Nov 2, 2014

Sunday's Fabulous Freebie! Tethered by Brandi Leigh Hall, Review by Anniek

 A sweet Upper Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance, perfect for fans of CHARMED, THE SECRET CIRCLE and WITCHES OF EAST END!

No matter how you try to fight it—destiny has a mind of its own!

Since foreseeing the imminent death of her parents six years earlier, Chloe has lived a simple, not-so-charmed-life away from her remaining Wiccan family.

Zero magic.

No close friendships.

While struggling to bench-press more guilt than any nineteen-year-old ever should.

But fate intervenes and forces Chloe to return home. As if being an in-the-closet-Seer wasn’t bad enough, now she has to spend summer break with the snarky sister who hates her—and the magical birthright she was hell-bent on denying for all eternity.

Luckily, meeting Mr. Perfect takes the edge off her endless family drama. Hunter’s twenty-five, sometimes old-fashioned in a Jane Austen hero sort of way, and more delicious than molten-lava cake. But the more she tries to hide her family’s magical secrets from this ever-present stranger, the more quickly she realizes he’s hiding a few doozies of his own.

Will the lies and betrayal destroy their relationship before it really begins? Or will learning of their tethered future create an unbreakable bond neither can deny? Either way, their hearts will be forever entwined by destiny. 


Anniek's review:

Tethered is the first book of a trilogy. This story is very sweet and warms your heart. I loved to read about the endless love the family of Chloe has for each other. They will do anything to keep each other safe. All of the family members have their own special magical gift.
Chloe is so lovable and sweet. After the vision she had about her parents dying she moved away from her family to live with her mom’s twin sister.
Both of them shut out their magical abilities. They were struggling to keep sane and living like loners. When a family member gets ill they both have no choice but to return home. Chloe turns out to be more magical than she ever knew. Reconnecting with her family again she embraces her powers. Her younger sister has been deeply hurt by the fact that Chloe has not been around. 


Tempted ( a BirthRight novel part 2):

What if the very thing to save you—is the one thing beyond your reach? 
Torn between the two men who have fallen for her—and the evil who wants to possess her—twenty-year-old Chloe Bishop can no longer remember the fatal vision which threatens her future happiness. But when the magical link is severed between Chloe and her Wiccan family, they must find a way to save her before temptation leads her into darkness—and into the welcoming arms of Mr. Wrong. 


Tangled (a BirthRight novel part 3):

If you were forced to choose between trading your life to save a loved one—or staying alive to save the world—which would you choose? 

With the impending battle closing in, Chloe and her magical family must work with a former rival to fulfill the Prophecy. Yet neither side knows the true Evil they're up against, or who might be taken out in the process. But in the moment of truth, Chloe’s compelled to make the most unimaginable decision of her life. Will love of family—or the fate of the world—dictate her defining moment? And more importantly, will she be strong enough to accept the ripple effect caused by her choice? 

The Epic conclusion of The BirthRight Series. 

Getting to know Rachel Noel: Vanilla Cake with Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting review

Vanilla Cake with Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting

I normally only review one recipe at a time, but in this case, it became necessary to review two new recipes: a Golden Vanilla Cake recipe and an Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. While I don’t use the brand specific ingredients of the Golden Vanilla Cake, it still came out well.
Naturally the first thing I did was bake the cake. I mixed all the dry ingredients together. Then I included the eggs and butter and thought I was done.

Of course, this was because I’ve been making a significant amount of cookies, not cakes, and almost forgot to add the milk! Then, when I added the milk, I thought it was too soupy. That’s when I finally remembered, cake batter is a lot more liquidy than cookie dough. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a cake. But at least it looks beautiful!
Next step was to pour out the batter into the two cake pans. I didn’t have any parchment paper to keep the batter from sticking to the pans so I’m greasing them, hoping for the best, and telling my husband to put parchment paper on the shopping list.

So I bake the cakes for appropriate amount of time. They give the apartment a subtle vanilla scent. They look very good!
I made up the frosting while the cakes cooled. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures while doing so. >.<
So, let’s just skip to the problems I had trying to frost the cake!
The first problem was that greasing the pans was not enough. The cakes stuck to the pans and then they started crumbling a bit. My husband felt obliged to encourage the crumbling by pinching off a piece of cake. At least I had an early opinion that it would taste good! Sadly, the act of frosting also only encouraged the crumbling. I did decide to do something completely off the recipe and put in some diced pears between the layers with a thin coating of frosting.

It ain’t gonna be pretty, but I’m not going for looks as much as taste.
So I put some diced pears on top of the cake as well to, again, enhance the flavor. I was hesitant to try the cake since I had sincere doubts about the flavor. I told my husband he could have one slice of cake. Unfortunately I let him decide the size of the slice. I kid you not, the picture below was taken after he grabbed ONE slice.

He loved it! He said it had multiple flavors that blended together rather than having one overpowering flavor of sweetness. When I tried it for myself, I understood what he meant. The combination of flavors, cake, frosting, pears, make for a combined flavor that make me think of autumn. The allspice of the frosting mixed with the gentle vanilla of the cake, mixed with the subtle flavor of the pears. It was definitely not a sweet cake, but it was so very flavorful. I’m not sure I could get this with any other cake/frosting combination.
So, this is definitely a good cake to make as we get further into fall. I definitely prefer it to all the pumpkin spice that’s being shoved in my face. The frosting does not carry as well to the next day as I would like. By itself it reminds of cinnamon gum. But the combination definitely works. I would give these recipes a 5, but I’m not sure that I could really use these recipes with any other. The Allspice frosting is so flavorful it requires a cake that is subtle in its flavors and the flavor of the Vanilla Cake is so subtle it requires either a flavorful frosting or filling. I’ll still give these recipes four hoots and this combination gets 5!


Nov 1, 2014

Faerie Tales From the Write Forest by Danika Dinsmore


Brigitta is living a safe and secluded life in the White Forest. She's having fun and she loves to dream and she spends a lot of time in her favorite field, being lazy. Only then everything changes. All of a sudden she has to save the faeries in the forest from a horrible fate. She's the only one who can do it. Will she be able to find the person who's responsible? Leaving the White Forest is scary. She also has her little sister with her who is too small to realize what's at stake. When she returns the trouble isn't over yet. There are many dangerous missions she has to undertake. Brigitta has to grow up as fast as she can and there's a lot she has to learn in such a short period of time. Will she be able to manage everything that's being expected of her?
At first Brigitta is a faery like all others and she's nervous to find out what her destiny is. Some of her friends have received their markings already. Nothing could have prepared her for what she has to do. She's strong and resilient. She makes plenty of mistakes and every time there's a new lesson to learn. Brigitta isn't perfect and she knows it which made her so likable. The White Forest is beautiful and peaceful and the faeries love to throw parties and to have fun. I liked the idea of such wonderful place. Danika Dinsmore has created a beautiful world. This omnibus contains the first three books of Faerie Tales From the White Forest series. I liked each of them a lot. This is a series, there's more to come and I'm looking forward to that. I had so much fun reading these books. Every time Brigitta discovers another piece to the puzzle and I can't wait to see the rest of her journey. I highly recommend these books to both children and grown ups who can still find the child inside themselves.

Saturday's Etsy Favorites

Mini Art Gallery
Sugarcube Corner
Jazlene Collection
Oddball Art Co
Hannah Doodle

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