Thursday, November 28, 2013

Recipe: Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie

Hi guys! Are you in a cooking mode today? I know I am. I’ve been prepping, and cooking, and shopping, and last night I almost had a panic attack thinking I forgot to buy half of the ingredients even though my fridge is brimming with all sorts of good foods. But, crisis averted, I think our table is going to be plentiful and I wish yours is as well. So, whatever your plans are today I wish you a Happy Holiday!

But, looking just a little bit ahead, let’s talk leftovers. I’m sure everyone has their own ideas about Thanksgiving leftovers, but how does a pot pie sound to you? I, for one, love a pot pie – such a comfort food! But I was always afraid to make one at home, thinking it was complicated. Well, it wasn’t, and it was absolutely delicious, whether with chicken or turkey, or even just the veggies it’s a great dish for the colder weather. So give it a try, I’m sure you too will enjoy it.

Pot Pie
Servings 4

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi guys! Hope everyone had a nice weekend; I certainly did, although once again, it went by terribly quick. I had lots of things planed, from cleaning the house for the main event on Thursday, to finalizing the menu and devising a plan, shopping, cooking, reading, writing [which didn’t really happen,] and I managed to squeeze in an outing to the movies to watch Thor: The Dark World [it was fun & and Loki was such a lovable villain]

Friday, November 22, 2013

Author Spotlight: Lara Nance

As you know I’m quite fond of steampunk literature and so I’m pleased to welcome Lara Nance to the blog today, author of the steampunk adventure novel, Revenge of the Mad Scientist. And to further pique your interest check out an excerpt from the book, then don’t forget to add it to your to-read list.

Happy reading!

Revenge of the Mad Scientist (Airship Adventure Chronicles #1)
Lara Nance

Release Date: August 13, 2012

Lara Nance

Book Description:
When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame., urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man that left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope.

Amazon US | Goodreads

Belle couldn’t believe her eyes. As they rounded the peak, they entered a sort of air valley among a circle of towering mountains. In its midst, two airships fired at each other through puffs of clouds with their deck cannons, and both flew pirate flags. It was the cannon shots they heard, not thunder.

The two ships circled each other creating a swirl of white mist and clouds in their wake. Gambit arrived on the scene above them, unnoticed for the moment. Belle pulled out her distance viewer and held it to her eyes. She adjusted a couple wheels and flipped down a pair of lenses.

“One is from Catika,” she said, noticing the small flag that flew beneath the black pirate pennant and the dark brown skins of the crew. She trained her viewer on the pilot station. To her surprise, the captain was a woman, her black skin shining and long black braids flipping around her as she shouted orders to her crew. She held a bronze shooter in one hand and gripped the wheel with the other.

“Damn,” Rett said, his face grim. “Where’s the other from?”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: Bloodlines

Bloodlines (Demons of Oblivion #1)
Skyla Dawn Cameron

Release Date: April 20, 2011

Skyla Dawn Cameron

Book Description:
After three hundred years of unlife, vampire Zara Lain has seemingly done it all, and she's now making a living as a successful thief-turned-assassin. Her newest assignment seems simple enough--kill the aging leader of the O'Connor Coven and his only heir, and she'll have another ten million in the bank. But in the dangerous world of the supernatural, few things are ever "simple."When a massive assault decimates the continent's population of powerful witches and warlocks, and its orchestrator has vampires being hunted down and captured, Zara realizes the tables have turned and now she'll be playing the hero. Forced to join with a smart-mouthed fellow vampire, a demonologist who's also a fan of hers, a recently widowed--and frequently brooding--warlock, and her best friend's mom, Zara's grudgingly willing to do what she can to save the day. If only people would stop ruining all her outfits...

Amazon US | Goodreads

“My name’s Zara. I’m strong, I’m fast, and I totally kick ass. It’s great to be me...but that means right now it sucks to be you.” Bloodlines (Kindle Locations 151-152).

Can I just say, you’ll love Zara – the snarkalicious heroine of Bloodlines. She is a kick ass vampire extraordinaire, and maybe has a bit of a habit killing off her admirers and potential boyfriends, but the girl has her reasons. Despite all, Zara is fun, adventurous and awesome in all senses, she is definitely someone I would want to hang out with.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: Death of the Mad Hatter

Death of the Mad Hatter
Sarah J. Pepper

Release Date: November 29, 2013

Sarah J. Pepper

Book Description:
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

Amazon US | Goodreads

Digital review copy provided by author in exchange for fair and honest review.

Back in September I got an email from Sarah with an offer to review her new novel, Death of the Mad Hatter, which comes out this November. I couldn’t refuse; being a fan of Alice in Wonderland I had to check this one out. The description caught my eye at once, and the promise of dark, paranormal romance sealed the deal. I must say I approached it with a bit of skepticism but fell in love with the novel as soon as I started reading. The first few chapters turned into few more chapters and then I barely noticed how I’ve raced through the pages and found myself at the end. It is a really great take on the beloved classic with a twist, worthy of Tim Burton himself and it will leave you craving for more. I can almost see it come to life on the big screen and only wish that Mr. Burton waited to make an Alice retelling till he read Death of the Mad Hatter. But who knows, even impossible can be possible when we are talking about Wonderland

“Wonderland was an intoxicating, magical world where the most farfetched dreams could come true and the impossible was possible. Conversely, it was a realm where the most daunting nightmares could hurt us until the end of time.” Death of the Mad Hatter (Kindle Location 4670).

Giveaway: The Marquess of Cake - Winner

And the winner is… Meghan S.!

You won an eBook copy of The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand!

Heather Hiestand


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Victoria, xoxo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mexican Vacation


Hi guys! As you probably know by now I'm back from my vacation and life is in full swing here. We arrived last Sunday night and were greeted with first snow the following morning, which thankfully melted right away. But I still dearly miss the sandy beach and spending afternoons sunbathing by the pool with a fruity drink and my Kindle in hand. Vacation was wonderful and relaxing and full of books... However, my grandiose plans to get some reviews done utterly failed – I blame it all on addicting books I’ve been reading which I didn’t want to put down. So, I’ve been playing catch up this week and am hoping for a productive weekend because I can’t wait to share with you all the wonderful books I’ve read while away. Also my library requests just came in so I have plenty to keep me busy for the near future. Lots of fabulous things to come – I promise.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth McKenna

Happy Friday! And here’s a little treat to start your day, an excerpt from Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna.

Venice in the Moonlight
Elizabeth McKenna

Release Date: October 2, 2013

Elizabeth McKenna

Book Description:
Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.

When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to the days of eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Amazon US | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

Nico shrugged in the French wingback chair they had placed by the fireplace for his portrait. He looked regal in a black silk suit trimmed in gold and a waistcoat of burgundy and gold leaf-patterned brocade. It seemed Raul had excellent taste in men’s fashions.

Marietta rolled her eyes before she settled in a chair behind the easel. “Please keep still while I draw.”

“May I talk?”

“I’d rather you didn’t.” Looking at him was going to be enough distraction. She didn’t need to listen to him also.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: A Breath of Snow and Ashes

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6)
Diana Gabaldon

Release Date: September 27, 2005

Diana Gabaldon

Book Description:
A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.

Amazon US | Goodreads

I’m amazed at the amount of work and detail that must go into writing of these novels and I have no doubt that Diana Gabaldon is a gifted writer with and incredible ability for storytelling. But it is also her downfall. Personally, I’m starting to find these novels a bit tiring – the sheer amount of detail and events seem to overshadow the main arc of the story, if there is even one at this point. However, the reason I can’t give up these books completely is my fascination with the main characters of these novels – Claire and Jamie, both of whom are charismatic, idealistic, imperfect, selfish yet selfless, and endearing even when they infuriate me with their action. It isn’t an ideal world and these aren’t ideal novels but there is still enough spark to keep me reading, craving, and wanting more…

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Marquess of Cake {Blog Tour}

The Marquess of Cake (Redcakes #1)
Heather Hiestand

Release Date: July 4, 2013

Heather Hiestand

Book Description:
Coffee…tea…or a pastry chef sweeter than any confection…

Scotch trifle fit for Queen Victoria, scones with clotted cream…Alys Redcake knows the way to a man’s heart. Yet she is unaware that with each morsel—and flash of ankle—she is seducing the handsome marquess frequenting her father’s tea shop. Unmarried at twenty-six, Alys’s first love is the family business. But thoughts of the gentleman’s touch are driving her to distraction…

With his weakness for sugar, the Marquess of Hatbrook can imagine no more desirable woman than one scented with cake and spice. Mistaking Alys for a mere waitress, he has no doubt she would make a most delicious mistress. And when he finds himself in need of an heir, he plans to make her his convenient bride. Yet as they satisfy their craving for one another, business and pleasure suddenly collide. Will Hatbrook’s passion for sweets—and for Alys—be his heart’s undoing?

Amazon US | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Digital review copy provided by Foreword Literary in exchange for fair and honest review.

What can I say? Romance and sweets – I simply couldn’t resist the temptation. And so I found myself with a copy of The Marquess of Cake, an enjoyable and quick read that certainly played to my sweet tooth.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Have Fun & Throw a Dinner Party

The holidays are just around the corner and I am starting my planning early. I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year and can’t wait to start cooking. So as I was doing a bit of early prep – researching some menu ideas, I thought it would be great to share of few of my tips on hosting, cooking, and having fun doing it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Author Spotlight: Christine S. Feldman

Hi guys! A little treat to start your Monday: a preview of the new novella from Christine S. Feldman – Pastels & Jingle Bells. Enjoy and don’t forget to add it to your TBR list!

Pastels & Jingle Bells (Heavenly Bites Novella #1)
Christine S. Feldman

Release Date: November 1, 2013

Christine S. Feldman

Book Description:
Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever:  the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.

But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be.  In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy.

A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year…is Ian.

Amazon US | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

It was probably inviting the worst kind of karma to be contemplating murder during the holiday season of all times, but that didn’t phase Trish Ackerly in the slightest as she stared through her bakery’s storefront window in shock.

It was him.  Ian Rafferty, bane of her junior high school existence.  She’d know that face anywhere, despite the changes in it.  Sure, he was a couple of feet taller now and certainly broader shouldered, but as he glanced away from the winter scene she had painted on the window only yesterday and at a passing car that whizzed by much too fast on the busy city street, the profile he presented to her confirmed it.  Yes, it was him.  That same nose, the odd little scar above his eye, the familiar way he quirked his lips…

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Around the Web #11

Hi guys! Hope everyone had a great week trick or treating, dressing up, and eating indecent amounts of candy. So while you recover from you sugar high check out my round up of webby links from the past week.

I’m off to vacation next week. I have a few posts scheduled to keep you entertained while I’m away so help spread the word for me since I’ll probably have limited connectivity. Have fun and I’ll see you in a week. Adiós!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Fractured Heart

I am very happy to introduce a fellow blogger and debut author Krystle Lewallen and help reveal the cover of her new YA/NA novel - Fractured Heart. So check it out! (Links to follow, stay tuned). 

Fractured Heart (The Redemption Series Book #1)
Krystle Lewallen

Release Date: November 29, 2013

Krystle Lewallen

Book Description:
My name is Katy. I have been ripped apart and torn to shreds by past and present circumstances. Everything that I am has been tested and faith is slowly fading away. I try to forget the past and move on try not to let those events define my life. But the past, she just walked through the door and she is about to test every limit that I can handle. My life, is about to get real.

Available in eBook and paperback

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