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review 2018-04-25 03:51
Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway
Bread Machine Magic: 138 Exciting Recipes Created Especially for Use in All Types of Bread Machines - Linda Rehberg,Lois Conway

I see that I haven't reviewed this on Booklikes yet, so in honor of the dinner I just had (soup and a grilled cheese sandwich made with Linda's Easy Potato Bread from this book), I'll knock something out right now.

 

This has been my go-to bread machine book since I bought my bread machine (a Breadman Pro) several years ago. The recipes are easy to follow, and each one gives you the ingredients you'd use for a 1-lb, 1.5-lb, or 2-lb loaf setting, plus Crust and Bake Cycle settings if your machine has those. Each recipe also includes nutritional information, although I'm not sure how useful it is considering that there's no information about slice thickness (and I'm terrible at slicing bread evenly, even with my electric knife).

 

The book begins with a few tips for baking the perfect loaf, which I found helpful when I first bought my machine. After that, the book is divided into sections for white breads, whole-grain breads, vegetable breads, fruit breads, dinner rolls, sweet rolls, breads, and coffee cakes, and specialty breads. I used to make a different kind of bread each week but have now settled on a few tried and true favorites. Of the one or two dozen recipes I've tried, only one, a rye bread (I can't recall which one), has ever failed to turn out well for reasons I couldn't identify. With the other ones, I get perfect results if I just watch the dough during the first ten minutes or so of the knead cycle and either add more flour if it's smearing or more liquid if it's too dry and crumbly.

 

My favorite recipes, the ones I still make even though my bread machine has lost its "new kitchen toy" shine:

 

- Egg Bread - This one rises very high. The 2-lb loaf gets tall enough to press against the lid of the machine. Still, it's a wonderful bread and perfect for French toast.

 

- Linda's Easy Potato Bread - I love using this bread for sandwiches of all types. It holds together nicely while spreading peanut butter, butter, or whatever on it, and I recently discovered that it works amazingly for grilled cheese sandwiches. It uses instant potato flakes rather than mashed cooked potatoes, which appeals to my lazy side.

 

- Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Rolls - You make these with the Dough setting and then bake them in the oven. I like this particular recipe because cutting and shaping the rolls goes pretty quickly and easily.

 

- Irene's Bavarian Coffee Cake - I have family in Bavaria and don't recall them ever making anything that tasted like this coffee cake, but that doesn't make it any less tasty. This is another one you make with the Dough setting and then bake in the oven.

 

- Portuguese Sweet Bread - This is a slightly sweet, slightly lemon-flavored bread that's snail-shaped and very pretty, perfect for gifting. It's great when served with coffee or tea. Again, it's made with the Dough setting and then baked in the oven. I like to do the large recipe, which makes two snail-shaped loaves - one I can give to someone and one I can keep for myself.

 

- Sally Lunn Bread - This is the one sweet bread on this list that's baked in the bread machine. I brought it to work once and people thought it was pound cake. It slices beautifully, even if you don't have an electric knife.

 

- Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns - Okay, so I'm terrible at making mine a uniform size, but I still like them.

 

One other thing I should mention is that the fat used in most of these recipes is butter or margarine - I've seen at least one negative review that complained about this, although it isn't really a problem for me. According to the introduction, you should be able to substitute an oil of your choice, although I've never tried this and don't know what the results are like.

 

All in all, I highly recommend this book if you're looking for recipes for your bread machine beyond what's included in your manual.

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text 2018-04-23 02:36
Just starting, fresh off library waitlist
Heart of Venom - Jennifer Estep
Dark Heir - Faith Hunter
Magic in the Shadows - Devon Monk

I waitlisted these in anticipation of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon on April 28 — they came early.  Guess I'll have to get reading ...

 

Odd how all three have similarly colored covers.  I was just waitlist ing according to "next in series."

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review 2018-04-22 21:55
Book Review of Giselda and the Dragon by J S Rumble
Giselda & The Dragon - J.S. Rumble

Giselda feels terribly guilty that she stole from the dragon on the mountain top. It's also worrying her that he might be holding a grudge against the schools because of what happened.

Unable to forget what she did she decides to travel up the mountain and face the dragon once more. It is safe to say the encounter has an unexpected outcome and Giselda is thrown into more exciting and terrifying adventures...but does she find what she is looking for?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the next book in the Giselda series of children's chapter books. I loved it!

 

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her when I was introduced to her in the first book. She's an eight year-old girl who found out that she's a witch. Now a student at Wigmore School for Witches, she has already had one deadly adventure. However, she is beset with guilt for her part in stealing hair off of a dragon. Determined to right a wrong, she must find the courage to face the dragon once more.

 

This book is a sweet children's book with an exciting adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans.

 

The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. The story continues from the end of the first book, Giselda The Witch. I love meeting Tom again. He is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). This time, the two set off on an adventure that introduces new characters. I was terrified of the dragon when the children faced him in the first book, but in this one we get to know him a little better. His name is Colin and he's not scary at all. We are also introduced to his friend Gerald, another dragon, as well as a mysterious mythological species called Pangles, who look like large black cats with wings.

 

This book takes the reader on a magical adventure that sees the two children and Colin looking for a magical mirror that had been stolen from Colin over fifty years previously. There are several challenges that they face throughout the story, with lots of magic and spells, and the action and adventure kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. I think I've lot my heart to the baby Pangle though. Where can I get one?? The story ends satisfactorily, but eludes to further adventures to come and I can't wait!

 

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

 
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review 2018-04-20 10:00
Release Day Review! Shifter Bound (Pack Bound #3) Leisl Leighton!
Shifter Bound (Pack Bound) - Leisl Leighton

 

 

One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined...

Five hundred years ago, facing extinction, a group of powerful witches united to create a pact with the Were to save witch-kind. The pact expelled an ancient evil, known only as the Darkness, that was blocking the Were from their wolves. With the Darkness destroyed, the Packs and their Covens grew strong as they thrived beside each other in their brand-new world.

But the Darkness was not destroyed.

Shifter-Witch Eloise O’Brien has betrayed her Coven and almost killed her brother to save the Were Pack she’d infiltrated as a spy. Now living with the Were she once feared and hated, she learns the truth of who she really is—the prophesied Nexus. A witch of unspeakable power, she must make a choice between the light and the dark, between Iain McShane, the Lone Wolf she is coming to love, and her once beloved brother and Coven who are now working for the Darkness.

 

 

 

The intriguing Pack Bound saga continues in another thrilling romance that keeps readers on the edge of their seat as the wolves and the witches struggle to accept the changes that are taking place in the pack and with the never ending attacks by their evil nemesis.

 

All the characters in this series are strong and compelling, easily captivating readers with their lives and their romances and Eloise and Iain have a strong sizzling attraction that is pulls them together but their romance is full of strife and upheaval that tugs at readers’ heartstrings and keeps them fully invested in the story emotionally as well as being kept intrigued with every things that is going on. 

 

The suspense and intrigue of all the exciting events that take place in this story keeps readers on the edge of their seat with anticipation as well as keeping them wondering just how the pack will overcome all the adversity and insecurities that flow from the pages as their enemy comes up with new ways to kill off the pack and anyone who gets in their way. There is lots of twists and turns to ensure that the readers can’t possible guess what will happen next.

 

I was completely caught up in the suspense of the story as well as this emotionally turbulent romance where both the hero and heroine seem to think that neither has a chance at a ‘happily ever after’. This series continues to enthrall me and their enemy continues to incite some very strong emotions from me as well, so needless to say I can’t wait to find out what happens in Moon Bound which is supposed to be released next month.

 

 

 

Shifter Bound is the 3rd book in the Pack Bound series.

 

The 4th book - Wolf Bound will be released on May 1, 2018

 

Shifter Bound is available in ebook at:

Amazon   GPlay   Kobo   B&N   iBooks   

 

Leisl Leighton can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Twitter   Facebook

 

 

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review 2018-04-19 16:46
The Faraday Files Book #3: The Heartreader's Secret
The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre
The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre

Outstanding yet again! The Faraday Files is one of my most favorite series! The 1900s alternate steampunk London (Darrington City) and the diverse cast of characters found a place in my heart in Kate Mcintyre's debut, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, and I've been watching the characters struggle and cry, laugh and grow, sacrifice and persevere ever since. 


The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre 

 

But before I get into my review of Kate's newest release, book three, The Heartreader's Secret, I'd like to give you a brief overview of the first two books.

 

In the first book, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, we're introduced to the very eccentric and hard-hearted Olivia Faraday, a Deathsniffer (someone who hunts murderers) and her overly sensitive assistant, Christopher Buckley, a WordWeaver (transcribes thoughts directly to page).

Chris and his sister, Rosemary recently lost both of their parents in the Floating Castle accident and Chris has had to take on the responsibility of not only raising Rosemary but trying to keep her safe and out of the hands of the enemy that want to harness her unique and very strong gifts. Chris and Rosemary have been living on the savings that their wealthy parents left them but the money is starting to run out so Chris has to find a job to support them. He's never had to work before so he has absolutely no experience doing anything and Olivia Faraday, who's in need of an assistant to help with her investigations, is the only employer willing to take him on. So there begins the start of an unexpected but fond and spirited comradeship...

 

The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre 


In book two, The Timeseer's Gambit, Olivia and Chris have their hands full hunting for someone using bound elementals to kill young priests and trying to find evidence to save Dr. Francis Livingstone who's been falsely accused and is now standing trial for the thousands of deaths caused by the falling of the Floating Castle. In his personal life Chris is struggling with his sexual identity and the mixed feelings he has for both Rachel Albany and his childhood friend, Will.

 


The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre 


Then we come to Kate's newest masterpiece, The Heartreader's Secret. Chris's attraction to both Rachel and Will come to a roaring head in this book. We get an in-depth view of how conflicted Chris is with his sexual identity. He really struggles with reconciling his real feelings with his need to conform to society's expectations. On top of that, Emilia, a very brilliant engineer, poc and girlfriend to one of Chris and Olivia's good friends, Maris, has gone missing. Maris, a police officer, is absolutely devastated and she's convinced that something bad has happened to Emilia. On Maris's request, Chris and Olivia travel to the last place Emilia was working which happens to be Olivia's childhood home, Miller's farm. They've traveled under the guise of investigating the suicide of one the stable hands so as not to alert potential suspects that they're on their trail. As Chris and Olivia search for clues to Emilia's dissapearance, we also get a front row seat to the discord between Olivia and her mother and we learn the real reason why Olivia has given up her family legacy to be a Deathsniffer.

So that's a little background on the series thus far. It'a a spectacular series and each book just gets better and better! If you like mysteries with a dash of steampunk, then you should really give this series a try. I guarantee Darrington City and its diverse and eccentric inhabitants will reel you in like they did me!

*I received this ARC from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

 

AMAZON

 

 GOODREADS 

 

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