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Friday, October 25, 2013

Glittering Promises...Review

About the book: 
Wealth cannot buy peace … or direction.

For Cora Kensington, the Grand Tour was to be the trip of a lifetime. She discovered the family she never knew she had, and may have even found the love she longs for in Will. And yet her life has just become infinitely more challenging.

Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes—regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms—in order to remain true to who she really is.

And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not.

Glittering Promises isn't all sunshine and Italy and has its fair share of suspense and more than enough drama to last a lifetime. While not my favorite of the Grand Tour series, this is a fitting end to the trilogy.  I am late with my review because this one just took me a long time to finish. The drama of the previous books all comes to a head here and, honestly, it became rather tiresome.

Cora comes to terms with her relationships with her father, her siblings and Will.  Those who would harm her are still on her trail and Rome beckons.  The historical aspects is fascinating and I loved seeing early 20th century Rome. Vivian has completely redeemed herself from the first story and I appreciated her growth and change.

For those interested, while you can read each book as a stand alone, each also picks up directly as the previous one left off and having the back story and history really is essential to your enjoyment.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Lisa T. Bergren here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/13

* * *
3/5 Stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Under a Blackberry Moon...Review

About the book:
Which wilderness is more treacherous--the one she must cross to find her home . . . or the one she must traverse to find love?

Just a few days after she gave birth alone in the northwoods, a recently widowed young Chippewa woman stumbled into a nearby lumber camp in search of refuge from the winter snows. Come summer, it is clear that Moon Song cannot stay among the rough-and-tumble world of white lumbermen, and so the camp owner sends Skypilot, his most trusted friend, to accompany her on the long and treacherous journey back to her people.

But when tragedy strikes off the shore of Lake Superior, Moon Song and Skypilot must depend on each other for survival. With every step they take into the forbidding woods, they are drawn closer together, until it seems the unanswerable questions must be asked. Can she leave her culture to enter his? Can he leave his world to enter hers? Or will they simply walk away from a love that seems too complicated to last?

Get swept into a wild realm where beauty masks danger and only the truly courageous survive in a story that will grip your heart and your imagination.

After giving birth alone, Moon Song finds her way into Robert Foster's lumber camp.  There she is allowed to stay and recover, learning English and making friends.  After spending the winter there, however, Moon Song knows she wants to return to her people.  Skypilot, one of Robert's closest friends, volunteers to travel with her and her baby to make sure they arrive safely. The journey is arduous and more than once they find themselves in circumstances that force them into survival mode.  Moon Song's abilities to live off the land are what sustain them as they journey northward and with every step, Skypilot finds himself falling in love with her.  Moon Song realizes that she loves Skypilot, but is reluctant to give him her heart. She assumes that like all the white men she has known, he will tire of her and leave.  Skypilot knows that once he has her love, he would never leave, but convincing Moon Song and her people of that fact, is difficult.

I adored everything about The Measure of Katie Calloway and one reason was Serena's supporting cast of characters. Skypilot and Moon Song captured my heart then and I was thrilled to see that they have their own book.  While the novel stands alone, I recommend reading Katie Calloway first.  And like Katie, this is one story I will reread.   The story is filled with romance and adventure and heartwarming surprises.

Thanks to Lanette of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Serena B. Miller here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Monday, October 7, 2013

Slimmer: The Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight...Preview

About the book:
In just one year, Harry Papas gained 110 pounds. Then he lost it all for life. Papas, a certified dietitian in Greece, shed the pounds by creating a simple yet revolutionary nutrition plan: a delicious, low-fat Mediterranean diet coupled with the self-awareness he needed to combat the triggers that contributed to his weight gain.

Unlike other diets, Slimmer's three-cycle, richly varied meal plan doesn't restrict you from enjoying carbs, sugars, or fats, and it doesn't enforce calorie counting. Rather, the nine-week program is designed to help you stay slim while actually enjoying what you eat, encouraging you to adopt a simpler lifestyle and lifelong healthy habits. This easy-to-follow plan will allow you to get rid of those unwanted pounds with incredibly flavorful and satisfying meals, full of sustaining, wholesome foods—such as fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and yogurt—that have been enjoyed for centuries by those in the Mediterranean.

Packed with recipes and practical nutritional advice, Slimmer also helps you understand why you gained weight and provides the psychological support and encouragement you need to successfully lose weight and permanently retain the loss.

About the author:
Harry Papas, author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lost Weight, is a leading certified dietician and bestselling author in Greece, specializing in overweight and obesity issues. The founder of one of Greece's top diet and weight-loss centers located in Athens, Papas created the Slimmer nutrition system to lose weight permanently, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and help others do the same.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Full of fresh flavor with a hint of spice, not to mention a good amount of healthy fiber, this salad will satisfy any size appetite, just as it has at Maria and Eleni's Taverna for years!

One 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ small cucumber, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons diced green bell pepper
1 plum tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed
A dash of cayenne pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
A pinch of dried oregano

1. In a medium bowl toss together the chickpeas, scallion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, parsley, capers, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl stir together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chickpea mixture. Toss well to coat and allow to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 1 serving

Thanks to Leyane at FSB Associates for the opportunity to preview this book.  You can learn more about Harry Papas here.  You can purchase your own copy here.