Wednesday, May 27, 2020

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

 Pistachio Salad

This is MY MOST favorite "salad!"  Love this stuff!
This recipe has been around for a long time but 
I got this recipe from

1 small box of Pistachio INSTANT Pudding
1 (8 oz) container of Cool-Whip (lite is fine!)
1 (20 oz) can tidbit OR chunk pineapple (whatever you prefer)
1/2 bag of mini-marshmallows

Drain pineapple, pour pineapple juice into large bowl. Pour pudding into the juice and mix well. Fold the Cool-Whip into the pudding. Add pineapple and marshmallows and stir together gently.

Monday, May 25, 2020

A Dangerous Stage {Protection for Hire} by Camy Tang

My Thoughts:  I loved the first book in this series Protection for Hire.  Now A Dangerous Stage is, again, about Tessa, but enter the lawyer, Charles Britton.  Charles is the lawyer who sent Tessa to prison (for a crime she didn't commit).  
Tessa's faith is tried, for it seems that lies abound everywhere she turns after she is hired by one of the contestants to delve into a shady singing competition.
Now, I REALLY love Camy Tang's books because they have a lot of action mixed with mounds of faith!  Camy isn't preachy but she gets the point across.  A lot like Tessa who lives her faith!
Tessa is one tough lady but she has a soft center just like a wonderful chocolate, caramel truffle but that tough exterior makes her seem like an iron maiden.   
I wasn't sure about Charles...can a "wimpy" lawyer truly help a feisty lady like Tessa?!  Will Charles really stand "tough?"  These were a couple of questions I had when Tessa meets up with Charles.
I must say that I enjoyed A Dangerous Stage even more than I enjoyed reading Protection for Hire.
One doesn't need to read Protection for Hire before reading A Dangerous Stage but reading the first book will help in understanding Tessa and her mafia family.
This is one great read!

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310320348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310320340

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

  • 1 - 3-4 lb. chuck roast, remove excess fat (when I'm in a hurry I just use roast beef lunch meat form the deli)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 olive oil
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 C beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried, crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 TBSP minced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 6-8 french rolls
  • 6-8 slices of cheese, provolone is my preference
  • Remove excess fat from roast.
  • Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Brown in heavy pan with 2 tsp olive oil. Brown on both sides
  • Place in crock pot
  • Mix together soy sauce, beef broth, water, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, garlic, onion
  • Pour mixture over roast.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6. Cook until tender and easy to shred.
  • Shred with a fork and the place on sandwich buns.
  • Strain remaining juice and use for dipping

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Inheritance (Secrets of the Shetlands) by Michael Phillips

Book Description:  Dramatic New Series from Fan Favorite Michael Phillips

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale's Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch's heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David's grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And while Hardy doesn't enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate's assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island--and its traditional way of life--hangs in the balance.

My Thoughts:  When I was a young teen a remember my mom reading books by Michael Phillips and loving them.  I haven't seen any books authored by him for quite awhile and then this new book popped up...the Inheritance. . . Micheal Phillips' new series of Secrets in the Shetlands.  I was intrigued . . . 
The setting of the novel is in Scotland.  And from the descriptions this is a beautiful land!  The story is begins when David's great uncle passes away and there is no will, it seems that David may not inherit his uncles's land after all.  The courts freeze all the assets and then Loni Ford and up and  coming investor in America receives an intriguing letter from a Scottish firm.  And everything changes!
This is quite an interesting read with a lot of Scot culture as well as mystery in the "missing will." The mystery concerning the inheritance is well written. 
The biggest plus in this read, to me, is the wonderful journey of going to Scotland.  
This is a grand read!  One not to be missed!

  • Series: Secrets of the Shetlands (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217487

Monday, May 18, 2020

FREE Ebook Recipes by Wanda E. Brustetter

FREE Ebook from Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Crow's Call by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Book Description:  When Vernon King, his son, and son-in-law are involved in a terrible accident, three women are left to cope with their deaths, as they become the sole providers of the family they have left. The women’s only income must come from the family greenhouse, but someone seems to be trying to force them out of business.
Amy King has just lost her father and brother, and her mother needs her to help run the family’s greenhouse. It doesn’t seem fair to ask her to leave a job she loves, when there is still a sister and brother to help. But Sylvia is also grieving for her husband while left to raise three children, and Henry, just out of school, is saddled with all the jobs his father and older brother used to do. As Amy assumes her new role, she also asks Jared Riehl to put their courtship on hold. When things become even more stressful at the greenhouse, will Amy crumble under the pressure?

My Thoughts:!  The long awaited Amish mystery by Mrs. Wanda Brunstetter is finally here! The first book in the Amish Greenhouse Mysteries.
I love suspense/mysteries so when this book came in the mail I delved right into this story.  And what a story!
The cover of this book is interesting because it shows three things that are the main events in this story.  First the crow, then the flowers and thirdly, Amy King. 
Amy King is single but dating/courting when her precious father, brother and brother-in-law are killed.  After their deaths the women  of the family seem a little lost at what can be done to keep money coming in so they can all survive.  
No, this isn't a story about survival but about family ties, love and moving on in life when all seems lost. And the mystery of the greenhouse.
This is a GREAT read!  Don't miss it!

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

Title: The Crow's Call #1
By: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: 2020

The Cherished Quilt (An Amish Heirloom Novel) by Amy Clipston

My Thoughts: Amy Clipston is a favorite author of mine.  
Emily is a kind and generous young woman who feels that life is like a quilt and can be stitched together.  And it seems that quilting and Amish women go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Emily is anxious to meet her father's new employee, Christopher.  But when they first seems that an Christopher has an iceberg for a heart.  Poor Emily.  However, Emily is not deterred.
She feels that Christopher needs friendship and so she decides to make him a quilt.  
And then Christopher must leave and return to Ohio for some emergency....just when he and Emily might be having "feelings" for one another.  
I like the easy way this story reads.  And, yes, it is somewhat predicable, but I like it.  It makes for a great holiday read to warm one's heart and a reminder that everyone is going through something.  So, be nice to everyone you meet.
A great story and a would make a great gift for that reader on your list!

Meet the Author:  

  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310341965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341963

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}


Now it's getting hot and humid in our part of the country,
it's time for cool refreshing salads.  
I found this on Pinterest and it is Good!
I added fresh peaches. 
 I'm sure you can add your favorite fruits and it will be tasty, too!

Fruit Salad
Serves 3-4
2 tablespoons dry instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pound of strawberries, quartered
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pineapple, cubed
1 bunch grapes
Mix fruit together and sprinkle with pudding powder. Serve immediately or allow to sit overnight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Swept Away (Trouble in Texas) by Mary Connealy

Book Description: When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there's going to be trouble in Texas! Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future. Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him. But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

My Thoughts:  Cowboys to the rescue!  And cute ones at that!  Mary Connealy once again sweeps us away to smelly cows, handsome cowboys and damsels in distress.  But Ruthy MacNeil isn't feeling very distressed.  She's separated from her "adopted" family . . . but this is a good thing!  They only worked her to the bone, anyway!  But Luke comes to Ruthy's rescue.  Gotta love a determined cowboy!
I liked this read even though Luke and Ruthy's romance is a bit fast.  Gotta love Ruthy!  She's a firecracker fur sure!  A kind of gal.  And Luke!  Well, do they make cowboys like him anymore? 
A nice, clean read with lots of cowboy grit and determination!

Meet the Author: 
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist. 

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy. 
The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist. 
Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist. 
The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats. 
She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days. 

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209147

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

Book Description:  Michigan, 1880

Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on. So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom. Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher--or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives. With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming--unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day. 

My Thoughts:  I was intrigued by this book cover on A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund.  How many books have a handsome, noble man depicted on the book cover?!?! Hardly any that I've seen.  So, with this handsome guy peering over his shoulder, I'm wondering what this read has in store for the reader?
Annalisa Werner and her small daughter are having a hard time surviving with a husband and father who doesn't care about their well being.  Then one day Gretchen sees her Papa laying down on the ground and calls to her mama, Annalisa, to come see Papa.  Annalisa finds her husband, Hans, dead.  Well, it sure looks like someone murdered him.  But why?
This is the beginning of this intriguing story.  
The reader is told of Hans untimely death, then the story goes to the old country where Annalisa's father lives.  Without  a husband Annalisa writes to her father for help.  This is where the Noble Groom comes into the story.
Annalisa thinks she just needs a man who is dependable, she does not need love. This is a fast paced story with quite a cast of characters and romance.  Carl is a good man but is he the groom for her?
And, Oh!What!A!Story!
For the reader who enjoys a good, clean, Christian romance with a mystery.

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210471

Thursday, May 7, 2020

{Blog Tour} A Mother's Homecoming (Love Inspired) by Lisa Carter

Book Description:  Charmed by the two-year-old twins in her toddler tumbling class, Maggie Arledge is shocked to learn they’re the children she gave up for adoption. And when Bridger Hollingsworth—the uncle caring for the boys—needs an emergency nanny, she fits the bill. But with sparks flying between her and Bridger, can she let herself get attached…and risk exposing secrets from her past?

My Thoughts:  When one of my most favorite authors has a new book I grab it!  And this one is a win-win read because not only is it by a favorite author, Lisa Carter, but it's also a Love Inspired book.
I enjoy inspirational romances, especially when I want a short story and reading away the stresses of the day are made better by reading a wonderful story.  And this book fits that description.
I love Maggie.  She made some hard choices and she feels badly for having to make them but God in His mercy allows her a second chance.  
When Maggie has unexpected life changes, some by her choice some not, she continues on and more than anything her life speaks of perseverance and forgiveness.  
Ms. Carter has a way with words that makes a story flow from the page to the imagination of the reader's mind.  Those words also take the reader into the mind of the hero/heroine and their story becomes your "reality" for an hour or two.  And that's what makes reading a Love Inspired novel a true pleasure.
Be sure to grab this book for your summer reading.

  • Series: Love Inspired
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired; Original edition (May 19, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1335488219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1335488213

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish: A Novel by Bethany Turner

Book Description: Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he's sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley.
As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.

My Thoughts:  A new book and a new to me author.  It's like Christmas!
This is such a fun foodie read with all the cooking of delicious dishes and all the temper tantrums, er, happy cooking times😊 makes this read down to earth real.
Hadley must have the heart of a saint to deal with the very grumpy, not so nice Maxwell.  
You know what happens to grumpy, not so nice people they end up losing their nice jobs.  And just like that Max is out and Hadley is in.  
Hadley brings a whole new southern charm that the people love.  
Poor Max has to eat crow and see if he can get his job back.  And this is where alot of the fun and humor begin.  So Hadley ends up working with Max again.  But this time Hadley is in charge.
This humorous, all about food and life, read makes for a fun afternoon in the sun.
I loved this story and think you will too.

*This book was provided by Revell Reads*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; 4/2 edition (May 5, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800735234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800735234

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue by Colleen Coble

Book Description:  In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery. 
Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team. 
Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!

My Thoughts:  I always enjoy a story written by Colleen Coble.  So, when I had the opportunity to read her new book with co-author Robin Caroll I knew it would be fantastic!
This is a youth read and I had to keep this in mind as I read about Emily, her dad, stepmom and siblings.  Emily's dad is very concerned about Emily being responsible for the jobs she takes on.  
As the story beings . . . Emily and her stepmom, Naomi,  are on a search & rescue mission when Emily is told that she can have her own search & rescue puppy if she can pay half the money ($150).  Emily then comes up with the idea to sell her homemade jewelry at the next community wide sale.  This is where the mystery "happens."
Of course, as an adult I was slightly put out with Emily's dad . . . didn't he trust her?  But then I remembered that the authors are trying to make a point with young readers that parents are there to guide and help their children.
I loved learning about search & rescue dogs and their owners with a mystery thrown in!  I kind.of knew who was behind the theft but I think younger readers will be kept guessing.  I, also, liked the idea that Emily had to pay half for the expensive dog.  A great lesson in not living the "entitled life."
This is a great read for ages 8-11 (but adults and older teens may love it too!  I did!).

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400321069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400321063

Monday, May 4, 2020

Letters to Katie {A Middlefield Family Novel} by Kathleen Fuller

Book Description:  Everything changed between them the first time he called her Katie.
Katherine Yoder has loved Johnny Mullet since the two were children, but he’s never returned her affections.
Now Johnny is trying to forge a new life for himself by purchasing a farm and building a business of his own. But times are tough, and he soon learns that he can’t take anything for granted—especially Katherine.
Before Johnny has the opportunity to tell Katherine his true feelings, she’s struck by a serious illness. While Katherine struggles to recall recent memories of Johnny, a surprise visitor comes back into her life, claiming that his letters speak of a history and a future for the two of them.
With the two men vying for her attention and her memory still elusive, Katherine has never felt so torn. But will the solutions to both Johnny’s and Katherine’s problems lie in places neither one has ever considered?

My Thoughts:  This is the third book in the Middlefield Family reads.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the previous two books but I can't see that this affected the content of this story.  However, I think if the reader read these books in order the "sense" of who's who and family would be more clear.
This read was great!  I love  Kathleen Fuller's writing!  The mystery of the letters and the love that is forgotten and the new love make for a grand what is happening?!
Katie's loss of memory and her subsequent illness and memory loss takes the reader into an elusive part of because Katie loved Johnny but never felt the love was returned....then comes a young man from her past who claims that HIS letters spoke of love for Katie and he wants a future with Katie.
Katie is frustrated but the takes on a "story" all its own.
If you love Amish fiction then you'll love this wonderful gut read!

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595547770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595547774