Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Awhile back I posted about Sheri Shepherd's book, If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure?  See book review HERE!
 Today I'm sharing one of her good and healthy recipes...It Works For Me!  

Serves 4

1/4 cup honey
1 cup almonds
Dash sea salt

{I added a cup of sunflower seeds for added crunchiness!}
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat honey in microwave for 30 seconds.
3. In a bowl, pour honey over almonds (& sunflower seeds) and mix evenly so every almond is coated.
4. Coat sheet with non-stick spray, spreads almonds on cookie sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or to desired taste. Let cool, and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Bishop's Son (The Amish of Bee County) by Kelly Irvin (Author)

Book Description:  Two men offer Leila two very different futures. Will she choose with her heart or with her faith?
Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father’s store, but she can’t make sense of his intentions. One day he wants to come courting, the next he seems to be putting distance between them.
Jesse may be the bishop’s son, but his faith has been wavering of late. If he is so unsure, is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide?
Then there’s Will, Jesse’s cousin. He has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires?
Leila knows she can choose Will and be secure in her own future. But when her heart speaks, it’s Jesse’s name she hears. When will God make His will known to her? Could leaving everything she knows—even her own faith—be a part of God’s plan?

My Thoughts:  Ah!  Here's an Amish story that takes place in Bee County, Texas!  Amish in Texas!  A sweet western Amish story!
 It seems that Leila Lantz has always loved Jesse Glick but he doesn't seem to know his own intentions.  He comes courting one week and then the next week he puts distance between's enough to make a young woman doubt a man's love.
Then there's Will, Jesse's cousin.  Will has kept his feelings to himself but he is in love with Leila.  
Will knows that Jesse is struggling with his faith.  He also doesn't think that Jesse is "fair" to Leila.  But what to do?  Will is a true blue friend and also a true friend. But sometimes when the heart speaks one must follow his heart.
Meanwhile Leila's heart seems to only speak Jesse's name. 
But as only God can He makes Leila to know who her true love is. 
This an Amish love story of one young woman with two suitors and just one true decision to make.
This a great Amish love story!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: The Amish of Bee County
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 29, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310339545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310339540

Monday, September 28, 2015

{Thomas Nelson Fiction Team Guild} The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert

Book Description:  Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Aushwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.
As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.
Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.
But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.
Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

My Thoughts:  First of all:  Kleenex Alert!  Irma Joubert writes an incredible story that made me cry and cheer.  
Gretl is six years old...oh!my!  Such a little thing to be a survivor of a terrible bombing that took out the train Gretl's family was riding in.  
This is Gretl's story:
Although she is saved from the concentration camp during WWII she is lost in a country that is hostile to German Jews.  She's only six but people treat her like she started the war! 
Then Jakób finds her.  He has compassion on the little child and takes her in....but he hides her from his Catholic family who would not understand such compassion.  
Unfortunately, Gretl cannot stay with Jakób forever in hiding.
Jakób learns that German war orphans are promised adoptive Protestant families in South Africa.  So, off Greatly goes to hope and promise.
Once Jakób sends Gretl away he knows, as she does, that they will probably never see each other again.
WOW!  What a story! 
Compassion, WWII history and faith makes this a not to be missed read!

*This book was provided for review as part of the Thomas Nelson
Fiction Guild Team Challenge*

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529102374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529102379

When Love Returns: A Novel (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy) by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Description:  Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?  

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family. 

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter,  Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? 
Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?

My Thoughts:  It's been quite awhile since I've had the pleasure of reading a story by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  Ms. Sawyer pens an absolutely beautiful story in When Love Returns.
This is the third and final book in The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy.  
I loved this trilogy....When Mercy Rains, When Grace Sings and When Love Returns.
One must read these books in order. Each book picks up where the other one left off.  So, yes, it's a must to read them in order.
Twenty years later Suzanne Zimmerman returns to the Old Order Mennonite community where she was shamefully sent away as a young pregnant teen.
This story deals with forgiveness and family relationships...neither are easy to reconcile.  
Ms. Sawyer does an excellent job of writing about a mother's heart, even as she wants forgiveness for past sins, and about  a daughter's heart as she also seeks answers and reconciliation.
This is a fantabulous read of faith, family and forgiveness.

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing*

  • Series: The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731357

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Featuring.... Author Renee Blare!

Ok, avid readers. We've got a beautiful romantic suspense novel for you this week! Check out that gorgeous cover! To Soar On Eagle's Wings is the first in this series of books set in the mountains.

To Soar On Eagle's Wings
Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town. 

Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy. 

He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…

Now let's take a look behind the scenes of this novel as the author talks about her wonderfully unique characters. Renee, you've created a very interesting main character. Steve "talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future." How much of yourself did you write into Steve Mitchell? 

I sprinkle a bit of myself into every character I write, even the “bad” ones. It makes them real to me. 

Steve’s love for wildlife and respect for God’s creatures is a characteristic we share as well as his anger at violations against them. I may not be a conservationist in the radical sense of the word, but I live in Wyoming. In this state, we’ve learned to strike a balance with the precious environment around us, or we’ll destroy it. 

His spiritual battle I gleaned from watching someone close to me struggle each day let go of the past. It was a one step forward, two steps backwards kind of thing until he let God cut the control it had on his life. I took a little of what I saw in that battle and put it into Steve struggle with his father’s job and death. 

Who is your favorite character in the book? 

Mmmm…that’s a tough one. I like all of my characters in this particular book, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d choose Melissa Hampton. She’s the best friend who’s always poking and prodding, keeping Rachel on her toes. We all need a friend like that, don’t we? Someone to keep us accountable but loves us no matter what. That’s the type of relationship Melissa and Rachel have. But she isn’t a one-dimensional character…she has secrets of her own. Her story makes you wonder what’s in store in the future. At least she made me start thinking about it while I was writing! 
Which was the hardest character to write?  

Now that is a good question. I would have to say Michael, Rachel’s twin. Their mother’s death impacts him in such a way that he experiences a drastic emotional, and mental shift. This switch impacts many others characters in the book, especially Rachel. The challenge was showing this transformation in the few lines that Michael has in the book. He doesn’t make much of an appearance in To Soar so the time that he’s there had to count. 

What helps you the most when you're developing your characters? 

I use the character sketch component of the first writing program I ever bought, New Novelist. I don’t use the program to write with anymore. I reverted back to Word a long time ago. It’s easier to let the words flow out my brain onto the page than try to line them up into a specific order. Besides, I like the features of Word. I’ve tried Scrivener, and all kinds of other things…nope…not for me. I don’t have time to learn a new program. Not with my schedule! 

Anyway, during my research phase, I think about my characters. What do they look like? Do they like to eat anything special, weird? Are they allergic to anything? How do they move when they walk? How do they talk? Do they have a special style of clothes they like to wear? Scars? Are they strong or weak (not just physically, but emotionally too)? Stocky, lanky? Do they have a habit or unique joke they like? Music? 

Does this sound a little excessive? Not to me. I call it fleshing them out. After all, I’m going to spending a lot of time with these people for the next 6 months, maybe even a year. And since it’s a series, a lot longer than that! 

Now let's get a little more personal and talk about life beyond books. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I would have to say the day I married my best friend…my husband twenty six years ago. What a glorious day that was! It was a hot summer day in Casper, Wyoming. In the presence of family and friends, the Lord joined me to the one person who has stood beside me through more than I’d ever dreamed possible. Thank you, Father!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Fishing, although my husband would tell you that I spend more time reading than putting a line in the water. NOT TRUE! I love to fish. Picking on my dusty classical guitar or even my husband’s fancy electric one. J Latch hook and cross stitch, although I don’t get to do it much anymore.

Thank you for sharing about your writing and your life! It's always exciting to get a glimpse of a romance author's personal love story.

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.



Group Blog:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

This recipe is like a hamburger stew And is a favorite soup around our house, no matter the season.  SO, I was excited when I found this recipe on Pinterest:

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 pkg. frozen peas (the small pkg.)
  • 1 can (16 oz) tomatoes
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning or roughly 1/4 cup
  • 1 can corn (undrained)
  • 1 can chili beans (undrained)
  • 1 can green beans (undrained)
  • 1 can kidney beans (undrained)
  1. in a large pot add a drizzle of olive oil and place over medium heat. cook the onions until tender, about 3 minutes. add the carrots and potatoes and add just enough water to cover them. cook until tender.
  2. in a separate pan, over medium heat cook the hamburger, drain the grease and add to the water and tender veggies.
  3. add all of the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through. serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and fritos!

Monday, September 21, 2015

An Amish Christmas Gift: Three Amish Novellas by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin

Book Description:
Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston
Naomi has started to think that she isn’t meant to find love, but she might receive more than she ever hoped for this Christmas.
Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love, has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches—a time of family, faith, and hope for many others—Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.
An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid
Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?
Abigail Kemp has managed to frighten off every bu who’s ever driven her home from a singing. Sure she will live to be an old maid, Abigail starts saving her money to buy a horse so she can at least have some independence.
Micah Zook is looking for a caregiver for his grandmother, and Abigail needs a new job. He never expected that Abigail would talk so much . . . or that his grandmother would keep finding ways to set the two of them up.
Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, she and Micah become friends—until Micah makes a decision that leaves Abigail feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal what’s on his heart?
A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin
Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.
Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt Abigail and her husband Mordecai. After all, she knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome but Englisch farmer boy back in Missouri. It’s best to put those feelings aside, no matter how hard it is. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?

My Thoughts:  Yay!  It's that time of the year again when the Christmas reads begin making their appearance.
Not only is this book about the Amish it's three books, well novellas, in one book.  
Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston is about Naomi King.  At 24 years of age she is already considered an old maid.  Naomi has given up on ever marrying or having a family.  But then, as life would have it, she meets Caleb, a widower with a young daughter.  This is a sweet just right for getting in the Christmas spirit story.
The next story is An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid. Abigail is quite an independent Amish young lady.  In fact, she's so intimidating that she's turned off more suitors.  She doesn't seem to want romance or marriage.  She seems to only want a horse of her own.  In order to get that horse she needs money so she takes a job taking care of Micah's grandmother.  Micah can't believe one young woman can talk so much.  Soon he and Abigail become friends.  But as Christmas approaches it seems that Micah has betrayed Abigail.  Will Micah be able to salvage their friendship?
Loved this story!
A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin is the third and last novella in this book.  This story is about Texas!  Amish in Texas!  Frannie is sent to Bee County, Texas because her parents think she is more interested in an English young man.  Frannie is sent off to Texas and Rocky is still in Missouri.  But unknowing to Frannie Rocky misses her and follows her to Texas.  oops!  This is a cute romance.
These are all fun, short Christmas stories for the Amish book lover!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718039653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718039653

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Thoughts from an Award-Winning Author: Q and A with Sylvia Bambola

This week we're proud to introduce Sylvia Bambola and her beautiful book, The Daughters of Jim Farrell! With a wonderfully unique background and several published novels to her name, see the advice she offers other writers.

First, a peek at her latest book:

The Daughters of Jim Farrell by Sylvia Bambola

Pennsylvania 1873: When, in the harsh world of Pennsylvania coal country, Jim Farrell is hanged for murder, his wife and three daughters must turn their beautiful home into a boarding house in order to survive. But struggling beneath the shadow of shame becomes too much for eldest daughter, Kate, who resolves to clear her father’s name, and in spite of her mother’s admonition to “let it go,” convinces her sisters to help. All too soon their dangerous quest rips the family apart. Will it also cost them the men they love?

Q&A with Sylvia:

Q. What are the main themes in your new historical novel, The Daughters of Jim Farrell?

A. There are a few but I’ll mention only three. The first, and I believe the most important, is the issue of forgiveness even in the face of the ultimate sin—that of having a loved one killed unjustly. All of us will have opportunities in our lives to forgive wrongs. And the importance of doing so cannot be understated. Jesus says in Luke 6:37 “Forgive and ye shall be forgiven.” That’s a stunner. And means what it says. So we cannot afford to harbor unforgiveness of any kind. And forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s an act of will.

Another theme is the tension between labor and management. And this tension seems to be intensifying as politicians seek to divide us by income and pit us against each other. The Bible cautions us that “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Labor needs management (and entrepreneurs, etc) to create jobs and management needs labor in order to make their companies successful. We are ONE nation under God. We need each other to succeed.

Finally, what family hasn’t seen its share of sibling rivalry? The Daughters of Jim Farrell touches on this as the three sisters struggle to find their identity and place in the family.

Q. What is the one thing that influences your writing the most?

A. In a word—Scripture. The thing I love about writing fiction is that it’s a nonthreatening way to share spiritual truths. Like the parables in the Bible, story and characters can bring these truths to life.

Q. You now have eight published novels. What would you say to those writers just starting out?

A. I would make these four recommendations:

1) Get connected. That means join a critique group, go to writing conferences and become an on-line member of associations like ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and others.

2) Learn your craft. Take no short cuts here. Learn and employ good writing techniques and understand that good writing means LOTS of rewriting.

3) Learn about marketing. You the author will be required to do most of it even if you are fortunate enough to be picked up by one of the Big-5 traditional publishers.

4) And finally, NEVER give up. This is generally a long and bumpy road full of ups and downs. I personally don’t know any “overnight wonders” those who have taken about a year to write their first book which then becomes an over night success. Most published authors have written for years before getting published. Remember, the spoils go to those who persevere. 

Meet the author: 

Born in Romania, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in post World War Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored eight novels, has two grown children, and teaches women’s Bible studies.  

Connect with Sylvia Bambola: 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic by Rebecca L

Book Description:  An irresistible cookbook featuring more than 50 family-friendly fried chicken recipes--including classic Southern, globally influenced, and skillet- and deep-fried variations. 
     Fried chicken is comfort food at its finest. Served alongside a biscuit, atop waffles, or just on its own, fried chicken is one of the most universally loved foods around. In Fried Chicken, Southern chef Rebecca Lang collects 50 of the most tantalizing, crowd-pleasing variations on the classic. There are perennial favorites like Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken Smothered in Gravy; Tennessee Hot Chicken; kid-friendly Chicken Fingers; and even Gluten-Free Southern Fried Chicken. Also featured are internationally inspired recipes, such as Saigon Street Wings, Chinese Lollipop Wings, Mexican-Lime Fried Chicken Tacos, and Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce. All of these recipes are impeccably tested, foolproof, and will have the whole family singing the praises of perfectly fried poultry.

My Thoughts:  We LOVE chicken!  But, alas, I can't seem to cook chicken and especially fried chicken well at all. I was SO happy to receive this book, Fried Chicken:  Recipes for the Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic by Rebecca Lang.
Ms. Lang begins the book with the basics:  different oils to use, different types of flours and the parts of a chicken.  This is a great introduction!
This is a smallish hardback book that is filled with some mouth watering chicken recipes.  My favorite recipe is on page 53, Camden's Favorite Chicken Fingers.  Oh!My! Move over Chick-Fil-A!  These chicken fingers are so delicious and were easy to make.  Now these are fried in oil on top of the stove.  
There is even a wonderful recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits on page 74.  And a recipe for Hot Honey Sauce on the opposite page so that you can make your own chicken and biscuits.  
The pictures are so nice and colorful (actually mouth watering!).
Most of the chicken recipes are either skillet fried or deep fried.  
A lovely cookbook!  Chock full of chicken recipes!
This Fried Chicken cookbook makes a wonderful gift for that cook on your list!

*This cookbook was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

Meet the Author, 
Rebecca Lang:
Go HERE to read more about Ms. Lang!

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (May 26, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607747243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607747246

Hiding Places by Erin Healy

Book Description:  Family means safety. Family means protection. Until it doesn't.

Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend.

Devoted to the people she loves—more than they have ever been to her—Kate vows to protect each one.

Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run.

When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself.

The murderous gang tracks Charlie down. To flush him out, they take the clueless family hostage and threaten young Kate. Even then, Kate keeps Charlie hidden, putting all her childlike faith in one terrible hope: that the family who has never been able to protect her before might learn how to do it now. 

My Thoughts:  I was so excited when Thomas Nelson sent me this book, Hiding Places by Erin Healy.  I've been wanting to read this book but just hadn't taken time to get it. 
First of all, this is one of the most interesting fiction books because  Erin writes with an "unusual" twist of suspense and every day life.  
The most interesting "thing" about this read was the invisible life that eleven-year-old Kate leads.  She is so visible that she becomes invisible to those around her.  This part of the story made me think of all the people in my life that are quite visible with the eye but yet, I take them for granted so they become "invisible."
Since Kate is "invisible" she sees more than most of the adults realize that she is seeing.  However, Kate takes all the troubles she sees in stride....until she meets Charlie Fuse.
Kate thinks that Charlie needs help and so she hides him.  Kate never realizes in her child's mind that Charlie may have a past.  A past that may bring trouble to her family.
Wow!  What a read!
This is my first time to read something that Erin Healy has authored.  
I thought this was a grand read and I hope you enjoy this fiction read as much as I did.

*This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for the 
Fiction Guild Team Challenge*

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401689604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401689605

A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House) by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Description:  Sparkling Regency Romance from a Captivating New Voice
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother's old school friend, a duke--with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she's heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother's new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned. 

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men--one she's never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda's heart is far from all that's at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

My Thoughts:   It's been awhile since I've read a Regency Romance (romance novels set during the period of the British Regency 1811–1820 or early 19th century).  
This is a fun read!  I loved Lady Miranda Hawthorne, maybe, because I married at "a later date" than most, so I related to her "problems."
Lady Hawthorne writes letters never intending to mail them to the duke.  But unbeknownst to her, her bother's new valet wanting to be helpful finds one of her letters and innocently mails it for her.  Just doing his job!  OOOPS!  
The duke receives the letter and actually begins a courtship with Lady Hawthorne.  It's a courtship my mail and Lady Hawthorne enjoys writing back and forth with the duke.  
However, she is mightily attracted to her brother's new valet Marlow. 
This is a fun, romantic read for those who enjoy Regency Romances.  
Two men and a decision for a lovely "sinister."  The men are different in temperaments and of course, Marlow, is a servant and it would be beneath her title to even like a servant.  But Marlow is so intriguing and there are secrets that seem to include Marlow.  
Then there's the duke.  He's witty and fun and it's so much fun to have a writing courtship but which man is for Lady Hawthorne?  
I thoroughly enjoyed the banter, courtship and secrets of this wonderfully written novel.

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers*

  • Series: Hawthorne House
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764214322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764214325

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

We love peach cobbler and I was ecstatic to find a crockpot recipe on Pinterest.  It's delicious and so easy!  So great for those family get togethers!
  1. 29 oz Del Monte Sliced Peaches in Heavy Syrup
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 16.5 oz yellow cake mix
  4. 3/4 cup pecans (chopped)
  5. 1 stick butter (sliced)
  6. Non-stick cooking spray
  1. Spray crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Layer remaining ingredients into crock pot in order shown. DO NOT MIX. Just sprinkle the ingredients on top of each other. Turn the crock pot on high for 2 hours. Remove from heat and enjoy with ice cream!