Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kelly Marshall Interview

I'm over at Kelly Marshall's blog today, being interviewed. Stop by and say "hi." Comments are always appreciated.

Here's the link: Kelly Marshall News

Friday, September 16, 2016

What I Did This Summer - #SaturdaySnapshots

Just a few random photos of this past summer's activities. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, but I'll miss the fun we had over the past few months too. Here's my back-to-school photo essay about "What I Did This Summer." 
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

My granddaughter spent almost every Wednesday at our house this summer. What a delight that was! One of our favorite afternoon rituals was sitting on the deck, eating Popsicles. After we finished, we'd read the riddles written on the sticks. These were perfect for a five-year-old's sense of humor.

We visited lots of local parks. Climbs to the top of these structures can turn a grandma's hair gray!

Afternoons "camping" in the back yard and blowing bubbles.

Ziplining (kid-sized equipment).

Swimming in the front yard. (First attempt at video with my new camera. Sorry.)

We also read lots of books, drew masterpieces with crayons, raced Hot Wheels, and had tea parties. A great summer that I'll never forget.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fredericksburg, #Texas, PTA #Cookbook - #SaturdaySnapshots

Because my husband loves to cook (lucky me!) we have a huge collection of cookbooks. One of the first ones we acquired was issued by the Fredericksburg, Texas, PTA (1965 Edition) and was given to us by my husband's mother. 

A little history: According to the Texas State Historical Association, the first wagon train of 120 settlers arrived at the Fredericksburg townsite on May 8, 1846, after a sixteen-day journey from New Braunfels, TX. Surveyor Hermann Wilke laid out the town, which was named Fredericksburg after Prince Frederick of Prussia. The town was laid out like the German villages along the Rhine from which many of the colonists had come. 

[Click on cookbook pages to enlarge.]

The cookbook covers everything from soup to nuts ... and more! I've included some of the more unusual and interesting recipes below. I wonder if some of them were carried over from early editions of the book. 
Some of these soups sound pretty good, but... when was the last time you ground up some liver for a dumpling? 

Have you plucked a duck lately? In Rabbit De Luxe, I imagine it would be practical to use a "tame" rabbit as opposed to wrestling a wild one into the stewpot! (I'm just being silly.)

Noodles and dumplings are a big part of German cuisine.

The cookbook also includes a large selection of cookie recipes, many of them traditional.

This information on substitutions and can sizes is quite helpful.

And one last helpful bit of advice to wives (below). By the way, I thought the way the contributors' names were shown was interesting. Rather than being listed as Helga Reichenau or Heidi Keidel, they're shown as Mrs. Hubert Reichenau and Mrs. Victor Keidel.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my vintage cookbook. Let me know if you try any of the recipes I've posted!

More: Fredericksburg History

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chestnut Street - #BookBeginnings on Friday and #TheFriday56

My husband likes to read "real" books, so every once in a while, we go to Barnes & Noble to satisfy his habit. Though most of my reading is done on my Kindle, I always seem to come home with some great paperbacks or hardbacks for myself too. My latest find (a bargain from the "Former Bestsellers" table) was CHESTNUT STREET by Maeve Binchy. Each chapter is a short story that takes place on Chestnut Street in Dublin, Ireland. I'm about halfway through, and I've enjoyed meeting the Chestnut Street neighbors. My only complaint is that I wish some of these stories had turned into full-length novels! 

Book Beginning (from the first story "Dolly's Mother"):
    It was all the harder because her mother had been so beautiful. If only Dolly's mother had been a round, bunlike woman, or a small wrinkled person, it might have been easier for Dolly, this business of growing up. But no, there were no consolations on that score. Mother was tall and willowy and had a smile that made other people smile too and a laugh that caused strangers to look up with pleasure. Mother always knew what to say and said it; Mother wore long lilac silk scarves so elegantly they seemed to flow with her when she walked. If Dolly tried to wear a scarf, either it looked like a bandage or else she got mistaken for a football fan. If you were square and solid and without color or grace, it was sometimes easy to hate Mother.

The Friday 56 (from "Nessa Byrne" at Page 56 in my hardback): 
[Nessa's family is preparing for the annual visit from their Aunt Elizabeth, a woman who "... knew all about everything and she was never wrong."]
     Aunt Elizabeth's bedroom was emptied of all the clutter that had built up there in the year since her last visit. They touched up the paintwork and lined the nice empty drawers with clean pink paper.
     Nessa's mother often said with a weary laugh that if it hadn't been for Elizabeth's annual vacation the whole place would have been a complete tip.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Family Life
Amazon Link: Chestnut Street
Length: 368 Pages
Author's Website: Maeve Binchy

Synopsis from Goodreads:
    Maeve Binchy imagined a street in Dublin with many characters coming and going, and every once in a while she would write about one of these people. She would then put it in a drawer; “for the future,” she would say. The future is now.
    Across town from St. Jarlath’s Crescent, featured in Minding Frankie, is Chestnut Street, where neighbors come and go. Behind their closed doors we encounter very different people with different life circumstances, occupations, and sensibilities. Some of the unforgettable characters lovingly brought to life by Binchy are Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son; Nessa Byrne, whose aunt visits from  America every summer and turns the house—and Nessa’s world—upside down; Lilian, the generous girl with the big heart and a fiancĂ© whom no one approves of; Melly, whose gossip about the neighbors helps Madame Magic, a self-styled fortune-teller, get everyone on the right track; Dolly, who discovers more about her perfect mother than she ever wanted to know; and Molly, who learns the cure for sleeplessness from her pen pal from Chicago . . . 
    Chestnut Street is written with the humor and understanding that are earmarks of Maeve Binchy’s extraordinary work and, once again, she warms our hearts with her storytelling.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph / Tuesday Intros

If you liked the scenes in Forrest Gump where he walks across America, you'll love The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. And if you enjoy stories featuring older characters who make changes in their lives, then that's another reason this book will appeal to you. This touching story was a winner on both counts for me.

First Paragraph:
Harold and the Letter
    The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday. It was an ordinary morning in mid-April that smelled of clean washing and grass cuttings. Harold Fry sat at the breakfast table, freshly shaved, in a clean shirt and tie, with a slice of toast that he wasn't eating. He gazed beyond the kitchen window at the clipped lawn, which was spiked in the middle by Maureen's telescopic washing line, and trapped on all three sides by the neighbors' stockade fencing.

Teaser (at 6% on my Kindle):
The useful thing about a sunny day was that it showed up the dust, and dried the laundry in almost less time than the tumble drier. Maureen had squirted, bleached, polished, and annihilated every living organism on the worktops.
(I like this Teaser because it tells me a lot about this character and her priorities.)

Genre: Literary Fiction / Contemporary / Family
Book Length: 338 Pages
Amazon Link: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Author's Website: Rachel Joyce

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
     Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
     Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die. 
     So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband. 
     Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband's sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn of Books and A Beat. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger

Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Romance #Contest!!

The amazing writers at Smart Girls Read Romance have a contest, and the prize is a Kindle Fire ... PLUS thirteen romance novels! 

Enter today. The deadline is midnight, September 6.

Details here: Kindle Fire Contest

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Barefoot at Sunset - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

    The luxurious resort at Barefoot Bay is anything but romantic for widower Mark Solomon and recently jilted Emma DeWitt. Mark is there to help organize his "Class of  '86" high school reunion, but he didn't count on being pursued by female alumni. How can he make them leave him alone?
    Emma authored the advertising copy for Casa Blanca Resort & Spa and had planned to spend her honeymoon there, until the wedding plans fell apart. But she just had to see the place she'd heard so much about. When Mark finds her crying outside his villa, they agree on an arrangement to take care of both their situations.
   I enjoyed escaping with this story - especially since the book is filled with humor and the characters are a little bit older. And I'd sure love to stay at that fictitious resort! 

Book Beginning:
     Mark Solomon had one question pounding in his brain as he strode across the lobby of Casa Blanca Resort & Spa. And not just the obvious one, which would be: How in the name of all that was holy did he get roped into being on a freaking high school reunion committee?

The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
     His support was as warm as his arms, his enthusiasm for her personal project so touching that she couldn't help reaching up to clasp his neck. "I carped the hell out of that diem."

Genre: Contemporary Romance (Older Adult)
Book Length: 304 Pages
Amazon Link: Barefoot at Sunset
Author Website: Roxanne St. Claire

BAREFOOT AT SUNSET is Book 1 in the Barefoot Bay Timeless trilogy.

    When forty-eight year old widower Mark Solomon arrives in Barefoot Bay for his high school reunion, he's not quite prepared for the onslaught of memories or the attention from interested single women who've gathered for the annual event on the beach. He's ready to ditch the whole thing and resume his life as an adventure-seeking world traveler until he discovers a woman sobbing on his doorstep...and has an idea.
    By her own admission, advertising copywriter Emma DeWitt is jaded, jilted, and jobless, but she goes over the edge when she learns that the resort villa that was supposed to be the site of her romantic honeymoon is occupied by a single man. But when the sexy silver fox who's staying in the villa surprises her with an irresistible offer to pose as his fake fiancĂ©e, Emma sees a way to have her week in paradise and begin healing her broken heart.
    Mark believes every person has only one soul mate...and he's met, married, and buried his. Emma believes that love is a marketing concept created to sell fairy tales and expensive weddings. What if they are both wrong...and completely right for each other?


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger