Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Title:  Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers #2)

Author:  Loretta Chase

Genre:  Historical Romance

Published:  June 2012 – Avon

My take:  Sophy Noirot runs the PR side of the Noirot sisters’ dressmaking business. She makes sure that the society column in the morning paper includes detailed descriptions of the dresses that come from their shop. They are still the new shop in town and must gain more business in order to survive. Their most important customer has just fled town after deciding she didn’t want to marry the man who’d compromised her. That means a lot of lost orders for the dressmakers but it could also mean the loss of a friend.

Sophy hatches a plan to find Lady Clara and help her save face while avoiding marriage to the cad. She’ll need help carrying out the plan and finds the best person to help is Lady Clara’s brother Lord Longmore. What she didn’t count on was the instant attraction to Longmore. Conveniently he feels the same about Sophy.
The strength of this second book in the dressmakers series lies in the give and take between Longmore and Sophy. They are on an even playing field when it comes to understanding each other. Longmore’s self-deprecating humor when talking to Sophy was endearing and made me laugh. Sophy is a truly decent and mostly innocent young woman who only wants what’s best for Longmore’s sister as well as what’s best for her sisters’ business.
The characters shine in Scandal Wears Satin.  As in the first book I enjoyed the dress descriptions. I look forward to seeing what Loretta Chase comes up with next in the series. Recommended to fans of Historical Romance and the Dressmakers series.

Source:  Avon via Edelweiss

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Spotlight on THIEF OF SHADOWS by Elizabeth Hoyt (plus a giveaway)

Elizabeth Hoyt’s highly anticipated Historical Romance THIEF OF SHADOWS,

the latest in her nationally bestselling MAIDEN LANE series,

has just been published as a paperback and eBook original by Grand Central Publishing.

♦  ♦  ♦

In THIEF OF SHADOWS, Winter Makepeace’s days are spent as the headmaster of a home for foundling children, one that has recently been adopted by “The Ladies Syndicate,” a group of aristocratic women committed to the works of the home and its betterment.  Night, however, brings out the darker side of Winter.  As the moon rises so does the Ghost of St. Giles, the most notorious footpad in London.  Hidden behind a Harlequin’s mask, he is rumored by some to both rescue and defend, and by others to ravish and murder.  When Winter, as the Ghost, is beaten and wounded, he is rescued and cared for by a beautiful aristocrat. Now his two worlds are about to collide.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge.  Yet when, as a member of the Ladies’ Syndicate, she is asked to tutor Winter so that he can move within Society for the benefit of the Home, she hesitates at the thought of teaching the dour manager the ways of society—flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons.  Nonetheless, she does so and as their lessons progress she is repeatedly distracted as she wonders why his eyes seem so familiar and his lips so very tempting.

By day, Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills.  At night their passions are revealed.  Soon though, the Ghost is called to action.  Little girls are disappearing, their loss blamed on the “lassie snatchers,” who are plying their evil trade in St. Giles.  Winter must avenge them. To do so, he must risk losing everything—the Home, Isabel and quite possibly his life.

Once again, Elizabeth Hoyt brings a time, place and people alive to captivate readers with their emotion, hopes and passion.

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THIEF OF SHADOWS, Book Four in the Maiden Lane Series

Elizabeth Hoyt

A Grand Central Publishing Mass Market and E-book Original

Fiction/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)

978-1-455-50832-7 • 1455508322

♦  ♦  ♦


I have one copy of THIEF OF SHADOWS to give away

to one lucky reader (US/Canada)

Please click here for entry form.

Giveaway is now closed

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (audio)

Title:  An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford #4)

Author:  Charles Todd

Narrator:  Rosalyn Landor

Genre:  Mystery (series)

Published:  2012 – Harper Audio

8 hours 31 minutes

Synopsis (from publisher) In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well.

However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier’s death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father’s former regiment, he was also a family friend.

Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he?

Working her father’s connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. But she must be as vigilant as she is tenacious. With a determined killer on her heels, each move Bess makes could be her last.

My take:  I thought the 4th book in the Bess Crawford series had a different feel to it than the others. Yes, we read about Bess’ work as a nurse at the front and her unofficial detective work back in England while she’s on leave but there’s a menacing danger in this mystery. It’s one that threatens Bess, all of her loved ones, and some unsuspecting soldiers.

Revenge is one thing. Indiscriminate killing is another.

from An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

I had no idea who the murderer was until the reveal. This mystery took turns that completely confused me! I can accept the solution but it wasn’t what I’d expected – even though I wasn’t sure what I expected 🙂

What I enjoyed about An Unmarked Grave was that we see more of Simon Brandon and Bess’ father in this book. It made me think that the series could continue after WWI. I would definitely read more about Bess solving crimes in post-war England. I also appreciated the descriptions of the front where Bess treated soldiers who’d been wounded, suffered the effects of gas, and  those who became ill with Spanish flu.

Rosalyn Landor’s performance was great. There’s a definite distinction between male and female voices that made me question more than once if there was a male narrator as well!

Source:  I bought it (Audible)

Note:  My thanks to Jennifer at Book Club Girl blog. If not for the Read-Along I may never have met Bess Crawford. I’m so glad I did!

Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way To Lose Weight by Harry Papas

Title:  Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way To Lose Weight

Author:  Harry Papas

Genre:  Health/Diets and Weight

Published:  2012 – Turner Publishing Company

About:  (from the book flap) In just one year, Harry Papas gained 110 pounds. Then he lost it all for life. Papas, a certified dietician in Greece, shed the pounds by creating a simple yet revolutionary nutrition plan: a delicious, low-fat Mediterranean diet coupled with the self-awareness he needed to combat the triggers that contributed to his weight gain.

My take:  Harry Papas’ diet plan is very readable and seems extremely easy to follow. It involves a 3 cycle plan with daily menus (and the option to switch out choices). Each cycle lasts twenty-one days and includes a few “free days” that allow one to “enjoy a favorite food at lunch or dinner that is not normally considered a diet choice”.

I’ve marked several recipes to try and have convinced the members of our household to give this plan a try. Papas explains all the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and suggests baby steps in making changes. The food choices all look good to me. I’m a fan of greek yogurt, red wine, olive oil, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains. Toss in a few “free days” and I’m on board!

Papas stresses the need for moderate physical activity. Even a little each day will help with weight loss. He also addresses the  importance of using quality ingredients, eating few or no processed foods, and most importantly (in my opinion):

Remember that you’re human: at some point you may become side-tracked….When it comes to food, no one is ever perfect. You cannot be perfect everywhere and all the time. Just try the best you can.

p. 228 Slimmer

Papas included dozens of recipes. I highlighted one a few weeks ago:  Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. I think anyone interested in losing weight or just eating a healthier diet should look for this book. And I’m serious about giving the plan a try. I’ll update before the end of the year!

Read more about Slimmer here:

You can buy it at most book stores. I noticed yesterday (June 22) the Kindle and Nook editions are $2.99 but I don’t know how long that price will hold.

Source:  FSB Associates

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax – Spotlight and Giveaway

Wendy Wax introduced Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford and Nicole Grant and their story of friendship, family and triumph in her book Ten Beach Road, which USA Today cited as one of “six that belong in your beach bag.” Now, these three head to Miami in OCEAN BEACH, on sale June 26. There they hope to use the skills they mastered renovating Bella Flora, a dilapidated historic home, to spin straw into gold once again, this time with the cameras rolling for the first season of their reality show, Do Over.

Wax, born and raised in St. Pete Beach, Florida is no stranger to Miami, but hadn’t visited there for years when she began researching OCEAN BEACH. Her first memories of it are from childhood. “When I was little, we stayed at the Fontainebleau Hotel and ate at Wolfie’s,” she says, admitting to a touch of nostalgia for the now closed landmark deli. Today, she knows much more about the city, especially South Beach’s legendary Art Deco structures, one of which inspired the home at the center of the novel.

The Millicent, a once fabulous Art Deco Streamline, and the reality show Do Over have Madeline, Avery and Nicole again donning their tool belts. Madeline’s daughter, Kyra, who created the pilot and sold the program, is at the helm for the first season, and she’s brought her six-month old, Dustin. Avery’s runaway mother, Deirdre, an interior designer, is there, too, as is The Millicent’s owner, show business legend and nonagenarian Max Golden.

Arriving in South Beach, they discover The Millicent in far worse shape than they expected and that the network has added a second camera crew with orders to film not just the renovation, but them, warts and all. With money running low, their private lives in limbo, and their only other source of income, Bella Flora, still unsold, no one is walking away—despite Do Over’s miniscule budget, their tiny salaries, saboteurs in their midst, and their concern that Max has much more riding on the project than reclaiming his home.

Then Dustin’s uber-celebrity father shows up, superstar wife, kids, body guards and entourage in tow and The Millicent becomes the focal point for paparazzi from around the world.

It’s make or break time for their careers—and possibly their friendship.  All in all, not the perfect circumstances for a major renovation.

As she has in the past, Wendy Wax focuses on women and relationships, telling a story of adversity, friendships, family ties, joy and heartbreak, sharing her distinctive voice and leavening the struggles of her protagonists with her trademark honesty, wit and tenderness.

♦  ♦  ♦


One lucky reader will win a copy of Ocean Beach

Open to US/Canada

Click here for details

Giveaway has ended

The Cottage At Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

Title:  The Cottage At Glass Beach

Author:  Heather Barbieri

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  May 2012 – Harper

About:  Wanting to flee the humiliating mess brought on by her husband’s infidelity Nora Keane goes home with her two daughters to Burke’s Island, Maine after receiving an invitation from an aunt.

My take:  I loved the setting, Nora, her daughters, and the people of Burke’s Island. I also loved the fairytale-like tone of the novel – even though I wish that aspect had been developed a bit more. In going home Nora is able to discover things about her past as well as come to know her aunt. She also finds that some people on the island aren’t thrilled by her visit. Add some family secrets and a mysterious character or two to the mix and you’ve got an intriguing novel.

I appreciated how the author showed how the two daughters worked through/expressed their feelings about their parents’ separation. And Nora needed to figure out what to do now that papers had been filed. She truly seemed adrift – which all seemed like an honest portrayal of a woman and her daughters – given their situation.

I’ve had some time to think about The Cottage at Glass Beach since I finished reading it. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the vague ending but after some reflection I decided it’s true to life. Much of our future is uncertain but we can continue to focus on what matters most.

Source:  Harper

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski

Title:  Objects of My Affection

Author:  Jill Smolinski

Narrator:  Xe Sands

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  2012 – Blackstone Audio (9cds – 10.5 hours)

My take:  Organizer Lucy Bloom had to sell her house and most of her possessions in order to pay for her son’s stay at a drug rehab facility. She also broke up with her boyfriend over her son’s behavior. So she’s without a home, son and a relationship – pretty much everything is gone. Her new job is a challenge. She is to organize and clean out a famous artist’s (Marva Meier Rios) home which is filled to the brim with stuff.

Lucy and Marva begin to see segments of their lives in a different way as they help each other figure out how to let go. I was surprised by how much I liked this novel. At times it was deceptively light – I laughed several times – but if you ever saw one of Oprah’s hoarders shows you know there are some deep issues there. Sure the lessons seem obvious but it’s much more than that. These characters are complex and maybe a bit like people we all know. I also enjoyed the supporting characters – Marva’s son Will and Lucy’s ex-boyfriend Daniel to name two.

There are small twists and turns that had me listening way past the point where I’d planned to stop. I kept walking, cleaning, driving… you get the picture. I was pulling for Lucy and Marva right through to the end. I love it when that happens.

There are those things you keep, things you let go of, and it’s often not easy to know the difference.

from Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski

Xe Sands did a fine job voicing Jill Smolinski’s characters – both male and female. It was so easy to listen to her – again with the walking, cleaning, driving 🙂 She conveyed the emotions of the characters perfectly. This is the first time I’ve listened to Sands read a book and in the future there’ll be no hesitation to grab audiobooks with her name listed as narrator.

I recommend this audiobook to fans of Fiction – women’s or otherwise, Jill Smolinski, and Xe Sands.

Source:  Blackstone Audio; Audio Jukebox

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner

Title:  The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Author:  C.W. Gortner

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – Ballantine Books

Pages:  400

From the synopsis:  No one believed I was destined for greatness.
 Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.
From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.

My take:  The Queen’s Vow is a riveting novel about a determined young woman on her way to becoming Queen of Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed C.W. Gortner’s confident and honorable Isabella. From the start she shouldered responsibility with grace and dignity. She kept her head as she met challenges and made unimaginable decisions with far-reaching consequences for her people. She had good intentions and thought she was carrying out God’s wishes but hindsight shows that even good intentions don’t always bring the desired results.

Gortner’s beautiful writing and exciting story kept me enthralled. Isabella and her husband Fernando spent much of their reign at war. Also, in an effort to convert all non Catholics in their country to Catholicism, they went so far as to begin the Inquisition. Because of the author’s meticulous research and ability to relate the facts with clarity I now have a better understanding of this time in history. Isabella also did good things for Spain. She supported women’s education and the arts and was commited to bringing her country to the same level as the rest of the prominent European countries. For good or bad, Isabella definitely had an impact on her beloved Spain.

The Queen’s Vow is a story of royal intrigue, politics, a touch of romance, and a good deal of controversy. I recommend it to fans of Historical Fiction, Spanish history, and the author. I plan to track down a copy of Gortner’s novel The Last Queen– the story of Isabella’s daughter Juana. After meeting Juana in this book I’m interested in finding out what happened in her lifetime.


♦  ♦  ♦

C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Tudor Secret.  He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. His novels have garnered international praise and been translated into thirteen languages to date. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. He’s currently at work on his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about the early years of Lucrezia Borgia, as well as the third novel in his Tudor series,The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (US) or Elizabeth’s Spymaster (UK). Half-Spanish by birth, C.W. lives in Northern California.

Click button for tour schedule

Spotlight: Wildflower Wishes Book App

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry’s new book app WILDFLOWER WISHES is available for downloads now. It is the first book app EVER to be created through the inspiration of one scene from a novel, rather than encompassing the entire novel itself or focusing on the author Inspired by a gorgeous garden scene in Callahan Henry’s latest COMING UP FOR AIR (paperback; May 22, 2012; St. Martin’s Griffin) the Wildflower Wishes App is a greeting app created by a dream design team at Chronicle LLC.  The free app comes with five wildflower icons that hold a special meaning (I’m sorry; I love you; Good luck.)  Additional wildflowers can be purchased for $0.99 – and all can be sent to email, other WW friends or Facebook along with a heartfelt personal message – with just the click of a finger!  It is a gentle and simple gesture that can be shared to celebrate graduation, birthdays, anniversaries and more. The paperback edition of COMING UP FOR AIR will feature the QR code for the Wildflower Wishes App on the cover!  How cool is that?

Flowers that will be initially available with others added for special occasions:

Infinite Love – Bellflower

I Am Grateful – Bluebells

Sending Encouragement — Black Eyed Susan

Thinking of You – Zinnia

A Mother’s Love – Impatiens

Pure Loyal Love — Daisy

Bond of Love — Honeysuckle

Purple Hyacinth — I am sorry; Please forgive me

Don’t forget me — Forget me not

I will never forget you – Everlasting

Sending Protection — White Heather

Sending Cheer — Crocus

Sending Courage and Daring — Edelweiss

Sending Good Luck — Clover

Sending Perserverance — Chicory

Farewell — sweet pea

Secret Love — Acacia

Love at First Sight – Gloxinia

♥  ♥  ♥

This is a Forget-Me-Not.  You hit SEND, the flower will post wherever you like with the following “Don’t Forget Me” message, and then you can attach a personal note.

This is the loading page:

I’m intrigued and plan to check it out!

You can read my review of Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry here.

Spotlight on Paul Levine’s Solomon Vs Lord Series plus a giveaway

Paul Levine’s acclaimed series of thrillers feature lawyers Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. Originally published in the 2000s by Bantam, books from this suspenseful and humorous series were nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, International Thriller and James Thurber awards.

All four books in the series — Solomon vs. LordThe Deep Blue AlibiKill All the Lawyers and Habeas Porpoise (formerly titled Trial & Error) — are now available in Kindle editions:


Solomon Vs. Lord
Steve Solomon is the sharpest lawyer ever to barely graduate from Key West School of Law. Victoria Lord is fresh from Yale, toiling for an ambitious D.A. and soon to be married. And Katrina Barksdale is a sexy former figure skater charged with killing her incredibly wealthy, incredibly kinky husband. With all three tangled in the steamiest trial of the century, the case is sure to make sparks fly, headlines scream—and opposites attract. Read More

Deep Blue Alibi

They are Florida’s most mismatched legal duo–one a glamorous Miami blue blood, the other a Coconut Grove beach bum. And when they get together, you can throw every law right out the window…Read More

Kill All The Lawyers

Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. They’re the legal world’s oddest couple—a shorts-and-sandals beach bum and a Coral Gables blue blood. Maybe the only thing keeping them from killing each other is that they’re on the same side. Read More

Habeas Porpoise 
HABEAS PORPOISE opens when Steve is awakened in the middle of the night with a panicked phone call from his 12 year-old nephew, Bobby. Before he can even realize it is not dream, Steve is on a high-speed chase against animal liberation fanatics who have kidnapped two dolphins from the local water park… Read More


I have Kindle editions of Levine’s Solomon vs. Lord

and his short story “Solomon & Lord Sink or Swim”

for one lucky winner!

Please click here for giveaway details.

Giveaway is closed

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd

Title:  A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford #3)

Author:  Charles Todd

Genre:  Mystery series

Published:  January 2011 – HarperCollins

About:  (from Goodreads synopsis) When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and, propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in. Once inside Bess’s flat the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to go home—if Bess will come with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences.

My take:  Charles Todd had me guessing all the way to the end of A Bitter Truth and I still didn’t figure out the murderer! Honorable Bess finds out the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. She becomes one of several suspects in the murder of a house guest at Lydia’s home in Sussex. Over the course of a few weeks more bodies turn up. Not a great way to spend her leave from her work as a nurse near the front in France.

Simon Brandon, Bess’s family friend, tries his best to help her discover what’s going on. I wonder when these two will figure out that they have true feelings for each other. Sooner than later, I hope. I also can’t help wondering if we’ll see more of  Sergeant Larimore in upcoming books. He’s a tall, handsome, charming Australian who seemed to really enjoy teasing Bess when she treated him in the medical tent and when they met up elsewhere. I enjoyed their interactions.

All in all, A Bitter Truth is another good mystery in the Bess Crawford series. I look forward to reading the next book: An Unmarked Grave.

Source:  I bought it.

Spotlight on Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler

Description:  World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world. His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions. But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt. Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter and his allies conduct clandestine clinical trials in Seoul, Korea. But when the trial patients are murdered, Ritter becomes the number one suspect.  Now on the run, Ritter and his beautiful lab assistant Yeohhee, are the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Fiest.

Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience and actual events when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. Its medical and scientific details can impress even the most seasoned medical practitioners. And yet, the fascinating expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast.

♦  ♦  ♦

About the author:  Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors(2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Buy at:     

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad recipe and tips from the author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight

On June 5th, Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight, will be released for the first time in the US and Canada. Here’s a recipe followed by an excerpt from the book.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
By Harry Papas
Author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight

Full of fresh flavor with a hint of spice, not to mention a good amount of healthy fiber, this salad will satisfy any size appetite, just as it has at Maria and Eleni’s Taverna for years!

One 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ small cucumber, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons diced green bell pepper
1 plum tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed
A dash of cayenne pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
A pinch of dried oregano

1. In a medium bowl toss together the chickpeas, scallion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, parsley, capers, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl stir together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chickpea mixture. Toss well to coat and allow to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 1 serving

The above is an excerpt from the book Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight by Harry Papas. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2012 Harry Papas, author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight

9 Tips to Get to and Maintain Your Ideal Weight
By Harry Papas,
Author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight

Consider the following 9-point action plan to get to and maintain your ideal weight:

1. ACKNOWLEDGE the pain: Accept that you’re upset, sad, tired, and frustrated with your current weight and health.

2. Specifically OBSERVE what causes these feelings: Observe the conditions and situations, and the feelings in- side you and around you that contribute to the unhappiness you feel being overweight.

3. THINK and FEEL about the alternative: Imagine what it would be like to rid yourself of these excess pounds and unhappy feelings as you strive towards your own ideal weight.

4. ANALYZE your reasons for losing weight: Think about why you want to become slimmer (to feel better, to look better), and how your life is negatively impacted by remaining overweight. Repeat these analyses constantly.

5. CREATE incentives for losing weight: These are springboards that will give you the drive and power to stick with your weight-loss plan (a vacation, new outfit, or other reward).

6. DECIDE to begin: You’ve made your decision. Express it constantly and happily. Say to yourself, “I can and will get to my ideal weight.”

7. ACT on your commitment: Make a daily effort by going on the SLIMMER nutritional program, drinking more water, and increasing your physical activity.

8. EMPOWER your effort: Emit positive thoughts and energy for success. Feel good about your effort.

9. WITNESS the results: You’ve now lost all your excess pounds, and have achieved your ideal weight. Remember: To maintain your ideal weight forever, you need to perma- nently adopt the good dietary habits of the Slimmer program.

Slimmer is a Life Choice

Getting rid of excess pounds may only be a decision that you’ve made at the beginning, but the reality of shedding those pounds will depend upon your actions and your choices.


Remain devoted to your goal at all times and you will surely succeed. Just about all our life achievements are the result of combining persistence, desire, and focus on what we would like to see happen. This is no different.

And remember to be patient with yourself. Good results come to those who know how to wait and work towards their goals. Believe that you are this type of person and the success of weight loss will be yours.

The above is an excerpt from the book Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight by Harry Papas. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2012 Harry Papas, author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight

Author Bio
Harry Papas
, author of Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight, is a leading certified dietician and bestselling author in Greece, specializing in overweight and obesity issues. The founder of one of Greece’s top diet and weight-loss centers located in Athens, Papas created the Slimmer nutrition system to lose weight permanently, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and help others do the same.

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A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Title:  A Night Like This

Author:  Julia Quinn

Genre:  Historical Romance

Published:  May 2012 – Avon

My take:  Anne Wynter, governess to three precocious girls, and Daniel Smythe-Smith, Earl of Winstead, have something in common. Actually they have at least two things in common. First and foremost, they’ve completely fallen for one another. Secondly, they’ve been looking over their shoulders for years. She – because someone has vowed revenge on her for something that wasn’t her fault eight years earlier. He – because, well, the same thing but three years earlier. I don’t want to spoil by telling the details but I can say Julia Quinn added some good drama to this second book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series.

I loved the easy give and take between Anne and Daniel. They “got” each other’s humor and truly enjoyed being together. It was hard not to smile while reading their scenes. I’m new to the series and the author but I will be reading more.

The opening scene at the annual Smythe-Smith Quartet musicale was hilarious. Anne was pulled into action when one of the girls faked illness at the last minute. She must play the piano with the other three girls. Maybe it’s my music teacher background that had me laughing at Anne’s reaction to the horrible performance of each of her students. It’s a very funny scene. That is also when Daniel sees Anne for the first time. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Julia Quinn has a new fan in me. Her characters, setting and story were truly entertaining. I recommend it to fans of Historical Romance, family series, and a fun story.

Source:  Avon

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.