Thursday, February 14, 2019

Smitten Book Club by by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt

Book Description:  The century-old Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!
The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.
Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends’ romantic exploits.
When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guideproves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.
What’s more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?
My Thoughts:  Love is in the air! February is here and with this cold.stay.indoors.month the reader will want books that are fun and uplifting!  So here's a great "love month" read!
It's interesting that four authors wrote stories about four ladies - Heather, Abby, Molly and Elliana (Lia)- who live in Smitten, Vermont and they all belong to the Smitten Book Club.
The story centers around a book found at a rummage sale titled the Gentlewoman's Guide to Love & Courtship.  It's a treasure hunt of sorts as Heather, Abby, Molly and Lia try to find "clues" that will help them become better women (wives/friends).  The "clues" are interesting and give a lot of character development.  There's an ongoing mystery throughout the read.  When the ladies gather together for this Smitten Book Club they also cook some fine food together.  A fun community of book lovers and friends.
This is such a fun, light read.  Each character is unique and adds to the "life" of this read.  
On a sad note, this is the last of the Smitten reads that these four friends will write together because in November 2013 Diann Hunt passed away.  

  • *This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401687164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687168

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Island Girl: A Triumph of the Spirit by Norma J. Doughtery

Book Description:  Norma Dougherty's, Island Girl, is an inspirational story for women. Norma takes you inside her journey from poor farm girl to world traveler as Miss Dominion of Canada and as a contestant in the Miss World, Miss Universe, Queen of the Pacific, and semi-finalist in Miss International.

My Thoughts:  Every once in awhile I find a book that is out of my ordinary genre.  This is one of those books.
Every woman, every young lady wants to be liked, needed and loved...not necessarily in that order.  And sometimes as that young woman emerges in life, life does not go as expected.  But, yet, as with Norma J. Doughtery we learn that God can and will help us if we only trust Him.
First of all, this story grabbed my attention because Lucy Maud Montgomery is Mrs. Doughtery's maternal grandmother's second cousin...Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote one of my favorite books, ever, Anne of Green Gables.
And it seems that the writing gene is strong because Mrs. Doughtery has written a memoir that captures the spirit of a woman who has had some hardships, made a few mistakes in life but knows that it's only her trust and relationship with God that will get her through life.
This is a wonderful story/memoir that I encourage every woman and young lady to read.
I truly enjoyed this read.  

You can purchase it here:   http://normajdougherty.com/books/  or on Amazon 

*Special thanks to the author for generously providing me with a book*

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Elm Hill (August 14, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595540938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595540935

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} 8 Can Taco Soup

I, again, found another grand recipe on Pinterest.                        It's fast and easy!
Now we like beef better than chicken so I changed it up slightly.  If you like chicken just follow the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 (12.5 oz.) can white chicken breast, drained  (changed to 1        package cooked ground beef)
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup (changed to cream of mushroom)
  • 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth (changed to beef broth)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning

Directions:


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large pot.
  2. Heat until warm, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Matter of Trust (A Mia Quinn Mystery) by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

Book Description:  When life is murder, who can you trust?
One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days she has all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less—and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So she reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate Colleen’s death. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold—even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her.
Lis Wiehl’s signature plot twists and relatable characters shine in this absorbing series debut . . . with an intriguing cameo from her best-selling Triple Threat series.

My Thoughts:  I read all of the Triple Threat books by Lis Wiehl and April Henry.  The Triple Threat books are quite suspenseful!  
In my opinion, the reader will either love Lis Wiehl's books or she won't.  I love her books! 
In A Matter of Trust there aren't three friends working and collaborating together...there is just Mia, the prosecutor, and the good looking detective!  Mia is a strong person but now she's a mom, she also recently lost her husband, needs money, has a teenage son with some troubling issues and a four year old who can't sleep through the night without terrifying the whole house with her screaming.
Then when she is on the phone with her friend, Colleen, she hears shots and listens as her friend dies.
Now, that's quite a story line!  
This is quite a suspenseful, dramatic read!  
But, besides all the dramatic suspense, there are family issues that are quite realistic.  There aren't pat answers and Mia needs help.  And so detective Charlie Carlson investigates Colleen's death with Mia.  
If you like a book with some romance, quite a few twists and turns and a great suspense then this is the read for you!
I truly enjoyed this wonderful cameo story with Mia! 
No need to have read the Triple Threat books, this is a whole new book and well written.
*This book was provided by BookSneeze*
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159554903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595549037

Monday, February 11, 2019

NKJV, Wiersbe Study Bible, Genuine Leather, Brown, Red Letter Edition, Comfort Print: Be Transformed by the Power of God’s Word


My Thoughts:  I love Back to the Bible and I've enjoyed Bible studies by Warren W. Wiersbe.  So I was excited to receive the The Wiersbe Study Bible.  So many things to love about this study Bible.
First of all it has Commentary Verse-by-Verse Study Notes:

This is great for making and studying God's Word.
And then there are hundreds of Catalyst notes which more deeply reveal important biblical themes and character issues to motivate transformation by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
The Bible itself is a beautiful brown leather.  It's a big Bible and great for at home study.
I love the idea that so many of Warren Wiersbe's notes are in the Bible.  This is like having more than a Bible, it's like having a mini Bible class in one book.
For such a big Bible it has a lay flat technique so the Bible isn't always flapping open or closed.
Jesus' words are in red.  This is so nice so the biblical reader knows what words came from our Lord.
I also like the whole format of this Bible...it's so easy for me to use.
This would make such a lovely gift or just a great study tool and Bible for you!


*This Bible was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Leather Bound: 2176 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785221050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785221050

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Spotlight on "Anything for a Story" by Cynthia Hickey

Spotlight on "Anything for a Story" by Cynthia Hickey

Stormi is delightful as the accident prone and bumbling wanna be detective. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in nosiness. Add in the sexy detective and a slightly nutty family and our lead character has her hands full.
~Amazon reviewer




About the book:
Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private community of Oak Meadows Estates. When her agent tells her that her characters are becoming too cardboard and that she needs to get out and mingle with people, she comes up with the idea of a Neighborhood Watch Program. The only problem is … she’s the only member. On her first night of patrol, she stumbles over a dead body, meets a hunky detective, who happens to be her neighbor and clearly frustrated with her, and her mother, sister, niece and nephew arrive to shake up Stormi’s peaceful life. As she is immersed ever deeper into the mystery surrounding a neighbor’s murder, she decides to change writing tactics and write a romantic mystery based on her experiences. What follows is a frolicking good time as Stormi finds herself the nosiest neighbor of them all. Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?


PURCHASE


A note from the author, Cynthia Hickey:



"Why I Became a Writer"



Funny how this roller-coaster business can tug on someone until it’s either write or die. A bit dramatic, yes, but that’s how most writers feel.



I started reading at the young age of five and became hooked on words and stories. Being a shy child, I would make up stories to act out, but it wasn’t until Junior High when an English teacher assigned a 


writing project that I realized how much I loved putting the story to paper. I began writing short stories in which my younger brother was featured as the hero, or I’d write a romance featuring me and whatever boy I had a crush on at the time.



When I turned fifteen, I wrote my first “real story” about terrorists taking over a high school. Funny how I have now seen that very plot made into a movie. I couldn’t be stopped after that first “book.” I kept writing, keeping my stories in a notebook, which I unfortunately lost when I married and moved out of state. Then, life happened and I didn’t take up writing again until the age of forty when my children were older and I had time to devote to it.



In 2007, I published my first cozy mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, with Barbour Publishing and haven’t slowed down since. Forty books later, and several genres added to the mix, I have no intentions of stopping this crazy career any time soon. It’s as much a part of me as breathing.


About the author:
Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. She had several historical romances release in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold half a million copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, three box turtles, and two Sulcata tortoises. She has seven grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Valentine's Treat


4


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!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

{Revell Blog Tour} Never Let Go (Uncommon Justice Book #1) by Elizabeth Goddard

Book Description:  As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather's footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.
Ex-FBI agent--and Willow's ex-flame--Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they'll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he's spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow's tender heart at risk.

My Thoughts:  I've loved reading Love Inspired Suspense by Elizabeth Goddard and now she has a novel out.  The first in the Uncommon Justice series.
Willow Anderson had my heart at page one.  And the story of her grandfather and their love for one another.   When the story begins Willow's grandfather has just passed away.  As Willow tried to take care of his estate and mail from his forensic office where she also works certain things begin to appear and to happen.
When Willow's life is at stake and she almost doesn't make it through a home fire  her ex-flame, handsome Austin McCade comes to make sure she is okay.
Oh.the.vibes.  Oh.the.suspense!
This is a fast paced read.  
At times one thinks that the mystery is solved and then something more sinister and suspenseful pops up.  I love stories like this!
And the clues that Willow and Austin follow don't always add together.  That is the interesting part of this romantic suspense story...who stays one step ahead of them and why?
Oh.you'll.love.this.story!

*This book was provided for review by Revell*

  • Series: Uncommon Justice (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729844

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

Book Description:  France 1788 On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins―Renée and Laurette―have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon's sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.
In the worst of times...Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.
It is the story the this never been told...In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

My Thoughts:  Ahh...what a story!  And the cover-the French flag is displayed on the seamstress's dress.  And the story....
An interesting, if not, magnificent story of the how and when even the where of the French Revolution.  Of read a few things about the French Revolution but the story of Renee and Laurette and how they came into a chance encounter that would forever change how they lived and breathed.
Now Laurette has a reckless nature and with passion she throws herself at Marcel.  Big mistake but then hunger and hatred are the voices of the people.  
Allison Pittman writes with a pen the brings the voices to life.  With passion and clarity.
A read about the French Revolution...like none other!
A novel that seems more like a diary of all that transpires with two young ladies and young men who care...and a nation ready for more but goes into a revolution like none other.

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414390467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414390468