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Fifty Shames of Earl Grey

You don't even know...
I stopped into the library the other day to drop off and pick up another pile of books for my dear daughter Willow.  I spied this little number sitting on the shelf.  The title caught my eye, the parody sticker reeled me in.

As anyone can tell-- especially if you are unfortunate enough to know me or by some bizarre quirk in your personality, enjoy reading my posts-- I think I'm funny.  No, really, I love to laugh.  It usually isn't hard to get me going either.  Ask Moira.  Ask my BFF.  I laugh so hard tears run down my leg. 

So when I saw the little yellow smile, telling me to take it like a big girl, I knew this was the book for me. 

Andrew Shaffer, writing under Fanny Merkin (the name- not literally under) says in a NY Times interview he wrote this in 10 days.  All I have to say about that is "Brilliant!"

The blurb from the back cover states:
Young, arrogant, tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good lo…

IT will probably kill me...

First of all, let me state that I love my husband.  Let it also be known that this factmay not save him from becoming a new "compost heap" in my back yard.  Maybe I'll plant a few shrubs on top, that would look nice.  Ooh, a nice gazebo covered in climbing roses and maybe a swing with....what?  Oh.

    I have tried to come to terms with something that sends me into a state of near panic at the mere mention of the word.  Retirement.  There... I said it and didn't swoon.  I have heard the stories from married ladies with retired husbands, and with, first my father's and now my husband's lay-offs, I have experienced brief glimpses into this world.  So, I have learned some things.

The main thing, really, is that I would like to opt out but cannot, in good conscience, do that. He can'twork forever.Right?  My dearest other half is only 40, so this retirement isn't happening anytime soon, but still.He works as a carpenter, which means- aside from the fact…

Broads On A Budget: The Snack Time Dilemma

My kids are forever searching for a snack.  Left to their own devices, they'd eat every blasted treat purchased from my weekly grocery runs in a day or two!  It's exasperating.  Snacks aren't cheap, and there's nothing worse than opening the cupboard to discover that you are, in fact, Old Mother Hubbard!  (Of course, because the greedy little darlings have raided your stores)

Don't despair.  The Broads are at the rescue!  Here are a few quick fixes for those times when the kids are 'starving' and you're staring at the shelf blankly, wondering what in the heck you can come up with to silence the suffering.

The Saltine ...Oft Overlooked Staple

My grandmother, being a child of the depression, offered me this tasty treat one afternoon when I was quite young.  I've never forgotten how yummy it was, and she shared that during those lean days of her childhood, her mother had come up with the idea. 

You'll need saltine crackers, butter, a dish of sugar,…

Cover Reveal For A Practical Arrangement, Nadja Notariani

Brazen Reveal!

Nadja Notariani made a splash last year with her historical novella, Her Dark Baron.  Well move over, because her newest release, due out in early September, is sure to please with this beautiful cover!  Join in our Cover Appreciation. A Practical Arrangement, Nadja Notariani  


۩A Practical Arrangement, Nadja Notariani ۩



Miss Evangeline Grey, intelligent and sensible, has no desire to marry, her reluctance born from the dire warnings of her overly emotional mother. Her father has other ideas, however, and decrees that unless she weds by the spring, he will choose a husband for her.
Prim and proper Evangeline accepts her father's issue with little more than mild alarm. Knowing herself plain of face and sharp of tongue, she believes herself capable of warding off any perspective suitor. Her plan goes awry when the scandalous seducer, Mr. Thomas Masterson, visits her family's home, for Thomas has learned that he must procure a wife to receive his full inheritan…

Ahh, vacation...

Well, I did it.  I survived my first family vacation.  I'm pretty sure I have a little less hair and an eye tic, but dammit, I'm  alive!!  
     Yes, we have taken little vacations in the past.  My grandparents had a cottage on a lake about 2 hours from here and we'd go for long weekends, but this was different.  This was the 9 hour drive-stay in a hotel kind of vacation.Everyone better thank their lucky stars it was on the beach, too.  No shoes makes Mommy a happy girl.  
     While I was somewhat mollified by the "Yay! No Shoes!" thing, the planning and keeping in-line of the entire family and their things was slightly less enjoyable than stepping on legos in your bare feet...in the dark....while sick. Yeah, for me, it's like that.

     As my dearest sister Moira can attest, I am not up for any organizational awards, I am a procrastinator extraordinaire, and I have adopted the "This is my I-don't-care face" attitude.  Meaning take your stress to…

Brazen Review: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.


From the Trade Paperback edition.



Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

My Thoughts:  Lolita recounts the sad and convoluted tale of Humbert Humbert's tender, twisted obsession with a young nymphet, Dolores, whom he affectionately refers to as his Lolita.  Lolita is a young, pubescent American girl unfortunate enough to catch the attentions of our poor, sick Humbert.  But, Lolita is not exactly what she seems to be, and neither is Humbert.

I mostly enjoyed Nabokov's superbly written tale of unrequited love, albeit a dark…

Brazen Review: Fifty Shades Of Gary The Vampire: Anais's Sin

Fifty Shades Of Gary The Vampire: Anais's Sin, Sabrina Swan


With all the hype buzzing 'round over Fifty Shades of Grey, I thought I'd feature an alternative - an hysterical alternative. 


Anais has been a naughty, naughty girl and continued on a naughty woman.  With her life in shambles due to her string of poor choices, she thinks suicide is her best option.  Enter Gary The Vampire - a savior of sorts.  The whole premise is too rich!

Gary introduces himself, shades (and by shades I mean sunglasses - Ha! - Again, it's just too hilarious) and all, and Anais is drawn in quick, fast, and in a hurry.  She's desperate for love - even if it means sharing her blood with a hungry vampire.

But Gary is on a mission, more than one in fact.  For starters, he's going to teach Anais some discipline and reform this bad girl's wretched manners.  She won't like it - yet she will, and will be all too happy to thank him in the end.  It's his gift to her, in a way.
Gar…

Broads On A Budget: Breakfast On A Dime

Imagine...

It's Monday morning.  The kids need to be out the door by eight a.m. and the middle child has just announced - in a voice loud enough to incite panic - 'There is no cereal!'  All heads turn toward Mom...

Even a seasoned Broad shivers at the thought. 


Or maybe it's nothing so dramatic as all that.  Families everywhere are looking to cut expenses.  Broads, we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Sending the kids off with a healthy meal under their belts is the best start we can give them.  Today, I'm featuring a time-tested and kid-approved favorite.  And you might be surprised to learn that mom (or grandma) didn't only know her way around the kitchen, she knew her way around a budget. 

Forgotten Favorite:  Oatmeal ~ Brown Sugar & Cinnamon

1 Cup water (per serving)
1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats (for each serving)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Brown Sugar (to taste - 2-4 teaspoons per serving.  Cost breakdown is based on 4 teaspoon…

Brazen Review ~ What The World Eats, Faith D'Aluisio, Peter Menzel

The age-old practice of sitting down to a family meal is undergoing unprecedented change as rising world affluence and trade, along with the spread of global food conglomerates, transform eating habits worldwide. HUNGRY PLANET profiles 30 families from around the world--including Bosnia, Chad, Egypt, Greenland, Japan, the United States, and France--and offers detailed descriptions of weekly food purchases; photographs of the families at home, at market, and in their communities; and a portrait of each family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries. Featuring photo-essays on international street food, meat markets, fast food, and cookery, this captivating chronicle offers a riveting look at what the world really eats.




What Does A Week's Worth Of Food For Your Family Look Like?

This is the question WTWE explores.  After the opening section, World On A Plate, D'Aluisio and Menzel introduce readers to 25 families from around the globe through story and images.  The…

The Naming, Alison Croggon

The Naming ByAlison Croggon

Mearad is a slave at Gilmans Cot, and believes she will die there as a slave.  Until one day a mysterious man, that no seems to see but herself shows up, and makes her realize her past, and her dark future.  He takes her away, and informs her of her heritage and that she has the Gift.  Now Mearad must face who she really is, and what she has to do to keep balance in the world, and protect all who follow the Light.
I thought this book was very well written, and I loved the plot line.  It was easy for me to slip into this girls life, and it kept me up all night reading, because I didn't want to put the book down.  It is a good piece of fantasy, with a little bit of drama, but not too much to scare you away.  I think the reading level would be for anyone around 13 or older, depending on your reading skill.  I found this book an enjoyable read, and stay tuned for my review of the sequel, The Riddle.  

~Willow Naveen♥

Overall Rating : ♥♥♥♥♥

Cheap, Easy and Tasty...

I love expensive things.  Who doesn't?  I simply lack the funding to support any expensive habits.Therefore, I need my life to be cheap, easy and tasty.  
    Coming from a large family, Moira and I know how to stretch a buck.  I will happily hit the thrift stores and buy the "generics" at the grocers.  There are times when buying the better brand is, well, better.  If flavor and/or quality is at stake, it isn't a contest.  
    I love this theme  in the kitchen.  I have a few simple recipes for today that are all three, yay!  

    Let's start with stir fry.  This "recipe" is great because you can use whatever happens to be floating around in the pantry and fridge and the quantity is easy to adjust.  
-2 or 3 packs of ramen noodles beef and/or oriental flavor
-1lb. of ground beef
-1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies 
-Soy sauce
   Brown the ground meat thoroughly(drain grease if needed).  Add the veggies, ramen noodles with seasoning packets to the pan along wit…

Coffee Talk With Moíra ♣ ~ Honest Reviewing

Here at the Broads, we're inundated with review requests.  Unfortunately time, not to mention preference, does not allow us to feature all the fantastic books available!  It's so difficult to choose.  Taking on a book for review is serious business.  A careful reading and honest assessment is the goal of most reviewers.  Why?  Because we love stories!

I've limited the books I agree to take on, mostly because life is quite busy.  I still have a stack of books waiting for my attention.  Slowly, I work my way through, hoping to offer each my undivided attention at some point.  Oh!  For a two week read-a-palooza with Mina, cosmos, and maybe even a deep-tissue massage thrown in for overall well being.  Sigh.  A Broad can dream, can't she?  Reality dictates something entirely different from that picture. 

Honest reviews are always what you'll find here at the Broads.  Highlighting the things we enjoyed - and the elements that flopped - ensure readers go into a story wi…

North Of Beautiful

North Of Beautiful ByJustina Chen Headly


Terra Cooper is marked with a big port wine birthmark on her cheek.  This makes her ugly in her own eyes, and, she thinks, in everyone elses'.  Shes also stuck tiptoeing around her father and his temper, and dealing with her mother who hides behind her fat, and food.  Everything changes though when she meets Jacob, a goth kid her life collides into.  Terra has to figure out what she really wants, and who both her, and her whole family really are.
Sounds cheesy right?  Girl has flaw, and flawed life, girl meets boy, girl falls in love, story ends?  Well maybe it is cheesy, but in a good way.  This is the kinda book that will make you forget about yourself for a little.  Its not too sad and upsetting, nor suspenseful, nor scary, not too cheesy, not too teenage girl wrote it lovey, but just the right amount of everything.  well maybe not scary. I didn't find any of that in it.  I loved this book, in the way where I want a good book, but don&#…

Brazen Review ~ An Accidental Greek Wedding, Carol Grace

In this romantic romp through the Greek Isles, Carol Grace pens the delightful story of maid of honor and groom-to-be hot on the trail of a runaway bride...and quite possibly falling in love! Jane Atwood has loved Alex Woods for years. His upcoming wedding to her best friend -- the Greek- American beauty Sofia Leonakis -- doesn't make it any easier. Nor does the Greek island setting (is there a more romantic place on earth?) or her status as maid of honor. But when Sofia and Alex have a huge fight five nights before the wedding, Sofia runs off with a mystery man and all bets are off.
Thrown together in search of the errant bride, Jane and Alex go island-hopping. Jane tries hard to keep the "honor" in maid of honor, but her attraction to Alex deepens like a Mediterranean tan. Soon, Alex sees that she's not the plain Jane he thought she was -- and that she may be his one true love. Only on the wedding day will Jane discover whether Alex is ready to say &quo…

Braised Broads ~ Rice

World Of India...Right In My Own Kitchen!


In my family's bid to eat a healthier diet, I've discovered an entire world of food to explore.  Indian cuisine is something I only tried a few years ago, and I loved it!  Over the last year, I've begun to add Indian recipes to my menu plans.  I was nervous to cook Indian food, thinking it would be difficult.  Not at all!  The recipes are usually quite simple, and I've discovered quickly which tastes are my favorites from the plentiful spices flavoring the dishes. 

Many people from India (and of Indian descent) are vegetarians, but don't be fooled!  There are plenty of meat dishes to try.  Because their diet is so chock-full of vegetables, it's easy to prepare a healthy meal with lots of flavor. I'm lucky enough to have an Indian market near my home, but you'll find that most grocery stores carry just what you need!


From speaking with the local shop owner, I learned that Basmati rice is the preferred grain for m…

Brazen Review: Gaijin, Remittance Girl

Not Intended For Audiences Under 18 Due To Questionable Content

When Jennifer left the cold and damp of London for the sparkle and bustle of Tokyo, she imagined she'd find a world full of cherry blossom festivals, ancient tea ceremonies and Geishas. What she got instead was a cramped, shared apartment, harassment on the subway and a mind-numbing job as a hostess at the Blonde Chick Bar in Roppongi.

With a single, unintentional insult all that changed. She wakes up to find that she has been kidnapped by Shindo: a sadistic Yakuza demi-god who doesn't take his loss of face easily. Caught between his hatred of all things foreign and a growing obsession with this blonde gaijin, he is determined to make her pay for her rejection in sadistic and degrading ways.

`A woman's lot is to endure,' says the fox spirit in her dreams, but Jennifer wonders whether there are indeed fates worse than death. Little by little, she finds out.

My Thoughts:

Gaijin, blatent and disturbin…

Tuesday Teaser ~ May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..


Grab your current read
Open to a random pageShare two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!The Oracle of Stamboul: A Novel, Michael David Lukas

This is another of my library finds, discovered while lazily perusing a forgotten shelf near the floor.  You know the shelf I speak of.  The lonely books at the bottom, rarely seeing the light of day outside the stuffy, creaky-floored building housing them.  Well, good deed done!  I sat my rumpus down and browsed those neglected titles...
Here's what I found...

Pg. 1 - 'The hoopoes would probably have been regarded as an auspicious sign, were it not for the u…

Brazen Review: Love Finds You In North Pole, Alaska, Loree Lough

Instead of a regular blurb, I thought I'd share this neat book trailer I discovered.  Enjoy!

My thoughts:

The Love Finds You series boasts an impressive number of stories set across the United States.  Loree Lough's is the only in the series I've sampled, and it was a pleasant read.

Bryce, as a hero, was far less Alpha than I prefer, a sentiment shared by the friend who recommended this novella.  But overall, he was likable.  Lough did a fair job at best of creating a back story to - er, well...back up her hero's reluctance for romance, but aside from disappointment, he suffered no betrayal - no shock worthy to cause a man to swear off women!  It was a weakness this Broad noted in the storyline; luckily, Lough's sweet romance made up for it in other areas.

The town of North Pole was well described without going overboard.  I loved being able to picture the Christmas decorations adorning each business and setting as well as the accurate description of average Alaska…

Spotlight On Up And Coming Author - Angela Brown

Angela Brown in a Pursuit of Publishness I am a lover of books - from classics to steampunk and everything in between. Plus, I'm in pursuit of making my full-time passion more than a part-time gig. This blog is to share about all things reading, writing, movies, TV shows, publication - I think you get the drift. I'll even share the ups and downs of my own journey. If you don't like any of these things, I appreciate your visit, but sadly say you've come to the wrong spot. If just one of these topics tickle your fancy, then please pull up a chair (be a follower of my blog), talk to me and others here (leave a comment) and know that you are always welcome.
Hi, Angela!  Thanks for taking the time to visit with the Broads today.  Your newest project, the A-Z Challenge has been a hit around the blogging world.  Tell us a bit...

The current WiP that shot into high priority status is the result of this year's A to Z blogging challenge which ended as of today.  It&#…

Tuesday Teasers ~ May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..


Grab your current read
Open to a random pageShare two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  10 Men, Alexandra Gray

I've not started this novel yet, but it intrigued me as I browsed my local library's shelves.  The reviews vary widely, so I imagine this will be a 'loved it/hated it' sort of read.  Here's a teaser to get us all started, and I'll post a review when I've finished.  We'll see how this Broad rates this controversial read.

Pg. 1 - 'It is one of the wonders of the twenty-first century that a beautiful, brilliant and broad-shouldered man could reach almost forty …

Tuesday Teasers ~ May 8, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..


Grab your current read
Open to a random pageShare two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Zen And The Art of Vampires, Katie MacAlister

Pg. 32 - 'A man's voice called out behind me.  Damn that long legged Mattias.  I was already out of breath and had a suspicious pain in my side that warned of a stitch. 
"Please let me get away, please let me get away," I chanted in time to my pounding footsteps as I ran blindly through the still empty town, my brain squirreling around frantically for some way to escape Mattias.'

This is the second Katie MacAlister book I've had the pleasure of cu…