Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Cast of Stones {The Staff & The Sword} by Patrick W. Carr

Book Description:  In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

My Thoughts: Errol Stone is the town drunk, always on the look out for money to get another drink.  So, when he agrees to deliver a letter for the church messenger he doesn't have a clue that this will be life changing errand for him.
Errol and a hermit priest are forced to flee with a band of travelers.  Errol may not be the smartest kid on the block but he does value his life.  And Errol finds that his life does have value.  
The reader must remember that this is christian fantasy . . . so open up your imagination and begin the journey into yesteryear.
This well written story has all the jousting of the Robin Hood era . . . sword fights, devious people, priests, and a king.  All the makings of a great fantasy read!
Then there's the message of redemption.  Never look down on the town drunk for he may be the one God chooses to use for the kingdom!
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*
Meet the Author: 
Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick's day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210433
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dandelions on the Wind: The Quilted Heart Novella One [Kindle Edition] by Mona Hogdson

Book Description:  Tattered relationships and broken hearts, like a quilt, can be pieced together by God’s love.
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household.  But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren. Despite the failing eyesight that caused her suitor to reject her, she can see that Wooly desperately needs to reconnect with the family he abandoned when his grief sent him running toward the army—and into the Civil War. She also senses there could be something more between the widower and herself, if either can move beyond their past hurts.     Comforted and counseled by the wisdom of the women in her beloved quilting circle, Maren begins to discover the cost such decisions demand of her heart. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan? Is it too late for love to be stitched into the fabric of her life?

My Thoughts:  Dandelions on the Wind by Mona Hodgson takes place right after the Civil War a time of unrest and uncertainty for a nation that has seen a lot of tatters and pieces torn a part, somewhat like a quilt.
Maren Jensen is a beautiful young woman who has failing eyesight and is rejected by the groom she thinks she will marry.  She is blessed with a job with Elsa and Gabi helping/taking care of the farm.
When Gabi's father comes home from the war, he is uncertain if he and Gabi can relate.  After all he did run away.
Like the pieces of a tattered old quilt that is transformed so are the lives of those who trust in God.
A well written short story of faith, hope and love!
*This ebook was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*
  • File Size: 1215 KB
  • Print Length: 111 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Copycat Orange Julius

I love an Orange Julius!  
And on Pinterest I found out how easy it is
 to make my own Orange Julius!  YAY! 


  • 1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 to 12 ice cubes


  • In a blender, combine the orange juice, milk, water, sugar and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running add ice cubes, one at a time, through the opening in lid. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-5 servings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SHATTERED {Alaskan Courage, Book 2} by Dani Pettrey

Book Description:  Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

My Thoughts: Piper McKenna is more than happy to see her long lost brother but when he shows up with blood on his hands and a fellow snowboarder is dead!  Piper  Reef, her brother, declares he is innocent and Piper believes him.  
So, Piper decides to go on this investigation by herself.  The only problem with investigating solo is that here isn't anyone to watch your back.
But Deputy Grainger believes in the McKenna clan.  He feels like they're his family but he doesn't want to be prejudiced by feelings.  And, well, Piper is just too cute and spunky for him to be around.
Then the murder investigation becomes complicated.  
Piper and Landon have quite an attraction going!  But both are trying to avoid the attraction to prove that Reef is innocent.
Sometimes "things" just aren't as they seem and life shatters!
Quite a read!  Family ties, friendships, and faith!
This is definitely a great read for mystery/suspense fans.  
*This read was provided for review by Bethany House*

Be sure to check out:
Book 1  {Alaskan Courage}

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209833
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches

Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning {Reflections of Comfort in Heartache} by Alice J. Wisler.

Book Description:  Getting Out of Bed in the Morning motivates readers who are facing grief and loss to get out of bed and face a life which, although diminished by unfathomable sadness, still holds purpose and beauty.
Written in devotional format, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning is a companion for those going through sorrow associated with loss--whether brought to the journey through the death of a loved one, failing health, job loss, broken relationships, or weakened family ties. Losses are real and raw; they often make people want to give up, quit trying. Yet, as readers discover how their circumstances can be used to lift hands to God, and in time reach others, they will see how God can use them to be people of encouragement and find beauty once again in a life worth living.
These forty devotionals address the painful hardships realistically, as well as the doubt, worry, and fear that come with them. The pages are packed with tips on how readers should take care of themselves and draw near to God so that healing is possible. Each devotional includes reflection, prayer, and suggestions for those who want to integrate walks into their daily routine.

My Thoughts:  I decided to read this book not because I'm in grief or heartache but because as a pastor's wife I wanted some "inside" information on how to help people going through grief.
I know that sometimes it's hard for us, who have not known devastating grief, how to comfort or help those going through a rough patch in life.
Now, Alice Wisler has know grief and heartache.  She writes encouraging words with scripture to help those in their time of need.
These book is more like a "grief" devotional with a Prayer, a Reflections to Ponder . . . a very encouraging read!
I especially liked the "devotional" on page 111, No Perfect Life.  Sometimes we see people who seem to have it all . . . "Their marriages are intact; their children are healthy.  They've got good teeth, bosses who value them, gardens filled with flowers, loving friends and savings in the bank. Life seems peaceful and easy for them" (p. 111)
We, incorrectly, assume that these types of people have it.all.together!  But when we look closer and get to know these people we see that they are going through some very human rough patches in life.  Be careful not to look on the outside.  Consider that grief hits every human. If you're struggling with getting out of bed every day then you should begin reading this book before you even consider moving your head off the pillow.
This is a wonderful, encouraging read for everyone.  And it would make a great gift for that person who is struggling with grief, sickness or loss of a loved one.
*This book was provided by Leafwood Publishers for review*
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891124195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891124191
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches

Saturday, March 23, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

We have contestants in all five corners of the ring! 

Welcome to another thrilling contest brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Clash of the Titles. This showdown features books released in February 2013. Each is prepared to duke it out for the top spot in this all-out, no-holds-barred, literary sparring match. (Okay, okay, there are a FEW rules. Like no strikes below the belt, no brass knuckles, no slipping poison into the well water. But you get the idea.)

Below are each of the five contenders, listed in no particular order. Please vote for the one most likely to grace your nightstand first. Click on the images to purchase on Amazon:

Good, Clean, Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery by Traci Hilton  

Living on her own for her first time, Bible school student Jane cleans houses to make ends meet. But being independent brings big trials, like falling for a handsome professor, dealing with an obnoxious roommate, and then there's the dead bodies...


Catherine's Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley

In book three of the McKenna’s Daughters series, Catherine McKenna begins a journey to find her lost sisters that turns into a spiritual journey for the entire McKenna family and leads her to the love of her life.

Wounded Heroes Book Three: Betrayal by Anne Patrick

Army veteran Drew Presley will stop at nothing to find the answers behind his wife's murder.  But will those answers destroy the life he's made for him and his son?

Nothing Good is Free by Matthew Horn  

The last thing Jeff Scott wants is to end up like his vigilante predecessor, Jim, by letting a life of violence and evil get the better of him. So, in a pursuit to find the path less traveled, he seeks the truth about Jim and the life he led before the two joined forces.


Love's Journey Home by Kelly Irvin

Love’s Journey Home is the story of how the families of Bliss Creek’s Amish community learn to be still and listen for the Lord’s direction and then act on faith that His plan will lead them to a long awaited new life.

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What do you think of this month's selection? Have you already gotten your hands on one of these and have something wonderful to share about it? Leave a comment and let us (and the authors) know! We love interacting with readers. It's what we're all about. Hope you enjoy our site. Make it a great day!

Come back next week to find out who will stand victorious.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Significance of Holy Week . . . Deeply Loved

In conjunction with reading Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent I am writing about the significance of Holy Week.  
Holy Week is the last of week of Lent.  So, whether you participate in Lent or not, I think, it's important that all christians "experience the heart of Jesus."  Actually, Keri's book, Deeply Loved, is all about a relationship with Jesus! 
And that brings us to Holy Week: In the Christian calendar Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. During this week we are reminded to reflect upon the meaning of Jesus' death on the cross, an event that took place nearly two millennia ago at a place which still remains the epicenter of religious and political violence today.
Holy Week is meant for study and understanding.  There are many facets to Holy Week. The events that led to the execution of Jesus, and each stage bears a symbolic meaning with a certain phase of the life of Christ.

A quick synopsis of Holy Week:
Palm Sunday: Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem. Crowd proclaims him "King"
Holy Monday: The cleansing of the temple. Jesus frees the animals to be slaughtered.
Holy Tuesday: Outraged Pharisees plot to eliminate Jesus/ Mt. of Olives sermon.
Spy Wednesday: Judas agrees to betray Jesus / tells how to easily capture him.
Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper / Agony in the garden / Jesus is arrested.
Good Friday: The trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.
Holy Saturday / Black Sabbath: The Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the tomb.
Easter Sunday: The 'Resurrection' of Jesus.

Hallelujah!  He IS Risen!  Jesus Loves You! 

You are Deeply Loved!  Reading and studying Keri's devotional helped  increase my faith and helped to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus!

*This book was provided by Abingdon Press*

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Easy Treat!

Oh. Yum! Preheat 350. Rollo Stuffed Ritz Crackers-salty side down, place 1 Rolo / cracker. Bake 3-5 min to melt Rolo, then add another cracker on top and push down a little. Let cool. Sweet & Salty treat. Easy peasy!
I saw this easy treat on Pinterest from Lick the Bowl and wow!  it is good!  And easy!
Preheat 350. Rollo Stuffed Ritz Crackers-salty side down, place 1 Rolo on cracker. Bake 3-5 min to melt Rolo, then add another cracker on top and push down a little. Let cool. Sweet & Salty treat. Easy treat!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Matter of Trust (A Mia Quinn Mystery) by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

{A new book that you may want to check out}
Book Description:  When life is murder, who can you trust?
One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days she has all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less—and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So she reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate Colleen’s death. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold—even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her.
Lis Wiehl’s signature plot twists and relatable characters shine in this absorbing series debut . . . with an intriguing cameo from her best-selling Triple Threat series.

My Thoughts:  I read all of the Triple Threat books by Lis Wiehl and April Henry.  The Triple Threat books are quite suspenseful!  
In my opinion, the reader will either love Lis Wiehl's books or she won't.  I love her books! 
In A Matter of Trust there aren't three friends working and collaborating together...there is just Mia, the prosecutor, and the good looking detective!  Mia is a strong person but now she's a mom, she also recently lost her husband, needs money, has a teenage son with some troubling issues and a four year old who can't sleep through the night without terrifying the whole house with her screaming.
Then when she is on the phone with her friend, Colleen, she hears shots and listens as her friend dies.
Now, that's quite a story line!  
This is quite a suspenseful, dramatic read!  
But, besides all the dramatic suspense, there are family issues that are quite realistic.  There aren't pat answers and Mia needs help.  And so detective Charlie Carlson investigates Colleen's death with Mia.  
If you like a book with some romance, quite a few twists and turns and a great suspense then this is the read for you!
I truly enjoyed this wonderful cameo story with Mia! 
No need to have read the Triple Threat books, this is a whole new book and well written.
*This book was provided by BookSneeze*
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159554903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595549037

Monday, March 18, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Attention, knitters and lovers of suspense. This novel's for you!

About The Knitting Fairy: 
Molly Stevenson rather expected her new job at Crabapple Yarns to be deadly boring... but somehow she just didn't expect the "deadly" part to be quite so literal. After all, what could possibly be more sweet and innocent than a yarn store and a bunch of ladies knitting?

As a librarian, by trade and by nature, Molly really ought to have known better. And, worse, she broke the first rule of librarianship - never, ever judge a book by its cover. Sadly, some of us have to learn the hard way. Perhaps that is why Molly didn't exist long as Assistant Librarian at Springgate Library.

The new job at Crabapple Yarns seemed like the only sensible thing to do at the time - until she could find something better of course.

But, working at a yarn store really didn't fit into her Life Plan.

She never expected to become a knitter.

Molly never expected her sweet little boss to be hiding the fact that she was receiving threats.

She never expected to discover a Knitting Fairy.

And, she most certainly never expected a Knitting Fairy to try to kill her either.

What others are saying about The Knitting Fairy:
What do you get when you combine a novice to the world of fiber working in a yarn shop with the owner, a mysterious, fairy-tale inspired character? You get Jaime Marsman's magical, whimsical story of "The Knitting Fairy" which is sure to be enjoyed by knitters everywhere. --Penny Sitler, Executive Director of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA),

Amidst the characters, humour, and mystery is the fun of witnessing a non-knitter's assumptions and observations turn to affection and obsession. It made me wish to be a new knitter again! --Sally Melville,

A page turning mystery with yarn shops and knitting - what else could you ask for! --Carol Feller, Author of Contemporary Irish Knits

A heartwarming and witty novel, guaranteed to make you smile. Molly Stevenson's new found love of yarn brings her comfort and friendship but leaves her with many unanswered questions. Appealing to the non-knitter as much as the knitaholic, this wonderful and enthralling mystery detailing the weird and wonderful goings on in Crabapple Yarns knitting store, will have you totally hooked. --UK Hand Knitting Association,

About the author, Jaime Marsman:
Since the age of three, Jaime Marsman has long been fascinated with the simple shifting of letters to create different words, thoughts, and sentences. As a knitwear designer for Live.Knit.Love, she has found the same thing to also be true of yarn. Perhaps that would explain the joy she feels every time she picks up her pen or her needles. Inspiring others with her work is one of Jaime's fondest goals and dreams. She wants people to realize the joy of creating and following their dreams in their own special ways. Jaime is so grateful to God for His love and guiding hand in her life. She prays that everyone comes to have the joy and peace of knowing Him.