Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

We have an abundance of tomatoes in our garden this year and so I'm making these:  Parmesan Baked Tomatoes (again, another great recipe from Pinterest!)

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

2 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan
fresh oregano
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C).
Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into approximately 1/3-inch (1 cm) slices. 
Place them on a baking sheet. 
Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper (season according to your taste). Drizzle with some olive oil and bake until tomatoes are tender and the cheese is melted, for about 10-15 minutes.

**We eat them like this but some say they like them on French bread, hamburgers, sandwiches . . . well, the list is endless!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Berenstain Bears Bible for Little Ones by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Book Description:The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones is perfect for young children. Now toddlers have a padded board book edition designed just for them, with simple text, bright art, and a padded cover. This cute and durable edition provides an overview of the Bible with ten stories from the Old and New Testaments that follow the Bear family as they explore Scripture. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones is fun and enlightening for kids and a great resource for parents and educators. 

My Thoughts:  The Berenstain Bears seem to have been around as long as ice cream.  One just can't seem to remember when the family of bears didn't exist.  
When my son was little he loved the bears.  We read the books and had a few of the videos.  The fun family of bears always had a lesson to go with the escapade that one of the smaller bears would get entangled in.
But now The Berenstain Bears have a Storybook Bible for Little Ones that explores scripture from the Old and New Testaments.
Some people may have a problem with a bear teaching a cub about the things of God but our family liked the colorful pictures, the hardback book with its padded cover (that is so easy to wipe clean with a damp rag.)  
The stories are biblically sound just told simply and to the point.  It's not a theologian's nightmare nor is to for those who like bigger more important sounding words. 
It's simply a retelling of the scriptures for little ones. The suggested age for this book is 4-8 but I found that two year olds like this book, too.
Little people like color and animals so in my opinion this is a great book to read to little ones.  After all, reading scripture never hurt any one.  

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Series: Berenstain Bears/Living Lights
  • Board book: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition (August 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310749417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310749417

Waiting for Morning (Forever Faithful, Book 1) by Karen Kingsbury

Book Description:  “I’m afraid there’s been a car accident...”
As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.
In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain.
In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?

My Thoughts:  Waiting for Morning:  The first book in the Forever Faithful series. This is a heart.rending read that left me feeling bereft but also left me with high hope...there is always a tomorrow. Imagine losing your beloved husband and oldest daughter to death caused by a drunk driver who walks away from the accident barely scathed!
I felt Hannah's despair... I truly did! Because Ms. Kingsbury writes with such emotion! One can feel the emotions of the character.  
But then Brian, the drunk, who killed Hannah's husband and daughter, has a story too.  Can he overcome?
This interesting book is filled faith and hope has the most unusual story line, in that, the story isn't just about Hannah and her lost but it's also about the drunk driver, Brian.  Both peoples lost something in that tragic accident and both peoples must overcome guilt, sadness and then go on with life.  Waiting for Morning is a fantabulous title for this read...
the telling of both sides of the story.  Honestly, Karen Kingsbury does an outstanding job of writing in this novel.
Will hate, angry and despair take up the meaningful lives of two people who don't even know each other?  
Great read!  Forgiveness and God's mercies are ever so evident in this story!

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

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (April 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590520203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590520208

Monday, August 24, 2015

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Featuring Author Misty M. Beller's Latest Work

A delightful transport through time, The Rancher Takes a Cook brings history to life with realistic characters, a colorful setting, and comfort food that teases your appetite~ Melody Carlson, author of 200+ books

About the book:

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch. 

Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans. 

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?


About the author, Misty M. Beller:

Misty M. Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. 

You can find her on her websitereader blogmarketing blog for authorsGoodreadsTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest. Or check out her books The Lady and the Mountain ManThe Lady and the Mountain Doctor, or The Lady and the Mountain Fire. Or her latest book, The Rancher Takes a Cook.

Misty's favorite Scripture and prayer for readers:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (NKJV)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

One last hurrah before school begins and the fun is just beginning with these s'mores! 
 I love the peanut butter cup s'mores!  {I found these on!}


graham cracker squares
milk chocolate candy bars (1.55-oz each), each halved
large marshmallows
long-handled forks
  • On each of 4 graham cracker squares, place candy bar half.
  • Spear each marshmallow on long-handled fork; toast over campfire coals or over grill with low heat.
  • Place 1 toasted marshmallow on top of each chocolate bar. Top each with cracker; press together and hold for a few seconds to melt chocolate.


    Mint S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-covered mint cookies for the crackers.
    Peanut Butter S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-covered peanut butter cups for the candy bars.
    Rainy Days S´Mores - Substitute marshmallow creme for the toasted marshmallows. Spread marshmallow creme on cracker tops.
    Scotchie S´Mores - Substitute chocolate graham crackers for the regular graham crackers. Drizzle butterscotch ice cream topping over the candy bar before adding marshmallow.
    Striped S´Mores - Substitute chocolate-striped cookies for the graham crackers.
    Keep S'Mores ingredients on hand for upcoming backyard cookouts. At a picnic, put out a variety of chocolate candies so everyone can experiment and discover their favorite combination.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    COTT {Clash of the Titles} Presenting, a Titus Ray Thriller!

    About the book:

    On the hunt for an assassin, Titus Ray faces a threat he never imagined.
    Can he overcome the obstacles and capture Ahmed Al-Amin before it's too late?

    In this pulse-racing Christian thriller, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, travels from Costa Rica to Venezuela in an effort to stop Ahmed Al-Amin, a Hezbollah assassin, from murdering a high-profile government official. Along the way, a family crisis jeopardizes his mission, and an Agency division head threatens to destroy his career. As the danger mounts, he’s forced to partner with an untested operative to complete the mission and bring Ahmed to justice. Will he make it in time?


    What COTT voter had to say:
    --Great book. So exciting! Two Days in Caracas.
    --The first book, One Night in Tehran, was excellent so reading the second book in the series is a given. Looking forward to it!
    --Loved the book, "Two Days in Caracus" by Luana Ehrlich
    --Luana Ehrlich is a wonderful storyteller! LOVE her books!
    --Luana, I love the realism of your characters and the accuraccy of your research into the espionage community.
    --I will be reading Luana Ehrlich's newest book!
    --Luana, you are a fabulous writer. I am so excited to read Two Days in Caracus!

    Q & A with Luana:

    Is there a message for readers to take away after they read these stories?

    If there's an underlying message in the series, it's that God is always at work in the lives of unbelievers to bring them to faith in Christ. Titus is a career intelligence officer, dedicated to carrying out deceptive, treacherous, sometimes violent, operations against both individuals and governments. He was raised in a dysfunctional family with no spiritual upbringing. Yet, while hiding out from Iran's secret police, he is confronted with the truth of the gospel. The message is simply that a conversion experience often happens to the most improbable people in the most unlikely of 


    In addition, contained in each of the books is the reality all believers must face—how to live out the Christian faith. Titus is forced to deal with what it means to be a follower of Christ in the world in which he operates. The first book primarily deals with his attempts to pray, but he also buys a Bible and attends church for the first time. Then, in Two Days in Caracas, Titus is thrust into several situations where he’s faced with the need to offer forgiveness for past sins. These are gut-wrenching episodes, and he’s not always successful.

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    I grew up as a preacher’s kid, and it was actually my dad who gave me my first spy novel when I was eleven years old. After that, I was hooked on the thriller/suspense/mystery genre forever. I’m also a news fanatic, and I follow events around the world on a daily basis, particularly the Middle East. 

    I married a minister, and we’ve lived in several states in the South and Midwest and have served as missionaries in Costa Rica and Venezuela. For the past two decades, we’ve lived in Norman, Oklahoma, where my husband has been the pastor of a Baptist church.

    I’ve also done freelance work for Baptist Press, a national news service for Baptists, reporting on the experiences of newly converted Christians. And, in a similar fashion, when we lived in Indiana, I wrote a weekly column for The Indiana Baptist, which told the stories of ordinary people who became followers of Christ. I belong to several organizations for writers, including the American Christian Fiction Writers.

    Where can we find you?

    My personal website is, and then I have a website devoted to my thrillers, I blog at His Glory My Joy and I’m the Blessing Box Blogger.

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

    Book Description: All her life, Hannah Sterling longed for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following Lieselotte’s death, Hannah determines to unlock the secrets of her mother’s mysterious past and is shocked to discover a grandfather living in Germany.

    Thirty years earlier, Lieselotte’s father is quickly ascending the ranks of the Nazi party, and a proper marriage for his daughter could help advance his career. Lieselotte is in love―but her beloved Lukas is far from an ideal match, as he secretly works against the Reich. Yet Lieselotte never imagined how far her father would go to ensure her cooperation.

    Both Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s stories unfold as Hannah travels to Germany to meet her grandfather, who is hiding wartimes secrets of his own. Longing for connection, yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family’s tragic past and how their legacy will shape her future.

    My Thoughts:  Last summer I read Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke and was so enthralled with the story that when this book, Secrets She Kept, came out this summer, I jumped at a chance to read it. 


    This story takes place thirty years earlier and is more about Hannah's parents and then intermingles with Hannah's "today" life.
    Hannah wants to know the secrets of her mother's past (hence the title Secrets She Kept).
    Unfortunately, any time one tries to uncover a secret, the past or the secret isn't all that one will hope for nor is it always good to uncover what someone has gone through in the past.  Sometimes, people keep secrets because the hurt and hopelessness they had to go through felt too hard to share.  Or maybe, they keep a secret because they don't want to hurt their loved ones....whatever the case, Hannah uncovers more than she knew was lurking underneath the family skeletons.  
    Such a poignant story! And yet, so sad that at times I felt as if my heart would break.  {This, to me, is not just the sign of a great book but the sign of a fantastic author!}  
    Another fantabulous story by Cathy Gohlke!
    A definite must read for all WWII fans!

    *This book was provided for review by Tyndale*
    • Paperback: 416 pages
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1496400801
    • ISBN-13: 978-1496400802