News, Reviews and Giveaways for the week of February 08, 2016

Good morning!

35154-O02XAYI hope you all had a great weekend.  This looks to be a very eventful week. Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras and so many great books!  I hope you have a great week!

preview

 

 

 

The first three blogs listed below have links on their photos for posts that deal with what we can expect this week.  The blogs that follow,  are ones that I check periodically throughout the week.  They all have wonderful articles, news, reviews and giveaways.  Whatever your taste in books, you will find among these blogs.

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

 FBS, coffee and reading

 

The Novel Approach
Here’s a Sneak Peek at the coming Week.
Sneak-Peek-Featured-Image

 

Joyfully Jay Reviews
m/m romance reviews and more.

Joyfully Jay Coming This Week large logo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

This Week at Reviews and Scattered Thoughts on Books

scattered-thoughts-and-rogue-words-blog-badge

Prism Book Alliance

  Bu sure to take a look at their unique features such as Sunday Spotlight, Five Thing Friday, Outside The Margins, as well as news, reviews and blog tours.

PBA-banner-with-tag-lg

love-bytes-blog-banner-FB

Love Bytes Reviews came into existence as on 4th of April, 2014, being formerly known as The Blog of Sid Love.

The Blog of Sid Love was started on 12th March, 2013 with a sole aim of promoting those M/M fictions that have quality and uniqueness in them. Like TBSL, LoveBytes struggles to give such books and their works the much deserved recognition by posting reviews, running giveaway contests for the authors, featuring their newly published works for promotion, hosting blog tours, conducting author interviews and lots more!

The blog has received great amount of popularity since its inception. As on date, the blog has caught attention of awesome followers in such a short period of time and brings on approximately 1000+ unique visitors each day (2000+ unique visitors on a peak day!). On an average, three book reviews per day are posted on the blog and there are contests on a daily basis to keep the readers and authors entertained!

Founder: Sid Love

Owner & Manager: Danielle Maas

Reviewers Team:  Danielle , Taylor, Carissa, Cindy, Donna, Roberta, Irene, Vicki, Dan, Paul, Marieke, Kimberley, Tara, Dennis & Rhonda

MM Good Book Reviews

Honest Reviews for Readers and Writers

MM Good Book Reviews

 

It’s About The Book

It’s All About Books (and maybe some other stuff) We’re experienced reviewers trying out our own blog! Basically anything book related can be found here!

It's About The Book Badge

 

Live Your Life Buy The Book:

A Blog Site purely about books and authors;

featuring reviews and gorgeous graphic gifts.

Live your Life buy The Book

 

Welcome to Queer Sci Fi. We’re a blog and website that’s all about LGBT characters in science fiction, fantasy and supernatural fiction – whether it’s MM or FF romance with a sci fi bent or sci fi with LGBT characters. We’re dedicated to promoting the inclusion of LGBT characters in these genres.

Queer Sci Fi

In addition to hosting the above queer sci fi site, J. Scott Coatsworth has his own site with several weekly features: Author Spotlight, The Weekly Fix and Point of View

J. Scott Coatsworth My own Bent Perspective on SciFi and Fantasy

 

Happy Reading

Melyna

Finn in snow 1

 

Living Low Carb – Coffee and cheese danish for breakfast? You bet!

On my quest for low carb recipes, I am always drawn to the sweets.  I admit that I have a sweet tooth.  I have found that if I can satisfy it with something low carb it helps me from cheating.  I found a recipe for Low Carb  Cheese Danish on Pinterest.  It is on a website called Up Late Anyway (love the name!) This recipe is similar to the Fathead Pizza dough that I blogged about on Friday.  It uses mozzarella cheese in the dough but this one is definitely sweet.  I had the ingredients on hand although not exactly like the author of the recipe suggests. (I soon found out that this is very important)

You can find the recipe and instructions here:  Cheese Danish

So, I gathered my ingredients:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next is measuring and mixing the dough.  I whisked together the almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder in a bowl until well mixed.  Then in a separate bowl, I melted the butter then added the vanilla and sweetener to it and mixed well. (I used  4 tablespoons Monk fruit blend by Health Garden) I placed the shredded mozzarella in another bowl and melted it in the microwave per instruction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dough ingredients – melted mozzarella is on bottom right

I then beat the egg and mixed all of the ingredients together and mixed with a spatula.  My dough was too wet and a bit stringy, so I added about one half tablespoon almond flour to the parchment I was rolling it on and on top of dough.  I placed another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and rolled it out.

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Rolled dough

It was a bit thin and not very pliable.  It wanted to stick to the parchment.  I used a very thin spatula to lift the edges to fold into the center per instruction.  As you can see, it does not look like soft pliable dough.

Folded corners - kind of.

Folded corners – kind of.

The author states this in the comments section in response to the stringy, sticky texture:

This has happened to me before a couple of times the first of which is when using pre shredded cheese that is 1 carb per 28 gram (1/4 cup) serving. It should be <1 g carb per serving on the label. What happens I think is there are extra starches added to the cheese to keep it from clumping which accounts for the extra carbs there and it messes with the recipe. The other possibility is that it just wasn’t hot enough and needed to be reheated. If it was sticky and straggly though I’m guessing it was the cheese. The other thing I find that makes it much easier to melt is using a shredded cheese that is a regular shred. Finely shredded cheese doesn’t work out well. The only other thing I can think if is measurements and so I’ll add that I use a regular tablespoon measuring spoon to measure out the flours and always a level scoop. 

I should have read those comments first. ;-)

I prepared the cream cheese filling and placed a small cookie scoop amount of filling in the center of each square.  (I had some filling left over).  I flattened it slightly and baked it for about 13 minutes. For the filling I used a Stevia/Maltodextrin blend from Central Market (Local grocery) Here is a similar one on Amazon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danish with filling – before flattening it slightly

 

I checked it a 10 minutes as the author suggested as it can burn easily.  Mine did get a little brown on the bottom but I liked the crispness in contrast with the soft cream cheese filling.

Here is the results before frosting.

Finished product before frosting.

Finished product before frosting.

I made the frosting and piped it on the Danish pastries.  (I used a powdered Swerve sweetener for the frosting) I used my husband and son as my non low carb eating taste testers.   It passed the test and I had a request for more  in the future.  I will buy the exact ingredients and give it another go the next time we have a sweet tooth. :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ta Da

Melyna

Albert Phineas Drache

 

Living low carb – low carb pizza

When I am eating low carb, one of the foods I tend to say goodbye to is pizza.  I tried making a pizza with a cauliflower crust, but it didn’t taste like I wanted it to and the texture was wrong.  Then one day on Pinterest I found a recipe for low-carb Everything Bagel Dogs at The Primitive Palate and they mentioned that the crust was basically like Fat Head Pizza dough. Huh?  So back to Pinterest I went.

I found a recipe at Ditch the Carbs called  Fat Head Pizza – The Holy Grail

This was what I was looking for.  The crust is very easy to make.  The directions say to mix gently but I found that it took a bit more mixing to get the melted cheese mixed in evenly with the other ingredients.  I did knead it by hand lightly (wet hands very slightly with water to keep it from sticking.)  Once mixed, transfer to parchment paper, top with another sheet and roll into your desired shape.  Peel off top sheet and it is ready to bake. I baked mine on a perforated pizza pan.

Pizza dough rolled and ready for the ovenMy dough made a very thin 12 inch pizza crust.   The recipe says to bake it 12-15 minutes.  Mine needed a little longer.  The recipe has a tip for making it crispier by flipping it after the top is golden brown.  Check it to make sure it doesn’t burn though. I did this and the crust was nice and crispy.  Unfortunately, I did not take photos of it after it came out of the oven.

 

Nutrition Information from Ditch the Carbs website for the crust only (They indicate it serves six)  Serving size: 1 slice (base only) Calories: 203 Fat: 16.8g Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 1g Fibre: 1.6g Protein: 11g  (for full recipe and instructions click link in red above)

I chose veggies I has on hand for the toppings. Pizza topping

While the crust was baking I cooked the vegetables I planned on using for toppings.  The original recipe states any meat needs to be pre-cooked because once you have the toppings and cheese, it only needs five minutes in the oven to melt the cheese and warm the toppings.

Pizza preparing toppingsI will caramelize the onions next time and maybe only slightly sautee the peppers.  The vegetable need to be fairly dry since it is a thin crust and the cooking time is limited.

After the crust had baked, I used 1/2 cup lower carb pasta sauce on the crust, then applied the cooked vegetable, then some pepperoni slices, sliced pickled jalapenos and black olives.

Pizza - topping on

Added some shredded Italian blend cheese and it is ready to bake.

Pizza ready to go into the oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I baked my pizza for longer than the recipes five minutes.  I kept checking the pizza every few minutes until the toppings were melted.  Pizza whole cooked pizza

It was hard waiting for it to cool enough to slice. :-)

It was amazingly good and is definitely a recipe I will make again.

Whole pizza with slice out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Slice of low carb pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy and let me know if you try it.

Melyna

Albert Phineas Drache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News, Reviews and Giveaways for the week of February 01, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend.   It is another fun filled week on the blogs.  Joyfully Jay will be at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona, Florida this week.  She will be posting about it on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

She is also rooming with J.A. Rock who is a wonderful, fun author.  I had the pleasure of listening to her do a reading from her book  Calling The Show at GRL in Chicago.  I laughed so hard. She is awesome! The book is really great too.  I just finished reading The Subs Club (Book #1 of the Subs Club series) She is on a blog tour for the second book, Pain Slut.  She will be at The Novel Approach and Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  on Tuesday and Joyfully Jay on Thursday.

This an exciting week for reviews.  I see several that I am excited about – Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan (which releases Tuesday), Catch a Tiger by the Tail (Thirds #6)  by Charlie Cochet (releases February 5, 2016)  You can find reviews and blog tours for both of these titles on Joyfully Jay and Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

New this week are books that are on my currently reading list.  It’s a long list but rest assured that below these are the regular blog listings. :-)

On my currently reading list are the following books.  Some I have finished, reviews to follow:

Dancer of Death SPECTR 2 Book 2 by Jordan L HawkDancer of Death (SPECTR 2, book #2)   ARC by Jordan L Hawk.  This book is due for release on February  16, 2016.  This is a second series in the SPECTR universe.  Review to follow.  (So very good!!)

Blurb:

Revenge. Murder. Ballet?

Vampire spirit Gray wants to hunt demons. Unfortunately, the foolish mortals at SPECTR have put his host, Caleb, their lover John, and their partner Zahira on desk duty. Gray longs to leave Charleston with John, but if they flee, SPECTR will make them the hunted.

A series of paranormal murders returns the team to the field, at least temporarily. Ballerinas are being murdered by a vila, a demon that kills with dance. If they can’t stop the deadly attacks in time, one of Zahira’s friends may become the next victim.

And while they track the demon, an unknown entity has begun to track Gray…

Novella: 28,115 words
Genre: gay paranormal romance
~ SPECTR: The Complete First Series on sale now ~

The Line by Angel MartinezThe Line by Angel Martinez –

Blurb:  Rafael Schiller, vampire and sexual god without peer, believes himself the top of the food chain, until a bizarre creature feeding in an alley scares the deathless hell out of him.

Rafael Schiller’s had a long road and he’s forgotten the meaning of several human words along the way. Commitment? Relationship? Love, for all the gods’ sakes? What does a vampire need those for? He’s completely content treating his long string of one-off lovers as midnight snacks. He makes it good for them and has no reason for guilt or grief. Some nights still induce an odd, hollow ache, but he can just drown it in the next conquest. Master of his universe, he lives without a care…until he encounters a bizarre creature feeding in an alley.

It’s caught his scent, and now that it’s hunting him, Rafael remembers a word from his childhood. Krsnik—the hunters, the monsters who feed on the blood of vampires. He could run, but he’d be running forever, and that would sure as hell take the fun out of life. Time to figure out what the creature really is, what can defeat it, and why he feels so drawn to it.

Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh LanyonJefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

Blurb: In this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

65,000 words

The Subs Club by J A RockThe Subs Club (Subs Club book 1) by J.A. Rock

Blurb: A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

* * * * * * *

The Subs Club stories can be read in any order – jump in wherever you’d like!

Word count: 74,400; page count: 297

Farm Fresh by Posy RobertsFarm Fresh (Naked Organics Book #1)  by Posy Roberts

Blurb:

Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.

And one particular farmer.

Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.

Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.

Glitterland Spires Book 1 by Alexis HallGlitterland (Spires Book 1) by Alexis Hall

Blurb:  Finalist: Best Gay Romance in the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards!

The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and — most of all — himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

Word count: 62,800; page count: 251

The first three blogs listed below have links on their photos for posts that deal with what we can expect this week.  The blogs that follow,  are ones that I check periodically throughout the week.  They all have wonderful articles, news, reviews and giveaways.  Whatever your taste in books, you will find among these blogs.

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

 FBS, coffee and reading

 

The Novel Approach
Here’s a Sneak Peek at the coming Week.
Sneak-Peek-Featured-Image

 

Joyfully Jay Reviews
m/m romance reviews and more.

Joyfully Jay Coming This Week large logo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

This Week at Reviews and Scattered Thoughts on Books

scattered-thoughts-and-rogue-words-blog-badge

Prism Book Alliance

  Bu sure to take a look at their unique features such as Sunday Spotlight, Five Thing Friday, Outside The Margins, as well as news, reviews and blog tours.

PBA-banner-with-tag-lg

love-bytes-blog-banner-FB

Love Bytes Reviews came into existence as on 4th of April, 2014, being formerly known as The Blog of Sid Love.

The Blog of Sid Love was started on 12th March, 2013 with a sole aim of promoting those M/M fictions that have quality and uniqueness in them. Like TBSL, LoveBytes struggles to give such books and their works the much deserved recognition by posting reviews, running giveaway contests for the authors, featuring their newly published works for promotion, hosting blog tours, conducting author interviews and lots more!

The blog has received great amount of popularity since its inception. As on date, the blog has caught attention of awesome followers in such a short period of time and brings on approximately 1000+ unique visitors each day (2000+ unique visitors on a peak day!). On an average, three book reviews per day are posted on the blog and there are contests on a daily basis to keep the readers and authors entertained!

Founder: Sid Love

Owner & Manager: Danielle Maas

Reviewers Team:  Danielle , Taylor, Carissa, Cindy, Donna, Roberta, Irene, Vicki, Dan, Paul, Marieke, Kimberley, Tara, Dennis & Rhonda

MM Good Book Reviews

Honest Reviews for Readers and Writers

MM Good Book Reviews

 

It’s About The Book

It’s All About Books (and maybe some other stuff) We’re experienced reviewers trying out our own blog! Basically anything book related can be found here!

It's About The Book Badge

 

Live Your Life Buy The Book:

A Blog Site purely about books and authors;

featuring reviews and gorgeous graphic gifts.

Live your Life buy The Book

 

Welcome to Queer Sci Fi. We’re a blog and website that’s all about LGBT characters in science fiction, fantasy and supernatural fiction – whether it’s MM or FF romance with a sci fi bent or sci fi with LGBT characters. We’re dedicated to promoting the inclusion of LGBT characters in these genres.

Queer Sci Fi

In addition to hosting the above queer sci fi site, J. Scott Coatsworth has his own site with several weekly features: Author Spotlight, The Weekly Fix and Point of View

J. Scott Coatsworth My own Bent Perspective on SciFi and Fantasy

 

Happy Reading

Melyna

Finn in snow 1

Back on track. Low carb living redux.

Last year I started working on my health after I had some issues that made me reevaluate my lifestyle choices.  I was faced with possible surgery on my foot and told I was prediabetic.  I went to see a chiropractor and had a nutritional consult.   I blogged about it in four parts.  Here is part one: Taking a Different Approach Part One

I lost 14.8 pounds during the cleanse, avoided surgery and decided to go low carb after the cleanse.  I lost 7.5 more pounds, then the holidays hit and birthdays and I gained five pounds.  I admit that I am a carbohydrate addict.  Once I eat sweets or breads, it is all downhill and the cravings start.

Now that the holidays and majority of birthdays are out of the way, I have decided to get back on track.  I still have 14 pounds to lose to reach my goal.   It was time to get serious and creative in my menu planning and bring the family on board with food that they also enjoy.

Pinterest has been a huge help in finding low carb recipes.  I have been able to satisfy my sweet tooth and find new recipes that both my family and I enjoy.   I have started a low carb board simply titles as Low Carb .  I have not tried all of the recipes that I have pinned, but I have tried quite a few.  In an attempt to help me stay focused, I plan on posting some of the recipes that I have tried and enjoyed.

This morning I decided to make a breakfast frittata with ingredients I had in the fridge.   (No recipe – just threw it together) It included, ham, spinach, Swiss cheese, eggs and cream with some seasoning.  It was low carb and filling.  A great way to start the day.

I found a recipe on Simply Recipes for a spinach frittata that sounds good and would be fairly low carb here: Spinach Frittata 

Breakfast Fritatta

Breakfast Fritatta

Next time – Low carb pizza (yes – there is such a thing and no – there is no cauliflower involved)

Albert Phineas Drache

 

 

Melyna

Dragon Thursday

Good morning!

Albert Phineas DracheI went searching for something different for Dragon Thursday and came across a website  belonging to The Mystic Dragonrider.  They have a page of Dragon riddles

It looks like the author has not updated the site in a while but it is fun to look around and check out the links.   This one has some fun dragon art http://www.elfwood.com/u/mysticdragonrider2

Dragon Riddles:

  It is a well known fact that dragons like riddles and on Nogard it is no different. I have gathered a collection of riddles that dragons are fond of.

Rules of Play:

The ancient rules of the riddle game state that the two people should decide on the stakes (what you are playing for), however this does not have to be included if you are playing for fun. The two players then take it in turns to ask each other riddles, with the challenger going first. The person who fails to answer a riddle or does so incorrectly looses. Good Luck!

Here are some for you to try:

 

1) Over fire and over stone,

Over water and over bone,

Shining out like jewels of light,

On a sheet of purest night.

 

2) The Beginning of eternity,

The end of time and space,

The beginning of every end,

And the end of every place.

(found on www.riddles.co.za)

 

3) I can fly yet have no wings,

I beat down mountains, I conquer kings,

At once three different things am I,

As a continuous, whole I cannot die.

 

4) Where ever you start, it’s all the same,

With no beginning or end whatever the game,

For a symbol of eternity I’ve been used,

In many guises over for you to muse.

(from Jeraith the Queen Dragon)

 

5) From stardust made was I,

Shaped and changed as time went by,

Names I’ve known, owners too,

Belonging to no one when time is through.

(from Jeraith the Queen Dragon)

 

6) Ruled by the heavens and Neptune’s will,

Always changing, never still,

Raging, roaring, placid or calm,

My conflicting emotions can soothe or alarm.

(from Jeraith the Queen Dragon and Grjeth)

 

7) From the dark relms constellation did I gain my birth,

Secret children of Mother Earth,

In armour’s coat the protection I give,

To lie beneath those who live.

(from Draig High Dragon on the Frost Breaks)

 

8) The moon wrenched from Neptune’s lair,

Of radiant sheen beyond compare,

A teardrop of heaven of gentle form,

A keeper of memories, of wind, sea and storm.

(from Draig High Dragon on the Frost Breaks)

 

9) The unheard of, the untold,

Questions asked, nothing sold,

Hidden from book, speach or song,

Outlasting time, all eternity long.

  (from Draig High Dragon on the Frost Breaks)

 

10)  Oft I strive with wind and wave,
battle them both when under sea,
I feel out the bottom, a foreign land.
In lying still I am strong in the strife;
If I fail in that, they are stronger than I,
and wrenching me loose, soon put e to rout.
They wish to capture what I must keep.
I can master them both if my grip holds out,
If the rocks bring succor and lend support,
strength in the struggle.
Ask me my name!

(from Mosstalon http://wyvern500.webs.com)

11) My host thinks I’m an irritation, a bother, a pain,
But he can’t evict me, so here I remain.

     Then one day I’m taken and ranked among my peers.
     Can you guess what I am? Then you might just call me dear.
(from anonymous contributor)

MORE RIDDLES COMING SOON!

Answers:

  Here are the answers to the riddles How well did you do?

1) The stars

2) The letter ‘e’

3) Time

4) A circle

5) The Earth or land

6) The tides

7) A dragon’s treasure

8) A pearl

9) I’m not telling you this one. The answer is a secret!

10) An anchor

11) A pearl

From the website:

©mysticdragonrider2008

   All riddles – unless stated otherwise – are the work of Mystic Dragonrider. You may only copy these riddles if you state who wrote them and what site they came from. If you require any more information please contact me and I will do my best to get back to you!

    Thank you!