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31 July 2012

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

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.
Gary The Vampire is much more than a dominant reformer, he's on a search for his eternal mate.  Anais is just one of his candidates!  Oh My!

I enjoyed this short comical romp of satire and silliness a great deal.  Sabrina Swan wrote a laugh out loud novella, mixing in humor with a dab of learning for our heroine to accept responsibility and change her destructive and unacceptable behavior.  This author also added a few tender moments and a dash of delicious danger.  Well done, Miss Swan!

This is by no means a story for young readers.  Explicit themes run throughout - best left in the hands of mature Broads able to appreciate such nonsense.  Anais is likable, but underdeveloped.  The character grows under Gary's tutelage but still, there could have been much better character development.  No deal breaker, but needing a mention. 

Anais's Sin is the first of our adventures with Gary The Vampire, and I will gladly read his next!  He's a quirky character.  If the few editing issues are handled, this Broad will likely follow Gary until he at long last finds his eternal mate - and vanquishes his arch-frenemy, that rotten Marquis!

I'll give 3.5 stars, but would have given 4 if not for editing issues.  All in all, a daring, fast paced read with a quirky, spanky-fingered vampire of a rare sort.  Able to be enjoyed in an evening, it's worth the time if you like a naughty laugh. 

Overall Rating:

♣ ♣ ♣ 1/2   


24 July 2012

Broads On A Budget: Breakfast On A Dime


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 teaspoons per serving for those who like it sweet!)
Hearty sprinkle of cinnamon added to the pot.
Milk (to desired consistency.  I add approx. 1 - 2 cup for five servings)
Boil water.  Add salt and oats, then stir.  Cook 1 minute.  Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and milk.  Stir, serve, and enjoy.

How does our ten-minute-to-table breakfast add up for the weekly budget?

Quick Oats -   $0.07 per serving
Brown Sugar-   0.04 per 4 teaspoon sized serving
Milk             -    0.05 per serving - @$0.23 per cup
                        $0.16 per serving
                     x        5 servings

Calculating roughly sixteen cents per serving, a family of five can enjoy a nutritious and filling breakfast for about one dollar.  Chop a red-delicious apple and add to the water for an additional $0.53 cents.  Stir in peanut butter for something different, adding $0.15 per 2 Tablespoon serving. 

Adding toast, butter, jelly, and a pot of hot tea, you'll still be able to keep costs below $3.00. 

Have you got a time-tested, kid-approved meal that's easy on the budget?  Share it with us! 


06 July 2012

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 result is highly impactful.  Twenty-two countries are profiled - each offering a unique picture of life and food.

Sprinkled amongst the family profiles, D'Aluisio included fascinating and disturbing facts such as population poverty statistics, amount in USD of per year monies spent on health care, and sugar/sweet consumption per person per year - in pounds.  Yeah...the disturbing part. 

The striking realization of how blessed we are where food is concerned will not be easily forgotten, nor would I want it to.  I've always known we live in a land of plenty and wealth, but connecting personally with the individual families by reading their stories and glimpsing into their lives hit that truth home powerfully.

An interesting and informative read, WTWE rates a top pick for readers curious on the topic. 

Overall Rating - ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

Moíra ♣


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