tweets for 2014-07-28

July 29th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, emily m. danforth (2012)

July 28th, 2014 10:57 am by Kelly Garbato

Un-put-downable!

five out of five stars

Cameron Post was twelve years old when she first kissed a girl. Her best friend Irene Klauson, in the Klausons’ hayloft, one hot, sweltering June afternoon before the start of seventh grade.

The very next day, Cam’s parents died. En route to the annual camping trip, their car jumped a guardrail at Quake Lake – where Joanie Wynton (now Joanie Post) and her family had escaped death by earthquake and flood decades earlier.

So begins The Miseducation of Cameron Post: The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson.

The year is 1989, long before most Americans had heard of gay marriage, at a time when voters were repealing gay rights legislation not just in middle America, but on the West Coast as well. Growing up in the conservative, church-going small town of Miles City, Montana, Cameron doesn’t know what to make of her budding feelings for her best friend – and for the girls who will follow: Lindsey, Cam’s main competition during the summer swim meets; Coley, her impossibly gorgeous high school classmate and fellow church member; and Mona, an experienced college-aged lifeguard/Coley rebound.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2014-07-27

July 28th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-26

July 27th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Rosemary Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

July 26th, 2014 12:10 pm by Kelly Garbato

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This recipe came about because I needed to use up some ripening strawberries stat, and I wanted to try something other than plain old strawberry-banana. The rosemary certainly makes for an interested addition – it gives the ice cream more of a savory feel – but I’m not sure it’s my absolute favorite. I guess I’m just more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl, you know?

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Strawberry Rosemary Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or several sprigs fresh rosemary) + extra to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2014-07-25

July 26th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon: August 11th – September 1st

July 25th, 2014 4:45 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Phantasmic Reads and Novel Heartbeat are hosting the 2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon from August 11th through September 1st. Basically the idea is to hang out in an air conditioned building – or maybe the beach, if it isn’t too toasty – and read your little heart out. Who cares about the reading on the thermostat when there’s a girl on fire demanding your attention!?!

You can set the goal – for me, that’s six books – and there will be some min-challenges, too. You have until August 25th to sign up (here!).

Once 8/11 arrives, you can track my progress on this post. Six books doesn’t sound terribly impressive, but at two a week (and not counting kid’s books or short stories!), I think it’s enough to keep things interesting. At least on my end anyway. (Hey, I’ve already exceeded my goal for the Summer Reading Program, so you never know!)

Let’s do this thing!

tweets for 2014-07-24

July 25th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-23

July 24th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-22

July 23rd, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-21

July 22nd, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Umbral, Book One: Out of the Shadows, Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten (2014)

July 21st, 2014 12:43 pm by Kelly Garbato

Disappointing

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads’ First Reads program.)

Tasked by her boss, the Master of the Thieves Guild, with stealing a priceless artifact from the palace trophy room, Rascal unwittingly witnesses the murder of King Petor and Queen Innaline during the robbery. Worse still, her co-conspirator is none other than Prince Arthir, who soon joins his parents in the grave. Only, the rest of the world doesn’t yet know that the royal family is dead – because their killers, creatures from a hell dimension known collectively as the Umbral, are shape-shifters who have assumed the visages of the King, Queen, and Prince, as well as other key players in Strakhelm. Their goal? World domination. It’s up to young Rascal to keep the Occulus safe and out of Umbral hands.

Based on the book’s tag line – “Orphaned at birth. Raised by smugglers. Taken in by thieves. Running for her life.” – I had some crazy high hopes for Umbral, Book One: Out of the Shadows. A spunky young heroine! Doing crimes and taking names! In a multiverse! And pirates!

Alas, it was not to be. While the story idea is promising, Umbral never quite lives up to its potential. Between the shape shifting and the constant travel between dimensions (Rascal is somehow able to slip in and out of the Umbral), the story can sometimes get confusing – a problem not helped by the artwork, which is oftentimes sloppy and fails to clearly illustrate the many plot twists. For example, a few of the characters (e.g. Dalone and Master Gearge) look so much alike that at first glance they’re often hard to tell apart. And the hell and regular dimensions? So similar that they’re nearly indistinguishable. One just seems to be a different version of the present reality; the only way you can tell one from the other is through the narration, which isn’t always helpful, either.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2014-07-20

July 21st, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-19

July 20th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

July 19th, 2014 5:35 pm by Kelly Garbato

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2014-07-18

July 19th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-17

July 18th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2014-07-16

July 17th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Troop, Nick Cutter (2014)

July 16th, 2014 1:45 pm by Kelly Garbato

Things that make you go “EWWWWWWWWWW!”

four out of five stars

Fact One: a boat had arrived.

Fact Two: he and the boys were on an isolated island over an hour from home. No weapons other than their knives – blades no longer than three and a half inches, as outlined in the Scout Handbook – and a flare gun. It was night. They were alone.

It was supposed to be a last hurrah for the boys of Troop Fifty-Two.

At fourteen years old, the guys – Kent, Ephraim, Max, Shelley, and Newton – had come up together through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Venturers, but most (save for the ever-nerdy Newt) now felt that they were too old to be running around in the wilderness, earning merit badges for activities as dorky as bird watching and first aid. And so the late-autumn camping trip to Falstaff Island was to be their final adventure together, much to Scoutmaster Tim’s disappointment.

Their peace and quiet is interrupted on the very first night, with the unexpected arrival of an emaciated and ravenous stranger in a speed boat. While Tim attempts to treat the obviously ill man (in his other life, the Scoutmaster is a GP), there’s no cure for what ills him. “Typhoid Tom,” as he’d later come to be known in the papers, is Patient Zero in an experiment gone horribly wrong…or horribly right, depending on which project backer you’re talking to.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2014-07-15

July 16th, 2014 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato