Plant Based Cookbook

Plant-Based Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Melissa Petitto is a gorgeous book filled with tempting plant-based recipes. It is divided into seasons, which I think is so important because it gives you a chance to use vegetables and fruits that are available and fresh in the current season.

The recipes I will be trying soon, as we are in between the Fall and Winter seasons, are the Fall Bean and Butternut Squash Minestrone, the Baked Apple Cider Donuts, and the Brussels Sprout, Apple, Turnip and Mandarin Slaw. There are many other tempting recipes for every season.

Each section includes a list of in-season vegetables and fruits. This book is all about using fresh, available, in-season fruits and vegetables to create delicious, plant-based meals. The photos are gorgeous and plentiful. The recipes are detailed and helpful. I recommend this book to anyone who follows a plant-based way of eating, plus anyone who wants to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the Book on Amazon

Link to Melissa Petitto’s website

The Nothing Girl

Jenny, orphaned as a young girl, goes to live with her aunt and uncle. She has a pronounced stutter and is set aside as an afterthought by the family. While contemplating suicide at a young age, she is suddenly visited by a giant golden horse, and here Jenny’s life actually begins.

This is so well written. The characters just jump off the page, especially Jenny, Russell, and Thomas. Jenny, ignored all her life, begins helping Russell, who has been jilted by the love of his life, renovate his farmhouse. Nudged along by her faithful companion Thomas, the giant golden horse, Jenny begins to live again. There is a wonderful cast of characters, and of course there are pitfalls along the way, and the brilliant Jodi Taylor once again makes us laugh and cry as we cheer Jenny on.

I recommend this for anyone who enjoys a magical, heartwarming story.

Link to The Nothing Girl on Amazon

Link to Signed Copies of The Nothing Girl on Jodi Taylor’s Website

Link to my Goodreads Review: (Like and Follow if you are so inclined)

Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age

Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age is a collection of essays and poems by and for those of us over 50. There are 36 works by various authors who explore different aspects of aging. The overall theme I found is that our age does not define us and does not limit us.

At the age of 56, I understand these essays in ways I would have not have when I was younger. Not every story spoke to me, but the ones that didn’t necessarily speak to me will speak to others.

Even if I didn’t always identify with the message of a particular author, they are all well written and the collection is well edited by Nancy Peckenham.

The following five works were my favorites:

When I Go Down, It Will Be With a Smile on my Face by Shea McNaughton, which is about finding joy and adventure on the back of a Harley at the age of 60.

And the Years Have Flown Away like the Leaves on a Mid-October Day by Julia E. Hubbel who talks about the changing seasons of life.

Like a Fine Wine We Get Better With Age by Michelle Monet explains how we get better and better every day, even if we might move a little slower.

Life at 102 by Nancy Peckenham introduces us to the author’s amazing 102 year old mother and how she has always embraced the challenges of growing older with energy and physical activity.

Looking at Old in a New Way by Maggie Frye explains that we can grow older and not feel old.

Although the five works above were my personal favorites, people over 50 will find others they personally enjoy and identify with in this collection. I had a smile on my face many times as I read about women my age or older than me having grand adventures, including posing nude, traveling on motorcycles, and sporting purple hair! This book is a testament to the fact that life gets even richer and more rewarding as you grow older.

I received a free copy of this collection from the editor. My opinions are my own and my review is voluntary.

Link to the Book on Amazon:

Link to Crow’s Feet web page:

Link to My Goodreads Review

Mountain Laurel

It is 1793, and Ian Cameron has returned to Mountain Laurel, his uncle’s plantation in North Carolina, where he spent time as a boy. Now a grown man, he is being groomed as his uncle’s heir. When Ian sees Seona for the first time, he is immediately captivated by her green eyes and does not realize she is enslaved to his kin. When he learns of Seona’s hidden talent as an artist, he encourages it and finds ways for her to hide it from his cruel step-aunt, Lucinda. Lucinda does not believe slaves should read, write, or do anything to take time away from their chores. The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Ian and Seona, who has hidden her art all her life. “Every slave has a secret. This one is mine.” As time progresses, Ian finds himself conflicted between his growing feelings for Seona, his loyalty to his family, and his responsibility to all those enslaved on the plantation.

This heart-rending book from Benton shows us all the horrors of slavery. In addition to the beatings, rapes, terror, and torture, it shows the true effects of taking away someone’s will and refusing to let them have any dreams or desires. It shows how some people of that time watched slaves being paraded down the road in chains, did nothing, and then went to church on Sunday. Lori Benton writes about this as if she were there, laying bare the pain of someone else owning your body and your soul. However, faith and the desire for redemption are also present, especially in the quiet faith of the slave Lily and the redemption Ian desperately seeks.

This is the first book in the Kindred series, and I cannot wait to see these characters return.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

Link to Mountain Laurel on Amazon

Link to Lori Benton’s Amazon Page

Link to my review on Goodreads