Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Courtship Basket (An Amish Heirloom Novel) by Amy Clipston

Book Description:  Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.

Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.
Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.
With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.
The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

My Thoughts:    Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors!   

In this wonderful read about a picnic basket and heart in love one finds that history sometimes, invariably, repeat itself.

Rachel Fisher is completely devastated when the young man that she is dating leaves her/breaks up with her to go with her best friend.  Her heart aches from broken promises.

But when Mike Lantz's father becomes ill and he is responsible for caring for his family it seems overwhelming.  But then Rachel begins to send food to the family in her parents' old picnic basket. Because that's what the Amish do . . . they help each other in times of crisis.

Well, as Mike's dad begins to recover and less responsibility is required of him, he begins to see Rachel.

But Rachel doesn't want heartbreak again.  

This is a fantastic story.  Yes, it is about the Amish but it is so well written that it grabs the reader attention.

Loved, loved this story!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 28, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310342015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310342014

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Great for summer time!  
For when it's too hot to cook . . .
Serves 1 ( I use this for the two of us!)

*2 cups loosely packed fresh kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
*2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
*1 cup shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
*10 raw, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
*3 strawberries, sliced
*1 large carrot, peeled & sliced
*1/4 cup blueberries
*1/3 cucumber, peeled, seeded & sliced
*1/4 cup raspberries
*Olive oil based salad dressing

Directions: Massage kale in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes, or until broken down and tender. Combine with spinach and cabbage, then turn out onto a plate.
  1. Top with remaining ingredients, then drizzle with a good, olive-oil based salad dressing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

God Bless America: A Patriotic Coloring Book Paperback by Multnomah

Book Description:  Enter the pages of this coloring book for adults, and you will find a peaceful way to reflect on what makes America a truly amazing country: our values of equality, opportunity, faith,family, character, generosity, justice, and perseverance. Each coloring page features an original design from one of nine different artists, illustrating an inspirational quote from one of the Founding Fathers, an historic document, a patriotic hymn, or another of America’s heroes.

My Thoughts:  Oh, Yes!  I've been waiting for this adult coloring book!  Yes, I'm a patriotic person!  And, Yes!  I love this book!
I call it a book and not just a coloring book because there are American quotes on the other side of the color page.  
The pictures to color are all American "things."  And mostly have to do with July 4th or Independence Day subjects. . . there are thirty-seven scenes that include the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and the bald eagle.
I also called this an adult coloring book simply because the pictures have small objects to color and there is more reading on the opposite page but a children ages 7 and up may enjoy this great book, too.
So, if you are like me and enjoy coloring and you're a patriotic too then this the book for you.
This coloring book would also make a great gift or prize at your fun filled Fourth of July Celebration.
I love this coloring book!  I'm coloring my best to make it a memorable keepsake.  

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

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah; Clr Csm edition (June 14, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735289743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735289741

The First Hostage: A J. B. Collins Novel by Joel C. Rosenberg

Book Description:  “The president of the United States . . . is missing.”  With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.
As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .
Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

My Thoughts: I first read a novel by Joel Rosenberg when I read, Auschwitz Escape.  One of the BEST books I ever read!  I've been an avid reader of Mr. Rosenberg's books ever since.
Now The First Hostage is quite bit different in the story approach than the other two books I've read by Joel Rosenberg.  But, yet, the imagery, the action and the way the characters act and react are so life like, just like in the other novels I read by Mr. Rosenberg.
As I read The First Hostage it felt as this story were true.  Kind.of.gave me the chills as I read this story because the book seemed so accurate.  
This is the second book in the J.B. Collins "series".  We first, met J.B. Collins in The Third Target.   J.B. Collins is a likable, adventurous news reporter who follows this case of the missing president of the U.S. 
Collins reports the news as truthfully as he sees it.  
But then, he is accused of a crime and must try to clear his name.  
A lot of action! And adventure!  And, in my opinion a lot of truth.  
The reader can tell that Joel Rosenberg has done his research.

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414336284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414336282

Monday, June 27, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Summer Reads: 

Welcome to summer!

Scroll through these FIVE new reads:

Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World—even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

Resilience by L.R. Burkard

In this spell-binding sequel to the post-apocalyptic thriller PULSE, L.R.Burkard takes readers into a landscape where teens shoulder rifles instead of school books, and where survival might mean becoming your own worst enemy.

A Matter of Courage by Wendy Holley

Abused by her famous husband, Irene Brennan is forced to flee to a small town in Montana, leaving everything behind. Trent is used to protecting wild animals from careless hunters, but can he protect Irene from her crazy husband?

Astray (Ariboslia Book 1) by J. F. Rogers

Troubled-teen, Fallon finds hope and family through an unwanted prophecy. In her travels, she learns about the One True God and how desperately she needs Him. Perhaps, with His help, she’ll find the way to fulfill her destiny.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

When NFL super star Gray Fowler is threatened by a stalker, his team hires a professional bodyguard to ensure his safety. But when Gray's "protection" turns out to be a woman half his size, he's indignant. Will Dru Porter--a former Marine and expert markswoman--prove herself worthy of the job? And meanwhile, who's going to guard Gray's heart?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura Mcneill

Book Description:  All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

My Thoughts:  Laura McNeill is a brand new author to me and I believe this is is her second novel.
The story of Allie Marshall was intriguing and the mystery of why she came to be in prison and serve time for a crime she adamantly declares she didn't commit.  
As she is serving her time she had to leave a small daughter behind for her parents and her sister to raise.  It seems that her sister, Emma. actually has raised her daughter, Caroline for ten years while Allie was behind bars.  And it was Emma who consistently visited Allie while she was in prison.
With that said...I found the novel to be well written and well paced.  However, even though Allie prays to God she doesn't seem to have a relationship with Him and there is a lot of sin in Allie's family.  We all sin but it seems to me that there was never a "closure" or a repentance for Allie and her family.  It was all too trite.
And I understand that people in the world use cuss words but when a christian book has four letter words used by the characters I just don't think that it's necessary.  As Louis L'Amour stated, "I've written all these stories without pornography, without obscenity ..."
This story was just okay; however, I was disappointed in the story.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 19, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718030923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718030926

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

This is another great recipe I found on Pinterest:


  1. 8 Chai Tea Bags
  2. 8 Cups of Water
  3. Milk (to taste)
    1. Boil your water and add the tea bags.
    2. Let them seep for about 30 minutes.
    3. Remove the bags and let the tea cool before adding it to a pitcher.
    4. Let chill in the fridge overnight.
    5. Pour half a glass of the chai mix and top with your milk.
    6. Add ice, stir and enjoy!
    7. This makes one pitcher of chai tea mix. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week. When you are ready for a latte - simply add your milk and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Critical Condition by Dr. Richard L. Maybry, M.D.

Book Description:  Dr. Frasier couldn't save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she's fighting for her own life.

It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier's colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.

Her "almost-fiance" Dr. Mark Gilbert's support only adds to Shannon's feelings of guilt, since she can't bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he's just been diagnosed with leukemia.

Shannon thought it couldn't get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, "What did he say before he died?"

With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

My Thoughts: Oh!Joy! I was so excited to read Dr. Mabry's new book!  He's my new favorite author!  Love. Love. His reads!

This is a fairly fast paced read!  

It begins with Dr. Fraiser hosting a dinner party and a man is shot on her front lawn!  Oh! the horror!  Dr. Fraiser can't save him.  Like a terrible dream! A replay of that night ten years ago! 
And then she learns that her sister is on drugs. Again! 
And her boyfriend, almost fiancee, wants a commitment.
And her father is diagnosed with the dreaded illness. 
And the phone calls!  
The feelings of inadequacy, the emotions, the hospital OR, and the suspense!  
It all seems so overwhelming and so unreal.  However, the way that Dr. Maybry pens this wonderful story makes the reader feel as if she is right there, in the middle, trying to figure out the why of it all.
Of course, faith in God and prayer are intermingled throughout out the read, for Who else can we turn to in times of trouble and tragedy?!?
Sometimes our lives/souls are in critical condition and only trusting in the Savior can "fix" it all.
This is one great read!  Go grab a copy!

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401687407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687403

Monday, June 20, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

All that Glitters, a Gold Rush historical romance!

"A wonderfully unpredictable plotline!"

"All that Glitters was a beautifully written story that speaks of redemption and forgiveness."

"The author draws you in and keeps you engaged to the last page."

About the book:
The world has gone plum crazy over gold. Men and women alike would do almost anything to make their fortune. Leaving behind her family and a dying father, Ginny Connor follows the cunning Logan Harris up North to strike it rich. Twenty-year old Vivian Connor embarks on a cross-country chase to rescue her sister Ginny and they are both led into the chaos of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Meanwhile, Ben McCormack leaves his farm to retrieve his intended bride from a rowdy, tent town on the Alaskan coastline. Ben’s path inadvertently entwines with Vivian’s and he finds his heart tugging him in a different direction.

Danger and disappointment plague all their journeys to the far North. Will Vivian find her sister in time to return home to see their father? Can Ginny forgive herself for the decisions she's made? Will Ben find the lifelong love he searches for? When the world listens only to the call of gold, redemption and love become scarce treasures.


Chat with the author:

How do you connect with God best? 
I love listening to the Lord speak into my heart during worship. 

Which Christian author has influenced you the most? 
I have been a fan of Allison Pittman’s work for years. Even more amazing, The Christian Communicator assigned my novel All That Glitters to her for editorial. Her encouragement and insight helped me develop as a writer and take the leap toward publication. 

Are your books only for Christians or would other people also enjoy them? 
My books definitely embrace a Christian worldview; however, the settings and characters are memorable enough for anyone who enjoys a good read.

About the author:
Lisa Flickinger lives in the shadow of the Rockies with her husband Matthew and their dog Zeke. When not writing or reading, you will find her combing antique shops, walking in the woods, or sipping a latte with friends. All That Glitters fulfills the lifelong dream of sharing the characters in her head with you, dear reader. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

 photo credit:

Mexican Chicken Casserole with Cheddar Cheese and Tomatoes

  • 1 10 3/4 -ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10 3/4 -ounce can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 10 3/4 -ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 10-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 whole chicken, cooked, boned, and chopped or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken
  • 11 1/2-ounce package flour tortillas
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the three kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken.
  3. In a greased 13 x 9- inch pan, layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture, beginning and ending with tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace

Book Description:  As one of the bestselling stories of all time, Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ has captivated and enthralled millions around the world―both in print and on the big screen. Now Lew’s great-great-granddaughter has taken the old-fashioned prose of this classic novel and breathed new life into it for today’s audience.

Coming to theaters in August 2016 as Ben-Hur, a major motion picture from MGM and Paramount studios, the story follows Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman whose childhood friend Messala betrays him. Accused of trying to murder the new Roman governor in Jerusalem, Judah is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path.

My Thoughts:  The story of Judah Ben Hur is a classic. It's a wonderful telling of the time of Christ.  Judah Ben Hur has a best friend, Messala.  But as the story goes along and the two boys grow up it seems that Messala does not like Judah Ben Hur like he should; intact, he betrays his friend and Judah Ben Hur ends up serving time on a galley ship as a slave.  This ship is terrible!  Then there's a storm and Judah Ben Hur's life changes.
Back at home Judah Ben Hur seeks his mother and sister but cannot find them.
Then one day a Judah Ben Hur learns that the Christ is in town.
Without giving any spoilers I just want to relay that this is one of the BEST books/stories ever!  And there is one place in the book as Jesus is dying on the cross that I always cry.  (*Hint* It has to do with Judah Ben Hur's sister and mother).
Loved, loved this story!
And don't forget it's going to be a movie in theaters in August 2016...don't miss it!

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Hardcover: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Revised ed. edition (July 19, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496411051

Monday, June 13, 2016

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Finding Hope in Barely above Water

"...a touching story of loss, hope, and healing." ~Nancy Mehl

An illness comes of out nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?



"Gail Pallotta’s contemporary romance novel, Barely Above Water, is a touching story of loss, hope and healing." ~Nancy Mehl—award-winning author of the Finding Sanctuary series. 

"The main theme in Gail Pallotta’s Barely Above Water is “overcoming incredible odds.” Readers will find themselves rooting for characters who face illness, unemployment and heartbreak. I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this story about trust and faith!"
~Loree Lough—bestselling author of more than 100-award-winning books, including RT 4.5 star Top Pick, Saving Alyssa {Harlequin Heartwarming}.

The Story Behind the Story:
Ten years ago I grew very ill. After a month of tests the doctor told me he couldn’t diagnose my malady, so he couldn’t treat me. I had no idea where to turn for help, but the last name of a chiropractor a friend of mine had seen ten years earlier kept popping in my head. I ignored it because I needed medical assistance, not an adjustment, but the name persisted. Finally I called my friend and asked about him. He turned out to be David Lee, D.C., Ph.D., C.Ad., now an alternative doctor as well as a chiropractor. He started treating me immediately for a toxic substance. Later, a scan showed the bacteria for Chronic Lyme Disease. Since then, I’ve met or heard of many people suffering from the ailment, or a malady that can’t be diagnosed. Their stories touched my heart and inspired me to write Barely Above Water, which details symptoms and treatments for the disease. The technical material is woven around a romance and a cute group of youngsters on a summer league swim team, so it’s fun as well as informative. 


Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A regional Writer of the Year for American Christian Writers Association in 2004, she was a 2013 Grace Awards finalist. Gail’s published four books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Connect with Gail on her web site blog Facebook twitter

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

One Paris Summer (Blink) by Denise Grover Swank

Book Description: Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

My Thoughts:  During the summer months when I have time to relax a little I like a purely "no thought" book...just a fun book.  One Paris Summer is a YA read that is just a light, fun read.  And just so you know, books published under the Blink imprint are intended for a general readership without being overtly Christian.
As the story begins Sophie Brooks and her brother are sent to Paris, France for the summer.  For most teens/people this might be a treat but for Sophie
Her father is about to remarry and Sophie and her brother are to be nice and get to know the "other" family.  But as most of us know stepmothers, step siblings can be a trying ordeal, especially to a teen who feels betrayed by her dad.
Sophie loves playing the piano and she was suppose to spend the summer preparing for her scholarship competition but it seems her dad doesn't have a piano and he doesn't seem to support her choice.
A great read about finding oneself as well as learning that choices do matter and that one "bad" summer doesn't make for a "bad" life.
I thought this was a fun, light read about family relationships.

*This book was provided by BookLook*

  • Series: Blink
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (June 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310755166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310755166

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Making this delicious and easy Soapapilla Cheesecake for our Easter lunch! 

Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2-8oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 stick butter (1/2 cup real butter not margarine)
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Unroll and press 1 can crescent rolls into the bottom of your baking dish press the seams together. In a separate bowl blend the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla  spread over top of dough. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese mixture pressing seams together again. Melt butter and pour over top layer of crescents. Mix the reaming 1/2 cup of sugar & cinnamon together. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture generously over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and bottom crust is slightly brown. So easy and delicious! Cool, slice and enjoy!