Monthly Archives: January 2014

Deet’s Eats Recipe- Veggie Alfredo Lasagna

Deet’s Veggie-Alfredo Lasagna

3 plum tomatoes, seeds squeezed out & diced

1 lb. zucchini-cut in ¼” thick rounds

¼ cup Fresh basil cut up

1 cup (8 oz.) whole Milk Ricotta (only whole milk kind)

½  tsp. garlic powder

1 cup shredded mozzarella

8 no-boil lasagna noodles (Barilla)

1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo Sauce

8oz. baby bella mushrooms sliced

1 medium onion diced

1-2 cloves garlic diced

1 T olive oil

Oven 425 degrees,   Spray oil an 8”or 9” sq. pan

Chop up everything. Heat oil in frypan and add mushrooms, cook for about 3-4 min, add onion cook another few minutes just until translucent, add chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside.

While mushroom mixture cooks, Combine Ricotta, garlic powder, basil and ¼ tsp pepper. Set aside.

Spread ¼ cup Alfredo sauce in pan, lay in 2 noodles side by side, don’t overlap, top with 1/3 each ricotta mix, tomatoes, zucchini, mushroom mixture & pinch of S&P, mozzarella. Repeat x2. Top with remaining 2 noodles and rest of Alfredo.  Cover with foil (spray foil with oil spray so it doesn’t stick), put on baking sheet, bake 45-50 min, let rest 10 min. Chop basil for garnish if you want it to look pretty,  if you just want to get it on the table skip this step. Serves 4

I serve this with a green salad and Italian bread and of course red wine, usually a Shiraz or Merlot from Walmart because I am not a wine connoisseur. (But Walmart’s Oak Leaf brand is rather good)

Yes, it takes a bit of chopping but after that it goes together quick.

Veggie lasagna ingred.

Layering on the goodies

Veggie lasagna layering

Ready to bake, it’s okay to be above the pan, put a baking sheet under it in the oven.

Veggie lasagna ready for oven

Veggie lasagna foiled

Finished

Veggie lasagna done

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Recent Rerelease Review- The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Splendour Falls

The Splendour Falls

 Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery

Author:  Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, January 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating:  3

Description from Amazon.com:

Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary town of Chinon, and promptly disappears—well, that’s Harry for you.

As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a thirteenth-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a “treasure of great price.” And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.

As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.

**

Susanna Kearsley takes  historical facts and actual locations and writes gripping stories about those that lived and those that live now.  She makes locations come alive and if you look up those locations you can see photos of the places where the story is set.  This makes the reading feel not so much a fiction but as if events are real.

Here are a few photos of the actual locations mentioned in this novel, The Chateau Chinon in France, The Place de General DE Gaulle with the Fountain, the bar in the Hotel Chinon (actually The Hotel De France) and a room in that same hotel:

Chateau chinon1

chateau Chinon three graces fountain 2 Chateau Chinon three graces fountain

 

Chateau Chinon bar in Hotel De France

Chateau Chinon Hotel de France

She is masterful at creating flesh and blood characters. In this, one of her earlier books, the pacing is a little slow but the story so compelling that little mind is paid.  There is a mystery and there is a villain but we are lulled into not suspecting the true nature of the villain.  We are left wondering if the villain would actually have harmed our heroine.  The romance is slow developing and we are left to wonder for a long time if our heroine will find true love.

I am a huge fan of Susanna Kearsley’s highly original novels and although this is not my favorite, it is an outstanding read. Even if one of her novels is not my favorite she still writes heads above others in the genre.

I recommend this book to all readers who like to be placed in the actual location of the story and those who love a mystery.

(This is a reissue of a Kearsley book published in the 1990’s.)

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, History, Mystery, Review

Deet’s Life- The Book Lover’s Journal

I got a new handy-dandy journal for Christmas.  Well, okay, I kinda bought it for myself but I usually love the gifts I give moi. It’s called THE BOOK LOVER’S JOURNAL, and I got it at my local Barnes and Noble store for $14.99 and a 25% off coupon so it only cost a measly $11.24 …yes, it is a bit overpriced but I wanted it (whinning here).  It measures 41/2″x71/2″x3/4″and it is published by Peter Pauper Press ( a total misnomer considering the price)……. here is a photo:

IMG_0333

It has pages to log in the books that you read:

book journal log

It has pages for all sorts of information, like titles and info about the book, TBR pages, book club pages, etc.  Here is a photo of the contents page:

book journal contents

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Recent Release Review- When The Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries

Title:  When The Rogue Returns (Book #2, The Duke’s Men Series)

When the Rogue Returns

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Simaon and Schuster, January 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

They are the Duke’s Men: an investigative agency born from family pride and irresistible passion, risking their lives—and sometimes their hearts—as they unravel shocking deceptions and scandalous transgressions!

Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talent for creating exquisite imitation jewels in a criminal way. But there’s no denying that Isa’s handiwork was used in the brazen heist of the Dutch royal family’s diamonds—after she disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, still reeling from her betrayal and enraged that her duplicitous side was so undetectable, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron’s mysterious bride-to- be. Simple enough—until the “fiancée” proves to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring young widow.

No longer the meek and mild girl he once knew, the bold woman vehemently asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her after he helped steal the royal diamonds! Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passion, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other in order to bring the real thieves to justice—without getting burned themselves.

**

No simpering misses here, no ballrooms and, more or less, a the-ton-be-d*&%ed attitude.  Yes! Not your usual historical romance.  I will not repeat the fine description given.  This is a book rife with misunderstandings and the resolution of a decade of deception.  There is lots of action and our hero and heroine are somewhat reluctant to trust each other, with good reason.  But, their happily ever after cannot come about until some old wounds are not only healed but expunged.  Ms Jeffries gives us a unique look at the Regency era and a welcome addition to her “The Duke’s Men Series”.  Well developed characters, in a standalone book with plenty of reference to the protagonists past.  I recommend this book to all Sabrina Jeffries fans and those who like an infusion of originality in their Historical Romances.

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Recent Release Review- Under The Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Title: Under The Wide and Starry Sky

Under the wide and starry sky

 Genre: Historical Fiction

Author: Nancy Horan

Publisher: Random House, Ballantine Books, January 21, 2014

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: not explicit

Description from Amazon.com:

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

**

Nothing for Fanny Osbourne is simple and easy.  Life is complicated and she never shies away from the complications or the adventure.  For the slight person she was physically she had a powerhouse of internal strength.  Robert Louis Stephenson knew a good thing when he found her.  He had a tenacity of spirit in spite of being physically unwell a good deal of the time.  He followed Fanny half way round the world to make her his.

This is a wonderful book, filled with emotional moments on nearly every page. Ms. Moran is stellar at bringing out the happiness that was intrinsic to both Fanny and R.L.S. and then wrenching our hearts with the tragedies and hardships  they endured.  But above all, the love of these two souls shines through.

This is a long book, 472 pages.  Never once did I want it to end or be shortened.  In fact I wanted more, more of Fanny in her final years, more of Belle, her daughter.  This is a book that will stay with you for a long, long time and perhaps inspire you to grab for the gusto, so to speak.

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Review- A Devil Named DeVere by Victoria Vane

Title:  A Devil Named DeVere

A Devil Named DeVere

 Genre: Historical Erotic Romance

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher:  Vane Publishing LLC, 2013

Source:  Free for Review from the author

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

When burned once… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley was resigned to her decade-long loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband until a dire discovery shatters her life.

By an old flame… A master of seduction, Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil” DeVere, is accustomed to taking what he wants heedless of the cost until encountering a woman who won’t be had at any price–at least not until a dark secret compels her to seek aid and comfort in this devil’s arms. What begins as an all-consuming passion becomes a true devil’s bargain when circumstances beyond their control drive the lovers irrevocably apart.

Fire is best fought with fire…Four years later, DeVere is world-weary and bored with his life of debauchery when Diana unexpectedly reappears. Although both believe the former inferno has been reduced to bitterness and ashes, their chance reunion proves otherwise. With their passion reignited to undeniable ferocity, DeVere is hell-bent to lure Diana back into his bed… while she is equally determined to bring him to his knees.

**

This is a bundled and reedited version of books #3,4 &4.5 in The Devil Devere Series. It is a standalone novel with enough background from books #1 &#2 so as not to leave any doubts about what went before.  However you may want to read #1 & #2 for more of Victoria Vane’s terrific writing.

Ludovic, Viscount DeVere is a rake.  He lives a hedonistic lifestyle and is totally non-apologetic about his actions.  Set in the decadent Georgian era of Britain, the author brings to life the steamy and seamier side of aristocratic mores.  Diana, Baroness Palmerston-Wriothesley is an upstanding married woman who after receiving a terrible shock allows herself to be seduced by Ludovic.  Although true love may be in the offing, there are complications that keep the lovers apart for years.

Ludovic “Devil” DeVere is not a nice man.  He is rather all wrapped up in himself and in his pleasures.  Even when he is doing the right thing by Diana he is thinking of himself.  Diana made a mistake by falling for the rake and now finds it impossible to resist him even when she knows it is not in her best interest to capitulate.  DeVere is a difficult hero to like although he does redeem himself in the end.  Diana’s lack of ability to stand up for herself and resist his manipulation does not make her the ideal heroine.  That said, these two characters are made for each other.

Ms Vane can write sex scenes that positively combust off the page (or in my case melt the circuits in my Kindle).  She has a knack of bringing the late Georgian era to life and her dialog puts the reader right back in the midst of the 1700’s. Her superbly nuanced characters leap off the page to become real human beings. She has the ability to infuse personalities in all characters, including minor side characters.  Her grasp of the historical details of the period is spot on.

I recommend this book to all HR fans but please note that there is explicit sex scenes and many of them.

THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES:

A Wild Night’s Bride #1
The Virgin Huntress#2
The Devil You Know #3
The Devil’s Match #4
A Devil’s Touch #4.5

Jewel of the East #5 available now
PREQUEL VIGNETTES:
Devil in the Making #1
The Trouble with Sin #2

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Filed under Book review, Books, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance

Deet’s Eats-Ham and Swiss Quiche recipe

I would have sworn out an affidavit that I posted a quiche recipe on this blog, but if I did I cannot find it.  That’s okay cause, I just made this one tonight and YUM!  Quiche is a great throw-together-cheap-delicious-meal.  Round out the meal with a tossed salad and some crusty bread and a veggie on the side and you will walk away from the table full.  The thing about quiche is that it is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, an all purpose main dish.  My friends Dottie, Cyndie, Patt and I go to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York for lunch often when I’m back in New York.  We often order the quiche because it is so good there. Enjoy!

Ham & Swiss Quiche

IMG_0331

1-9″ refrigerated piecrust

4oz. shredded Swiss Cheese

4oz.  deli ham, diced small

2 T butter

4oz. baby Portobello mushrooms sliced

1/2 onion diced small

4 large eggs beaten

1/2 tsp salt(or to taste, sometimes the cheese or ham may be salty)

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups whole milk or 1 cup milk and 1 cup half n half

Preheat oven 350 degrees F

1. Saute the mushrooms and onions in the butter until lightly browned.  Set aside. (sprinkle on a bit of garlic powder while they are sautéing.  It gives them a hint of garlic flavor.)

2. Unroll piecrust and fit it into a 9″ pie plate while those mushrooms are sauteing.  Flute the edges.

3. place the Swiss and Ham into the piecrust and toss together.  top with the mushroom/onion mixture.

4. Mix the eggs, S&P and the milk until blended. Pour over the ingredients in the piecrust evenly.

5. Pop into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until set. (this time may vary depending on your oven)

Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves 3-4 or if you are Deet and Mr. Deet it serves 2.

Deet’s Note: you can vary the fillings and use what you have on hand.  How about cheddar cheese, onion and broccoli or another might be Swiss, Crab meat and onion.  did you notice how I manage to get in my favorite onions into each one?

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Review- Off The Edge by Carolyn Crane

Title: Off The Edge (The Associates book#2)

Off The Edge

 Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Carolyn Crane

Publisher: Kindle

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY…
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE…
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They might be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.

**

Woo-Hee! Hang on to something solid cause this novel is a thriller and it leaves you breathless in it’s wake.

Laney is naïve and beautiful.  Peter is hunky and oh so dangerous.  Because she is naïve, she continues to try and help Peter when his purpose is to keep her clear of his job as a linguistic, hot, dangerous, warrior spy.  Peter might have been able to get his job done quicker and with less personal injury if Laney had just left him alone but then the reader would have been robbed of all those great moments when she refused to leave him be.

The book starts off with a bang when we feel the terror that Laney experiences when she feels her hiding as been compromised.  She feels something is about to come crashing down but those around her are continually reassuring her that all is well.  All except Peter who is the one who tells her to follow her gut instinct.  The pace picks up even more until we are turning pages faster and faster.  The tension builds and the action is nonstop.  The chemistry between Laney and Peter is smokin’ and they do take time out to explore that, but then it is flat out full steam ahead with more action, violence and blood.

This is a standalone novel in Crane’s Associates Series.

Deet’s Caveat: This novel contains strong violence and torture scenes as well as explicit sex.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, E-Book, Kindle, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Recent Release Review- Between A Rake And A Hard Place by Mason and Marlowe

Title:  Between a Rake and a Hard Place (Book#3, The Royal Rakes series)

Royal Rakes Between a rake and a hard place

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author:  Mia Marlowe and Connie Mason

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Jan 2014

Source: Free for review from the Publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The Fate of England’s Monarchy Is In The Hands of Three Notorious Rakes.

To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched…to seduce the dukes’ intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap…

 

Lady Serena’s List of Forbidden Pleasures

Attend an exclusively male club.

Smoke a cigar.

Have a fortune told by gypsies.

Dance the scandalous waltz.

Sir Jonah Sharp thinks Lady Serena Osbourne will be just like any other debutante, and seducing her will be one of the easiest services he’s ever done for the Crown. Then he catches her wearing trousers and a mustache in his gentleman’s club and she demands he teach her to smoke a cigar. But what will truly be Jonah’s undoing is finding out he’s an item on her list too, which makes him determined to bring her all the forbidden pleasures she can handle.

**

This is a standalone, third book in a trilogy written by two accomplished Historical Romance authors. There are three rakes out to deflower three virgins who might be the intended fiancées of the Royal British Dukes.  That is the trilogy.  This, the third in the series, is about one of those rakes, Sir Jonah Sharp and his pursuit of Lady Serena Osbourne.  The authors take us on a witty traipse through Regency attitudes and peccadilloes.  The plot is well crafted and includes sensual romance, action, political machinations and a villain we love to hate, the same villain that was in the first two books of the trilogy.

A fitting finale to the trilogy we fall in love with Jonah and want his redemption and love from Serena. We are hopeful that she will make the right choice for this book is all about the choices we make and the consequences that ensue.

I recommend this book for Historical Romance fans who like there romances based on actual historical happenings of the era.

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Recent Release Review- Douglas by Grace Burrowes

Title:  Douglas (The Lonely Lords series)

douglas_276

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher:  Sourcebooks/Casablanca, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Douglas Allen needs a home for his aching heart

Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, hates having arrived to his title without knowing how to manage his properties. Guinevere Hollister is a distant family connection raising her daughter in rural obscurity while stewarding the estate. Douglas reluctantly puts himself in Gwen’s hands for lessons in land husbandry and discovers beneath her prickly exterior a woman of passion and honor. Yet despite the closeness they find, she will not marry him.

Guinevere Hollister needs a champion

When the powerful Duke of Moreland arranges an engagement between Gwen and his heir, Douglas knows the marriage is not what Gwen wants. In Douglas’s eyes, Gwen deserves to make her own choices, and he will take on family, the meddling duke, and Gwen’s own lonely, stubborn heart to ensure his lady’s happiness.

**

Oh Wow! Just when you think a series can’t get any better we get this superbly plotted, splendidly entertaining addition to Grace Burrowes’ The Lonely Lords series.

Gwen has had to take charge of her own life and the sudden addition of Douglas to her routine is disconcerting especially when she starts to have feelings for him.  She is reluctant to have an affair for she has scruples and feels there are too many roadblocks to happiness with Douglas.  Douglas is a very serious, honorable man who is pleasantly surprised that at this time of upheaval in his life that he even desires Gwen.  They play cat and mouse with one another for a bit too long but eventually succumb to not only desire but love.  Now, that would be the plot to most Historical Romances, ending right there, but Burrowes takes it up a notch with the addition of a powerful Duke’s influence.  I’ll say no more so as not to spoil your fun in reading this terrific story.

This is a standalone within the series but side characters from previous books do play important roles in this book.  You would be pleased if you started this series from the beginning.  I also suggest you go to Burrowes’ website and acquaint yourself with the Family Trees associated with the series.

The Lonely Lords Series:

       1.Darius Darius

       2.Nicholas Nicholas

       3.Ethan Ethan

       4.BeckmanBeckman

       5.Gabriel gabriel_4503

       6.Gareth gareth_4501

       7.Andrew andrew_450

       8.Douglas (Jan 2014) douglas_276

       9.David (April 2014) david_4501

 

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