Recently, I did something I had never done before. I contacted an author and asked to review her book. I first "met" Kim Reutzel when I answered a HARO request to interview couples who have been happily married for more than 20 years. I answered her questions, but before I submitted them, I decided to check out her website. It turns out she is an author, speaker and pastoral counselor. As I checked out her website, I saw references to a new book: Kissing and Cooking I was intrigued. So I wrote Kim a note. I reminded her how I "met" her, and told her my husband and I are marriage mentors for our church. And I asked her if she would be interested in sending me a copy to review. I also gave her the option of sending a copy to giveaway. She did one better. She included a 3rd copy to give to our pastor who heads the marriage mentoring ministry.
Kissing and Cooking (which was released on December 30, 2008) is a small book (about 5" x 7") with 230 pages. It is an easy read. The book is divided into two parts: There are seven chapters with recommendations to spice up your relationship followed by twelve date night recipes. Each chapter is broken into subsections that are short bites (1-3 pages long) so it was easy to read a section at night, even if I didn't have time to read an entire chapter. (I absolutely hate putting a book down in the middle of a chapter!) I read the book over about a week before going to sleep. I think someone could actually read the seven chapters in 2 or 3 hours, if there were no interruptions. (If you are like me, you rarely--if ever--have 2 or 3 hours uninterrupted!) I read through most of the recipes in one sitting.
The chapters include faith based biblical advice on subjects such as: communication, turning conflict into compromise, controlling your thoughts, having realistic expectations, building on your differences, spending time together, and love.
One chapter, Let's kiss and make up!, focuses on fighting fair. "Conflict is inevitable; compromise is a choice". In this chapter, Kim gives some helpful tools to use to help resolve conflicts. Kim encourages you to focus on the issues, our temperament, our feelings and the real need to reach a healthy compromise. I like how Kim compares compromise to a golf game that is scored "best hole". For each hole, the team member who has the best score provides the score for the entire team. When you come up with a workable solution, you both win. "You either both win in marriage or you both lose". (p. 102)
The second half of the book includes detailed recipes and instructions for date 12 nights. The recipes vary from full 4 course meals to movie snacks. Each menu includes a shopping list (divided into three categories: pantry, produce, other); an open-ended question to answer during dinner; detailed cooking (and kissing!) instructions for each menu items (with kissing quotes mixed in); a Scripture passage; a table prayer; table topics (discussion items); The Marriage Planner's advice: and advice from other couples.
This would be a great gift for any couple: newlywed to long married. For the newlywed, it would be great to help them get their romance off to a good start. An "old" married couples could use a new spark to rekindle the romance.
Want to buy it?
Price $14.99 includes free shipping and free audio download of book. Visit Kim's store. (There are some other fun things there too!)
Want to win it?
I have an autographed copy of Kissing and Cooking for one reader!
To enter, leave a comment with one way you spice up your marriage (keep it G-rated please!). It doesn't have to be something you've tried yourself.
Want some extra entries? (leave a separate comment for each)
* Visit Kim Reutzel's website and tell me something about her or her products.
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* (Shameless plug for my husband's new ministry!) Visit Mac4Missions and post something that you learn there.
Entries will be accepted until Thursday, January 15th. I will contact the winner by e-mail. (Make sure your blog profile is public, or include an e-mail address in your comments.) Winner will have 3 days to respond or another name will be drawn.
(US shipping address only.)