Tuesday, May 12, 2015

QUICK REVIEW: Chowderland by Brooke Dojny


Creamy Clam Chowder. Portuguese Caldo Verde Chowder. Northwest Salmon Chowder with Leeks and Peas. Double Corn Summer Chowder. Brooke Dojny offers 57 recipes for chowders of all kinds -- some made with seafood, some with meat, and some with just veggies -- plus side dishes, salads, and desserts to round out the menu. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal on a cozy winter evening or a fresh gumbo perfect for a summer lunch, you’ll turn to this delicious collection again and again!

Hardcover, 144 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2015 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published May 5th 2015)
ISBN 1612123759 (ISBN13: 9781612123752)

My Thoughts

I haven't historically been a big chowder fan. I'm not even sure whether I've ever had clam chowder. I know, I know. What kind of American has never even tried clam chowder??

But I'm a pesctarian. That means I eat a lot of fish and seafood, along with vegetarian. And how can you be pescatarian and not eat chowder? Even if I don't want to eat clam chowder, there are other kinds of chowder. Right?

Ummmm...what other kinds of chowder is there? Well, I knew about fish chowder, and then there's...




Okay. I guess I really do need this book!

Well, I can tell you that the cover photo looks delicious! Upon opening this book, I found that it is really visually appealing. I liked the Table of Contents, which looks like an old hand-drawn map.

The author starts with a brief history of chowder, typical ingredients and what makes chowder "chowder". The next chapter has some typical chowder-type recipes. There are clear chowders, milky white chowders, red chowders. Next come seafood stews and bisque. Then tasty accompanying breads, salads and desserts.

I made the Smoked Fish and Corn Chowder for Floyd recipe from the book. I used smoked salmon rather than mackerel or trout as suggested in the recipe, and one or two other minor tweaks or substitutions. The salmon created a greasy orange film in the chowder, so it didn't look like a creamy white chowder, but ohhhhhh the flavor! It was pretty good the first day, but the second and third days? Oh so good! Red potatoes and corn with cream and smoked salmon. Yum!

I wanted to try the Crusty Skillet Cornbread as well, but realized I didn't have any cornmeal on hand. *sigh*

My final word: Full of beautiful photos and chock full of flavor-packed chowder recipes, this book is for chowder-lovers and novices alike. There are a number of traditional clam chowders as well as lots of fish and seafood, chicken and veggies. There is even a "Day-After-Thanksgiving Chowder"! If your idea of a deliciously comforting meal is centered around a steaming pot of chowder, then this book is for you!

Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: The Bone Tree by Greg Iles


Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning in this highly anticipated second installment of an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi's most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn't the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage--who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him--is either to make a devil's bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles' downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as "the bone tree."

The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice--now finally pushed beyond his limits.

Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

Hardcover, 816 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by William Morrow & Company (first published April 9th 2015)
ISBN 0062311115 (ISBN13: 9780062311115)

About the Author

Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960. He grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. He was active in a band called "Frankly Scarlet", but quit after realizing that the touring lifestyle was not conducive with his family life. Once no longer busy with the band, he turned his attention to writing.

Greg's novels have been translated into various languages and are published in more than 20 countries. In addition to his popular novels, he wrote the original script for the movie 24 Hours (later renamed Trapped).

When not writing, Greg spends some of his time playing music. He's a member of "The Rock Bottom Remainders", which includes other authors (Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, and James McBride).

Greg still lives in Natchez, Mississippi, with his wife and two children.

Check out the author's website
Follow the author on Twitter 
Like the author on Facebook

My Thoughts
Special Agent John Kaiser stood at the window of the FBI's "tactical room" in the Hampton Hotel and stared at the lights of Natchez twinkling high over the dark tide of the Mississippi.
This book is a continuation of the Penn Cage series. I was introduced to this series, and to the author, with his last book Natchez Burning, the fourth in the series.

In The Bone Tree, former attorney and current mayor of Natchez Penn Cage continues his battle for justice, and struggles to keep his family safe while going head-to-head with the Double Eagles, an off-shoot of the KKK. Penn and his fiance Caitlin know things about the Double Eagles-- crimes they have committed over the decades, including rape, kidnapping, torture and murder-- and the Double Eagles will go to any extreme to prevent them from bringing their deeds to light.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I have not yet finished this book. It is a very long book, and I am currently preparing for a trip (in fact I'll be in the air when this review posts). So I just simply haven't had time, and will be taking the book with me to finish on my trip.

However I became a fan of the author with his last book, and nothing has changed this time around. His writing is so effortless, his characters well developed. His transitions between characters flows easily. There is action and drama to keep you reading.

I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. Check out the website for the full tour schedule:

Friday, April 24th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, April 27th: Anita Loves Books
Wednesday, April 29th: Joyfully Retired
Thursday, April 30th: Books That Hook
Tuesday, May 5th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Wednesday, May 6th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, May 7th: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, May 11th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, May 12th: Always With a Book
Wednesday, May 13th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
TBD: My Bookshelf

My final word: After Natchez Burning, and now The Bone Tree, I'll read anything by Greg Iles! He holds my interest every moment-- and that isn't an easy thing to do! He is one of the few authors who can make me eager to read an 800 page novel! If you like crime dramas, historical fiction centered around the civil rights era, and books about the deep south, dive into this one with both feet. Greg Iles knows how to weave a great yarn!

Buy Now:
Barnes and Noble

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Introducing... The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

Introducing books through the first chapter or so...

Special Agent John Kaiser stood at the window of the FBI's "tactical room" in the Hampton Hotel and stared at the lights of Natchez twinkling high over the dark tide of the Mississippi. After struggling silently with his convictions for more than an hour, he had decided to use the authority granted him under the Patriot Act to take a step that under any other circumstances would have been a violation of the Constitution-- the unauthorized invasion of computers belonging to a public newspaper. He had not done this lightly, and Kaiser knew that his wife-- an award-winning journalist and combat photographer-- would condemn him if she ever learned what he'd done. But by his lights, the deteriorating situation demanded that he cross the Rubicon. And so he'd quietly risen from bed and, without disturbing his wife, slipped down the hall to where two FBI technicians sat behind computers connected by secure satellite to a high-speed data link in Washington.

-- The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-thon 2015, Hour 24: End of Event Meme

Well, we've reached the end. This year was an epic fail for me. I made it to Hour 19, which would have been fine. However the big failure is I HARDLY GOT ANY READING DONE!
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Well, it's always the hour that I give in! This time that was Hour 19.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I'm not the person to ask. The one I'm reading is very engaging, but also very long, and I don't recommend 800 page books for the read-a-thon!
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I have no advice to offer.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything.
  5. How many books did you read? Zero!
  6. What were the names of the books you read? I worked on The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? See #6
  8. Which did you enjoy least? n/a
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I'll always be a reader. I've been doing the read-a-thons for six years now!

Here's hoping for more success next time!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hr Read-a-thon, Hour 12: Mid-Event Survey

Here is my mid-event survey:

1. What are you reading right now? Same thing I'll be reading a week from now-- The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
2. How many books have you read so far? 0
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
See #1
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Today has been nothing but interruptions. I've just given in to them. No need to stress over it!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How little I've been able to read!