Review: Excel Japanese Cooking

3e14c78041217f1c13ab69f312e24e151a73089e

Synopsis:

LEARN THE CULINARY ART OF JAPANESE COOKING

Konnichiwa!

Japan – what a beautiful country filled with rich history, extraordinary culture, and most of all, exotic food.

If you have ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you know just how exquisite the food is. The displays, the flavors, the textures – all like a fresh burst from heaven!

Experiencing Japanese cuisine is not merely another dining experience. It’s a journey, a lifestyle, and something that you never forget.

How would you like to create that experience for yourself at home? Whenever you are looking for a new way to cook for your family, why not give Japanese cooking a try?

Now you can with “Excel Japanese Cooking,” which will give you all the tools and information to get started today. It won’t be long before you’re whipping up delicious dishes that you never thought you could make!

Here’s a sample taste of what you’ll get:

Japanese Dining Culture and Etiquette. Knowing these will help you when you are eating out at a Japanese restaurant as well as when you are cooking.

Craftsmanship for Japanese Chefs. There are many specialized kitchen essentials needed for the Japanese chefs that will be covered.

Essential Breakfast Basis. The healthy Japanese version of breakfast that will get you going. Plus, the one most complicated recipe not for the faint of heart.

Follow-up Lunch Basis. The heartier follow-up meal to the lighter breakfast that will fill you up and energize you to keep going throughout the day.

Transition Dinner Basis. The guilt-free side of Japanese cuisine where the items are more varied and appetizing for dinner to end the long day.

…and that’s just for starters.

As you can see, this is not only some list of Japanese recipes thrown together. It’s a whole introduction to Japanese cuisine and culture. You’ll learn all sorts of things that you never knew before to be well-rounded in the art of Japanese culinary.

Whether you are interested in getting into Japanese cooking or you want to impress your friends and family with an impressive meal, “Excel Japanese Cooking” is for you!

Itadakimasu!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Review:

I’m a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, which is why I decided to take a look at this book. I’ve never tried making sushi, or any other kind of Japanese food, at home and the idea intrigued me. Not being even close to a professional chef, this book was perfect in helping me experiment. The directions where clear and simple – anyone can easily follow the different recipes. Fabulous resource that made me confident I can make any dish I want in the future.

I was pleasantly surprised that there weren’t any grammar errors in this book! This isn’t my first book read from the “Excel” series of books, which is one of the big reasons I went with it. They have had some issues before with needing corrections but this one was pristine. It was fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next book I read in this series. It was interesting to read and no errors. I can’t ask for anything in a book, not even in one of my favorite fantasy novels.

There is one part of the book I did not like, which is why I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars: the entire first chapter of the book. Well, there aren’t really chapters, but I’m talking about the “Opening” and “Starters” sections. They were meant to be a type of introduction to the book, but it didn’t do a great job of doing that. I didn’t really see how it had anything to do with leaving the basics of Japanese cooking, it was nonsense that didn’t get me into reading further nor prepare me for what I was about to read. It was completely unnecessary. The book would have been so much better without these two sections at the beginning.

Still, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in making Japanese food themselves. It has fantastic advice, and clear instructions. There’s no way to mess up with how simple the writer made following the recipes. Anyone trying these out can feel confident that they can make their favorite Japanese food as well as a native, and allow themselves to feel comfortable to try new dishes not included within the book’s pages. Anyone even considering trying to make this type of food themselves should read this book first!

Review: 13 Days of Midnight

13 Days of Midnight

Synopsis: 

In a devilishly dark and funny debut, a teen finds himself the unwitting beneficiary of eight enslaved and angry ghosts seeking bloody vengeance.

When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies unexpectedly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance: a collection of eight restless spirits, known as his Host, who want revenge for their long enslavement. Once they figure out that Luke has no clue how to manage them, they become increasingly belligerent, and eventually mutiny. Halloween (the night when ghosts reach the height of their power) is fast approaching, and Luke knows his Host is planning something far more trick than treat. Armed with only his father’s indecipherable notes, a locked copy of The Book of Eight, and help from school outcast Elza Moss, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic and send his unquiet spirits to their eternal rest—or join their ghostly ranks himself.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Review:

13 Days of Midnight, by Leo Hunt, was really good. I mean it. The plot was great, the characters were interesting and easy to relate to, and it was even an original idea. I’ve never read a book like this before and it was intriguing to read about. The writing was good, too; I only found a couple errors while reading. Which, if you’re familiar with my reviews, there are always an excessive amount of errors in the books I read. So, that was awesome from the start.

Still, I had some expectations for this book that weren’t met. For one, the book title doesn’t make sense. There is absolutely no tie into the story. There was nothing about 13 days of Midnight at all, so I have no idea what the title was supposed to mean. The book did go through 13 different days, but there’s no mention of why it’s titled “13 days of Midnight”. I don’t get it, and it’s bothering me since it isn’t clear.

My other beef with this book is how boring it is. The plot isn’t slow or bad, it’s great. I, honestly, can’t put my finger on what the problem was and that’s bugging the crap out of me, too. The pacing was okay, but I think that was part of it. Every event passed by rather slowly. I was, also, really distracted by the fact every chapter but two (there are only eight chapters in the whole book) are excessively long. I’m talking an average of 40 pages per chapter. So, I had a hard time staying in the world of the book when I couldn’t help but wonder when the stupid chapter was going to finally end. I’m not sure if shortening the chapters would have helped, though. Each chapter had portions where time would skip so there were plenty of opportunities to cut everything into pieces, and each one gave me time to refocus on what I was reading. I was still bored. It grinds my gears that I can’t put my finger on what it was that’s missing from the book, but it’s something.

I still recommend this book. The characters are interesting, and so is the story. It might be a little boring, but it’s a good read. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it, and I hope you do, too. That way, we can talk about what’s missing!

Review: Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist

818675

Synopsis:

From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, prominent forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer.  In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Review:

Dead Men Do Tell Tales, by William R. Maples, Ph.D., is a really great book for anyone even remotely interested in anthropology. If you’re simply a fan of the show, Bones, it won’t be an easy or fun read. I received this book as a Christmas Gift because I’m a big fan of the show. The book is very interesting, just not what I was expecting. Still, for anyone who has more an interest than that, it’s a fabulous book. It has great anecdotes and descriptions. The problem was the terminology. There were a lot of words that I didn’t really know what they meant since I’ve never studied anthropology, and I’m not a fan of keeping a dictionary next to me in case I need it while reading. That makes it less fun to read.

Even with all that, I would recommend this book. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before committing to it!

Review – The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl

31423605





Synopsis: 

Is Sunshine Griffith who she thinks she is? Now that her luiseach powers are fully awakened, and having barely survived an abyss full of demons at the end of Book Two, Sunshine must figure out who—or what—has been organizing the forces of darkness against her.

Thanks to her brainiac boyfriend, Nolan, they not only unearth that Sunshine’s death would trigger a calamitous event, but that all civilization depends on her survival. So when an unexpected event unleashes a fierce war between the luiseach and the demon army, Sunshine will learn a shocking truth about herself. Can she bring herself to make the ultimate sacrifice to save humankind?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Review: 

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl, by Paige McKenzie, is an absolutely fantastic book. There were many plot twists I didn’t expect, a couple things that were super obvious, too. It was a bit frustrating that I figured things out much sooner than Sunshine when she’s supposed to be a brainiac, but overall I loved the book immensely. There are some grammatical errors though, which is why I give it a four out of five stars. As an editor, it was distracting and disappointing going through and seeing so many little errors that could have, and should have, been fixed. Still, it is an fantastic story and it was left open for another book. I really hope the series keeps going. I want to see Sunshine still being a luiseach even though her parents think she is merely human now. I want another story with more closure! The ending left a LOT to the imagination and I need more closure if the series is going to end! Fabulous book, please read it. 🙂

Review: My Sister, My Daughter, and Me

My Sister, My Daughter, and Me



Synopsis:

Three crazy, fun-loving Hispanic women (Tres Señoritas Locas) who had big dreams of making a better life for themselves. The first, with her irrepressible sense of humor, struggled mightily with some very wise and very foolish choices along the way. The second, with her beauty and charm, showed great promise, but kept falling over and over for the wrong men. The third, loving and kind, painstakingly reinvented herself after a cheating husband threw her out. And one of the three, through freakish circumstances, met with a heartrending death.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

My Sister, My Daughter, and Me by Shirley Rose Webb is a funny, yet entertaining memoir of a woman, her sister, and her daughter. Each of these women were crazy, fun-loving, and Hispanic. Their adventures together are told inside and it was enjoyable to follow along. Vibrant, engaging, and heartfelt. I loved how close these women were to one another. Their love for each other was strong. Each woman had a different journey but the same goal. A better life for themselves. Hurt, betrayed, and determined. Shirley Rose Webb is an inspiration to all. She was brave in sharing her story with readers everywhere. It wasn’t easy. Emotions like laughter, sadness, pain, as well as anger swept over me as I continued to follow the tale. Heartbreaking to read but one that will always linger close to the heart. Losing a loved one is difficult. Overall, I highly recommend, My Sister, My Daughter, and Me to all.

Review: A Minger’s Tale

A Minger's Tale




Synopsis: 

If only he knew where God lived, he would urinate in his letterbox! Growing up is a difficult time in the life of Ribban Bookmark, this book traces his journey down a Minger Highway, signposted with humour and littered with roadkill oneliners.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

A Minger’s Tale, by R. B. N. Bookmark, is a wonderfully told memoir. Bookmark’s journey is one that intrigues and lures readers like myself further into the book. It is easy to relate to as the tale is about the writer’s ups and downs in life. Life can be awful, but some of us have more downs than ups. His struggles tugged at my heart. Following as R. B. N. Bookmark made mistakes, took what life gave him, and how he survived it all, made me really connect with the writer. Funny, inspiring, and truly an entertaining read. A Minger’s Tale is indeed the perfect title for this book. Once I opened it, I couldn’t stop reading. The raw openness of this writer has sucked me in whole. Overall, I highly recommend his book to all.

Review: Written in Love

Written in Love

Synopsis:

When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Written in Love, by Kathleen Fuller, is a sweet yet heartfelt story. The characters are easy to relate to, and the plot is engaging. Kathleen Fuller is a talented writer. She clearly knows how to enchant her readers like myself into her books. Having read previous books by her, I still can’t decide which one is my favorite. I would have to choose them all.

Written in Love is about two young Amish people who write to one another. Pen pals who soon fall in love…But as with life, there are things they both hide from each other. Jalcon Chupp hides his past and Phoebe isn’t very truthful to Jalcon when she wrote him. Soon, their secrets are out and fate intervenes. Both will have to rely on their faith for guidance and strength. I loved following along. These characters felt real. Their problems were easy to understand. Overall, I highly recommend Written in Love, by Kathleen Fuller, to all.

Review: The Enemy Within

41bblzvruhl

Synopsis: 

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

The Enemy Within, by Scott Burn, is an exciting adventure from the very first page straight through to the end. It was really difficult to put down. Even with the science fiction theme, there are human elements and messages throughout that make it even more compelling to read. Max, the main character, not only learns that his visions are real, but he learns what it’s like to be an outsider – which is something most of us have felt at one point or another. It’s so easy to relate to his situation and what he’s going through that one can’t help but keep turning each new page. The connection between the characters and the development of the dangers they face is positively phenomenal. A riveting read that will keep you on the edge of your seat even after you’ve finished it. I was extremely impressed with this author’s debut novel and cannot wait to see what else is in store for us from him!

Review: A Chink in Time

51y2gbldsxl

Synopsis: 

This book combines the tranquillity of nature, with the bare facts of life that we all have to endure every day.
Experiences that each of us face as we go through our lives are captured in the words of a poem. Love, joy, pain, or anguish; then with the flip of a page you can immerse yourself in the beauty of a warm sunny day at the beach, or a stroll in the open countryside. This is a book that can help people put their life into perspective; by, for a few moments, taking them away from their daily angsts, to a place within, where their soul can begin to heal.
All this, plus the underlying spirituality that first gave birth to it all.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: 

A Chink in Time, by Gina C. Baker, is a lovely read. Her poetry flows and has a magical story throughout the book. Each one relates to the previous one to create a fantastic theme of tranquility and life lessons to create a great picture in this package. It was strange, yet refreshing, going from a happy poem about a sunny day and turning the page to read a darker poem about struggles and anguish. Each turn of the page brings something new and exciting to the experience of reading this book. I wanted to give it a 5 star rating, however, the synopsis (taken from Amazon.com) and even parts within the book (specifically the introduction) have spelling and grammatical errors that, I feel, could have been easily remedied. Even with those things, the book is a must-read. There’s so much to take away from reading it that it’s still a worthy book to own.

Review: After and Before: The Story of Hatley Chambers

41irxpmmdul-_sy346_

 

Synopsis: 

Hatley Chambers is a young man trying to find his place in the world. Dreams of a career in photography and expectations of personal relationships crowd his thoughts when a horrendous and unexpected event changes his life forever. Two intertwined plots chronicle the aftermath of this event as well as the series of occurrences that led him to it.

Follow innocent young Hatley as he completes his education and heads out into the world with dreams of glory and a fulfilling life. Agonize with Hatley during the long process of picking up the pieces. Try to understand the sequences of events that can take a person on the ups and downs of life and the struggles they go through to cope with them. Force yourself to sympathize with somebody that you know you shouldn’t sympathize with.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

After and Before: The Story of Hatley Chambers, by Glenn Seerup, is a fantastically compelling story about a man trying to find his place in the world before and after suffering from a tragic event that befalls him. We get to see his journey before and after; how he lived life before the fateful day and how he copes with it afterward. It’s written brilliantly so that you can’t help but relate and sympathize with the main character, Hatley. Seeing how this young man continues to go through life to fulfill his dreams is breathtaking and a marvel to read. I definitely suggest this book to everyone.

Review: The Secret He Keeps

51gmk5zcjwl

Synopsis:

Dr. Rachel Miller has no recollection of what happened that night she climbed in the car with her husband and he drove recklessly into a tree. She has no clue as to why she survived and he didn’t. Nor does she understand why strangers are coming up to her on the street and telling her things she can’t recall about a life that seems so long ago. But Dane Stone knows.
Dane Stone is Rachel’s business partner…and her deceased husband’s best friend. He knows about the notes, the hotel receipt, and the reason she got in the car that night. It’s for her protection that he keeps the secret, but inside he’s dying to tell her.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Secret He Keeps, by Julieann Dove, is an absolutely mesmerizing read. The main character, Rachel, is attempting to recover from a traumatic car accident that took her husband’s life and her long term memory from a year before the accident, up to the day of the tragic accident. Although, she tries to hold onto the idea that her husband was a saint, she’s bogged down by others around her telling her otherwise. As she slowly regains her memory, she finds new romance that leads her down another path. This book is riveting and keeps you going through the very last page. A mystery that wants to be told. I cannot wait to read what else she has in store for us!

Review: Waking Amy

29337681

Synopsis:

Amy Whitfield is blindsided when she comes home and finds a note on the fridge from her husband, Wesley, stating that after four years of marriage, he’s leaving her. Amy was in the midst of trying to spice things up, to bring life back to their boring marriage. It seems now that she was too late.
As Amy sits with her head between her knees, trying to figure out what to do next, a call comes from Mercer General Hospital. The ER nurse is telling Amy’s answering machine that Wesley has been in a car accident.
When Amy arrives at the hospital, she finds her husband in a coma. The doctors say there is no sign of brain damage, and Wesley will eventually wake up. Relieved, Amy sees this as her second chance: the chance to get it right this time. To channel the girl Wesley won’t leave when he regains consciousness… She just needs some help to pull it off. After all, she was voted girl most likely to die a virgin in high school.
Amy would never figure on getting that help from Mark Reilly…Wesley’s doctor! He’s a non-committer, too-cute-for-his-own-good bachelor, and completely the guy Amy begins falling for. It’s a race against time to see who wakes up first—Amy or her husband.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Waking Amy, by Julie Ann Dove is simply spectacular. I was expecting the usual romance novel: stuffed with sex scenes and an average plot line. This story took me completely by surprise, though. This compelling read not only has an amazing romance story, but also a fantastic plot that keeps you reading through to the end. It’s hard not to cheer for Amy the way this author has portrayed her. It’s a must-read. Something this wonderful needs to be shared among the masses!

Review: Big Bad Wolf (A Miss Hyde Novella Book 3)

54161339-1

Synopsis: 

Blythe wants nothing more than to get away from this. Not to just survive it, but forget it.
Strapped down, nearly naked, beaten, scared and drugged she has no idea where this dark and dismal place is. Kidnapped and being set up to be tortured again by the men who hold her, she has to find a way to break free and get away.
Can she dig deep inside and awaken the force that is her alter ego? Can she awaken the beast within? She is drawing hopeless thoughts and losing herself inside of the drugs that are repeatedly given to keep her weak.
Miss Hyde has her own list of ideas and not a single one includes just escape.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Big Bad Wolf by Kindra Sowder…I have never in my life read something so disturbing and yet intriguing at the same time. It sent chills down my spine reading the things that happened to Blythe, and I couldn’t stop reading. Each page brought me deeper into the story and I didn’t want to come back out of it. Even though this is the first book that I’ve read of this series, it was absolutely fantastic and I’ll be looking for the rest of it. This dark story brings up dark topics like torture and kidnapping, but Sowder’s writing style makes it impossible to put the book down, even if some of the descriptions make me cringe. More people need to know about this book and Miss Kindra Sowder’s writing.

Review: Delicate Ink (Montgomery Ink)

51twvw6lxvl

Synopsis:

On the wrong side of thirty, Austin Montgomery is ready to settle down. Unfortunately, his inked sleeves and scruffy beard isn’t the suave business appearance some women crave. Only finding a woman who can deal with his job, as a tattoo artist and owner of Montgomery Ink, his seven meddling siblings, and his own gruff attitude won’t be easy.

Finding a man is the last thing on Sierra Elder’s mind. A recent transplant to Denver, her focus is on opening her own boutique. Wanting to cover up scars that run deeper than her flesh, she finds in Austin a man that truly gets to her–in more ways than one.

Although wary, they embark on a slow, tempestuous burn of a relationship. When blasts from both their pasts intrude on their present, however, it will take more than a promise of what could be to keep them together.

Rating: 3 stars

Review:

Delicate Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan was an intriguing read. The first couple of chapters did a fabulous job pulling me into the story, but after that I feel like it calls apart. The family dynamic and feel of the business is interesting and fun to read, but once they leave it, when the main characters are introduced, the book leaves a lot to be desired. It didn’t have any errors that I could see, so that’s a plus, however, the several deviations from the main story line left me confused. I started questioning what the main story line actually was, especially since none of them (main story line included) had any logical or satisfying resolution. Still, the novel deserves a 3 out of 5 stars. It has wonderful potential to be a fantastic book, but needs more work on closing the different story lines and focusing more on the main plot line.