Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Heart's Betrayal (A Journey of the Heart, book 4) by Colleen Coble

Book Description:  Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth:  her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all. 
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.
My Thoughts: This is book 4 in A Journey of the Heart mini books.  A Heart's Betrayal is more about Emmie Crofter and it's a heart breaker of a read. 
Emma finds out the truth about her deceased husband. Turns out he was quite a scoundrel! And what she thought she had inherited does not belong to her.  She is in dire straits.  She decides to go to her dear friend in Wyoming, Sara Montogomery but once there she discovers that she is pregnant and this brings on a whole new set of "problems."  A pregnant woman in this day and time did not have a lot of options and people thought less of her and her child.  But, unfortunately, Emmie thought she was married to a wonderful man but it turns a out her husband was a a low down skunk.  But Emmie must go on.  
All that Emmie had thought about and hoped for seems to slip right through her fingers.
A great read filled with hope and faith.
OF course this is not the end.  There is still book 5, A Heart's Promise. And I can't wait to read how Emmie's life will turn out.
*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Series: A Journey of the Heart (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529103435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529103437

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

I love this salad!  Again, a great Pinterest recipe!
Recipe courtesy of Morton's Steakhouse:
Servings: 4
INGREDIENTS
2 heads iceberg lettuce
¾ cup Bacon Bits
1/4 cup egg, hard-boiled, chopped {I leave out the eggs}
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 1/2 cups Morton's Blue Cheese Dressing (below)


Morton's Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs sour cream
2 tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp Durkee Famous Sauce*
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3.5 oz (about 1/4 cups) blue cheese, crumbled


DIRECTIONS FOR DRESSING


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the buttermilk, Durkee sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and whisk again.
2. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the blue cheese. Transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 1 day and up to 4 days.


DIRECTIONS FOR SALAD


1. Remove any wilted outside leaves from lettuce head. Strike bottom of lettuce head on a flat surface to loosen core. Pull core out. Place lettuce head on cutting board and slice from top to bottom. Remove approximately one inch off each side, depending on the size of the head. Slice two 2-inch thick slices from center of head. Repeat with second head.
2. Ladle dressing across wedge so that it runs over one side. In this order sprinkle: bacon bits, chopped egg, chopped tomatoes, and blue cheese over the top of the salad.



*Durkee Famous Sauce is sold in many supermarkets. It's a vinegar-flavored mustard-mayonnaise type of sauce.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

{A "Gotta" Read} The Auschwitz Escape (a novel) by Joel C. Rosenberg

Book Description:  A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz's beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans -- especially Jews like Jacob and his family -- are treated like dogs.
When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare -- trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.

As World War II rages and Hitler begins implementing his "final solution" to systematically and ruthlessly exterminate the Jewish people, Jacob must rely on his wits and a God he's not sure he believes in to somehow escape from Auschwitz and alert the world to the Nazi's atrocities before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.


My Thoughts:  Joel C. Rosenberg writes with a death defying description that left this reader gasping for breath and a rapidly beating heart.  
The scenes, the senselessness of it.all, the hope, the courage and the escape!  Oh!what!a!read!  
Reading about WWII is a passion of mine but when an author like Mr. Rosenberg writes a novel that feels so real, that feels like it took place yesterday, and when the events seem as if they could be happening right now, in this very country....well, the reader may, just as I did, gently close the book, take a deep breath and timidly open the pages again to read about Jacob.  
Ah!  This was not an "easy" read for me.  Breath taking, heart pounding, mind boggling...how could people...how could one man {Hitler} be so cruel!??!  Why would people follow a mad man?!?! How do these atrocities come to pass?!?!?  
At times it was hard to read but yet, hard not to read!  Wanting to know what was going to happen but barely daring to breathe...now that's a book that begs to be read by all!
What a read!

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414336241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414336244




Monday, May 23, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

And the Laurel Winner Is....



2016 LAUREL AWARD WINNER

Author Delia Latham's novel 
~At First Sight~
is the winner of Clash of the Titles's sixth annual Laurel Award.



CONGRATULATIONS, DELIA!

Delia will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, At First Sight; a feature tour on COTT's Blog Alliance; and a lovely plaque.

At First Sight was chosen by a panel of judges who narrowed the list of competing novels to three. From there, the panel put their choices to a straight vote. Delia's novel, At First Sight, took home the crown.

Special thanks to each of our judges who volunteered their time to this contest!

BRIEF SUMMARY OF At First Sight
Reagan Massey has gone through a great deal of trouble to make her cousin irresistible to the visiting single minister but things get a little sticky when Reagan falls in love with Cord Phillips herself…



Stay tuned for the full-length feature of Delia's winning novel, At First Sight!

Friday, May 20, 2016

{Fiction Guild Team Challenge} Dawn at Emberwilde (A Treasures of Surrey Novel) by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Description:  Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.
For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.
The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.
At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.
At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

My Thoughts: Isabel Creston is junior teacher at a girl's school.  And one day she is summoned to the office...she is hoping it is for the job of a governess.  But, no she is summoned to her aunt who lives at Emberwilde.  All of Isabel's family has passed away except for her half sister, Lizzie.
When Lizzie and Isabel go to Emberwilde it is not quite as it seems and their aunt makes over Isabel but it seems that the other aunt knew nothing of their arrival.
There are two suitors for Isabel.  So the romance is somewhat a love triangle until the endish.  
The mystery of it all was quite enthralling.  It was an intricate plot mischief in the first degree.
As Isabel lives at Emberwilde she must go to through Emberwilde Forest to find the the secrets of her past and when she does the secrets come forth and it makes all the difference in her life.
A grandtastic read!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A Treasures of Surrey Novel
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 10, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718011813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718011819

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender (A Medieval Fairy Tale) by Melanie Dickerson

Book Description:  After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

My Thoughts:  I love these "remakes" of the fairy tales by Melanie Dickerson.  This particular story, The Beautiful Pretender, is a mix between Beauty and the Beast and the Princess and the Pea.  By coincidence these two princess stories are two of my favorite fairy tales.
I love the pretend part of Avelina's ruse so that the prince doesn't know her real identity. Adeline has been sent in the place of the princess to be the guest of The Margrave of Thornbeck, whom we met in The Huntress of Thornback Forest, he took over after his brother's death.  However, the prince is drawn to her...she just has that special something about her. But the prince is like the Beast...he is gruff and well, beastly. 
This is a well thought out plot with a lot of character building.
I've enjoyed all of the "fairy tales" that Melanie Dickerson has penned but this story, The Beautiful Pretender, is my all time favorite.  I love the story line.  It's a fantastic tale! It's also a fun and light read.  

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A Medieval Fairy Tale (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 17, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718026284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718026288





WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}


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

Ingredients:

1
can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
1
cup powdered sugar
3
tablespoons milk
1
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.