Author: magnoliamentions

The Girl in the Maze

by Cathy Hayward Shocked. Angry. Disturbed. Disgusted. Heartbroken. These are just a few of the emotions that I experienced while reading this book. The Girl in the Maze tells the story of three generations of women who found themselves hurting each other more than helping each other. Maybe if they just listened, their lives would […]

The Five Year Plan

by Jodi Gibson If Hallmark dos does not make this book into a movie, they really should take another look at the people who make decisions for them. I am quite the Hallmark fan, and I rarely ever think a book is “Hallmark worthy.” Jodi Gibson’s The Five Year Plan is one of those rare […]

Zucchini Ravioli

Tonight I decided to try something new. I have used zucchini for lasagna noodles, but nothing else. Well, tonight I made Zucchini Ravioli. Everyone loved it. The kids had no idea they were eating zucchini. If they did, they wouldn’t eat it. I’ve been gradually sneaking more and more vegetables into their meals in an […]

The Lost Magic

The Network Saga Book 1 “Magic or no, you have reason to fear me.” Katie cross has become the queen of the strong female protagonist. Yes, other authors write books with strong female leads. However, Katie Cross takes it to a new level with strong female characters of all ages – from young girls to […]

Boozer’s Brew

If you find yourself in downtown Gulfport, Mississippi, and you want some coffee, stop by Boozer’s Brew & a Café Too. They have so many flavors for coffee that you are sure to find something you like. In addition to coffee, Boozer’s also offers several breakfast and lunch options. From blueberry bagels to croissant sandwiches […]

The Cottage

By Daniel Judson Due to my own PTSD, I was hesitant to read The Cottage. Once I got the courage to start reading, however, I could not stop. It seemed as though I started one minute and was halfway through the next. Kate lives with the awful memory of her husband’s murder. Her own yard […]

Girl in Ice

Erica Ferencik Unable to put into words what best describes Girl in Ice, the story is somewhat like Nell meets Alexandra Rover, two characters played brilliantly by Jodi Foster. Sigrid is a young girl found perfectly preserved, frozen in a glacier. Wyatt is the scientist who cut her out and brought her back to life. […]

Count to Three

Riveting. Emotional. Heart-breaking. An edge-of-your-seat, stay-up-way-too-late thriller are just a few ways to describe T.R. Ragan’s Count to Three. It has been a very long time since a thriller has kept me up past midnight because I could not put it down. It was worth the three or four hours of sleep I missed. Dani […]

The Last Season

The Last Season, a period novel set in 19th Century England, is a tale that is not uncommon for the time period and setting – spoiled little rich girl defies her father and sneaks away each day to see her best friend, the stable boy, and learn to ride horses, which is strictly forbidden because […]

Wild Child

Coffee Shop Girl, Book 6 “Sweet baby pineapple!” as Lizbeth would say. Ellie has always been the most mysterious of the Coffee Shop characters. She was very young when she and Lizbeth escaped an abusive home, traveling day and night, to show up on Bethany’s doorstep in the early hours of the morning. In all […]

The Lodge

The Bluffs at Thompson Creek St. Francesville, Louisiana Southern charm and hospitality await you just off Louisiana 10 between Jackson and St. Francesville. We thought we had taken a wrong turn at first. The road leading to The Lodge was terrible. It was a pretty drive, mostly, but someone really should do something about the […]

Unholy Murder

A Jane Tennison Novel (Book 1) Unholy Murder is my first novel featuring Detective Jane Tennison. It was not until I finished this one that I discovered there were more preceded it. Tennison and Boon make a great team. Jane has the experience Simon lacks, and Simon has a way with people that seems to […]

All Our Darkest Secrets

Martyn Ford Webster defines riveting as “having the power to fix the attention.” That would be an understatement for All Our Darkest Secrets. It has been a long time since I have read a thriller that left me in such shock at the ending. Martyn Ford could not have told this story or ended this […]

Golden Girl

This is not the first book I have read. It is not even the first book I have ready by Elin Hilderbrand. However, it is the first time I have seen so many people allow one line in the book to determine whether they liked the book. I had forgotten about Vivi’s reference to Anne […]

Blood of Zeus Trilogy

Born with strength beyond human comprehension, Maximus Kane has always wondered why is is so different from everyone else. Where does get his massive stature and inexplicable strength. Ever since paralyzing his best friend, Maximus has kept himself from getting too close to anyone. Now Maximus Kane is Professor Kane. All the girls want to […]

Shy Girl

Coffee Shop Girl Book 5 In Fate of Storms, Blood of Zeus Book 3 by Meredith Wild and Angel Payne, Maximus Kane travels through the gates of Hell to fight Hades himself. Maximus shows great courage and strength throughout the book to rescue the love of his life. That is nothing compared to the courage […]

Fighter

Coffee Shop Girl Book 4 “All bad days breed a need for ice cream.” Ben and Sera definitely need some ice cream. Benjamin Mercedy is a champion MMA fighter who owns a gym in Pineville. He moved to Pineville when he suddenly became a single father to Ava, his six-year-old daughter. Known as one of […]

Hotel Francis

St. Francisville, Louisiana This is a long one. Do not miss the pictures scrolling along the bottom… If the main amenities you seek at a hotel are friendly staff, comfortable beds, and a nice warm shower with great water pressure, Hotel Francis in St. Francisville, Louisiana has that covered. Everyone who worked at the Hotel […]

Jane’s Melody

by Ryan Winfield Jane’s Melody is a story of love and lost and fear and courage. When Jane loses her daughter, she meets Caleb, a young musician struggling to make ends meet. When she finds him beaten up and sleeping on a park bench, she takes him home to get him to do some work […]

Warrior, Audrey Hepburn

“For once in your life, Mummy, use your bloody name!” Audrey’s son Luca could not have known how those words would stay with his mother for the rest of her life. Warrior, Audrey Hepburn is another example of how Robert Matzen becomes intimately acquainted with his subjects. Audrey may be gone, but her legacy lives […]

Bacchus On The Beach

Firecracker Shrimp, fried oyster po-boy, creole hummus, Mardi Gras pasta, Coastal West Indies salad, Cajun cordon bleu – just a few of the items one will find on the menu at Bacchus On The Beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi. When we first arrived at Bacchus On The Beach for our girls’ night out, the first […]

Runaway

Coffee Shop Girl, Book 3 Coffee Shop Girl gave us Bethany and Maverick’s story. Lovesick gave us Lizbeth and JJ’s story. Ellie, Bethany and Lizbeth’s younger sister will tell her story in Wild Child. Runaway is a quite unexpected story of love, loss, trust, safety, fear, and triumph. This is the story of Mark Bailey […]

The High Priestess

The Historical Collection, Book 1 “She was quiet, lovely grace.” But she’s a lavanda maid. What difference can she make? The Eastern Network is in turmoil. Workers have no rights, no education. High Priest Hodei’s reign is leaving a legacy of cruelty. The workers need a savior. They need La Principessa – Giver of Hope. […]

Little Audrey’s Daydream

The Life of Audrey Hepburn If you love Audrey Hepburn, you will love this book. Sean Hepburn Ferrer and his wife Karin tell the story of this amazing woman in a way that is relatable to children.. Not only will children like the story, but the illustrations are phenomenal. I read this book to my […]

Salad Station

If you have a Salad Station near you, and you like salad, you will love Salad Station. I first went to a Salad Station in D’Iberville, Mississippi, and I loved it. After leaving a soccer game where my four-year-old niece played hostess to everyone after the game making sure everyone had snacks and drinks (so […]

Salsa’s Mexican Grill

We met my niece and her daughter and husband at Salsa’s for dinner. The atmosphere was family-friendly. Our server had just started working there and was unable to answer some of our questions, but otherwise, the service was good. Mom and I started our meal with frozen strawberry margaritas, and let me just say, I […]

The Natchez Grand Hotel

Where shall I begin. When we first saw the hotel we were amazed. The building is gorgeous and overlooks the Mississippi River. It was breathtaking. The young lady working the front desk when we checked in was very polite and welcoming. Unfortunately, the hospitality at Grand Natchez Hotel stopped there. The room itself was okay. […]

Red Top Seafood

What a lifesaver!! We drove around Natchez for an hour looking for somewhere to eat. Our hotel (Natchez Grand) is by the Mississippi River. It’s a beautiful hotel. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many eating options near our hotel. The young lady working the front desk gave us the name of a restaurant that she said […]

Chili’s, Baton Rouge

Our next stop was dinner with family. We chose Chili’s for its convenient location near the Crowne Plaza. The food was okay. I ordered a chicken fajita, and the chicken wasn’t seasoned very well. Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t taste bad. I just don’t think it was the best I’ve had. Usually when I […]

Forever His

Precious Love Series, Book 3 “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set glory in the heavens…When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings […]

Lovesick

Coffee Shop Girl, Book 2 “I won’t slide off the canyon road. I won’t plunge into the icy river below. I won’t die tonight.” This is Lizbeth’s mantra as she navigates the snowy canyon road in the middle of a blizzard. “This is fine. Everything is fine. I’m not panicked.” This is what Lizbeth tells […]

Forever Faithful

Precious Love Series, Book 2 “I’m sorry, Mr. Williams, your son is in intensive care in Royal Brisbane. He’s in a coma after receiving a punch to the head…He was assaulted…I’d suggest you come straight away. Your son may not make it.” A phone call no parent ever wants to receive is how Ben, Tessa, […]

Forever Cherished

Precious Love Series, Book 1 Forever Cherished continues Ben, Tessa, and Jayden’s stories. However, new characters are introduced, as well as new challenges. Leah, Ben and Tessa’s first guest at their farm “Misty Morn,” has been fighting demons for forty years. A baby literally taken from her arms at seventeen was just the beginning of […]

Triumphant Love

True Love Series, Book 3 Juliette Duncan chose the perfect way to end the True Love Series. Triumphant Love is a story about forgiveness and new beginnings. This book has a little bit of everything – from deceit to teenage pregnancy to drug addiction. Jayden goes through so much in such a short amount of […]

Tormented Love

True Love Series, Book 3 Ben, Tessa, and Jayden’s journeys continue in Tormented Love. Juliette Duncan touches on so many issues in this book that it is difficult to review the story without telling the story. The way she presents the issues of mental health, peer pressure, and abusive relationships helps the reader get an […]

Seafood Stuffed Egg Rolls

These are the Seafood Stuffed Egg Rolls from the Health and Happiness Society Cookbook. They are delicious! I got Sweet Chili Sauce in which to dip the egg rolls, and that added wonderful flavor. This is definitely a recipe I will make again. The one thing we changed was how we rolled the egg roll […]

Tested Love

True Love Series Book 2 “With God’s help, we’ll get through it.” No truer words have been spoken. Tested Love finds Ben and Tessa married and, along with Jayden, settling into a new home. Adjusting to being a wife and an instant mother to a teenager is a challenge for anyone. Tessa and Ben find […]

Tender Love

Book #1 of the True Love Series This is such a wonderful book! What’s even better is the book is appropriate for all ages. Tender Love is the first book in the True Love Series by Juliette Duncan. This is a Christian romance, and faith plays a large role in not only the lives of […]

Waking Up Married

Waking Up Married Waking Up Married has been on my nook for several years. The cover photo makes the book look like a fun read, so I thought, “Why not try this one?” As far as I know, I have never read another book by Mira Lyn Kelly, and I love discovering new (to me) […]

A Redbird Christmas

A Redbird Christmas I love Fannie Flagg’s writing. I’ve read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café multiple times. I even bought my mom an autographed copy. Fannie Flagg’s books are fun, easy reads, and everyone should have at least one of her books in their library. A Redbird Christmas is the story of […]

AT&T Sucks

AT&T Internet SUCKS I am so ready for my contract with AT&T to be up. They want to charge me to cancel my contract to their crappy service. Fortunately, only two months remain on my contract. YAY!! I actually have an internet booster in my bedroom. As I am typing this, I had to turn […]

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Once again I used the rum cake recipe I received from a friend and made substitutions to create this blueberry lemon cake. I didn’t have fresh blueberries, but I did have frozen, and they worked fine. I put a few blueberries in the batter, but not too many. Next time I will probably add more. […]

Evil Thing

Evil Thing Cruella De Vil has always been one of the more colorful of the Disney villains. I’ve always seen her as heartless, but entertaining. That view has changed since reading Evil Thing. Evil Thing is written in first person, which I love. Serena Valentino gives Cruella the opportunity to tell her side of the […]

WW84

I’ve been waiting a long time to watch this movie. It was worth the wait!! As expected, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are brilliant as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. That is no surprise. I don’t really think it is much of a surprise that Pedro Pascal is the perfect villain as Maxwell Lord. […]

Pineapple Cake

Pineapple Cake This cake was a bit of an experiment. I used a rum cake recipe, but instead of water and rum I used pineapple juice from the canned pineapple. The picture shows the three final stages: 1. right after I took it from the oven, 2. right after I poured on the pineapple juice […]

Sapphire Supper Club

Steak Oscar This house specialty is “two petite filet mignon medallions, asparagus, jumbo lump crab meat, and béarnaise sauce.” Delicious does not even begin to describe this. The steak was cooked perfectly. The crab meat, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce combined perfectly to make this an instant favorite. Three of us ordered three different dishes, and […]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars My 14-year-old asked if I could make chocolate chip cookies but in a pan like a cake. Of course the answer was YES! All I did was follow the recipe on the Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chip bag. There is a “pan version” of the cookies underneath the regular cookie […]

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge It just isn’t Christmas without a little bit of peanut butter fudge. When i worked in advertising, I made this every year for one of my clients. I, too, love peanut butter fudge, as do my boys. All I do is take the chocolate fudge recipe and substitute chocolate chips and pecans […]

The Odd Sisters

The Odd Sisters WOW! What an astounding tale! After finishing Mother Knows Best, I was quite anxious to learn the fate of the odd sisters. Serena Valentino took me on a journey of incredible discovery. The Odd Sisters is the story of Circe and Snow White and their search for answers about Circe’s mothers. Circe […]

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge Anyone from the South knows chocolate fudge is a staple for the holiday season. Most of what I make goes to other people for Christmas. This is the first year I’ve made fudge in awhile (at least since my accident in 2018). You can get the recipe here.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge I decided to try something new in the kitchen yesterday. I had ordered Reese’s Pieces to put into cookies. However, the store substituted mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups instead. If you go to the chocolate fudge recipe, you will see that the recipe calls for chocolate chips and pecans. I […]

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge 2 sticks butter 4 c sugar 1 can evaporated milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 c chocolate chips (more if wanted) 1/2 bag mini marshmallows 1 1/2 c pecans (more if wanted) Combine butter, sugar, and milk in large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil 6 – 8 minutes stirring constantly. […]

Mother Knows Best

The fifth installment of Serena Valentino’s Disney Villains Series took me a bit longer to get through. It was mostly just life getting in the way of reading, and I am fine with that. Life is like that sometimes, and that’s okay. About the book, it isn’t my favorite. The title is a bit misleading. […]

Mistress of All Evil

A Tale of the Dark Fairy Everyone knows Maleficent is the most notorious of the DisneyTM Villains. She is the one all others fear. I often find it difficult not to compare movies to books, and Mistress of All Evil was no exception. Having fallen in love with Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent, I was […]

Sapphire Supper Club

Steak Oscar This house specialty is “two petite filet mignon medallions, asparagus, jumbo lump crab meat, and béarnaise sauce.” Delicious does not even begin to describe this. The steak was cooked perfectly. The crab meat, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce combined perfectly to make this an instant favorite. Three of us ordered three different dishes, and […]

Poor Unfortunate Souls

Ah, the Sea Witch. Before reading this book, I didn’t know much about Ursula. To be honest, I’m not sure I have ever sat down and watched “The Little Mermaid” start to finish more than once, if that. I was very excited to see how the author might make Ursula’s story grab my attention like […]

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese softened (confession: I didn’t read correctly and used an 8 oz pkg. It still turned out great, although had I realized my mistake, I would have added a bit more peanut butter.) 1 c powdered sugar 1/2 c crunchy peanut butter 1/3 c milk 1 8 oz carton Cool […]

The Beast Within

“Tale as old as time. Song as old as rhyme.” I cannot even begin to count how many times I have watched Disney’s live action “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles, and Luke Evans as the best Gaston EVER. When I started The Beast Within, I expected […]

Fairest of All

Everyone knows the story of Snow White. The tale has been shared for generations. We all know the Wicked Queen wanted Snow White dead. However, was it really just a story of good versus evil? Serena Valentino offers a new paradigm through which to see the Queen. When we read basic fairy tales, we often […]

Maternal Instincts Mysteries

If you like Stephanie Plum, you will enjoy Kate Connelly. The Maternal Instincts Mysteries are fun, easy reads with interesting characters and unexpected plot twists. Kate Connelly is a new mom who really doesn’t want to go back to the corporate world. Through an unusual series of events, she finds herself involved in a murder […]

Coffee Shop Girl

ANOTHER SUCCESS FOR KATIE CROSS!! “This place needs to burn to the ground.” This is how Bethany’s story begins. She is struggling to keep her father’s dream alive even though he is no longer there. Owning a coffee shop was not her dream; it was his. She doesn’t even like coffee. From the moment the […]

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion Pan This is a collage of all four sides of my hunted mansion cake pan. (pan purchased from Zulily) Haunted Mansion Cake This is actually the second time I have made this. The first time, I used a regular cake mix, and it only filled half the pan. Even after the cake rose, […]

Skeletons – 1st Attempt

Skeletons 1st Attempt What a DISASTER!! The pan looks so cool, and I was so excited. The picture on the bottom is the first batch I tried. They look like they are from some 3 million-year-old society that was just discovered. I used the recipe that came with the pan, except I substituted vanilla extract […]

Waiting at Hayden’s

The first novel by Riley Costello, Waiting at Hayden’s is a modern-day love story that draws in the reader from the very beginning. Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. It quickly became my favorite love story. I empathized with the characters and their difficulty making tough decisions – decisions that […]