Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WOW {WarmOven Wednesday}

Love this Smoothie!  Yes .... they are SO good!
Chocolate Banana Smoothie (Makes one smoothie)
1 cup chocolate milk
1 medium, ripe banana (frozen)
small container vanilla yogurt (either 6 oz or 8oz works)
Add all three ingredients to blender and blend away until smoothie is thick and frothy.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Faith (Quaker Brides) by Lyn Cote

Book Description:  The Civil War battlefield is the last place Quakeress Faith Cathwell thought she’d find herself. But with a gift for nursing, Faith seizes this opportunity to join the fight for abolition―and to search for Shiloh, a freeborn childhood friend who was kidnapped and sold south by unscrupulous slave catchers.

Knowing it’s much too dangerous for her to search enemy territory alone, Faith enlists the help of Colonel Devlin Knight, who is indebted to her for saving his cousin’s life. A career soldier, Dev is committed to the preservation of the Union but conflicted about freeing his own slave and confidant, who plans to enlist as soon as Dev gives him manumission papers.

Blazing a trail east with the rest of Grant’s army, Dev and Faith fight their personal battles―and a growing attraction to each other. When beliefs clash and passions flare, they quickly find that the only thing more dangerous than the war surrounding them is the battle within their hearts.

My Thoughts:  I love stories by Lyn Cote!  I love the way she brings ideas to life with swords.  I'm also ready to read something a little I was excited to receive, Faith.
This is book 3 in the Quaker Brides trilogy.  I missed Honor and Blessing.  Of course, I will be going back to read those two in the near future.
Faith as you may have guessed is the name of a young woman.  Faith Cathwell is a Quaker.  One of the Friends.  Even though Quakers are peace loving, Faith decides to help in the battle fray.  
Faith has a gift for nursing and she wants to help those in the Civil War battle.  But she also has another reason for going to the battlefield.  She is searching for a childhood friend, Shiloh, who was kidnapped by slave catchers and sold to southerners.
Of course, Faith will need help in this dangerous search...enter Colonel Devlin Knight. 
I loved this read....romance, intrigue and faith!  
Don't miss this wonderful stand alone historical read!

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Series: Quaker Brides (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414375638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414375632

Monday, March 28, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Dressed for Death . . .

Featuring "Dressed for Death"

A recency-ero costume party should be no more than an amusing diversion, but it seems, wherever Drew Farthing goes, mystery--and murder--are on the guest list.

Drew and Madeline Farthering arrive at a Regency-Era house party at Winteroak House, excited to be reunited with old friends, including Drew’s former Oxford classmate Talbot Cummins. Tal is there with his fiancée, Alice Henley, and though many present seem worried about the couple, nobody is prepared when Alice dies from an apparent overdose. Tal refuses to believe she’d taken the drugs intentionally, and a dark question arises of whether the death is an accident or murder. The police have their own information though, and Drew is shocked when they arrest someone he’s trusted and admired since his childhood—someone who’s been smuggling drugs into the country for years. Stunned by what has happened, Tal begs Drew to get to the bottom of everything, but Drew’s never felt more unsettled. Questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, Drew doesn’t know who to trust, and he’s not ready for the secrets he’s about to uncover—or the danger he’ll bring down on everyone he holds dear. 


About the author:

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

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


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


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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles} New Release by Michelle Massaro

New Contemporary Release: Grace in the Flames by Michelle Massaro

Debut Release by Michelle Massaro:

Grace in the Flames

"I couldn't put it down, consider yourself warned."
~ Amazon reviewer

About the book:

Three people. One God of grace.

John Douglas thought he knew the future God had for him--raise a family and grow old with his bride, Hannah. But then a deadly house fire incinerates his faith, destroying the man he’d been.

Worship leader Jenni Dupont conquered her demons years ago and has the scars to prove it. But temptation strikes when her world is shattered, and this time she's not sure if God can carry her through.

Bar waitress April Johanson lives with the secret trauma of an abusive past. Desperate to stay off the streets of Vegas, she’ll do whatever is necessary to pay the rent.

When their lives intersect, God will ask them to do the impossible. To love Him even if…


>>Buy on Amazon<<


What readers are saying:
  • "intense"
  • "I was hooked from the first chapter"
  • "outstanding debut novel"
  • "couldn't put it down"

Michelle, what made you write this story?

The story premise came to me as I was just pondering my faith, asking myself how deep does it go, would it survive if truly challenged? The characters wrestle with some of life's toughest questions—How could God let this happen to me? Where is God when my heart is breaking? I believe in God, but my hurt is so big I’m not sure He’s enough. These are all thoughts that I've encountered in my life as well.

But even when life is unbearably hard, God is right there placing our tears in a bottle and inviting us into His arms to carry us through. I hope readers come away with a better sense of that truth when they read Grace in the Flames.

What's next?

I’m about to release my second novel, a fun dual-genre story I co-wrote with the amazing April W Gardner called Better than Fiction. It’s a Women’s fiction wrapped around a historical romance set in 1916 Corona during the height of its auto racing glory. The short description is:
While creating a fictional romance between her 1916 heroine and a reckless racecar driver, a novelist falls prey to an emotional affair with the man who inspires her handsome hero.
Corona, California is my hometown and it’s been a blast to dig into our rich history. The release will coincide with the town’s 100th anniversary of the final race, and we are so excited! We have a Facebook page set up for the book: and will be offering a free digital copy to subscribers, so check that out, too!


About the Author:

MICHELLE MASSARO writes contemporary fiction soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.


Connect with her online:


"I was hooked from the first chapter" Check out Grace in the Flames! #NewRelease #ChristianFiction

 "intense" Grace in the Flames is now in the #Kindle store!

"couldn't put it down" ~ check out new #Christian #novel Grace in the Flames!

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Daring Sacrifice Paperback by Jody Hedlund

Book Description: In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise.

My Thoughts:  I've seen novels penned by Jody Hedlund but I have never read one of them.  So, when I saw this interesting book I knew it was time to read one of Jody's novels.
Daring Sacrifice is somewhat like Robin Hood's story...but yet, unlike his story.  Also, I found out after receiving this book that there is a book before this one titled, An Uncertain Choice.  Since I haven't read An Uncertain Choice I read A Daring Sacrifice as a stand alone read.
This was an interesting novel.  
Juliana has some amazing archery talents for such a young woman.  And she and Collin have quite a fast paced romance.  Oh, and my favorite, the peasants live underground.  Living in the forest and then living underground was quite a painted picture. 
Juliana has the "odds" stacked against her but she is fearless and brave and well, there's Collin. Collin is quite a help.
This is an action packed book.  Not overly done but enough so that the reader is quickly turning the pages.
Well written with a few surprises sprinkled in for added reading pleasure.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Gld edition (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310749379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310749370

Friday, March 18, 2016

That's Not Hay in My Hair by Juliette Turner

Book Description:  New York City life had crammed sidewalks, gasoline-filled puddles, and angry taxi drivers, but Juliette enjoyed the towering sky-scrapers, the half-block walk to school, and the restaurant smells wafting into her bedroom. She had never cared for a horse, let alone a long-horn, when her mother announced their imminent move to a 300 acre ranch in Texas, where they would be caring for three horses, five dogs, twenty-five longhorns, and a cat … all by themselves.
Juliette couldn’t help feeling excited, even though she’d have to climb a hill to get a bar of cell-phone service. Soon she was running from bats and snakes, rescuing a calf from a twenty-foot ditch, medicating ponies, and having adventures so crazy it’s hard to believe they’re for real—but it all happened exactly how it’s written.
My Thoughts:   Every once in awhile, as an adult, I like to read a young adult (youth) book.  Why?  To get a different perspective on life and to read something that is "lighter" than my normal readings.
I must admit that this story took me off guard and had me laughing out loud....seriously LOL!    
When I was a young child I was enthralled when I got to watch Green Acres reruns. The TV show where the lady is a city slicker and knows absolutely nothing about farm life and the man of the house is the farmer.  And because the lady of the house is from the city she makes all of these very funny mistakes in country living.  Well, Juliette and her mom move from the city, New York, to a Texas ranch and watch out long horns. 
The escapades are hilarious especially when someone knows absolutely nothing about ranching.  
I loved this seriously funny story!  And it's a great read for tweens as well as teens.
*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (March 8, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310732441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310732440

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dressed for Death (A Drew Farthering Mystery) by Julianna Deering

Book Description:  Drew and Madeline Farthering celebrate their six-month anniversary by attending a fancy Regency era costume party. Drew is glad to see Talbot Cummins, an Oxford classmate, and his fiancée, Alice Henley, though many present seem worried about the couple. Everyone's concerns are realized when, at the concluding grand ball, Alice dies of an overdose of cocaine. Tal refuses to believe she took the stuff intentionally, and Drew is determined to find out if her death was an accident or murder.

Drew is shocked and disillusioned when the police arrest Tal's father and reveal that the man has been smuggling drugs into the country for the past twenty years. Reeling from the death of his fiancée and the revelation about his father, Tal begs Drew to find out what's going on. Drew, now questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, does so reluctantly, not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

My Thoughts: Yay!  Another Drew Fathering Mystery!  After reading each of the Drew Fathering mysteries I have found that although each book is a stand alone story it is a wise reader who reads these Drew Farthing mysteries in order.  
In this story Drew and Madeline are married and celebrating six months by attending a Regency era costume party.  Oh, What a party this turns out to be!
At the party Drew sees an Oxford college classmate, Talbot (Tal) Cummins and his fiancee, Alice Henley.  
As the party comes to the grand ball Alice keels over, she dies.  Evidence points out that Alice took cocaine.  This is where the mystery begins for Drew.  Tal's dad is arrested for drug trafficking.  Tal is in shock about the whole picture...his dead fiancee and a dad who is into drugs.  Tal begs Drew to investigate.
As Drew begins to investigate secret up on secret is revealed.  Funny how truth brings secrets to light.
All of the Drew Farthering mysteries are wonderful!  But this British cozy mystery is one of Juliana Deering's best!  What a read!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

The other Drew Farthing mysteries:

  • Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076421411X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764214110

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Just in time for Easter!  Oh!So!Good!  {From Pinterest}

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, March 15, 2016

{Kregel Blog Tour} The Jazz Files (Poppy Denby Investigates #1) by Fiona Veitch Smith

Book Description:  Introducing Poppy Denby, a young journalist in London during the Roaring Twenties, investigating crime in the highest social circles!
In 1920, twenty-two year old Poppy Denby moves from Northumberland to live with her paraplegic aunt in London. Aunt Dot, a suffragette who was injured in battles with the police in 1910, is a feisty and well-connected lady.
Poppy has always dreamed of being a journalist, and quickly lands a position as an editorial assistant at the Daily Globe. Then one of the paper's writers, Bert Isaacs, dies suddenly--and messily. Poppy and her attractive co-worker, photographer Daniel Rokeby begin to wonder if it wasn't a natural death, but murder.
After she writes a sensational exposé, The Globe's editor invites her to dig deeper. Poppy starts sifting through the dead man's files and unearths a major mystery which takes her to France--and into deadly danger.

My Thoughts:  Ohhh!  A new series and an new author!  Love at first read!  
The Roaring Twenties, mystery, and  young journalist.
The Jazz Files, Poppy Denby Investigates, is about a young lady in the 20's who moves to London to be with her paraplegic aunt.  Poppy's (don't you just love her name) parents think she is going to help Aunt Dot and live with her as a sort of companion.  Little do her parents know that Aunt Dot used that "companion thing" as a ruse because she wants Poppy to have a career and a go at life. 
And, oh, Aunt Dot was a suffragette. But Poppy feels she is deceiving her parents.  But not to worry...
Poppy answers an ad in the paper to be an editorial assistant and lands the job.
This is where the mystery of the paper's ends up dead and it ain't pretty dead.  Poppy and her ever so handsome co-worker decide that this wasn't a natural death and decides to write a sensational expose, which get the attention of the editor who then tells Poppy to dig deeper.  
As Poppy goes through the dead man's files, a  mystery evolves and takes her into France and deadly danger.  
What a mystery!  Loved this read!  
No spoilers!  This one book you'll want to read for yourself!  

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

  • Series: Poppy Denby Investigates
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction (November 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782641750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782641759

Monday, March 14, 2016

An Amish Market by An Amish Market: Four Novellas by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, Vannetta Chapman

Book Description:  
All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors. Feel free to come in and browse!
Love Birds by Amy Clipston
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?
A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?
Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.
Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible
My Thoughts:  It's so nice to receive a book that has four novellas.  Sometimes, a reader just wants a short, light read instead of the whole novel.  And this book An Amish Market is all that.

Love Birds by Amy Clipston is the first story.  Ellie and Lloyd have trials but persevere through enduring love.  A sweet romantic story.

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller is a fun story.  It seems that Ezra needs a "light" to go on to see his love for Hannah.  Hannah and Ezra are the sweetest, awkward souls that make a couple.

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin is all about Bee County.  This Will's story. It is fun to read how Isabella helps Will adjust and overcome resentments from his past.

Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman is about an "older" couple, David and Stella, as they navigate around a mystery in their workplace.  Stella is not a likable character but Mrs. Chapman does an excellent job of showing the bitterness behind Stella's facade.

Four wonderful stories from four of my favorite authors. 
Any reader who enjoys Amish fiction and short stories will love this book!  

Makes a great gift, too!

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

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529118688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118684

Amy Clipston – websiteTwitterFacebook
Kathleen Fuller
Kathleen Fuller – websiteTwitterFacebook
Kelly Irvin
Kelly Irvin – websiteFacebook
Vannetta Chapman –  websiteblogFacebookPinterestTwitterGoodreads.

Friday, March 11, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles} February Release Champion!!

February Release Champion!!

Let's hear it for this week's clash winner, A WORTHY HEART! Way to go, Susan! 

Here's what her readers are saying:

A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason is on the already at the top of my TBR!!

Love love love Susan Mason books! Can't wait for the next one!

Susan Anne Mason's historical fiction has well developed stories and fascinating characters. I hate it when they end! 

On top of the beautiful stories in Susan Anne Mason's Courage to Dream series, they are also some of the most intriguing and gorgeous book covers. I'm very excited to read the second book in this series.

As her readers know, there's so much more to this book than an intriguing blurb and a beautiful picture on the front. Let's peek behind the cover and learn a little more about it.

Susan, what was your inspiration for this book? 

I guess the loose inspiration was the biblical story of the prodigal son. Adam personifies the prodigal son who betrays his father with a life of sin and returns home with nothing, willing to work at the lowest job in the stables. Yet unlike the prodigal son in the Bible, Adam is not met with joy from his father, but rather anger and distrust — which puts a whole new spin on the story. And, of course, adds great conflict! 

Talk about the theme. What can readers hope to learn from reading this novel? 

I believe the theme is worthiness. Adam struggles with feelings of unworthiness because of his past mistakes. During his prison stay, the prison chaplain rekindles Adam’s faith and allows him to believe he is a worthy child of God. Even so, Adam’s main goal upon his release from prison is to prove his worthiness to his mother and father in order to earn back their respect. Once he meets Maggie, however, he longs to be worthy of her heart, a goal that seems impossible given all the obstacles in their way. 

Interested? Here's the full description:

The answer to Maggie Montgomery's dream of seeing America has arrived at just the right time. Not only will she be reunited with her beloved brother Rylan, but she'll finally be able to escape Neill Fitzgerald and his increasingly unwanted attentions. She's intent on never returning to Ireland, hoping to build her future in the land of opportunity and perhaps find the love of her life. 

While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man she thinks is a stable hand. Only when her brother demands she stay away from Adam O'Leary does she learn he's Rylan's brother-in-law, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can't seem to make her stubborn heart conform to her brother's request.

Adam O'Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Now a free man, Adam's only desire is to earn back his family's trust. Falling in love with the newly arrived Maggie, however, was never in his plans. Despite everyone's efforts to keep them apart, the two develop a bond it seems nothing can break--but they soon discover the past isn't easy to overcome.


Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys. A Worthy Heart is her second historical novel in the Courage to Dream series. Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Authors chapter of RWA. 

Susan lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She loves red wine and chocolate, is not partial to snow even though she’s Canadian, and is ecstatic on the rare occasions she has the house to herself. In addition to writing, Susan likes to research her family history on-line, and occasionally indulges in scrapbooking. Learn more about Susan and her books at

People can contact me through my website:

Or my author page on Facebook: