Giving Thanks for Clean Forks by Edmond Manning


I knew when I asked Edmond Manning to write up a post for Thanksgiving I was asking for something that was both going to be funny and heartfelt.  He has an amazing capacity to make me laugh and cry.  Okay, so I’m not always thankful for that crying part.  ~ Faye



I have been very quiet about a special relationship of mine. It started a year ago and I announced it on Facebook. At the time, I got a ton of relationship advice and even a few jeers about how I was already ‘doing it wrong,’ so I retreated and nurtured this relationship in private. And though I haven’t talked about this relationship publicly, we see each other daily. Mostly in the kitchen. I don’t feel judged. I give this relationship my nastiest, grungiest parts of me and together, we make everything clean. Continue reading Giving Thanks for Clean Forks by Edmond Manning


     Author: Garrett Leigh

     Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

     Rating: 4.5 stars

     Buy Links: DSP and Amazon

     Type: Standalone Novel

     Received from Publisher


Blurb: Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

Continue reading Heart

Ghosts of Christmas Past (The Phoenix Institute Series #3.5)

81bAme4SJ2L._SL1500_Author: Corrina Lawson

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy links: Samhain & Amazon

Type: Novella in Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb: Christmas can be murder on a relationship that’s on the rocks.

The Phoenix Institute, Book 3.5

As Christmas approaches in crumbling Charlton City, Detective Aloysius James and his partner, Noir, are at a crossroads. Figuring out how to reconcile their careers with their relationship is harder than catching the bad guys.

Now that Noir has learned to control her invisibility and is making a name for herself among the city’s artist collective, Al senses there’s something she’s keeping from him. And he doesn’t know how long they can remain partners. Or even lovers.

Noir isn’t sure how Al would take it if he knew how deeply he has touched her artistic soul, or how he could react if he saw the secret drawings that have helped heal the wounds of her past.

When a murder lands them on opposite sides—Al ready to arrest a suspect Noir insists in innocent—they’re going to need to unwrap all the ghosts of their pasts to make this Christmas the first of many. Or it could be their last.

Warning: Contains explicit, desperate make-up sex. Also, pie.

Continue reading Ghosts of Christmas Past (The Phoenix Institute Series #3.5)

Black Widow (Elemental Assassin #12)

blackwidowAuthor: Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Rating: 5 stars

Buy links: Author Page

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb: Lethal, sexy, and always ready to protect her friends, Gin Blanco (a.k.a. the Spider) takes on the mysterious M.M. Monroe in book twelve of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan. With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bull’s-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames. Continue reading Black Widow (Elemental Assassin #12)

I’m Not Eating That by Anne Tenino


For many of us, there is a special food we associate with the holiday that we fill our plates with.  And there is a “special” food we associate with the holiday and we do our best to avoid it.  We all had a relative who was… not as skilled in the kitchen as other people in the family.  My family has grand machinations to keep one specific person from cooking.  And that’s to say nothing of those traditional family dishes that we all hate yet someone always brings.  My grandfather insisted we always have a “salad” of cherries, coconut, bananas, marshmallows, and nuts.  Not fresh cherries.  Cherry pie filling.  Ahh, memories. ~ Faye


What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Continue reading I’m Not Eating That by Anne Tenino

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay#1)

     Author: L.A. Witt

     Publisher: Riptide Publishing

     Rating: 3.5 stars

     Buy Links: Riptide and Amazon

     Type: Standalone Novel

     Received from Publisher


Blurb: Hollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show—exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet—no matter how attractive he finds his co-star.

Carter Samuels is the critically-acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting—and made him realize he’s gay—is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need.

Continue reading Starstruck (Bluewater Bay#1)

The Pie and Pastry Bible

Pie Friday



      Author: Rose Levy Beranbaum

     Publisher: Scribner

     Rating: 5 stars

     Buy Links: Amazon

     Type: Cookbook

     Purchased by Reviewer



Blurb:  The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams — the definitive work by the country’s top baker.
More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries
Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry, croissants (chocolate, too), Danish, brioche, sticky buns, cream puffs, and profiteroles
All kinds of fillings, glazes, toppings, and sauces, including pastry cream, frangipane, Chiboust, fruit curds, ice creams, fondant, fruit preserves, streusel, meringues, ganache, caramel, and hot fudge
A separate chapter featuring foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts of every kind imaginable. Here are a few: Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Flaky Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust, Miracle Flaky Lard Pie Crust, and Flaky Goose Fat Pie Crust; Bittersweet Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger, and Sweet Nut Cookie Crusts; and Vanilla, Gingersnap, Chocolate, and Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts
Countless tips that solve any problem, including the secrets to making a juicy fruit pie with a crisp bottom crust and a lemon meringue pie that doesn’t weep
How to make a tender and flaky pie crust in under three minutes
How to make the best brownie ever into a crustless tart with puddles of ganache
Exciting savory recipes, including meat loaf wrapped in a flaky Cheddar cheese crust and a roasted poblano quiche
Extensive decorating techniques for the beginning baker and professional alike that show you how to make chocolate curls, pipe rosettes, crystallize flowers and leaves, and more
Detailed information on ingredients and equipment, previously available only to professionals
The wedding cake reconceived as a Seven-Tier Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart
Pointers for Success follow the recipes, guaranteeing perfect results every time

Continue reading The Pie and Pastry Bible

Thanksgiving in December by Josephine Myles


English speaking North Americans understand the whole Thanksgiving thing even if we can’t agree upon the dates.  I was curious what people not immersed in this madness thought of us as we engage in our yearly harvest festival and go crazy for pie made of squash.  Josephine Myles was kind enough to give a British perspective on our yearly spectacle.  It seems we aren’t that crazy, but we, again, have our celebration at the wrong time and call it something different.  Which is typical.  The Americans and The British: two people separated by a common language. ~ FayeHappyThanksgiving

Thanksgiving. What’s all the fuss about? It’s just Christmas Dinner a month early. Continue reading Thanksgiving in December by Josephine Myles

Love & Loyalty (Faith, Love, & Devotion #2)

     Author: Tere Michaels

     Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

     Rating: 5 stars

     Buy Links: DSP and Amazon

     Type: Novel from Series

     Received from Publisher

Blurb:  Seattle Homicide Detective Jim Shea never takes work home with him—until now. A judge banged his gavel, declared a defendant not guilty, and laid waste to a family. The emotional fallout of the trial leaves Jim vulnerable and duty-bound to the victim’s dying father.

It’s that man’s story that screenwriter Griffin Drake and his best friend, actress Daisy Baylor, see as their ticket out of action blockbusters and into more serious fare. But to get the juicy details, Griffin needs to win over the stoic and protective Detective Shea. Their attraction is immediate, and Daisy encourages Griffin to use it to their advantage: secure the man, secure the story. Neither man has had much luck when it comes to love, and when their one night together evolves into a long weekend of rapidly intensifying feelings, both Griffin’s fierce loyalty to Daisy and his very career is put to the test.

Because the more Griffin is drawn into a new life with Jim, the more his Hollywood life falls apart. Secrets and broken trust threaten Griffin’s relationships, and he’ll have to choose between telling the truth or writing a Hollywood ending.

Continue reading Love & Loyalty (Faith, Love, & Devotion #2)

Wild Turkey by Rhys Ford


I’m always curious about how fictional characters spend the holidays.  Who is surprisingly festive and who is surprisingly… not?  Rhys Ford was kind enough to write a Thanksgiving ficlet about the abundant and gregarious Morgan family.  I was not surprised Miki hid out with a bottle of hootch, but he did manage to surprise me.  Brigid and I are very thankful. ~ FayeHKThanksgiving

“Them downstairs? They’re fucking loons.” Damien shivered as he plopped down next to Miki, nudging his best friend over so he had space on the bean bag nest Miki’d made against a dormer window. “Mad as fucking hatters, the lot of them.” Continue reading Wild Turkey by Rhys Ford

(and some other stuff)