Thursday, August 25, 2016

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Book Description:  When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

My Thoughts:  A brand new author...Catherine West.  Family drama that seems to hold each family member in the depths of its claws...only to come unraveled as they seek the truth!
Lynette only has her twelve year old memories of the tragic day her mother died.  
And then slowly, one by one, her siblings leave their Nantucket home and no one will talk of that fateful day.
Her father is in poor health and then Nicholas Cooper returns.  Her crush from so many years ago!  
It seems that Nicholas knows the truth of her mother's death and yet, no one will acknowledge the truth,
An interesting story line and the importance of family.  Also, it seems to me that the author brings out that keeping secrets helps no one, only brings grief and hinders all.
As Lynette learns, truth brings healing!
Definitely a book to get for your bookshelf.

*This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild of Thomas Nelson Publishing*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718078101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718078102

To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories (A Year of Weddings Novella) by Betsy St. Amant , Katie Ganshert , Becky Wade

Book Description:  They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

My Thoughts:   Ahh, sweet autumn and love are in the air.  And To Have and To Hold is a wonderful book with three novellas to have for those crisp fall days.
The first novella is Love Takes the Cake: A September Wedding Story by Betsy St. Amant.  Charlotte Cantrell is always the baker never the bride.  Then one day Will comes into her bakery and "catches"  her eye.  
Charlotte is a single mom and not sure if Will is the guy.  she really likes him but....
Then she she hired to bake a cake for a wedding and finds out that Will is the best man at this wedding.  
Charlotte is working but would like to have a better relationship with Will.
A sweet love story of letting go and moving on.

The Perfect Arrangement: An October Wedding Story by Katie Ganshert is my favorite of all three novellas. 
I just love the wall flower and how she blooms after meeting her man.  All about flowers and love!

And then there's Love in the Details: A November Wedding Story by Becky Wade.  A cute story of a wedding coordinator and the groom's best friend.
Two people meeting for a wedding, with no intention of building a relationship...only hoping to help.

Weddings are fun and wonderful and in this book one will find three short stories of fun and romance.  

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A Year of Weddings Novella
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (August 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310395933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310395935

Guide Me Home: A Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Description: Working as a guide in Mammoth Cave might allow 

Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.

But will the cave claim more than it gives? 
After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.  
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave. The two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. 

Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight of her past?    

My Thoughts:    Kim Vogel Sawyer drew in at page one with the interesting story of Rebekah Hardin and her job as a guide in the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The descriptions of Mammoth Cave through a tour guides eyes made feel as if I was on that tour.
The story is quite interesting because the Mammoth Cave personnel only want to hire qualified men.  And, well, Rebekah is a young woman.  
However, Rebekah knows the job is for her and she under a disguise and by the name "Reb." 
Rebekah knows that she is good at this job and she also knows that she needs the job to help her family out of their poverty.  
Poor Rebekah!  Her family is quite lost without her beloved brother.
Then Tolly Stanford arrives to map out the cave.  He,too, loves his job.
An interesting story with some twists as Tolly and "Reb" learn to work together but yet are drawn to each other.
A fantabulous historical story!

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

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (August 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731395

Amish Quilts: Giftable Inspiration along with Quilting Tips by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Author), Richard Brunstetter (Author), Rebecca Germany (Compiler)

Book Description:  Enjoy a trip into the Amish quilting tradition through beautiful full-color pictures by Richard Brunstetter. Taken in Amish communities and homes throughout the United States, his pictures offer a visual celebration of the quilting traditions of plain peoples, while author Wanda E. Brunstetter offers her insights into the roles quilts play in family life. Also included are tips for those who want to make their own heirloom quilts.

My Thoughts:   I love quilts! And to be honest I've never received or bought an Amish made quilt.  I buy quilts from chain stores and they are pretty but in this book Amish Quilts:  Giftable Inspiration along with Quilting Tips it's easy to see why people want to buy a homemade quilt hand stitched by an Amish woman...the quilts are fantabulous!
One of my favorites is the "Rose of Sharon" quilt.
In this beautiful, full color book not only are the pictures lovely but on the left page across from the picture of the quilt, there is a verse and then a quilting tip.
On the page of the "I Am the Rose Sharon" picture the following page has the verse from Proverbs 31:13 and the quilting tip is:  To create a warm blanket, substitute a length of wool for the usual polyfill as the middle layer of the quilt.
This is not a huge book, just 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches.  So, it makes a wonderful coffee table book and a GREAT gift for that quilt lover!
What a lovely book!

*This book was provided for review by 
Barbour Publishing and the author*

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1634096746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1634096744

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Cheeseburger soup from Pinterest is oh!so!Yummy!

Cheeseburger Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This soup is insanely delicious! Made with fresh ingredients and topped with shredded cheese, you will make it again and again!
  • ½ pound ground beef (use 1 pound)
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of Velveeta processed cheese cubed (I used 16 ounce)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  1. Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.
  3. Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Birthday to You! By Michelle Medlock Adams (Author), Sandra Rodriguez (Illustrator)

Book Description:  A fun-filled musical book that celebrates the joy of a child's birthday

This musical board book includes all the ingredients that make a birthday special for a child: balloons and presents, cake and candles, and, of course, the birthday song! Follow along throughout a day of celebration, concluding with a good-night prayer, then push the button to hear the melody of Happy Birthday. The book features a photo pocket on the last page to allow for personalization. 

My Thoughts:  Oh.My! What a cute book! I love this book.
It's colorful, it's a board book so it's easy to clean and it plays a song.
The number one song that children love is Happy Birthday.  And that is the song that Happy Birthday to You!  plays.
I was so excited to receive this book because we have a one year old birthday coming up in a few months and she will love this book!
The short story is all about a child's birthday.
And it's a book that the child can keep as a keepsake because on the very back page there is a place to insert a small picture and to write to whom the book is given and from whom the book is a gift.
I love these kind of keepsakes.
Of course, your child may want to play the Happy Birthday song over and over but just remember he will soon out grow this age so enjoy the music.  {Smile}

*This book was provided for review from Worthy Kids*

  • Board book: 16 pages
  • Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals; Brdbk edition (August 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824919823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824919825

Sunday, August 21, 2016

An Amish Harvest: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Amy Clipston, Vannetta Chapman

Book Description:  Faith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn.

My Thoughts: Ahh, another Amish short story/novella book.  With four of my favorite authors!
Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman is the first short story.  Naomi is a recent widow and feels that she'll never find love again.  Until she meets Brock who has been hired for the harvest.  Then when a sinister presence seems to want to hurt Naomi, Brock is there to help Naomi.  A great suspense read!
In the second story Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston we meet Janie who is a cashier at the Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides.  And Jonathan is a buggy driver.  
Jonathan and Janie become good friends but it seems that someone is trying to break them a part.  A daunting accident but Jonathan and Janie work together.  A wonderful story!
Then in Mischief in the Autumn Air by Vannetta Chapman, a mystery that Eli and Martha have to work together to solve.  Excellent story!
The last short story is A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller.  This is a sweet love story between a bookish woman, Dinah, and a simple farmer, Amos.  Both Dinah and Amos have to work in the love relationship department...this is their story.
I loved all the stories!  So fun and a great mixture of love and mysteries!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052911853X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118530