Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Pumpkin Burgers

This is a GRAND recipe from Taste of Home to celebrate fall!  So Yummy! Pumpkin Burgers!


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 to 8 hamburger buns, split


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the chili sauce, soup, pumpkin, salt, pumpkin pie spice and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until thickened. Serve on buns. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Twice A Bride by Mona Hodgson (The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek)

Book Description:  Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever. 
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows? Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.   With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow? Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns. 

My Thoughts:  Twice A Bride by Mona Hodgson is the fourth and final book in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series.  Having read the first and second books, but somehow missed the third, I was anxious to read this final book.  The first two in this series are stand alone reads and Twice A Bride is also a stand  alone read.  But the fact is, I would recommend reading these books in order.  
Willow Peterson is a young widow who wants to pursue her dream of being an artist.  Of course, this is a historical read and so we know that in the early 19th century it was not easy and at times not practical for a woman to pursue anything but marriage.
Willow takes a job painting portraits with the handsome and debonair, Trenton Van DerVeer.  The romance between Trenton and Willow is slow but takes an unexpected nose dive when Trento's past begins to come to light.  
The Sinclair Sisters and Miss Hattie are another reason why it would be best to read these books in order...the reader may not know the past and how Miss Hattie is so loved by the sisters.
Willow's brother is the Reverend at Cripple Creek.  Willow likes being close to family and her brother also serves as a chaperone/helper.
Heartache, love, sisters, and Miss Hattie!  Miss Hattie really keeps things lively around Cripple Creek!  "...Hattie stirred the pan of scrambled eggs and looked up at the cupboard that housed the can pepper.  A teaspoon of the spice would be plenty to impact Mr. Sinclair..."  (p. 134).
This is a great ending to a great series.  I enjoyed seeing how the other sisters and Miss Hattie were to a family reunion.

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Press*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307730328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307730329

Monday, October 29, 2012

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Sensational September 2012 Releases

For most of us around the country, Fall is in the air. In Southern California we're still seeing temps in the 90s, but hey--I say Autumn is a state of mind. And I'm ready for comfy sofas, hot cider, and a great new book to curl up with. Oh, and chocolate! Maybe a cat purring nearby. George Winston playing in the background. But the main thing I need is the book.

So, I've been searching through the titles released last month, including a long list that YOU guys recommended to me through our survey (thank you very much), and I've come up with a list of FIVE. Now I want to hear from you. Which of these most appeals to you? Which will be highest on your to-be-read pile this month? Take a look at the cover and the summary, then cast your vote. Polls will remain open for one week, closing on Halloween night (oooeeeooo) at midnight PST. (Yep, when I'm the hostess you get a few extra hours to vote because, well, once in a while it only seems fair to go by West Coast time. Right?)

All of the books below captured my attention for one reason or another. I'm sure they'll capture you as well. After voting, I invite you to click over to Amazon and purchase one or more of these puppies!
The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris
Bethany and Josh Harrison are faced with a decision that could cost her life--and the life of their unborn child; Dr. Ben Abrams is lost without a heritage of faith. Can Bethany’s choice save them both?

The Shadow on the Quilt (The Quilt Chronicles) by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Juliana Sutton's life looks perfect-from the outside. Until her husband's untimely death reveals a devastating truth. Will the shadow of her dead husband's name stand between Juliana and Cass, or will Juliana choose a love she never thought possible?

Deadly Additive by Donn Taylor 
Soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge’s rescue of kidnapped journalist Kristin Halvorsen from Colombian guerrillas reveals a hidden threat to the global balance of power. Jeb and Kristin must also learn that virtuous lives without a spiritual dimension remain incomplete.

Restored Heart by Jennifer A. Davids
Anne Kirby and Peter McCord are both determined to hide their pasts. But they soon discover that love – and God – has a way of revealing everything.

Hidden in the Heart by Catherine West
"You existed before you were adopted."
... Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach ...

So there you have it! Please make your selection in the Survey Monkey below. And send your friends to cast their votes as well! (good practice for November, right? lol)
GO HERE! to VOTE on your FAVORITE book!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Marriage of the Heart {Three Amish Novellas} by Kelly Long

Book Description:  Three Stories That Share the Adventures of First Love and Second Chances.
A Perfect Secret—Rose Bender’s betrothed, Luke Lantz, is safe and dependable, maybe a little too much so. Or so she thinks until she sees him in the woods one night and discovers a secret he’s been keeping. Now his secret haunts her. She wasn’t sure about marrying a man she knew too well. But should she marry a man she doesn’t understand at all?
Christmas Cradles—When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers’ quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.
A Marriage of the Heart—Since her mother’s death, Abigail Kauffman has lived alone with her father. She longs to escape the emptiness of the farmhouse that has never felt like home. Joseph Lambert is a newcomer in their close-knit community. Only after suddenly marrying do they begin to understand the tender truths of life-long love.

My Thoughts:  I tend not to read novellas simply because they can be so short and there seems to be no extent of a story line.  But once in a great while, I like a short story that can be read while waiting at the doctor's office or while waiting in that never ending school pick up line.
Kelly Long has written some great Amish novels and these three short stories are fun, light reads!
A Perfect Secret was a little "weird"; in the fact, that an Amish man runs off to be an Englischer.  It was rather difficult to follow the story line on this novella.  I was glad this was a short story.
Next, A Christmas Cradle, was a sweet, loving story.  Anna and Asa have that "perfect" love story that creates a sweet Christmas love story.
Then lastly, A Marriage of the Heart, is a "somewhat" Amish Jane Eyre type short story.  Two hearts that aren't sure but both longing for acceptance and love!
Then at the very back of the book on pages 333-336 are some mouth watering Amish cookie recipes to make and share at your Christmas cookie exchange!
This is a great book for those who love a short story with a good love feeling!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishing*
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401687563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687564

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Apple-Cinnamon Shortcakes

October is Apple Month!  
And this great recipe from Taste of Home is just                       right for a cool evening dessert!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons melted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, combine cream and 1/2 cup butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 2 in. apart onto a greased baking sheet. Brush with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
  • For filling, in a large skillet, melt butter. Add apples; saute until tender. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently split warm shortcakes in half horizontally. Top bottom halves with apple mixture; replace tops. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{Tyndale Blog Tour} Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry

Book Description:  Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an “illegal,” call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

My Thoughts:  Not having read any of Chris Fabry's work I was hesitant, at first, but so glad I took the plunge to delve into this book!
J.D. is one of those guys who feels that all his dreams are washed up and he's in a has been.  His dreams and his soul feel as dry as the Arizona desert.  Until that fateful morning that he finds her.  Her being Maria. A beautiful, young woman who seems to be an illegal.
J.D. has a heart full of compassion for when he finds Maria along the fence line with blood all over her and a handcuff on her dainty wrist, his heart is filled with remorse and compassion.  What is her story?  And most importantly how can he hide a beautiful, young woman when he lives in a tin roof shack on his boss's property.
Finding Maria brings J.D. out of his "common everyday life" and takes him on a journey he's not bound to forget.  
J.D. doesn't know Maria or where she's from so when he sets out to take care of her he doesn't realize the chain of events that will bring him and Maria closer to God. 
Taking Maria in to care for her wounds brings a sinister world of drug lords and killers on their trail.  
A great-tastic suspense thriller that leaves the reader feeling as if he is running though the dry dusty desert of Arizona!
*This book was provided by Tyndale Publishing for review*

Click on picture for Book Trailer for Borders of the Heart!

Four years ago my family and I moved to the desert. I'm not a desert person. But I knew the experience would at some point provide a rich, fertile place to tell a dusty tale.
Borders of the Heart is my nod toward some of the great western writers--Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. It's a love story, a painful story of loss, a mystery, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I hope you enjoy the ride through Tucson and the surrounding area as much as I did.
If you haven't read it yet, Not in the Heart is another riveting, suspenseful, and yet relational story. A mystery within a mystery within an addiction. I dedicate it to all who have someone in their life who is addicted.
I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems, songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.
In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.
My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a couple of awards.
I graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I have been married to Andrea since 1982. We have nine children. In October of 2008, our family evacuated our house in Colorado, leaving behind all our belongings because of a toxic mold situation. Since then we have been living near Tucson, Arizona, working on recovering our health after the mold exposure.

Stop by my website at to learn more about my writing and radio endeavors, and be sure to sign up for my online newsletter, the FABRYGRAM. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can email me at

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Baxter Family Coming Home: A story of undying hope by Karen Kingsbury

Book Description:  Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven't had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God's promise of forever.

My Thoughts:  I love reading stories that Karen Kingsbury has penned.  Some how though I missed the Baxter family series so when a friend told me that Coming Home is a stand a lone read, even though it's about the Baxter family, I thought I'd give it a try....because I've yet to read a "bad" story by Ms. Kingsbury.
First I read the dedication and tears welled up in my eyes.  Because it's so sweet and so true to life for all of us.  And then I began reading chapter one...oh!my! where have the years gone? caught me full in the gut and I knew that this read would be a tear jerker, for sure!
And as I continued reading I was enthralled by the cliff hangers at the end of each chapter...what a way to write!  Kind of like Murder She Wrote leaving you time to wonder what is next.
Now, if you've read all of the Baxter Family series you might not like how all the loose ends come together in this book and how the family reconciles some of the things that were left undone in previous reads.  Not having read any of those books I truly liked this story!  It gave me a feeling of a family that grew together and then the children began to sprout wings of their own.  
*Kleenexes needed for this read.
Well, written and so life like!
*This book was provided by Zondervan for review purposes only*
  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310266246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310266242

Announcing the Olympia Judges!

Clash of the Titles is proud to announce the round three judges for the Olympia Contest!

award-winning author of over 30 books

literary Agent of Macgregor Literary
literary Agent of WordWise Media

Three privileged Olympia finalists will have their work read by the above judges. The winner will receive recognition on our site and a beautiful plaque similar to this one:
The Olympia is currently OPEN for submissions.
If you're an unpublished author, don't miss out on this opportunity to get your work before these industry specialists!

Aspiring authors can visit our submissions guidelines for more information.

Please share the below button on your blog or website to help promote Christian Fiction.

Olympia Button
Href= target="_blank">Olympia Button

Saturday, October 20, 2012


And the winner, 
according to, 
#1, Linda Kish
{Winner has been contacted}

Thursday, October 18, 2012

TANgLed ASHES by Michele Phoenix

Book Description:  When Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye, France, to begin the massive renovation of a Renaissance-era castle, he unearths a dark World War II history few in the village remember. The project that was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.

My Thoughts:  Wow!  This debut novel, TANgLeD ASHES by Michele Phoenix is an incredible read!
First of all, I love to read about World War II and how many people escaped or helped others in their time of need.  TANgLeD ASHES (don't you love the way the title is upper and lower case words to represent tangles?!?!)well, just a side note .... this is a book that deals with a different side of Hitler's plan to bring ALL Aryan peoples into the world to rule and have a "perfect" bloodline.
Now, in the present day Marshall Becker, otherwise known as Beck, has been "suckered" into renovating a massive Renaissance-era castle by his partner, Gary.  When Beck arrives at the train station in Chantilly and is met by Therese Gallet who is to accompany him to the castle in Lamorlaye, Beck is intrigued.  Beck learns that the castle was a Kommandnatur-a Nazi headquarters-during the war.  Lamorlaye and Chantilly were Hitler's calvary's home base.  
Once Beck and Miss Gallet begin to unearth the old castle and renovations begin--odd things begin to happen making Beck come to the realization that someone wants to hide what happened here so many years ago.
Once the story begins chapter three begins with Elise and Marie's story.  How all those years ago smart and gussy Marie pulled a stunt to rescue one child.
From chapter three until the end of the book about every two chapters is the story about what Elise and Marie were going through during the war.
I had heard about the Lebensborn.  It was a place that offered an attractive alternative to a hospital birth to many women, especially single ones. The Lebensborn homes offered unwed mothers a place to go have their baby in secret, in pleasant surroundings, with top-notch pre-natal care. "We were treated like princesses," remarked one girl who brought her baby into the world at one of these homes. About 75 per cent of these girls came from the BDM or the Reich Labour Service. A number of children were born disabled and were dispatched to euthanasia clinics where they were either poisoned or gassed. 
Oh! The sad incidents that came with Hitler's regime!  But oh! the wonderful courage that God wrought in many also!
Mystery, suspense, history and love all wrapped into one fantastic read!
*This book was provided by Handlebar/Tyndale Publishing*
**I was not required to give a positive review...only my thoughts**
Meet the Author:
Born in France to an American mother and a Canadian father, Michele Phoenix is an international writer with multi-cultural sensitivities. A graduate of Wheaton College, she taught writing, music, and theater at the boarding school for missionaries' children she attended in Germany as a teenager. She currently works for Global Outreach Mission as an advocate for Third Culture Kids, helping them transition back into North American culture and educating stateside churches and missions about the special needs of this people group. Michele lives in Wheaton, Illinois. Visit for more information.

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers; Original edition (September 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414368402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414368405