Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Thoughts: Who doesn't love weddings?  And when Rachel Hauck pens a story about a wedding one knows it will be a great read.  Plus the book covers are so beautiful!  Makes one just want to delve into the story!
The Wedding Shop is "back and forth" story about Haley and Cora.  Their stories are intertwined thought out 80 years and they both revolve around a wedding dress.
Haley is a somewhat tired.worn out young woman just out of the Air Force.  So, when she heads home to Heart's Bend, TN she decides to reopen the wedding shop.  Now the shop is worn out and in need of repairs somewhat like Haley.  
The stories of Cora's romantic relationships and Haley's romantic relationships are somewhat "paralleled" in this story...that is the back and forth of the story.
I, aslo, like this story because my name is in it...Tammy is the best friend of Haley and together they had a dream.
A sweet story with lots of romance and dreams!

*This book was provided for review by The Thomas Nelson Street Team*

In case you missed the first two books:

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031034154X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341543

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Hope Unseen (Escape to the West, Book 2) by Nerys Leigh

It may be there are some things even true love can't overcome.

Sara Worthing is determined that she'll only marry for love, even if it means becoming a mail order 
bride and moving all the way across America to find it. When she finally meets farmer Daniel Raine, 
she has no doubt she's made the right choice. Daniel is everything he was in his letters and more. 
Kind, strong, caring, impossibly handsome, and his deepest desire is for a wife and family to love.
 He's everything Sara has been dreaming of.

Until the accident.

When Daniel suffers a terrible injury that throws all his careful plans into doubt, he 
sinks into despair, pushing both God and his new wife away. As her dreams fall apart, a man 
Sara met on the train repeatedly turns up at the farm insisting her husband has failed her and 
only he can keep her safe. And he seems unable to take no for an answer.

A Hope Unseen is the second book in the Christian historical romance series Escape to the West. 
All the novels cover the same period of time and can be read on their own, but hints as to what 
is happening in the other books of the series do come into each story. For maximum 
enjoyment and minimum spoilers, it's best to read the series in order!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The Dog Who Was There

Book Description:  No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.

Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

My Thoughts:  First of all this story begins VERY slowly, I guess to build up to some sort of action.  Secondly, and this may just be me, but I had a real problem with a dog telling/feeling a story about the love of our Savior.  

As much as I like dogs I'm just not sure that a dog can understand how great the love and sacrifice of our Savior was for us, humans. 

This was just not my kind.of story.  Too many "issues" for me.  

And I'm pretty liberal with my praise for books...authors take a lot of time and energy to tell great stories.  Unfortunately, this just isn't one of them.

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

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 31, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071808392X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083922

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Love this recipe from Southern Living!  
This is one of the BEST breads I've ever made or eaten!  
It's more of a dessert...a moist, tasty pound cake! 


  •  1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
  • (8-oz.) container sour cream 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • large eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb.) 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended.
  3. 3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter.
  4. 4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
  5. 5. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).
  6. Note: To freeze, cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble

Book Description:  Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.
When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.
Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.
To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.
But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?

My Thoughts:  Anytime Colleen Coble writes a new story I grab it.  She is one of my to.go.authors. 

As I began reading Because You're Mine I was immediately immersed in the story of Alanna and her unborn child.  

Alanna has not had the best of luck.  So, when her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour.... it seems that her life will not get better.  Poor Alanna!  It seems that life goes from bad to worse.  But there is always hope and Alanna holds on to life and hope for herself and her unborn child.  An interesting part of this story for me was the strong bond that a mother has for her child even her unborn child. And all that she will do to protect her child.

There are twist and turns in this spellbinding read!  

Of course, there are a couple of characters in this read that seem all to real and not likable at all.  But in true "Colleen Coble fashion" the twists come when the reader least expects them.

This is one of those reads that the mystery/suspense reader will not want to miss! 💕

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild/Thomas Nelson*

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (January 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083809

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Amish Home: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid

My Thoughts:  I love novellas!  This book has four short stories of what is takes to make an Amish home.  
The first story, A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman, is about Sarah Lantz who dreams of having the perfect husband, the perfect family, and the perfect home.  She feels that she is going to achieve this perfect life when she marries Abram.  And then that one fateful day changes "perfect" when Sarah becomes confined to a wheel chair.  Her cup seems half full.  A sweet story of how life changes can become blessings in disguise.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston is about a couple who is down on their luck, Chace and Mia O'Connor lose their nice apartment with all of its modern conveniences when they simply don't have enough money.  But Chace's Amish boss offers him the daadihaus when he learns of their predicament.  The young couple is not thrilled with the idea of living in a rustic hut. 😊 This is their story of love and learning the Amish way.
Kathleen Fuller writes a somewhat funny story about Faith Miller an Amish builder in Building Faith.  Carpentry is not exactly lady like nor is it what most Amish young women are doing.  But Faith loves to build with her hands and she is great at  it!  When Faith is asked by her cousin to build new cabinets in her home Faith is ready until she learns that she'll be working along side her ex-finacee, Silas. Oh.what.a.story!   
And then Ruth Reid writes about A Flicker of Hope for a married couple.
Thomas and Noreen King were all in love and happy until the trails of life began to pound on their doorstep.  At each pound came the crumbling of the heart.  Soon they feel that there is no hope for their love and then their home is burned to the ground.  As they search the rubble for belongings that may have survived they see a rich history to their love.  An unusual but thought provoking love story.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529118696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118691

An Uncommon Protector (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Book Description:  Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.
The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.
When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.
Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.
But when cattle start dying and Laurel’s life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom—he needs her love and care too.

My Thoughts:  It's been awhile since I've read a book by Shelley Shepard Gray.  So, I was quite excited to receive this new book.

Poor Laurel Tracey. . . both her brother and her father have died in battle and then her mother dies soon after.  Laurel is left trying to hold on to the family ranch.  And it's not a small ranch...two hundred acres!  But Laurel is tough and no one is going to take what is hers.  She's gutsy too!

Then to top it all off she discovers that squatters are living in the north pasture and are not leaving!  (shame on them!)

Laurel doesn't have much cash but by "accident" she learns of a former soldier, Thomas Baker, sho has landed himself in  a heap o' trouble.  Laurel decides to use the last of her cash to get him out of jail.

Thomas thinks Laurel is so pretty and strong.  Anyway, he owes her so he has decided not to get attached to her but to work hard and pay her back for helping him.

But then Laurel's cattle begin to die and her life is threatened. So, together Laurel and Thomas work hard to save the ranch and Thomas looks after Laurel.

I loved this historical novel, the second one in the Lone Star Hero's series.  And you don't have to live in Texas to love this story!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A Lone Star Hero's Love Story
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310345421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310345428