Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grace Given {Touch of Grace Book 2} by Beth Shriver

Book Description:  Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light. -Amish Proverb 
Elsie Yoder can’t forgive her sister, Katie, for leaving the community. Unable to let go of her sadness, she withdraws from her friends and family, nursing her feelings of betrayal. Gideon Lapp has held a special place in his heart for Elsie and longs to help her get through her troubles. Together they find comfort in their study of the Martyr’s Mirror, a centuries-old book that describes their ancestors’ sacrifices for their faith through years of persecution. As Elsie opens up and begins to put her trust in Gideon, she tells him about the harassment she and her sister received at the hands of some local men. When the men return and threaten the community, Elsie and Gideon must stand together to do what is right. But can Elsie learn to give grace and to humble herself to accept grace as well?

My Thoughts:  Beth Shriver is a new author to me.  But the title of her second book in the Touch of Grace series, Grace Given, sounded interesting.
I think that we, non Amish peoples, are quite smitten with the way Amish peoples can survive . . . the Amish raise all their own food, travel mainly by horse and buggy and cook what they raise.  And yet, if someone offends them or hurts them they willingly forgive.  
Now, in Grace Given, Beth Shriver is more detailed than other Amish authors I've read, especially in her historical retelling of the earlier Amish.  I had not heard of the Martyr's Mirror which is an actual book that documents the stories and testimonies of Christian martyrs, especially Anabaptists. The full title of the book is The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660.  I found this part of the book to be fascinating since I had studied a little about the Anabaptists in high school.
However, this is just part of the story. The story is more about Elsie and Gideon. Also, Elsie is trying to come to grips with the "why" of her sister, Katie's betrayal. 
Then there's the "bad men" who have been harassing her and her sister and return to threaten the community.  This harassment problem bothers Gideon  . . . just how much does one stand and forgive?
The love story between Gideon and Elsie is sweet and tender. 
Not having read the first book, I wasn't sure that I missed anything.  So, I would say that these books are stand alone reads.  However, I'm sure that reading the books in order would bring more understanding.  Quite an interesting read.
*This book was provided for review by Realms/Charisma House*

Beth wrote her first novel in 2002 and a year later it was published. She worked as a caseworker before starting a family. Beth lives in Texas after moving from her first home in Colorado. She freelances for the local papers in her area, writes columns, devotionals, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Beth followed her passion and now writes full time.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Realms (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621360172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621360179

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tyndale Publishing FREE Book Program!

Do you love to read?  Then Tyndale Publishing has a program for that!
GO HERE and sign up!!  And get a FREE book or two for your summer reading!

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Iceberg Lettuce Salad

I love this salad!  Again, a great Pinterest recipe!
Recipe courtesy of Morton's Steakhouse:
Servings: 4
2 heads iceberg lettuce
¾ cup Bacon Bits
1/4 cup egg, hard-boiled, chopped {I leave out the eggs}
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 1/2 cups Morton's Blue Cheese Dressing (below)

Morton's Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs sour cream
2 tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp Durkee Famous Sauce*
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3.5 oz (about 1/4 cups) blue cheese, crumbled


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the buttermilk, Durkee sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and whisk again.
2. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the blue cheese. Transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 1 day and up to 4 days.


1. Remove any wilted outside leaves from lettuce head. Strike bottom of lettuce head on a flat surface to loosen core. Pull core out. Place lettuce head on cutting board and slice from top to bottom. Remove approximately one inch off each side, depending on the size of the head. Slice two 2-inch thick slices from center of head. Repeat with second head.
2. Ladle dressing across wedge so that it runs over one side. In this order sprinkle: bacon bits, chopped egg, chopped tomatoes, and blue cheese over the top of the salad.

*Durkee Famous Sauce is sold in many supermarkets. It's a vinegar-flavored mustard-mayonnaise type of sauce.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Hopeful Heart { Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel} by Amy Clipston

Book Description: In A Hopeful Heart, the first novel of the new Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from best-selling author Amy Clipston, Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief. Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband's brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah. A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.

My Thoughts:  Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors.  She writes with a crisp, clean smoothness that makes reading a pleasure.  
In A Hopeful Heart the first book in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series we meet sweet,kind Hannah.
Hannah is a widow from the Amish community who works in the Lancaster Grand Hotel.
The reader can identify with Hannah has she tries to come grips with the loss of her husband.  As always the Amish community surrounds and takes care of their own when tragedy strikes.  But Hannah wants to be independent  and takes a housekeeping job at the Lancaster Grand Hotel Now, she must make a living for herself.  
While working at the Grand Hotel Hannah meets the wealthy businessman, Trey Peterson, and an unlikely thread is woven between an Amish woman and an English businessman, as they both deal with grief and loss in their lives.  But Hannah's brother-in-law, Joshua, is/has always been in love with her.  
This read has a surprising number of twists and turns as Hannah, Trey and Joshua make decisions and share in their lives.
Hannah must make decisions with a hopeful heart . . . the hope that life does, indeed, go on.
A wonderful summer read!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze*
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310319986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310319986

Working Women of the Bible {Timeless Mentors for Modern Women} by Susan DiMickele

Book Description:  As working women struggle to find mentors in today's society, Working Women of the Bible asks, what if the women of Scripture are the very mentors we ve been looking for?
Most working women today understand they can never be Superwoman. But if Superwoman is unattainable, whom are we trying to emulate? Is the Bible completely outdated, or does it offer a blueprint, full of real-life, culturally relevant examples for the twenty-first century working woman? Can we actually find female mentors in the Bible--women who defied cultural norms and held positions of power and influence?
Working Women of the Bible confronts these questions with heart and humor, and offers surprisingly simple yet potentially life-altering answers.

My Thoughts:  I love the honest and openness of this read!  Susan DiMickele begins the introduction of this book with this honest statement, "If you're looking for a trendy Bible study for women, please move on.  You will be sorely disappointed in this book."   I like authors who are simply themselves.  
Susan writes about a topic that "hits" all modern women, working!  But she writes with a flair of humor, too.  For example she begins chapter with "Don't be too hard on Eve,  After all, she has to go first. . . Adam is the only game in town."  Okay, I laughed here.  
As women, aren't we all working women?  As single women we work jobs to support ourselves, then when we marry we either work at home or we work both at home and at another job.  It seems that we, women, are always working.  Susan brings out the good in women working and our mentors from the Bible who also had to work.  
Women like Queen Jezebel (very interesting), the widow with the mite, Esther, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Martha just to name a few.
Chapter Eleven, Martha the Workaholic, describes many of us.  I gleaned from this chapter that as workaholics some of us women are working for significance when the true significance is simply letting Jesus carry our load.
This book also has Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter for the reader to write down thoughts from her readings.
This is wonderful book for all women.  
*This book was provided for review by ACU Press & Leafwood Publishers*
About the Author:
I'm an author who writes about the working mom's stuggle to live out an authentic faith in a complex and fast-paced world. Join me for the Working Mom's Devotional every Friday! 
  • Visit Susan's page Here!
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891124144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891124146

Winner of Roses Have Thorns!

Sexton Clan is the winner!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Easy Cinnamon Waffles!

I found this wonderful recipe on Pinterest.
Easy cinnamon waffles made with 
Pillsbury cinnabon rolls.


can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
cup powdered sugar
tablespoons milk
teaspoon vanilla

    • Directions: 
    • Heat waffle maker; spray with cooking spray. Remove cinnamon rolls from can; set icing aside.
      • For each waffle, place 1 cinnamon roll in center of waffle maker; close. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until waffle is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
    • Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together reserved icing, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth.
    • Serve glaze over hot waffles.  
    These are also delicious served with real maple syrup instead of the cream cheese glaze. Add some toasted pecans for extra crunch.

  • ***Be sure to spray the waffle iron in between each waffle. The sugar from the cinnamon roll can make the waffles stick.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye by Len Bailey

Book Description:  Embark on a journey through the Old and New Testament with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they explore exotic and spice-laden places in search of clues.  
The detective and the doctor travel back in time with the help of a Moriarty-designed time machine to investigate ten Bible destinations, unlocking clues to ten Bible mysteries. The most fascinating crime cases are those that are already solved, those that have been investigated by the police and brought to a swift, satisfying, and almost inevitable conclusion. So it is with Bible stories which the reader may consider familiar and unremarkable. But under close scrutiny these stories give up their hidden clues, their long kept secrets. Like a jewel newly polished, they sparkle and shine with a fresh, introspective light.

While traveling back in time to witness certain scenes, Holmes and Watson unravel ten different Biblical mysteries, including the following:

·       The Hanging Tree: Why did Ahithophel hang himself?
·       Righteous Blood is Red: Is Zechariah the son of Berekiah or Jehoiada in Matthew 23?
·       You Miss, You Die: Why did David take five stones against Goliath?
·       Dead Man Walking: Why did Jesus delay in coming to Lazarus in John 11?

My Thoughts:  I am an armchair super sleuth.  I love reading christian suspense and mystery reads!  The joy of "figuring out" a clue and the anticipation of a new mystery spur me on to a greater challenge.
Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye is all about unlocking Bible mysteries.  How cool is that!  
Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite detectives.  So, when he and Watson travel back into the Bible . . .  back into time . . . low and behold there are mysteries to solve.
What really wowed me about this book is the wonderful time my son and I had unraveling biblical clues.  It was fun and this book actually got us deeper into the Bible.  It's not a Bible study book but we were reading clues and searching and that actually made us delve deeper into God's Word. 
I was looking for a good book for my son to read over summer vacation but he doesn't enjoy fiction so when this book came it solved the problem.  *Just a note my son is 13 and has great critical thinking skills*  so this book may not be fun for a younger child.
For all those mystery/suspense fans out there who love Sherlock Holmes and want to delve deeper into the mysteries of the Bible this may be a book you want t check out.  We loved it!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze*
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849964830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849964831

Monday, May 20, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Featuring the Latest in Christian Historical Fiction

Prisoners to their own broken dreams...

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago.

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?
* Review by Top Amazon Reviewer, Diana Flowers--"I have ten authors who are my favs...with Shadowed in Silk--Book One and Captured by Moonlight--Book Two, Christine Lindsay has made it into my top five!"
* Award-winning author Catherine West—"Christine Lindsay's attention to detail, witty prose and moving story line all blend together to create a treat for the senses, leaving the reader satisfied and completely satiated by the end."
* Award-winning, multi-published Author Jeanette Windle—"A worthy sequel to acclaimed debut novel Shadowed in Silk."

About the Author:
Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels. InShadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of God’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.
Visit Christine’s website
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