Tuesday, April 30, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Spotlight on Historical Romance Favorite, Lena N. Dooley


Prolific author Lena Nelson Dooley has done it again! She's released yet another stunning historical romance. The COTT Blog Alliance is honored to feature her latest work, Catherine's Pursuit. It is book three in the McKenna's Daughters series and follows Maggie's Journey and Mary's Blessing.
"A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love." --Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island

Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take
care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.

Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?

And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?


A Blogger's Review of the Catherine's Pursuit: What a great book! As Lisa Wingate says on the front cover, it is indeed a “heartwarming tale.” The story is fully satisfying (once you reach the end) and provides a complete conclusion for the McKenna’s Daughters series. While I still haven’t had the chance to read book 2, Mary’s Blessing, I did read and greatly enjoy book 1, Maggie’s Journey – incidentally, I think #1 had my favorite cover…but this one is a close second. They’re all so neat! Anyway, back to Catherine…this book isn’t a stand-alone, but even though I’ve missed book 2, I didn’t have trouble following (though there were a few parts that weren’t clear because I hadn’t read it yet). Moral of the story – read both of the first ones before this one if at all possible. There are some series where you would be totally lost if all you read was book 3, but that’s not quite true here. Catherine was a lovely girl and made for a gutsy heroine. I loved the historical detail that seemed to be worked into each scene throughout the book, especially the travel scenes. This is a fascinating story and one I think you’ll enjoy!

A bit about Lena: Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms by Nancy B. Kennedy

Book Description:  Hear touching and inspiring stories from women who have taken on the toughest, yet most rewarding, assignment of their lives--motherhood!

In Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms, fifty mothers--from new moms to seasoned moms--share their most memorable moments. From the hilarious to the heartbreaking, these stories reveal the depth of a mother's love and her delight at wearing the title of ''Mom.''One mother tells a lyrical bedtime tale of her daughter's adoption. Another shares a stark story of taking in a runaway Amish boy. The mother of an autistic boy shares her story of three magical days with him, and yet another takes a startling phone call from her adult son, who has made a heart-stopping decision.  "God believes in mothers," one woman says in relating the harrowing birth of her child. In these stories, God does indeed speak clearly to the heart of mothers. One mother awakens in the middle of the night burdened to pray for her son. Another mother hears a voice calling her to go to her pregnant daughter, no matter that they are separated by many miles. Lives are changed--and saved--by the faithful actions of loving mothers. The mothers in these stories all have one thing in common--they adore their children, they are in awe of them at times, and they wouldn't trade a single moment of their lives.

My Thoughts:   This is an interesting read with many different "voices."  
Fifty moms, from the newbie to the well seasoned mom, give their "take" on the ups and downs of motherhood.
I enjoyed all the memories but the one that caught my interest the most was the memory by Lori Gard, Mother's Day Mania.  In this memory Lori recalls a special Mother's Day  . . .  "The day carries so many expectations and so much pressure.  I'm not sure I can handle more that one day of special treatment per year -  it might just do me in."  
As you can see there is quite a bit of humor intermingled throughout these memories.
So, whether you're new to motherhood or a more experienced mom, this is a most wonderful read that will inspire you and, maybe, like me, make you know that you're not the only mom on the planet who experiences the griefs and joys of motherhood.
This would make an excellent Mother's Day gift for that special mom or grandma on your list and then write out on decorated paper your special memory of your mom or grandma.
*This book was provided for review by Leafwood Publishers*
About the Author:
I am a long-time writer and editor. For many years, I was a financial writer for magazines and newspapers, including the online Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and for companies in the financial services industry, including Merrill Lynch. Before that, I edited the Wall Street Journal and Barron's for a Dow Jones financial data service.
My newest book, Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms, released from Leafwood Publishers in March 2013. In it, I share fifty stories of memorable moments from moms who are in all phases of motherhood, from new moms to empty nest moms. It is the third title in the series, following collections of stories from doctors and military chaplains.
My book of weight loss success stories, How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices That Will Work for You (Leafwood, 2012), tells thirty stories of personal weight loss success and examines the many paths people took to success -- every weight loss plan you can imagine from Atkins to the Zone.
My two children's books, Make It, Shake It, Mix It Up and Even the Sound Waves Obey Him, pair simple science activities with stories of faith. I also write articles and personal essays for books and magazines, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, many of which you can read at my website www.nancybkennedy.com.

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891124047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891124047

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fortress of Mist {Book 2 in the Merlin's Immortals series} by Sigmund Brouwer

Book Description:  The throne is redeemed, but the battle is just beginning.          
 In the dark corners of an ancient land, evil lurks in the shadows. Powerful druids haunt the spaces of their lost territory. Double-minded noblemen fight for domain and influence. Invaders from the north threaten the kingdom of Magnus. This land of promise and redemption is mired in deceit and corruption.  The Orphan King, once victorious in conquest, appears to be losing his grip on his seat of power. Thomas rules Magnus, but does not know whom he can trust. His enemies anticipate his every move, thwarting him at each turn. Something is not right. Under attack, both in the supernatural and natural worlds, Thomas must reach back into the secret layers of his past to find the strength and wisdom to fight his battles. When the mist clears, who will stand with him?

My Thoughts:  Having read book 1, The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer, which to my surprise I truly enjoyed.  I decided to read book 2, Fortress of the Mist. As I began reading Fortress of the Mist I was happy to discover that this read picks up right where Orphan King left off.  This is one of those series that the reader will definitely want to read  in order.  Also, these books are for readers 12 and up . . . great reads for older kids!
Thomas, the orphan king, must determine whom he can trust and who is the enemy.  Will he be able to claim his birthright and keep the kingdom?
There is a lot of magic, mischief and mysterious people in this read.  It is set in 1312 A.D. so there is quite a bit of sword fighting.  Like Robin Hood fighting for the good of the people.  The romance is very light.
This read, to me, is more of a good versus evil, corruption versus honesty type of read.  A read that helps young people to make better choices and be vigilant in seeking out the truth.  Also, Thomas learned to trust in himself...gut instinct, so to speak.
I, actually, liked this story better than the first. I like the shorter chapters, the faith that is interwoven throughout the story and the action.
This is a fine book for adults to read but preteens and teenagers will enjoy it more, I think.  Adults seem to like full, drawn out scenes with many descriptions . . . those of us with short attention spans enjoy the short chapters and the action!
*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing*

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400071550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400071555

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Pistachio Salad

 Pistachio Salad

This is MY MOST favorite "salad!"  Love this stuff!
This recipe has been around for a long time but 
I got this recipe from sixsisters.com

1 small box of Pistachio INSTANT Pudding
1 (8 oz) container of Cool-Whip (lite is fine!)
1 (20 oz) can tidbit OR chunk pineapple (whatever you prefer)
1/2 bag of mini-marshmallows

Drain pineapple, pour pineapple juice into large bowl. Pour pudding into the juice and mix well. Fold the Cool-Whip into the pudding. Add pineapple and marshmallows and stir together gently.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund Facebook Party and Giveaway!

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund - Facebook, author Chat and Kindle Giveaway!

About A Noble Groom:

Michigan, 1880 . . .
Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.

So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher---or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.
With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming---unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/jX8h7

Meet Jody: 
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find out more about Jody athttp://jodyhedlund.com/. 

Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of  A Noble Groom by giving away
 a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 

One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crayola's 110th Birthday and contest!

CRAYOLA'S 110th Birthday!
       Fun, fun, fun!  For everyone!  

How can you join in on the fun? 
Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Today, we're excited to highlight another book by Anne Patrick.  Anne first visited Clash of the Titles back in 2011--my, how time flies!

Drew Presley's wife was murdered while he was serving his country in Iraq. Giving up a career he loved, he's returned to Dauphine Island to care for his son and try to make a new life for them.  The unsolved murder of his wife continues to plague him. The islanders are very protective of their own and he fears a killer is among them. The more he searches for answers though the more dangerous it becomes. Just as troublesome is his attraction to his son's second-grade teacher.Trudy Walsh was Nora Presley's best friend so the bond she has with Nora's motherless child is only normal. What troubles Trudy is the growing feelings she has for Reed's father. How can she be so attractive to this man when Jack Diamond is all she's ever thought about?When Drew begins to suspect Jack of his wife's murder, sparks begin to fly.  What secrets lie in Gianni's Cove, and what do they have to do with Nora's murder?
*An Amazon 'Top 100' Bestseller in Christian Suspense!
(Way to go, Anne!)

Below are a few of the reviews for Betrayal 

Amazon and B&N Reviews:
"Anne Patrick is a mesmerizing author. I just began reading her books last year and have already read all 14 of her books listed on Amazon Kindle. I love the portrayal of a mystery, love story, and a strong faith based main character. The books are captivating and Betrayal was as good as all of her books." ~ Sharon"Anne Patrick is a favorite author of mine and Betrayal is a great addition to her Wounded Heroes Series! You'll take a ride on a ferry, tour a lighthouse, eat at a local pizzeria and even scuba dive! I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Dauphine Island and meeting all the locals….I especially liked trying to figure out who was behind everything but you don't really find out until the end. Speaking of the ending, well...you don't want to miss that!" ~ Sherry"I love Anne Patrick any way. Another fantastic addition to this series. Ties in characters from previous books, really keeps you guessing about "whodunnit?". Has some slow areas throughout the book. Overall, an excellent story written well." ~ Denise"Well developed characters, seamless plot, a little mystery and some romance, all in a context of growing faith. Well done. Very entertaining." ~ Undivided

Author Bio:
Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.
To learn more about Anne, please visit her website: www.annepatrickbooks.com or blog:www.suspensebyanne.blogspot.com.  
She loves to hear from her readers!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Letters to Katie {A Middlefield Family Novel} by Kathleen Fuller

Book Description:  Everything changed between them the first time he called her Katie.
Katherine Yoder has loved Johnny Mullet since the two were children, but he’s never returned her affections.
Now Johnny is trying to forge a new life for himself by purchasing a farm and building a business of his own. But times are tough, and he soon learns that he can’t take anything for granted—especially Katherine.
Before Johnny has the opportunity to tell Katherine his true feelings, she’s struck by a serious illness. While Katherine struggles to recall recent memories of Johnny, a surprise visitor comes back into her life, claiming that his letters speak of a history and a future for the two of them.
With the two men vying for her attention and her memory still elusive, Katherine has never felt so torn. But will the solutions to both Johnny’s and Katherine’s problems lie in places neither one has ever considered?

My Thoughts:  This is the third book in the Middlefield Family reads.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the previous two books but I can't see that this affected the content of this story.  However, I think if the reader read these books in order the "sense" of who's who and family would be more clear.
This read was great!  I love  Kathleen Fuller's writing!  The mystery of the letters and the love that is forgotten and the new love make for a grand what is happening?!
Katie's loss of memory and her subsequent illness and memory loss takes the reader into an elusive part of because Katie loved Johnny but never felt the love was returned....then comes a young man from her past who claims that HIS letters spoke of love for Katie and he wants a future with Katie.
Katie is frustrated but the mystery.of.it.all takes on a "story" all its own.
If you love Amish fiction then you'll love this wonderful gut read!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595547770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595547774

Cindy Woodsmall - The Winnowing Season (Book 2 In The Amish Vines And Or...

Cindy Woodsmall writes another grandtastic book about Amish life.  This is the second book in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series.  Sometimes life doesn't go as planned . . . whether one is Amish or Englisch!
Haven't read Amish fiction?  Then view this trailer about The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall and go grab the book!  Don't miss this great read!

Read the First Chapter of The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Dorito Taco Salad

This salad is one our family favorites.  
It's my go to meal because it's so tasty and easy!

Dorito Taco Salad Recipe
1 lb. ground beef
1 head iceberg lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite site pieces
1 envelope of taco seasoning (do not add water)
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 bag of nacho Doritos
1 bottle French Dressing
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Toss with dry taco seasoning.  Set aside until cool. In a large bowl add lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Then right before you serve it add the beef, Doritos and dressing and mix.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rescuing Hope {A story of Sex Trafficking in AMERICA} by Susan Norris

Book Description: Every two minutes, evil strips innocence from a child and sells her into slavery for sex. Not in a third-world country, but in the United States of America. Before you take another breath, the next victim will be tricked or taken from her family by a profit-hungry criminal.

She could be a neighbor. A friend. Your sister. Your daughter. You.
At fourteen, Hope Ellis is the all-American girl with a good life—until the day she tries to help her mom with their cross-town move by supervising the movers. When they finish, one of the men returns to the house and rapes her. Held silent by his threats, darkness begins to engulf her. But the rape proves to be the least of Hope's troubles. In a gasping attempt at normalcy, she succumbs to the attention of a smooth-talking man on the subway. He promises acceptance. He declares his love. He lures her out from under the shelter of her suburban life.
Hope's disappearance sets a community in motion. She's one of their own. They determine to find Hope, whatever the cost, before she's lost forever.
Will you?

My Thoughts: This book may be written in fictional form but it has taken the author, Susan Norris, hundreds of hours of research to create a book that tells the truth about a terrible, ungodly perversion known as sex trafficking and prostitution.
I had a hard time reading this book.  Not because of the way it is written...it is well written, maybe too well written.  I found myself heartbroken and crying throughout the whole book.  
I'm a mother, a wife and a woman in my mid forties.  I've been around the block a few times and thought I knew somethings about life but this book literally blew me out of the water!  
I didn't realize that man cold be so perverse and evil.  Yes, my mom always warned me not to talk to strangers and I've warned my children but this goes far beyond that!  This is about men who are kidnapping children.  Yes!  Children as young as nine years old and making them sex objects.  Their lives have no value beyond being a plaything for men of perverse nature. 
This is a book for parents (rated PG -13 but with a lot of adult content and "bad" words that reflect the lifestyle) to read and then give the information to their young children (especially girls).  Unfortunately, many parents don't think that this can happen because, well, don't those girls choose to be prostitutes?  No!  They don't!  
We must rescue them!  We must educate our children on the dangers and we must pray for them!  And if we see a girl/boy in prostitution, isn't it out duty to seek justice for her?  These children and young people don't choose this lifestyle; in fact, most of the girls in prostitution are seeking acceptance and love!
This book will make you think and cry but my prayer is that we will go well beyond those emotions and put actions behind our prayers.  Hope IS NOT lost!
Thanks to Susan Norris for writing about an unsavory topic that needs to be addressed.
For more information on Rescuing Hope, please visit Susan’s website. You can also find Susan on Facebook (Susan Norris Author) and Twitter (SusanCNorris).
*This book was provided for review by Glass Road PR*
  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475966237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475966237

Monday, April 15, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Staff Titles

Clash of the Titles adores featuring new releases from Christian authors all over the world, but we'd be remiss to forget the authors on our very own doorstep. COTT is run by a bevy of talented writers--several of whom are published. In fact, in the last year alone, COTT staff has celebrated the release of no less than seven novels!

And here they are...

A miracle of love lurks within the branches of a solitary aspen tree. 

School teacher Judy Winters sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her only living relative’s murder.


Her past isn't pretty, but it can't be changed. Will it destroy any possibility of a future with the man she loves? 

Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common?


Simon Hale finds the reclusive Rosetta both beautiful and intriguing, but when she seeks out the truth behind Shadow Bay Hall’s unexplained happenings, he is torn between hope for the future and his need to protect a dangerous secret. 

When Ivy Preston roots up her entire life to start over in Apple Grove at the urging of her cat-loving friend, the mayor, and meets the love of her life, True Thompson, can their romance survive the sudden rise in crime?


She needs a temporary husband. He wants a forever love. Can even Solomon's Gate find a way to join these two hearts?