The Key to Midnight

The Key to Midnight by Dean Koontz

Thoughts Before Reading:

I had a Dean Koontz phase. I read almost all his books until I had burnout and moved on to something else. It all started at a book sale:

And this book was one I really enjoyed.

Plot Synopsis

Johanna Rand is an American singer who has lived in Japan about ten years. She loves living in Japan and her job at the Moonglow Lounge.

The only thing she doesn’t love, she constantly has these nightmares about a man with steel fingers and a hypodermic needle-violating and assaulting her. She would wake up and feel as if it just happened.

Alex Hunter, private investigator, is vacationing in Japan. He sees Johanna and is struck by her beauty and voice. She looks so familiar, but when they talk-there is no recognition. He spends a wonderful time and the two fall for each other-hard.

The next day, Alex is getting ready when it hits him! He knows where he knows her from-she’s Lisa Chelgrin.

He is sure she is Lisa and questions her on their date. Everything matches up that it could be the same girl, but he doesn’t want to scare her off or frighten her as he waits until he has proof as to who she is.

I’ve got to play this cool.

The two spend time together and he begins to wake up the memories so long hidden. But what they uncover is a deeper, darker, secret than either had imagined!

Oh no!

Thoughts After Reading:

So this one I thought was really good. It was pretty heavy on the romance, but otherwise kept you guessing. I never saw that ending coming!

For more missing children, go to Candy from a Stranger

For more books from a library book sale, go to Real Murders

For more books with private investigators, go to Lowcountry Bombshell

For more books not in a series, go to An Unwanted Guest

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Individual Vegetable Terrines with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

So I was shelving book in the library and saw this cookbook Vegetarian: Tasty Recipes for Every Day, by Helen Aitken, and was just captured by that image on the cover. I had to check it out and make it for myself

Ingredients:

Vegetable Terrines

  • 1/2 Cup of Oil
  • 2 Zucchini, Sliced on the Diagonal
  • 1 lb Eggplant, Sliced
  • 1 Small Fennel Bulb, Sliced
  • 10 oz of Ricotta Cheese (I don’t like Ricotta so I use Cottage Cheese)
  • 2 oz of Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Grilled, and cut into large pieces
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Grilled, and cut into large pieces

Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon of Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Red Chili, seeded and chopped
  • 14 oz Can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste

Directions:

Vegetable Terrines

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Cook the vegetables in separate batches on high heat for 5 mins, or until golden, adding oil if needed.
  2. Drain vegetables separately on paper towels.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place the cheeses and herbs in a small bowl and mix together.
  5. Lightly grease four 1 1/4 cup ramekins and line with baking paper.
  6. Using half the eggplant, put a layer in the base of each dish.
  7. Layer with zucchini, bell pepper, cheese mixture, fennel and onion over the eggplant.
  8. Cover with the remaining eggplant and press down firmly.
  9. Bake for 10-15 mins or until hot.
  10. Leave for 5 minutes before turning out.

Spicy Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 mins or until soft.
  2. Ass the chili, tomato, and tomato paste and simmer for 5 mins or until thick and pulpy.
  3. Purée in a food processor.
  4. Return to the saucepan and keep warm.
  5. Spoon over the terrines.

Thoughts After Reading:

This was sooooooooooooooooooo good that I ate it all instantly and forgot to take a pic. I strongly recommend it! Like I am serious, words cannot describe how delicious this was.

And if in a time crunch, you can substitute the spicy sauce for pasta sauce.

For more vegetarian recipes, go to Vegetable Tempura

For more recipes, go to Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Parmesan

 

An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Thoughts Before Reading:

So when this book was published, I saw it constantly on Goodreads. They had a ton of book trailers, and every time I went on the site, the page would “load” and then play it.

So when I saw it at the Library, I was stoked to read it!

It sort of is a play on And Then There Were Nonestrangers all stuck, snowed in at a resort, and then they start dropping like flies. Which one is the killer-or is there a stranger in the resort?

Hmm…

Plot Synopsis:

Our mystery is set at the Catskills, a beautiful, remote resort.

Gwen Delaney is in Communications. She has never been able to move forward from witnessing a rape in college, and the guilt of doing nothing about it. She studied journalism, but as she could not tell truth, went a different route. Her idea was to bring her friend Riley, to the secluded resort, but now isn’t sure it is such a great idea. Could there be more to her than a sweet, innocent girl-could she have a dark side?

Hmm…

Riley Shuter was always the confident, brash, drop dead gorgeous girl who people loved/hated-but since she has been overseas in Iraq-she is not the same woman. She has severe PTSD, drinks far too much, and is acting strange. Could she have finally cracked?

David Paley is a defense attorney, who is taking a leave of absence. His wife was murdered, with many believing him to have done it. He was acquitted, but is he a murderer? Could someone have known something and he had to silence them?

Lauren Day and Ian Beeton are traveling for a romantic getaway. At first the two corroborate each other’s stories, but then it turns out that they aren’t each other’s perfect alibi. In fact, there are a lot that the two don’t know about each other-could one have a secret they’d kill for?

Beverly Sullivan had planned this romantic getaway for her and her husband Henry only to find out that he has a mistress. He wants the relationship to be over, but Beverly doesn’t. Could this have been a plot to stay together? To further separate? Or could this news have caused one to crack?

Dana Hart is from a poor family, but did all she could to catch a wealthy man. Matthew Hutchinson is that man, except he won’t marry her. The two have a fight-could it have been the last straw-could one have killed?

Candice White is a writer, escaping her duties of taking care of her elderly mother, to work on her book. She is very observant, watching everyone. Could she have seen something, or could there be more to her as well?

Hmmm…?

Which one, which one-or is there an unknown, “unwanted”, guest killing. Will they find out before they are all dead.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was very well written. WE only know bits and pieces of each character-essentially having no clue as to who could possibly be the killer. It was so well written, but as we neared the end I began to get worried.

Everything was great up until the end. The characters, the tension, the buildup, the suspense-but then the cops finally come, are there for a little bit, and all is solved.

I know, right?

The only problem with giving us so little about the characters it felt as if in the end it was too quickly sewn up.

The last few pages she wrapped everything up very quickly which threw off the pacing and, in my opinion, weakened it.

Very distressing as the rest if the book was fantastic.

For more mysteries not in a series, go to Pieces of Her

For more romantic getaways that turn to murder, go to Murder on Ice

 

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Parmesan

So you know that I have iron deficiency, so I’m always looking for recipes to do with spinach as I love it and the iron is great for me.

I looked about online and found this recipe from bon appétit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups of Baby Spinach
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Grated Parmesan
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Whisk eggs in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick cooking pan.
  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 min.
  4. Add eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until set about one minute.
  5. Stir in parmesan, and add red pepper flakes.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it! Another spinach recipe I’ll be making again.

For more spinach recipes, go to Spinach Tortellini Soup

For more egg recipes, go to Scrambled Eggs in a Waffle Maker

Lowcountry Bombshell

Lowcountry Bombshell (Liz Talbot Mysteries #2) by Susan M. Boyer

Liz Talbot is living on the Stella Maris island and has recovered from her past adventures in Lowcountry Boil. She has given up her obsession over ex-sweetheart Michael Devlin, and has admitted her feelings for Nate Andrews, partner in her private investigations and her ex-husband’s brother.

The two have things to work out as he wants to stay in Greenville, South Carolina-but Liz needs to stay in Stella Maris-in order to protect the island from developers and keep Colleen, the spirit of her dead friend who is a guardian spirit for the island. As long as Liz’s investigations fall into her mission-she will assist her in any way she can.

Elizabeth has just gotten a new case, and boy is it a doozy. In walks a beautiful blonde who is the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe.

And that’s not all that’s the same. She has the same birthday June 1st: birth name Norma Jeane Mortenson; her mother Gladys was in and out of hospitals because of her schizophrania; her client was in and out of foster homes; she married a Jim to leave her mother-but also divorced him; she later married a Joe, a baseball star (although only minor leagues, and a few other similarities.

After her second husband died, she changed her name from Norma Jeane to Callista McQueen. Her husband played the lottery every day, and won the big jackpot before he was murdered. Callista moved around, settling on Stella Maris.

She wants to hire Liz as she feels someone is trying to kill her, and mimic Marilyn’s death. Liz only has a few days until, August 5th.

Liz doesn’t know whether this Marilyn stuff is true, but does admit that her client is afraid. She starts investigating and discovers that someone is after her, but who?

Hmmm…?

Then Callista’s psychic/life coach, Harmony, is murdered-the gun one that was used in a murder years ago and should be in an evidence locker-but is missing.

WHAT!

Obviously, someone has infiltrated in Callista’s life and wants to kill her, but who?

Hmmm…

Could it be her mother who has mental disease and fixation on copying Marilyn’s life for her daughter? Or her mother’s friend Grace who is crazy and high strung?

Her ex-husband who is obsessed with her and is unwilling to let her go again?

Her creepy Mrs. Danvers-esque housekeeper?

Niles, the gay yoga instructor who has become her confident and resides in her house?

Hmm…

Her security team who are watching, but somehow allowed someone into Callista’s home?

Her creepy psychiatrist who is way too into Callista?

This is not good

The man who attacked her years ago? Or the man who murdered her second husband?

With each step Liz finds herself in another thread and possibility. But it is clear that someone is after Callista and with each day passing, will Liz and Nate solve it? Or will Callista end up like her namesake?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was good although not as good as book one and three. The mystery is interesting and intriguing-I LOVED it-it was the Nate and Liz relationship that got me.

In the 1st book they were purely professional, although it was super clear that Nate was into Liz. Then in this we are barely in and they are consummating their relationship. I know time passed, but it felt like bang-no buildup nothing.

We also have barely any Colleen, which really causes issues as I grew to like her in the other book and its not the same without her.

Bring her back

I love the Marilyn Monroe angle and that whole storyline. A fantastic idea.

For more Liz Talbot Mysteries, go to Lowcountry Boil

For more female private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more on private investigators, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

Scrambled Eggs in a Waffle Maker

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I received a waffle maker as a gift, and after making a ton of waffles-I was interested in what else could be made in a waffle maker. This recipe comes from Snapguide.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (Depends on how many you want to make)
  • Milk
  • Waffle Maker
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Turn your waffle maker on. It depends on the waffle maker the heat, with mine I do a two or three.
  2. While the waffle maker is heating up whisk your eggs with a bit of milk.
  3. Spray cooking spray in the waffle maker, or skip this step if you have a non-stick one.
  4. Add eggs, be careful not to overfill your waffle maker.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for 1-3 mins.
  7. When cooked through, remove from waffle maker.
  8. Take out and enjoy.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought it was really good and so fast. It was done in no time.

For more ways to make eggs, go to Eggs in Purgatory

For more things to do with a waffle maker, go to Waffle Maker Grilled Cheese

For more breakfast foods, go to Scottish Oatcakes

 

Pieces of Her

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

This book intrigued me with the idea of “How much do we really know about another person?” It made me think of Agatha Christie-and how she brings up that same concept.

Hmm…

Andrea is celebrating her 30th birthday, although she doesn’t have much to celebrate. She is working as a 911 dispatch operative-so boring with the endless crank calls. She lives in her mother’s home, well…the added room she made.

And to top it off, her mother is kicking her out. Life sucks.

But then–a crazy guy comes in dressed up as an outlaw and shoots his ex-girlfriend who dumped him because of his crazy, abusive behavior, and his ex-girlfriend’s mom. Seeing Andrea’s uniform and mistakeningly thinking that she is a cop-he starts to threaten her as he wants to go out in a blaze of glory-shot by a cop.

She is terrified and horrified, but then the unexpected happens. Her mother-cool and collected-steps in and steps in front of Andrea, disarms the gunman, and kills him.

That should be the end of it-except the gunman as the child of a famous lawman. Now everything has been spun against Andrea’s mother Lauren-and they are framing her as a murderer.

Andrea watches the video and while she knows her mother saved her she is just as shocked as everyone at how Lauren just decimates him.

Now Andrea is searching for the truth as to who, or what, her mother is.

Thoughts After Reading:

This had an interesting premise, but it was soooooooooooo boring!

Yeah, I do not recommend it.

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to Suitors and Sabotage

The Man with the Twisted Lip

July we always celebrate Sherlock Holmes as A Study in Scarlet was published July of 1888, Happy anniversary to our favorite detective!

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 “The Man With the Twisted Lip” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Thoughts Before Reviewing:

I grew up reading the short stories or cases of Sherlock Holmes, and I think my favorite collection growing up was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It just has so many good and memorable tales.

 

This particular story  is one of my favorites and I am glad to share it with you all.

A wife is worried for her missing husband and calls upon Sherlock Holmes to help her.

She was walking down the street when her husband was at work and looked up and saw him in the window above an opium den! She rushes up there as quick as she can but no husband is to be found, only a disgusting, dirty man.

She calls the police and as they investigate-discovering his clothes in the river, but no body or blood. They believe the man to have killed her husband but they can’t figure out what happened.

Sherlock is rather puzzled and looks into the history of the man, but there is little to be found. He moved there and makes good money is all that they know.

Hmm…

Sherlock believes the husband has been killed, but then a letter turns up in his handwriting with his signet ring. Sherlock is stuck until he goes to the bathroom and solves it by looking at a bar of soap.

Yep, soap.

Told you it was a good one!

Him

He goes to the jail where they are holding the man and force him to clean up, revealing that he is the missing husband.

It turned out he was a reporter and went undercover to write a story about beggars. He was a great actor and did so well at doing nothing, making way more money than being the reporter.

He decided to continue, thinking he had every last detail planned out, but was surprised by his wife; reacting quickly and not thinking of his actions. Sherlock makes him stop the begging as it is against the law, and the case is solved.

I just love how he solves it with soap. SOAP! Amazing!

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Boscombe Valley Mystery

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to A Case of Identity

For more missing husbands, go to He’s Gone

For more short stories, go to The Tell-Tale Purr

Vegetable Tempura

So I found this book at the library, A Flash in the Pan: 100 Fast and Furious Recipes for Wok and Stir Fry by Shirley Gill and Liz Trigg. I had never had tempura before, but I always heard people ordering it in film or reading about it in books. So I decided to try it out.

“These deep-fried fritters are based on Kaki-age, a Japanese dish that often incorporates fish and shrimp as well as vegetables.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1/2 Small Spanish Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Ice Water
  • 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • Sea Salt Flakes
  • Lemon Slices
  • Japanese Soy Sauce (Shoyu)

Directions:

  1. Using a potato peeler, pare strips of peel from the zucchini and eggplant to give it a striped effect. *Peeling strips of peel from the zucchini and eggplant will avoid too much tough skin in the finished dish.
  2. Cut the zucchini, eggplant, and carrot into strips about 3-4 inches long and 1/8 inch wide.
  3. Put the eggplant, zucchini, and carrot in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Let stand for 30 mins, then rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
  5. Drain well.
  6. Thinly slice the onion from top to base, discarding the plump pieces in the middle.
  7. Seperate the layers so that there are lots of fine long strips.
  8. Mix all the vegetables together and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Make the batter immediately before frying: mix the egg and iced water in a bowl-then sift in flour. Mix briefly using a fork or chopsticks. Do not overmix-the batter should remain lumpy. Add the vegetables to the batter and mix to combine.
  10. Fry vegetables in wok or pan.

Thoughts After Reading:

So when I made this, all the mixture came off the vegetables and fell into the pan and burned to the pan. I guess my vegetables were too wet or something.

The ones that did fry tasted good, but the others were okay. If I were to do this again, I would dry them off with a paper towel.

For more recipes, go to Scottish Oatcakes

Hearts of Smoke and Steam

Hearts of Smoke and Steam Societyy of Steam) by Andrew P. Mayer

I hated this book. It was boring dull, and now that I’ve reviewed it I don’t have to see it again.

For more on The Society of Steam, go to The Falling Machine

For more steam punk, go to Emilie and the Sky World

Scottish Oatcakes

So I needed a regency-type recipe to go with Tuesday’s post. Hmm, where to look? I know! My sister blog! So like I said MysteriousEats.wordpress.com isn’t lazy, but if my older sister blog  JaneAustenRunsMyLife.wordpress.comhas already reviewed or posted something, I like to just copy and paste it here (usually without asking)

Haha!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp of Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup of Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsps of Water
  • Honey (Optional)
  • Marmalade (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F
  2. In a food processor fitted with metal blades, process oats to a fine meal.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter.
  4. Process briefly to mix well.
  5. With motor running add 2-3 tbsps of water and process 20 seconds to form a crumbly dough.
  6. Add as much water as needed to achieve the desired texture.
  7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  8. Knead a couple of times to incorporate any crumbs, then form into a ball.
  9. Cut in half.
  10. Using a rolling pin, roll out each half into rounds 6 inches wide an 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Crimp edges with your finger and thumb to make a fluted border.
  12. Using a metal spatula, transfer the rounds to a baking sheet and cut into four equal wedges. separate the wedges slightly then prick the top of each one 3 or 4 times with a fork.
  13. Bake until pale and tan and no longer soft (about 25-30 mins)
  14. Transfer the oatcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  15. Serve with honey or marmalade, if desired.
  16. Makes about 8.

Thoughts After Baking:

These were fantastic! So good, and perfect with your tea!

I would ground the oats in the processor or blender, but when you get to the water just put it in a bowl and use your hands.  Otherwise, delicious!

For more JaneAustenRunsMyLife recipes, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more breakfast recipes, go to Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Suitors and Sabotage

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

So here at MysteriousEats.wordpress.com I wouldn’t call us lazy, but if my older sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife.wordpress.com has already reviewed or posted something, we just copy and paste it minus the Austen-y things as we concentrate more on the mystery.

So, my sister blog reviewed this mystery and I’ll be honest, I just copied and pasted it with a few deletes. If you want to read the whole post, you can hop over there. Otherwise, check this out.

Gracebridge Manor in Fotheringham, Kent -1817

Miss Imogene Chively has returned from her London season a success, or so her family believes. Imogene did not enjoy the parties, being on display, etc.

Hopefully, she will not have to go back as she has a suitor- a Mr. Ernest Steeple. He’s very, very interested in her and about to visit and stay a few weeks. Imogene is a very shy and not looking forward to him coming, but at least she will be home.

She an her friend Miss Emily Beeswanger (what a name!) are relaxing outside the ruins of the nearby castle, when Imogene’s dog puts himself in danger. They try to get him back, but he won’t listen! But in the end they are assisted by a handsome young man.

Hmm…

After he saves their dog, the man introduces himself as Benjamin “Ben” Steeple, the younger brother of Ernest. He has accompanied him, and the two arrived early. Mr. Chively, Imogene’s father, is monopolizing Ernest, so Ben decided to check out the castle ruins. Ben is studying to be an architect and could not pass up the opportunity to check it out.

Benjamin joins the ladies for a picnic and Emily sets her cap for the charming, flirtatious, dashing man. Emily went with Imogene for the London season, but did not have anyone interested in her. She’s feeling like a failure and this handsome man seems to be the answer to her wish to be married.

Or him

Imogene’s dog, Jasper, takes off into the old ruins, again, and Ben helps save him for Imogene. They end up bringing part of the castle down and destroying their clothes in the process (not like they are naked bit that those clothes can never be fixed to be in their previous condition ever again). Ben goes to change before dinner and encourage his brother. Ernest is over the moon about Imogene but feels disheartened as he is trying to spend time with her, but has only been spending time with the dad. He’s worried he won’t have anything to converse with her, so Ben tells him to talk about the artist, Joseph Mallard William Turner.

Ben tells Mr. Chively that Ernest likes economics and Mr. Chively spends the whole night talking his ear off about banking and interest. Ben, however, spends the night talking to Imogene and Emily and enjoys conversing with both women. He’s a major flirt and loves charming the ladies.

Imogene finds herself feeling uncertain as she is in a place she has never been before. She knows that Ernest likes her…but all this attention-could Ben have feelings for her too? Are two brothers fighting over her? But then Emily points out all the attention Ben has been giving her and the way he has been treating her. Could this be worse than she thought, could he like both Imogene and Emily?

 

After the two talk, Imogene becomes convinced that Ben is just flirting and charming both of them. Imogene is a little saddened at that, but Emily will not give up. She wants Ben and practices her best flirtations in order to win his heart.

The next morning, Ernest is taken off by Imogene’s father to go fishing, while Ben gets to spend the morning with her. He is doing his best to extol his brother’s virtues, but finds himself holding her hands longer than necessary and thinking more about her than his brother.

I know, right?

Wow, Ben, really? Your brother’s girl! You know he’s into her. And he’s your BROTHER!!!!!

Besides the Beeswanger family, and the Steeples, the Tabards are also staying with the Chivelys. Mrs. Chively, Mrs. Beeswanger, and Mrs. Tabard were very close friends, and relatives. Mrs. Tabard passed away and since then Mr. Tabard has been a ghost of the man he once was. His son Jake has become an incorrigible prankster-pairing up with Imogene’s older brother Percy.

Ugh

So Imogene finds herself in a quandry, on one hand-Ben makes her feel special as her family doesn’t care about art and he loves her drawings and wants her to give him lessons as he can’t draw!

Squeal!

But then she and Ernest finally have a chance to spend time together. Ernest tries to talk about art, but can’t. He admits he knows little of painting and that he is a…reader. Not of poems or essays…but…literature. 

Squeal!

Imogene finds herself falling for Ernest and Ben, but she can’t have both so which brother will she choose?

But before Imogene’s heart can tell her the path to take-some strange things start happening. Her jewelry is found in Ben’s room, then a burr is under his saddle and almost kills him, the castle starts falling down as well, and more. Someone is after Ben, but who?

 

To further complicate this midsummer nights comedy of errors; Ernest and Ben both like Imogene, Emily likes Ben, Jake seems to be interested in Emily, and Imogene doesn’t know which man she wants.

Here we go again…

And who is doing all these mysterious things? Could it be Percy or Jake, taking their “jokes” too far? Could it be Emily, who is after Ben-maybe trying to dissuade him from Imogene? Or could it be Ernest who wants to take Ben out of the running for Imogene’s heart?

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was pretty enjoyable for the most part. I thought the beginning and middle were really good. The parts that kind of turned me off was when the story began to drag on with the constant back and forth of Imogene trying to decide on a guy.

It really bothered me too how both men laughed off Imogene’s fear. I mean come on guys, there is too much happening for it be an “accident”. Seriously dudes.

There is also a weird part when Imogene accuses Ernest of doing all these things to Ben and Ben becomes furious. She is in shock about how “unreasonable” he is and hopes to never see that “unreasonable” side again. Ugh, girl please-you just accused his brother of trying to kill him. If someone said that to me about my sister I would have flipped a table at them. How dare you!!!

But really, whether you will love or hate this book will boil down to one thing-which guy you like better.

For more historical fiction, go to Weak Flesh

For more young adult mysteries, go to Airhead

For more not-in-a-series-mysteries, go to An Anonymous Girl

For more stolen jewels, go to Archie Andrews: Not So Private Eye

An Anonymous Girl

 An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

So if you have been falling me on Instagram you would know that last weekend I was reading this book and forgot it at the library where I work.

I had to wait until Tuesday in order to get it and finish it.

So I really enjoyed The Wife Between Us, and when I saw this book, just had to check it out.

Jessica Farris is a makeup artist. She came to New York City with the dream of being a makeup artist to Broadway.

But after an encounter with a certain director, she has given that dream up. Instead she makes a living working for BeautyBuzz-doing up older ladies on their nights out, graduations, weddings, etc. Every day is a struggle to pay the bills and send money home to her family.

One day everything changes when she overhears a client talking to her friend about a morality study. They have to take a “morality test” and then they get paid $500. The client, Taylor, is a total party girl who cares very little about school and doesn’t want to get up at 9 in the morning. She decides to blow it off. All Jessica can think is $500 and she wants to go.

I totally was clicked in at this point as the same thing happened to me. I once at University saw a study in which they paid $20 and I went, I wanted that money.

So the next day, Jessica pretends to be a college student, dressing down to look early twenties instead of late. She comes in and lies to the assistant, telling him that Taylor couldn’t come and she came in to take her place. She fills out the paperwork and enters a room with a laptop. Answering the questions posed on it.

She answers very vague at first but is told to give more information-deeper. Jessica does and begins to enjoy unloading to someone she doesn’t see or will see again. Jessica leaves and goes on about her day.

Dr. Shields knows Jessica lied to be in a morality test as Taylor called to cancel. She’s intrigued by Jessica as who lies in a morality test and then answers the questions truthfully?

She looks to be perfect for the real test. This whole thing was a ruse in order to select the perfect girl for Dr. Shield’s real plan. A test of her husband’s fidelity.

Hmmm…?

Jessica receives an email asking if she wants to be a part of an extension of the study, compensated very nicely for her time. Jessica just hears those dollar signs and is in. But what she doesn’t know is that she is thrust inside a giant tangled web between husband and wife.

Will Jessica survive? Or will she be torn apart by this couple?

Thoughts After Reading:

I figured out the mystery about the other patient early on, but I found the book extremely compelling. There is something about a character who you don’t know how honest they are with you, the reader, that keeps you reading.

For more about Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, go to The Wife Between Us

For more Not in a Series mysteries, go to Dark Places

For more with cheating husbands, go to Death by Marriage

Apple Pie Smoothie

It’s the 4th of July so that means apple pie!

But it is too hot to bake and have your oven on…unless we are making a smoothie:

So this recipe I found on pinterest, but originally comes from The Lemon Bowl. I did change it a bit, but not too much.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Apple- Peeled, Cored, and Quartered
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and serve.

Thoughts After Reading:

Make sure you peel the apples. The recipe doesn’t tell you to peel it, so I didn’t. But of you do not peel them, the smoothie does not work.

It was very good, I would definitely make it again.

For more 4th of July recipes, go to Flag Cake

For more smoothies, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Spinach Tortellini Soup

For more apple pie recipes, go to With the 4th of July comes Apple Pie