Monday, July 31, 2017

The Captivating Lady Charlotte (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) by Carolyn Miller

Book Description:  Her heart is her own―but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.
William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? 

My Thoughts:  I rarely read a Regency romance simply because most of the time they are filled with unholy romance.  But I simply loved the cover of this book and since Carolyn Miller is the author...she also wrote The Elusive Miss Ellison which was a great story.
And now she has written The Captivating Lady Charlotte.  Lady Charlotte Fearthington has all the men on edge. . . she is the catch of the season.  Whom will she choose?
Charlotte has one thing and one thing only at the top of her marriage list-LOVE!💜
But her father not only has someone picked out for her but the man on her father's list is as dull as dishwater.  UGH!  Poor Charlotte!
Then Charlotte meets the handsome and widowed Duke William Hartwell.
The Duke has some baggage of his own.  His poor departed wife was not the woman he had hoped for in a wife.  He feels betrayed and hurt.  And even though he is drawn to Charlotte he has no idea how to win her heart, especially with his own heart in pieces.
This is a fantastic story.  Clean and wholesome romance and an interesting story line.  

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

Meet the Author:

  • Series: Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (June 27, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825444519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825444517

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

{Fiction Guild} Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden

Book Description:  When globetrotting photographer Magdalena Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she risks her stellar career to care for his widow and young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. 
Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie adores her life of travel and adventure. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.
When Marco drowns in a kayaking accident, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island. Once there she discovers that Marco was hiding something that could destroy his family. As fragile, perfectionistic Lena slowly falls apart, Maggie tries to provide stability for Marco and Lena’s three young children.
When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she thinks she’s found the answer to their problems. Then Lena makes a choice with unexpected and devastating consequences, forcing Maggie to grapple with an agonizing decision. Does she sacrifice the golden opportunity of her career or abandon the Firellis just when they need her the most?
Gradually the island begins to work its magic. A century-old ritual to beckon loved ones home offers hope in the midst of sorrow. And a guilt-ridden yet compelling stranger hiding on the island may offer Maggie a second chance at love, but only if she can relinquish the past and move forward to find joy in unexpected places.

My Thoughts:  Rachel Linden writes a most unusual story of love lost, love regained.  However, love is not regained in the fashion that most of us would assume.  
Magdalena (Maggie) Henry loves Marco but Marco meets Lena.  Marco loves Lena.  they marry and have three children.  This is not the end but the beginning of the most unusual story.
Then Lena makes a choice and Maggie must decide if she can/will help Marco's children.
This story takes place on the San Juan Island and the author does an beautiful job of describing the beauty of the island.
This was a fast read for me because the suspense kept me turning page after page.  
This story is classified as  christian genre but there is little mention of God and none of Jesus.  There is some superstition.   So if the reader can is looking for a clean, wholesome read then this is a good one.
A nice debut novel with a most interesting ending.

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

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 20, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718095731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718095734

The New American Heart Association Cookbook

Book Description:  Here is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to improve cardiac health and lose weight, offering 800 recipes--100 all new, 150 refreshed--that cut saturated fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association's cornerstone cookbook has sold more than three million copies and it's now fully updated and expanded to reflect the association's latest guidelines as well as current tastes, with a fresh focus on quick and easy. This invaluable, one-stop-shopping resource -- including updated heart-health information, strategies and tips for meal planning, shopping, and cooking healthfully -- by the most recognized and respected name in heart health is certain to become a staple in American kitchens.

My Thoughts:  I'm always on the lookout for great cookbooks and now that my husband and I are trying to eat more healthy I thought this cookbook might help us add healthy food to our diet intake.
There are ALOT of recipes...more than 100!  So the possibilities for good food are endless.
The slow cooker recipes look great.  I tried Italian Wedding Soup on page 109.  It was delicious.  A nice Italian flair to our menu.
What I love about this cookbook is that the ingredients are food stuffs that one probably has in one's kitchen cabinet.  All the recipes are fairly simple and easy.
What I didn't like about this cookbook is that there are no pictures of the food.  I like pictures especially after a dish is prepared.  But I can see how adding pictures to this cookbook would make it bigger than the average dictionary.😋
This is a wonderful tool for any kitchen and for those of us who are trying to be heart healthy there are tons of choices so that we need feel deprived.

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

  • Series: American Heart Association
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 9 Rev Upd edition (June 20, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553447181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553447187

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

I found this great and quick recipe on Pinterest 
for those times I NEED a quick cookie fix:


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Promise of Breeze Hill (A Natchez Trace Novel) by Pam Hillman

Book Description:  Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.
The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

My Thoughts: This is quite a story set in the south during the  1700's after the American Revolution.  
This is a story of unlikely suitors.  
Connor O'Shea in desperation becomes an indentured carpenter to set sail out of Ireland.  As luck would have it, he is sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill.
Isabella is running Breeze Hill almost in desperation much like Connor she fears the worse but tries to make the best out of her dire circumstances.
Isabella with Connor's help is trying to save her family's plantation but her very wealthy neighbor has influence and he wants to marry Isabella.  
Isabella likes Connor.  He is quite handsome.  
This is the story of not just survival but of love and how one can overcome.  
This interesting story takes us to a place and time that few think about now.  But, yet, it is a vital piece of our history.  
The author did a great job in writing this historical novel.

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

Meet the Author
CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of.

  • Series: A Natchez Trace Novel
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 8, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496415922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496415929

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Second Chance Brides Collection: Nine Historical Romances Offer New Hope for Love

Book Description:  Meet nine women who each believe their chance for lifelong love has passed them by. From the girls who lost their beaus to war, to the wallflowers overshadowed by others, and the widows deeply hurt by their loss, the desire to love and be loved spans American history from 1777 to 1944. Experience the sweet pull of romance on each life and the blossom of faith that leads them to brighter futures.

AUTHORS:  Lauralee Bliss, Angela Breidenbach, Ramona K. Cecil, Pamela Griffin, Grace Hitchcock, Pam Hillman,Laura V. Hilton, Tiffany Amber Stockton, Liz Tolsma

Paperback, 448 pages 
Expected publication August 1st 2017 
ISBN1683222466 (ISBN13: 981683222460)
Series: Barbour Bride Collections

Friday, July 21, 2017

Amish Cooking Class - The Blessing by Wanda E. Brustetter

Book Description:  Despite stressful changes occurring in their lives, Lyle and Heidi once again open their Ohio home up to those seeking to learn about Amish cooking. This time a teenager helping her divorced dad cook for the family, a caterer needing new recipes, a food critic, a hunter looking to impress his buddies, a wife given the class as an unwanted gift, and a mailman lured in by the aroma of good cooking gather around Heidi’s table.
During each class, Heidi teaches culinary skills, but it is her words of wisdom that have a profound effect on her students—though, this time Heidi’s own hurting heart will need some healing nourishment.

My Thoughts:  Wanda Brustetter is one of my favorite authors.  And the Amish Cooking Class books are so much fun to read.
This book, The Blessing, is the second book in the Amish Cooking Class.  The Seekers is the first book but I don't think you need to read one to understand the other.
As it turns out Lyle and Heidi once again decide to have cooking classes in their home.  Cooking classes seem to quite popular with the Englischers, do we English not cook?  Anyway, six people sign up:  a teen who wants to help her divorced dad, a caterer, a food critic, a hunter, a wife who didn't want this cooking class as a gift, and a mailman.
The funniest one of the group to me is the mailman.  He signed up for the class simply because of the aromas coming from Heidi's kitchen.  😊
Heidi teaches the classes but as she teaches she also incorporated words of wisdom.  These words of widest help nourish hungry souls and hearts just as her food helps nourish the body.
And the blessing!  O the blessing!  I won't tell you, you must read it for yourself.
I loved this book!  And I, too, wanted to be apart of Heidi's cooking class!

*This book was provided for review by Barbour*

  • Series: Amish Cooking Class (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624167454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624167454

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

I found this wonderful recipe on Pinterest.
Easy cinnamon waffles made with 
Pillsbury cinnabon rolls.


can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
cup powdered sugar
tablespoons milk
teaspoon vanilla

    • Directions: 

    • Heat waffle maker; spray with cooking spray. Remove cinnamon rolls from can; set icing aside.
      • For each waffle, place 1 cinnamon roll in center of waffle maker; close. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until waffle is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
    • Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together reserved icing, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth.
    • Serve glaze over hot waffles.  
    These are also delicious served with real maple syrup instead of the cream cheese glaze. Add some toasted pecans for extra crunch.

  • ***Be sure to spray the waffle iron in between each waffle. The sugar from the cinnamon roll can make the waffles stick.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Gladden the Heart (Amish Turns of Time, Book 5) by Olivia Newport

Book Description:  When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna's intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith..  Now they must grapple with whether love is possible...even if they come to different conclusions.

My Thoughts:  Olivia Newport is a brand new author for me.  So I was quite interested in reading this novel.  What I didn't realize ohs that this is the fifth book in Amish Turns of Time.  Each book is a sand alone even though it's about a community of Amish believers.
First of all this story is about the Amish and the second interesting part of the story is about the camp meetings that were popping up around the country in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  
I never thought about the Amish being interested in camp meetings because they have their own faith and meet for church at each other's houses.
This story also begs the question "What is really the spirit of God?"
Is this revivalism with the Holy Ghost a true work? Or is it a man made gimmick.
Such an interesting read!  
Olivia Newport truly hit on a subject that could cause controversy in any religious group but the Amish!  
The story of Susanna, Noah and Adam is all about a controversy that can break up couples and families.  
So what does God require and is He in the works of man?

*This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing*

More in the Amish Turns of Time Series:
Wonderful Lonesome
Meek and Mild
Brightest and Best
Hope in the Land

  • Series: Amish Turns of Time (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (July 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683221109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683221104

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery) by Deb Richardson-Moore

Book Description:  A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road--an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.
Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.
Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn't there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.
This second installment in the author's first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets--both of which the author knows well.

My Thoughts: Yay! Another Branigan Powers Mystery!  This is the second book in the series.  And I do love these mysteries!  These are superb cozy mysteries. 

After a fatal crash when two college girls are headed home for the holidays, the one surviving girl awakens and relates that a 1950's hearse tried to push them off the road.

When reporter Branigan Powers hears this news she is on the case.  

Branigan takes off to the college campus where she actually fits into the college scene. But things are not always as they seem.  

Branigan asks Malachi Martin, a homeless man, who sees more than most to go to the accident site and help her "see" what others are missing.  With the clock ticking towards doom, Branigan and Malachi form an awesome duo to get to the bottom of the hearse mystery.

This is an interesting story of Branigan's life in the newsroom and Malachi's life on the streets. 

This was quite a mystery.  I truly enjoyed the mystery and the author wrote a great story so I couldn't understand why this same author who says she is a pastor would write that alot of the characters drank alcohol and at the beginning of the story she described a man as having a stick in his butt.  O.My.Lanta!  Why not just write he walked ramrod straight?!?!  I simply get tired of authors/people not using good descriptive words.  We have wonderful adjectives and adverbs at our disposal there is no excuse for "ugly" talk.  *Otherwise I enjoyed the storyline*

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

  • Series: A Branigan Powers Mystery
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction (June 27, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782642404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782642404

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze

Book Description:  Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.
Is it possible to marry the wrong man?
When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .

My Thoughts:  This story/series reminds me of the Love Finds You books that came out a few years ago.
Anyway with that said, I was pleasantly surprised at how humorous this story turned out.
Rebecca Rice is a mail-order bride and is looking forward to slow pleasant life as a shop keeper's wife.
So when she arrives and this handsome, strong man greet her.  Off the couple go to be married by the Justice of the Peace.
But when they are being married Rebecca hears the justice of the peace pronounce her intended's name asThaddeus and not Theodore.  But she shakes it off as wedding jitters.
Ahhh....then later the couple comes to realize that they both have similar names as the people they were to meet up with.  Well, Rebecca sets out to get an annulment from this lawman.  She does not want to marry a lawman like her father.  She just wants a nice quiet life and Mr. Fordham (Theodore) wants to marry pretty Rebecca.
Oh, what fun!  Oh, what a mess!  Oh, what is love!
What we think we don't want is sometimes exactly what we need.
This was a cute, fun read!  

*This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing*

  • Series: My Heart Belongs
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (May 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683220110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683220114