A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, November 29, 2019

FOODIE FRIDAY: Epic Air Fryer Cookbook by Emily Paster- Feature and Review


The Epic Air Fryer Cookbook serves up everything you love about air frying in 100 easy everyday recipes that turn out scrumptiously crispy, family-friendly meals.

With your air fryer, you can enjoy cooking and eating delicious fried foods guilt-free—because air-frying recipes use little or no oil. And, as author Emily Paster reveals, your air fryer can cook all kinds of dishes beyond fried foods.

Turn your air fryer into the most versatile and oft-used appliance in your kitchen arsenal with:

Globally inspired recipes, from fritters and fritattas to shakshuka and falafel, plus Teriyaki Glazed Ribs, Sicilian Stuffed Peppers, General Tso’s Chicken, and lots more

Homey and robust fried foods, like spring rolls, buttermilk fried chicken, and country-fried steak
Breakfasts and brunches
Appetizers, snacks, and party food

Desserts, such as Apple Turnovers, Caramelized Peach Shortcakes, Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce, and Lemon-Lavender Doughnuts
All the recipes in The Epic Air Fryer Cookbook use easy-to-find ingredients and feature short prep times and fast cook times. For air-frying rookies, there are ample tips for getting started with your air fryer and for using and maintaining it—no matter what make or model you own—as you enjoy cooking with it in the years to come.

Cooking with your air fryer has never been more healthy, more fun...or more epic!


Epic Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Inspired Recipes That Take Air-Frying in Deliciously Exciting New DirectionsEpic Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Inspired Recipes That Take Air-Frying in Deliciously Exciting New Directions by Emily Paster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Epic Air Fryer Cookbook by Emily Paster is a Harvard Common Press publication.

Fresh, Fun, and Easy!

I got an air fryer for Christmas last year and now I wonder what how I ever survived without one. I’m always looking for new and fresh recipes to try out and am especially interested in ones that are unique to air fryers specifically.
This cookbook, as promised, has one hundred recipes, divided into the usual sections one expects to find in a typical cookbook.

Included are:

Breakfast foods
Party Foods and Appetizers
Vegetarian meals
Main Courses with Poultry, meat and seafood
Side dishes

As you will discover, the air fryer is not just for traditional ‘frying’ but also works like a convection oven. I have tried one or two air fryer cookbooks right after I first got my fryer, which got me off to a good start, while I acclimated myself to the device.

This book is a nice addition to my growing collection! I’d never even thought about trying some of these recipes in the air fryer!! It really is very versatile and a much healthier choice. In fact, we had given up on some favorite foods because of the health risk, but now we can enjoy them again in moderation.

One recipe included was for fried green tomatoes- which was timely for me. We just experienced our first freeze of the season and I still had tomatoes on the vine in my garden- all still very green. So, I had already planned on looking up a recipe for FGT- and now I have one I can use in my air fryer- guilt free!

The other recipe I tried was the Baja Fish Tacos mainly because I had many of the ingredients on hand and was in the mood for fish.

Overall, this is an exceptional air fryer cookbook. If you have an air fryer or are thinking about buying one for yourself or someone else, be sure to pick up this cookbook to go along with it. There are color photos included, and most recipes are very easy to make and do not require hard to find spices or ingredients.

Bon appetite!






Emily Paster is the author of the widely admired blog, West of the Loop, primarily about food but with forays into parenting and family life. She is the co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap and is a national leader in the growing food swap movement (community get-togethers where handmade foods are bartered and exchanged). Emily is the author of Food Swap (Storey, 2016) and The Joys of Jewish Preserving (Harvard Common Press, 2017).

Thursday, November 28, 2019


The Book Review would like to wish everyone a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 
I will be spending this day with my family, but will be back tomorrow for more book features and reviews! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas on the Isle of Skye by Kirsty Ferry- Feature and Review


How far would you go to be with the one you love at Christmas?

The Isle of Skye is a magical place, especially at Christmas, and there’s no place Zac Fallon would rather be. But whilst Zac has everything he needs on Skye, there’s still something missing – and that something is a somebody called Ivy McFarlane.

Ivy used to work with Zac but then spread her wings and moved to Glastonbury. He’s missed her ever since. Now it’s almost Christmas and Zac realises that the Ivy shaped hole in his life is too big to bear. So starts his festive mission to the mainland – but will he back in time to spend Christmas in Skye? And, more importantly, will Ivy be with him?



Christmas on the Isle of Skye (Tempest Sisters #4)Christmas on the Isle of Skye by Kirsty Ferry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christmas on the Isle of Skye by Kirsty Ferry is a 2019 Choc Lit publication.

Some happy endings take longer than others- and some may need a little holiday magic…

Those following this series will remember Zac from Spring at Taigh Fallon.

What has Zac been up to? He’s one of the good guys, but he can be a little slow up on the uptake sometimes. Zac’s heart is settled on the Isle of Skye, but his lovely assistant, Ivy McFarlane, longs to spread her wings. Although he will miss her, Zac doesn’t want to hold her back. He just never realized he would miss her THIS much!!

Unfortunately, Ivy fervently hoped Zac would finally confess his feelings went beyond the professional realm. But he only wishes her well in her new adventures, so Ivy forges ahead to pursue her dreams. Now living in magical Glastonbury, Ivy’s career plans haven’t worked out the way she had hoped they would. She’s broke, frustrated, and most of all broken hearted.

But, when Zac Fallon shows up for an unexpected visit, Ivy is over the moon! However, a series of misunderstandings and preconceived notions threaten to prevent the pair from confessing their true feelings for each other. Will one of them speak up before it’s too late?

I loved this holiday themed story which incorporates a few magical elements and celebrations besides the traditional Christmas themes. The story is so sweet and tender, with each person discovering that no matter where they land, as long as they have each other, they will have happiness.

Overall, this is a delightfully warm, light, and whimsical holiday love story!






Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale 'Enchantment'.

Her timeslip novel, 'Some Veil Did Fall', a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, 'The Girl in the Painting' in February 2016. The experience of signing 'Some Veil Did Fall' in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook AuthorPage or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith- Feature and Review


Daisy's worried one of her employees at Daisy's Tea Garden may be in a spot of trouble. Lately Karina's been loading up on soup and second-day baked goods at the end of her shift--and while the shop's scrumptious treats may be hard to resist, Daisy suspects there's more going on, especially since Karina has been seen hanging out in a rundown part of Willow Creek.

Planning her own daughter's wedding is enough to keep her busy, but Daisy can't help feeling a protective maternal instinct--and an instinct to investigate. It turns out Karina has been helping a down-on-his luck single dad who's been making ends meet--barely--by selling antiques at a place called Pirated Treasures.

But when an employee at the antiques store is bludgeoned to death with a marble rolling pin, Karina's new friend is suspect number one. Though the motives are muddy and steeped in intrigue, Daisy is more than determined to flush the real killer out.

Includes delicious recipes!



Murder with Cherry Tarts (Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery #4)Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith is a 2019 Kensington publication.

A well-plotted, clever whodunit!

Daisy is back and life is as complicated as ever! Vi’s emotions are all over the place, Jazzi is still trying to find a place in her biological mother’s life, while Daisy is concerned about one of her employees who is suddenly asking to take home all day -old food and was spotted out in a dangerous part of town.

When Daisy and her new beau discover the truth, they rise to the occasion, helping a single father named Kevin, and his young daughter, who have fallen on hard times. However, when an antiques dealer is murdered, Kevin becomes the prime suspect. Naturally, Daisy feels compelled to investigate the situation, while helping Kevin navigate the inevitable and pointed interrogations aimed at coaxing a confession from him.

This fourth installment in the Daisy’s Tea Garden series, boasts one of the most complex plots we’ve seen to date. It’s a very clever, twisty, mystery that will keep you guessing from start to finish.

Right away, I picked up on an underlying sense of foreboding, as shady dealings and puzzling intrigue abound. Daisy’s experience with solving murders has emboldened her just a little, and she is less intimidated by official law enforcement agents, especially those with an ax to grind.

Naturally, Daisy’s personal life is almost as big of a draw as the mystery, and there’s plenty of drama to go around. Jonas was particularly funny in this book when he gets bitten by the green-eyed monster. By the book’s end, progress is made in some places, while other relationship woes still need more work and more time.

Overall, the family drama, romance, and mystery elements are very well-balanced and perfectly executed. This is one the strongest additions to the series to date!! Keep ‘em coming!




Award-winning author Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania. Although she was an only child, she remembers the bonds of an extended family. Family is a strong theme in her books and she suspects her childhood memories are the reason.

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business.

She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing relationship novels. Now she writes romances as well as mysteries full time. Her first book was published in 1992; her 80th novel will be published in 2013. A winner of New Jersey's Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter's Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with Cataromance.com's award for Best Special Edition and Washington Romance Writers Career Achievement Award. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Amazon Romance and Contemporary Romance Bestseller lists.

She has written for Meteor/Kismet, Kensington, Silhouette and Harlequin. Readers can contact Karen through her website, on Facebook (Karen Rose Smith Author) and on Twitter @ Karenrosesmith. They can also follow her monthly e-zine IN TOUCH with KAREN ROSE SMITH which has the latest news about her books, recipes and contests.

Monday, November 25, 2019

MANGA MONDAY- Good Talk - A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob- Feature and Review


A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

“By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”—Celeste Ng

“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?”
“Is that how people really walk on the moon?”
“Is it bad to be brown?”
“Are white people afraid of brown people?”

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love.

“How brown is too brown?”
“Can Indians be racist?”
“What does real love between really different people look like?”

Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.



Good Talk: A Memoir in ConversationsGood Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation by Mira Jacobs is a 2019 One World publication.

Thought provoking, humorous, deeply revealing, and heart wrenching

A new- found interest in graphic novels led me to this book originally. When I started reading this book, I had no idea I was about to have my emotions put through the wringer. Despite the raw feelings exposed in this novel, I can’t stress how important I think the book is. All Americans should give this book a try, because so many people are too squeamish to have these tough discussions, and I think this book could help promote understanding and healing.

Mira Jacob’s six year old son begins asking his mother some pointed and blunt questions about skin tone, race, and other situations in his life, prompting Mira to think of the conflicted messages she received while growing up, while allowing a few pent up frustrations to surface, as she ponders the best way to address her son’s questions.

For regular readers of graphic novels, the artwork might come as a bit of a surprise. The graphics consist of real photographs with superimposed artwork added in. The art is not eye popping, with well -drawn facial expressions or vivid colorization. In fact, to be blunt, the author used some of the same artwork in several photographs more than once, and the features are very plain. However, there is a method to the madness, and if one thinks about it, this is a more fitting approach, and is most assuredly done by design.

I truly appreciated the reality of this memoir. It is frank, raw, messy, and very honest. Often there are no pat answers and each person’s situation is unique. For Mira, she is an Indian with a darker complexion and her husband is Jewish. Her mixed- race son, Z, is quite perceptive, especially in our current political climate, and his questions prompt some uncomfortable conversations. This is a good thing, though. Mira doesn’t always know how to answer Z, something all parents can understand. Yet, when it comes to race and bigotry, explanations can be a bit tricky.

At times Mira can seem a little sharp, as her frustrations spill over causing a little friction in her marriage. But this is part of her journey, which in having these frank conversations with her son, friends, husband, extended family and others on the periphery of her life, she discovers certain truths about herself.

I had a good, heaving cry while reading this book. It truly made my heart hurt. Dear Mira, I do hope you know that many people, despite not living within the same set of circumstances as yourself, do very keenly feel your pain.
As serious as all this sounds, the book is markedly funny at times, and it is even cathartic in some ways. The title of the book is apt- This is indeed a “Good Talk”, one we all should consider taking part in.

A must read!






Mira Jacob is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India's Tata First Literature Award, longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize, and honored by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association. It was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions.

Her recent writing, drawings, and short stories have appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, Vogue, Glamour, the Telegraph Buzzfeed and Shondaland. She teaches fiction at NYU, The New School, and Randolph College.

In September 2014, Mira was named the Emerging Novelist Honoree at Hudson Valley Writer's Center, where she received a commendation from the U.S. Congress.

She is currently drawing and writing her graphic memoir, Good Talk: Conversations I'm Still Confused About (Random House, 2019). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, documentary filmmaker Jed Rothstein, and their son.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Calculated Reaction by K. T. Lee- Feature and Review


Special Agent Alexis Thompson is eager to get back to work after getting shot on her last FBI assignment. When she discovers that the man who ordered the hit has sent one of his spies to an energy research facility, Alexis convinces the CIA to send her to take him down. This time, Alexis is bringing along her new partner, Waffle, a highly-trained explosives detection dog.

Matt Brown is a former Navy SEAL who is now working as an engineering professor. He also helps his friend, CIA Operations Officer Cam Mitchell, whenever his skills are needed. When Alexis goes undercover, Cam sends Matt along to try to keep Alexis from coming home in a body bag.

Matt and Alexis soon discover that their enemy’s plans go far beyond good old-fashioned espionage. With the clock ticking, Alexis and Matt must figure out how to stop a dangerous explosion before they become collateral damage.

Calculated Reaction is Book 4 in The Calculated Series. All books in The Calculated Series may be enjoyed as stand alone novels or as a series.



Calculated ReactionCalculated Reaction by K.T. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Calculated Reaction by K.T. Lee is a 2019 publication.

Another thrilling episode in the ‘Calculated’ Series!!

K.T. Lee often creates stories based on our worst nightmares. The prospect of a problem, even a minor one, at an energy facility is enough to keep one awake at night. So, once again, I found myself on the edge of my seat as Alexis and Matt partner up, along with a trained dog named Waffle, in an intense undercover operation aimed at locating an explosive device.

Meanwhile, the chemistry between Matt and Alexis is so fiery, it could become combustible, but Alexis has a strict policy about dating her partners, which means the Matt is off limits-

I’ve read the first three full length books in this series, and so far, I’m really enjoying it. I love the combination of high stakes thrills and romance and all the couples featured, thus far. However, I think maybe Matt and Alexis is my favorite couple to date.

But another reason this book felt a bit more special was because of Waffle! A pet or animal always adds something to a story, but a specially trained dog like Waffle enhanced the plot significantly. I loved his role in this book. As always, there is lots of intrigue, and plenty of action packed into the story.

Overall, Lee packs a lot of entertainment a relatively small package and creates a nice balance between the mystery and the romance, without breaking the momentum. The smart ladies and clever gentlemen complement each other, and the banter is always quick and sharp.

Although there are some references to ongoing investigations and characters who appeared in previous installments, this book can still be read as a stand- alone. However, I recommend reading them all!! You’ll be glad you did!





Calculated Extortion (The Calculated, #0.5)Calculated Deception (The Calculated, #1)Calculated Contagion (The Calculated, #2)

Calculated Sabotage (The Calculated, #3)

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. When K.T. began to write the kind of books she wanted to read, she mixed clever women and the sciences with elements from thrillers (and a dash of romance) to create The Calculated Series.

Find out more about The Calculated Series and get the latest updates at https://ktleeauthor.com/ or on the social media sites below:


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Singapore Fling by Maida Malby- Feature and Review + Giveaway

SINGAPORE FLING Carpe Diem Chronicles, #2

by MAIDA MALBY Contemporary Romance / Multicultural 
Publisher: EOT Publications
Date of Publication: October 21, 2019
Number of Pages: 267

Scroll down for giveaway!

One alluring French-Filipina beauty. One sexy US Air Force officer. One torrid weekend affair. Maddie Duvall should be living it up at her challenging new job in glamorous Singapore. But two months after her wild weekend with Aidan Ryan, she’s still yearning for him. She craves the passion only he can ignite in her. Aidan’s job takes him around the world, yet he can’t get Maddie out of his mind. When he returns to his assignment in Singapore, he seeks her out with a proposition she can’t turn down. Intensely enamored with one another, their relationship takes off. But when Aidan’s mission exposes treachery by someone close to Maddie, lines blur and wires get crossed. Can their growing love survive the intrigue? Singapore Fling is Book 2 of Carpe Diem Chronicles, a series of multicultural contemporary romance novels. The stories celebrate the rich cultures of exotic Southeast Asian islands through languages, food, and festivals.


“This second full-length volume in her Carpe Diem Chronicles is sexy, quick to read, and full of well-rounded, interesting characters. Family ties and female friendship add to the depth of the world and make you want more books.” ~ Catherine Stein, Award-winning Author of How to Seduce a Spy “This book was great. Everything from the well-rounded characters to the interesting foods and exciting locale drew me in as a reader. I could clearly picture, hear, and smell/taste the story. The plot was perfect and the romance had just the right amount of intrigue and crisis. ~ Danielle Bellwood, Author of Daring (The Candomble Book 1) “This book is a great deal of fun and the hero and heroine are both likable and realistic people. As usual, Malby’s writing shines best when writing about Singapore, particularly the culture and the FOOD!! ~ Gena Gilliam, Amazon Reviewer

Singapore Fling (Carpe Diem Chronicles 2)Singapore Fling by Maida Malby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Singapore Fling by Maida Malby is a 2019 EOT publication.

Exotic locations, high drama, intrigue and sizzling hot romance!

Maddie is enjoying every minute of her life in Singapore, while working in a public relations firm. However, she is having trouble getting Aidan, her best friend’s future brother-in-law, out her mind. She hasn’t seen him in the couple of months since they shared a romantic interlude.

However, when Aidan shows up in Singapore, the sparks reignite, big time, spawning a super intense affair. However, a stunning revelation could throw ice cold water on the couple’s fiery passion.

Excruciating suspense, and foreign intrigue ensues, leaving Maddie and Aidan’s future hanging in the balance…

I loved the combination of sights, sounds, flavors and cultures mixed into this story. Our heroine is of mixed race, half French- half Filipino, adding a much needed shot of diversity in the romance category. The locale is vibrant and full of culture and savory cuisine that will leave you salivating!

And speaking of salivating…

Fans of military heroes and strong, take charge alpha males, are going to love Aidan. Maddie and Aidan are an unusual pair in some ways, but they have an ‘off the charts’ chemistry with each other. The independent, career driven, Maddie, is the perfect match for Aidan. The two may believe they are enjoying a ‘no strings attached’ Singapore fling, but that soon develops into something much more serious. I pulled for them, even though the obstacles the couple faces do seem insurmountable. Will true love win out?

Overall, this is a unique contemporary romance, making it a nice change of pace from the standard romantic formula. The sex scenes are hot, hot, hot, but- for me, it took little too much precedence at the beginning of the story. However, the plot does move forward onto more substantial ground, and really picks up in the second half. I was turning pages as fast as possible, realizing that I’d become very invested in this couple and their happy ever after!

Romance fans who welcome diversity, enjoy steamy romance, military heroes, and an emotional happily ever after will love this book!!


Universal Link


Maida Malby writes, reads, reviews, and lives Romance. Through her multicultural contemporary romance stories, she takes readers on trips to her favorite places in the world and shares her experiences of their rich cultural heritage. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), San Antonio Romance Authors (SARA), Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (CIMRWA), and several romance book clubs. Her To-Be-Read Mountain and reviews of romance novels are featured on her website. When not writing, reading, or reviewing books, Maida consults her husband on word selection, debates with her ten-year-old son regarding the Oxford comma, cooks the dishes she features in her stories, procrastibakes using Baileys as her secret yummy ingredient, and watches golf and food shows on TV.

1ST PRIZE (US only)
Kindle Fire 7 + Signed Copy of Singapore Fling
2ND PRIZE (US only)
Signed copies of Boracay Vows and Singapore Fling + charm bracelet
3RD PRIZE (US only)
Signed copy of Singapore Fling + spice paste packets (Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa)
4TH PRIZE (international)
 eBooks of all three books in the Carpe Diem Chronicles series
NOVEMBER 12-22, 2019

Top Five
Bonus Post
Author Interview
Guest Post
Scrapbook Page
Guest Post
Click to visit this tour's page on Lone Star Lit
   blog tour services provided by