Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Innkeeper's Daughter by Michelle Griep

Book Description:  Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

My Thoughts:  I hesitate to read Regency novels because they tend to be overly dramatic and a bit overdone; however, I'm glad I took a chance to read The Inn Keeper's Daughter because it is a wonderful read.
I enjoyed this read simply because it was written in good taste and had quite an element of intrigue.  Plus, there is a love story going on which brings the characters into a "real life" sort of way.
Johanna and Alex don't realize that they are fighting for the same thing or that they are on the same team.
Alex wants to help Johanna but if he does all will be lost. And Johanna is having a hard time trusting.
Such great read and well written!

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

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (March 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683224353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683224358

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

So yummy and easy!

Monday, February 26, 2018

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Book Description:  Casey knows the truth.

But it won’t set her free.
Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.
But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

My Thoughts: I've waited {im}patiently for this book.  And I promised myself that when it came I would not read it all at once but read it slowly and savor it.  Well, promises were made to be broken.  The afternoon I received this book I thought I'll just read a couple of chapters.  Ahhh!  This story is faced paced.  What a page turner!  I finished this book in the early evening!  Oh, so good!
I love the way that Terri Blackstock is not preachy but she sure puts the Word of the Lord in her reads.
Another strong point of this story is about PTSD.  I never thought about the different aspects PTSD.  Dylan's story is so very different than Casey's but, yet, they shared a good friend who died and now they both need/want answers.  This is the mystery of the story with suspense on every page.
The story as two different aspects...Casey's and Dylan's.  Casey Cox is one smart cookie. And Dylan is a weary young man trying to prove Casey is innocent.  Will they find the answers they seek?
I loved the story!  And even though "parts" of this story ended I truly hope there is book two because I need to know more!
This is a fantabulous read!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: An If I Run Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310332435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310332435

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Tattered Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Book Description:  Amish widow-turned-newlywed Emma Yoder Miller begins another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students, all with tattered pieces of their lives that need mending.
Selma is a belittling busybody. Terry is a rugged roofer who just wants a casual date with a pretty classmate. Blaine loses a bet and has to join the class, where he soon finds himself in friendly competition with Terry. Anna’s mother signs her up in a desperate attempt to keep Anna from leaving the Amish faith. Carmen holds tightly to bitterness while hiding her secret motives for taking the class. And Cheryl has a broken, mistrusting heart that needs just as much mending as the tattered quilt she brings.
Members of this new patchwork group find friendship, faith, healing, and restoration while gathered around their quilts, under the Father’s guiding hands — for only He can take what’s ragged and shabby from the lives of His children and turn it into beauty for His glory.

My Thoughts:  I read the first book in this Half Stitched Amish Quilting  Club and it was such a fun read.  
So when I received The Tattered Quilt I knew this would be!
And I was so right!
The first club was full of a mixed motley crew.  Again, poor Emma has quite a crew on her hands. I must admit that Selma got on my last nerve.        Terry  and Blaine have some kind of a guy fight going on.  Poor Emma (the only "real" Amish girl in the group) is way too stressed.  Carmen and Cheryl seem somewhat alike...both struggling with "issues."
This is a fantastic read!  There's not a suspense or mystery, just good people relationships and how people of all ages and backgrounds need/should get along in life.  And that's just what the Quilting Club does-it brings people together as they find out more about God and His mercies.
This is a stand alone read and it isn't just an "Amish" read.  Emma and her new husband are Amish but they just teach quilting. 
If you want a fun light read that is serious about God's mercies and lovingkindness then this is the read for you!
Loved, loved this read!  

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616260866
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616260866

Monday, February 19, 2018

Kissed by a Cowboy (A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance) by Debra Clopton

Book Description:  Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong. . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.
Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.
Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

My Thoughts:  Debra Clopton is another favorite author of mine.  She writes the most humorous, light and clean romances.  
When I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by heavier reads I pick a Debra Clopton novel to bring a smile and some fun to by reading life.
Kissed By A Cowboy is the third book in A Four Hearts Ranch Romance series.  These are stand alone reads that all center around ranch life and a cowboy.
This particular story is about divorcee, Cassidy, who decides after reaching rock bottom that she is going to Wishing Springs, Texas, to the rundown farm she inherited from her great aunt, Roxie.
Now Cassidy is done and done with men!  So when she returns to Wishing Springs she is centered on getting her farm up and running.  However, her handsome neighbor, Jarrod Monahan, is determined to get in Cassidy's "space."
A fun, definitely light read full of clean romance.  

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 9, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140169053X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401690533

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Amish Sweethearts: Four Amish Novellas by Amy Clipston

Book Description: Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

My Thoughts:  Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors and she has penned four novellas/short stories that all have to do with love.  Love is in the air:

Love and Buggy Rides: (previously published in An Amish Harvest).  I had already read this short novella.  It's sweet story about a buggy accident that brings Janie and Jonathan together.

A Home for Lindsay:  This story began on a sad note but soon turned into a wonderful story of love and forgiveness.  In this short story we learn that words to do count.  One must open up and share from the heart to be understood.

Where the Heart Is:  This is probably my favorite story out of all the four.  I loved the mystery in it.  And, of course, there is an element of mystery.  A mystery that helps bring the family together and healing is brought through truth, too.

Love Birds (previously published in An Amish Market):  And I already read this story too.  But loved it so read it again.  Grief is hard on Ellie. She sees beauty in Seth's friend, Lloyd's carved birds.  As Ellie and Lloyd become friends they also become soul mates.  

Four great short stories in this one book!  

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

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718091159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718091156

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The View from Rainshadow Bay (A Lavender Tides Novel) by Colleen Noble

Book Description:  After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.
When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.
Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

My Thoughts: Colleen Coble's mystery reads are some of my favorites.  In this particular book, The View from Rainshadow Bay, I thought the suspense was quite well intoned.  Since the setting of the story is in Washington state where the beautiful lavender fields produce quite an artistic flair to this wonderful story.
Shauna is trying with all her might to make a go of it since her husband, Jack, died.  She's doing her best to raise their son and keep her sanity.
Then her business partner is murdered.  And it seems that she and her son are now in grave danger.  The one person she knows might be able to help her is also the one person she blames for her husband's death, Zach Bannister.
But Zach wants to help Shauna.  He feels guilty but he knows he might be the one person that can help her stay safe.
What a story!  Loved the suspense and the mystery.  Honestly had a hard time figuring out the "one" who is guilty.

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

  • Series: A Lavender Tides Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718085760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718085766

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Cute Valentine's Day Treat


For a great Valentine's Treat I'm making Inside Out Chocolate Strawberries!  Simply cut tops off strawberries, hull, and fill with melted chocolate.  When filled, place in egg carton and chill for a couple of hours.  YUM!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw

Book Description: These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal--things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena's simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

My Thoughts:  Some people say that food is an art.  Well to me food is an ends to a mean. Art is something that can be hung up or displayed.  Food is to be eaten and enjoyed.  😋
I love this cookbook.  There are many wonderful recipes.  If one is on a diet or just wants to eat clean and healthy this is the book for you.
As much as I loved this cookbook I just couldn't wrap my head around the different foods to cook.  And I may be a lazy cook because I just don't like complicated recipes.  And, to me, this recipes are a bit time consuming and complicated.
I do like the idea of incorporating vegetables in every dish.  So, I've decided to I can incorporate veggies but maybe not cook quite as complicated.  
Here in the south we cook a bit more uncomplicated.  Ask least in this house we do.
I love the pictures that show the cooked dish.  And the tips are worth reading, too.
A wonderful cookbook for those who have a bit more time and love to cook than I do.

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

One of the recipes:  

Rice, Beans, Tofu, and Greens

Makes 4 To 6 Servings
This dish grew out of my tremendous love of rice and beans, as well as my tendency to load up the dish with extras: greens, peppers, sautéed mushrooms, tofu or tempeh, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I love it because it’s fast and filling, and it all comes together in a single pot. I’m the sort of person who can eat plain tofu right out of the package, so adding unmarinated, uncooked tofu doesn’t bother me. If naked tofu is a turnoff for you, feel free to use 8 ounces (225 g) smoked or baked tofu instead.
Optional Toppings
Crumbled corn chips, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt, then stir in the beans, tomatoes, rice, and water. Add the tofu and stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring gently from time to time, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes for white rice or 40 minutes for brown rice. 
Add the greens, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are wilted. Season with red pepper flakes and stir in lime juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve right away, with any additional toppings you like.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399579052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399579059

With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Book Description:  Humorous Historical Romance Novella 

Collection Offers Love and Laughs

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives. 

Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers. 

My Thoughts:  A fun and light read for the reader who needs a laugh...somtimes a belly laugh from the antics of these proposals gone south.
The novellas are wonderful short stories of love and romance but there's a hitch!  These aren't in the know or are truly lacking in the romance department.  
Love can be quite unexpected and sometimes quite unplanned.

The Husband Maneuver:  This story is about Marietta Hawkins who feels that she must take the lead in the romance department when the ranch foreman, Daniel Barrett, decides he is leaving forever.  Marietta comes up with a plan to lasso Daniel to the altar.
Her Dearly Unintended is a more serious story with Josiah Huckabee trying to save Katie Ellen Watson when a storm comes.  But with a washed out bridge and no way out they must stay put...and then a menacing stranger comes along.  Josiah and Katie [pretend to be married to save their reputations but also to save a life.  However, can a pretend marriage turn into a real marriage?

Runaway Bride is another mini story about a man trying to keep a woman safe by helping her escape from a "bad" man intent on marrying her.  Carrie and Big John, a solitary Texas Ranger, soon finds himself not just taking care of a lady but falling for this lady.  A cute story.

Engaging the Competition introduces us to a tomboy, Charlotte Andrews and Harrison Gray,,,they have been rivals for years.  And Charlotte is intended for another man.  But when Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses, he cannot see thing.  Charlotte must help him with his teaching position making for a fun read.

A thoroughly enjoyable read with four great mini stories from four great western authors!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217722

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

These are the best!  
I love them with coffee in the morning.  
Go Here for the simple recipe!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Step by Step (Crisis Team) by Candace Calvert

Book Description:  Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point―“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.
While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.
When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

My Thoughts:  The first novel I read my Candace Calvert was By your Side.  I enjoyed the read so much that I was thrilled to receive Step by Step the next book in the Crisis Team "series."  Don't worry these books don't have to be read in order.  
Step by Step is about ER nurse Taylor Cabot (Candace is an ER nurse so the scenarios are first hand knowledge).  Since her husband was tragically killed she is trying to get on with her life.  And the handsome plastic surgeon makes her think that maybe she can move on.  And then, the crisis chaplain, Seth Donovan, reappears in her life.
Seth has feelings for Taylor but Taylor seems to want nothing to do with Seth or the Crisis Team....she has a new man and wants to move on.
But then a crisis hits their community and Taylor and Seth must work together.  With emotions running on nerve endings it seems that no one is getting anywhere fast in the love lane. 
And interesting and fast reads.  The medical books are my favorite reads lately because they deal with "things" I know nothing about.
Loved this read!

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Series: Crisis Team
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414390343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414390345

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes

Book Description:  For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Tolliver’s family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves, and the awakening of her heart.

Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years. As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all. Until a young woman gives birth at Ashley’s home and is abducted just as Ashley tries to take the dangerously bleeding mother to the nearest hospital. Now Ashley is on a mission to find the woman and her newborn baby . . . before it’s too late.
Hunter McDermott is on a quest—to track down his birth mother. After receiving more media attention than he could ever want for being in the right place at the right time, he receives a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother. Hunter seeks out the aid of the local midwife in the mountain town where the phone call originated—surely she can shed some light on his own family background.
Ashley isn’t prepared for the way Hunter’s entrance into her world affects her heart and her future. He reignites dreams of having her own family that she has long put aside in favor of earning her medical degree and being able to do even more for her community. But is it commitment to her calling or fear of the unknown that keeps her feet firmly planted in the Appalachian soil? Or is it something more—fear of her growing feelings for Hunter—that makes her hesitant to explore the world beyond the mountains?

My Thoughts:  Another new author to me, Laurie Alice Eakes, writes a paced novel about babies!  Well, midwifery.
Not one who has ever been interested in midwifery or birthing, I did find this novel, The Mountain Midwife, interesting.
Ms.Eakes writes with a dramatic flair that makes the reader feel the pain and trials of a young woman who helps others and of a young man who just wants to find his birth mother.
When I first saw the book and its title I thought that this would be an 18th century or early 19th century read but no, this is a modern day story.  Cell phones, jeans, and mountains.
Ashely finds that she needs to deal with feelings of the "unknown" and Hunter, well, Hunter brings a lot to Ashley's small world.
Other "secondary" characters in the story make the story well rounded  . . . at times funny, other times suspenseful, and sometimes just plain mean.
This is quite a story!  
One that I think all readers will love whether you like midwives or not.  
And of course, romance.

*This book was provided for review by The Thomas Nelson Street Team*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031033344X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310333449