Saturday, 31 August 2013

Matched Baking Challenge Reveal

It's the last day of the month! That means it's time for our Baking Challenge reveal!

I have a confession to make. I didn't finish my baking. My cat got sick and it got a little crazy around here (he's okay now, in case you were worried). But I promise to post pictures soon! In the meantime, here's a description.

I picked Cassia as the inspiration for my trio. I started off with a plain shortbread cookie because she is a perfectly normal citizen of the Society at the beginning of the book. As she begins changing, she is represented by a shortbread cookie that has a few chocolate chips in it. By the end of the book, she's so different that I chose a chocolate shortbread cookie with a little bit of plain shortbread dough marbled through it and praline-covered edges.

If you baked something, please add it to the linky, which will be open until September 7. It can be a post on your blog or social media site. And feel free to discuss the book and/or the challenge in the comments. I can't wait to hear what you thought!

Review: Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke

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Conservative Katie receives news that her free-spirited sister Mia was found dead in Bali. The police say it was a suicide. Refusing to accept this, Katie takes Mia's travel journal and retraces the around-the-world trip that lead her sister to Bali and the bottom of a cliff to find out what really happened.

I can't say enough good things about this book. Lucy Clarke captures the bond and tension of sisters perfectly, writing their love and disagreements with a deft hand. She at once made me long for a sister and thankful that I have a brother instead. Descriptive, heart-wrenching and touching, Swimming at Night is a must-read for anyone fascinated with human emotion, family bonds and the complex nature of relationships.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: Fatty Patty by Kathleen Irene Paterka

Today I am please to bring you a guest post Kathleen Irene Paterka, author of Fatty Patty. As you will read below, Kathleen has a very personal connection to this story and that comes through in every word she wrote. This is definitely a book you'll want to check out.



Have you heard the phrase: “It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you” ? Back in high school, I had no clue. I was too busy trying to figure out what to eat next. I indulged myself with rich gooey pastries, wasted hours in the kitchen baking yummy homemade cookies, treated myself to luscious cakes with scrumptious sugary frosting. Naturally, eating all those delicious delights packed on the pounds. Enough so that, by the time I graduated high school, I weighed 300 lbs. I never admitted how much I weighed, but everyone knew. Who did I think I was kidding? Despite the fact that I was tall (5’11”), I was FAT. Thunder Thighs. Baby Huey Hips. The nicknames hurt, and I consoled myself by eating. At my heaviest, I wore size 28+ pants.

That was more than thirty years ago. I lost the weight, kept it off, and now wear a size 10. How did I do it? It was simple (but not easy). I spent plenty of years and tears crying over food before I got to the point where I finally gave up and admitted the truth: I am a sugar-junkie. Once I accepted it, I was done with sugar. I gave up eating junk, and started trying to figure out what kind of junk was eating at me.

FATTY PATTY is my debut novel, first in a series of four James Bay Novels. Patty Perreault is the overweight heroine whose childhood nickname was Fatty Patty. Though she’s now an adult, Patty still remembers the cruel childhood taunts from the very same school playground where she’s now a teacher. The novel deals with Patty’s struggle to figure out not what she’s been eating, but what’s been eating her. She needs to confront her self-esteem issues, put down the fork and give her heart a try.

The inspiration for Patty’s story came from deep within me. When I finally quit eating, I realized I had a story to tell that many people could relate to. Who among us doesn’t deal with self-esteem issues? Although Patty’s journey is her own, and not mine, I believe the story speaks to eternal truths that we face as individuals, men and women alike. Each of us has things we keep buried inside our hearts: secrets we’re afraid to expose, to drag out into the light of day. Some of us will never let those secrets go, preferring to keep one finger swiping at the frosting of a cake (such as I did at my wedding), a hand buried deep in the cookie jar, and our hearts clamped shut. But painful as it might be, there’s also bliss to be found in admitting the truth. It’s a wonderful feeling to live free of the fear that you’ll be eaten alive. I’m no longer willing to sacrifice myself to a sweet sugary bondage. I’m no longer living to eat. Today, I’m eating to live.

I now live behind my computer screen, and no longer in the kitchen. But here’s a recipe from way-back-in-my-baking day. Caution! The frosting listed below is very good and highly addictive.


½ c. margarine
½ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
⅔- ¾ c. hot milk
1 tsp. flavoring

Beat margarine, shortening and sugar on high. Slowly add hot milk, 1 tsp. at a time. Add flavor. Beat till sugar granules are dissolved and frosting is smooth to the taste.

About Kathleen
Kathleen Irene Paterka is the author of numerous women’s fiction novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including ROYAL SECRETS and the James Bay series (FATTY PATTY, HOME FIRES, LOTTO LUCY and FOR I HAVE SINNED). Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Connect with Kathleen
ScribBLING Divas Blog:

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: Feed by Mira Grant

Vamps vs Zombies Event

You may have already noticed that I'm a bit of a zombie nut, thanks to my Rick Grimes acrostic and review of Rise Again by Ben Tripp. I'm the first to admit that I completely geek out for all things zombie. I'm also the first to admit that even the stories that aren't that scary give me occasional nightmares. But that's okay. It's worth it. So when I came across the Vamps vs Zombies blog hop on My Shelf Confessions I hit the jackpot. I've had lots of fun enter the weekly challenges, hopping from blog to blog to check out giveaways and reviews of books on my favourite subject matter, and meeting new bloggers and readers who share my love of scary monsters. In honour of the blog hop, I bring you my review of Feed by Mira Grant.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
 Feed is a bit different than a lot of the zombie novels out there. In this story, society - from government to commerce to everything in between - has survived and adapted to live with the constant threat of the infected for more than twenty years. The main focus in this one isn't really the zombies. They're there and you don't forget it even for a second, but they're more of a backdrop to the real story. The real story surrounds the Presidential campaign in the United States and the group of blogger reporters following the Republican candidate and an infected conspiracy.

The first of a trilogy, Feed is entertaining, thoughtful, political, and yes, sometimes a little bit scary. It pulled me in right from the very first word and stayed with me after the last. It will appeal to anyone on Team Zombie, political aficionados, conspiracy theorists, and lovers of mystery alike.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Book Blast: The Pact by Graeme Brown


the_pact_coverThe Pact

Enter the world of Will Lesterall, a boy who’s grown up in the safety of his father’s castle.

Tales of the outside world ruled by warring kings and creatures of nightmare have never seemed a threat, yet on the night celebrating the two hundredth year of the sacred Pact that has kept Fort Lesterall safe, a secret intrigue ripens, and in the course of a few hours Will is confronted with a choice greater than he can comprehend.

Join an unlikely hero as destiny pulls him into the middle of an ancient conflict between fallen gods and ambitious women, one that demands blood, both holy and wicked, and the power of an ancient fire bound in steel. As swords clash below a watching wood, hope and betrayal war as fiercely as fear and valor.

 Whether he lives or dies, Will Lesterall will never be the same.

Buy Links: Kobo | Kindle | Other formats

Graeme_3 Author Bio:
 Graeme Brown is has been enchanted by the epic fantasy genre since he was a child, and consequently he started creating his own world with its stories at the age of thirteen. Influenced by writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and George R. R. Martin, he has finally brought the first of those stories to life with his debut title, a short story called The Pact—48 pages that will whisk you away to a dark, medieval fantasy world with gritty realism. When he’s not writing, he can be found exploring number theory problems or writing computer programs, training for a marathon, or unwinding in a yoga hot room. He has also explored other facets of art, both as a hobby and a profession, including vector graphics, pen and ink, classical piano, and web design. Despite being a full time student and a junior editor for Champagne Books, he makes sure to do a little writing every day. He is presently busy with the first of many sequels to The Pact, A Thousand Roads.

 For more about Graeme, visit his website:

Author Links:



1st Prize $25 Amazon GC
Runners up: 10 x The Pact ebooks

Open internationally
Ends 16th September
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Friday, 23 August 2013

Review: Invisible by Carla Buckley

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Dana Carlson, younger sister to Julie, leaves home and her sister for sixteen years. When Julie's daughter calls Dana because Julie is seriously ill, Dana makes the trip home, only to discover she arrived too late. Harboring her own secrets and grieving her sister, Dana vows to save others from the disease that took Julie and could be killing others.

With just enough suspense to help drive the plot forward without taking away from the emotional drama of the family and buried secrets threatening to come out along the way, Invisible is an enjoyable read. The plot is interesting, the characters real, and the emotions complex and the environmental discussion poignant, timely and just a little frightening.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Excerpt: Stained by Elizabeth Marx

     “Is that why you were living in the same city as me and you never came to see me?” I asked a little bit more accusatorially than I meant to. “Why didn’t Mandy call me or come to see me?”   
     His jaw seemed to harden as he looked over the top of his sunglasses. “Do you want to know about me or Mandy?”   
     I rolled my eyes. “You know what I mean.”   
     “Maybe I was just admiring you from afar as I always have.” Revell merged onto the highway in the direction of Crossroads.   
     I snorted. “What’s Mandy’s excuse?”   
     Revell took one hand off the steering wheel and rubbed the back of his neck. “She took Daddy’s death hard and she’s been busy with school there.”   
     “So for some reason, which you won’t explain to me, one of few people I consider a true and loyal friend came to live in my home town and she didn’t even want to see me?”   
     Revell sighed. “Since you didn’t come here when Daddy died, maybe she thought your friendship was over.”   “Is that what you thought? That our friendship was over?”  
     “We weren’t friends, Scarlett, don’t fool yourself into believing that!”   
     “Then I’d like to know what we were?” I countered angrily.   
     He wouldn’t look at me, and his voice was rough and tense when he spoke. “You knew I’ve wanted you in every way a man can want a woman since you were fifteen.”   
     “Friendship is better than nothing, especially when what you wanted to happen between us was completely inappropriate.” 
     “It was only wrong if it was one sided or if I’d acted on it when you were under age.”   
     “The summer I was fifteen and Mamaw found us in the deer stand you came pretty close to you going to jail.”   “The age of consent in Alabama is bit lower than it is up North.”   
     “You were twenty, it was a crush on an older man on my part. What was it on your part?”  
     Revell paused, turned, and looked me up and down. “It was I’m going to rot in hell because I want a minor or I’m going to die a slow death because I don’t believe I can live without her.”   
     I grumbled in disbelief, “And yet here you are perfectly healthy and happy.”   
     “You were the one who just said that I don’t smile the way I used to.”   
     I moved away from his ire closer to the door. “Are you blaming me?”   
     “I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just trying to tell you how I feel because you wouldn’t let me tell you back then, and you never came back to let me explain how it was.” Revell sighed. “Why didn’t you come when I wrote you?” 
     “I couldn’t.”   
     “Couldn’t or wouldn’t?”   
     “Couldn’t, Revell, couldn’t.”   

Pre-order Stained on SMASHWORDS.              Add Stained to your GOODREADS want to read list!    

About the Author: Windy City writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi-Town. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Rise Again by Ben Tripp and Apple Walnut Cookies

If you're following me on Twitter (@paperbackpastry) you know that my August is feeling a lot like the middle of Autumn right now. It's chilly! I jokingly tweeted about apple pie and pumpkin bread earlier this week and while I didn't actually go so far as making either of those things, I did chop up some apples and break out the cinnamon for a Fall-like treat to go with Rise Again by Ben Tripp. It's a bit scary and in my mind that goes perfectly with cold weather. 

Rise Again is a zombie novel, but it's in no way typical of what the genre is becoming. I've found a lot of authors jumping on the zombie bandwagon churn out utterly predictable story lines with the same plot elements regurgitated over and over. Tripp, however, gives us something different. 

Rise Again follows veteran and small town sheriff Danielle Adelman as she battles a diseased horde all while trying to find her runaway sister. The story is very character-driven - you get to know them, you grow to love them, and they are something more than just the opposite of a zombie - and the ending is not what you'd expect. 

I give Rise Again four and a half brains out of five ;)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Apple Walnut Cookies
1      c  butter
3/4 c    granulated sugar
1      c  brown sugar
2          eggs
1      t   vanilla
3     c   flour
1/2  t   baking powder
1/2  t   baking soda

1     t   cinnamon
1     c  walnuts, chopped
2         apples, peeled and diced

Stir together dry ingredients. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs.
Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in walnuts and apples.
Form into 1" balls and bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 350F for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Because of the fresh apple in these cookies they should be stored in the refrigerator.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Happy Baking!

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Walking Dead Acrostic

The Happy Booker is hosting a bookish challenge as part of the Vamps vs. Zombies giveaway hop. Her challenge is to create an acrostic using the title of your favourite vampire or zombie book or character. Here's my attempt:

Recently comatose, he awakes.
Instead of finding his wife, his
Child, he finds the dead,
Killed but not

Raised by the virus, the
Infected are hungry,
Making meals of
Each other in a world that is

Happy Reading!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Summer Kindle Giveaway with I Am a Reader

Kindle Summer  

This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance's Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith's Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea's Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch's Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm's Reviews
  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Matched by Ally Condie Review and Baking Challenge

First rule of the P&P Book Club: NO SPOILERS!
My posts won't contain any spoilers and I would appreciate it if your comments were spoiler-free, too. The best part of a book is discovering it for yourself; I don't want to ruin that joy for anybody!

I picked Matched by Ally Condie for Paperbacks and Pastries' first book and baking challenge for a few reasons. I knew it would be a fairly easy read to ease us into things; it's a phenomenal book with lots of themes running through it, which would lend themselves well to an exciting baking challenge; and frankly, I just love dystopian fiction.

Since Matched was such a quick read for me, I also picked up Crossed and Reached, the last two parts of the trilogy. For me, Matched was the most interesting of the three, and after reading Crossed, I wasn't sure I was still hooked enough to want to read the third book. But, how can anyone start a series and not finish it?!? Seriously. Even if it's really bad, once I've read the first book I'm compelled to see it through to the end. Condie's series, thankfully, was not bad, so while it fizzled out a bit in book two, I was still happy enough to read Crossed, which I found I liked. The characters in the series are complex enough to fit with the dystopian nature of the story, but still appropriate for a YA audience. Without spoilers it's difficult to really talk about the best parts of the series (and yes, there were quite a few!), so I'll just say this: even if you aren't that into YA or you thought the first book wasn't really your cup of tea, you absolutely have to read this trilogy to the very end. The final book will give your real-life book clubs (where spoilers don't matter except maybe to that one person who only pretends they finished the book) a lot to talk about.

While I was reading this book, I found that the theme of control really spoke to me - the Society controlled everything from who its citizens married to what the could produce (especially poignant in terms of art and writing) to what they could eat. The descriptions of food in the book brought to mind words like bland, boring and barren (except of course at the banquets). This got me thinking about the flavours I would miss most if I was forced to start eating nutrients instead of food. It wasn't hard to come up with something - chocolate and peanut butter in a sweet and salty combination. I'd eat something sweet-salty-chocolate-peanut-buttery every day if I could. So my treat while I was reading this trilogy was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake with Salted Peanut Pralines (see my inspiration and a yummy recipe here).

Paperbacks and Pastries' Matched Baking Challenge: I hope you all read the entire series. If you did, this challenge will be especially fun for you. If you didn't, no worries, you can still participate using just the first book as your frame of reference. My challenge to you is to create a trio of desserts that represent one of the characters' journeys through either the series or just the first book if you haven't read beyond that yet.

You have until August 30th to bake your trio and send me a picture (with a link to your blog if you posted about it there). On August 31st I'll post all of the responses to this challenge on my blog - like our own little Gallery - so come back to see what everybody else created.

 Send your Baking Challenge entries to paperbackspastries [at] outlook [dot] com or tweet them to @paperbackpastry

Happy baking!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Monday, 12 August 2013

Book Review: Born of Illusion

Recently, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Teri Brown's Born of Illusion. The book is about a young girl, Anna, in 1920's New York who performs as a magician. Anna's role in her shows is that t of lead-up to the main event - her mother, a mentalist. The pair also hold seances in which Anna's mother purports to speak with the dead. While Anna's mother's medium act is a sham, Anna herself does possess psychical gifts. The book explores these gifts and the relationship between Anna and her mother.

My favourite part of Born of Illusion was the mother-daughter dynamic. It is at once abhorrent and captivating, a relationship whose possibility you don't want to accept but still utterly believable. It was well-written and really brought the characters to life, making Anna seem both vulnerable and childlike, yet strong and capable. The book is worth a look for that alone.

Happy Reading!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cookbook Review: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

One of my favourite cookbooks is The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book. It has so many different kinds of recipes, you're sure to find something that appeals to everyone, plus every recipe I've tried has worked out perfectly. Every. Single. Time. And if you bake a lot, you know that consistency is key.

Here are a couple of the yummy desserts I tried out:

Pistachio-Spice Cookies
Unbaked Cookies

These cookies came out deliciously crisp with a comforting blend of spices that makes you want to curl up with a plateful and a good book. The longer you let the dough chill before baking, the better they taste.

Finished Cookies

 Strawberries and Cream Cake

Five ingredients for the cake base, plus whipped cream and strawberries makes this stunning treat. The recipe is easy and fast, so you don't need a ton of skill or oodles of time to make it. And the end result is a beautiful cake that can be dressed up for for any celebration or adorned with simple berries for a backyard barbecue, and will leave your sweet-tooth smiling.

Experience bakers will love this book for its variety and timeless classics, while those who are newer to the kitchen will appreciate the easy of most of the recipes and the opportunity to learn while creating something beautiful.

Happy Baking!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Canada's Road Review and Maple Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

In Canada's Road: A Journey on the Trans-Canada Highway from St. John's to Victoria, author Mark Richardson provides a daily account of his 2012 road trip through Canada from east to west. Richardson's journey across the country along the Trans-Canada Highway is laid out step-by-step in stories of towns visited, wonders discovered and people met. The scenes Richardson lays out, the details about the history of the Trans-Canada Highway and our country, the details of his journey and the journeys of those who went before him, left me feeling so much like I had made the trip with him that I almost felt no envy at all. Almost. Before reading Canada's Road I didn't have a bucket list; now item number one is traveling across Canada, stopping along the way to absorb as much of our culture and heritage, past and future as I possibly can.

Bottom line: Read this book. It will awaken a place full of pride and thirst for adventure in Canadians and just might help the rest of the world love us that much better.

Canadian Maple Chippers
In honour of Richardson's travels, I give you a recipe for Canadian Maple Chippers - a chocolate chip cookie sweetened with Quebec maple syrup, perfect for any road trip.

2 1/4       c     all-purpose flour
1             T     cornstarch
1              t     baking soda

3/4         c     butter, softened

1/2          c     lightly packed brown sugar

1/2          c     (scant) granulated sugar

1/2          c     Canadian maple syrup

1/2          T     vanilla

1              c     chocolate chips

Combine flour, cornstarch and baking soda. Set aside.
Beat wet ingredients, including sugars, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake at 350F for 9-12 minutes.

Note: I received a copy of Canada's Road through a contest held by the publisher, however this review and all opinions expressed are solely my own.