Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Love and Food at Gran's table

Love and Food at Gran's table
Author: Natalie Oldfield
ISBN: 978-0-473-30726-4

Recipes made with love and
tested by time from 60 grandmothers from
New Zealand and around the world

A dear friend gave me this book with the instructions to read the inspiring stories of the grandmothers, then try their recipes.  This book is beautiful!  Right down to the maker ribbon, the details are exquisite.  There are 60 grandmothers stories, along-side a couple of their favourite recipes.  These are tried and try, handed down, and loved recipes.

Today it is cold here, I have no idea what has happened to our beautiful spring/summer weather but it is blowing and cold out there.  So I turned on the oven and picked up this book.  I made boiled fruit cake and read the story of 'Henrietta "Topsy" Ireland.  The boiled fruit cake was simple to make and smells divine!  Then, I made Nanna's Butter Bikkies and read the story of 'Edith Tolman Domeney'.  These biscuits are practically flying out the door.  They remind me of my Nana, who should be in this book as she was a beautiful lady.

Both these recipes contained simple every day ingredients.  I love that in any cookbook.  The treasure in this book is the stories.  They make the recipes 'real'.   They bring to life family and cooking, as they make me remember my grand-parents and the special things that only Nana could make successfully. 

Above all this book is so beautifully presented!  Nothing has been missed in it's presentation; it should be on every ones kitchen counter top.

Mmmm!  I am going to get a coffee and some of the boiled fruit cake.


Inspired by her own beloved grandmothers and their collective belief that 'food made with love is the best kind of all' Natalie Oldfield has embarked on a very personal journey to collect the stories and culinary wisdom of over 60 grandmothers from New Zealand and around the world.

Grandmothers have their own very special brand of benevolence.  Their tables are magical places where lasting memories are created.  Regularly laden with beautiful home-cooked food, they are at once a place of gathering, a place of sharing and laughter, and a place where family, friends neighbours, and community come together.

"Love & Food at Grans Table" brings together over 120 tried and true recipes; simple, wholesome and delicious food created with love by grans who spend every day caring for others, and in doing so bless generations of people.

Because the love we learn from our grans is a special kind of love -
and food made with love really does taste better.

Happy reading

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Emblem Throne

The Emblem Throne
Author: Jeffrey L Kohanek
ISBN: 9781612967615

Hi Everyone

I would like to thank the publishers and Netgalley for enabling me to review this book.  I hadn't read the first book in The Runes of Issalia but I still managed to understand the start of this book quickly, which is book II in the series.  The first few chapters introduced me to the characters, and as they left the Academy I found myself being being transported into their lives and journey.  I had to keep turning the pages way past the time of which I should have been sleeping. 

For anyone wanting to read this book I would recommend that you start with book I and take the compete journey.  As I finished The Emblem Throne I found myself wanting to know how the series started.  This book finishes in a place where you need to pick up the next book (not yet published).  And, I will hang around now, patiently awaiting the third book of which I will definitely continue to follow the journey with these characters.

By part II, the plot had completely taken over my nightly routine; by the end of part III it had taken over my day.  There was more action as each part developed.  There were numerous climaxes that kept dragging me back into each characters lives.  As I got to the last ten pages, I realised I was not going to get to the end of the plot before the end of the book.  This is when I became disheartened as I was not ready to finish the journey I had been taken on.  I don't enjoy waiting for the next book in any series, but such is life. 

I recommend this book to lovers of YA genre.  If you haven't read book 1 of this series then do start with the first book; I wish I had.


This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon, and Book depository

Happy reading

Friday, 25 November 2016

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone

The month of November is quickly coming to an end, so I have gone through my favourite booktubers to bring you my picking for November's booktuber of the month!!

Here we have her...

Felicity over at her booktubing channel

I choose Flick as my choice of booktuber this month because she almost 'bursts' with excitement when she shows her books.  I like the way she reads the back cover for us.  This has made me add quite a few books to my TBR list on Goodreads

In the above clip she shows the books she has read over October and the books she has received or purchased during October.  I am so jealous... I want all those books too!  She has ruined me, I want to read, pretty much, every one of those books now. 

Take a wonder over to her channel and check it out.  I am off to the book store! Okay, I will control the need... just for now. 

Who are your favourite booktubers?

Happy reading

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Harry the happy mouse

Harry the Happy Mouse
Author: N. G. K
Illustrated by: Janelle Dimmett

Hi Everyone

This was free this morning at Amazon (in kindle format).  I had to have it because title and cover just looked so cute.  I then read it on my kindle phone app so I could have the pictures in colour. 

It is fantastic!   

The most adorable book about kindness and how it spreads. 

I have to have it in paperback!

The words enticed me as they twisted around my tongue so I made my teenagers listen to a cute read aloud.  They are never to old 😉 well at least they humoured me. 

On the crest of a wave, and the wisp of the wind,
Harry the Happy Mouse was thinking good things.

And that's just the first page.  It kind of has a happy childhood memory entwined in the background for me.  There must have been a book I had read to me that sounded like this, as really it made me smile with a reminiscent smile.

So here you go I have done the homework for you and you can get a copy from Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository  or if you are quick enough you still get the free kindle copy today by clicking the Amazon link above.  I enjoyed it on Kindle, it was well formatted, but the book version will be coming to my bookshelf as I think it deserves a place there.

Happy reading

Sunday, 20 November 2016

One of the Few

One of the Few
Author: Jason B. Lad
ISBN: 978-0-9965384-0-4

Hi Everyone

I was sent a message asking if I would like to read this book and the description sounded interesting so I took up the offer.  I am pleased I did.  Above all I am pleased I kept reading because when I first picked it up, I wasn't really in the right state of mind for reading such a book.  I put it down for a few days and when I commenced, I really enjoyed it.

I became linked to the fighter pilot, and the man.  They are one in the same but as I read this I felt I connected with two different people.  There was the standard marine man talking in one instance, then it is the christian man talking.  This is kind of hard to explain.  As I write I hear myself saying "What are you on about?"

This is a story of a marine fighter in a marine world, but also man who loves a christian girl.  There are more barriers from family than he often endures in the writings of his marine experience.  As he marries this girl and looks for worldview, answers to his questions he changes his perspective.  I like the way he writes of this.  Each connection is linked within the midst of his fighter pilot world.  I would envision it to be a great read for men as the dialogue is  definitely taken from the mans view point and transferred to the explaining of his findings in his search for answers.

If you pick up this book and like me put it down, then do go back to it.  It is well written and I do believe worthy of reading.  I think we should look to find answer,s as this author has.  I think listening to others can show perspectives that we would not always look to.  This book shows just that.  One mans questions, and the answers he found along the way.


A Marine fighter pilot embarks on the greatest mission of all: the pursuit of truth.

Jason B. Ladd realizes that while he’s ready to defend his country, he is unprepared for his most important decisions as a husband and father.

In One of the Few, Ladd pulls from his extensive military training to offer a compelling defense of the Christian faith as he warns seekers to avoid spiritual apathy and offers effective Christian tactics for withstanding spiritual attacks.

Filled with deeply personal stories, this compelling book comes directly from the spirit of a man with the soul of a marine, the mind of a fighter, the heart of a father, and a commitment to Christ.


Happy reading

Friday, 18 November 2016

Before the flood

Hi Everyone

It is a beautiful day here.  Yesterday I spent time in garden, moving plants and thinking of how to make my section beautiful.  The cat followed me, stalking the young birds.  There was little wind in comparison to the last couple of years, so being outside was such a pleasure.  Then came the evening and the rain pattered on my roof as I smiled thinking of the plants I had just moved.

This morning I awoke early and sat in bed watching the above clip which my sister had recommened, with her heart yearing that we all watched it.  Well being a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio since he first featured on 'Titanic', I clicked the link and what I viewed in this documentary by National Geographic, left me with wide eyes.

I listen to the media, talking about the little effects global temperature, and live in a bubble.  I have to admit I have thought little of it.  I live in country that is doing something about helping the world in this area, so thought we were doing fine.  As I watched this, I was more blown away by the mass production of products of which I use everyday without thinking, without knowing where they come from.  I do much of this because I am told they are good for my health.  My health!  My goodness!  My health may just be killing my future great-grand children, as my children and future grandchildren continue in the path I take. 

It is not because I am ignorant.  It is because I live in a beautiful country.  I have only to drive 30 minutes and I am at the beach or go the other way and I am in the midst of a beautiful bush.  Turn around and I can view a river of which you can catch and eat the fish.  Drive 2 hours from my home and you are in the middle of a conservation treasure and a lake side town.  Go the otherway and you can view the glaciers.  And as or snow capped mountains, they are the norm here. This is my beautiful country of which I have obviously taken for granted.  I watched this and saw where my oil comes from.  Where my products come from.  The people who live there.  The amount of people who live there!  The mass factories!  Burnt forrestry much of which is for production of the things lining the shelves of our stores here.  My goodness!  To me this shocked me more than global warming. 

This film, by National Geographic and placed on many channels on Youtube, is extremely well presented.  It is well documented with statalite footage that is fantastic.  I have never seen the whole world's weather on screen before, only my country's as I watch the weather report.  Put into a world view and it is quite amazing.  The views from space, makes me want to see it from space.  I am very impressed by this film.  I will be getting it on DVD if I can get my hands on it.  And my kids will be watching it. 

I will plant another tree today, just as a reminder of the beautiful world we have, and really should be keeping as such. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Worthy of repeating

Hi Everyone,

I just have to share this quote!  I found it over at brainyquote.com and you can click the above link to venture over there.  With the weekend fast approaching and a day in garden, I sat down to post something for you and went... brain malfunction. 

I was in need of coffee and chocolate...

The sun has given me a sense of sunstroke...

Or, maybe it is just the end of the week!

What ever the problem I was lost for words.  For all you who know me personally, you will all know I am not often lost for words.  So instead of writing I started surfing the internet.  You know the feeling, that sidetracked feeling that gives you so much more pleasure. 

What I came across was the above little owl who just made me smile.  So as your week ends and you look forward to the weekend I hope you all manage to find something that makes you smile.

Happy reading

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

I wish I'd looked after me teeth

I was thinking of my favourite poems to share with you today and I couldn't get past Pam Ayres 'I wish I'd looked after me teeth'.  This makes me smile every single time I hear it.  The first time I ever gave a giggle at this one was while I was at primary school.  I remember very clearly my teacher reading it to me.  I must have been to the dentist around the time, as I know it hit something sentimental in me. 

I still wish I had looked after my teeth!  We didn't have many lollies but I also didn't do much cleaning of my poor little teeth.  I found this out every time I went to the dentist!  I loved the dentist and the little bumble bee they kindly gave to me at the end, it was almost worth the pain just to get the little bumble which hung nicely from a piece of dental floss.  Now I don't get offered a bumble bee, I only get handed the bill!  Funny how things change when your an adult.

Well here we have the poem that made me laugh and visualise a lady in the dentist seat.  I could hear her speaking every word as my teacher read it to me.  Today, it is still one of my favourites and she is still one of my favourite poets. 

Did you smile?

Happy reading

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The here and now

The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Read by Emily Rankin

Hi Everyone

Listening to The Here and Now, narrated by Emily Rankin's voice is what enticed me into the plot of this novel.  That isn't to say the plot wasn't enough on its own, as it definitely was, I'm just commenting that the narration was the most influential factor of this audio book.  I highly recommend listening to this one.

Now, to the characters.  I loved Prenna and Ethan.  I thought Ethan came across as a little pushy for Prenna to give more of herself to him, but as a person he was a lovely young man.  I loved the innocence of Prenna and the importance of keeping the rules, even though in this case not all the rules were based on truth.  Ethan had a loyalty, especially to Prenna which made their relationship soar.  As for the rest of the characters, they were a bunch of self-centred, self-fulfilling *..........* (you decide the words to put in here).  But, there does need to be characters like this in a book, come on, we all know they make you want to turn the pages.

To the plot... I thought the ideas in this book were brilliant.  They connected and flowed into a storyline that sparked my interest.  The concept of the virus and the reasoning of the virus was realistic; as for time travel... well, but I enjoyed the vision of it all.  One thing that I did connect well with was Prenna's letters to the future, within which she writes of our obsession with technology.  She makes so many good points that I hear and see, echoed every day.  I had to smile as I heard her letters spoken like an adult was having a coffee right beside me.

Overall I really enjoyed everything about this audio book.  I think I would have enjoyed reading the book as much as liked listening to it read aloud to me as I went about the daily demands of life.  I give credit to the reader of this audio version though, as she did bring the story alive through her reading.


Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time – a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
'A lightning-paced sci-fi time-travel romp that, much like a cinematic blockbuster, offers intrigue [and] romance ... Brashares’ worldbuilding is solid, and she handles the time-travel elements with a fluid, cinematic ease.'  —  Kirkus Reviews

This was available from: Amazon (Audio, kindle and paperback and  Book depository (paper back).

Happy reading as we drift into the weekend,

Monday, 7 November 2016

Dont Quit

Hi Everyone,

The authorship of this poem seems to be a little controversial and lost over time.  I have done a search as to the the author and come up with several names, the most common being -  Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959). 

Who ever wrote it, I hope they got the due credit.  I had this little verse on a pretty little scroll, when I was a teenager.  I loved it and treasured the words.  I gave it away to a person who had cancer and they held on to it, treasuring the words as a gift. 

Today I thought I would find a poem for you all and I remembered this one.  I remember the gift it was to me through the teenage trials and the gift it became to the person I handed it onto.  I give this poem to each one of you that needs a little lift; especially to all who need to be reminded that you must not quit!

Happy reading

Friday, 4 November 2016


Author: James Patterson & David Ellis
ISBN: 978-0-099-57419-4

Hi Everyone,

It's been a busy week here, the sun is streaming through our window as spring blossoms, and I managed to sneak in some extra reading time.  A good week all in all one would say.

Mistress, by James Patterson and David Ellis, has sat on my shelf for far too long, so I took down the poor little book and gave it some attention.  I have to say enjoyed it but not to the extent I thought I should have.  I worked in a bookstore some years back now, and James Patterson was always on the 'Top 10' list.  Hence, when I bunkered down to devour this novel, I had high expectations.  It started out a little bizare as woman falls to her death while her boyfriend watches from the street.  He then makes run for it!  Why?  That was the start of my questioning in this novel.  It took a while for the action to arise and when it did I was impressed.  I became quite excited and thought "Right this is why people like James Patterson novels."  The action didn't last as long as I would have liked.  But I waited for more.  I'm still waiting.

The spiraling plot did keep me captivated, and I read to end to find the mystery behind the ever growing events.  I thought there were just a few too many characters to keep up with.  There was also a lot of word play, as the authors added television program linkage into the storyline.  I did expect that these would come into some of the mystery or plot, but they didn't.  Then again they did add to some of the joy of reading as I was reminded of movies watched in the past. 

So, did I enjoy this read you may ask?  Yes, over all I did enjoy it.  I wouldn't read it again, so it will be a 'hand me along book', but I am please I have experienced a James Patterson novel.  I have since read other reviews for this novel and it would seem it is not one of his 'best' writings.  Some have questioned why Patterson joined with another author for this book.  I am keen now to read one more of James Patterson's novels so I can compare and make my own opinion on this piece of writing, in comparison to his previous books.  Keep an eye out on my future reviews and I will sneak in another book by this author and let you know the outcome of my investigation.  There has to be a reason behind why this author was always on the 'Top 10' shelves in my past days of working in a bookstore.


As Ben Casper watches his best friend plummet from her sixth-floor apartment balcony, he realises his life is about to change.  Diana had no reason to kill herself, she had to have been pushed.

Diana worked for the CIA, so the investigation into her death is kept tighly under wraps.  But ben is a politcal journalist, and can feel that something isn't right.

Ben strts investgating for himself and soon discovers Diana was leading a double life he knew nothing about.  But when more people involved die in questionable circumstances, it's clear that someone doesn't want the truth to be uncovered. 

And unless Ben drops his investigation, he could be next...

This was available from: Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository

Happy reading

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Storm catchers

Storm Catchers
Author: Tim Bowler
Read by: Mark Medows
ISBN: 9781471327452

Storm Catchers reminded me of the classical books, Famous Five, but the ending blew me away.  I listened to this contently, while I cooked meals and cleaned up after the family, quickly becoming enticed by the words playing in my ears.  It had it's share of suspense, just enough for any young teen to connect with.  I connected well with the characters.  The plot flowed perfectly, which I would think my young reader would follow and comprehend with ease.  I really enjoyed this book the whole way though, as it lacked all the 'dribble'.

What amazed me most about Storm Catchers was the ending.  I was surprised that the happy-ish ending was connected to family deceit and betrail.  I am sure any young adult or teen will connect with the ending as there are so many families that have their share of issues.  What I did wonder, is if there is a need for this kind of stucture in a book or if it is better that an individual, especially teens (excluding young adult), be able to escape some of the issues adults place on the youngs ones.  And, do all children/teens need to have such behavior normalised? Or, is reality a neccesity as they emerge into the adult world?

What do you think? 

Other than these little thoughts rolling around in my head, I really enjoyed this book.  I listened to it on audio, and recommend the audio version.  I have discovered the world of audio books and love it just as much as sitting down with a good book in had.


"Tell a soul and she's dead. We'll be in touch." The kidnap shocks the whole family. Ella has been snatched away from the house in the middle of a storm. Her brother Fin will never forgive himself for leaving her on her own. And now Sam, their little brother, has gone wandering on the cliff to "catch the storm" as it blows out to sea. As the kidnapper's plans unfold, all the members of the family are forced to confront their deepest, darkest secrets. Fin comes to realize that Ella is not the only victim and that the real villain may be closer to home than anyone thought. A new storm is breaking on the horizon. And it's going to change everything....

Happy reading