Review originally posted on A. B. England's blog May 24, 2016.
Even the first go round, the review for Currently Untitled was very overdue. I had the novella for well over a year before I finished reading it because of personal issues I won't bore you by detailing. Suffice to say, it's a work that took a couple of readings to appreciate, and I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
That said, let's get to the review of this novella from Ian McLeod.
The story centers around a man in the midst of a midlife crisis. Like so many, he's convinced he has an idea for the next great American novel. He's also just deluded enough to believe he has the skill to write it and make it a best seller without the least bit of experience setting words to the page. He's also egotistical enough to become enraged by anything but the highest praise, and this is what gets him into trouble.
You'd think someone would stick to simple projects when they're trying to learn how to do something, but I've never been the smartest person when it comes to stuff like that. So I went from sewing pillows to making a "u" shaped rice bag, to trying to clone my youngest's favorite play dress.
Yes, you read that correctly. I didn't even have a pattern, just an existing dress, some newspaper, a yard and a half of material with matching thread, and a "let's try it and see" attitude.
So here's how I came about making the dress pictured above.
Today's recipe is one for the coffee lovers in your life. It's simple and easy to make, and it's one of those dishes that gets even better if you make it a day ahead.
It's a variation on an icebox cake, so it's perfect for late spring and into summer. It packs a lot of coffee flavor, and each bar is quite rich. So a little goes a long way.
Growing up, learning how to use a sewing machine is one skill I never learned. Oh, I had one of those silly little craft machines, and I did everything I was told to do when using a machine. But everything I tried to make unraveled the minute I took it off the machine. I concluded I must be a horrible seamstress, gave up trying to use a machine, and just learned to hand sew a little.
Then I got one of those craft machines for my girls a couple years back. You know what I noticed about them then I'd never noticed as a kid? Those things don't have bobbins! Of course nothing I sewed held together. There wasn't anything holding the stitches to the underside of the seam!
Armed with that bit of knowledge and many years more experience, I went to my mother-in-law to learn the basics of using a sewing machine. Then, I've been watching videos and reading everything I can about reading patterns, creating patterns, and construction using fabric.
I still have a lot to learn, but I thought maybe I could bring you with me on this journey. If you've never learned to sew but would like to, maybe you'll find inspiration. If you know what you're doing, maybe you'll find a lot of laughs.
Today's review is of Never Trust a Sorcerer by L. R. Barrett-Durham. It's a fantasy adventure novel with a strong female protagonist. It has a touch of romance without that becoming the main focus of the story.
I will try to keep all reviews as spoiler free as possible. All reviews will be available here, on YouTube, and Goodreads.
The antagonist is a powerful sorcerer with a yen for world domination, and he's both tried and failed once before. He's been searching for the magical relic he was using in that attempt a few decades earlier since it was stollen, which is what ended his original bid for planetary despotism. He's just a little bitter and out for revenge against the family who stole his weapon to tide him over as he searches.
Chris and I were at Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo this past weekend. It's a family friendly, general interest convention in our local area, and it's a great new but growing show.
The expo was in its second year, and it was more or less twice the size this year. The venue was the local civic center's north hall, which is where the local Cumulus stations would hold their Bridal Fair (T) most years. It's a BIG room, and it was packed with venders, stars, and convention goers all weekend.
If your family is anything like ours, mornings are hectic and a bit rushed. Don't let that keep you and yours from having a good breakfast though. Here are a couple of make ahead ideas you can whip up one morning or afternoon when you have more time that will keep all week long and only take a minute to reheat.
As you can see from the images, both of these recipes use muffin tins. If you want to make both at once or need to make lots of both to feed a larger family, I would highly suggest investing in two of the large one dozen muffin trays. It just makes things a lot faster on the day you make them. Two dozen omelette cups and about a dozen and a half oatmeal muffins works pretty well to keep my family of four fed for a full five or six days.
I've been doing book reviews over on the A. B. England author site and Goodreads for about a year now. I don't write reviews for the books in the Contented Comfort store because, well, they're all written by me, or potentially by members of my family if and when the time comes. Still, I would like to have more to do with books here on the website because they are an integral part of the idea behind this company's founding because there's just something comforting about curling up with a good book.
Therefore, I'm planning to start publishing book reviews here as well, starting with the four I've done so far over the next few months and adding in news ones as they come. To that end, today I want to tell you about the rubric I use to grade books and how to translate the number of stars given in the reviews.
Spring is right around the corner, and you know what that means. Our spring seasonal fragrances, April Showers and Strawberry Picking are back!
April Showers is a bright and airy blend of marine, ozone, lily of the valley, lavender, juniper, rose, and fresh soil. Each bar is just a bit different from each of the others, and their intricate, bright design make them perfect for adding a touch of spring to your home decor.
This blend of strawberries, dirt, honey, citrus, peach, rose, jasmine, and lily will have you longing to find the nearest farm that hosts strawberry picking.
Chris and I will be at Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo again this year.
This family friendly show is expanding for their second year. The expo will be held in the Von Braun Civic Center's North Hall in downtown Huntsville, Alabama.
I worked Bridal Fair at the North Hall several years in a row back during my days at Cumulus Broadcasting, so I can say with confidence it's a good venue for the expo for the size it is now.
Amanda is the artisan behind all the products made and sold by Contented Comfort.