Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Pasta Thursday!!!

Pasta Thursday started with my mom.  When I was little we always had pasta on Thursday.  When we came home from school on Thursday's she had a huge pot of red sauce and meatballs on the stove.  We would always have amazing Italian bread to dip into the sauce for our after school Thursday snack and probably a yummy meatball...or two!!!

So...whenever I crave pasta it will have to wait for a Thursday.  My sister Paula has turned it into an event for her family and friends.  She still lives in the town where we grew up and Pasta Thursday's are a tradition with her.  Last week she was making pasta from scratch on my mom's pasta machine.  My sister is an amazing cook and this would be a small feat for her to pull off.  I have a pasta machine, too, but I have never taken it out of the box.

I will.

We are having almost homemade pasta for dinner tonight.
Rao's sauce...which is delicious.
Diced pancetta, onion and garlic sauted in a pan.
Big curly pasta that you have to eat with a spoon.
Garlic bread.
Lots of Peccorino Romano cheese...freshly grated.
A yummy salad.

My version of a laid back Pasta Thursday.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sleeping Beauty, Vampires And So Much More!!!

From the book cover…

In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince---she is a brave and tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, the reader will have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next---but no matter the choice, the result is a story unlike any other fairy tale the reader has ever read!!!

My thoughts…

I found myself quite captivated with this take on Sleeping Beauty…who is actually named Lucette in this book. Lucette was born into a dysfunctional secret keeping family. She is a true princess…her father, King Stephen, along with her mother, Queen Catia, rule the kingdom of Xandra. Excitement begins at Lucette’s naming ceremony when a curse is placed upon her by a vampire…Queen Natasha. In spite of protection from fairies the spell can only be put off until Lucette is sixteen. The spell says that when Lucette pricks her finger and blood is shed she will never again be awake when the sun is in the sky. The spell also says that every citizen in Xandra will be asleep when Lucette is awake thus leaving the princess forever alone in darkness.

The spell is a disastrous one for Lucette. She is forced to wear heavy leather gloves, her parents fight constantly and she is never left alone. The author definitely seems to love humor and subtle humor is a thread running through this story. I loved it. Lucette is miserable and the older she gets the more she hates her confinement. She hates girly things and just wants to be a vampire slayer. There is unrest between King Stephen and Queen Natasha and more and more vampire attacks have been sighted. The more Lucette sees the slayers at work protecting the kingdom, the more she wants to be one. Queen Catia and King Stephen argue further about Lucette’s future and against her father’s wishes Lucette secretly learns to be a vampire slayer.

Now…here comes a great twist within this book…there are a ton of different choices to make about what Lucette will do. The choices were easy to make and this is a book that can be read quite a few times while giving Lucette tons of different outcomes. I chose to have Lucette stay with her father while her mother left the country. She became a fierce slayer and had a secret alliance with the vampire queen’s son and a sort of crush on someone from a neighboring kingdom.

I ended my story happily ever after but another reader could choose a totally different path.

This book is probably best suited to early teens or maybe preteens. It was fun and light and charming.

The author is has written another book in her TWISTED TALES series called Cinderella Ninja Warrior. These books are interesting and light and fun. They are written to entertain and to thrill. There is mystery and suspense and just enough danger to keep the reader interested. Younger readers will love the story changing path aspect of both of these books.

I have a great author interview that I will post later this week.
I would love to give away a copy of each book.
Just leave a hello and will choose a winner next Wednesday!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Triple Play...

This past weekend was calm and relaxed.  We are still doing tons of yard work. Beds need cleaning. The vegetable garden is still a mess. We have not planted anything at all yet.  But perennials are popping up every where. My trellises are actually full of climbing purple flowers.  The problem is that there is so much stuff growing in front of them that I can only see them from inside of the house. 

I did not read anything on my Kindle this week end.  I actually read books...three real live papery books!!!

Here they are!!!

Not my favorite but a fun relaxing reading experience. Ignore the Kindle icon... it was a real book!!!

Really good and I am making this bread.  I need to see what all the fuss was about!!!

This book is for a review later.  It was good and had options for different endings!!!

I had a nice break from my Kindle but I missed it and my next book is on my Kindle all fired up and ready!!!

I am reading lots of blogs about BEA...I am so close to NYC that I thought I might go but I don't feel ready for  it.  It just seems overwhelming.  I am sure that everyone will come back with photos of all the books that will be out in the fall...that is what I can't wait to see.

Are you sad that you are not going to BEA? If you aren't going that is...