Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

TBTBS Week 10

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday, Book Style.   This week I’m featuring a favorite author, and a favorite comfort read series which was written by her.  She is AM Arthur, and I’m talking about her Discovering Me books.  So far there are only these two, but another is promised!  AM has a knack for writing gritty, emotional contemporary stories about compelling guys who happen to live in small towns.  In fact, her blog is titled Small Towns, Big Love.  Check out all of her work here:

http://amarthur.blogspot.com/

The Discovering Me books are about Cole and Jeremy, two men who’ve had more than their share of hard times before they find a tentative solace with one another. The first story is mainly Cole’s, told from his pensive POV. The second is their life together told from Jeremy’s perspective. I love that Jeremy appears completely confident, in control and enviable in Unearthing Cole, but we discover he harbors a boat load of inner turmoil of his own in Understanding Jeremy. These stories also quietly, positively, and unceremoniously feature a bisexual character – and they were written well before the time when such characters seemed to become “popular” to write about.

Unearthing Cole AM ArthurTitle:  Unearthing Cole (Book #1)
Series: Discovering Me
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date:  March 20, 2013
Blurb:  Cole Alston swore he’d never return to his childhood home in rural North Carolina, but when his mother dies, he inherits her hoarded property. He hopes to sell everything and use the money to start over in Canada, far away from his abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s a daunting task, and Cole has no idea where to start. Luckily for him, the local antique store owner, Jeremy Collins, volunteers his services in sorting the hoard. Their professional relationship soon evolves into a personal one, but Cole must overcome his past and his anxiety before he can accept a new man in his life or the possibility of a happy future.

Here’s a fitting review by Feliz      goodreads books logo

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understanding-jeremyTitle: Understanding Jeremy (Book #2)
Series: Discovering Me
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date:  July 23rd 2014
Blurb:  No one in Jeremy Collins’s life ever stays. His parents, sister, and wife are all dead. Now he has taken Cole Alston into his home to help him recover from years of abuse at the hands of his ex. Jeremy hopes Cole, who he loves, will stick around, but after eight years of Cole not being allowed to make his own choices, Jeremy doesn’t think he has the right to ask. As Jeremy keeps his concerns and desires to himself, his best friend Bethann calls on him for a huge favor–claim he’s the father of her baby so she isn’t ostracized in their small town for sleeping with a married man. However doing so would be tantamount to denying his relationship with Cole. Rumors fly before Jeremy can explain to Cole that he said no, and suddenly the whole town is in his business. Rather than reassure Cole, Jeremy’s explanations have the opposite effect. Something is going on in Cole’s mind that Jeremy doesn’t know about, and in order to get Cole to talk, Jeremy will need to confront his own deepest fear.

**Be aware this review will have spoilers for book one!!

My review:  goodreads books logo

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Enjoy your time in Franklin, North Carolina! :-)

Dianne

 

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Dragon Thursday

Good morning!

I found this pic on Pinterest and followed the link to the artist Tumbler blog, GDBee Arts.  
I love the colors and of course the dragon.  Plus it also appeals to my love of reading and drinking coffee. :-) Visit her blog for more beautiful,colorful art.

The artist caption for this piece is “Nothing like relaxing on a nice day with a good book and a faithful pet :)”

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Christmas in July

I almost missed the Dreamspinner Christmas in July sale which ends today.   (25% off new releases)  Hurry over to get these holiday books at a great price and enjoy a little Christmas in July.

For those that follow the MM Holiday Delights feature I run from Thanksgiving to New Years, I spotted two holiday themed books on sale.

falling-for-santa-claus C.J. Anthonyfalling for santa claus

By C. J. Anthony

When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Genres Contemporary / Holiday

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Niall decides to stay, telling himself he’ll discover the real Josh when the two of them are together for a week, but two become four when Niall’s Christmas-crazy parents show up on Josh’s doorstep, and four become five when Josh’s father arrives to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah. The two sets of parents clash over decorations, food, and public displays of affection. Their bickering drives Niall crazy, as does Josh’s calm acceptance. If something doesn’t change, Niall will walk away from all of it, including his future with Josh.
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Genres Contemporary / Holiday

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counting-fence-posts Kelly JensenCounting Fence Posts

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve, and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight… maybe… and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat… and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Genres Contemporary / Holiday

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News, Reviews and Giveaways for the week of July 25, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend and had time to read or listen to some wonderful books.  I read two books and listened to two audiobooks this week.  It was a very good week.😉

I also checked in with the three blogs that have previews for the coming week and I noticed several things that I will be adding to my calendar.  I spied a title named Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez. (A new to me author)  This book is featured on both Joyfully Jay and The Novel Approach Reviews this Tuesday.    From the blurb Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.”  

Also on Tuesday at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is one of my favorite authors.  From the blog:   “Angel Martinez Talks Drowning in Ideas, Writing, & Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (guest post and excerpt)”  This is a reissued edition with 11K additional content.  Genre: MM Urban Fantasy humor.  Love her work!

Plus on Friday at Joyfully Jay I noticed a review for a book titled Sex, Emergency Exits, and Plan Bs by James Cox.  It is a steampunk novel and second in a series.   I am not familiar with this series or author but it sounds intriguing.

The two audiobooks I listened to were very different.   The first was recommended by Atom Yang and is titled All I believe (First and Forever series #10) by Alexa Land and narrated by Greg Tremblay.

All I Believe Alexa LandTitle:  All I Believe
Series: The First and Forever series ( Book 10)
Author: Alexa Land
Publisher: Audrey Larsen
Publication Date: May 09, 2016
Length: 8 hours and 47 minutes
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Genre: Contemporary, humor

Blurb:  Nico Dombruso has learned to keep the world at arm’s length after being badly burned by his last relationship. Even so, he decides to let himself enjoy a summer fling while on vacation in Italy. It’s just sex after all, so what’s the harm?

He gets so much more than he bargained for when he meets gorgeous, mysterious, art dealer Luca Caruso. The connection between them is undeniable, and for the first time in years, Nico starts to consider the possibility of trusting his tattered heart to someone again.

But when a secret is revealed that shakes him to his core and threatens to tear his family apart, Nico runs, so far and so fast that no one, not even the man who was making him believe he could love again, might ever be able to reach him.

This gay romance is approximately 95,000 words in length. It is the tenth book in the Firsts and Forever Series, but each book is written to stand alone, so jump in anywhere.

Please note: Contains adult language and graphic sex. Only intended for adult readers.

Thoughts:  I started this series at book ten.  You would think that I would be lost but these appear to be written as standalone books.  There are many characters that I was curious about and when I checked the previous releases, I found that they had their own books.  I guess I will be starting a new series.:-)

This book is fun, Over The Top, sexy, romantic, and very Romeo and Juliet without our MC’s dying.  I gave it four-star-review

I found a lovely Five Star review at Prism Book Alliance  by Caroline Brand that sums it up perfectly.

The next book I listened to was the first in a series, Pinned (SSU Boys #1) by Maris Black.  I had listened to her Kage series and loved it.

Pinned (SSU Boys #1) Maris BlackPinned (SSU Boys #1)
Author: Maris Black
Publisher: Audible Studions
Publication date: August 18, 2015
Length: 9 hours and 30 minutes
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four-star-review

 

3.5 rounded up to 4.0
Blurb:

On his first day of college, all Jeremy Miller can think about is getting away from his hellish home life, making the wrestling team, and finally getting a real boyfriend. He’s sick to death of being used by closeted football players who are too afraid to admit they like guys. What he doesn’t count on is losing his mind over the gorgeous, golden-eyed wrestling captain who needs to keep their attraction a secret at all costs.

After earning a full-ride wrestling scholarship and getting accepted into an elite sports medicine program, Beck thinks he’s got it made. Now he’s a favorite for the national championship in his weight class. Life has never been sweeter or more predictable. Never mind that he’s gay and wishing he didn’t have to hide it. There will be plenty of time for a social life after graduation. Until then he doesn’t need anything to get in the way of his big plans, and that includes the adorable little wrestler who’s got him all tied up in knots.

Thoughts: I picked up this series because I listened to the authors Kage Trilogy and loved it. This one has a younger cast of characters, in a college setting and the MC’s in this story are on the wrestling team.
It took me a while to warm up to the characters. Lack of communication, misunderstandings and what felt like a lopsided relationship in the beginning, then there is a turning point in the book. From that point the book picked up for me and the characters matured. There is some very emotional parts in the story that were tough to go through with the characters and also sweet and sexy times as well.
Overall I enjoyed the story and will be looking at listening to the other books in this series.

I also read two books this week. The first is an urban fairy tale by Harper Fox.

Priddy's Tale by Harper FoxPriddy’s Tale
Author: Harper Fox
Publisher: FoxTales
Publication date: June 18, 2016

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Blurb:  What doesn’t kill you sometimes makes you wish it had…

Priddy’s a lost soul in a part of Cornwall the tourists don’t get to see. He’s young, sweet-natured and gorgeous, but that’s not enough to achieve escape velocity from his deadbeat village and rotten family life.

He’s a drifter and a dreamer, and self-preservation isn’t his strong suit. An accidental overdose of a nightclub high leaves him fractured, hallucinating, too many vital circuits fried to function in a tough world. When a friend offers him winter work in a lighthouse – nothing to do but press the occasional button and keep the windows clean – he gratefully accepts.

His plans to live quietly and stay out of trouble don’t last very long. A ferocious Atlantic storm washes a stranger to Priddy’s lonely shore. For a shipwrecked sailor, the new arrival seems very composed. He’s also handsome as hell, debonair, and completely unconcerned by Priddy’s dreadful past.

Priddy has almost given up on the prospect of any kind of friendship, and a new boyfriend – let alone a six-foot beauty with eerily good swimming skills – out of the question entirely. But Merou seems to see undreamed-of promise in Priddy, and when they hit the water together, Priddy has to adapt to Merou’s potentials too, and fast. His lover from the sea might be a mere mortal from the waist up, but south of that line…

Far-flung west Cornwall has a hundred mermaid tales. Priddy’s loved the stories all his life. Now he has to face up to a wildly impossible truth. Merou’s life depends upon his courage and strength, and if Priddy can only find his way in the extraordinary world opening up all around him, all the ocean and a human lifetime needn’t be enough to contain the love between merman and mortal.

Thoughts:  I loved this book!  It is beautifully written, lyrical, moving, romantic, tragic, sexy and humorous. The characters are very likeable, especially Priddy, Kit and Merou.  I am pretty sure this is my first mermaid/merman book. I loved the lore and development of the myths come to life.  I found a great Review by Lisa at the Novel Approach Reviews that I would like to share with you.   Recommended.

Last is another contemporary romance with a lovely setting and endearing MC’s

Solo Honeymoon by Lisa WorrallSolo Honeymoon
Author: Lisa Worrall
Publisher: White Stiletto Press
Publication date:  June 13, 2016
LYLBTB 50 star
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Blurb:  Leo Barratt hadn’t written his bucket list, but he was pretty sure there were several things hewouldn’t have put on it. Like… waking up to a Dear John letter from his fiance, Eric, the day before their wedding… or going on his honeymoon – alone.

But, under the strict instructions of his mother, he found himself in Venice at Bauta, the beautiful bed and breakfast where he’d supposed to have started off married life. Instead, he planned to spend three weeks inside his room and wait for the pain to go away.

Or at least that’s what he thought…

Bauta, was run by Matteo Leghissa and his mother, Luana. Used to getting his own way, Matteo refused to allow Leo to wallow in self-pity and appointed himself as Leo’s official guide.

Apparently, falling in love with a beautiful stranger wasn’t on Leo’s bucket list either but…..

Thoughts:  This was another book recommended to me by My friend Janice – Enabler Extraordinaire . :-)  I was saying we did not always agree on sweet, sappy romances. Next thing I know, she is sending this recommendation.  This is not sappy in the least and it is a very lovely romance.   I found this Review by Sammie for The Novel Approach Reviews.  Perfect.  Enjoy.

 

The first three blogs listed below detail what they have on tap for us for the coming 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.
 I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 
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.
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Joyfully Jay Reviews
m/m romance reviews and more.

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

This Week at Reviews and Scattered Thoughts on Books

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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.

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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!

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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 and library

 

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Coffee Monday

Good morning.

I seem to be on a coffee ice cream theme.  Last week it was Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles   This week I came across an ice cream recipe titled:  No Churn Coffee Toffee Fudge Swirl Ice Cream.  Wow! Doesn’t it look amazing?

No-Churn-Coffee-Toffee-Fudge-Swirl-Ice-Cream-5-5

It reminds me of one of my favorite Ice creams I would get as a child.  This no churn recipe sounds easy and delicious.

I found it on the website Celebrating Sweets (by way of Pinterest – of course).

Click here to go to their website for the recipe and instructions.   Celebrating Sweets website logo

Let me know if you try it and what you think.

Enjoy,

Melyna

 

 

Dragon Thursday Update

I happened to be having one of those sleepless nights and checked my email super early this morning.  I found a wonderful surprise.

I recently ran two Dragon Thursday posts, here and here, featuring an artist  named Lauren.  Their website is Iguanamouth.  I also mentioned that their web store was sold out.  Guess what?  It is restocked and ready to go.   Unfortunately , I did not see the Hoard of Squirrels for sale this time, but I found two Dragon Hoards  (I had to limit myself.  It was hard!) and the Dragon Fruit stickers.  So cool!

Grab a cup of coffee and go shopping!

Iguana mouth shop  ok_ok_original

Dragon Thursday

Pinterest is an amazing place to find things.  I am always on the look out for all things  dragon.  Lately I have been on the search for unusual dragons and I have been very happy with the results. This week I would like to share a new (to me) artist with you, Stanley Morrison.  Mr. Morrison is a fantasy artist.  I love the creative ideas he has for his dragons and the colors are gorgeous.   This week I would like to share his garden dragons.

One that stood out is titled Peppers Dragon.

Peppers Dragon by Stanley Morrisonpeppers_dragon_by_smorrisonart-d7kd80z

Lovely.  You can find Mr. Morrison’s art at the following locations:

http://stanley-morrison.pixels.com/index.html 

https://www.facebook.com/stanleymorrisongallery/

and here

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scratchboard-Art-of-Stanley-Morrison/303798979647800?ref=hl

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Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

TBTBS with Dianne week 9 Hanging by the moment Where you are

Welcome to another edition of Throwback Thursday, Book Style.  This week I’m featuring two contemporaries – both of which pack a powerful emotional punch.

Hanging By the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn is a very raw, real portrayal of a man living with HIV. The pairing of this character with a somewhat naïve younger man–who has devoted his life to his Russian father’s business—makes for some heart tugging reading. The setting for this story is where the author lives, and is an area I lived in for years, so I know it’s 100% authentic.

Hanging in the Moment by H B PattskynTitle: Hanging in the Moment
Author: H.B. Pattskyn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: September 06, 2013
4,5 stars

Blurb:  Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

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My review:  Dianne’s Review

Next up is Where You Are by J.H. Trumble. This one is somewhat controversial, as it involves a relationship between a high school teacher and his student.  I implore everyone to consider reading this one, yes the subject matter is heavy on more than one level, but the writing is nothing short of exquisite. This is not a lust fest, in fact there is no explicit on page sex. Rather, it is an exploration of the hearts of not only the main characters, but of everyone else in their lives.

Where You Are by J H TrumbleTitle: Where You Are
Author: J.H. Trumble
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication date: December 24, 2012
LYLBTB 50 star
Blurb:  A Lambda Literary Award Finalist 2014.

Robert Westfall’s life is falling apart–everywhere but in math class. That’s the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive, and the career path that’s been planned for him feels less appealing by the day.Robert’s math teacher, Andrew McNelin, watches his best student floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert’s friend, then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship–in school and out of it–deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that holds incalculable risks for both of them.
J.H. Trumble, author of the acclaimed Don’t Let Me Go, explores a controversial subject with extraordinary sensitivity and grace, creating a deeply human and honest story of love, longing, and unexpected connection.

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This review by Justin (a teacher) mirrors my thoughts (excepting the teacher component):  Justin’s Goodreads Review

You might need extra tissues and cookies to get through them, but I hope you consider these gutsy, substantive reads.

Enjoy!

Dianne

Mad Lizard

I am so excited about this book. Love the cover. Available for pre-order now. Yeah!

Rhys Ford

Woooo hoooooo! Kai’s Next Adventure, Mad Lizard Mambo, is now up for pre-order on DSPP! Link is here!
UPDATED RELEASE DATE: SEPT 13, 2016
Third Party like Amazon and others to follow. No, audio isn’t on the schedule yet. As soon as we know when it’s coming out, I’ll let you know. Yes, Greg Tremblay will be doing it. 😀

MadLizardMamboFSMad Lizard Mambo
Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.

Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.

Now an official liaison between…

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Coffee Monday

We are in the middle of summer here and everyday the temperatures have been  in the upper 90’s.  I love hot coffee, but sometimes it calls for something cooler in the mornings.  I have posted iced coffee recipes here and here.

This week I found a recipe on Pinterest for  Vietnamese coffee Popsicle’s from A Spicy Perspectives Blog.  They look fabulous.

Vietnamese-Coffee-Pops1 A Spicy Perspective

Click the link above or the photo to go to the blog.  Let me know if you try this recipe. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Now I have to go find my Popsicle molds.:-)

Melyna