Monday, November 20, 2017

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Christmas at Carnton: A Novella by Tamera Alexander

Book Description:  Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position - only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity - and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies - one, in particular - is far more than he bargained for.

My Thoughts:  It's so nice to be able to read Christmas stories before the Christmas season hits.
I love the cover of this read.  It's so romantic and beautiful.
The story is even better.  
A widow, Aletta Prescott and her son are struggling to hold onto their beautiful estate.  
Then there's Captain Jake Winston.  He's not in the mood for romance but quite by accident he finds himself in the midst of the Women's Relief Society.  Surrounded by women but one in particular catches his eye.  
A fun novella with just enough Christmas magic to make one's holiday reading a lovely affair.

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310293243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310293248

Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1) Irene Hannon

Trish is overwhelmed with the deaths of her father and husband and helping her mother who is now disabled from the accident that killed their spouses. She's starting to forget some of the simplest things. But when a death is attributed to her forgetfulness, she will need the help of Detective Colin Flynn to sort out the strange occurrences that are happening all around her. 

  • Series: Code of Honor (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800727673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727673

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Beneath a Prairie Moon: A Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Description:  Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness?

My Thoughts:  This is such an interesting story.  I love the way Kim Vogel Sawyer brings Again Brantley's story from high society to a small western town in Kansas.
Abigail Brantley through no fault of her own is cast from the wealthy society to the lowest of the low in society simply because her father illegal activities.
So, Abagail finds herself in a small Kansas town tutoring Kansas ranchers on the etiquette of social manners so they can marry up as their mail order brides arrive.
This is not meant to be a humorous story but I found the ranchers to be hilarious...quite believable!  
Then there's Mark Cleveland he detests mail order brides but is finding that, against his will, he may be falling for the one who is helping the ranchers with their mail order brides.
A fun read for a winter day!

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (March 20, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735290059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735290051

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Book Description:  Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.
Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.
When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

My Thoughts:   Love Held Captive is the third book in the Lone Star Hero's series.
I've not read the other two books but I would recommend reading them before this one.  However, since I didn't have the other two I chose to read this book as a stand alone read and I didn't find it confusing.  So I guess it's up to the reader.  😊
I liked the history in this read.  It's all about the Civil War and how it drastically changed men and women.  And how the Civil War brought about a great change in America.
When Captain Devin Moore meets Julianne VanFleet it's love at first sight for him.  But Julianne has made sacrifices and tragedy has been at her doorstep.
A story of people coming to grips with life and the devastation of war.

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

  • Series: A Lone Star Hero's Love Story
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310345472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310345473

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

We love cookies and this is a GREAT recipe for the fall!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Double Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chip
  • 2 cups rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Next beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until well creamed together.
  3. Now add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Beat until combine well.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  5. Next, stir in your oats. Mix well.
  6. Stir in both the white and dark chocolate chips.
  7. Drop cookie dough by the rounded tablespoon on to the prepared baking. sheet.
  8. Bake cookies for 14-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. DO NOT OVER COOK. They will seem a little soft, but will firm up as they cool. You want to keep the nice, soft texture!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Royal Christmas Wedding (Royal Wedding Series) by Rachel Hauck

My Thoughts: I get so excited this time of the years as the Christmas books begin to make an appearance.  Christmas is such a busy time that I love reading all about the sweetness of the Christmas spirit before it arrives.
Royal Christmas Wedding is the fourth book in the Royal Wedding series and somehow I managed to miss all of the books but this one. {sigh}
But I went ahead and read this book as a stand alone read and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't feel that I missed I'm sure that there is a lot of "background" that I should know. So, it is probably best to read all the books in order.
Avery Truitt and Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom met in college but he pushed her away five years ago and now she has to go back to Brighton for the Cathedral City's Christmas season. 
It's quite different for Avery since her father passed away and now her sister is of the reasons Avery is back in the city.
Avery realizes that it will be almost impossible to not see Colin and her heart aches for what might have been.
Colin, too, misses Avery.  But he has choices to make and love isn't always easy.
An enchanting holiday love story.  

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: Royal Wedding Series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310344530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310344537

Monday, November 13, 2017

{Kregel Blog Tour} Noah: A Wordless Picture Book Hardcover by Mark Ludy

Book Description:  Mark Ludy s latest book will appeal to adults and children alike. Digging deeper than the Sunday school tale of cuddly animals on Noah s ark, the story follows the biblical text and illumines Noah s relationship with God, his wife, family, nature, and humanity. Ludy s world-class artwork lets people see, as though for the first time, the beauty within this story - revealing a clearer picture of the nature and character of God and his relationship to humankind. It s immersive and epic in scale and scope. The wordless format invites conversation and storytelling, key building blocks of literacy. And as with his previous books, Ludy's signature mouse Squeakers appears hidden on every page.

My Thoughts:  We all seem to know the story of Noah and the Ark but have you ever tried to tell the story to a youngster with out words?  This incredible book and I do mean incredible has no is a wordless picture book.  I've never seen such a beautifully illustrated book in all my life.
There isn't a need a for words...the pictures really do tell a story all their own and may inspire a conversation between you and your child about the Bible!  As much as words are descriptive and we need words, words aren't needed to "read" this story AND there are no words to describe the illustrations in this book!  
This book is such a joy "read" through.  The pictures are bold and bright but more than that they are {almost} jumping off the page in 3D illustrations!  Don't forget to look for Squeakers the mouse .... on ever page.  So much fun!
I love this book!  
This book makes a GREAT gift for a child {actually an adult would love it, too}!

This picture is from the book to show you an example of the                       greatness of these illustrations:

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

  • Age Range: 2 - 18 years
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House; Sew edition (October 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874866391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874866391