Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

The One For Me by Rachel Hanna - Book Review

Many book reviews have been written on the ReviewThisReviews! Site by its many contributors. Us contributors read these book reviews right along with our readers, which quickly lets us know a good book to put on our To-Read List. 

Beach chair on the beach at the ocean

Having recently read the review of Book One in the South Carolina Sunsets series (The Beach House by Rachel Hanna ~ reviewed by contributor Mbg Photo [Mary Beth Granger] ), I became interested in reading the series myself. While looking for this book, I came across Book One in Rachel Hanna’s January Cove series (The One For Me) and now am ‘hooked’ on not only the author, but this series. It is perfect for fans of women’s fiction about clean contemporary small town romance and stories about Southerners. While Hanna’s Sunset Series takes place in South Carolina, this January Cove series takes place in Georgia. Having lived in Georgia for close to 20 years, this setting particularly appeals to me. 

Synopsis of The One For Me

Twenty years ago, when Jenna Davis was in high school, she met and fell in love with Kyle Parker, popular jock & class clown, and just knew that he would be in her heart forever. Kyle felt the same way. They were together throughout high school and into their college years. The problem was that Jenna’s mother, a very forcefully opinionated woman, insisted that her daughter be the best and have the best; meaning top grades in school, a proper profession, and a perfect marriage to someone who was ‘going places’ and would take excellent care of her daughter. Jenna’s mother disapproved of Kyle, who was being raised by a single mother with five children and was struggling to make ends meet. It didn’t matter that Kyle was a good person; Jenna’s mother only saw him as someone not a ‘proper’ fit for her daughter. 

Jenna was dominated by her mother and her father sided with his wife. Thus, she ended up studying a business course in college her mother insisted on, instead of the art courses she wanted (and had talent for), and ended up marrying a young man who was in medical school - highly approved by Jenna’s mother. When she broke up with Kyle, he was devastated, as Jenna was his ‘soul mate’ and he loved her dearly.

Twenty years later, Jenna has returned to a town near January Cove where she grew up. Newly divorced, with a 5-year-old daughter and an ex-husband who has refused to give her alimony or child support, despite the fact that he is now a doctor and can well afford it, Jenna is struggling to keep the house she can no longer afford. When the house goes into foreclosure, a local real estate investor bids on and buys the property. As you might have guessed, that investor turns out to be Kyle. 

Kyle cannot believe his eyes when he discovers the house he has just purchased in foreclosure is owned by Jenna. The romance that was there when they were in their teens has not diminished, but can Kyle forgive her for leaving him or will he fall for her all over again. 

Jenna knows she made a terrible mistake all those years ago. Will hearts break or mend in this sweet beach romance? 


As much as I wanted to read Rachel Hanna’s South Carolina Sunsets Series because Mary Beth’s review spiked my interest, and because I know South Carolina well, now that I have begun this delightful January Cove series, I need to read each of the ten books in this series first. Never fear; the Sunset Series is on my list for the next round of reading! 

*Book Review of The One For Me written by Wednesday Elf

Related Review:

  • The Beach House (South Carolina Sunsets Series Book One) reviewed by Mbg Photo

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Reviewing Bob's Top-of-the-Stove Baked Beans Recipe

Image of a serving of baked beans on a plate
The original oven baked beans of our childhoods were always SO good; cooked with lots of bacon and sweet molasses. Only problem is, they take a long time to prepare and cook. 

As our children were growing up, we did a lot of camping, and cooked on a Coleman Stove and the camp's grill. We always enjoyed having baked beans with our grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. But, without an oven, and having a time constraint out in the campgrounds, oven baked beans was not an option. Therefore, my hubby, Bob, came up with his own version of camper baked beans, which he named Bob's Top-of-the-Stove baked beans.

After our children grew up, they began to make this recipe both in camp and at home. Quite quick to prepare and always tasty, it has become a standard favorite in our family. 

Bob's Top-of-the-Stove Baked Beans Recipe


A selection of ingredients for a baked bean recipe

Serves 4

1 can pork & beans (we usually use Van Camp's). 

Several slices of bacon*

½ to 1 diced onion*

Mustard to taste

Ketchup to taste

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

Brown Sugar to taste

Salt & Pepper


Slicing and chopping bacon and onion

  • Cut up bacon slices into one or two inch squares. Chop the onion.

Sauteing bacon and onion

  • Begin by sauteing the bacon and onion together. When done to your preference, pour off excess bacon grease (leaving a small bit for flavor).

Baked Beans recipe cooking

  • Add the can of Pork & Beans. 

  • Add all the other ingredients.

  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes to heat through and blend all the ingredients. 

  • As the beans simmer, add more ketchup and/or brown sugar to your tasting preference. This is an extremely variable recipe, so exact amounts are not given in the ingredients. Personally, I prefer lots of ketchup and enough brown sugar for that 'sweet' taste. Taste and adjust amounts to your own satisfaction as the beans simmer.

NOTE: We always used a Corning Ware pan (as shown in the accompanying pictures), so everything can be cooked in one pan. Otherwise, you might wish to saute the bacon and onion in a frying pan, then add them and the other ingredients together in a sauce pan. 

*Explanation for the *starred items in the recipe: the number of bacon strips and the amount of onion used are negotiable! Personally, we like LOTS of bacon and plenty of onion. Adjust each to your own personal preference. 


Baked Beans

Bob's Top-of-the-Stove Baked Beans Recipe is easy & quick, and definitely delicious. And it's one of those recipes that works equally as well cooked on the stove-top in your kitchen or on a camp stove at a campsite. 

It is most definitely a favorite in our family.

*All images are the personal photos of (c) Wednesday Elf

*Bob's Top-of-the-Stove Baked Beans Recipe is brought to you by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Blackbird Trilogy by Heather Graham

Blackbird is the new European branch of the Krewe of Hunters.

Blackbird on a tree branch

The Krewe of Hunters is a special FBI division whose teams investigate and solve unusual or strange cases. All the team members have unique paranormal abilities; they can talk to ghosts.

 The ghosts frequently aid the teams in their crime-fighting quests.

Now, a European branch of the 'Krewe' teams has been put together to investigate overseas cases.  This team consists of law enforcement members from the American Krewe teams, and from England, Scotland, Norway and France.  They call themselves "Blackbird" (officially, the Euro Special Assistance Team) created to extend the Krewe's reach into Europe to assist with crimes abroad.

The American FBI team of Mason Carter and Della Hamilton join up with Jon Wilhelm of the National Police Directorate of Norway, Metropolitan Police dectective chief insprector, Edmund Taylor  and Jeanne Lapierre, a longtime Parisian detective, to form the Blackbird Team of International operatives to chase and capture serial killers across Europe. They are joined by Francois Bisset, the Krewe's interpol liaison.

The Blackbird Triology

Whispers at Dust (Volume 1)

The triology begins with a series of crimes perpetrated by an organized serial killer who jumps from country to country. He calls himself The Vampire/The Master and kills beautiful young women, and displays them with care, completely drained of blood. After four bodies have been discovered along Europe's riverbanks, the Blackbird team meets up in Norway and begins their investigation. 

The trail leads the team from the forests of Lillehammer in Norway, on to England, then to the Louisiana bayou country back in America where Della has to act as bait to capture this vampire killer. 

Secrets in the Dark (Volume 2)

In Book 2 of the Blackbird Triology, the capture of The Vampire Killer others call The Master, has not ended the reign of terror. It seems The Master has convinced others to carry on his horrible work. 

Della and Mason return to England and join up with the rest of the Blackbird team to catch a killer stalking the streets of London. This self-dubbed Ripper King has patterned himself after the infamous Jack the Ripper and his intent is to be even better than that notorious serial murderer.

The Ripper King's method of killing is nothing new, but the team is forced to work quickly before another woman ends up dead. The dangerous game of cat and mouse takes an unexpected turn, leading the team into a deadly trap. 

Cursed at Dawn (Volume 3)

FBI agents Della Hamilton and Mason Carter know that real monsters exist. In Cursed at Dawn, Book 3 in the triology, they are still catching their breaths after apprehending two such monster killers.

But, as the old proverb 'no rest for the wicked' indicates that one's work never ceases, the agents discover the madness in this case hasn't ended.  Stephan Dante, the self-proclaimed king of the vampires, has escaped from prison.  

This time the locale is Scotland and the Blackbird team meets up in Edinburgh. Knowing that the clock is ticking regarding this cruel killer. the team needs to outwit and re-capture Dante and stop the carnage once and for all. But, it seems this killer seeks his eternal bride – Della herself. 


Throughout the trilogy, we meet various ghosts who aid the team in many ways. Being able to 'talk to the dead' definitely helps their investigations. Plus, as fans of The Krewe of Hunters series knows, the stories also involve some historical facts about the areas involved in each story, giving us a history lesson along with a mystery to solve.

The series genre is noted to be that of a paranormal mystery romance. The talking to the ghosts is the paranormal aspect. We have the mystery involved with this law enforcement team solving the crimes. And, of course, there is a bit of romance among the team and people they meet as time goes by.  

A little bit of everything for fans of this genre and fans of author Heather Graham. I recommend reading the triology in order, as the best way meet and follow each character. 

*The Blackbird Trilogy by Heather Graham – reviewed by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, March 30, 2024

'Twas The Bite Before Christmas – Book Review

An Andy Carpenter Mystery by David Rosenfelt

Golden Retriever dressed for Christmas with a Christmas Tree in the background

Synopsis of Book #28 of 30 in the Andy Carpenter Mystery Series

Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who works at his profession reluctantly.  His deep passion is the dog rescue organization – Tara Foundation – he and his wife sponsor and run. The organization acquired its name from that of Andy and Laurie's Golden Retriever rescue, Tara.

It is Christmas time and the Tara Foundation is having it's annual Christmas party. All the rescue families ~ and their dogs, of course ~ along with the foster families who volunteer to welcome dogs into their homes while waiting adoption, have been invited to the celebration. Some volunteers are what Andy refers to as a “foster failure” (someone who takes in a dog temporarily, but then cannot give him up and ends up adopting him). His friend, Derek Moore, is currently a double foster failure and their names are Jake (a Golden Retriever) and Sasha (a Dalmatian).

In the middle of the celebration, the police arrive at the door and arrest Derek – for murder

Andy discovers that Derek's real name is Bobby Klaster and he is in the State of New Jersey's Witness Protection Program. Bobby was once in a gang and gave evidence against his former gang after a robbery where two people were killed. Now, Bobby is being accused of murdering one of the gang members. 


Andy doesn't like much of anything about the case, but he takes it on to clear Bobby's name and catch a murderer, while looking after Jake & Sasha, along with his own three rescue pups. Laurie, a former police officer who now runs her own Private Investigation firm, helps out in the investigation. 

The story takes place in and around Patterson, New Jersey and the dogs play a big role. Especially a K-9 dog named Simon Garfunkel, owned by one of Laurie's partners. 

As you have probably surmised, this is a lighthearted novel filled with humor and is in the Cozy Animal Mystery genre, as well as Traditional Detective Mysteries and Animal Fiction. 'Twas the Bite Before Christmas is #28 in the Andy Carpenter series, all of which include 'dogs', and is a very enjoyable read.

For More Book Reviews on Review This! featuring Dogs, Click Here

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*Book Review of 'Twas The Bite Before Christmas written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, March 16, 2024

A Green and Gold Gift Review for St. Patrick's Day


Shamrock on a 4-leaf clover background with the words Happy St. Patrick's Day

Ireland, The Emerald Isle, is known for its lovely green countryside; one of the reasons that green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day.

Since the Saint Patrick's Day holiday occurs right about the official start of spring, people are ready to see some green after a long cold winter.

Gold is another color associated with this holiday, as it represents wealth, luck and prosperity. (Remember the Irish legend about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?). 

Let's review a few green and gold gifts for the holiday of Saint Patrick's Day.

Green and Gold Gifts

The Shamrock (the symbol of Ireland) and the expression “Luck of the Irish” are both associated with St. Patrick's Day. 

Green Sweatshirt with embroidered Lucky and a shamrock
Lucky Sweatshirt on Etsy

This embroidered 
Lucky sweatshirt by Franky B Studios on Etsy, with the word 'Lucky' and a 'shamrock' would make a perfect gift for your Irish friends. 

Handmade in green baby's first teddy bear
St. Patrick's Day Teddy Bear

Firsts for baby are always fun. This My First St. Patrick's Day Teddy Bear in green plush, personalized with baby's name, would make a darling gift for your own baby or that of a relative or friend. 

Created by The Gift Chicks (Harley Hayes and Pam McDanial) for their Etsy Store. They also create many other personalized bears for birthdays, anniversaries and many holidays. 

Handmade Leprechaun soap
Leprechaun Soap on Etsy

We've all heard the Leprechaun legend from Irish folklore about this solitary fairy who ~ legend tells us ~ will reveal the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But ~ only if you catch him. :) 

Have your own Leprechaun in this gold Leprechaun Soap, handmade by Sarah for her Etsy Store BubblesandBaubles

Gold Four Leaf Clover Pendant

Wear a symbol of luck and good fortune with this Real Solid 10k Gold Four Leaf Clover Pendant. A lovely gold lucky charm for the lady in your life. A St. Patrick's Day Gift handmade by Michael of California for his Golden Fire Jewelry shop on Etsy.


So, for St. Patrick's Day, or any gift occasion, think Green or Gold for a delightful gift.

For more Gift Reviews, Click on

Saint Patrick's Day
March 17

*Green and Gold Gift Guide written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Reviewing National Drink Wine Day

 National Drink Wine Day is held on February 18 each year. No one knows who chose this day to specifically drink wine, but it is nice to know that there is a special day of the year set aside to enjoy it (assuming you are over 21, of course). 

A bottle and a glass of wine

The origin of Drink Wine Day is unknown, but  it was probably created by either a winemaker or a wine connoisseur.

Benefits of Drinking Wine

A selection of wines
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Drinking wine has benefits beyond the fact that it tastes good.

Wine in moderation has health benefits for your heart and in lowering the risk of certain kinds of cancers, diabetes and liver disease. 

Other benefits include enhancing the flavors of spices, fruits and sauces when paired with the right meal. 

A glass of wine helps us relax and learning about wines keeps our minds sharp.

How to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day

  • Have a memorable evening by sharing wine with friends or that someone special.

  • Attend a wine-tasting event and try out different kinds of wine.

Grapes in a vineyard at a winery
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Go on a winery tour. Two wineries reviewed here on this Review This Reviews! site include:

Related Holidays

A wine bottle and a glass of wine

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Happily, there is more than one day of the year set aside to enjoy wine. They include:

Open That Bottle Night –  Dorothy Gaither and John Becher created this day to encourage people to reconnect with each other over a good bottle of wine or champagne. It is held on the last Saturday in February each year. 

National Wine and Cheese Day -  A day to celebrate pairing wine and cheese, providing an opportunity to sample some of our favorites. This holiday is held on July 25th. 

Drink Local Wine Week - The second full week in October brings us this annual event that hopefully encourages bloggers and wine columnists to write about their local wines. 

International Merlot Day – On November 7th we can celebrate one of the world's most popular red wines. It is also a day to encourage those who have never tried Merlot to give it a try. 

Wine Tourism Day – This day, held on the second Saturday in November, features wineries and wine-related events all over the world. 


If you enjoy drinking wine, pop the cork on your favorite bottle of wine and celebrate National Drink Wine Day this February 18th.

A Wine Chuckle

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food" :)

~ W.C. Fields

For More Wine-Related Reviews

Check out Review This Reviews: Wine 

For More Holiday Reviews

Check out Review This Reviews: Holidays

*Holiday Review of National Drink Wine Day written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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