Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dark Currents - Review

TitleDark Currents
Author Jacqueline Carey
SeriesAgent of Hel #1

Synopsis:”The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.  “

ReviewDark Currents is a wonderful new urban fantasy from one of my favorite fantasy authors.  Several reviewers have been comparing Dark Currents to the author’s previous novels, the Kushiel series.  This is unfair.  While those novels were also wonderful, please keep in mind that this is a completely new series and a very different genre.  Jacqueline Carey has created an awesome world where paranormal characters exist in a setting much like our own world. 
Daisy’s life is caught between the two worlds and this has made her life hard.  When a student shows up dead Daisy has a mystery to solve, before it’s too late.  Sexy werewolves and ghouls, with an engaging cast of characters made Dark Currents a super fun read.  I highly recommend it to fans of urban fantasy.


If you like this book you may want to read:

October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Friday, November 9, 2012

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End - Review

Title:  Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Author: Manel Loureiro
Translated to English By: Pamela Carmell

SynopsisThe dead rise…
A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news – it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…
A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy.  But he never expected that his anonymous blog would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…
Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called “Safe Havens” are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.  Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, a lone survivor will give mankind one last chance against…
Apocalypse Z

Review:  I’ll admit that I have become addicted to zombie apocalypse fiction.  I'm pretty sure it was after reading Feed by Mira Grant (the best zombie novel ever, by the way.  Read my review of Feed here).  I have been devouring everything zombie apocalypse based since then.  I've also been sleeping with the lights on, and a baseball bat under the bed.    
          I loved Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro, which was translated into English by Pamela Carmell, and it has been added to my list of the top ten zombie novels.  I literally had to force myself to put my Kindle down long enough to write papers, eat, go to class and go to work.  I stayed up way past my bedtime for three nights in a row, unable to stop reading long enough to get any sleep.  I was sure that this novel was going to end in tragedy.  The engaging first person narrative, and the story about the nameless lawyer and his cat searching for a safe place during the nightmare of a zombie apocalypse, kept me on the edge of my seat.  I became so emotionally involved in Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End that I found myself getting upset when things looked bleak.  This is a definite must read for lovers of zombie fiction!    

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

If you like this book you may also want to read:

The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuffed French Toast

I love to cook and I love to eat.  When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease I was upset.  I thought my diet was now going to consist mainly of rice.  Grocery shopping became a nightmare and I had to get rid of almost all of the food in my pantry.  Now, after nine months of living gluten free I have finally starting branching out and trying new things.  I am cooking even more than I was before because of the unavailability of decent gluten free premade meals; and I am taking more satisfaction in my cooking because I have had to develop many of the recipes myself.  Friends and acquaintances have been asking me to share some of my recipes so I will be posting some recipes and product reviews here in addition to book reviews.

I was craving french toast the other day.  Now, you may think that living gluten free means no more bread.  For a long time it did.  All of the gluten free bread that I tried was disgusting, dry, and crumbly, with the texture of cardboard.  But then I found The Grainless Baker.  My favorite products are the Cinnamon Raisin Bread and the Flax Seed Bread.  

I won’t lie.  It’s expensive, to the tune of approximately $6 a loaf, and the loaves are small.  So I still don’t eat bread very often, but it’s nice to know it’s available when I have a craving.

So, I was craving french toast.  Using the above mentioned Cinnamon Raisin Bread I came up with this gluten free French toast recipe.

BookGirlR’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Raisin Stuffed French Toast

4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
8 Slices of Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bread
*2 Bananas, 4 Tablespoons Nutella, Raspberry Syrup* Optional

In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar and ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon until thoroughly mixed.  Spread the cream cheese mixture onto 4 slices of cinnamon raisin bread.  *Spread 1 Tablespoon of Nutella on top of the cream cheese mixture on each slice*  Top each with another slice of raisin bread to make 4 sandwiches.

Grease a skillet with the Tablespoon of butter and place over medium heat. 

In a pie plate beat the eggs and milk and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.   Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, thoroughly coating both sides.  Place dipped sandwiches into the hot skillet.  Brown sandwiches for about 2 minutes per side in the skillet.  *Covering the skillet with aluminum foil or a lid will allow the cream cheese and Nutella to get all hot and melty.*

*Before serving top stuffed French toast with sliced bananas and Raspberry syrup.*

It’s awesome and horribly fattening, but we all deserve a treat now and then.  Being diagnosed with Celiac Disease doesn’t mean we have to relegate ourselves to a lifetime of boring, cardboard-like food.  Enjoy food.  Enjoy life.