Verb Vixen

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Thursday, November 28
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Season’s Greetings: A Parish Mail Short (Parish Mail 2.5) by Kira Snyder
Alternatively titled: Why this novella is like a hug plus my recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa
I love the holidays. I love everything about them. It’s the only time of year I turn into a sappy, cheesy Hallmark movie loving fiend. I also find myself reading a lot in December and I’m particularly fond of winter themed books—-does it have snow? hot chocolate? ice skating? Great, I’ll read it. That’s part of the reason I was so excited to get to read Season’s Greetings.
The Parish Mail books, Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem are a series of paranormal mysteries set in New Orleans. Now go back and read that last sentence and tell me how many of those things I love. Yep, all of them. That’s part of why I love the Parish Mail series so much! Then when you add Coliloquy’s active fiction aspect—Oh, you’re going to let me choose which boy she calls? Oh, you’re going to let me decide where she goes? It’s like a dream come true. Also if you’re like me you’ll go back and reread every option at every available choice point. 
Now combine all of my loves into one novella and you have Season’s Greetings. The story continues the Parish Mail world—this fight of good versus evil and of restoring balance through solving crimes both in the past and the present. There’s three smexy boys vying for Celia’s attention, an amazing witchy best friend and a great family support system too. The plot of Season’s Greetings feels less ominous and dangerous but has a wonderful holiday message at the core of which is love and family. At the end you feel warm, full of joy and somehow renewed which is why this novella is just like a hug.
In the spirit of the holidays, I recommend a warm delicious beverage to accompany this book: Peppermint Hot Cocoa. It’s simultaneously cool and warm. It’s like Icy Hot for your mouth if Icy Hot were delicious. To make: Add a packet of Swiss Miss with mini marshmellows to your mug. Add boiling water, a splash of milk and 1 capful of this peppermint syrup from Starbucks. Stir. Top with some more mini marshmallows and a cute little candy cane as a stirring utensil. BOOM! INSTANT HOLIDAY CHEER and a perfect accompaniment for Season’s Greetings!
Overall: A+
You can get a copy of Season’s Greetings here, as well as Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem.
eARC provided gratis by Coliloquy 

Season’s Greetings: A Parish Mail Short (Parish Mail 2.5) by Kira Snyder

Alternatively titled: Why this novella is like a hug plus my recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa

I love the holidays. I love everything about them. It’s the only time of year I turn into a sappy, cheesy Hallmark movie loving fiend. I also find myself reading a lot in December and I’m particularly fond of winter themed books—-does it have snow? hot chocolate? ice skating? Great, I’ll read it. That’s part of the reason I was so excited to get to read Season’s Greetings.

The Parish Mail books, Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem are a series of paranormal mysteries set in New Orleans. Now go back and read that last sentence and tell me how many of those things I love. Yep, all of them. That’s part of why I love the Parish Mail series so much! Then when you add Coliloquy’s active fiction aspect—Oh, you’re going to let me choose which boy she calls? Oh, you’re going to let me decide where she goes? It’s like a dream come true. Also if you’re like me you’ll go back and reread every option at every available choice point. 

Now combine all of my loves into one novella and you have Season’s Greetings. The story continues the Parish Mail world—this fight of good versus evil and of restoring balance through solving crimes both in the past and the present. There’s three smexy boys vying for Celia’s attention, an amazing witchy best friend and a great family support system too. The plot of Season’s Greetings feels less ominous and dangerous but has a wonderful holiday message at the core of which is love and family. At the end you feel warm, full of joy and somehow renewed which is why this novella is just like a hug.

In the spirit of the holidays, I recommend a warm delicious beverage to accompany this book: Peppermint Hot Cocoa. It’s simultaneously cool and warm. It’s like Icy Hot for your mouth if Icy Hot were delicious. To make: Add a packet of Swiss Miss with mini marshmellows to your mug. Add boiling water, a splash of milk and 1 capful of this peppermint syrup from Starbucks. Stir. Top with some more mini marshmallows and a cute little candy cane as a stirring utensil. BOOM! INSTANT HOLIDAY CHEER and a perfect accompaniment for Season’s Greetings!

Overall: A+

You can get a copy of Season’s Greetings here, as well as Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem.

eARC provided gratis by Coliloquy 

Tags:   #i read #books #reading #seasons greetings #holidays #christmas #parish mail #coliloquy #kira snyder #dead letter office #post mortem #mysteries #seasonal #publishing #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #recipes #hot cocoa #peppermint



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Tuesday, December 11
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In anticipation of the third book release in the Real Mermaid series by Helene Boudreau, Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels, we’re delighted to bring you a yummy, festive holiday treat from Jade! A super easy and super yummy raspberry mug cake! Oh, and be sure to check back tomorrow to read our review of Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels!

xoxo,

V.V.

Real Mermaids Festive Treats

Hi everyone! Jade here from Real Mermaids. 

One of my favourite things about the upcoming holidays is the great treats we get to make and share. I love food so much, in fact, that I included a recipe for some of my favourite snacks in each of the Real Mermaids books. 

My friend Cori and I thought we’d experiment a bit and ‘holiday-ize’ each recipe for you!

In Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, I was stuck at my Gran’s cottage without any chocolate in sight. That’s when I turned to Google and found a recipe for a 5-minute Chocolate Mug Cake. Yes! Cake in FIVE MINUTES. I added raspberries and whipped cream to this version. Holiday dessert, anyone?


Chocolate Mug Cake with Raspberries and Whipped Cream

First, get yourself the biggest microwaveable mug in the cupboard. Add:

- 4 tablespoons flour 

- 4 tablespoons sugar 

- 2 tablespoons cocoa 

 Mix it well. Then add:

- 1 egg 

Mix. Then add:

- 3 tablespoons milk 

- 3 tablespoons oil 

Mix. Then add:

- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (NOT optional—at least as far as I’m concerned) 

- 1 capful of vanilla extract 

And… MIX! 

Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will look like it’s going to overflow but don’t freak out! Let it cool for a bit (unless you want to burn your lips off) and add raspberries and whipped cream to make it fancy, then ENJOY!

Happy treats and have a great holiday, everyone!

Love, 

Jade


About the Book:

Everyone’s favorite mer-girl Jade is back to make a big splash as she enters high school in the hilarious,  third installment of the critically-acclaimed Real Mermaids series, Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels (February 2013; ISBN: 978-1-4022-6458-0; $6.99 U.S.; Juvenile Fiction; 240 pgs.; Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; Ages 9 and up).

In Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels,Jade is finally ready for life to return to normal—even if starting ninth grade is like being a goldfish in a shark tank and being asked to the school dance means Jade must get over her fear of awkward dancing.

But just as Jade settles into high school life, there is unrest in the ocean, and the whole mer-world is on the brink of civil war. Can Jade find a plus-sized dress that doesn’t look like a shower curtain, keep her mer-ness a secret, and finally figure out if she and Luke are officially dating? Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-sized aqua-phobic mer-girl?

The Author:

Hélène Boudreau never spotted a real mermaid while growing up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, but she believes mermaids are just as plausible as giant squids, flying fish, or electric eels. She now writes fiction and nonfiction for kids from her landlocked home in Ontario, Canada. Her first book of this series, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, was a 2011 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist. Learn more about Helene at www.heleneboudreau.com.

Tags:   #blog tour #cake #covers #helene boudreau #real mermaids #real mermaids love the holidays #recipes #sourcebooks #real mermaids don't need high heels


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Wednesday, June 9
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A Place of Dreams: William Sonoma

It’s always dangerous to my bank account when I get the William Sonoma catalog.  There’s so many things I want!

However, I am most excited about these Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignons.  I had one the other night (via Omaha Steaks) and it was AMAZING!  Can’t wait to make them for myself!

Tags:   #william sonoma, #bacon wrapped filet mignons #yummy #recipes



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