Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

I found this wonderful recipe on Pinterest.
Easy cinnamon waffles made with 
Pillsbury cinnabon rolls.


can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
cup powdered sugar
tablespoons milk
teaspoon vanilla

    • Directions: 

    • Heat waffle maker; spray with cooking spray. Remove cinnamon rolls from can; set icing aside.
      • For each waffle, place 1 cinnamon roll in center of waffle maker; close. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until waffle is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
    • Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together reserved icing, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth.
    • Serve glaze over hot waffles.  
    These are also delicious served with real maple syrup instead of the cream cheese glaze. Add some toasted pecans for extra crunch.

  • ***Be sure to spray the waffle iron in between each waffle. The sugar from the cinnamon roll can make the waffles stick.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Gladden the Heart (Amish Turns of Time, Book 5) by Olivia Newport

Book Description:  When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna's intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith..  Now they must grapple with whether love is possible...even if they come to different conclusions.

My Thoughts:  Olivia Newport is a brand new author for me.  So I was quite interested in reading this novel.  What I didn't realize ohs that this is the fifth book in Amish Turns of Time.  Each book is a sand alone even though it's about a community of Amish believers.
First of all this story is about the Amish and the second interesting part of the story is about the camp meetings that were popping up around the country in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  
I never thought about the Amish being interested in camp meetings because they have their own faith and meet for church at each other's houses.
This story also begs the question "What is really the spirit of God?"
Is this revivalism with the Holy Ghost a true work? Or is it a man made gimmick.
Such an interesting read!  
Olivia Newport truly hit on a subject that could cause controversy in any religious group but the Amish!  
The story of Susanna, Noah and Adam is all about a controversy that can break up couples and families.  
So what does God require and is He in the works of man?

*This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing*

More in the Amish Turns of Time Series:
Wonderful Lonesome
Meek and Mild
Brightest and Best
Hope in the Land

  • Series: Amish Turns of Time (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (July 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683221109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683221104

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery) by Deb Richardson-Moore

Book Description:  A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road--an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.
Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.
Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn't there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.
This second installment in the author's first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets--both of which the author knows well.

My Thoughts: Yay! Another Branigan Powers Mystery!  This is the second book in the series.  And I do love these mysteries!  These are superb cozy mysteries. 

After a fatal crash when two college girls are headed home for the holidays, the one surviving girl awakens and relates that a 1950's hearse tried to push them off the road.

When reporter Branigan Powers hears this news she is on the case.  

Branigan takes off to the college campus where she actually fits into the college scene. But things are not always as they seem.  

Branigan asks Malachi Martin, a homeless man, who sees more than most to go to the accident site and help her "see" what others are missing.  With the clock ticking towards doom, Branigan and Malachi form an awesome duo to get to the bottom of the hearse mystery.

This is an interesting story of Branigan's life in the newsroom and Malachi's life on the streets. 

This was quite a mystery.  I truly enjoyed the mystery and the author wrote a great story so I couldn't understand why this same author who says she is a pastor would write that alot of the characters drank alcohol and at the beginning of the story she described a man as having a stick in his butt.  O.My.Lanta!  Why not just write he walked ramrod straight?!?!  I simply get tired of authors/people not using good descriptive words.  We have wonderful adjectives and adverbs at our disposal there is no excuse for "ugly" talk.  *Otherwise I enjoyed the storyline*

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

  • Series: A Branigan Powers Mystery
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction (June 27, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782642404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782642404

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze

Book Description:  Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.
Is it possible to marry the wrong man?
When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .

My Thoughts:  This story/series reminds me of the Love Finds You books that came out a few years ago.
Anyway with that said, I was pleasantly surprised at how humorous this story turned out.
Rebecca Rice is a mail-order bride and is looking forward to slow pleasant life as a shop keeper's wife.
So when she arrives and this handsome, strong man greet her.  Off the couple go to be married by the Justice of the Peace.
But when they are being married Rebecca hears the justice of the peace pronounce her intended's name asThaddeus and not Theodore.  But she shakes it off as wedding jitters.
Ahhh....then later the couple comes to realize that they both have similar names as the people they were to meet up with.  Well, Rebecca sets out to get an annulment from this lawman.  She does not want to marry a lawman like her father.  She just wants a nice quiet life and Mr. Fordham (Theodore) wants to marry pretty Rebecca.
Oh, what fun!  Oh, what a mess!  Oh, what is love!
What we think we don't want is sometimes exactly what we need.
This was a cute, fun read!  

*This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing*

  • Series: My Heart Belongs
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (May 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683220110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683220114

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Legacy (Secrets of the Shetlands) by Michael Phillips

Book Description:  Loni Ford's unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate--not to mention a title--in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whale's Reef. How is life ever to be the same with an outsider--and a woman, at that--playing such a pivotal role in the life of this conservative community? But it isn't just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams. 

What Loni is more sure of, however, is that she is falling in love--with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, with its simple, peaceful way of life, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. 

But life in Whales Reef is not without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong residents, and when one local resident turns up dead, suspicion is cast in the direction of the island's most prominent family. How Loni and David deal with this challenge will go a long way in determining their future, and that of the quaint island community.

My Thoughts:  I love this book cover... there is something so romantic about the sheep, the fog, the couple and the house/estate in the distance.
This the dramatic conclusion to Secrets of the Shetlands.  So be sure not to miss the other two books because one really needs to read the first two books to understand all that is going on in this dramatic conclusion.
Lone Fors had an unexpected inheritance and a title that goes with he inheritance.  But, remember, the "natives" consider Loni and outsider.  So how can an outsider play such a great role in their community?
Of course, Loni begins to love the people and Whales Reef. So, when one of the locals turns up dead it seems that Loni and David will have to deal with this problem too.  
The community is not quite to the trusting place yet.  So Loni and David have more than a challenge on their hands they have a murder.
This is a wonderful and, yes, dramatic conclusion to a most satisfying trilogy!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

  • Series: Secrets of the Shetlands (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 4, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076421957X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764219573

{Fiction Guild} An Amish Summer: Four Novellas by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller & Kelly Irvin

Book Description:  
A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray

When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham’s arrival, however, he realizes he’s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?
Summer Storms by Amy Clipston
Ariana is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna’s brother Tobias, who happens to be Jesse’s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna’s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.
Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller
Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known—and loved—her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.
One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin
Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.

My Thoughts:  I love a book that has four stories in it.  Then I can read one short story go do something and then later read another story.  It's so nice not to feel like I have to read a book all at one time. 😊
I loved all the stories.  Each story is about summer in the Amish community.

Usually I have a favorite author or a favorite story but not this time.
All the short stories stole my heart strings.

And each story is different from the previous ones...because each author has her own way of writing.  Than, of course, each author wrote about something Amish but not the same as the other authors.

This is a great book to take to the beach, on vacation or simply read in your own backyard.

All of these authors are great writers so the reader who enjoys Amish fiction won't be disappointed.

Great book!

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

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 6, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718078845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718078843

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Some of the BEST cookies!  Go HERE for recipe.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis

Book Description:  Since orphaned at age twelve, Carmela Wade has lived a lie orchestrated by her uncle, pretending to be a survivor of an Indian kidnapping and profiting from telling her made-up story on the speaker circuit. But as she matures into adulthood, Carmela hates the lies and longs to be free. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with US Marshal Freeland McKay and his handcuffed prisoner.
The stage is attacked. Now a chance to make a new life may suddenly be within Carmela’s reach. . .if she can survive the harsh terrain and being handcuffed to an unconscious man.

My Thoughts:  I enjoy stories by Susan Page Davis.  So I grabbed the cahnce to read this one.
Carmela Wade is orphaned and unfortunately she lives with her uncle who makes her lie about her life story so that he can make money.  Carmella hates the deceit and cheating people.
She and her uncle have to take a stagecoach through Arizona territory and on the stage is a US marshal Freeland McKay with a prisoner he keeps in handcuffs.
This is where the story gets interesting and filled with action.  The stage is attacked by Indians.  And Carmella being smart sees this as her only chance to escape her uncle and life filled with deceit.  
So she decides to flee but remember she is in Arizona territory in the Superstition Mountains.  This rugged terrain and not of the faint of heart.  And to top it off she decides to "rescue" the prisoner.
He is handcuffed and unconscious.  
What a story!
I loved it !  And can't wait for the next one!  

**This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing*

My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla's Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July 2017)

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)

  • Series: My Heart Belongs
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (March 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683220072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683220077

Monday, July 10, 2017

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!
She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.


About Tender Shadows:

When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State Department job assigns her to an uncaring Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, her intense loneliness leads her to make decisions that clash with her values. Then she receives a new assignment to the Middle Eastern kingdom of Al Hajar and a chance to serve with an old friend, Joe Harlan, widowed a few years before. Can she overcome the grip of past choices? Not yield to them again? Can Joe accept what she’s done…and move beyond, perhaps even to loving her?

Joe’s daughter, Annie, working under Beth at the U.S. embassy, deals with her own secret choice. And the young diplomat, Palestinian-American David Antony, struggles with traumatic stress because of a choice he made earlier in Iraq. Yet Annie and David are inexplicably drawn toward each other.

Together, might this thrown-together community find courage to live out his or her individual calling…for such a time as this? And find a forever love?

Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr:

Ann has at one time or another been a full-time wife and mother, computer programmer, historic preservation planner, Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, and, since 2004, full-time writer (more or less).  OakTara has published six of her novels. The latest is Tender Shadows, which came out this spring. Her last article was “The Diversity of God’s Call to Writers” in the winter 2012 issue of ACFW Journal.

Ann, many of the major characters in your novels are American Christians who serve their country at United States embassies overseas, as you did. What kinds of tasks did you and your colleagues perform overseas?

The work is tremendously varied. The web site gives some idea of what Foreign Service officers do. My job as a consular officer included aiding American citizens overseas. Some tasks were routine: renewing U.S. passports and performing notary services. Others were anything but routine, such as notifying families in the United States that a loved one had died overseas or visiting Americans who were jailed in the foreign country and reporting on their conditions--to the families and to the State Department.

How did your experiences influence your writing?

Observing the United States from other cultures, I developed an interest in why and how this country and its culture became what they are in the twenty-first century. The changes in our country from 1990, when I came into the Foreign Service, until 2004, when I left, have been tremendous. I was assigned to Saudi Arabia during both Gulf Wars (1991 and 2003) as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As we all know, the changes haven’t stopped since then.

Two observations stand out: 1) How decadent some foreigners judged our culture, based on the sometimes hedonistic lifestyles illustrated in the media. 2) For America to be the world power that it is, many Americans, including American Christians, often appeared not interested in what goes on in the world outside our borders.

A lot of my stories concern Christians working to explain the country they represent to foreigners. Beset with the same temptations and challenges that Americans experience domestically, they attempt to live out their Christian commitment in their foreign settings. The settings may reflect these temptations and challenges through a different lens.

Is this especially true for Tender Shadows?

I think so. A couple of the characters have strayed further from their commitments than in any of my other novels and struggle to find their way back. The small embassy community they inhabit means they work out their problems in closer quarters than in most domestic settings. Plus, foreign demonstrations at the embassy, along with concern over hostility toward Americans, heighten the tension and outline the challenges in a deeper hue.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Book Description:  Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.
Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.
But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

My Thoughts:  I loved the books Love Finds You (different places) so when I received My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island I wasn't sure if it would be like Love Finds You or not? Similar but, yet, so different.  😉
The books are similar only in that they contain cozy mysteries and sweet romance.  My Heart Belongs probably isn't quite as heavy in the romance area.  (my opinion)
Maude's Mooring is a delightful story.  
I learned quite a it about Mackinac Island, a place I've never visited.  
The mystery part of the story was well written.  I really like Ben Steffans.  And Maude is such an independent young lady.  
This was a delightful story.  And I look forward dot more My Heart Belongs . . . 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review*

  • Series: My Heart Belongs
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (July 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683220889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683220886