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Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop
by Rebecca Raisin
Personal Note: Fall is bringing glorious temps in my area along with some hints of winter to come. Days are too short and dark is uncomfortably extended. It’s the perfect time to mix up my stringent standards of reading books, excepting book club tomes, in the order in which they were published. It’s also a good time to again acknowledge that I am fearfully behind in my reading queue, but I am gradually catching up, mainly because I am requesting about half the number of Advanced Reader Copies that I did when I lived in Mexico. What does my sudden free-spiritedness have to do with this review?
I just finished reading Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop, a fun romance and the first in a series that focuses on some nomadic souls. I’m going to jump into the next one tomorrow, soon to be followed by the third, which has a Christmas theme—perfect!
My Review: It’s Rosie’s birthday and she just turned 32. Her husband Callum has a surprise for her, but it is not a pleasant one. As the sous chef at a famous London restaurant, she works long hours, has almost total independence in creative decisions, but gets no credit for her contributions to the restaurant’s fame.
Can she be successful personally and financially as a Van Lifer, someone who lives out of a van, travelling with no schedule, following fairs and special events or his or her personal whim? Does she have what it takes to strike out on her own, preparing and selling special teas and comfort food in her tiny kitchen at these events? Can she recover from Callum’s betrayal and find love with either sensitive Ollie whom she met on the Internet or with hunky nomadic Max who draws her outside her cocoon of contentment with adventures?
I obviously enjoyed this book. Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has romantic themes, but it also addresses the serious events that the main characters have experienced that make them the way they are. Rosie is a really nice person and all through the book I wanted only the best for her, although life doesn’t always work out that way. Rosie is a planner with OCD tendencies. She has not had much time for friendships so interacting with romance book loving, free-spirited, kind hearted Aria is a challenge. I can’t forget to mention Poppy, Rosie’s fuchsia pink van; Poppy is as important to Rosie and to the plot as any flesh and bones character! The next book in the series will focus on Aria and her Travelling Bookshop; I’m hoping for a very bookish romance with some adventure and fun thrown in as Rosie and Aria continue their Van Life travels.
I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to HarperCollins for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Notes: 1. #1 in The Travelling Shops Series 2. When I posted my review on Amazon on 12/6/2021, the Kindle version of this book was on sale for $.99.
Publication: February 16, 2021—Harper Collins
“The right person is out there, you just have to take the leap and find him. But first you need to figure out what makes you happy, and then have it in spades.”
“Anomaly is just another word for extraordinary, and who wants to be ordinary, anyway? To me you’re a shining light in a crowd of beige.”
And now I see with such life-altering clarity, that all those material things did the exact opposite of fulfilling me, they held me back, kept me in debt, kept me working to maintain a lifestyle that didn’t satisfy me at all.
Meet Me at the Farmers Market
written by Lisa Pelto
illustrated by Paula S. Wallace
Sophia is seven years old and one of her favorite things to do is to go to the local Farmers Market every weekend with her mom—regardless of the weather and even if they are on vacation. Meet Me at the Farmers Market has appealing, colorful line art created by Paula S. Wallace. Author Lisa Pelto has tapped into the current revived interest in buying local and organic and entertainingly walks children through what it is like to go to a farmers’ market. Sophia meets her friends there, and it is a community event complete with pets and musicians. There are fun things for kids like face painting, balloon animals, and delicious food snacks. Sophia and her mom buy fresh seasonal vegetables, eggs and meat.
This is a fast and easy read that children can enjoy as a read aloud and later read by themselves. It offers many possibilities for discussion about families, friends, community and eating clean and local.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Reading is Key Publishing (Concierge Marketing) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Food
1. Age Range: 3-7 years
2. I wonder if it is typical for animals (besides service animals) to be allowed at a Farmers Market.
Publication: June 8, 2018—Reading is Key Publishing (Concierge Marketing)
Mom always tells Farmer Dan, “Your eggs are the freshest, and that’s no yolk!” Farmer Dan says, “You crack me up! See you next week.”
Recently my husband and I decided to go on a ride on our dual-sport bikes into the New Mexico mountains between Chama and Tres Piedras. Perfect distance–not too long, not too short.
My husband is famous for transporting unlikely things by motorcycle. Like the time he brought me a dozen red roses in a vase inside his motorcycle jacket. So, while I envisioned a couple of sandwiches, some fruit and water, he prepared barbecued ribs, roasted corn, deviled eggs, bolillos, and watermelon. It was a delicious picnic with an awesome view of the mountains and valley below.
It was a little breezy and cool on top, but really a perfect ride. This is a great destination for those suffering from the August heat. When done, we decided to venture further and found a great backcountry road in the Carson National Forest. It was warmer there, the road was in great shape, and peace and solitude abounded. This is an area we plan to return to.
Who Moved My Goat Cheese?
by Lynn Cahoon
I am delighted to share a new cozy mystery series created by an established author, Lynn Cahoon. Who Moved My Goat Cheese? introduces Angie Turner, a chef who returns to her hometown in the Treasure Valley of Idaho after the death of her grandmother. She, along with fellow culinary expert and best friend Felicia, is opening a new restaurant, The County Seat.
Angie skillfully negotiates the ins and outs of starting a new enterprise in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Just as she begins to progress in lining up suppliers of fresh food at the local farmer’s market, one of the suppliers dies. As Angie is one of the last people to see him, she is considered a suspect. She has a soft spot for the elderly victim, however, and although she prefers cooking, she feels forced at least temporarily into the role of Nancy Drew.
Who Moved My Goat Cheese? is an interesting cozy with just the right amount of romantic interest, investigations, and excitement. The author obviously has a love of food and animals and while these are major elements throughout the book, they are not overemphasized. I’m looking forward to Cahoon’s next book in this series.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1. #1 in the Farm-to-Fork Mystery Series
2. A recipe for Lynn Cahoon’s favorite comfort food, a family version of potato soup, is included.
Publication: March 6, 2018—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)
You developed bonds with the people you worked with in the trenches day in and day out. Those were the people you trusted.
Her day was planned. What could go wrong?
Instead of worrying about it, she went to her kitchen and did what she always did when the world didn’t make sense. She cooked.
Hummus and Homicide
by Tina Kashian
I read and reviewed more nonfiction books in February than I usually do. While I enjoyed most of them, I emerged from the month a little drained. Just as the month was ending, however, I read a review written by prolific book blogger Betty of Hummus and Homicide. Her review made this cozy mystery appealing, and I was able to request it as an ARC shortly before the deadline. It was just the relaxing break I needed. You can go to Betty’s blog to see her review by clicking here:
Now, on to my review:
Hummus and Homicide is the tale of patent attorney Lucy Berberian’s return from Philadelphia to her hometown Ocean Crest, New Jersey. For eight years she had devoted her life to her career but had hit her head on the metaphorical glass ceiling for women. She bounces back to her family’s Mediterranean restaurant in the small New Jersey beach town. Unfortunately, a former classmate meets an unfortunate demise after Lucy serves her food at the restaurant, making Lucy a prime suspect.
To save her parents’ restaurant from closure and herself from jail, Lucy sets out to discover the killer. There are many possibilities including rival restaurant owners, a famous author, and the boss of a crime family. Along with solving the mystery, Lucy has some personal romantic entanglements to resolve as well as decisions about her career choice to make. Hummus and Homicide is a fun, relaxing read that moves quickly and has interesting, likable characters.
Notes: 1. This is the first book in the new Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series.
2. There are recipes included at the end of the book.
Publication: February 27, 2018—Kensington Books
If curiosity killed the cat, what would it do to an out-of-work lawyer sticking her nose where it didn’t belong?
Her eyes slid shut as she bit into the hot pastry. the crunch of the thin layers of buttered pastry, the sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts, blended together in a sweet ballet.
She knew how fast news traveled in town. The Internet had nothing on Ocean Crest when it came to the information superhighway.
by Jean Antonello, RN, BSN
As both the holiday eating season and 2017 draw to a close, sharing a book on losing weight seems appropriate. So many of us focus on resolutions at this time of year, especially health related issues.
A little personal history: In the late 80’s I read the first book by Jean Antonello, RN, BSN, entitled How to Become Naturally Thin by Eating More. I remember successfully following the principles. Fast forward to a lengthy period during which, due to health problems, my concern was being underweight. Fast forward again to better health, but also to some life changes which resulted in an undesired weight gain. Recently I wanted to lose that weight, and I did lose some with a low carb diet, but then I hit a plateau for well over a month despite adherence to the diet and increased exercise.
In the back of my mind I remembered reading a book about eating, with a blue cover, written by a nurse, but that was not enough information for Google to help me locate it. As a book reviewer for NetGalley, I have an incredible number of books that I can request to review. Almost unbelievably, Jean Antonello’s new book popped up on my screen as I was seeking out answers for the plateau. Immediately I knew this was the same author. While I was waiting for my request to be approved, with names now in hand, I was able to find not only the new book, but also a picture of my original book which is now tucked away in a box in NM while I am in Mexico. I felt like I had just found the Mother Lode!
So what do I think of Jean Antonello’s theories and her revised book about 30 years later? It makes so much sense to my personal situation, and she has backed it up with years of research, working with clients, and eating according to the principles herself. She advocates listening to your body’s signals for hunger and for being full. She calls for eating real food and plenty of it. This is not a diet. You are encouraged to eat good foods and never let yourself get hungry which then results in bingeing. She refers to the season of adaptation a former yo-yo dieter needs to go through as “recovery.” You are in charge of your own eating for a change. The plan is based on the feast and famine physiology of our bodies. Dieting is counterintuitive to your body because when you hold back good food, then your body perceives a famine and does not want to let go of the fat. It also slows down the metabolism to protect us from starvation. Both of these things explain my plateau.
There is so much more theory and research in her book, which is written in a very user friendly style. The approach is not complicated, but it does require commitment, not to hunger as in a diet, but to listening to your body’s signals and not thinking like a dieter any more. Antonello debunks lots of dieting myths such as the blame game that is put on overweight people that they are lazy, have psychological problems, and lack will power. She does not guarantee the fast weight loss most diets promise. She does offer freedom from obsession with food and something that rarely happens with diets—you will eat like a naturally thin person and you will not regain the weight.
Obviously I am impressed with the book. I am going to implement the mindset changes, and I anticipate that this will be a gradual process. Will it work? I don’t know. This blog is primarily about education, books, and Mexico. I only occasionally insert personal posts, but I promise to follow up this one with information on my progress or lack of it. According to Naturally Thin, I can’t put a time table on that because everyone’s body is different. I like that viewpoint, and I like that she recognizes people as individuals.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Heartland Book Company for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Health, Nonfiction (Adult)
Notes: The Appendix includes a 31-Day Quick Start plan. These are motivational readings that reinforce the principles and help you make the mental changes necessary after years of being subjected to the dieting industry’s mantra of eating less. There is also a Reader’s Guide of questions for each chapter to help you focus on the principles in that chapter and apply them to your situation.
Publication: July 11, 2017—Heartland Book Company
Memorable Lines: (I probably highlighted half of this book in my efforts to absorb the plan. I have just cited a few portions here.)
When they diet, they force their bodies to quickly burn fat and at the same time create an increased need for fat for the future. This is why dieters always go off their diets—for the necessary restoration of the fat they’ve lost during the diet.
Just like going hungry regularly, eating a lot of poor quality food triggers the body’s survival response. Lousy food doesn’t satisfy the body’s need for nutrients.
…typically people eat too much and all the wrong stuff because they aren’t eating enough of the right stuff—at the right time.
Probably the most challenging aspect of recovery is the patience required for weight loss.
Although various regions claim to be the “avocado capital,” I can attest that Michoacán, México, deserves the title! Not only was the oldest evidence of the tree found in México, but you only have to take the highway to Uruapan to be surrounded by hectares of avocado orchards and warehouses. We are talking big business and a delicious and healthy product.
I make guacamole a number of different ways, depending on my mood and available ingredients. It is so easy. Just combine the ingredients, mash with a fork, and serve. For me the staples of guacamole are: avocado, lime juice (preferably fresh), and salt. Other tasty additions in any combination you desire are diced onion or tomato, fresh cilantro, and powdered cumin or coriander. I love it best with salted tortilla chips, known in México as “totopos,” but it is also good with fresh veggies, as a salad on a bed of lettuce, or as a side, topping, or garnish with anything Mexican. How do you like your guacamole?