Monday, November 30, 2015

Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild . . . The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Book Description:  The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
My Thoughts:  Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tales.  So, when Melanie Dickerson wrote The Golden Braid I knew this would be a fun read.
Rapunzel notably has beautiful hair but she can throw a knife better than any man. But, unfortunately, she has a controlling mother.
Rapunzel only wants to learn to read and she wants to marry.  Her mother decides that they must move since no man is good enough for Rapunzel.  
However, the journey is dangerous and after a bout of trouble Sir Gerek rescues them.  But then Rappel rescues Sir Gerek later on and he agrees to repay her by teaching her to read.
The big city living is not for Rapunzel.  But as she sets about to make a bad situation better she comes across a mystery.  
Treachery, lies, and deceit...whom can Rapunzel trust to help her?
Of course this is not like the Disney's better!
A wonderful take on an old classic!  

It's also a lovely hardback book that is great for gift giving.
*This book was provided by the Fiction Guild*
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718026268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718026264

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Andi Unstoppable (An Andi Boggs Novel) by Amanda Flower

Book Description:  Andi Boggs and her best friend Colin Carter are at it again … in this third book of the Andi Boggs series, Andi Unstoppable, school has begun for the two Killdeer middle schoolers and the science teacher has a great idea! He is an expert birder and wants his class to share in the fun. In a birding group with Colin and her biggest school rival, Ava, Andi sets out to be the first student in class to spot the elusive Kirtland warbler but ends up spotting the town’s resident ghost instead!
Together with her friends, Andi takes on another small town mystery—is the legend of the ghost of Dominika Shalley more than just a story? And does her sudden appearance have anything to do with the holes the friends find in the Shalley graveyard as they look for the rare bird?
My Thoughts:  I admit it...I love Amanda Flower's stories.  So, I read her children's books, too. And pass them on to my mystery loving nephew. 
This is the third book in the Andi Boggs Novels.  But it is not a continuation of the other two stories.  Stand alone books are great because then the reader has a whole new story and mystery to read.
And Boggs and her best friend Colin are two middle schoolers who are on a bird hunt for the elusive Kirkland warbler for their Science class.
Well, has is the case with Andi each of her experiences turns into a mystery of sorts.  This time as she hunts for the elusive bird she comes upon a the legend of a ghost just a legend or is there really something sinister going on in this small town.
Well, Andi and Colin find these mysterious holes in the graveyard.  Andi is fairly matter of fact and knows that something is not right.  
An enjoyable read.  Yes, it is written for the young reader and yes, some people may have a problem with ghosts.  But let's face it...we all know there aren't any ghosts and that's what makes this a great read.  Young readers learn that their are always facts behind fiction.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: An Andi Boggs Novel
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310737664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310737667

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

We are making these today!  So cute and easy! 
  A great edible craft from Woman's Day:

  • 16 chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • tube orange frosting with piping tips
  • 16 small peanut butter cups
  1. Place cookies on work surface; squeeze a dime-size dot of frosting in center of each
  2. Unwrap and invert peanut butter cups on frosting, pressing down gently
  3. Using the round piping tip, pipe a "hat-band" with frosting around peanut butter cup and a square "buckle." Let frosting set before storing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Forgotten Recipe (An Amish Heirloom Novel) by Amy Clipston

Book Description: After losing her fiancĂ© in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.

Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.
When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.
Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancĂ©e to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.
Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

My Thoughts:  Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors.  She writes with words that makes the reader feel as if she is in the story.  And once again, she writes a sweet love story about an Amish young lady who is dealing with feelings of misgivings as she tries to sort out her love life.  This is also the first book in the Amish heirloom series.
Veronica Fisher knows about pies and she bakes great can almost smell the heavenly aromas arise from the pages of the book.  But Veronica has lost her fiancee and plans to marry another man until that fateful day when she finds her Mammi's forgotten recipes.  Veronica bakes a raspberry pie from one of the forgotten recipes and takes it to the stand to sell.  
Jason Huyard comes to her stand and becomes a regular customer of he loves her raspberry pies.  Jason doesn't want to fall in love but as life would have it he meets Veronica at her stand and love begins to bloom. But he holds a secret...and this secret could destroy their relationship.
This is a story for the reader who enjoys Amish fiction, pies and sweet romance.  Also, don't forget Christmas is right around the corner and this book would make a great for that reader on your list.
A wonderful read!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031034199X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341994

Monday, November 23, 2015

Grace's Pictures an Ellis Island novel by Cindy Thomson

Book Description:  Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.

My Thoughts:  This is the first book I've read by author Cindy Thomson.
This is a historical novel set in New York when immigrants where coming to America to find a better way of life.
Grace McCaffery hails from the rolling hills of Ireland.  She comes to America to succeed after leaving behind a terrible father and a loving mother.
Grace's mother tells her, "Listen to me, I don't care what lies your father once spoke to you darlin' . . . remember instead this:  You are smart.  You are important.  You are able."  (from the back of the book)  Of course as soon as I read these words of thought of the book The Help.  But this book is nothing like The Help.  It is about a young woman who goes out into a great big world with only her small brownie camera.
This brownie camera is to help Grace earn a living but Grace unknowingly takes pictures of local gangsters who believe that Grace got a picture of their elusive leader. And they want THAT picture.
Grace is torn . . . can she/should she trust Owen the local policeman who only wants to help the immigrants stay safely out of harm's way  . . . because in her life experience men cannot be trusted.
Grace longs to bring her mother to America, she longs for new colorful clothes and she longs to make a living by taking pictures.  But being a nanny to the children, cooking and cleaning are a huge job with little time left over or little money for "extras."
If you're looking for a fantastic read that is "a little different" than all the others and a new story line . .  then this the read for you!
*This book was provided for review by Tyndale fiction*

About the Author: 

I'm a full-time writer dedicated to telling the legacy left to us by those went before.
My cousin pitched for them in 1908.

I write historical fiction, genealogy-related articles, history articles, and short stories. I'm also a baseball fan. My favorite team is the Cincinnati Reds, but I have a soft spot for the Cubs who haven't won a World Series since my 

  • Visit Cindy's Blog HERE 
  • Read chapter One HERE
  • Paperback: 7895 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (May 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414368437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414368436

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Knitting Fairy (A Crabapple Yarns Mystery) by Jaime Marsman

Book Description:  The Knitting Fairy about a dejected librarian turned novice knitter who finds herself caught in a mysterious knitting scandal.
The cast of variegated characters will keep you laughing as the intricately woven chain of events unwinds. The mystery will have you hooked all the way to the end.

My Thoughts:  I'm not a knitter but I do like a good yarn {smile} and this is such a fun read!

A dejected, actually fired for a silly reason, young librarian, Molly,  is offered a job at a knitting shop.  As she learns to knit, she also meets very interesting people.  And to she gets the privilege of living in the upstairs apartment for free.  

The characters in this story are funny and whimsical . . . the kind that make you like them at first read.
Of course, just next door to the knitting shop is the most delightful bakery with cinnamon rolls!  And then there's the not too mushy romance that makes this one GREAT read!
I truly enjoyed this cozy mystery!  
I'm not sure one can label this a christian read . . . yes, prayer is mentioned but honestly, this is a cozy mystery.  But I'm grateful to christian writers who insert christian values into their reads! 
Is there really a knitting fairy?  You must read this book for yourself to find out!  

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: ShadeTree Publishing, LLC (December 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193733127X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937331276

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

This are cute "edible" turkeys for your Thanksgiving guests.
From make and take:
Go HERE for directions!
Have fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes by Pearl Barrett, Serene Allison

Book Description:  In their debut cookbook, the Trim Healthy Mama’s share hundreds of delicious, healthy recipes to help readers successfully slim down while eating well.  This companion cookbook to the bestselling Trim Healthy Mama Plan is just what readers have been waiting for. It features simple, mouthwatering, recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner—including slow cooker and one-pot meals, hearty soups and salads, omelets and waffles, pizzas, breads and more.  No Trim Healthy Mama should be deprived, so there are also favorite snacks, delectable desserts, and the smoothies, sippers and teas fans love. With  pantry-stocking advice, time-saving tips, and information on how to cook for the entire family, the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook offers a delicious and nutritious way to make trim and healthy meals with less stress—so you have more time with your loved ones.

My Thoughts: I love cookbooks! Having heard about Trim & Healthy mamas recipes I wanted to try some of their healthy and tasty recipes. This is their first cookbook and I was quite impressed....over 350 recipes!
I've wanted to eat at home at healthier for awhile now.  So, this cookbook has arrived in the nick of's time to eat healthier!
These are recipes for the lady who would like to eat healthier and trim down at the same time.  We all know how that baby fat likes to hold on!
Of course, there are some "unusual" ingredients, "unusual" ingredients  as in they are healthy and help one to lose weight.  Ingredients like:  non-GMO alcohols, Stevia (I prefer to use Truvia), and quite a few other ingredients that I found at our local health food store.
These recipes may not be cheap to make but they are fairly easy and so healthy. And they make enough for leftovers for another meal; unless, you are cooking for a group...then it will make for that one meal.
This is a lovely cookbook.  I'll be making a couple pf desserts for Thanksgiving and then beginning the more healthy eating after the New Year.  Here's to eating healthier!

Two recipes that I love:

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

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (September 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101902663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101902660

Monday, November 16, 2015

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

And Our Winner is...

Congratulations to

A Noble Masquerade
by Kristi Ann Hunter!

Book Blurb:
Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as he approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become even more complicated. Especially when hidden state secrets and dangerous encounters prove everything isn't exactly as it seems.

4 1/2 stars and Top Pick! from RT
Debut author Hunter pens a fantastic Regency romance. The characters are endearing and their motivations are not always what they might seem on the surface. This air of mystery adds depth to the tale. The romance portrayed is top notch and will cause readers to sigh with delight in the end.

A few words from our voters:

  • Kristi Ann Hunter is a fantastic author!
  • Go, go, go Kristi! Love the cover and the title!
  • Kristi Ann Hunter, i loved this book. great characters and wonderful story line.
  • Kristi Ann Hunter, you rock and your book is awesome! :D

Kristi shared the below information with us, too!

Book News:
An Elegant Facade, the sequel to A Noble Masquerade, is available for paperback pre-order on Amazon.

Book club prize packs are still available for book clubs that select A Noble Masquerade.!bookclubs/c1gbn

Ongoing Contests:
12 Books, 12 Winners Christian Historical Romance contest. A Noble Masquerade is one of the books that will be given away.

Caught You Reading Contest where you could win a sneak peek at my next novel.!contests/calh

Buy Links Available here:!a-noble-masquerade/c190y 

Author Bio:
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

This is the BEST ever pumpkin pie!  
I make it every Thanksgiving!  
And I don't even like pumpkin pie but I love this pie!
Go HERE for directions!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary) by Nancy Mehl

Book Description:  Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can't ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life. 

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church--the very man she'd loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal--or the very person she's seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?

My Thoughts:  After reading Gathering Shadows and Deadly Echoes, I was {im}patiently waiting for the next book in the Finding Sanctuary "series."  
These three books are not a series about the same person but a series about a place, Sanctuary, a very conservative Mennonite town.
Sophie Wittenbauer has quite a bit of shame and remorse from her past.   Living in a conservative Mennonite town, Sophie decides to pursue a career as an entry -level writer at newspaper where she overhears the office gossip about a prisoner who has information about a decades-old unsolved crime.
After hearing that the criminal is hiding out in a small Mennonite towing Sanctuary, Missouri, Sophie decides to investigate this info.  
When she arrives at Sanctuary she meets the local pastor who is none other than her lost love from her troubled teenage years.
As Sophie delves into the past and into the investigation of the "bad guy" she begins to learn a whole lot more about herself AND someone is determined that the "secrets" stay secrets.
I LOVE, LOVE books authored by Nancy Mehl.  She is one of my favorite suspense authors! 
This is a grandtastic book filled with love, suspense and secrets!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

Don't miss the first two books:

  • Series: Finding Sanctuary (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211591

Monday, November 9, 2015

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

September Releases Clash 2015!

WWelcome back to our arena! We have six authors stepping onto our sands, ready to wield their mighty pens. Please look at each of their covers and descriptions and choose which one looks most appealing to you. Which would go on the top of your to-be-read pile?
Let the game... BEGIN!

A Tide Worth Turning by Beth Wiseman:
In her newest novella, A Tide Worth Turning, author Beth Wiseman dives deep into the heart of a woman who is bound by what she believes to be true, and how she reacts when these false beliefs are brought to light.  The book is a fast read, with many dimensions of secrets and a love story that is pure and heartfelt giving readers a glimpse of how deep God's love is for us,  that forgiveness is a choice and how letting go of the past can set you free to love unconditionally.

Beyond the Cherokee Trail by Lisa Carter:
When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on—literally—into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago.

When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer:
Riddled with doubt, will Suzanne find strength in God to send her precious daughter on a search for her roots? And will lingering regrets rob Paul and Suzanne of a second chance at love?

The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon:
With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White:
When Brook discovers she is an English heiress, it seems all her dreams of belonging have come true. That is, until a threat from her family's past resurfaces, jeopardizing her future--and her very life.

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter:
Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as she approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become even more complicated. Especially when hidden state secrets and dangerous encounters prove everything isn't exactly as it seems.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

All Is Calm, All Is Bright: A Colleen Coble Christmas Collection by Colleen Coble AND GIVEAWAY!

Book Description: Return to two of Colleen Coble’s most beloved settings—Bluebird Ranch and Hope Beach—for holiday romance and mystery!

All Is Calm
It’s going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch.
Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his Marine buddies. Now, it seems just the place to spend Christmas recovering from an on-the-job injury.
Lauren Everman first came to the ranch as a foster kid, but now knows it’s the perfect hideout. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low. Her beauty immediately catches Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one. Can he trust her, or is she putting the ranch at risk? One thing is certain: he’s going to do everything he can to keep her safe so he can see what magic Christmas brings.
All Is Bright
A romantic Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn gives Delilah’s unique gifts a chance to shine. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”?
As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friend, Elin Summerall. But when Delilah’s car is forced off the road and into the ocean, she finally has to admit that the strange phone calls she’s been receiving lately may be more than just pranks.
Sheriff Tom Bourne has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. He hopes to win her heart by giving her the surprise gift of a lifetime . . . but first he has to make sure nothing happens to her before Christmas Day.
My Thoughts:  The Christmas reads are coming in...yay!  
Coleen Coble has two great novellas in one sweet book. 
The first novella, All Is Calm, is full of suspense.  Ironically, all is not calm at Bluebird Ranch.  Lauren Everman comes to the ranch to hide out.  She remembers the ranch from her days as a foster child. And Brendan Waddell comes to the ranch to visit friends. 
Brendan feels "love at first sight for Lauren.  But as he gets to know her he knows she is hiding something.  
A great short story full of suspense and mystery!
Then All Is Bright is the story about Delilah.  Delilah wants her friend to have the dream wedding she always wanted.  Sheriff Tom Bourne has admired Delilah and wants to protect her...he also wants to win her heart.  He plans a great surprise for her.  
Another great suspense short story with wonderful characters that come to life in the pages of a great read!
This book would make a nice Christmas card for someone who needs a lift during the holidays.
Thomas Nelson is also hosting a giveaway with FIVE winners.
Go HERE to enter the giveaway!
*This book was provided for review as part of the Thomas Nelson
Fiction Guild Team Challenge*

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718037820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718037826