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Archive for December, 2009


CEOs Don’t Cry – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘”Could this day get any worse?” Leslie Knotts muttered to herself, eyeing the watermark-circled hole in the ceiling tiles above her head. Thudding and muffled expletive rumbled from the hole. She yanked her cashmere scarf from her neck and stomped the slush off of her Prada heels. She took one look around her new office in the Carterville branch of Hanston and Boyd Accounting and gasped. This place was a mere phone call away from being condemned.’

How can a city girl from Chicago be expected to take an office that is in such a rambling mess and be expected to turn it into a profitable branch? This is only one problem Leslie faces after being passed over for a junior partnership with Hanston and Boyd. Her dreams of becoming a CEO are pushed into almost non-existence after being transferred to a small town called Cartersville which exists out in the middle of nowhere. She had spent her whole life climbing the corporate ladder just to have one of her co-workers, Chuck, went behind her back and had her moved to this destitute town. Things couldn’t get any worse.

Oh but they can and they do. Leslie meets Mark, the nephew of the lady who owns the bed and breakfast where she will be staying while she brings the branch into the 21st century. Mark is a handyman who wants to start his own construction business. Leslie decides to hire him to basically revamp the full interior of the office, and she needs it finished before tax season starts in full force. Again, in steps Chuck to destroy her plans and dreams.

On top of all of her other problems, Leslie learns that there is a group in town called the Library Ladies and Mark’s Aunt Minnie is one of the ring leaders. Their purpose in life is to match unmarried men with unmarried women and their success rate is 100%. So, with Mark being single and Leslie being new to town as well as single, they make a perfect match. At least that’s what they think but Mark and Leslie have their own plans for their futures and marriage isn’t one of them. How do they fight the Library Ladies 100% success rate? You will have to read the book to find that answer.

CEOs Don’t Cry has everything needed to make an enjoyable, lighthearted romance novel. The humor provided by the Library Ladies will keep you smiling and laughing throughout the book. Leslie’s method of overcoming the obstacles bestowed on her are quite ingenious. Once I started reading CEOs Don’t Cry, I didn’t want to put it down. So what will Leslie do when the chance comes for her to have her life long dreams come true? You’ll have to read CEOs Don’t Cry to find the answer to that question.

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One of my favorite recipes from this book

1 bath of brine (recipe in book)
One 3 lb. pork loin
vegetable oil
2 Tbl. Cheater Basic Dry Rub (recipe in book)

Brine the loin for 4 – 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 500 degrees

Drain loin, discarding the brine. Rinse and pat dry. Place the loin in a large roasting pan and brush with a light coating of vegetable oil. Sprinkle all sides of the loin with the dry rub. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Cheater BBQ – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

This has to be one of the best indoor BBQ cookbooks I’ve ever read and used. In the recipe above I used the Apple Cider Brine, which I choose from a total of 4 simple recipes. Out of the twelve rubs and sauces to choose from I decided to use the Cheater Basic Dry Rub. The combination of the brine and rub gave my pork loin a wonder taste and a tender, juicy texture. I’ve served this to 4 of my “food testers” so far and they have given this dish a 10+. So this is a real winner.

As I’ve read through the other recipes in Cheater BBQ and have marked at least 10 more dishes to make. I miss grilling during the winter months and with the use of the bottled smoke that is applied to each dish, I can now enjoy the same taste year round. This is a must have cookbook for winter grilling as well as those summer days when it’s simply too hot to fire up the grill.

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It’s in the Eyes – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘”Please get him.” Lars looked down at her and flashbacked three years, as if he was seeing his own daughter at the morgue. Candance Hawthorne, the fourth rape and murdered coed, was almost an identical twin of Lars’ daughter, Lisa. As he looked at Candance’s face, he recognized some of those facial features. And the blue eyes seemed to be staring intently at him. A tear stung Lars’ eyes. Even though the temperature outside the Lubber Run Nature Center was a warm 62 degrees Fahrenheit, he felt a chill.’

Lars Neilsen is a West Pointer who served three tours in Vietnam as a ranger/paratrooper, Special Operations. He was awarded the DSC, three Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and many other awards while serving his country. He knows the streets, is clever and has good instincts. He also believes in justice for the victims and has no problem in carrying out whatever needs to be done to acquire that justice. But most important, Lars heads a team he created called the Alpha Team. The Alpha Team takes their position seriously and won’t stop until their job is complete.

Nathan Green, called ‘Tiger’, originally from New Orleans, served with Lars in Vietnam. Tiger was a sergeant in the military and was very accomplished in the Special Ops by performing top secret missions. He, as well as Lars, has a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and won’t hesitate to use this art of defense when needed.

Doris Wagner was a former FBI profiler and recognized as their best. Her husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, draining her emotionally. She now does part-time work for the FBI. She’s clairvoyant, into astrology and develops clinical psychological leads to uncover criminals.

Brenda Little is a journalist who helped break a big murder case in Richmond. She was hired by the Washington Post but burned out after six years and now does freelance work. She studied criminal justice at the University of Maryland, her father was a metro cop killed in the line of duty and she has a black belt in Tae Kwo Do.

Now you know the Alpha Teams. When Candance Hawthorne was raped and murdered the Alpha Team was hired by the family to find her killer. This case turns out to be the toughest case the team has encountered.

I’ve enjoyed following Lars and his team as they search for the ‘Coed Killer’, only to find out that there is not one killer but two, bringing even more excitement to the story. Charles Toftoy created 4 characters, dedicated them to justice, but still give the reader the feel that these 4 characters are normal everyday people. He does this through the jokes and humor of ‘Tiger’, the compassion of Brenda, the confused lifestyle and childhood memories of Doris and the pain felt by Lars due to the death of his wife and daughter. I couldn’t help but enjoy It’s in the Eyes and look forward to reading it’s sequel Eyes of Cold Case Killers.

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Moments of Mine – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

The Trouble with Trouble

The trouble with trouble
Is it takes so long
To make things right
That once were not wrong

To forget and move forward
To put out of our mind
The mischief that hounds us
We can’t leave behind

The trouble with trouble
Is that it’s so hard to see
It happens to others
But certainly not me

I have friends who love me
That truly love me and care
But they cannot help
If my troubles aren’t bare

Please God give us strength
To ask for our needs
That those who love us
May be blessed by their deeds

Your love surrounds us
Through our friends we are sure
They fill our lives daily
With a love that is pure

I now know that you care
Your love for us all
Is shown through tough times
If we would only call

We know that sometimes
Life is certainly not fair
That You will settle our troubles
When we Truly Believe You are there

As I read the poems written by Jerry White, and the stories behind each poem, I couldn’t help but feel the love and devotion flow from each word. Mr. White has a way of taking any circumstance, both happy and sad, and turning it into something beautiful. The poem above was one of my favorites and I think you too will be able to feel his love for God, family and friends as you read this piece of word art.

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