Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

Yay!  It's cookie season!  

I found this yummy cookie recipe just in time for Christmas baking!

       Ingredients:  

    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups quaker quick-cooking oats ( not instant)
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 3/4 cup dried cranberries ( Craisins)

    Directions: 


  1. Preheat Oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine, sugar, brown sugar and butter and mix well.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
  5. Fold in by hand the oatmeal, walnuts, and dried cranberries making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3-inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin

Book Description:  The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, 

filled with the wonder of Christmas

 Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana. 



In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help. 



Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?



In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. 



The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?



My Thoughts:  It's that time of the year again!  Christmas stories!!

And best yet...three stories in on book!  Three great authors pen about WWII and romance at Christmas time.  

In White Christmas Cara Putman writes about Abigail who is trying so very hard to hold.it.all down as she attends college and works part time at a candy shop.  But then a someone with problems bigger than hers comes along and Abigail steps in to help.  A sweet story!
In I'll Be Home for Christmas Sarah Sundin tells about Pete a fighter pilot in the war who meets the cutest most precious little girl.  This cute little girl has a widowed mother whom Pete would gladly like get together with but Pete was once a bully of sorts and the widowed mother isn't so sure about Pete.  This is what Christmas is all about!
Tricia Goyer writes about Meredith or Merry as her friends call her in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Merry is a combat nurse on the from lines in the Netherlands.  Merry and her adventures were like being on the front lines...romance and all. I loved this story simply because my baby sister recently married and moved to the Netherlands....it just hit home with me.
All three stories are novellas...short stories but they are ever.so.interesting and fun to read!  I love them all!  What a grand book! 

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



  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601426488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601426482

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Dream of Home (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel) by Amy Clipston

Book Description:  When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.
Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancĂ© a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.
Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.
But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

My Thoughts:  Amy Clipston pens another great read in A Dream of Home.  This is the third book in a series. I had read book one, A Hopeful Heart but somehow missed book two, A Mother's secret.
Madeleine has moved to Pennsylvania from California to find peace and healing since the unexpected death of her fiancee. For either an Amish or Englisch person this must be quite a culture shock . . .especially for a former Air Force flight nurse . Needless to say,life in Pennsylvania is a little slower, especially since Madeleine is now a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel.
Then she meets Saul, who has an eleven year old daughter....just one problem Saul is single but not a widower!  Saul's wife just up and left and married another man!
This is where it gets interesting!  Saul and Madeleine are attracted to each other and Madeleine begins to grow close to Saul's daughter, Emma, BUT Saul is "divorced" and I wasn't sure how the Amish would rationalize Saul's previous marriage.  And then to boot both Saul and Madeleine seem like to skittish colts since they were both hurt in previous relationships.
Some twists and turns because life never goes quite like we think it will.
I plan on making sure I don't miss the the fourth book, A Simple Prayer.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031033585X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310335856



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

It's fall and apple time...oh!yea!  Here's another great Pinterest recipe!

Caramel Pecan Apple Bars
Ingredients
  • 1 spice cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together cake mix, egg and butter.
  3. Pat into a parchment lined, greased 9×13″ pan.
  4. Peel and chop apples.
  5. Toss with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Sprinkle chopped apples over the cake batter in the pan.
  7. Top with chopped pecans.
  8. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch) by Ruth Logan Herne

My Thoughts:  I read Back In the Saddle so was pleasantly surprised to receive Home on the Range!  
This story is about Nick Stafford and Dr. Elsa Andreas.  
Nick's wife has left him and he decides to go back to the ranch where his family resides.  It seems that Nick's daughters are not coping well and he needs help.
Dr. Elsa Andreas has a tragedy in her past that forced her to leave that practice and she now works in the local school.  Her sister is her biggest fan and has  a lot of faith in her abilities to help others.
When Nick returns and meets Elsa it seems that they are both licking their wounds and trying to find themselves.  Ruth Logan Herne writes a multifaceted story...quite interesting!  
This story is all about facing pride, arrogance and maybe just letting it all go to find God's will and let Him lead in the right path.
A good read!

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

  • Series: Double S Ranch
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601427786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601427786

Monday, November 21, 2016

NKJV, Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson

My Thoughts:  I have been waiting for this Bible!  I love journaling Bibles and I have one but it's not large print. And the words are a bit hard to read because they are small. But this large print makes all the difference!  The words are actually the size they should be for reading.  
This Bible has a beautiful cover but I love the pages that allow one to either write out thoughts or draw/color a thought.  And the Bible is a nice size...not too big and not too small.
I love art journaling!  Not only is it fun and creative but art journaling helps me to remember the verses that I draw/color.
I admit that I don't color all the things I draw.  I'm one of those people who likes to open up my Bible and see clean lines.  If I do color I use a nice not cheap color pencil so that the pages aren't ripped by an uneven pencil tip.  I have found that gel pens are pretty but they do tend to color through the pages and sometimes cause pages to stick together.
Anyway, this is a lovely Bible and makes a wonderful gift for that creative person on your list!

*This Bible was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Hardcover: 2016 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Lrg edition (November 15, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718090918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718090913

A Refuge at Highland Hall: A Novel (Edwardian Brides) by Carrie Turansky

Book Description:  The Great War shakes the world of a spirited young woman and the brave British pilot she loves, taking her from London to her family’s magnificent country estate, and sending him into the war-torn skies over France. 
Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.
Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of  chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war. 
As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?

My Thoughts:  A Refuge at Highland Hall takes place during WWI.  I haven't read very many books about WWI so this book was a nice change of pace. 
Penny Ramsey loves her home Highland Hall but when Britain becomes involved in the war, Penny decides to go to London to help her sister, Kate, with the eight orphaned children that Kate and Jon have taken into their home. 
Penny believes that her dreams and goals will have to wait while she does her part in the war effort.  then she meets Alex Goodwin. 
Alex is a Royal Naval sErvice pilot in training and is determined to prove himself and defend his country in this war.
As life would have it...Penny promises to write Alex while he is on a mission.  Their friendship blossoms.  But so many things happen in war...such as confronting the enemy and war takes a toll on the spirit.
This the story of Penny and Alex.
Carrie Turansky has done a grand job of researching and writing about the Great War.

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

About the Author: 
Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky has written more than a dozen historical and contemporary novels. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award; and been a finalist for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the ACFW Genesis Award. Readers say: "Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn't put it down!" . . . "Touching love story. It captured me from the first page!" . . . "Rich characters, beautifully written . . . my new favorite author."
*** Visit her blog and sign up for her email newsletter at www.Carrie Turansky.com
*** Follow Carrie on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky 
*** Check out her Pinterest Boards: http://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/

  • Series: Edwardian Brides
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601425007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601425003

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}


This is a great dessert for the Thanksgiving holiday or for one of those many get.togethers!

Bakeless Cake

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained
40-50 vanilla wafers
1 8-oz. carton cool whip, thawed
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut (we don't like coconut, so optional)
12-16 maraschino cherries, rinsed

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Mix in pineapple with juice and set aside.

Line the bottom of a small glass baking dish (8x8 or 7x10) with vanilla wafers. Pour all of the pineapple mixture over vanilla wafers then add another layer of vanilla wafers on top of pineapple mixture. Spread cool whip evenly on top of vanilla wafers then sprinkle with coconut. Top with cherries then cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Precious Moments Little Book of God's Love by Thomas Nelson

My Thoughts:  I've always love Precious Moments.  I love the BIG eyes and the sweet smiles!
This is a cute book.  It's also fairly durable for little hands.  It's one of these smallish board books that can be held by small fingers and if those fingers are dirty the book can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth.
In this book, Little Book of God's Love, not only are illustrations cute and sweet but the big words are nice to remind children of God's love for them.
There are poems and prayers for the reader to share with the listener.
I also like this book because the pictures are "gentle" and I can point to an object and the child will name said object.
It such a cute book!
This book also makes a fabulous gift!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Age Range: 3 - 12 years
  • Series: Precious Moments
  • Board book: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Brdbk edition (November 29, 2016)
  • Language: English

The Beginner's Bible Stories About Jesus by Zondervan

My Thoughts:  As a children's church teacher I am always on the look out for good quality children's books.  I thought The Beginner's Bible Stories About Jesus would be a great book to use with our children.
The stories are about Jesus or stories that tell of His life.  The story begins with Jesus' birth and then goes all the way to His life of teaching.  The stories are fairly simple and a beginning reader could read these stories by himself. 
My only complaint about his book are the pictures...even though the colors are nice and bright, there is just something about the way the artist depicts the people.  Maybe it's the eyes.  The eyes of these people seem to set the whole picture off.  The three dimensional art of these pictures is interesting and that could be why the eyes are "different."
It is a nice sized board book so younger children can hold it and read it. 
A nice book!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: The Beginner's Bible
  • Board book: 22 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310756103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310756101


31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs

My Thoughts: This is a lovely hardback book.  I just adore the cover...it brings to mind all the wonderful things God has in store for His people.
Also, Liz Curtis Higgs is a favorite author of mine so I knew her insights/stories would be a great addition to some well known and well loved scriptures.
And, yes, this book is filled with His wonderful promises broken down to read and relish.
There are also hints on how to memorize scripture, each verse ends with a short prayer and then there is room after the typed verse for the reader to write in a different translation. Somewhat like a comparison or a study guide.
This is a great little devotional and just right for a month.  Of course, one should should/could use it month after month to really get the Word into one's heart.
Love the verse that Liz uses.... "How good is a timely word!" (Proverbs 15.23).  
This also makes a wonderful gift!

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

Meet the Author:  

Liz Curtis Higgs admits, "My goal is simple: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon!" 


Her latest release, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, explores the favorite verses chosen by more than a thousand women. It's Good to Be Queen encourages readers to become as bold, gracious, and wise as the queen of Sheba, who journeyed across the desert to test the mind and heart of King Solomon. Liz also offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth in The Girl's Still Got It, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.



And you'll find a heartwarming Bible study wrapped inside a beautiful gift book with The Women of Christmas. Verse by verse, Liz unwraps the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, who each welcome the Christ child into the world in a marvelous and miraculous way. 



In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous--and intriguing--women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew. 



Liz's award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light. 



According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled again and again to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.



Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 35 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.



On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads. 



"I have three abiding passions: encouraging my sisters in Christ, exploring the stories of women in the Bible, and writing novels set in Scotland of old. When I'm not traveling, speaking, or spinning a story, I connect with readers online, take copious photos, read historical novels, watch period films, and immerse myself in research--the more books, the merrier. I'm a lame housekeeper, a marginal cook, and a mediocre gardener, but home is still my favorite place to land."



Visit Liz's Web site: http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com



  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160142891X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601428912
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches

Monday, November 14, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles}



A Noble Masquerade
by Kristi Ann Hunter!

Book Blurb:
Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as he approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become even more complicated. Especially when hidden state secrets and dangerous encounters prove everything isn't exactly as it seems.

Reviews:
4 1/2 stars and Top Pick! from RT
Debut author Hunter pens a fantastic Regency romance. The characters are endearing and their motivations are not always what they might seem on the surface. This air of mystery adds depth to the tale. The romance portrayed is top notch and will cause readers to sigh with delight in the end.

A few words from our voters:

  • Kristi Ann Hunter is a fantastic author!
  • Go, go, go Kristi! Love the cover and the title!
  • Kristi Ann Hunter, i loved this book. great characters and wonderful story line.
  • Kristi Ann Hunter, you rock and your book is awesome! :D



Kristi shared the below information with us, too!

Book News:
An Elegant Facade, the sequel to A Noble Masquerade, is available for paperback pre-order on Amazon.

Book club prize packs are still available for book clubs that select A Noble Masquerade.
http://www.kristiannhunter.com/#!bookclubs/c1gbn


Ongoing Contests:
12 Books, 12 Winners Christian Historical Romance contest. A Noble Masquerade is one of the books that will be given away.
http://dawncrandall.blogspot.com/2015/11/win-one-of-twelve-new-paperback-releases.html?m=0

Caught You Reading Contest where you could win a sneak peek at my next novel.
http://www.kristiannhunter.com/#!contests/calh

Buy Links Available here: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/#!a-noble-masquerade/c190y 

Author Bio:
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

My Thoughts:  I was so excited to receive A Portrait of Emily Price in the mail!  I've had the privilege of reading Katherine Reay's novels....The Bronte Plot, Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy & Jane.  Of course, each of these novels have love and laughter!
A Portrait of Emily Price just made my heart sing.  Sometimes, there is just that one book that makes you laugh and smile.
Emily Price is a fix-it kind.of.girl.  She can fix almost anything but when it comes to love . . . well, not so much.
Soon Emily meets Ben who has come to help his aunt and uncles' restaurant, to bring a little new life to fading place.  When Ben and Emily meet Ben is smitten with Emily.  He tries hard to win her heart and low na behold, he does.  Emily, to everyone's surprise, accepts Ben's proposal.  
So Emily and Ben head to Italy where Emily does not become part of the landscape instead she gets into everyone's business and creates some havoc.  Sometimes one just can't fix.it.all!
A funny and somewhat lighthearted read about differences and acceptance with a lot of grace and mercy interwoven into the pages. And probably my most favorite reads this year!  


*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

About the Author:  
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries -- who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. Katherine’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She is also the writer behind Lizzy & Jane and the The Bronte Plot – all contemporary stories with a bit of "classics" flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, former marketer, avid chocolate consumer and, randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago.


  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718077911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718077914