Category Archives: Guest blog post

How To Use A Meat Cleaver Book Signing

Review of How To Use A Meat Cleaver book signing event

guest blog2

Reader alert: This review may contain spoilers. 

How To Use A Meat Cleaver is a cookbook by Lana, Jennifer & Renee Graziano. This delicious cookbook features family recipes and favorites from the Graziano family. Recently, the ladies stopped by Book Soup in West Hollywood for a book signing and meet and greet. The ladies shared some of their favorite recipes and the wonderful stories behind them.

guest blog

The first hour of the book signing was a fun question and answer session for fans. Renee was  cracking jokes and having a blast while Jennifer & Lana laughed at her as any sisters would do!  Some of their favorite recipes from the book are Sunday Gravy, Lana’s Meatballs & Stuffed  Peppers. The recipes are from their childhood and from the kitchens of their parents, Anthony &  Veronica Graziano, as well as their grandmother Nora Eda Amelia Cultura DiMarini Gebbia. As  the book says, “Food this good should be illegal!”

The ladies made this book come to life by sharing the wonderful memories associated with the  recipes not only at the book signing butguest blog3 in the book itself! As the Q&A session went on Renee missed a call from her son AJ. She called him back on speaker so everyone could hear! AJ was so  sweet to his Mom and said hi to the fans. Renee ended the conversation with an ‘I love you’. It  was a very fun event and the ladies were so humble and kind. Once the Q&A session was finished,  it was time to meet them one on one and have pictures taken and get your book signed!
guest blog4 Someone came around to write the fan’s names on a post it  for the ladies so everyone’s book was    signed correctly.  Everyone had an opportunity to talk each one of the ladies,  take pictures and  grab a hug or two. Lana was so sweet and  gracious. Jennifer was so humble and beautiful. Renee  was  funny and loving. Together, the Graziano sisters are just  pure fun! They truly love their fans  and it definitely showed  at this fun event.

Renee announced another book to be released and the Graziano’s will be releasing their own  food and wine brand! In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of the book at your local bookstore  and you can follow the ladies on Twitter & Instagram to keep up with their next projects!


Filed under Guest blog post, Non-fiction

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Guest review by Violet Buttercream

Review of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Reader alert: This review may contain spoilers. 

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Author: Leslye Walton

Genre: YA, Magical Realism, Romance

 Ratingstar rating star rating star rating star rating star rating

Synopsis: Out protagonist (Ava Lavender) looks back at her family history and the past residents of Pinnacle Lane to try and discover why she has wings, beginning with how her grandmother was born. Her family has always had a history of affliction with love and Ava is unprepared for what she discovers. Alongside side this is sixteen-year-old Ava’s life, unsure what to make of her wings, just trying to fit in.

 My thoughts: “Love makes us such fools”

This tale was not just written it was threaded and crafted and I feel like it has burrowed inside of me.

It has an atmosphere to it that just leaves you with goosebumps and an inexplicable understanding of the weight of human love and suffering and an insight into the choices we make and those we don’t and the impossibility and certainty of sorrow.

…Ava Lavender is so breathtakingly real and honest even in the fantastical parts there’s always a groundedness a sense of truth and palpable emotion. It is a story about love without being a love story. It is about motherly love, unwanted love, all-consuming love, endless love and I love this book to the moon and the stars. It is easily the best book I’ve read all year, possibly ever.

“My grandmother fell in love three times before her nineteenth birthday. My mother found love with the neighbour boy when she was six. And I, I was born with wings, a misfit who didn’t dare to expect something as grandiose as love…my story, like everyone’s, begins with the past and a family tree. The following is the story of my young life as I lived it…I have travelled through continents, languages, and time trying to understand all that I am and all that made me such.” 

I think it is suitable for all ages and holds its own with fairytale and mythological qualities while being refreshingly contemporary. This book is definitely not another formulaic YA novel.

As Goodreads describes it (and I think they can do it better than me) “Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.. Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.”

The writing is intoxicating and rich and flowing with darkness. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea (a girl turns into a bird) but even if you hate “magical” books read this because YES THAT IS A PEICE OF MY HEART BETWEEN THE PAGES. There are many characters, but they are all beautifully developed and the book unfolds simply so it is easy it follow (It is also relatively short despite it’s depth.)

 The strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is strange and beautiful and so, so much more and I urge everyone to read this divine book.

Your friend, Violet Buttercream

Check out my blog!


Filed under Guest blog post, Magical Realism, Romance, YA