Thursday, May 31, 2012

GlassRoad Blog Tour . . .after all {A Hanover Falls Novel} by Deborah Raney

Book Description:  Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal.
But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave.
A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been.
For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?
Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters
Who lost their lives that awful November night.
Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy?
As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.
My Review: After reading Forever and Forever After the first two books in the Hanover Falls collection I was ready to find out what was in store for Susan in after all.  Even though this is a "series" each read is a book stand alone about individual  women with firefighting/rescue husbands.  Through the trials they "share" and how God helps them to overcome in their deepest time of sorrow and grief.
Now in after all Susan's husband, David, has died in the line of duty  along with four of his co-workers.  
Interestingly enough, David had a woman as his best friend and a secret. But as life goes secrets have a way of staying with the mortal and not dying.  Susan wants, no needs, to resume her "normal" life.  Her sons need a living parent.
When a tragedy happens and one mate is left behind while the other goes onto their heavenly reward how does the living mate go and and forgive the one they loved?  Susan may be living but did she really lose her life, too?
The mystery of the fire that caused the demise of David and his fellow fighters is moving.  
There's more than just firefighters at work this read has fireworks, too!  Romance at its best!
A great summer read with mystery, romance and faith!
*This book was provided for review by GlassRoad PR*
Meet the Author:
I went from full-time stay-at-home mom for 20 years to pretty much full-time author. My passion is my family-my husband and I have been married for 37 years and have four kids, and four darling grandkids! But since, if a mom does her job right, she eventually puts herself OUT of a job, I'm delighted to have the privilege of working as a novelist. I absolutely love the writing life.
Probably the most exciting event in my writing life so far was when my first novel was made into a film by World Wide Pictures. Certainly a dream come true! I believe writing is a calling from God on my life-one I've felt since I was a twelve-year-old girl-and I feel blessed beyond words to have answered that call.Believe it or not, my first choice of activities for the evening is READING-a great novel, of course! As much as I enjoy the actual process of writing, I am an extrovert by nature, and doubt I'd last long in this business were it not for the company of several wonderful online writers' groups, the joy of connecting with other authors at retreats and conventions, and meeting aspiring writers when I teach at conferences around the country.Paperback: 368 pagesPublisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
I've had a couple of non-fiction books published and contributed to some anthologies, as well as writing magazine articles. But my first love is fiction. I have written more than 25 novels and am now working on a new book for Howard/Simon & Schuster. A typical writing day begins early-often before 6 a.m.-with the business side of things: answering e-mail and reader mail, updating my Web site, reading for research. We're new empty-nesters so our routine is much quieter than it was when we had four kids at home. When my writing time begins, I have a routine that sets the stage, starting with lighting scented candles, choosing mood music on Pandora, and brewing a pot of coffee. Lately I've been enjoying coffee our son sent me from Germany. I have a cozy office that looks out over our front yard where I can watch for the UPS man and the mailman. But since I write on a laptop, I often take my computer to the kitchen counter or a chair by the fireplace, or, if the weather is nice, out on the deck where my feline friend keeps me company. I try to wrap up the day's words (usually 1000-1500 a day) by dinnertime.

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599951

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Twice Baked Potatoes

We love potatoes!  And these twice baked potatoes from the Food Network are fabulous!


  • Canola spray
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 1/2 cup green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 slices good quality bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 1/4 cups cheddar, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a small casserole dish by spraying with canola spray.
Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook on medium, turning once, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.
Cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes. Scoop out the insides and place into a medium bowl. Add the green onions and mash together. Add the garlic, bacon, 1 cups cheese, salt, pepper and sour cream. Mix together well.
Nestle the hollowed out potatoes in the prepared dish. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place the potatoes into the oven and cook, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

COTT...Clash of Titles

The winner of our April New Releases Clash is:
The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition by Sharon Hinck
A hearty congratulations to Sharon!
And a special thank-you to the following authors for being part of this fun week:
Susan Page Davis, author of Cowgirl Trail
DiAnn Mills, author of The Chase
Kate Lloyd, author of Leaving Lancaster
Nancy Herriman, author of The Irish Healer
ABOUT The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:
Book two in the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric series, The Restorer’s Son won a Carol Award for speculative fiction.
Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake. All signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them and threatens their son. A target of assassins and more political intrigue, false leads and near misses beset their path, which leads them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.
Cast out by those he trusts, the new reluctant Restorer prefers to cross swords with the One rather than submit to His will. Pursued by his calling, he journeys to Sidian, where he finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.
*Have read the other books & the original editions & Sharon is a master story-teller…humorous, poignant, deep & lyrical! A must-read!
*I love and am impressed and inspired by everything you write, Sharon. God’s blessings daily.
*I LOVED The Restorer! One of my all-time favorite books because it made me love Jesus more.
*I love, love, love The Restorer’s Son. If you haven’t read it, you should. (Make sure to look for the Expanded Edition to get extras.)
*Sharon is a wonderful wordsmith whose creative writing is experience validated. Can’t wait to dig into this one.
*To be read? Maybe to be re-read… for the sixth time. I’m in love with The Sword of Lyric trilogy, and the extended releases are the perfect excuse to tell everyone I know about these books. The Restorer’s Son is one of the most powerful fiction titles I’ve ever read, and it will be on my to-(re)read list for many years to come.
ABOUT the author, Sharon Hinck:
Sharon writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include contemporary fiction such as The Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series which includes The Restorer’s Son–Expanded Edition. She’s been a Christy finalist and won three Carol awards.
Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves interacting with visitors at her website and blog:
Q. Besides an entertaining read, what do you hope people experience in The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition?
A. My hope is that readers will catch glimpses of the way the One speaks to each of us in the language we understand, and that we can go to Him with our difficult questions. For those who are walking very painful roads, I hope the story will help them feel acknowledged. The journey is hard, heroic, and sometimes frightening. But we are never alone.
Q. What was it like developing new material for this new
A. Books are like children. I treasure each of them in
different ways, and among the novels I’ve written, I try not to have favorites.
However, I confess that The Restorer’s Son has an extra special place in my heart. Because of that, it was fun to revisit the characters and world of this story. Kieran’s attitudes were loosely inspired by a verse in Judges where Gideon is told God will use him to save his people. Gideon’s response is basically, “If God is for us, why have all these bad things happened to us?” It’s a question many can relate to, and part of the reason that Kieran is such a beloved character.
The new devotion guide gives readers an opportunity to dig deeper into the Biblical inspirations that helped inform the book, as well as find personal application. About forty pages of new content, including bonus scenes and a new song composed for the book, make this edition a new experience.
Q. Where can we buy the book?
To order The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:
Kindle version:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cleaning House (A Mom's 12-month experiment to rid her home of Youth Entitlement) by Kay Wills Wyma

Book Description:  Is Your Home Out of Order?
 Do your kids think that clean, folded clothes magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? Do you think it’s your job to pave their road to success? As parents, so often we hover, race in to save, and do everything we can for our kids—unintentionally reinforcing their belief that the world revolves around them. When Kay Wyma realized that an attitude of entitlement had crept into her home, this mother of five got some attitude of her own. Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her kids to basic life skills. From making beds to grocery shopping to refinishing a deck chair, the Wyma family experienced for themselves the ways meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others. With irresistible humor and refreshing insights, Kay candidly details the ups and downs of removing her own kids from the center of the universe. The changes that take place in her household will inspire you to launch your own campaign against youth entitlement. As Kay says, “Here’s to seeing what can happen when we tell our kids, ‘I believe in you, and I’m going to prove it by putting you to work.’ "

My Review:  Having only one child I feel that I can keep up with the housework but it dawned on me one day last year that said only child may be a tad spoiled because mama cleans and picks up all the time.  Sure, he has to make his bed and keep his bedroom somewhat orderly but can he fend for himself?  Maybe to some lesser extent.
So, when Kay's book came out I eagerly snatched a copy.  What is the secret to helping that our children so they won't feel entitled to every whim that they seek?
Kay doesn't have a pat answer.  In fact, she gives a straight forward and very honest answer.  Hard work and a lot of love! 
Kay writes with a humorous flair...Task 5, p. 120, "Domestic Dirty Jobs...Introducing Lysol, Tilex, Soft Scrub and the Dreaded Toilet" is probably one of the most enlightening and humorous chapters.  What is it about a toilet that no one wants to clean but yet everyone wants a clean toilet?  I love the quote by Erma Bombeck that Kay uses to begin the chapter "The Rose Bowl is the only bowl that I've ever seen that I didn't have to clean."
Each chapter is chock full of how Kay and her family learned to work together and to clean together.
If you have one or more children living in your home then you need (yes, need) to read this fantastic book.  None of us wants to raise socialistic children who believe that everything should be handed to them with no backbone involved!
*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

Meet the Author:

I'm a mother of five, a recovering enabler, finagler, procrastinator, and charter member of the Women's Auxiliary for the Organizationally-Challenged, doing her best to navigate the road of parenting tween/teens. Along the way, we just might have discovered a few secrets to taming the Youth Entitlement epidemic. Who knew it's in our homes, hiding in the laundry room?... and bathroom... and kitchen, & soup kitchen, and so much more. Come share the experience in "Cleaning House".

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307730670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307730671

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mondays With My Old Pastor by Jose` Luis Navajo

Book Description:  A totally burned-out young preacher reignites his faith and gathers wisdom for life while spending successive Mondays with an eighty-three-year-old pastor.
"Deep inside in some uncertain part of my soul persisted this strange exhaustion that was difficult to explain and hard to endure," writes pastor and author Jose Luis Navajo. Thinking of quitting the ministry, Navajo doesn't know where to turn until he begins meeting with a seasoned man of the cloth-his "old pastor"-who, through successive Monday visits, offers a legacy of wisdom in the form of 15 unique principles. 
In lyrical prose, Navajo shares the personal anecdotes, fables, and deep spiritual insights offered by the old pastor and his wife. By turns funny, heartbreaking, and thought provoking, Mondays with My Old Pastor is a comfort to anyone who struggles in his or her walk with God. As readers follow Navajo's journey from desperation to rejuvenation, they will find themselves similarly transformed and inspired. This moving, beautifully written account is sure to reignite every soul's longing for renewal.

My Review:  After being in the ministry for awhile one gets very tired and  feels not only unappreciated but quite empty...the bottom of the barrel feeling can take hold...this is why reading Mondays with My Old Pastor by Jose Luis Navajo seemed like a must read for me.
This read beings with  a forty six year young preacher who has doubts and some dismay as he thinks of quitting the ministry.  "Sometimes, all we need is a reminder from someone who has walked before us." {from from to book}
This O!SO!Good read is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who are feeling discouraged and weary from traveling the ministry road or for those who simply want to regain their strength in God.  
As I began reading this book, I was encouraged to read that not all people feel that God's house should be a house of entertainment...."Some churches have converted their alters into stages," he denounced, "And that is a real problem.  On stage is where celebrities shine; on an altar is where God's presence comes down.  The two are incompatible; we will have to choose:  human celebrities or godly impact."  
The old pastor has many stories and words of encouragement!  Ironically though, his words aren't just for Mr. Navajo.  His words strike my heart
to live  a life filled with prayer and more humility.  
In my mind as I read this wonderful book I named the old pastor Pastor Solomon...for he gives such wise counsel!
This is a book that all who work for Jesus need to read!  
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson*
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947254

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Ice Cream Dessert

This is the MOST delicious and easy 
dessert for the summer!


  • 19 ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1 cup salted peanuts


  • Cut one ice cream sandwich in half. Place one whole and one half
  • sandwich along a short side of an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. pan.
  • Arrange eight sandwiches in opposite direction in the pan. Spread
  • with half of the whipped topping. Spoon fudge topping by
  • teaspoonfuls onto whipped topping. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup peanuts.
  • Repeat layers with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping
  • and peanuts (pan will be full).
  • Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer 20
  • minutes before serving. Cut into squares. Yield: 15 servings.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the rivers run dry by Sibella Giorello

Book Description:  When a routine case turns deadly, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon finds her career on the rocks and her life at stake. — Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is good at her job, but not as good at bureau politics. As one of the few females on the team, she finds herself in a strange land when she’s transferred from Richmond to drought-stricken Seattle. When a hiker suddenly goes missing and a ransom note arrives, Raleigh realizes there’s no time for transitions. Vowing to find the missing college girl, she must rely on her forensic geology skills to uncover the truth, leaving no stone unturned.

My Review:  Having read the first book and the third book by Sibella I went back and looked up this second book.  So glad I did!
I enjoy all the mysteries that Sibella has written but I really liked the rivers run dry.
Of course, in this second book Raleigh and Jack aren't close friends yet but Raleigh is finding her place among the FBI special agents.
I truly did not know who the prep/kidnapper was in this book until the story was almost finished.  And then, boom, like a bolt of lightning I thought...O!WOW! It's...
This is not so much a mystery read as it is suspense and intrigue.  I love the way the author gently reminds us that God is in control.  Nothing preachy but when Raleigh's New Age minded aunt goes off on her "nothingness"  Raleigh reminds us through the Word that God is on His throne.
I found the title, the rivers run dry, to be descriptive of most  of the lives of the characters  in this book...their lives are shams filled with lies, drugs and deceit but Raleigh keeps plodding on, clue after clue, put down after put down, relying on God to give her strength and knowledge.
This is a fantastic read!

Publisher:  Thomas NelsonISBN-10: 1595545336
Publication Date: 3/3/2009
Pages: 352

Book Type: Paperback