Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Books for Readers Who Like to Cook

Reviewed by Tracy Ruckman

The Potluck Club Cookbook by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
A Taste of Fame, A Potluck Catering Club novel by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

"Woo-hoo!" I shouted when I opened the package, and hubby had to know what was going on. The latest Potluck Club books - and the cookbook - had arrived! It was like opening that one sought-after, wished-for, hoped for, hinted at gift on Christmas morning! This wasn't just a pair of socks - it was THE POTLUCK GIRLS!

And I think this adventure, in A Taste of Fame, was my favorite yet! Plenty of drama, frustration, humor, adventure, and excitement to keep you turning pages.

But then, this package got even better, because it also included The Potluck Club Cookbook. That's when hubby shouted, "Woo-hoo!" at all the new recipes to try!

Have you been to hundreds of potlucks in your lifetime, like I have? Do you always discover a dish or two or three that you wish you knew how to make, or wish you'd gotten the recipe, but never did? Well, this cookbook is for us! I think I've had almost every dish in the book, but didn't have a single recipe! And as I read through them, I could pinpoint which church I'd had that dish in, which party I'd had another dish. It was so fun to read each and every one of them. And more fun to read the comments in the margins by the authors.

The publishers have graciously allowed us bloggers to share three wonderful recipes with our readers, so I'll be posting them shortly and I'll include a link when I do. Read the recipes here.

Tracy's recommendation: Go buy the books! Both of them! For you and some friends! You'll love them and so will they - I promise.

Now, about the books:

Follow the Potluck Club Ladies into Their Biggest Catering Job . . . On Reality TV!
Filled with feisty characters, friendship, and hilarity, book 2 in the beloved

The Potluck Catering Club series takes readers along for the ride to New York City

Authors Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson love dishing up the stories of the six friends featured in their latest series The Potluck Catering Club—much to the delight of readers. “This is the way Christian fiction should be written,” one reader says. “No cardboard Christian cut-outs of sweet angelic women none of us can relate to. These women are real, just the kind of women I find in my own community.”

A Taste of Fame is the latest book in The Potluck Catering Club series and serves up more of what readers have come to love from these feisty characters and the hilarious antics they find themselves in—which takes them this time to the Big Apple for their first taste of fame:

A Taste of Fame by Linda Evans Shepherd andEva Marie Everson
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3209-7
September 2009, $13.99

The Potluck Catering Club that these six friends started is already a growing business when a budding filmmaker decides to cast them for a class project. For fun, they agree. That is, until they realize that he has entered his documentary in a new reality show “Great Party Showdown”—and they actually get picked for the show, taking the ladies of Summit View, Colorado, to the Big Apple for the unexpected adventure of their lives. Between navigating New York City, dealing with other cutthroat contestants, and trying to maintain their close friendship in the high-stress world of reality TV, the Potluck women must keep their eyes on the prize—a cool million dollars—and work together if they’re going to make it back to Colorado in one piece.

A Taste of Fame serves up the perfect blend of humor, misadventure, and mouth-watering recipes. Fans new and old will love this exciting trip into the wild world of competitive cooking!

Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson are award-winning authors, successful speakers, radio personalities, and avid readers of fiction. They are the popular authors of The Potluck Club, The Potluck Club—Trouble’s Brewing, The Potluck Club—Takes the Cake, and The Secret’s in the Sauce. They’ve also led numerous Bible studies and women’s retreats and still find time to be wives and mothers. Linda lives in Colorado and Eva lives in Florida.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.
For more information, visit http://www.revellbooks.com/.

Potluck Parties: The Popular Pastime Goes Posh
Dinner parties take a cue from the past, with revival in potlucks during hard financial times.

PLUS: New cookbook full of recipes perfect for these friends-and-family get-togethers!
As wallets tighten, friends and family have to get more creative about the way they socialize, seeking to make get-togethers more budget-friendly without sacrificing the fun. That challenge is what has brought about the revival of potlucks to the social scene.

The Potluck Club Cookbook by Linda Evans Shepherd & Eva Marie Everson
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3349-0
September 2009

“Eating in is the new eating out,” says Eva Marie Everson, a potluck enthusiast and co-author of The Potluck Club Cookbook. For instance, Everson and her husband used to meet up with another couple each month over dinner at a different restaurant. “But with the recent economy, we started eating in and dining à la potluck. We get to sit on a screened-in patio and watch the sun set over the lake behind the house. We all agree we should have been doing this all along!”

Potlucks are easy even on strained budgets because no one person carries the full cost of a table-full of food; instead, guests each bring their own favorite dish and together cater the event. This allows guests to sample new dishes and share favorite recipes from their closest friends.

These potlucks that are popping up in even the classiest of circles barely resemble the potlucks of yesterday. Now, they might carry intriguing themes that the dishes are based around. For instance, a book club’s potluck might feature foods mentioned in the pages of their latest read. Or a birthday celebration for a longtime friend might be a wine-and-cheese potluck showcasing favorite edibles that get better with age. For a close girlfriend who is always known for accenting with yellow, a potluck in her honor might include a savory, golden-hued smorgasbord.

Whatever your affair may look like, Eva Marie Everson and Linda Evans Shepherd are the experts when it comes to hosting and attending these shared meals. Veterans of countless potlucks over the years, the duo has gathered their favorite potluck-ready recipes—from salads to slow-cooker delights—plus their experienced insights about pulling off a potluck into one source: The Potluck Club Cookbook. Shepherd and Evans are also the authors of the popular fiction series The Potluck Club and The Potluck Catering Club—so their penchant for potlucks is obvious.

“Potlucks have been a part of my life since childhood,” explains Everson, whose memories are rife with these culinary celebrations—from her days growing up in the South to her newlywed years to the times toting her young children along to the potluck, too. “The potluck meal isn’t just about sharing good, home-cooked food, but also about connecting with your closest friends and family and creating memories that last a lifetime,” Shepherd adds. “Potlucks must be what love tastes like.”

Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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