Friday, July 13, 2018

Amish Cooking Class Cookbook

Over 200 Practical Recipes For Use in Any Kitchen

Published February 1st 2018 
by Shiloh Run Press

Available for Purchase:

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book.  I love cookbooks and can read them sort of like a novel.  I must admit that when I received this book, though I shouldn't have been, I was a little surprised.  The book contains a collection of recipes that Heidi taught in class in the author's Amish Cooking Class series.  Even though I had not read the books in the series I was still amazed at the ease I could slip into this book.  The variety of recipes come from women in various Amish Communities and I got really excited to see recipes that were from communities close to where I lived.  Basically the series is about Heidi Troyer who is married, but has not been blessed with children and looking for a purpose she offers cooking classes to all ages in her home.  
This book is divided into sections (chapters) that are very descriptive so you get a feeling for what's covered.  For instance, Advice from Fellow Cooks was not only interesting but also helpful for any new cook or even a seasoned cook who maybe trying something new.  Each section I found one or more recipes I plan to try.  Each come with step by step instructions that are easy to follow.  
This is a wonderful book that would make a great wedding gift or someone moving into their own home/apartment or even for someone like me who just loves cookbooks.  Even though this book is a companion to the author's series I feel it's definitely a stand alone book.  
*I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Daughtry House Series #1

Published June 5th 2018 
by Revell

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family's Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land--until a hotel management agent for the railroad offers her hope for the future. 

If she'll turn her home into a hotel, Levi Riggins says, he can all but guarantee it will be saved. Selah isn't sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee. Yet what other options does she have? She'll have to stay on her guard . . . but she never expected to have to guard her heart.

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of The Pelican Bride and The Creole Princess. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. 
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My Thoughts:

This is the first book in a new series, The Daughtry House, from Beth White.  This historical sweeps the reader back to Mississippi approximately 5 years after the civil war where people were dealing with the aftermath of the war and the rebuilding of their lives.  The story details shows how much research the author put into the writing of the life and times of the era.  
As the story opens Ithaca Plantation is being raided by rebel Confederate soldiers as the daughters, as instructed, hid under the porch.  This is where we are introduced to Selah Daughtry, who by the way is my favorite character.  Being the oldest of three she is instructed by her mother to keep her sisters safe and out of harms way.  She takes this charge not only seriously, but to heart.  As the story progresses we see how she is always putting her sisters first and making decisions based on what's best for everyone.  One example is when she makes the decision to leave Ithaca after the death of her beloved mother to keep her sisters safe, then when she returns after the war to take charge of what was left of their plantation until her father returns from the war.  She is not domineering towards her sisters, but rather seeks their counsel when necessary in making decisions.  What I liked best about Selah was that instead of letting her past define her as a person, she used it to shape her instead by not only learning from mistakes, but also listening to her heart. She takes in young man and tries to help him even though she can barely feed herself.  She listens to Levi and places trust in him even though she has learned to trust no one but her family since the war started. She shows her strength of character from the first page. She goes from being a belle of the plantation to being the one who is in charge of making decisions she feels ill equipped to make, but learning to trust and depend on others for help.   
This historical romance also includes elements of mystery, faith, forgiveness, grief, trust and love.  The plot quickly pulled me in from page one and held me with each page turned.  This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean book.  I am really looking forward to the next installment in this series. 
**I received this book from the publisher via their book bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thatcher Sisters

Published May 8th 2018
 by Tyndale House Publishers

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.
But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.
Available for Purchase:

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"Sometimes you just have to forget the other stuff and remember we're sisters."

Meet the Author:
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A Christy Award winner, as well as an ACFW Carol Award winner, Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018.

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My Thoughts:

I loved this book!!
I love reading a good story, but this story swallowed me heart and soul.  
(Warning, this book should come with a box of tissues.)
Beth Vogt weaved words together that evoked so many emotions for me.  In fact, after reading the last page I found myself thinking of these characters. 
I knew when I received this book I would need to set aside time to immerse myself in the story, but I had no idea how deeply it would touch me.  
This is the first book about the Thatcher sisters/family.  Ten years ago the unthinkable happened, Pepper Thatcher was killed in an accident.  As you can imagine this was very difficult for the Thatcher family, but no one more than Payton who was Pepper's twin.  Every time Payton looks in the mirror she sees Pepper or what at least what she would have looked like.  Payton is coping with her loss the best that she can, but she is suddenly free falling without a safety net.  Normally your family would be there to catch you, but Payton has held her family at arm's length since Pepper's death. She's afraid if she loves too hard or gets too close and loses someone that the hurt will be more than she can endure, plus she's hiding a secret that she's afraid to reveal to anyone.  
Payton owns and operates a successful party planning business, so when her sister Jillian becomes engaged it's natural she would ask Payton for help.  Unfortunately Payton knows this means working with her older sister, Johanna, who is not only bossy, but also wants to organized everything.  She puts aside her anxiety and agrees for Jillian's sake, but with being around her family more than usual has brought her nightmares on with a vengeance.  Plus the resurface of Zachary Gaines  could also have an influence on her nightmares returning.  Zachary Gaines was the boy involved in Pepper's accident and knows the secret she's held close all this time. 
This captivating story immediately pulled me in immediately and held me, until I fell asleep at 3 am, until the last page was turned.  It captures emotions that are both real and raw.  Yes, I think this is a story everyone will love and I recommend it.  
**I received this book from the publisher.  I was not required to write a review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Bradford Sisters Romance

Published May 1st 2018
 by Bethany House Publishers

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is reveling in the peace and quiet of her hometown right up until the moment she comes face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Corbin Stewart.
Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow is concerned. He's never been able to forget her, but Willow makes it crystal clear she's unwilling to risk her heart again.
When a decades-old mystery in Corbin's family brings them together, will the heartbreak in their past and the complications in their present keep them from falling for one another all over again?

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Becky Wade

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She’s the Christy and Carol award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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My Thoughts:

Oh my, I loved this story!!
This is the second installment in Becky Wade's A Bradford Sisters Romance series and I believe this is my favorite so far, but then again I say that with every book. Even though this book is part of a series it's definitely a stand alone.  
This captivating story has a sweet plot that immediately pulled me into the story and I didn't want to put it down until the last page was turned.  Hence, for me this was a one setting read.  
In this story we meet Willow who is the oldest sister in the Bradford family and the one who has longed to be the perfect daughter. Willow made some decisions that she regrets and this has affected her life profoundly, especially her faith. She has come home to run the family bed and breakfast for her mom until the recently hired lodge manager arrives.  Willow believes this will give her some much needed rest from her modeling career, plus she will get to spend much needed time with her sisters and family.  
 Corbin has moved to Washington for surgery and rehab after an injury that puts his NFL career in jeopardy when he runs into Willow again.  We also get a rich backstory of how Corbin and Willow know each other and how it influences their lives when they are reunited. 
Corbin's niece, Charlotte, is concerned about the mysterious disappearance of her great aunt, Josephine Blake, and enlists Willow's help.  Willow is forced to work with Corbin in helping Charlotte search for answers, but plans to only see Corbin when necessary. Corbin has plans to use this quest as a way to get close to Willow again and prove to her that he's not the same guy she met years ago.  
  This story shows elements of second chances, romantic tension, values, beliefs, mystery, crisis of faith and love.  This is a book I would recommend to anyone. 
**I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts an opinions are my own. 

I also want to mention that Becky Wade has written a novella that introduces this series and it is wonderful.

Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella by [Wade, Becky]A leather-bound journal. A single father. A woman in pursuit of freedom.

Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn't know much about babies. But he's going to have to learn fast because he's just become a single father to his newborn daughter. As he confesses through his journal entries, he's not entirely sure how to keep a newborn alive, whether or not he'll ever patch together his shattered heart, or how to forgive himself for his mistakes.

Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can't seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart. There's something extraordinarily tempting about his beautifully sad green eyes. . . . 

Told through journal entries, phone conversations, and letters, Then Came You is a unique, heart-stirring romance novella by acclaimed author Becky Wade.

Then Came You is available as a FREE e-book at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Kobo. It's also available in print via Amazon and in audio via Audible.

The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life

How to Ace an Interview, Change a Tire, Talk to a Guy, & 97 Other Skills You Need to Thrive

The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life: How to Ace an Interview, Change a Tire, Talk to a Guy, and 97 Other Skills You Need to Thrive
Published May 15th 2018
 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Everything you need to know to be prepared, confident, and successful
As you grow up and make your mark on the world, you're going to run into plenty of situations that require you to be confident and capable. But it's hard to be either when you don't know what you're doing! If you want to have it all together, The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life is your go-to resource. With great illustrations and step-by-step instructions for almost everything a young woman needs to know, this book shows you how to

· introduce yourself
· change a flat tire
· respectfully break up with a guy
· leave a tip
· apply for a job
· ask for a promotion
· behave during a traffic stop
· create a personal budget
· wash your face
· clear a clogged drain
· iron a shirt
· wear a scarf
· shoot a basketball
· and much more

The world needs women of character who don't wait for others to do what needs to be done. With The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life, you'll be well on your way to impressing everyone around you with your skill, confidence, and grace under pressure.

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Authors:

Erica CathermanErica Catherman has spent more than twenty years mentoring young women as a coach to middle school, high school, and college students. Committed to raising up the next generation to be kind, confident, and capable, Erica has served as a youth group leader, community volunteer, and advocate for gender equality in sports. She is a certified Yoga Alliance and Group Fitness instructor.

Jonathan Catherman is the author of the bestselling The Manual to Manhood and The Manual to Middle School. An award-winning cultural strategist and a leading education trainer specializing in the character and leadership development of youth, Jonathan speaks worldwide about the principles and strengths that empower greatness in children, teens, and young adults. Jonathan and his wife, Erica, live in North Carolina, where they work together to raise their family, which includes teenagers and a couple of big dogs. Learn more at

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I loved this book.  
When I saw the book my first thought was I've got to get this book.  My daughter just recently graduated from college and as I was sitting in the auditorium the thought that hit me was, "This is it! She's grown."  Then the panic set in.  Yes, major panic.  I began thinking of all the things I had possible forgot to teach her or even talk to her about.  Honestly this may sound ridiculous to some, but others know exactly what I'm talking about.
There are "life" lessons we start teaching our children from day one and continue this process as they grow.  Occasionally we forget one or maybe it hasn't come up in conversation, so this was what was going through my mind on her graduation day.  When my book arrived, which was after her graduation, I saw so many things listed that I had forgotten (how to clear a clogged drain, how to change a tire, how to iron a shirt, how to create a budget, etc.).  As you can imagine, yes my daughter is the new owner of this book and she loved it.  There are areas we've covered, but there are some we've not so it's perfect for her.  
Let me begin by saying this book is perfect for girls from middle school to adults.  It is divided into 10 chapters:
-Guys & Dating
-Social Skills & Manners
-Work & Ethics
-Wealth & Money Management
-Health & Beauty
-Clothes & Fashion
-Sports & Recreation
-Cars & Driving
-Food & Cooking
Tools & Fix-It

Each chapter is well written and easy to understand with a "Did You Know" box included at the end of each section.  This is a book that will build confidence when you know what is the expected, the proper way to do things and just basic knowledge to navigate areas in your life.  
This is a book I would recommend to anyone.  It's perfect as a gift or even to keep for yourself.  I must admit I wish this book had of been around when my daughter was much younger.  
**I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Assignment

The ASSIGNMENT is a book that was inspired by constant questions from people who simply wanted to know, what life is all about? The desire to find purpose and significance is a staggering need for the modern church of today. People who find it truly know peace. Those who do not, can search a lifetime and never know that the answer is right in front of them. Inside these pages are unique perspectives that are expected to trigger those “ah ha!” moments for every reader. Truly, this could be the “GAME CHANGER” that effects you for the rest of your life!

Meet the Author:

Dr. Devon Blanton is a pastor conducting a full-time ministry along with a very busy Christian Counseling practice. He holds an earned Doctorate in Religious Education, specializing in Counseling. He is certified in Family and Marriage, Grief and Drug Abuse and Health and Nutrition. He is also a Certified Health Coach. His post-doctoral pursuits include an earned diploma in Psychiatric Studies. He also completed brief studies in Cardiology and Resuscitation from Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He further expanded His studies in nutrition from Texas A&M, Vanderbilt University and Stanford University. This all coincides with his four-pillar philosophy on Counseling. These focus on the Physical, Spiritual, Emotional and Financial parts of who we are. He is also the Founder of Cross Anchors Solutions, a high-level training program out of Durham, N.C. providing training in Leadership Development, Biblical Counseling I, II, Advanced Biblical Counseling and Health & Nutrition. He has authored several books including, The ASSIGNMENT, Holes in the Soul, Shake the Heavens-Move the Earth and the two brand new projects now underway, Health is the Best Medicine and Raising God. 

My Thoughts:

I have heard so many people in life talk about finding themselves and I think did you think your lost? Well, I think what most people are searching for is what is their purpose in life, not really searching for themselves.  We all look for a reason for anything that happens whether is be a positive or a negative.  In this book the author discusses not only the meaning of life, but also the purpose of life or our journey through life.  
The book is divided into 13 chapters which are about 4 to 5 pages in length.  At the end of each chapter Key Words are reviewed and defined as used in the chapter.  The next area is Workbook Activities which includes several questions that the reader can answer.  Each one is designed for the reader to dig deep within themselves and find answers or thoughts abut the chapter.  
This is a well written book that is easy to comprehend. The author uses both scripture and logic in his explanations.  The layout of the book is perfect for a small group study or even an individual. I would recommend it to anyone looking for answers as to why we are here.  Even though this book is small it is filled with a vast amount of knowledge that would benefit anyone in their journey of life.  
*I received this book from the publisher.  I was not required to write a review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Atlanta Justice #2

She's the Only Witness to a Brutal Crime. Now She Can't Outrun the Target on Her Back.

Expected publication: May 1st 2018 
by Bethany House Publishers

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson has taken a new role at the Fulton County DA's office, and her first case involves a local bank employee who may be cheating customers. She's determined to bring justice to those who've lost their savings . . . but her life is turned upside down when she becomes the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang. 

With her life at risk, friends and family convince her that she needs protection, and private security guard Cooper Knight is hired as a bodyguard. But as threats escalate, neither Cooper nor Sophie knows whom they can trust. 

Unwilling to back down on either case, Sophie pursues the truth at any cost. But her bank litigation gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from taking the stand. With all sides closing in, steadfast Cooper is the only man she can lean on. But drawing close may be the distraction that costs both of their lives. 

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation's most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She loves to connect with her readers both in person and online.  

Connect Online:

My Thoughts:

This is the second installment in the Atlanta Justice series from Rachel Dylan.  
With that being said, this book is definitely a stand alone story.  
I loved this book!!
It's full of legal suspense, mystery, southern charm, engaging characters, romantic tension, and love. 
As the story opens we meet Sophie Dawson, a prosecutor with the Fulton County DA's office, who has just finished a grueling Friday in court and all she wants is salty chips and chocolate.  A quick stop at the convenience store to pick up a snack proves anything but quick when she witnesses a double homicide.  A couple days later she informed that the suspect she identified is none other than Ricky Wade, brother of Atlanta's biggest gang leader and the prosecution depended upon her testimony to get a conviction. No pressure right?? 
Add to that, Sophie has just joined the White Collar Crime Unit of the District Attorney's office.  While her caseload is not as heavy as being in the general trial division, but now as senior ADA she had a lot to prove and set herself a part from the crowd.  She has just finished her first White Collar Crime case and had started an investigation into a Southern Investment Bank matter.  
Unbeknownst to Sophie her father, Randall, hired Cooper Knight to protect his only daughter from one of Atlanta's most notorious gangs.  Cooper has met Sophie previously through mutual friends and has a high amount of respect for her, but how will she respond to his new position in her life.  Sophie takes Cooper's presence as well as she could knowing that her father was generally worried about her safety and if Cooper following her around eased his mind she would endure it.  Cooper has a softer side and a tough exterior which makes him complex and has real issues.  Sophie is a strong woman who could be doing luncheons at the country club, but chooses to work because her love of the law.  Suddenly she's on the other side of the bench, a witness instead of prosecutor, and realizes how her job affects her as a witness.  Suddenly Sophie and Cooper find things are more complicated than they imagined and are literally running for their lives.
For me this legal thriller was very absorbing, by that I mean I was drawn into the story from the first page and held there until the last page was turned.    
This book has elements of legal drama, suspense, mystery, complex characters, and faith.  It's a book I would recommend to anyone who loves legal or suspenseful stories.  
**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley as part of their book bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

The first book in the series, Deadly Proof, was released in Sept. 2017. 

Standing For What's Right Could Cost Her Everything
Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company's dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved. 
Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He's still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything--even commit murder--to keep the case from going to trial. 
As danger closes in, Landon can't help but admire Kate's courage and resolve--but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?