Month: February 2017

Turansky’s “Shine Like the Dawn” shines alongside “North and South”

Carrie Turansky’s newest novel, “Shine Like the Dawn,” was released last week by Multnomah Books. The novel set in the Edwardian era was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. I discovered Turansky’s Edwardian Bride series in 2014 and that series alone earned her a spot on my “auto-read list.” “Shine Like the Dawn” is a spectacularly plotted tale featuring mystery, suspense and romantic miscommunications — basically, all of the best stuff! The main character, Margaret, suffers a terrible tragedy and that loss changes her family forever. Turansky does a wonderful job of creating a realistic character who is trying to come to terms with her grief. Margaret deals with emotions that are very human, as well as the questions of faith that such a situation could cause. The hero of the novel, Nate, is a wonderfully honorable character, but he has to deal with his own regrets from the past. Turansky also has created a delightful cast of secondary characters that I loved — from precocious Violet to Margaret’s friend, Lily. I found the overall spiritual message Turansky builds throughout the novel was handled extremely well, with the characters sometimes falling short even though they know they should do better. The setting is fantastic and Turansky’s attention to detail is, as always, top notch. I absolutely love the homages to classics such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South.”...

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Southwestern announces Jeffrey Toobin as Docking Lecture Series speaker

WINFIELD — Best-selling author and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin will present the 2017 Docking Lecture at 11 a.m. March 2 on the campus of Southwestern College. The Docking Lecture Series is sponsored by Union State Bank. The public is invited to attend and there will be no admission charge. “Union State Bank, Tom Docking and I are delighted to partner with Southwestern College in bringing Jeffrey Toobin to Southwestern’s campus,” said Bill Docking, chairman of the board at Union State Bank. “He is an excellent communicator who provides insightful analysis whether commenting on legal matters, politics or a host of other topics. I’ve enjoyed watching him on CNN and have read several of his books. In fact, I recently read ‘American Heiress,’ his riveting account of Patricia Hearst’s kidnapping and the incredible events that followed. It’s a pleasure to help bring a speaker of Toobin’s stature to Southwestern College.” Toobin received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After a six-year tenure at ABC News, where he covered the country’s highest-profile cases and received a 2000 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales custody saga, Toobin joined CNN as a legal analyst in 2002. He now serves the network as senior analyst. Toobin has been a staff writer for...

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Satisfy your craving for egg rolls — the kind with meat — with this recipe

Every once in a while, I have a craving for egg rolls — but not the kind that are filled with just cabbage and carrots. Most egg rolls you can buy have very little meat in them and some are loaded with MSG. Making your own egg rolls isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem, although it can be time consuming. This is a recipe that was shared with my family in the ’70s. It can be altered to add other vegetables and any seasonings can be adjusted according to taste. Ingredients 3 to 4 pounds shredded or cooked ground chicken 2 pounds pork sausage, medium or hot (turkey sausage will work, as well) 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon Accent 6 Tablespoons soy sauce 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 cup water 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 2 cans bean sprouts, finely chopped 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cans water chestnuts, finely chopped 2 cans bamboo shoots, finely chopped 2 to 3 packages egg roll wraps Instructions If using a whole chicken or chicken breasts, boil the chicken until it is done. Skin, debone and cut it into small pieces — then set this aside. If using ground chicken, simply add it into the next step. Cook the sausage (and chicken) and drain the grease off the cooked meat. (If using...

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How YouTube is changing the way I discover music (and could for you, too)

A few years ago, if you asked me how I found new music, I probably would have said “recommendations from people I trust.” I have begun to recognize that much like the publishing industry is changing due to an increase in independent and hybrid authors, the music industry is changing, as well. Obviously, record companies still exist and aren’t going anywhere — they still decide who gets the big record deals. But there is a new wave of musicians who are forgoing traditional record companies and releasing music on their own, mostly on YouTube. YouTube, for all intents and purposes, is a search engine, and searching it for music you might like is extremely easy. Most of the musicians I have discovered start by covering other artists’ work. Some obviously are better financed — you can tell from the production quality and recording sets — than others, but no matter where they are recording, it is obvious that there are some extremely talented, “undiscovered” musicians out there. I had my first taste while searching for YouTube artists when I stumbled across a Boyce Avenue cover when searching for a particular song. Ironically, I actually ended up liking the Boyce Avenue cover better than the original track. That is not uncommon for me — especially with Boyce Avenue, who are on my list of top five artists I have discovered on...

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Local representatives to attend legislative forum at 11:30 a.m. March 3

The local chambers of commerce will be host to their first legislative forum of 2017 on March 3. Sen. Larry Alley, R-Winfield; Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins, R-Arkansas City; and Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield, will meet with the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sirloin Stockade, which is located at 2825 N. Summit St. This event is free, but lunch will not be provided. However, attendees are welcomed to order their own meals. The event is being organized by the joint legislative committee of the Arkansas City and Winfield area chambers of commerce. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new...

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