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Holiday’s

Just the Right Book: Revisiting One of Our Favorite Holiday Episodes!

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Jacques Pepin is a world-renowned chef, a former columnist for the New York Times and the author of more than two dozen cookbooks. For this week’s episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, we revisit one of our favorite episodes with the internationally recognized French chef and author just in time for the holidays! Last December the world’s most famous cooking teacher stopped by RJ Julia to share HIS best holiday cooking tips and you’ll never believe what he tells Roxanne about his own cooking mistakes! Check out Jacques NEW book, A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey.     More books by Jacques Pepin: Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen The Apprentice: My Life in the…

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Last Minute Shopping Woes Cured: Most Popular Kindle Books Under $15

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Shopping is done and holiday gifts have been either wrapped or gifted, but just as you’re congratulating yourself for that accomplishment and not going over budget you realize you forgot a few names! How do you get those last minute gifts quickly and not break the bank? E-books! These make the greatest gifts and Kindle has a number of the most popular books of 2017 that you can send for download under $15. Here’s just a smattering of the offers on Kindle. Fiction The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel, Lee Child How far would you go to return something to somebody that you discovered in a pawn shop? This is exactly the adventure Jack Reacher takes in this Lee Child…

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The Secrets to a Stress-Free Holiday: 5 Tips for Survival from Author Madisyn Taylor

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For most of us, when we think about the holiday season it evokes a feeling of excitement, anticipation, peacefulness, beauty and more. As the holidays get closer, we often begin to fall into our old patterns that have plagued us for our adult lives. The feelings of needing to buy gifts for everybody, having a ready supply of hostess gifts, dealing with family members, hosting the perfect party and the ever mounting list of expectations. When overwhelm sets in, it’s time to take a breath and find a remedy for these problems. In your own life, you can make a list of what stressors you are reacting to. On a piece of paper on the left hand side write down everything…

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10 Sexy Holiday Romances

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It’s finally December, which means there’s no shame in decorating that tree, stringing that garland, and obsessing over all things Holiday. And that includes your book collection! Every year, our favorite romance novelists publish sweet and steamy Christmas love stories that are guaranteed to warm your heart. From sexy mistletoe kisses to snowed-in adventures, these books are filled with the best parts of the holidays: decorations, celebrations, and love. If you want to add a little spice to your reading list this Christmas season, here are 10 holiday romances that you won’t want to miss: Chasing Christmas Eve, Jill Shalvis (Avon, September 26, 2017) It’s all about strangers connecting in this holiday-themed Heartbreaker Bay Novel by powerhouse author Shalvis. When…

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Books are the New Superheroes: Reading is the Antidote to Holiday Stress

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Barnes and Noble recently did an independent survey on reading habits, and it turns out that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest reading day of the year! Many of us leaf through the pages of our favorite novels over the Thanksgiving holiday season to relax. Reading also makes traveling better, with over 75% of the American population finishing one book, magazine, or other literary publication over the holiday travels. If you thought reading couldn’t possibly get any better after all that, the survey also revealed that one-in-four Americans will bring along a book to avoid awkward family situations. We’ve all been there (let’s be honest here, folks), but admittedly, bringing along a book for that exact purpose might be a new…

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Chaos Hits Home for the Holidays in ‘The Boyfriend Swap’

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If you are looking for an escape this holiday season, The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr is just what you need! We step in on an unforgettable character, Robyn, who is a teacher dating an actor. Her family would like for her to meet a guy with ambition and some success but they are always disappointed with the creative types she is drawn to. Sydney is a lawyer at her father’s law firm and she is dating a lawyer. Her father is obsessed with the law and tends to talk business incessantly; something she has no patience for. Ann Marie is Robyn’s roommate and she works for Sydney at the law firm.  The three girls were together at a wine party and…

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The Life of Pie: Linda Lomelino Scores a Hit with ‘Lomelino’s Pies’

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Who doesn’t love pie?   My nephew, that’s who! One of my mother’s favorite stories to tell about her grandchildren (and one we never let this particular one forget) is how he asked her if they could make a pie together. My mother really enjoys doing these things with her grandkids and they enjoy it just as much. So on this day, about 13 years ago, my mother set out to bake a pie with her first grandchild. The went to the store together and loaded up their cart with the freshest ingredients including the plumpest, juiciest blueberries, and vanilla ice cream from their favorite ice creamery.  They went home and made the pie from scratch— crust and all. My…

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You Can’t Reboot a Book: The Beauty in Reading to Your Children

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It’s interactive, it will transport you from one time and world into the next, but most importantly, it builds lasting relationships. Today, getting children to focus is a challenge—there’s media everywhere. Lights, sounds, internet games; that’s enough to distract anybody, let alone a child who’s in the developing stages of life. We all know that children are sponges, but what is it that they are absorbing? Be it a cell phone, gaming console, or computer, the synergy is between the child and the machine. What is it that they are learning? Is this machine an extension of them? There are plenty of scifi novels and movies that tell us where that might get us. When you read a book to…

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Celebrations! The Feelings of Festivus and Imaginary Holidays in Books

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Happy Festivus! Because you’re a person who lives in the world, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Festivus, of course, is the invented holiday ‘celebrated’ by George Costanza’s family (and my family, and maybe yours) originally seen on Seinfeld. In my last article, I wrote about the power of imaginary books–books that characters in novels talk about and read, but don’t really exist. (I suppose it must be said that all holidays are imaginary, in that someone, somewhere thought them up and told their buddies they had a great idea for a day off.) I thought about our human holidays, and how much of the trappings of Christmas, for instance, are just things we talk and sing about…

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Cake Blogger Tessa Huff Offers Fast, Fresh Easter Baking Options

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We’ve all been there. The approaching holiday is weeks away; Plenty of time to put together some baking ideas and to plan out what you’ll bring to a festive party. Then work, family and just life in general begins to fill your days and nights. And before you know it, it’s the Friday before a holiday and you’re scrambling to find that one go-to recipe you love that you know is easy to make and doesn’t require too much work. Then you think just once, you’d like to bring something different, something super yummy! If you’ve found yourself in this boat on more than one occasion and if you realize you’re running out of time as you prepare for Easter weekend, we’ve got a little advice from cake baker…

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Ginormous Giveaways!

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A Small Indiscretion: A Novel At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her…

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A Little Women Christmas beautifully illustrates the season’s good will

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I recently took a copy of A Little Women Christmas (Simon & Schuster, 2014) to read with my Reading Buddy, Heidi. Author Heather Vogel Frederick took the story of Mr. March’s surprise homecoming from Louisa Mae Alcott’s classic, Little Women, and adapted it for 4-7 year olds. Who better to review a book than someone it was written for? Heidi is in kindergarten, so we usually spend time working on learning letters and beginning sight words, but I asked Heidi if, that day, she would help me read a new book.  I pulled the book out of my bag and as I told Heidi a little about Little Women, I could see the girl at the table behind us listening,…

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Five offbeat Shelfie Picks to spice up your Halloween

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I love spicy foods, to the chagrin of, ahem, my digestive system. Never stopped me from devouring (or at least attempt to devour) hot peppers and hotter peppers that come my way. My relationship with scary movies/books is no less different. Yeah, I’m the one at the movie theater with hands over my ears and eyes squeezed shut while stealing glances at the screen. “Stay home then!” Some would say. But ah, where’s the fun in that? Such is my love-hate relationship with tales that spook: I like them but you can bet that all the lights will be kept on long after. There has never been a lack of audience for spine-tingling yarns over the years. Stephen King shows…

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