Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Reads: No Bake Pina Colada Bars & The Eighth Day

Once a month I'll be posting a dessert recipe with excerpts from a book that's struck me just right, whether it be gorgeous descriptions, funny dialogue, swoon-worthy kisses, sarcastic come-backs, or spine-tingling encounters.


Jax pedaled home from the store and muttered in cadence with the rhythm of his bike wheels: This sucks. This sucks. This sucks.

I am a firm fan of muttering to myself. So opening up The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni and reading this as the first line, I knew me and this book were going to get along famously. That said, what else can I say about The Eighth Day? Wait, let me rephrase that. What else can I say about TED that doesn't come off as all squeally and gushy?

Um...nothing.

Because this book deserves every bit of squeally-gushiness I can muster. If there's one MG book that you pick up in 2014, this should be it. And for those of you that might not venture far from the YA lanes, TED is actually a bit of a cross-over, in my opinion. One of the other mc characters beside Jax, is Riley, his 18-yr. old guardian.

"Eat up, Jax. You look undernourished." Mrs. Crandall glared at Riley.

"He eats everything in sight," Riley protested, his own mouth full. "I can't keep groceries in the house!"

Jax looked up, startled. He thought the exact same thing about Riley.

"Nobody can eat like a teenage boy." Mrs. Crandall slung a ladle full of mashed potatoes on Jax's plate. "The pair of you together are probably like piranha."

Uh-huh. When my older brother and his friends were hanging out at the house, food was gone in minutes. Now after Jax and Riley, there's Evangeline. And I love that Jax is simply... her friend, and that's all he wants to be. And does he ever turn out to be a loyal, true-blue friend! Towards the end of the book he becomes her- whoops! That'd be too spoilery! =) Just to show you some of his devotion, here's one of my fav things he says to her(with Evangline speaking first to give you the context):

"That spell's too hard to hold for more than a couple minutes," she said. "It would have to be something else. Do you think you can remember a brief incantation in Welsh?"

"I'll be freakin' Harry Potter if you need me to be."

Oh, Jax. I love you.

Seriously, guys, if you want a book that will keep you flipping voraciously to the next page, and has a premise that you've never read about before- an extra day of the week that can only be accessed by descendants of Arthurian legend- you'll want to read TED. 'Cuz, c'mon, who hasn't dreamed of extra time to get things done? *holds up hand and waves it madly*

And on a side note: this is the first ARC I've ever received(thank you, HarperCollins!!!). And while incredibly awesome...it kinda also stinks. Because I've read this book, loved this book, and now I'm ready for the next book. And the first hasn't even officially came out yet. *looks around glumly*

Well, if there's anything that'll make me feel better about this, it's dessert! And in honor of TED ending in a more exotic locale- Mexico!- the recipe I'll be sharing this month is for...

No Bake Pina Colada Bars 

60 Vanilla Wafers, crushed
4 Tbp. butter, melted
2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cream of coconut
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
8 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, with the juice drained
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and diced
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1. In a large bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and cream of coconut until smooth and blended. Fold in Cool Whip until combined. Then fold in pineapple and cherries and spread evenly over prepared crust. Top with coconut and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Enjoy!
 
And for those of you wondering who won last week's 'His' and 'Hers' Spine Poetry contest- it was me! Which is a big relief, b/c if the hubs had won, I'd have never heard the end of it...  =)

Also before I go, here's the full blurb for The Eighth Day:

In this riveting fantasy adventure, thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey discovers a secret eighth day with roots tracing back to Arthurian legend. Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this first book in a new series that combines exciting magic and pulse-pounding suspense.

When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it's the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he's really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day.

And there's a reason Evangeline's hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it. Torn between protecting his new friend and saving the entire human race from complete destruction, Jax is faced with an impossible choice. Even with an eighth day, time is running out.
  

48 comments:

  1. What I wouldn't give for an 8th day! Just think of all the writing and reading I'd actually have time for. And waiting for sequels is the worst!! Awesome recipe, as always :)

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    1. Oh, yeah, my eighth day would be devoted to my butt on the couch. Read some, write some, break for lunch, then back to the same!

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  2. I have a sudden urge for a chunk of coconut ice. Can't think why.

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  3. I can't wait to read this. Dianne Salerni is a new fave author. Caged Graves, anyone? Awesome.

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  4. I was privileged enough to read an early version of this story, and OMG is it ever AWESOME!!!! Congrats, Dianne! And what a great recipe Leandra.

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  5. I love MG so this is right up my alley. I also like the muttering to oneself idea. And saying "this sucks" over and over pretty much seems just about right. ; }
    ps: if my husband didn't despise pineapple I'd be all over those bars! Yum!

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    1. Muttering helps me get through bad days, for sure! And my husband isn't a fan of coconut- want to come share w/me? ;)

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  6. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  7. Your dessert looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe AND the book review. Great idea to combine the two!

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    1. Thanks, I always doing these posts. It gives me an excuse to look for delicious dessert recipes!

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  8. Mmmm... dessert and literature. I approve of this post.

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  9. Leandra, the book and the recipe sound wonderful! I've put THE EIGHTH DAY on my Amazon wish list, and will be looking forward to April 22nd! = )

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    1. Fantastic! I'm sure you and your boys will love it!

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  10. love these excerpts...such fantastic voice. I already have TED written down as a must-read from when you said how great it is! And that recipe sounds so good--I especially like the no-baking part, seeing as I can't bake for beans! :P

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    1. Lol! But how about baked beans, can you make those? ;)!

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  11. Hi Leandra .. this is a great review for Dianne's book ... I've got Caged Graves, which I must read ... but the premise for this - the extra day .. does sound intriguing ... and I'm sure would totally absorb many a youngster ...

    Cheers to you both - Hilary

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    1. The Caged Graves was so good, I'm sure you'll love it. And cheers to you too! :)

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  12. Oooh. Looks like a good one. I'll have to add that to the list. Thanks.

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    1. Welcome! I always love helping to grow other's TBR piles. =D

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  13. What a yummy post - book AND recipe!! Now I want to read this and I can't yet!!! Talk about anticipation...

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    1. Book anticipation is the best kind- well, except for baby anticipation. It's certainly more comfortable anyway, ha, ha!

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  14. I love your review. I also got The Eighth Day as an arc. I finished it one sitting. So, I agree with everything you said. It's all TRUE.

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    1. Woo-hoo, a fellow believer! Do you want to start a ' Waiting on The Inquisitor's Mark Club' with me...? =D

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  15. SOLD. I love squeely and gushy, btw.

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  16. I haven't read much in the way of MG, but it sounds fun!

    Grats on winning your challenge with your hubby. :)

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  17. Okay, just finished mumbling to myself. Not only is that an interesting blurb, now that I know what a blurb is, I'm suddenly quite hungry.

    Gary :)

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    1. Sorry, I just finished my supper of cheeseburger & fries- I would have shared otherwise! :)

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  18. This is fantastic! What a great idea. TED sounds like a great read. I love to see more boy POV books out there. Now I'm off to no bake me some pina colada goodness. ;)

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    1. Guy POV books are a nice change of pace. Thx for stopping by! =)

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  19. Oh, yes, the idea for an 8th day is wonderful. Your dessert sounds very refreshing. Alas, I don't do coconut, but I'll look forward to future recipes. :)

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    1. Coconut is definitely a love it or hate it food. Me, I can eat it straight out of the bag!

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  20. That sounds so yummy and the quotes were great teasers. :)

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  21. Thanks for the book advice and the yummy recipe:) And congrats :)

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  22. Was intrigued, so I had to look up the book on Amazon for a summary. The premise sounds reminiscent of Persona 3 (PS2), in which the protagonists are awake during "The Dark Hour," an hour every night that occurs at the stroke of midnight.

    Everyone else is "transmogrified" into a coffin (it's really anyone's guess what happens, I'm sure the choice was made for the striking visual), and the heroes fight monsters that are active as a result of a weird convergence of SCIENCE! and mysticism.

    There are some cool ideas in the game. Worth checking out if you're a fan of JRPGs. ;)

    --Nick

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    1. So not a gamer here. But if I were then I'd prolly...nope, I still doubt it. At the risk of revealing the big chicken I am, I couldn't even play Jurassic Park when I was a kid. I'd freak out when the raptors ran at the screen and drop the controller, lol! But thx for telling me, my husband might like it.

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  23. I loved this book too, Leandra! Coolest premise ever. And I felt the same way when I reached the last page. I want the next book!

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    1. You're in! Welcome to The Waiting on The Inquisitor's Mark Club. If you're good w/money I nominate you as treasurer! =D

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  24. Reading and dessert...you've gotten me in the mood for both. I hope to read this book.

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    1. You definitely should- it's not one to be missed! :)

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