Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Rapid Waist Reduction Diet: Get results quickly and safely by Don Colbert, MD

Book Description:  Your Waistline Is Your Lifeline
 Losing weight is at the core of the majority of successful plans to manage and reverse many health conditions. But did you know that your waist size is actually even more important than your weight? Research shows that your waist measurement is a key indicator of your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and many other health issues. In The Rapid Waist Reduction Diet you will learn about natural ways to shrink your waist and lose belly fat through diet, supplements, and exercise. Drawing from decades of experience helping his patients lose weight and get healthy, New York Times best-selling author Dr. Don Colbert gives you medical information and practical insights on ways to: ·       
 Stay motivated·        
Reduce your waistline·        
Control your weight·        
Rid yourself of toxic belly fat 
Dr. Colbert’s Rapid Waist Reduction Diet is the last diet you will ever need. It is time to lose that stubborn belly fat and keep it off—for life!

My Thoughts:  I wanted to read this book, The Rapid Waist Reduction Diet, for two reasons.  First, I trust Dr. Colbert.  After reading other books authored by him I have found his views to be true.  Secondly, I'm at that, ahem . . .age, where I tend to gain more waist weight.  And boy!o!boy!  does it ever want to stay!
Page 140, second paragraph really summed up most of my troubles,
"The second reason eating out can sabotage weight loss is huge portion sizes.  Simply put, high-calorie- foods plus out-of-control portion sizes equal obesity-the equation our culture generally follows."  Such a true statement and it made me pause . . . yes, we probably eat out way too much and I'm probably not doing the things that Dr. Colbert suggests.  Like dividing one's plate even before eating and putting those servings right into a take out bag.  Doing just this one suggestion would probably save quite a few calories and inches to one's waist line.
What a great book!  There's only one problem, people need, no will have to follow Dr.Colbert's plan or there won't be any reduction in weight.
*Is it easy?  No, but after putting one's mind to the task I think it becomes a lifestyle.
*Did I lose weight after reading this book and following most of the plan?  Yes, I lost 1.3 pounds the first four days! 
If you want to lose weight then this is a great book to read and follow!
*This book was provided for review by Bookteria/Charisma* 

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Siloam (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162136044X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621360445

Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge

Book Description:  Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.
Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world. But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her. And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.

My Thoughts:  I love to read books authored by Rene Gutteridge because I never know what is really going to happen.
I began reading Misery Loves Company and thought well, it's pretty much going to be about a grieving widow who blogs and she enjoys reading.
Not so!  Wow!  
It seems that sometimes we think we know people, especially our spouses, but in reality we are just living side-by-side without any real knowledge of their true lives.
This read had more twists and turns than an Arizona mountain road on a rainy day!  
What a fantastically written novel! I loved it! 
List Price:     12.99 
Trim Size:
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 
August 2013  

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Homemade "Lofthouse" Cookies

I found this wonderful cookie recipe on Pinterest!  Oh!So!Good!

1 18 oz box white cake mix with pudding in the mix
2/3 cup flour
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 T sour cream (I used reduced fat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix and flour.  Add eggs, oil and sour cream and mix on medium speed until incorporated.  Batter will be fairly stiff.  Use a cookie scoop or roll into approximately one inch balls and bake on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.  This will help keep the bottoms of the cookies from browning.  Use the heel of your hand or a glass dusted with sugar to gently flatten cookies to about a half inch thick.  You don't want the bottoms to be browned or you've overbaked these.  Bake approximately ten minutes until just set.  Let cool about one minute on the pan and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 T heavy cream
1 T vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 T meringue powder
Food coloring or sprinkles as desired

Beat butter on medium speed for about two minutes until smooth.  Add cream and vanilla and beat about one more minute to incorporate.  Add sugar, one cup at a time mixing on low speed until incorporated until you reach the desired consistency.  Add meringue powder  (this will help your frosting crust so that you can stack the cookies without smearing your frosting all over the place, I use a sheet of wax or parchment paper in between layers).  You want the frosting to be fairly stiff so that it doesnt run off your cookies.  Frost cooled cookies and decorate as desired.  Store cookies in an airtight container.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Book Description:  Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help? 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

My Thoughts:  The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is one of those reads that captures the reader's attention from page one.  
Julia Foster is a sweet, kind young woman with character and creativity.  So, when things don't go "right"  for her family, for they must leave the mission field, Julia takes a position as a governess at Highland Hall.
Sir William is the caretaker/parent of his deceased cousin's two teenage girls.  How does a single man care for two teenage girls?  Well, this is where Julia comes in.  However, Mrs. Emmitt does not want a governess for the two girls and tries to get rid of Julia.  Lies and deceit!
Sir William just wants a governess who can handle the girls and doesn't want to get involved with the lady!  But Julia has a stubborn streak and won't back down!  Ahh!  Some intrigue and mystery surrounding both Sir William and Julia!
I loved Jane Eyre and this book reminds a little of that story . . . . a governess, a man of means and romance.
A Christian romance that promotes biblical character, somewhat like Joseph when Potiphar's wife lied about him.  
A sweet, engaging story that is quite well written!
*This book was provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

Book Description:  Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop. 

But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel’s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.

My Thoughts:  I read the Scarlet Letter years ago and was touched by the deep conviction that Hester holds as she wears the scarlet A. So, as I began to read The Outcast a version of The Scarlet Letter but with a whole different twist . . . 
The twist is that Rachel is from the Old Order Mennonite Community. Rachel has strong convictions and tends to be quite hard headed.  She will not tell who the father of her baby is.  People are judging Rachel for her sin but, yet, as her sin is discussed their hidden sins in life begin to emerge.
One of those WOW! reads that makes one really think!

List Price:     13.99 
Trim Size:
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 
July 2013 

Friday, July 26, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} June Releases

Hot New Releases from June!

SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER! What a fabulous season for taking a break and enjoying some good books! Is your TBR (To Be Read) pile getting low? Is it towering high but you are ALWAYS excited for a new book to add? 

The novels below all released in the last month! Which one is most likely to make your summer reading pile? Cast your vote now. And don't forget to send some love and encouragement to our authors via the comments section. =)

Happy Voting!

Five Days in Skye 

An American businesswoman falls for her celebrity chef client while on a business trip to Scotland. Will she find the courage to take another chance on love?

A Heart Deceived

Miri Brayden must keep her brother's descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poor house. When Ethan Goodwin, an opium addict on the run, shows up on her doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces.

Grace's Pictures

Grace McCaffery must trust a handsome policeman for help when her new Brownie camera gets her in trouble with a gang who thinks it containsthe first and only photos of their elusive leader. But her experience with the police back in Ireland makes that difficult, and she must decide if God has sent her help in an unlikely disguise.

A Melody for James

Melody Mason and James Montgomery lead separate lives of discord until an unexpected meeting brings them to a sinister realization: unbeknownst to them, dark forces have directed their lives from the shadows, orchestrating movements, keeping them singing solo. Fire, loss, and bloodshed can't shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that leaves hearts forever changed.

Blowing On Dandelions

In Miralee Ferrell’s captivating historical romance Blowing on Dandelions, Katherine Galloway struggles to overcome family dysfunction when her controlling mother moves in. Will Frances threaten Katherine’s budding relationship with Micah Jacobs, the new blacksmith, or is there hope that love can still break through?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Book Description:  On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.
For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

My Thoughts:  I love books that are set in my "area."  Since I live in the piney woods of East Texas I could just imagine all the sights and sounds that Ms. Witemeyer describes.
But it's the story that really grabbed my attention...who would steal a preacher?!?!  Isn't that kind of contradictory?! 
Well, as odd as it sounds Joanna sends out a posse to do just exactly that!  Steal a preacher!  Crockett Archer (don't you just love that name!) is the preacher that is "captured/stolen."  
Crockett believes that all things work together for good, for God's purposes.  So, even though he struggles with being "stolen"  he goes a long.
Now, Joanna doen't want Crockett for her own gain.  No!  He is a must for her to carry out her dying mother's request.  And all that Joanna wants for her birthday is a minister to help her bring God back into their abandoned church.
A humorous read that brings life into history.
*This book was provided by Bethany House*

Book Trailer
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0764209663
ISBN-13: 9780764209666
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Parmesan Baked Tomatoes!

We have an abundance of tomatoes in our garden this year and so I'm making these:  Parmesan Baked Tomatoes (again, another great recipe from Pinterest!)

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

2 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan
fresh oregano
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C).
Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into approximately 1/3-inch (1 cm) slices. 
Place them on a baking sheet. 
Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper (season according to your taste). Drizzle with some olive oil and bake until tomatoes are tender and the cheese is melted, for about 10-15 minutes.

**We eat them like this but some say they like them on French bread, hamburgers, sandwiches . . . well, the list is endless!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

{Kregel Blog Tour} The Brotherhood Conspiracy by Terry Brennan

Book Description:  Tom Bohannon's discovery of an ancient scroll led him on an international adventure and through mysteries of faith and politics, ending in a place not even he could imagine: the Third Temple of God hidden under Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Wondering how to recover from such a momentous find, Tom's adventures are not over. The final days are upon them, yet no one knows how much time is left—a year? A hundred years? A thousand?

My Thoughts:  This is the first book I've read by Terry Brennan.  The Sacred Cipher is the first book in this series.  Somehow I missed the Sacred Cipher but decided to go ahead and read The Brotherhood Conspiracy first.  Not having read The Sacred Cipher first didn't seem to hinder the story of The Brotherhood Conspiracy.  So, I feel that these are stand alone reads.  
Mr. Brennan is quite a detailed writer.  He, also, writes with a flair that keeps the reader turning the pages.  Pages that are filled with taunt suspense . . . "Leonidas was startled when the cell phone rang.  A blocked number.  He was expecting no calls.  But . .  ."  (from p. 114)  
I loved the suspense of this read! Chapter Two begins with Tom Bohannon in bed when he is suddenly, with heart pounding, awakened to feel that there is someone in the room, in the house, he must "fight" his way to the kitchen to keep his family safe!  only to find that his son had dropped the milk.  But that's only the beginning!  
Since Tom has found the ancient scroll what mysteries of faith is he yet to go through?  What is this journey all about?  And where will his faith lead him?
I found this to be a quite intriguing read! A lot of history is interwoven through out the read, especially ancient history.  A lot to be learned from history.  
*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

About the Author: 
Over the past 35 years, Terry Brennan has accumulated a broad range of experience in both the profit and non-profit business sectors.
His 22-year, award winning journalism career included:
*Seven years as a sportswriter and editor with The Philadelphia Bulletin, at the time the largest-circulation afternoon newspaper in the nation;
*Leading The Mercury of Pottstown (PA), as its editor, to a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing;
*Serving as Executive Editor of a multi-national newspaper firm - Ingersoll Publications - with papers in the USA, England and Ireland.

In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for the Christian Herald Association, Inc., the parent organization of four New York City ministries, including The Bowery Mission.
Now Chief Administrative Officer for the non-profit Care for the Homeless in New York City, Brennan also won the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.
His two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. Terry and his wife Andrea live in New York City area. Their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter live in West Chester County and their son resides in Lake Tahoe, CA. His first novel, The Sacred Cipher, was published by Kregel Publications and released in July of 2009. The sequel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, will be released in June, 2013.

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825443172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443176

Monday, July 22, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} A Healing Heart, the Latest in Abingdon's Quilts of Love Series

Clash of the Titles brings you the latest in Christian fiction.

If you enjoy fiction, romance, or quilts, you'll want to check out today's featured new release. If you love all three, you'll want to run (not walk!) to your nearest bookstore--or for shoppers, click the cover image below.

A Healing Heart
by Angela Breidenbach

About A Healing Heart:
Will Joel help Mara or take everything she has left? Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.She's not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. How can Mara trust the one man who nearly destroyed her life and business? While Mara recuperates, she's forced to face her physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt? Or will he betray a vulnerable woman and her children?


Praise for A Healing Heart:
“A heart-warming and romantic story of new beginnings and hope through the fog. A story of real life filled with true emotion and characters you can't help but love.”—NY Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee, www.toscalee.comTosca’s latest book: Iscariot“A Healing Heart is an emotional story of learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. Angie Breidenbach deftly creates lifelike teenagers, a frazzled mother, and a caring hero you will love. This charming book tugs at your heart and encourages you to reevaluate what’s important in your life.”—Vickie McDonough, author of 25 books and novellas, including End of the Trail

About the Author: 
Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create the life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Follow humorous #Muse (the cat) posts as he prowls around facebook and twitter.http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.comTwitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbachFacebook Page:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Angels in the Fire: The Dramatic True Story of an Impossible Rescue By: Dann Stadler

Book Description: After miraculously surviving a horrific crash caused by a drunk driver, Stadler and his wife, Tracey, faced months of surgeries and hospitalizations and struggled to rebuild their lives---only to suffer more tragedy! Discover how God kept them from despair and brought blessing into their lives---and can do the same for you.

My Thoughts:  Angels In The Fire by Dann Stadler is a faith lifter!  If you're one of those people who suffers from chronic pain, a disease which keeps you in constant pain or you just plain suffer then this is a must read for YOU!
Be warned this is a somewhat.sad very realistic story of real people who literally went through the fire. 
I am a believer in God's angels.  I believe that God sends His heavenly beings to help us, humans, and to protect us.  
Dann and Tracey were involved in a terrible  car accident that a drunk driver caused.  They lived!  But only because God sent His heavenly beings to  surround Dann and Tracey. 
Dann and Tracey have gone through surgeries, pain, and despair but God sends His angels to minister to them just a the right time. 
In chapter 19, on page 184, Dann tells an shivering tale of how God's angel saved Tracey from certain disaster.
I love the ending, "I do hope readers find inspiration from our story, gain insight into their own struggles and know the trails of life are but fleeting to God's abiding love."
This is a book that is for all walks of faith.  An encouraging read!

*This book was provided by Bethany House*
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013

Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0764211145
ISBN-13: 9780764211140

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} S'Mores of Fun!

It's July and HOT!  But the fun is just beginning with these s'mores! 
 I love the peanut butter cup s'mores!  {I found these on!}


graham cracker squares
milk chocolate candy bars (1.55-oz each), each halved
large marshmallows
long-handled forks
  • On each of 4 graham cracker squares, place candy bar half.
  • Spear each marshmallow on long-handled fork; toast over campfire coals or over grill with low heat.
  • Place 1 toasted marshmallow on top of each chocolate bar. Top each with cracker; press together and hold for a few seconds to melt chocolate.


    Mint S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-covered mint cookies for the crackers.
    Peanut Butter S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-covered peanut butter cups for the candy bars.
    Rainy Days S´Mores - Substitute marshmallow creme for the toasted marshmallows. Spread marshmallow creme on cracker tops.
    Scotchie S´Mores - Substitute chocolate graham crackers for the regular graham crackers. Drizzle butterscotch ice cream topping over the candy bar before adding marshmallow.
    Striped S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-striped cookies for the graham crackers.
    Keep S'Mores ingredients on hand for upcoming backyard cookouts. At a picnic, put out a variety of chocolate candies so everyone can experiment and discover their favorite combination.