Cold Blooded by Peter Jahaziel

Hugo owns a pet store specializing in exotic reptiles. A first generation immigrant from a Jewish orthodox family he finds himself in trouble with the law when a band of Yakuza embroil him in a conspiracy to smuggle endangered lizards from the jungles of Southeast Asia. Desperate to escape the hands of the Japanese mafia and the local law enforcement he turns to an unlikely source.
A beautiful young tai chi apprentice by the name of Sang Niu Sung saves Hugo when the assassins come to collect a debt he cannot pay. Together they hide out on the second floor of a shop that her father owns selling Chinese noodles. One thing leads to another and Sang Niu Sung and Hugo develop a plan to clear his name with the authorities and put the mafia in their place.
Sound good so far? The two fall in love with one another as Sang teaches Hugo the martial art of Snake Creeps Down and Hugo teaches her to read the Talmud and blow the shofar. Could Peter Jahaziel possibly have set the bar to high by coming out of the starting blocks with both guns blazing?
Cold Blooded is a story of faith, hope and love with a few interesting twists!


whet your appetite

It’s only July 19 and there’s still time to get in on the 2014 foodie reading challenge if you haven’t done so.
While I’m waiting on my next book selection to become available I’m taking this opportunity to do a little freestyle writing.
A couple of blogs I’m currently working on are – this will hopefully whet your appetite
1) Mr. Tuna – the ecology of the saltwater tuna from spawn to kitchen table.
2) Pancakes for a Midnight Snack – a short comfort mystery by the author of this blog.
Thanks for dropping by.

dead lifts

Dead lifts. The dreaded D’s.
I don’t know why but I felt compelled to post an article on dead lifts today.
You know I’m not really sure why they are called dead lifts. I think the title might be derived from the word dead weight.
Nevertheless,don’t be intimidated by their title. If you don’t like “dead lifts” you can call them “the king of exercise.”
One reason I like them so much is because they strengthen the lower back which helps with all standing exercises.
Proper technique is important with dead lifts otherwise you can put out the body part which you are trying to work rather than strengthen it. The goal is to strengthen the back not to injure it.
It’s a good idea to do some good stretching before you attempt this.
1) Stand in front of a barbell with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down till your hands can grasp the bar.
2) Lift using the lower back, hamstrings, and quads to propel you’re body to the vertical position. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
3) Lower the bar to the starting position using the same motion in reverse.
4) Do three sets of 8-10 reps and stretch your back between sets.
Have fun doing dead lifts.

Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

Welcome back, Foodie enthusiasts to the 2014 Foodie Challenge. My name is Travis and I’m competing for my first ever Pastry Chef ranking.
Just a little background…
Back in the dark ages (college days) there were a couple of guys on the rowing team named Hans and Kameel. Brothers from Norway they kept strange hours, coming and going as they pleased. In the wee hours before sunlight they would come barging into the dorm and eat everything in sight.
It was impossible to keep up with them for they struck at such odd hours. Many a person on that hall woke up to an empty refrigerator. Some folks even resorted to a type of rudimentary religion. By leaving out plates of cookies and milk they hoped it would appease the pagan gods.
However the norse gods were notoriously fickle and ruled over us with an iron fist. I didn’t realize how bad it was until one Christmas eve I was hiding rice a roni under the mattress.
And so….
Having prior exposure to the culture of Norway made reading Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre much more personal.
What makes the book so authentic is that the author himself is from Norway. He is pastry shop owner and has been doing it his whole life. His credentials are impressive – winner of the 2008 Culinary Olympics and member of the Norwegian National Culinary Team. His life revolves around making pastries.
So one of the aspects of the book that may seem a little bit intimidating is the use of raw products form Norway. This is very evident in the fruit and berry sections with exotic fruits like cloudberries and lingonberies, as well as the from the cow section which features dairy products from Norway.
I think the writer likes to make the book a little bit intimidating. That’s why he includes references to exotic fruits and exotic recipes. To see who is really paying attention. The really good ideas are in there you just have to dive in to get them out. Kind of like cloudberries. An exotic fruit native to Norway known for it’s incredible flavor. It only grows in lowlands, marshes and swamps and it takes real skill and hardwork to pick them.
The wisest man whoever lived, King Solomon, said, “Eat honey for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.” Everybody knows where honey comes from. Bees. And what do bees like to do? Sting. So the honey is worth it, if you can put up with the buzzing and the stings that come.
I so enjoyed reading this book and sharing about it. God bless you on the mysterious journey to finding the comfort in food.

small talk

“Do you think we might get some weather today?” I asked.
“I’d say there’s a hundred percent probability,” said Brooke.
“You know you’d make a great meteorologist,” I said.
“Thank you,” she replied.
“Do you remember that time we got stranded in the desert?” I asked.
“The heat was like an inferno,” she recalled. “I thought we’d burn up.”
“What about the time we got caught in the tropical storm?” I said.
“The wind was unbearable,” she replied. “It’s a miracle we survived!”
“How about the time we got snowed in during the blizzard?” I asked.
“I’m surprised we didn’t get buried under an avalanche!” she exclaimed.
“How did we stand it?” I asked. “Do you suppose we were just lucky?”
“That question could raise a lot of argument. Let’s not go there,” she replied.

whipped into shape

“Hey Art you look a little winded,” I said. “I thought this was your favorite music.”
I caught the briefest of smiles as Art listened for a moment. “Bourbon Street Parade. I do like Wynton Marsalis but it’s not working.”
“Catch your breath man,” I said to him. “You look as if you’ve been running on a treadmill Art. Why are you so downcast if you don’t mind my asking?” I asked.
“Work has been pretty slow,” replied the discourage artist.
“I may have painted my last cucumber for awhile,” I responded.
“Empathy Doug?” he asked. “What has come over you?”
“I’ve been seeing a great physical therapist,” I fired back.
“It’s about time,” he added.
“Maybe the waitress will come back with a couple of lemon and lime spritzers,” I said.
“What happened to raspberry?” he asked.
“Getting tired of the same ole, same ole,” I guess.
“That must be some physical therapist,” said Art.