Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Stars My Destination: Blind Date with a Book (GIVEAWAY)

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I took a Blind Date with a Book a while back, a book service that is pretty unique in the way they deliver their product. On the front page of their website you'll see books wrapped in brown paper with nothing more than a few words to describe them. You don't know the title or the author. You don't get to peek at the cover art. The only thing you get is a few words. Quite literally this is a blind date with a book.

I love to read but I have a seriously hard time finding books that keep my attention. I find that even if the subject matter is up my alley, I often times have trouble staying interested because of the way the book is written.

It's nothing against any specific authors. I am just very likely to drop the book after a few chapters if I don't like the way its written.

For example, in the famous Lord of the Rings series Tolkien has a tendency to go so in depth with the description of the scene that I find myself falling asleep before the action picks up in the chapter.

That being said I have read the entire series to the include The Hobbit.  So I think it's safe to say I prefer books where the action is steady enough to keep me interested.

After being disappointed by so many books that I spent my hard earned money on, I kind of gave up on being a reader.

That was my situation when Blind Date with a Book helped me out. They offer tons of books but you have no idea what they are. You pick them solely on the few words they use to describe them.

I have to admit, I had quite a bit of anxiety picking my book. Luckily their selection isn't too large and they are constantly rotating titles.

The last time RCHReview looked at Blind Date with a Book, we gave the concept and the words describing the book that was chosen, but were careful to not disclose the book.

This time we chose to take an opposite path. Lets take a look at the book I received but we won't spoil which book it was, so that you can explore what they offer without losing the suspense of selecting your own Blind Date with a Book.

After some careful consideration I chose the book I thought sounded best to me based on my interests.

That book turned out to be The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester - a futuristic sci-fi novel written in 1956, about an average man who was wronged and left to die and his search for revenge among the stars.

Gully Foyle, uneducated, great at nothing with no real desire to be better than he already is, is a crew member aboard a star ship called The Nomad. The ship is attacked and the entire crew is killed accept for Foyle.

He spends months scavenging the wreckage floating in space collecting what leftover food and supplies he can, find until one day another ship happens upon him. Foyle sets off the beacons in an attempt to signal the passing ship and be rescued. The ship examines the wreckage then turns away and leaves.

Foyle notices the name stamped on the side of the ship "Vorga". Knowing that there is no way they didn't see the distress beacon he becomes enraged and filled with the desire for a swift and brutal revenge.

Foyle eventually makes a crash landing on a populated asteroid, after rigging the ships engines to fire for a short period.

When he comes to, he finds that his face has been hideously tattooed, an ancient and primitive way of marking the body.

The men and women of the asteroid colony have indoctrinated him into their society and even assigned him a wife.

But Gully's hatred fueled desire for revenge is too much. He finds his way off the asteroid and embarks on a journey to find the pilot of the Vorga, find out why he was left to die, and make them pay.

Gully learns the art of "jaunting", a means of teleportation that is done using nothing more than the human brain, and continues his hunt, eventually finding himself in prison. The burning desire in his soul for revenge drives him to team up with a woman in the prison and attempt to escape.

Will Gully Foyle escape the prison and find the Vorga? Why did they leave him to die? Will he exact his revenge?

Well, there's only really one way to find out. Read the book!

I have to say that even as nervous as I was regarding choosing a book this way, it worked beautifully for me. This quickly became one of my favorite books and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in the Sci-fi genre.

I was so pleased with the way that my choice worked out that I plan to try out other books from Blind Date with a Book in the not-so-distant future.

Have you read The Stars My Destination? Let me know what you thought of the book (without giving too much away, of course).

If you are interested in checking out Blind Date with Book for yourself you can find them at the links below.

And keep reading - we are hosting a second Giveaway! Two of our readers worldwide will win a Blind Date with a Book of their own!

Two winner will each receive a Blind Date book of their choice from among those available online at the end of the giveaway.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open WORLD-WIDE and will end just before midnight ET on 12/28. 

The winner will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Party in Your PJs #187

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

Teresa @ Aging Like a Fine Wine

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Lynda's Features!

If you were anywhere on the eastern side of the US this past weekend, you probably got at least a little bit of snow! For us, it was the first snow of the season and gave us a pretty powder coating on the grass and in the trees, while being just the right temperature to melt away on sidewalks and roads.  By the end of  the next day, it was nearly all gone.

In honor of that snowfall, I selected a few snow-themed posts to feature this week:

Burlap & Blue ~ The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe (Gingerbread Snowflakes)

Hoopla Palooza ~ DIY Christmas Snow Holly Ornaments

Sew Historically ~ DIY Snow Pine Cones with Salt & Wheatpaste

Domestic Deadline ~ DIY Snowman Bath Bomb Gift

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Spice Up Your Popcorn



I’m new here and for my first post, I thought it best to share with you one of my favorite things.


I think popcorn is one of the world’s most underappreciated snack foods.

While at first glance it may appear to be somewhat boring, I’m here to stand up for the awesomeness that is popcorn and share with you all the ways I enjoy it. Or at least several ways I enjoy it.

At this point, I’m up to 36 different spice combinations in my Popcorn Library. But I don’t wish to overwhelm with my first post, so instead, I’ll share my totally scientific (cough) method of popcorn experimentation and hopefully inspire you to boost your popcorn satisfaction.

A slight tangent, but when I research something, I go all out. I just finished a two year quest to find the perfect antiperspirant/deodorant. Really. There may be a future post on that, but not today.

So. Popcorn. In case you are not already an aficionado, let me convince you that popcorn is good for you. There are not a lot of snacks you can say that about.

To be fair, the healthiest popcorn is plain and air popped. However, you can still enjoy the benefits of popcorn even if you add some butter and salt or spices.

It’s all in the method. There is no need to drown the popcorn in butter to make it tasty. Think of the butter, should you choose to use it, as the glue on the canvas of popcorn art.

Ok. Maybe I’m overstating it. Let’s get down to it.

The first thing to consider is how you’re going to pop it. I don’t go for the completely dry air popped usually. I also don’t abide by prepackaged microwave popcorn. After starting more than one fire in my microwave trying to dry pop in a brown bag lunch bag, I turned to the internet for help.

Turns out, there are several serviceable microwave vessels to pop your corn. I decided on one with a melamine bowl and a plastic top with excellent air vents.

The beauty of this popper is you can pop dry or with some oil or butter.

I have tried both and I usually like a tsp of oil (usually olive, but I also like sesame and peanut) and 1/3 c of popcorn.

Directions say you should set it for 3-4 minutes, but I go by the rule that once there is a two second lapse between pops, you’re done. For me, that's just under 3 minutes. YMMV.

Now onto the good stuff.

Even if you pop it with some oil, your spices will likely fall to the bottom. Here are some that kind of stick.

1.     Cinnamon/sugar—for whatever reason, even without butter, cinnamon and sugar has good stick. Amp this combo up with nutmeg, allspice, and star anise. A little goes a long way here.

Consider also pumpkin pie spice. I know. It sounds weird, but I promise you’ll have a spicy snack that doesn’t at all resemble a pumpkin pie.

2.     Chipotle/Adobe/Smoked paprika—I don’t suggest all three at once, but I’m suggesting a spicy smoky profile. I’ve tried them all.

I tend to the smoked paprika, but I recently tried an Adobe seasoning with finely chopped jalapenos that was pretty great.

This is something else to broaden your horizons. Wet things. I used canned jalapenos because fresh sunk like a rock…and they were tasty. Include enough of the juice to make it stick but not result in soggy popcorn.

Also, while we’re on the topic, chili seasoning is amazing on popcorn.

Also, pickles are great on popcorn. But they need to ride solo.

3.     Smoked salt—enough said.

4.     Italian—I won’t spend a lot of time on this because most of you have already figured it out. Garlic salt is excellent on popcorn. But have you considered basil, oregano, and thyme? Because of their wide surface area, they tend to stick on popcorn without extra glue (read: butter)

5.     Cheese—frankly, cheese is a tricky thing. You don’t want to administer cheese in large amounts that makes everything gooey and disguises the star that is popcorn. So, you’ll want to finely grate the cheese. I like a pecorino, but a finely grated Parmesan is also great.

Penseys puts out a cheese blend you should look into.

6.     Truffles- - I love me some truffle salt and although a little spendy, I recommend it highly. Even some white truffle oil would be awesome. This one I use with butter. Actually, I like it with butter, truffle salt, and some finely grated Parmesan.

7.     Curry—I’m not a curry expert, but I have used a variety of curry spices with some butter and loved it. In addition to garam masala. I have used a Balti and a Maharajah spice blend. Still from Penzeys. Not too hot, but with an amazing spice.

I think I’ve gone far enough tonight. I hope I have inspired you to think of the humble popcorn in a new way. It’s a canvas. Go forth and spice!