Cook Like an Outlander

Invite your friends over and cook like an Outlander for your next viewing party. Cheater recipes use puff pastry, so they are easy to make.



The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker


Several horror tropes are stirred together in Shawn Smucker’s debut novel, The Day the Angels Fell. The resulting brew is as frightening as that created by the Three Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and equaling spellbinding. Twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers is forced to answer questions that would test the strength and character of older adults. Yet while the novel deals with difficult moral and ethical struggles, it is at no time preachy. The plot is suspenseful, well thought out, and surprising.

The Day the Angels Fell reminded me of some of Stephen King’s early works. While the former isn’t a horror story, it does have frightening moments.

Three out of Five stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Day the Angels Fell from

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800728491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800728496

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire


It’s hard growing up as a changeling, half human and half fae, and being an outsider from birth. Living between two unwelcoming worlds has been even harder for October “Toby” Daye due to lack of family ties and blood alliances. Through 10 novels, readers have watched award winning author Seanan McGuire craft a magical world filled with fairies, pixies, trolls, selkies and a host of otherworldly creatures in which Toby has had to learn to survive. Now, just when her life seems to be running on an even keel she faces the greatest challenge of her life, the return of her mother.

Okay, that sounds like the punch line from a bad joke, but Toby’s Mom, Amandine the Liar, as you may have guessed from her title, is not a warm and fuzzy kind of Mom. She’s not there to help with bachelorette parties or wedding preparations; she’s there to command Toby to find her older sister, and Amandine’s favorite daughter, August. And Amandine’s not taking no for an answer.

Toby must hunt for her long lost sister through a treacherous landscape with little assistance, all the while being careful of promises she makes. In the world of the fae, breaking a promise can be deadly.


My Rating: Four out of Five stars.

I received this ARC copy of The Brightest Fell from Berkley Publishing Group – DAW. The Brightest Fell is set for publication September 5, 2017.

Written by: Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye

Sequence in Series: Book 11

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: DAW

ISBN-10: 0756413311

ISBN-13: 978-0756413316

Genre: Urban Fantasy

#SeananMcGuire #OctoberDaye #TheBrightestFell #DAW

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If You Liked Station Eleven…


If you liked one of the biggest books of 2016, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, then you need to check out Before This Is Over, by Amanda Hickie.

While Station Elven looked at the national consequences of a fast moving pandemic, Before This Is Over focuses on one family, and the radical changes in their comfortable suburban life necessitated by a modern plague.

An unknown, flu-like illness sweeps around the world, catching Hannah and most of the society unaware. Quick witted, if somewhat naive, Hannah races to gather her family and prepare for the undefined threat. But how much food is enough? How much water, energy, basic resources western civilization takes for granted, will the family need to survive a threatened quarantine? How long will they need to hold out, and will they be able to endure?

Most of us have never been forced to make hard decisions regarding the survival of our loved ones, let alone face the consequences of choices made regarding neighbors, children, community and friends. What emotional cost, what damage to our psyche is too much to bear?

The premise to the novel may seem farfetched to some, but author Amanda Hickie’s life in Canada gave her a unique perspective on this apocalyptic tale. Hickie and her family were living on Toronto when it became the epicenter of the 2003 SARS outbreak in that country.

Compelling, frightening and intensely personal, Before This Is Over looks at one woman’s battle for her family in a suddenly unfamiliar world.

Four out of five stars.

Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy for review.

Here be Monsters



You may think it is hard to go home again, but you haven’t seen a tough homecoming until you’ve read “The Grave Tender,” by Eliza Maxwell. A moody, atmospheric thriller, “The Grave Tender” explores the lines people are prepared to cross defending their families, even when they are fearful of some of their supposed nearest and dearest.

Dark tales susurrate across the across hardscrabble east-Texas farmland, whispering secrets about lost children, raped girls, and a disfigured man hiding in a patch of thorny brush designed to keep all but the most determined, or foolish, out. Like old patched maps of uncharted territories say, here be monsters.

But who are the monsters in this twisted story of family loss and redemption, and can widowed Hadley Dixon make a home for herself, her child, and the unknown babe she carries?

Secrets come home to roost in this satisfying read.


Three stars out of five.

Lake Union Publishing provided a complementary review copy for review.


The Grave Tender

Eliza Maxwell

Lake Union Publishing



“The Readymade Thief” by Augustus Rose: Review

The Readymade Thief

Rarely have I felt so passionately about a new author and debut novel that I not only called a regional bookstore about an author signing, I emailed my friends to encourage them to attend.

“The Readymade Thief” by Augustus Rose has sent me into an unpaid, handselling frenzy. The blurb from Penguin Random House may mislead some readers, letting them think this one of those ubiquitous teen coming-of-age fantasy novels featuring an at-risk young woman. Rose takes many of the themes found in genre novels and spins them into a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of physical and metaphysical insight.

While this may sound challenging, at its heart “The Readymade Thief” is a literary mystery-thriller, featuring a secret society, disappearing teenagers, uber-geeks, the darknet, drugs, raves, and…oh yeah… a kick-ass heroine. Somehow, Rose manages to meld physics and art without losing track of the twisty plot or sacrificing the novel’s pace.

To read an excerpt, go to:


Image result for the readymade thief


I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from in exchange for an honest review.

This review has been posted to:




New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson



Amazing near cli-fi, in which New York is a drowned city as the result of catastrophic climate change. The big money movers and shakers have not learned their lesson though, and are once again leading the world to the edge of economic and physical disaster. Engaging characters are far from stereotypic as they fight the good fight to save the world and their city.