautiful little book that would make the perfect gift for couples expecting their first baby or for any parent with young children that wants a good book with a soundtrack that can be played in their child's room to soothe, to lullabye and to make the imagination soar. I hope Jesse Thom produces more of such quality children's books. This book has the makings of a classic. Highly highly recommended. Visit the author's website for more info and more beautiful music to listen to.

Watch the book trailer and I promise you that little song will charm you!

Some Bunny Loves You (book/CD trailer) from jesse thom on Vimeo.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura & Son

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.


Book Spotlight Tour: Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia (with Giveaway!)

>> Friday, July 18, 2014

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012  *  Cardinal Publishing  *

Try One of the Recipes!

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts


For filling:

1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices 

For chicken:
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
5 bay leaves
To serve:
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)
The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’√®? (what is it?)
I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

Meet the Author

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal's best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy's regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

An Interview with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

Enter the Giveaway!

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Thank you for supporting our authors!


Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery by Niki Danforth

>> Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery by Niki Danforth
ISBN: 9780615882314
Published by: Pancora Press
Published: September 2013
Paperback, 378 pages

Ronnie Lake, a 50-something divorced, well-to-do-woman is “an AARP broad,” “an accidental detective” as she styles herself. When her much-loved brother becomes involved with an almost-too-perfect, beautiful, mystery woman, risking his happiness, fortune, and possibly, his life, Ronnie rushes in to get to the bottom of things. Ronnie (Veronica Rutherfurd Lake) takes Aikido (martial arts) training and threaded throughout the story are techniques that she eventually gets to use in the real world.

Just when I thought I had figured out the plot, the author threw in some intriguing twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. And she is imaginative in including Ronnie’s fantasies about James Bond. “Good evening, Mr. Bond. I ease into the warm tub with my glass of pinot noir, looking up at the large picture of Sean Connery hanging on the bathroom wall. The candles are lit, and the lighting is low. The mood is just right for a conversation with my favorite spy.”

I liked Ronnie. She is a funny, nosy, cool woman who drives a Mustang, loves her family devotedly, and has a wonderful German shepherd sidekick called Warrior. I want a dog like that!

This is a fast-paced, humorous, mystery romp.

Note: This book is rated P = profanity (mild).

About the author:

As the daughter of a Cold War covert intelligence officer, Niki Danforth has the thriller/adventure gene in her DNA. After a career as a successful TV/video producer and director in New York, this empty-nester is embarking on the next chapter of her life, returning to her first love, mystery books, and reinventing herself as an exciting new voice in the genre.

For more information, you can check out Niki Danforth's website.

Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Reviewed by Sandra

Disclosure: Thanks to Stephanie Grossman for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? July 14 Edition

>> Monday, July 14, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

Enter my $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway by helping me spread the word about World's Best Story.

Received two books this week:

Holding On and Letting Go by K.A. Coleman

When her little brother died, Emerson's life came crashing down around her. Though her friends want to help, can Emerson fight to re-enter the world she abandoned?

Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen-year-old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend Matt, still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry and miles away from the girl she once was.

Model Undercover: Paris by Carina Axelsson

From super sleuth to supermodel

Axelle Anderson doesn't care about fashion, in spite of her pushy fashionista aunt, Venetia. All Axelle wants to do in life is solve mysteries. But when top fashion designer Belle La Lune goes missing and Aunt Venetia becomes a prime suspect, Axelle must go undercover as a model to bring the truth into the spotlight.

Who knew modeling could be such a dangerous game?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
St Bartholomew's Man by Mary Delorme (great historical fiction reviewed by Sandra)
The Yielding by Tamara Leigh (loved this medieval romance!)
Wheat Belly by William Davis (Wellness feature book reviewed by Maria)

Bookish Posts:
World's Best Story: Rewarding readers and book bloggers for telling the world they found a great story!  My company iRead Book Tours is now a proud sponsor for World's Best Story. Check it out! I'm giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Enter the giveaway by helping me spread the word.

Finished Reading:
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber (heartbreaking and compelling, couldn't put it down)

Currently Reading:
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Hope you all have a great reading week!


"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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