Wednesday, February 1, 2023

What I could Tell You by Liz Tolsma


Book Description:  1941—The pounding of Nazi boots on the streets of Salonika, Greece, reverberates in Mathilda Nissim’s ears, shaking her large community of Sephardic Jews to its core and altering her life forever. If only her people would rise up and resist their captors. At great risk to herself and those around her, she uses the small newspaper she publishes to call them to action, all to no avail. Her husband encourages her to trust God to watch over them, but God has once again deserted His people. Amid the chaos, Mathilda discovers she’s expecting a longed-for child. Still, nothing stops the occupiers’ noose from tightening around their necks, and she may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

2019—College student Tessa Payton and her cousin take a popular DNA heritage test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test reveals Tessa is a Greek Sephardic Jew. This revelation threatens her tenuous faith. Always the overlooked child in her family, she empties her savings account and jets off on a journey to Greece to discover where she belongs and which God demands her allegiance. The enchanting curator at the Jewish museum guides her as she navigates life in Thessaloniki, helps with her genealogical research, and loans her a fascinating journal written by a Jewish woman during WWII. Tessa’s search, however, may open old wounds and uncover long-hidden secrets that could fracture her family forever and leave her with more questions than when she started.
My Thoughts: I love stories about WWII.  However, I'm not  fan of duel timelines.  
But I can see that this story requires a dual timeline for it to make sense.
It's interesting that all her life Tessa thinks she is part of a family until one fateful day she discovers through a DNA test that she isn't really cousins or blood related at all to her cousin.
This brings up all kinds of unanswered questions which then lead to Tessa's discovery about her roots with the Sephardic Jews.  Jews that lived in Greece but were also affected by Hitler's regime.
The more Tessa digs into her family's past the more she discovers.  Some of the discoveries answer her questions like why she does certain things and other discoveries open up a whole new world.
The dual timeline threw me at times so I had to read carefully as not to mix up the characters. Otherwise, it was a wonderful telling of a story.
Such an interesting story!
Loved it and couldn't put it down!
*This book was provided for review by Barbour*

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}.


A very non nutritional Valentine's Treat!

Oreo Bomb Cake:
1. Dip oreos milk
2. Line pan with them
3. Cover in Cool Whip.
4. Layer and repeat.
5. Consume

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Lake Season (A Bluebell Inn Romance) by Denise Hunter

 Book Description:  When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream of turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina, home back into an inn. Staying in town would be temporary—three years at most—then they plan to sell the inn, and Molly can get back to chasing her own dreamAdam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There, he meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter egoMolly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn, she and Adam embark on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets he isn’t ready to share. Past and present collide as truths surface, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

My Thoughts:  After the Christmas rush I was excited to receive this book.  And a romance!  An it's the first book in a whole new series.  Ahh!  relaxing time!
Bluebell, North Carolina and an inn...kind of like a bed and breakfast.  Molly Bennett is trying ever so hard with the help of her siblings to fulfill their parents dream.  But as life would have it, dreams are not always what they seem nor do dreams always come out as expected much to our delight.
Molly and Bennett meet even though Molly isn't quite sure about Adam.  Molly fancies Nathaniel Quinn whom she doesn't realize at first is Adam!  Adam is a writer going by the name Nathaniel Quinn.
What really caught my interest in this romance was the long lost letter that Molly finds in the inn.  the mystery, the secrets that somehow incorporate into both Molly and Adam's lives.
This is a fun story with  lots of romance and bits and pieces of life on a North Carolina Lake.
I loved this story.  So much fun in a few pages.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Psalm 91 for Mothers (God's Shield of Protection for your Children) by Peggy Joyce Ruth & Angela Ruth Schum


Book Description:  A Place of Total Protection for Your Family 


Did you know there is a place in God—a secret place—for those who want to seek refuge? It is a haven of physical safety and security that God tells us about in the Ninety-First Psalm—the one place in the Bible where all of the protection promises of God are brought together.

In Psalm 91 for Mothers Peggy Joyce Ruth guides you through a personal study of this psalm, explaining verse by verse God’s promises of protection, provision, and blessing for your children. Drawing from her personal experience as a mother and grandmother, she covers topics such as:

·          Accessing God’s shelter in times of danger
·          Protection from evils over which we have no control
·          Intervention of God’s angels on your child’s behalf
·          Teaching your child to call on God for protection

My Thoughts: I'm a mom and I long for total protection over my family. But how do I achieve this?  Through prayer and  God's care.  
Reading Psalm 91 is such an encouraging read for Mothers of all ages.
This read begins with the heart rending story of a too worn out mom who left a beautiful baby on top of her car with in an infant seat in the heat of the crazy Dallas traffic.  The author "just" happens to be behind this car and sees the infant carrier atop the car with the sweet little infant inside.  She is afraid for the child and out of urgency screams the name of Jesus four times just as the infant seat propels through the air towards traffic.  
This is quite an amazing story.  *true story*  And the rest of this book is chock full of life lessons and stories of God's amazing mercies and love to His people . . . based on Psalm 91,"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."
I posted the whole of Psalm 91 because the reader must read this verse to understand the book. . . this book is all about 'I will not fear' based on this one Psalm from God's Word.

There's no need to live in terror or fear because when one believes God and His Word, He answers!
A wonderful encouraging read that makes a nice gift for that new mom, too!

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616387343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616387341
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Lightkeeper's Ball (A Mercy Falls Novel) by Colleen Coble


Book Description:  This Mercy Falls novel has romance, mystery, secrets and a bad guy. Coble wows the reader with a fresh storyline. Readers will enjoy peeling back the layers and discovering this is more than your average romance book. The characters are strong not only in themselves but also in their faith. 4 stars. --Romantic Times. Coble spins a tangled web in this third book in the Mercy Falls series (after The Lightkeeper's Bride), with red herrings and oodles of duplicity. -- Publishers Weekly

My Review:  The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble is the third book in the Mercy Falls series.  Although this is a series each book is stand alone read.  
Olivia has strong suspicions that her sister's death is foul play because her sister was deathly afraid of water!  So, why would she commit suicide using water or why would she be swimming?  Olivia decides she will investigate this case herself!  And find the truth of her sister's death.
Olivia's search brings suspense, mystery and romance!  This read also has some great history included in the story---Haley's Comet in 1920, bloomers, and the suffragette cause.
If truth is to prevail then half-truths or omissions can cause trauma.  Olivia finds that omitting truth can cause a good deal of grief!  Olivia is stressed by the omission of truth and it plagues her throughout the story.  A great lesson for us all.
After an attempt on her life, Olivia, is housed in the lighthouse.  Then a storm strikes.  and Olivia decides to have a Lightkeeper's Ball to replace all that was lost in the storm.
This read is full of how our actions and behavior can make or break us in life.  Also, if one of our close relatives passed away would we know that relative well enough to know the truth or fiction of what others tell us about said relative?  
A!  Colleen Coble outdid herself in this third Mercy Falls book!

About the Author:

I'm a reading addict. I'll read anything: cereal boxes, flyers, toilet paper bags. I grew up on Nancy Drew so I still love reading things that have some mystery or suspense in them, but romance is always at the heart of my books.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Controlling Interest by Elizabeth White

 Book Description:  THERE'S TROUBLE IN RIVER CITY Matt Hogan's Memphis detective agency has been on the skids since a recent attack of conscience cost him an important case. When a wealthy investor steps in and saves River City Investigations, Matt thinks all his prayers have been answered—until he finds out that with the investor comes a new partner. Fresh out of criminal justice school and a two-year stint in the Tunica County Sheriff's Department, Natalie Tubberville is out to prove she can cut it in the world of private investigations. But her reluctant partner is just as determined to have nothing to do with her—until Natalie makes him an offer he can’t refuse! If Matt solves the next case before she does, she will return her share of the company. And the race is on. As two strong personalities compete, mutual attraction grows…while a simple case of a runaway bride threatens to become an international incident. Will Matt and Natalie call off the competition—or discover an entirely new arrangement? 

My Review:  Natalie Tubberville is determined to make it on her own without her dad's money.  After her dad buys an Memphis Detective Agency, Natalie is going to prove her investigative skills to all.
Matt Hogan hasn't had much luck with his clients lately.  His last client turned out to be a crook which hurt his pride and his pocketbook.  So, he feels that he has no other alternative than to accept Eddie Tubberville's offer to finance his detective Agency even with the stipulation that Eddie's naive, wanna be daughter is to be his partner.
When Natalie and Matt have their first case together it turns out o be anything but fun!  Their first case, Yasmine Patel, has decided to run her own life and choose the man she will marry and now Yasmine is running for her life! Her fiance wasn't the upstanding man she thought him to be so now she is running scared.  She has asked Natalie and Matt to help her get out of this mess. 
This turns out to be a mess of an escapade for all involved! 
This in a great, fast read!  I love the story line!  Toss in unusual relatives, Yasmine's disappearance and a romance of two individuals. All the characters are well rounded and fun to read about!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

 We love this cake:

Coca-Cola Cake


1/2 cup butter
1 cup Coca-Cola
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
square (1 ounce size) semi sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup Coca Cola (plus 2-3 Tbsp. additional if needed)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate syrup


Place in a sauce pan butter, cola, semi sweet baking square and bring to a boil remove from heat and add marshmallows and stir until all is blended and the marshmallows are disappear. Set aside to cool enough to tepid or room temperature. 

In mixing bowl blend the shortening, oil, vanilla and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and buttermilk and beat until smooth. Mix flour with baking soda, cocoa, baking powder and salt, add half of flour mixture to shortening, egg mixture, and beat. Scrape bowl time to time to clean the sides off so ingredients are blended in batter. Add cooled coca cola mixture and beat. Add remainder of flour and beat until completely smooth about 3 - 4 minutes. Batter will be thick. Place batter into a 13" x 9" x " 2 oiled and floured baking pan. Set pan on top shelf in a preheated 350* F oven for 35 - 40 minutes. Check for completed baking time with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean by sticking in the middle of the cake it is time to come out of the oven and cool. For Frosting: Cream butter, add cocoa, vanilla, Hershey's Syrup, and coca cola, beat until smooth. Add powder sugar a little at a time and beat constantly. Scrape the sides of bowl time to time to get all ingredients into the frosting. If the frosting seams a little dry add a little more coca cola and beat well. Frost warm cake. Serve with natural vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy.