Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Weight Watchers Blueberry Dump Cake

Another great recipe from Pinterest!  This time a WW dessert. One can have their cobbler and not feel bad about it! 
Weight Watchers Blueberry Dump Cake 
Makes 12 servings
1 1/2 cups pineapples, crushed
2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2-1 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup butter
1 package yellow lemon cake mix
1. Pour the pineapple and berries into a 13×9-inch pan.
2. “Dump” the cake mix (sprinkle) over the berries and pineapple. Melt the stick of butter.
3. Pour over the cake mix.
4. Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 50 minutes, depending on oven, until bubbly.
WW POINTS per serving: 7
Nutritional information per serving: 311 calories, 16g fat, 1.7g fiber

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

{The Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The Memory of You by Catherine West

Book Description:  Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
My Thoughts:  Catherine West is a brand new to me author.  After reading the back of the book I wasn't sure I wanted to read the novel.  Simply because Natalie's twin dies.  I just didn't want a sad story.  
But, lo and behold, curiosity got the best of me and I cracked the cover. And began reading the first page.  That's where the author got me...hook, line and sinker. 😊
As I began reading about Natalie I felt her pain but, yet, I couldn't understand her need to not go back home.  Family is all you have so it seemed to me that Natalie was being somewhat selfish in fleeing from her family.  When someone dies, especially a child, everyone in the family feels the pain.  
Anyway, this turned out not to be a sad story.  In fact, it was fairly modern and moved along well.
The crux of the story seems to be Natalie letting go and finding peace in the death of her twin.  Also, she comes to grip with life "issues."  
A great read!
*This book was provided by the Fiction Guild*
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718078764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718078768

Heart of Ice (A Triple threat Novel) by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

Book Description:  Fans of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club books will find the same friendly crime-solving vibe in Wiehl and Henry's appealing third Triple Threat novel (after Hand of Fate) featuring federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI special agent Nicole Hedges, and Portland, Ore., TV crime reporter Cassidy Shaw. At the Portland Fitness Center, Cassidy joins the boot camp class run by the beautiful instructor Elizabeth Avery, unaware that Elizabeth served time in a juvenile facility for two horrific crimes committed at age 13 when she was known as Sissy Hewsom. The icy sociopath has already had her fellow former inmate, firebug Joey Decicco, burn down the home of Sara McCloud, her gorgeous lawyer boyfriend's money-grubbing ex-wife, and Elizabeth now wants Sara and Sara's small son, Noah, dead. The authors smoothly bring together the various story lines, including a sharp subplot centered on Nic's breast cancer diagnosis. -- Publishers Weekly

My Review:  Lis Wiehl and April Henry have done it again!  A triple threat, triple home run of a read!  Having read Hand of Fate I couldn't wait to read Heart of Ice!
It you're new to the Triple Threat novels then let me introduce you to three friends:  Allison who is a prosecutor, Cassidy the TV news reporter and Nicole (Nic) the FBI agent.
Three close friends who love the Triple Threat Chocolate dessert!  They are once again involved in solving a case of arson and murder.
Then there are the subplots of this wonderful read:  Allison must confront here sister, Lindsay, and her drug addiction. Nicole (Nic) is faced with the possible breast cancer, surgeries and treatments, and Cassidy joins a boot camp class at her fitness center where she meets the instructor, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is the epitome of deviously beautiful.  But people only see the beautiful outside package.  Is Elizabeth a threat or is she merely a pawn in this ugly scheme?!?!
Nicole's courage to face an unbeatable enemy, cancer, is at.times. a real tear jerker!  Going through the process of a possible mastectomy brings the three friends closer.  
Three strong, courageous ladies ready to meet the challenges thrown there way with a little romance to sweeten the day.
Each of the Triple Threat Novels are stand alone reads; however, they are rather addicting when you get to know these ladies and want to follow their lives.  If you enjoy reading mystery/suspense then you'll want to read this book!  

*This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson/BookSneeze*

Monday, April 24, 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner, David Catrow (illustrator)

Book Description:  From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly. 

Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves. 

My Thoughts:  As a book lover I know that books not only make great gifts but they can also open up hearts that may need mending.  With this in mind I remembered seeing this book but wasn't interested in it until a short little person about three years old came to our Nursery Sunday School class at church.  He is in foster care and no matter how much the teacher talked about God, he just wasn't "getting it."
So, when this book popped up on my screen I thought, That's it!  
When I received the sweet book I was so excited to take it to the Nursery Class.  And I did!  
I read it to the class and lo, and behold, that sweet little guy sat there in rapt attention.  Yes, books can hold a child's attention.  He loved that book.  After class I gave him the book to take home.  He smile and lipsed, God loves me.  And that, my friends, is why I love books!  Books talk when we can't.
This is a sweet book and with its rhyming and vivid illustrations the story does hold a child's attention.  
This story is all bout a child finding his place in God's divine world...growing, reading, eating and playing.

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

Pictures from the book (provided by the publisher):

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (February 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429186

Saturday, April 22, 2017

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock

Book Description:  Is Dylan hunting Casey to prosecute her or protect her?
Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist that he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.
As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and just may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail.
My Thoughts:  First of all, I have waited and waited for this book!  😊
Secondly, it is the sequel to If I Run.   And thirdly, if Terri Blackstock has written I novel then I want to read it.
The reader MUST read the first book, If I Run, before reading this book, If I'm Found.  If the reader doesn't read the books in order a lot of the story won't make sense.
With that said . . .
You will remember from If I Run that Casey is running, literally.  But as she runs, hoping to find out the truth and trying to find out who set her up, she stumbles across another mystery.  It seems that wherever Casey runs, she is likely to run into people who are falsely accused.  
And Casey is all about truth.  So she helps those in need.  Even when Dylan is hot on her trail.
I've wondered from the beginning is Dylan trying to help Casey or capture her so he can benefit?
Then there is the heart wrenching abuse of a little girl that has Casey once again in the throes of a precarious situation. And now I'll anxiously wait for book three.  
This is quite a suspenseful read!  But o!so!good!

*This book was provided for review by Fiction Guild*

  • Series: If I Run Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 21, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310332486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310332480