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Kathleen Kelly "Celticlady" (Rhinelander, WI USA)
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Going Against the Grain - Italian Style!: A Gluten-Free Life Guide and Recipe Book for Staying Healthy and Eating Amazingly!
Going Against the Grain - Italian Style!: A Gluten-Free Life Guide and Recipe Book for Staying Healthy and Eating Amazingly!
Price: £4.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Going Against the Grain, 22 May 2015
"Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.  Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease."

Wow! I can not imagine life with Celiac Disease, but I guess it is like with any other illness, you cope and adapt. I do not have the disease but I do know a few people that do suffer from gluten issues. I love to cook and bake so if I had someone in the family with this disease, I would be all over the internet and cookbooks to find recipes to make. That said, Going Against the Grain - Italian Style by Nuccia Ardagna is one of the cookbooks I would refer to. Not only is the author knowledgable about Celiac Disease, but she suffers from it. 

This book is interesting in the fact that not only does the author know what she is talking about, but she has done extensive research into the why's and wherefore's of the disease, but also experimenting and coming up with delicious recipes and she shares them with the reader.  Celiac Disease is not an allergic reaction to a particular food but an actual illness. In the first few pages of the book the reader learns about the symptoms, which are extensive, other diseases that can be triggered by this disease. I learned that the disease can be hereditary and it is difficult to diagnose.

Did you know that there is gluten in non food items?? I did not know that either, cosmetics, hair care products, medications, vitamins and some supplements have gluten in them. A person who is gluten intolerant has to be very careful, in their own home, eating out and what groceries to purchase. Cross contamination can cause problems also, bakeware, utensils, cutting boards, plates and even rolling pins can cause issues for the sufferer.  So sticking to recipes and foods that are gluten free is a must, lots of fruits and vegetables along with lean meats, fish, dairy and gluten free grains should be in the sufferers diet. 

On to the recipe section. Like I said before, I do not suffer from gluten intolerance but I did bookmark some of the recipes in this cookbook. I love to make soups so I spotted the Hearty Sicilian Broccoli Soup in Tomato Broth and it will be made in my kitchen soon. Fresh Tomatos and Pesto Rotini and Risotto with Mixed Mushrooms look delicious also. There are fish recipes, vegetable recipes and even a section on sweets all looking really really good!

Important in any cookbook are the pages of resources. Nuccia has listed, in the back of the book, websites to go to about Celiac Disease, medication website, travel resources, books to read, what food and snacks you can eat and even restaurant and bakery websites. I really liked this book and even though none of us suffer from this illness, I will be making some recipes as I try to make our meals as healthy as I can. I am on a diet and it is important to eat the right things. Going Against the Grain - Italian Style is an invaluable resource for the cook to have in the kitchen. I highly recommend it!

I was provided a copy of the cookbook for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review.

@bloggerforwomen  and @NouveauWriter

hashtags:   #glutenfreerecipes  #Celiacdisease
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The Ripper's Wife
The Ripper's Wife
Price: £9.23

5.0 out of 5 stars The Ripper's Wife, 10 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Ripper's Wife (Kindle Edition)
Jack the Ripper has been a topic of speculation over the years as to who the Ripper really was. There were numerous suspects, including Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, son of King Edward VII. This novel however, is about Florie and James Maybrick, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper Diary. Florence Chandler (Florie) met James Maybrick, a cotton broker, onboard ship and were married shortly after that. It appeared to be a fairytale marriage, but not is all as it appears. James was taking arsenic, strychnine and other chemicals at an alarming rate for his supposed illnesses. His personality changed and he became extremely violent to Florie, often beating her senseless. He was also unfaithful, having many mistress and five illegitimate children. Florie had purchased a diary for her new husband he started writing his 'crimes' against women and his dark and demented thoughts. Florie has an affair which even fuels James even more to commit and have a reason for his murderous nature.

Because of his drug use, he becomes very ill and asks that Florie help end his life which she does try to do but can't complete the request. A bit of arsenic is left in the water she gives him and he eventually dies. Florie is suspected, tried and convicted of the murder. She loses everything in her life including her children and place in society. There were many different motives as to why she may have killed him, but I like to think that she didn't do it and was unjustly punished. She spends 14 years in prison and is released. She returns to America where she does the lecture circuit proclaiming her innocence, she also writes a book about her life.

The Rippers Wife is a dark, sad story of a woman who only wants the love of her husband and to be a mother. With James and his addiction their life is anything but happy. I think that the author did an amazing job telling their story, infusing the acts of a murderer with demented and cruel thoughts and deeds. I personally don't think that Florie killed him, he had a lifetime of arsenic poisoning that ultimately ended his life but with people who did not like Florie, it was easy to convict her of murdering him. This is not a story that you can read in one sitting, Brandy's writing is very descriptive and compelling. I love her books and this one is no exception and I find it refreshing that she is able to write something besides the Tudors with such conviction. Be warned, this is a book that has a lot of colorful language and if you are offended by that this may not be the book for you but I feel that because the book is about Jack the Ripper, there can be no other way to tell the story without the vulgarity. I thoroughly enjoyed the book recommend it for anyone who is interested in Jack the Ripper and wants a different perspective to who he really was.


The Queen's Exiles
The Queen's Exiles
by Barbara Kyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising events have thrown these two people together again in a fun reading experience, 24 July 2014
This review is from: The Queen's Exiles (Paperback)
The Queen's Exiles refer to Adam Thornleigh and Fenella Doorn during Queen Elizabeth's reign. Adam is estranged from his wife Frances and she has taken their two children and hidden them from Adam with the Duke of Alba, a man who is slaughtering the Dutch people for the King of Spain . Fenella is a widow who has her own business on the island of Sark, off the coast of France, salvaging sea going vessels. Adam and Fenella met years previously in an earlier novel in the Thorleigh saga. They meet again when Adam's ship comes into the port of Sark needing repairs. Surprising events have thrown these two people together again in a fun reading experience.

In this novel, Spain has taken over the Netherlands and there are plots afoot to try to put Queen Mary back on England's throne, while Adam tries to get his children away from his wife, Fenella becomes his accomplice in this harrowing continuation of an awesome series. There are some returning characters Adam’s sister, Isabel and her husband Carlos Valverde plus some new ones including the Sea Beggars and the Brethren, people who are fighting against Spain and its cruelty's against the Dutch people.

I have only read about three of the novels in this series but that did not deter me from enjoying this historical fiction story that encompasses my favorite time in Tudor history. I would recommend starting the series from book one but it is not really necessary although it would help to keep the many characters and story-lines straight. This is a story of treason, political machinations, loyalty and finally love. I look forward to the continuing Thornleigh saga, I highly recommend this series if you are a fan of historical fiction by an accomplished author.

A copy of the book was received for an honest opinion. There was no monetary compensation.


Ruby Heart: 2 (The Neve & Egan cases)
Ruby Heart: 2 (The Neve & Egan cases)
by Cristelle Comby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Heart, 30 Dec. 2013
Alexandra Neve (Lexa) and Ashford Egan are the main characters in this mystery. Ruby Heart is the second book in the Neve and Egan series, the first being Russian Dolls. Lexa and Ashford are private investigators and their next case has been presented to them by an elderly, frail woman, Doris Hargrave. She hires them to find the Ruby Heart necklace. This necklace had been lost during WWII in the Nazi occupation and the necklace has recently turned up and returned to Doris but was stolen out of the safe in Doris's apartment. Doris is very ill and wants the PI's to find the necklace soon so she can have her granddaughter wear it at her wedding. She thinks it brings a happy marriage to the wearer.

It is an almost impossible task for Lexa and Egan to find this necklace as they need to trace it all the way back to 1943-44. The Nazi's had confiscated all the jewelry and art belonging to the Jews and this particular necklace had been found in an old abandoned house. Things become a bit hairy when Lexa's home is broken into and some microfilm that she had of newspapers from the dates that she is researching. The case now becomes a bit dangerous for Lexa, her mother and Egan.

This is a fast paced mystery that may prove to be deadly for the duo as they try to find the necklace for the old woman who does not have long to live. It can be called a cozy mystery I think but it will also appear to the hard core mystery lovers out there. I look forward to reading the next in the series,Danse Macabre, available in 2014.

I received a copy of the book for review and I was not monetarily compensated for my review.


A Newfound Land (The Graham Saga)
A Newfound Land (The Graham Saga)
by Anna Belfrage
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Newfound Land, 14 Dec. 2013
"A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage's time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham".

The story of Matthew and Alex continue in Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage in the Colony of Maryland in 1672.
The family has been successful, in their new land as land owners but they find that their enemies have found them again. Men who are greedy and vengeful against the Graham family. Alex's father, Magnus has joined the family. He wanted to see Alex again before he died of the cancer that is taking over his body. Alex and Matthew now have eight children, the older son Ian, gets married. In a time of unrest, what with slave traders, men capturing white women, young boys disappearing and Indian treaties being disregarded by the white man, the Graham's have a myriad of issues to contend with. They have made friends with the Susquehannock tribe in the area so that does help when the Burley brothers come looking for Matthew to settle an old score.

This is a wonderful family saga that rivals other time travel books like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. With an eye for historical detail and family life during this time period, Ms. Belfrage has written a very readable saga that is sure to appeal to the historical fiction fan. I only wish I had read the first two books in the series..so I would know the back story, but I will remedy that one day. I look forward to reading the next book, Serpents in the Garden.

I received this book as part of the tour from the author and was not monetarily compensated for my review..


The Reckless Engineer
The Reckless Engineer

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THe Reckless Engineer, 13 Nov. 2013
Without repeating the plot from the blurb of the book, I will say that I enjoyed the author's style of writing, passion for the characters and the unique storyline itself. We have Jeremy Stone who is a successful engineer who had previously worked for Jack Connor. Jack is arrested for the murder of his mistress and unborn child. Jeremy is going to do whatever it takes to find the real killer.

Jeremy is a nice guy, who wants to do the right thing by his friend. He is a little bit unscrupulous in how he goes about it, sneaking around in disguises, but his tenacity pays off.

Michelle, the victim, was a vindictive and bullying woman who intended to have Jack no matter what. She was pregnant with his child and Jack was going to do the right thing by her.

Jack Connor is a man who is flawed, he is successful, married to a wealthy woman but still has affairs, the last of which may very well be his undoing. His wife Caitlin is, in my mind a conniving spoiled woman. On the outside she appears to be a faithful, loving wife, but she has secrets.

Then there is Douglas McAllen, Caitlin's billionaire father. His character is one that is more in the background but a definite part to the plot of the story
There are other minor characters in the story that further enrich the mystery.

Then there is the larger than life lawyer friend of Jeremy's, Harry Staver, who Jeremy recruits to represent Jack in his trial. A lawyer who definitely knows his stuff and one that Jeremy trust implicitly.

Now put all these characters together and you have the makings of a great murder mystery, I think a mystery is good when you are sure of who the culprit is, but when it comes to the end you find that you are completely blown away when you find out who really did the murder and why. So all that said, I think this book will appeal the the crime thriller/mystery lover out there.

I received a copy of the book from the author for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review.


The Tudor Conspiracy: Elizabeth's Spymaster Two (Elizabeths Spymaster Book 2)
The Tudor Conspiracy: Elizabeth's Spymaster Two (Elizabeths Spymaster Book 2)
Price: £4.31

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tudor Conspiracy, 1 Aug. 2013
The Tudor Conspiracy by C.W.Gortner is the second novel in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles. It is basically about Queen Mary and her desire to marry and keep her sister Elizabeth from inheriting the throne. She decides to marry Prince Phillip of Spain and hopes for a child that will inherit. There are plots underway during this time to usurp Mary and put Elizabeth in her place which resulted in the ill fated Wyatt Rebellion where the nine day Queen, Jane Grey,the Dudley's, father and son's are imprisoned and later executed for their supposed part in the plot. Robert Dudley is not executed, but still has aspirations to have Elizabeth on the throne so he can be her consort. We all know what happened with that..

Brendan Prescott is the major character in this story, and under the guidance of his mentor Cecil, it is up to him to protect Elizabeth from Mary at all costs because if Mary does have a child, it is feared that Elizabeth would be imprisoned in the Tower for the rest of her days or worse, killed. There are all sorts of people who are working against Brendan as he is tasked with finding the letters that were written by Elizabeth, which if found would lead Queen Mary to believe that Elizabeth is out to do her harm and take the throne. I found Brendan to be a likable, caring and loyal man who puts his life at risk on numerous occasions to protect his beliefs.

Mr.Gortner brings his knowledge of the Tudor era's turbulent times to the pages of this wonderful story. It is fiction of course based on fact and his research is impeccable. I love reading C.W.Gortner's books and eagerly await the third in this series. Full of mystery, intrigue,emotional heartbreak and secrets to keep the reader turning the pages. If you are a historical fiction fan and fan of the Tudor era, then this series needs to be on your book shelves.

I received the book for review and was not monetarily compensated for my review.


The Year of the Great Seventh
The Year of the Great Seventh
by Teresa Orts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Year of the Great Seventh, 15 July 2013
I don't read a lot of YA books as a rule, I feel that I am too old at times to really be able to get into the story of teenagers. Once I started reading The Year of The Great Seventh it took me a bit to get into it, but I think that it was because of the fact that the author was setting up the characters. Since they were teenagers it took me awhile to grasp what was going on. I have always found ancient Egypt to be intriguing so once the story got past the introduction of the characters and it got into the supernatural aspect I found the story really taking off for me. The author weaves the lives of teenagers in Hollywood with Egyptian mythology to make the story interesting. Sophie to me seemed like a bit of an outsider who finds herself attracted to rich boy Nate, who seems to have anger issues. It is not until later in the story the reader finds out what and why he does have these issues. He seems to have inherited his issues from his grandfather, he thinks it is mental issues but this is where the mythology comes in and the reader finds out what is going on. Sophie and Nate go to New York to find answers to the clues that they find and it is a race to save Nate from evil. I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the sequel!


Lynnwood
Lynnwood
by Thomas Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lynnwood, 6 July 2013
This review is from: Lynnwood (Paperback)
I read this book in two sittings, a fast read, and I found it to be very interesting. A dark gothic type of tale that will have you chilled to the bones. A quaint little town that has people going missing in the Midwinter each year, this has been going on for a long time. Outer appearances show Lynnwood to be a nice little village with nice people, an ideal place to live, away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. But not all is what it appears to be as an evil lurks beneath the surface of this village. It took me awhile to figure out what was actually going on, as the author's writing was very poetic and gave nothing away. This is the type of book to read curled up in front of a fire, just don't be alone...I enjoyed it immensely.


A Parachute in the Lime Tree
A Parachute in the Lime Tree
by Annemarie Neary
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parachute in the Lime Tree, 29 Aug. 2012
A wartime love story that takes place mostly in Ireland at the beginning of WWII. A love affair that starts in Berlin between neighbors, Elsa and Oskar but war gets in the way and Oskar is conscripted into the Luftwaffe. Elsa eventually ends up separated from her parents and sent by Kindertransport and relocated to Ireland for her safekeeping. Oskar is disillusioned by the war and just wants to find Elsa after he finds out she is gone from her home.

Other characters include Kitty, a young Irish woman who lives with her mother but is looking for excitement in her life. She finds a parachute hanging from a lime tree and is not quite sure what to make of it but she does know that there is someone who was at one time attached to that parachute. Oskar has jumped out of the plane hoping to land in Ireland so he can continue to locate Elsa. Charlie is a a young medical student who meets Elsa and falls in love with her. As war continues around all four of these young people, they never know what may happen day to day.

A Parachute in the Lime Tree is a wonderful, poignant story, written in such a way that the reader can feel the emotions that abound between all the characters involved. A well researched tale of love, war, exile in uncertain times. I highly recommend it.


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