Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

  •  A great recipe for the coming fall days!

    Ingredients 

    • 1 tablespoon of oil
    • 1 cup of chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup of chopped mixed sweet and hot peppers
    • 1/2 cup of celery
    • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
    • 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
    • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 cups of beef stock or broth
    • 3 (11.5 ounce) cans of original or spicy V-8, or tomato juice
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
    • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 2 cups of fresh diced carrots (about 2 large)
    • 2 cups of corn
    • 2 cups of cut green beans
    • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
    • Couple dashes of hot sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, optional
    • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
    • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

  • Instructions:

    In the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, peppers and celery; cook and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ground beef, cook and stir until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain off excess fat. Sprinkle meat with flour; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, V-8 juice and diced tomatoes. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, corn and green beans. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce and seasonings to taste. Stir, cover and simmer over medium to medium low (low bubble) for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    Hobo stew can be served as is, or spooned over rice or mashed potatoes. Serve with hot cornbread, biscuits or rolls.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

30 Days to Joy: A One-Month Creative Journal

Book Description:  Joy is more than happiness. It is something you feel deep in your soul that stays with you even when circumstances get tough. With quotes and artistic prompts, this daily creative journal offers the deep, life-giving drink of joy that you need. Whether you are sketching a picture of a favorite activity, jotting down words that make you laugh, or spending time meditating on a Bible verse, you will find renewed joy in these fun and thought-provoking pages.

My Thoughts:  Since this is the season of giving and JOY I thought this one month creative journal would be a great thing to do this holiday season.  
I love the creative ways the artistic designs make me feel creative.
This is one nice journal.  It makes the holidays seem filled with more than just buying and getting.
I decided to "do" this journal for 30 days to get ready for the "holy days."
Sometimes I write scripture that go with what I'm feeling.  Or I draw a short sketch...a picture that reminds me of the scripture.  
I've even written short poetry to go with the holiday.
J is for Jesus
O is for Others 
Y is for You 
So put others first and yourself last, that's the way to spell JOY!  (disclaimer-not my original thought).  This is a great way to put your JOY into book form.  
I love this smallish and unique devotional/journal.
This creative journal would make a lovely gift.  

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

  • Diary: 112 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735290822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735290822
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hinds' Feet on High Places: An Engaging Visual Journey by Hannah Hurnard (Author), Jill De Haan (Illustrator), Rachel McNaughton (Illustrator)

Book Description:  For the first time, this beloved Christian allegory is a mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, meditative hand-lettered Scripture, journaling and doodling space, and designs to color. As you read and connect with the story of Much-Afraid and her trials, the pages of this book become a canvas on which to chronicle your own story, struggles, and personal triumphs.

My Thoughts:  Hind's Feet On High Places is one of my most favorite books, ever!  So I was excited when Tyndale offered this engaging visual journey of Much-Afraid's story.
Much-Afraid is aptly named for she is afraid of everything and she has a disability that holds her back from everything in life.  Especially the good things from the Lord.
This is her story.  The story of overcoming through faith and love. This story is an allegory....a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.  
I love Much-Afraid's story.  A story that encourages each of us to rely on the Savior and not to rely on ourselves.
As she goes through trails and tries to climb the mountain she overcomes through His love and patience.
Such a wonderful story!
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Don't miss this wonderful book!





  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Ill edition 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496424670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496424679

Saturday, October 26, 2019

{Blog Tour} Dead Wrong (Agatha's Amish B&B)

Book Description:  When Agatha Lapp’s brother and sister-in-law are tragically killed in a buggy accident, Agatha relocates to the new Amish community in Hunt Texas, nestled in the Texas Hill Country.  She’s there to make a success of her brother’s dream--an Amish B&B. Agatha is friendly, efficient, and capable. She's also a fifty-five year old widow who has learned to be independent. When she discovers Russell Dixon’s lifeless body in Cabin 3, she runs next door where retired detective Tony Vargas lives. The police determine that her guest died of natural causes, but as Agatha and Tony put together the events of the previous two days they become convinced that the police are Dead Wrong.

My Thoughts:  I love books penned by Vannetta Chapman.  I also love cozy mysteries so this book is a win-win for me.
And THIS book cover!  It speaks of simplicity but, yet, there's that red color all throughout the cover.  Do you see the little red Amish buggy to the right of the house?  And that house!  It's so big and elegant.  What a nice B&B!
Then there's the name of the B&B-Agatha's Amish B&B.  A reference to Agatha Christie maybe? 
Agatha Lapp is one fiesta Amish woman and ever.so.efficient.  If I were half as efficient as Agatha I'd have to get up pretty early in the morning to get it all done.  And she does it all with ease and grace not to mention solving a mystery.
And the setting of the story takes place in the Texas hill country.  Such a beautiful area.
This is a fun read.  Even though it's a cozy mystery the lightheartedness of the story brings the reader to a happy place of all.is.right.in.the.world.
I loved, loved this story!  

*This book was provided for review by the author 
and I was not required to write a favorable review*

  • Series: Agatha's Amish B&B (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Vannetta Chapman (November 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1734046007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1734046007

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Cheeseburger soup from Pinterest is oh!so!Yummy!


Cheeseburger Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This soup is insanely delicious! Made with fresh ingredients and topped with shredded cheese, you will make it again and again!

Ingredients
  • ½ pound ground beef (use 1 pound)
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of Velveeta processed cheese cubed (I used 16 ounce)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.
  3. Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

{Fiction Guild} The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

Book Description:  "There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.
“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered. 
“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”
Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

My Thoughts:  Some books leave one speechless . . . this is such a story.  Because there are spaces between words...maybe words are not necessary or we are to think, ponder, examine more closely the story that is presented.

This story grabbed me and just wouldn't let go.  It was like the unfolding of a slow but determined young plant that longs to grow.  As it unfolds in the sunlight it pauses to take gulps of good clean air.  Spaces!

Jessica must find answers after the horrific Paris attack.  All she longs for is home BUT Patrick, her close friend, encourages her to stay and live, to continue her journey.  

A lot of emotion in this read but, yet, the tender spaces of time are given to absorb all that one reads.

The gripping story of Adeline Ballard that Jessica knows/feels is her answer.

What a story!  What an ending! 

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

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718086449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718086442

Monday, October 21, 2019

Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson

Book Description:  That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close. 
Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. Sure, in ancient times and in mysterious ways, God spoke to His people, but is He still speaking now? 
Mark Batterson certainly believes so. And he wants to introduce you to the seven love languages of God; each of them unique and entirely divine. Some of them you might suspect but others will surprise you. 

My Thoughts:  My husband I first learned of Mark Batterson when he wrote Circle Maker.  After that incredible read we try to read books authored by Mark Batterson.  
As I read this book the first thought that came to my mind was God spoke to the prophet, Elijah, in I Kings 9:12:  So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentleblowing. 
We live in a noisy world...sounds all the time.  Sounds of cars, trucks and airplanes then sounds of crying and sounds of talking.  It seems wherever we go there is noise so it seems hard for people to be quiet and listen in our day and age.  But God wants to tell us something.
And Mark Batterson introduces us to the seven love languages of God.  I have never thought of God as having love languages.  
By tuning in and learning to decipher God's language we can hear what He wants to say to us.
A timely message and a much needed message in this chaotic and noisy world.  Learn to hear the whisper of our God.

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073529108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735291089

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

I love caramel apples in the fall!  
I needed a great dip for a get together and found this perfect dip on food.com


Directions

Ingredients

    • 3 (8 ounce) boxes cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 (12 ounce) bags mini chocolate chips
    • 1 (8 ounce) bags toffee pieces
    • 1 (20 ounce) bottles caramel ice cream topping
  1. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
  2. In a casserole dish, spread the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Completely cover the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate chips and chocolate toffee bits.
  4. Drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce.
  5. Chill or serve immediately with apple slices. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

{Fiction Guild} An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin

Book Description:  Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

My Thoughts:  Four short stories in one book!  I loved all of these wonderful stories.
Beth Wiseman writes about Winter Kisses.  A sweet story about the three generations of Stoltzfus women - Ruth, Barbara, and Naomi.  
Amy Clipston writes about the Christmas Cat.  This story is about a widow who has loved her Henry for 45 years but this Christmas she is all alone . . . until the cat comes along.  Lovable Emma and the cat!
A Home for Christmas authored by Ruth Reid is a not.so.serious story about Ellie and her poodle, Lulu. Will Ellie stay in the home her aunt has given her?
And then Kelly Irvin writes about Snow Angels  is a fun story about David and Molly.  They both like each other but when someone comes 
from David's past will their relationship survive?  
Four great short stories about the wonderful Christmas season and LOVE!  

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

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052911870X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118707





Monday, October 14, 2019

Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor) by Dani Pettrey

Book Description:  FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner. 
Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.

My Thoughts:  This is the third book in the Chesapeake Valor series.  I didn't read the first two books in this series but I don't think one misses much.  It seems that each book in this series is a stand alone read about a people who meet and have to work together to solve "something." 
This is a fast moving read.  It seems the main character FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life but, unfortunately, he doesn't know what or whom he is chasing.  Feeling frustrated after receiving a note from the terrorist, Declan just doesn't know what he's up against.
But then Tanner Shaw shows up.
She's tough, she's smart and she just be the one who can help Declan solve this riddle before a major crisis hits on American soil.  And then they find a terror cell.  Nail biting adventure with just enough romance to make this read a not to be missed read.

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*



  • Series: Chesapeake Valor (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764212966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212963

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Farmers' Market Mishap by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

Book Description:  Living alone for the first time in her life is lonely for Elma Hochstetler, whose twin sister Thelma recently married. Though they share the running of a general store, more and more of Thelma’s time is taken up by her growing family. Elma has dated some, but she wonders if she is just too picky to find love.

Through a mishap at the farmers’ market, Elma meets Ben Wagler and instantly likes him. But there is a problem. He lives in Grabill—50 miles away! But Elma has tried long-distance dating before, and it won’t work for her.  Besides the store needs her. Her sister needs her. Elma feels love will forever remain beyond her grasp.

Elma has a habit of putting others before her own needs. Can she learn to take a risk at following the desires of her heart?

My Thoughts:  First of all this is a sequel to The Lopsided Christmas Cake so I would suggest that you read The Lopsided Christmas Cake first to understand the dynamics of the family.
Sometimes family life is complicated especially when one of the family members marries before the other.  The "other" one may feel lonely and left out.  This is somewhat the case with Elma Hochstetler.   When her twin sister, Thelma, marries and is busy and is expecting a new little bundle of joy.
Elma and Thelma run a general store together but Elma just feels the need for her own "exciting" life.
Well as life would have it Elma finds love but not quite the way she wants it to happen.
This is the fun, light heated story of Elma's romance.  



  • Series: Lopsided Christmas Cake
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (June 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 163409932X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1634099325

Unscripted by Davis Bunn


Book Description:  Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner--and former best friend--makes off with their investors' money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.
LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to her impossible bosses only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it--even though she's not entirely clear what "it" is.
Danny and Megan are each other's best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other's best hope for love.

My Thoughts:  Davis Bunn has always been one of my favorite authors and he has knocked it out of the ballpark with this newest novel. 
A WOW! read for sure!
When I first saw the title to this book I saw a man with the word Holy in the background.  Then I read the book description and thought Holy and Hollywood do not go together.  
But then as I read the story of Danny and Megan I thought, you know, the word Holy does fit in the story.
Danny is my kind of guy.  He's honest, upright and, maybe, a little too trusting. Then there's Megan she's a lot like Danny but, yet, so different.  
When you live in a cut throat business and a tinsel curtain is not the covering you need, well, welcome to Hollywood.
Such a wonderful story filled with deceit, snobbery but most of all filled with love, hope and redemption.
A Gotta Read!  

*This book was provided for review by Revell*

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800727878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727871


Strong, Brave, Loved: Empowering Reminders of Who You Really Are by Holley Gerth

Book Description:  Strong, Brave, Loved offers 60 short devotions to empower you to be that kind of woman. It's simple, personal, and practical, with room for you to journal your own responses and reflections. With these concise and compassionate devotions, Holley leads you on a journey of discovery as you learn to live in freedom, hope, and holy courage.

My Thoughts: This is a wonderful hardback book with 60! short devotions to empower and remind you of you are in Christ.
I love devotional books!  Devotions that uplift, heal and help one to understand God's heart.
God loves us SO, SO much and Holley Gerth brings tat message in this book Strong Brave Loved.
I loved chapter Fourteen.  I Am An Awkward Runner.  This is totally true in my "real" life.  I run at an awkward angle, I tired easily and I may not run like a true runner but, you know what? I keep at the race.  I run though I am tired.  I run though I am not the first place winner.  I run to the prize of the high calling of Christ!  
This is one of those devotional books that makes a wonderful gift.  Not just because it's a beautiful cover but because of the words that are presented in the inside of the book.
This is truly an uplifting read!

*This book was provided for review by Revell Nonfiction Publications*

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729554

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

WOW! Fall is here, again!  And with fall comes apples.  And we love apples!  
Another great recipe found on Pinterest! So I'm making these . . . 
**Cherries or peaches can be substituted for apples.

1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water

  • Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges; and place seam side down in prepared dish.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

{Fiction Guild} A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Book Description:  In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?


Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.



Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.



Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.



As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.


My Thoughts:  The new fall book releases are quite good this year.  And Robert Whitlow has a new story.
Interesting how an author will write a fiction story about a current event in our world.  I think authors like to voice their opinions through a story.  
In any event, this is quite an tine resting story.
Adisa Johnson is a young African-American attorney who enjoys living her dream of practicing law in Atlanta.
However, Adisa returns to her small Georgia hometown where racial tensions are flying high because a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is comatose in a hospital.  But Adisa must consider what she believes/stands for because she is to defend the police officer who shot the teen.
And she is in a budding romance with a charismatic young preacher who is demanding that the local police officers make this a crime and punish the police office who shot the black teen. 
This story is more about emotions and how people, no matter what the skin color, can be racist.
This is a think.about.it.read . . .  what one really values and what one really believes is right no matter what ones skin color may be.

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



  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083038