Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Heretic Queen: A Novel

The Heretic Queen: A Novel

There are historical time periods that fascinate me. Egypt is one and Michelle Moran covered some of these times well! This is the third of her Egyptian themed stories I've enjoyed. My first find was Cleopatra's Daughter. I loved the history as she made the character come alive in our imaginations. I enjoyed her writing so much, I followed up with Nefertiti and, this, The Heretic Queen

I had to get it after this summary by the publisher:
In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family's past and remake history.
The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the 18th Dynasty's royal family, all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl's deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace.
But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh's aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.
Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family's history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one.
While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.
Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.
It's a 'spot on' description! Nefertari goes from girl to woman; from childhood friend to loving wife, mother, and queen of Egypt; from smart, well educate student, to wise, strong woman. All of this in the midst palace intrigue and history!

All this is well voiced for by Cassandra Campbell! (She also voiced Nefertiti)

Now I have to give you fair warning, if listening to this while driving, you may find yourself driving a bit longer than intended because you want caught up in the story! Or finding your knitting needles have stopped moving at a story high point.

By the by, next up, Ms. Moran is taking us to France with Madame Tussaud: A novel of the French Revolution (release date April 12, 2011). Check out this cover:
Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
I do so love using my credits at! I must also thank for needed links!

Beyond the Highland Mist

Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Book 1)

I could not help but think of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as fairies became involved in the lives to men.

We have Hawk, known as the King's Whore, of  Scotland. As befits a hero, he is tall, dark, and handsome. He's excells in battle and bedrooms but no woman has captured his heart.

We have the beautiful Adrienne, a woman of our time; outspoken, independent, and strong willed. Her heart was freely given to a handsome, irresistible man whose abuse so scared her heart that she has swore off handsome, smooth talking, irresistibly men forever.

This pairing is made possible by jealous, angry fairy as Adrienne is transported back to 16th century.

Now we all know fairies must be defeated (it's in the fairy vs mankind rule book). The question is how much mischief will they concoct and how will our hero capture the elusive heart of the fair maiden?

This unabridged fun by Karen Marie Moning was well read by Phil Gigante as I did my mundane duties. (O, and it much easier to understand the Mr. Shakespeare she giggles as she exits stage right.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Tricks

New Tricks

I told you I couldn't wait! Neither could my husband. So, I used my credit. We then spent about 7.5 blissful hours listening to Grover Gardner read David Rosenfelt's book to us. What a grand job he did of a really fun story and some very interesting characters!

The following is how the publisher summarized it:

Andy Carpenter gains possession of an adorable Bernese puppy whose owner was brutally murdered. Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he will do whatever it takes to insure that this little pup doesn't fall into the wrong hands. However, his playful new friend is valued by several people, many of whom are willing to resort to violence to get what they want.
It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save this dog, including a little help from his beloved Golden Retriever, Tara. Andy soon discovers that anyone around him is in danger, including his longtime girlfriend, Laurie, and he will have to muster all of his wits to save those he holds most dear.

Looking at the cover photo and seeing how cute Bernese puppies are, why would/could someone kill such, any less people around it!?  There is wit and passion in this thrill ride of a "who done it" along with the dogie fun and human love. Will you figure out why people are willing to kill the puppy, as well as humans, before the stories end?  And why?  How many death's are incurred along the way?

Now should you fall in love with the wit and attitude of Mr. Rosenfelt's Andy and his dog, Tara, you are in luck! There are more books! I can only assume they too are complete and stand alone. Oh, there is more information about Andy's relationship his girl friend and Tara but the stories work as stand alone and could be read as such.

The newest epic, Dog Tags, has just been released.
Dog Tags
It will be difficult, but I must not get this or any of the others Mr Rosenfelt's stories until my TBR pile is lower. It will be hard (very hard) but...  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oscar Wild needs a new bed

I think I found the right one, too. It's smaller the one my mom gave Mystery Puppy which means it will take up less  floor space. It looks like a great bed for under cover puppies like our Oscar Wild! The old bed has become rather shop worn, I may have to cut it up a bit of the old one to make a sort of bottom cover so Oscar will know it's for him.

What? 'sorry....I got a bit ahead of myself, CSN  Stores liked my chat about the dinning room tables (though I've yet figured out which is my final choice) and, to say thank you, they have asked what I would like as a thank you gift.  So off I went...and there is was! A nice wee bed of his own, complete with its own hiding whole but still with a view of all about him. Isn't it lovely? Squint your eyes and think of it in Black Watch Plaid. There were other beds, some even for kitties too, but this is the one I kept coming back to!

If you too are needing to find a new bed because the aged one is about give it up, go look here for all the great choices!

What a lovely place to shop for those who are home bound.
Snoozer Cozy Cave Pet Bed in Poly Cotton - 87 - X



1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (I prefer agave, honey, or raw sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup vanilla yogurt
Place flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl and stir to combine. In a second bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla until blended. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Fold in melted butter and then vanilla yogurt with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Let batter rest a few minutes before using. Preheat your Waffle Iron on setting #3.

When preheated, green indicator light will illuminate. Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the center of the lower grid. Allow batter to spread towards edges for 5 seconds. Close lid of waffle iron – green indicator light will turn off. When green indicator light turns on again, waffle is ready. Open lid and carefully remove baked waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. For best results, serve immediately. You may keep waffles warm on a rack placed on a baking sheet in a warm (200°F) oven.
Variations: For lemon ginger waffles add 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger to the batter with the juice and zest. For lemon blueberry waffles add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter as the last ingredient.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories 203 • carbohydrates 27g • protein 5g • fat 9g • sat fat 5g • chol 63 mg • sodium 274mg• calcium 78mg • fiber 1g
I got this from Leslie Loves Veggies. I don’t know what she would sever them with, but I was thinking of stopping them with some lemon curd and Natella! Yummy!!

Hey, if lunch time...serve along with cooked with LOTS of lemon juice.


Nutella Italy Eu Label Law

Monday, August 23, 2010

'Gotta get caught up!

Consequently, some of these may be fairly short.
Showed my copy of Microwaves are For Cooking, by Donovan Jon Fandre to mom. She had to have it. It is a grand book for people who want to lean how to used their microwaves for more than a warm-up machine or popcorn popper! I got my copy about 30 years ago when he had his cooking show on PBS. It may not be easy to find but sure is worth it!

While looking to my (soon to be our) cook book  we came upon
Real Food Microwave: 400 Recipes from Television's Microwave Master That Taste As If They Were Made the Old-Fashioned Way
Now you know she would have to have it and only 1 left...well, until I decided I had to have it too! and then here wee none...well, not turn...checked out Amazon (were I found the copies moments ago...back up for grabs!

I got this version on with my monthly member credit. This is one time when the author (Alice Walker) reads her story to you in a very ease to listen to narration.
I loved the movie and this audio book did not let me down! If you don't believe me, check it out yourself!
I have been watching True Blood based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris and enjoying them mightily. When I found had one of the books on sale, welllll, you know.  It was just as much fun as the TV series. BUT if you are watching the series, DO NOT GET THIS BOOK yet! It is ahead of where the series is so would be a SPOILER! If you want to read one or more of the books, I would start with the first and stop as soon as you get to new stuff. That said...I loved it and want the read the earlier ones and the series to catch up to where I am!!!

The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation, #2)

by Lauren Willig
What fun! A followup to The Pink Carnation! More bopping back and forth between the present and the days of the Scarlet Pimpernel as Ms Willig continues with the fast pace and witting conversation! I'm so glad to find out there are more of her books for DH and I to share. I love them! Such a giggle!

Egads! how long has this been waiting for me to get back to it!!

I just had to findout

New Tricks   by

I saw the picture of two dogs. (AWWWW!) And then I read a review and another and another via the blogs of others. Then I went to to listen to a minute of it...couldn't find an printed exert.  That did it! I could not wait to win it! I had to have it NOW. So Edward Kennedy's True Compass is on hold until this one is finished. I got in on  

WISHLIST: DogTags by David Rosenfelt

WhaHOOOO. Look what I found! New book!  After New Tricks, I have fallen in love with David Rosenfelt! Mysterys! Dogs! Humor! A guy who love dogs can't be all bad!  Hachette...I love you, too! With out you...

No, I've not read the book and this is not a review or a posting requested by anyone. 'This is just me going bananas about a book I saw and I WANT!!!


DAVID ROSENFELT is the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures and lives in Southern California.


Dog Tags   by, David Rosenfelt


DAVID ROSENFELT is the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures and lives in Southern California.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The 11th Century?

Yes. Because that is when the first crusades began. The following is why Europeans decided to send soldiers to fight in the Middle East (and I thank Yahoo Answers for the information):

"In the 11th century, wild Turkish nomads gained possession of the Muslim kingdoms in the Near East, converted to Mohammedanism, and threatened Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and center of Greek Orthodox Christianity. The Byzantine emperor, recognizing the tremendous power of the Catholic Church, appealed for military aid, not to the kings of Europe but to the Pope of Rome. The Church was sympathetic to this appeal, because the Turks were molesting Christians making pilgrimages to Palestine, the Holy Land. Consequently, Pope Urban II, in 1095, issued a call for a religious war, called a Crusade, against the Muslims to restore Christian control over Jerusalem and the Holy land. The Pope's call for a Crusade met with great enthusiasm. It attracted religious persons who held that "God wills it," nobles who hoped to acquire new lands and great riches, middle-class merchants who hoped for increased trade, serfs who hoped to escape from feudal oppression, and adventurers who wanted travel and excitement. But above all people wanted to free the Holy City of Jerusalem, holiest shrine of Christianity."

I love that last sentence! Were there Christian zealots who believed it? No doubt. My sceptical self thinks she sees ulterior motives on the parts of the Emperor and the Pope. I can well see the greed of the nobles and merchants, serfs hoping for a better lot, and those of the adventurous or escapist nature.

Important to note, don't you think, that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims all claim dependency from Abraham, thus all claim the city "Holy". 

1095 to 2010. Differences?

Out of the mouths of babes

A long time ago I listened to a shocked mom relate a conversation she had with her daughter who had been molested by her stepfather:

Child: do you think you will ever marry again?
Mom: I don't know. Right now I distrust men. Don't you?
Child: No. I just don't trust him.
(Him, the stepfather.)

What a wise seven year old. She wasn't angry or distrustful of all men. Just the man who had hurt her. Why can't we all be like that child.  

It was not all Muslims who attacked the World Trade Center. 

Of the people who died, how many different cities, states, countries were they from? How many different faiths were represented in the deaths? What about the people who pitched in to help? Did anyone stop to ask helpers about their religion or where they were born or their politics; or care to look at skin color or dress? No. I don't think so. So why are some people doing it now? Why are people blaming all people of a faith, a country, instead of just the terrorists and those behind them? 

Are we, as a world, regressing to the 11th century? 

It saddens me when we as individuals, a country, are attaching blame all the people of a faith, a country, instead of a small group hate mongers. 

When will we be as wise as a seven year old child? 

Suffrage pageant - L.I. (LOC)

I wonder if this was from the earlier pageant?

Suffrage Pageant - flower girls L.I., N.Y. (LOC)

Am I the only one who wonders what else was seen in the pageant?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What is a "Sikh"

And why do I care?  1) A large part of my DH's life was spent in India. 2) Via marriage, I now have a Sikh relative. 3) I am curious (nosey)! 4) Knowledge can defeat fear!

The Nishan Sahib, flag of the Sikhs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A Sikh (English pronunciation: /ˈsiːk/ or /ˈsɪk/) is a follower of Sikhism

Sikhism (Sikhi in Punjabi) primarily originated in 15th century Punjab region of India and now constitutes one of the major religions with adherents throughout the world. 

The term "Sikh" has its origin in the Sanskrit term śiṣya, meaning "disciple, student" or śikṣa, meaning "instruction". The sikh is a disciple of the guru.

According to Article I of the "Rehat Maryada" (the Sikh code of conduct and conventions), a Sikh is defined as "any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being; ten Gurus; the teachings of the ten Gurus and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru; and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion". 

Sikhs believe in the Equality of Mankind, the concept of the Universal Brotherhood of Man and One Supreme God (Ik Onkar).

The greater Punjab region is the historic homeland of Sikhism. The Sikhs refer to themselves as the Sikh Quam or Nation.


The basis of the religion is on the union of the soul with god. The thought process and actions on the world plane are to be so that veil of the five evils (lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego) are dispelled and the soul can be united with the creator. The cycle of reincarnation is broken by this union.

The basis of Sikh lifestyle need is:  meditate on the holy name (Waheguru), work diligently and honestly, and share one's fruits. The guiding principles of Sikh faith are Truth, Equality, Freedom, Justice, and Karma.

Non-Sikhs can partake fully in Sikh prayer meetings and social functions. The Sikh daily prayers include the well being of all of mankind.

Sikhism can be considered as one of the truly universal religions. 

The opening hymn of the holy Guru Granth Sahib expounds the nature and attributes of god:

There is one supreme eternal reality; 
the truth; 
immanent in all things; 
creator of all things; 
immanent in creation. 
Without fear and without hatred; 
not subject to time; 
beyond birth and death; 
Known by the Guru’s grace.

Sikhs are required to not renounce the world and aspire to live a modest life. Seva (service) is an integral part of Sikh worship, very easily observed in the Gurdwara

Visitors of any religious or socio-economic background are welcomed. Langar (food for all) is always served. It is another way to break the caste system, serving people of all origins with same food, sitting together at same level on floor.

Protecting the religious and political rights of all people and prevention of discrimination is an integral part of the of Sikh faith. The martyrdom of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji 9th Guru to protect Hindus from religious persecution, in Delhi, on 11 November 1675 AD, is another example of upholding minority religious freedom.

Lovely!  Sounds parallel to the teachings of Jesus (as I was taught them). 

Oh, I did some condensing of what was in Wikipedia for brevity. If you want to know the whole, check it out.

Rose Sanderson (LOC)

Rose Sanderson

"Women's suffragists demonstrate in February 1913. The triangular pennants read "VOTES FOR WOMEN". The negative is labeled "ROSE SANDERSON", the woman holding the trumpet. An adjacent photograph in the series (LC-DIG-ggbain-12482) contains a flyer labeled "COME AND WATCH SUFFRAGE SPREAD" that identifies the event as one sponsored by the National Suffrage Association."

Thanks Wikipedia for the words and Library of Congress for the picture!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why I thank the Library of Congress

O, and Flickr!

Because through them, I can celebrate this celebratory month with you via pictures! (NO, I am not talking about my birth or my marriage!) I can celebrate women from our past who gave us a reason to celebrate!

Expect more to follow through the month!

Suffrage parade - Mrs. Mary Bair, Mr[s]. W. Albert Wood, and Mrs. R.S. [i.e., Richard Coke] Burleson (LOC)

Because of them, WE are identifiable by who we are and not just who we married! It's ok for us to be a Miss, Mrs, or Ms.

Suffragettes at capitol: Mrs. [Russell] McLennan, Mrs. Aletha Taft, Louise Bridges, Mrs. [Richard Coke] Burleson, Alberta Hill, F. Ragsdale (LOC)

They were wives and mothers

Suffrage news girls - Liz Freeman (LOC)

Some faces of great women!

Peanut Buttered Fish?

Organic Coconut Peanut Butter 26 oz. photo
I know, it sounds too weird! But it is GOOD. Take mild white fish and bake it, steam it, poach it...make no difference. Take anywhere from 1/4 of a cup of the Coconut Peanut Butter and warm it in the microwave with a bit of cayanne or hot sauce or hot oil (depending on how hot you like it). Plate your fish and pour your warmed, spiced peanut butter sauce over it. We didn't salt or pepper the fish while cooking.

Thought about adding coconut but didn't have any.  Maybe next time..although it did taste rather perfect.

I need to table this

Woodbridge Home Designs 759 Series 5 Piece Pub Dining Room Set - 759 Pub Dining Series

Woodbridge Home Designs 759 Series 5 Piece Pub Dining Room Set - 759 Pub Dining Series

Now that I have my new wheelchair that goes up and down, this might be an option for us. We like darker woods. And the pricing is way better than the game table that I got before we got married (and DH hates)! 

OH...I found this while strolling through Dining Rooms Direct. Well, with all the talk in the blogging world, I had to check it out. And then, they wanted to be talked about. Win, Win. 

Seriously, I had to quit my investigation... so many, MANY sets of dinning room sets! Styles! Light wood, dark wood, glass! The mind swirls! I have to also think about getting my wheels under one which most folks don't have to think about. 

If you don't have to be quite so picky, but still are choosy, this might be a good place to start...or finish. Check Dining Rooms Direct out yourself! 

I want to be like this turtle if you ever flip out!

I love my niece, Lisa, for sharing this with me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye


Did you get it?

We've come a long way baby!

I read this article in the New York Times by Gail Collins the other day about the how the 90th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. 

A lot of the history I knew but not this part:

"The women and their allies knew they had a one-vote margin of support in the House. Then the speaker, whom they had counted on as a “yes,” changed his mind.

(I love this moment. Women’s suffrage is tied to the railroad track and the train is bearing down fast when suddenly. ...)
Suddenly, Harry Burn, the youngest member of the House, a 24-year-old “no” vote from East Tennessee, got up and announced that he had received a letter from his mother telling him to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt.”
“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides."
Did you smile? I did with a bit of a lump in my throat. 

Then I thought of my 91 year old mom. I had to call her. Did she realize she was a year older that this historical change?  Had she ever talked to her parents about this bit of history? They were from Mississippi. Where did they stand on the issue? (Her father was 41; her mother, 26!)

"Oh," she said, "they were very progressive! They were very much in favor of women having the right to vote!"

I wish we could have talked longer but she was trying to get my husband on the road home. But we have an appointment to discuss it further.

So, celebrate Women's Suffrage Day n August 26. 

Hold it in your mind and heart in November. We have the vote! Use it! Celebrate it! Think of all those women had to go through to get us this right! It doesn't matter, it should not matter, that this is not a presidential election year. It is an important year for all women to show their appreciation for all the things the women who proceeded us were willing to go through to give us this privilege, this right!

So, ladies, think hard, listen hard, make some decisions, and VOTE!  And don't forget to encourage other women to do the same, help other women to do the same even if it's a ride to the polls! 

Don't forget, We've come a long way baby! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Historian

The Historian

The Historian

Why did I ever want to win this book? It's abridged for heaven's sake! You know how I feel about abridged books! But enter and I! Won it too! 

What's the difference between the unabridged and abridged versions? 26 hours vs 11.5 hours. That's a lot of cutting!  (I didn't really feel it except maybe just at the end. Otherwise, it moved along quite nicely for me.)

Did the fact that Hachette Book Group put it out have anything to do with it? Probably, the Group has put out so many books in both written and audible formats that I have enjoyed.

The cover? You gotta admit it is a cool cover. And did you notice all the narrators?! (They were, as Tony the Tiger would say, grrrrrrrate!)

Hachette summarized the story this way:

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, THE HISTORIAN is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe-in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled listeners around the world.

I can't top that was all that was promised!  

Now I have to make a wee confession:  while I thought I would find this a good story, I did not expect to really enjoy it as much as I did! It is not a genre that I typically read but some of my best friends (book bloggers I trust) were really excited about it. Nosey me, just had to find out stirred them up! I was not disappointed! Maybe you should get nosey too.