Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Table by the Window {Two Blue Doors Series} by Hilary Manton Lodge

Book Description:  Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love 

The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story. 

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

My Thoughts: I love books that Hilary M. Lodge writes.  I've read Plain Jayne and Simply Sara {her Amish books}.  I've waited for a long time for Ms. Lodge to write a new book.  
Ms. Lodge has an easy way with words that take a reader into another time and another place makes for one excellent story.
A Table By the Window isn't just an ordinary read but a special something read about a noisy, nosey family and a photograph from a different place and a different time.  What could this antique photo mean?  Secrets and mystery!
I love the cover with a girl by a window! I'm wondering if the window has some significance, like seeing into another life or living in a world of sunshine?  Or maybe, just loving life!
And then there's the romance. A great guy who is funny and charming but whom Juliette has met online.   Ah! Poor Juliette can't keep a secret like her long ago grand mere.  Somethings, I guess, just aren't hereditary.  He comes to Portland to meet her family...secret out!  
But the pastries...ahh! the pastries!  Makes the reader wish for her own pastry chef!  Great recipes abound in this read!
I loved this absolutely delightful read!  And, yes, waiting for the next book! 

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

  • Series: Two Blue Doors
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731753

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Life Hack!

Not a recipe today, instead you may need this life hack!  
Such a good resource!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Serve strong (Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God's Servants) by Terry Powell

Book Description:  Serve Strong helps volunteers as well as vocational Christian workers combat discouragement, persevere through weariness, and cultivate endurance for the long haul.
Serve the Lord long enough and discouragement or some form of opposition is inevitable. Joy-sapping workloads, feelings of inadequacy, lack of fruitfulness, or battle fatigue from spiritual warfare often spurs God's servants to quit or sabotages their passion. The purpose of this book is to infuse them with biblical perspectives that buoy flagging spirits, boost motivation, and cultivate endurance.

My Thoughts:  Pastors and their wives are some of the first to become weary in well doing.  Christian workers (i.e. Sunday School teachers, youth leaders and others who serve in any capacity in the church) are some of the most "worn out" peoples in our church groups.  Why? Because we must give and give and be on call, sometimes without ever seeing the results of our labors.  Working for God is not a nine-to-five job.  It's a job of all times.

Even the great preachers like Spurgeon and Flavel became weary because people did not seem to heed God's call for salvation.   Like Flavel I have wearied of going to church Sunday after Sunday, teaching a Sunday School class or seeing people sit in their pews and never respond to God.  And like Flavel I've wanted to respond with, "How can I dismiss you with a blessing since many of you will be accursed when the Lord returns because you didn't love the Lord Jesus Christ." (p. 36)  This, however, is not, the end.  

God is the only true source of comfort and love. And He alone is working on "that" man, woman or teen to come to him.  They must respond and seek God with their whole heart.

If you are a weary servant of the Lord then this encouraging read is for you.  If you are a worker for the Lord then you, too, need to read how to Serve Strong.

Mr. Powell not only encourages but gives scripture and examples from God's word on how to serve strong and be all that you can be in Jesus.

*This book was provided for review by Leafwood Publishers*

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891124322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891124320

Monday, April 21, 2014

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Permanent Resident at the Purse Table, a COTT Feature

"Keisha's debut novel is a sweet reminder of the redeeming power of love, along with a dose of drama between good friends! Her characters are so relatable because they're imperfect peoplewho've made some serious mistakes--just like the rest of us!"

-Michelle Stimpson,National Bestselling Author

About the book:

If you're size six, you dance. If you're Ava Alexander, you watch the purses while your girlfriends dance. Each man that passes her by takes alittle of her self-esteem. After escaping a mentally abusive relationship, she promises God she will wait on Him to bring her the right man. And shemeans it--Until Ishmael. When her best friend's fiancĂ© throws a fewcompliments her way, she travels down the path of betrayal. Ava's choicestrains her friendship and sends her into a depression. Ava receives spiritual guidance from Dr. Glory Moses. Through God's Word,there is a glimpse of hope for a restored friendship, and a newfound lovefor the woman she is. In addition, a man she meets at the counseling centeroffers her a glimpse of what could be if she lines up with God's will forher life. Will Ava be able to overcome her insecurities and step into the life Godplans for her, or will she continue to self-destruct?


What COTT voters had to say:
* I'm happy to see a novel with a plus-sized woman as the main character.Thanks, Keisha!
* I voted for Permanent Resident at the Purse Table!! Good luck Keisha!
* Permanent Resident at the Purse Table!! You won't be able to put itdown!
* Keisha Bass, Your book sounds like a must-read! We've all soughtvalidation in a way that brought trouble. Can't wait to see how all turnsout! Lana K.
About the author:
Keisha Bass has a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Englishand holds teaching certificates in 
English, Speech, and Physical Education. She has been a teacher and coachfor fourteen years, and currently teaches middle school physical educationand coach girls' volleyball and softball. She grew up in Houston, Texas,but now resides in Arlington, Texas. Keisha is also Vice President of theDFW Ready Writers, a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers,and a member of North Texas Christian Writers.
Permanent Resident at the Purse Table is Keisha's first novel. Shehas published non-fiction articles in magazines and two onlinepublications, and Her article, "HeartProblems", was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book ofMiracles.

Keisha, when is your next book due out and can you tell us aboutit?
"My next book, Permanent Resident at the Altar, is due out November2015. It takes a closer look at my main characters' lives from the firstbook and how they are moving forward in their newfound situations. There'sdrama, laughter, and definitely more chances to learn how to lean on God inevery area of their lives."

Connect with Keisha: 

Find more great reads every week at Clash of the!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Lady's Honor (Cliffs of Cornwall #1) by Laurie Alice Eakes

Book Description:   On the cliffs of 19th-century Cornwall, a spirited, impetuous young woman is torn between the honor of her family and the longing of her heart. England, 1811 A tarnished reputation. A distant home. A forced engagement to a dangerous man. When Elizabeth Trelawny flees London, she has more than one reason to run. And when her carriage, pursued by her would-be fiancĂ©, is caught in a storm, she quickly accepts the help of a dark stranger. Anything to get back to Cornwall. Rowan Curnow is not exactly a stranger. Not quite a gentleman either, class disparity once kept him from courting Elizabeth . . . even if it didn’t keep him from kissing her. The couple elude their pursuers and reach Bastian Point, Elizabeth’s future inheritance and the one place she calls home. But in the very act of spiriting her to safety, Rowan has jeopardized Elizabeth’s inheritance---if her Grandfather ever learns she spent the night, however innocently, in the company of a man. When smugglers unite the pair in a reckless, flirtatious alliance---an alliance that challenges the social norms that Elizabeth has been raised to revere and rattles Rowan’s fledgling faith in God---Elizabeth must choose between the obedience of a child and the desires of a woman: whether to cling to the safety of her family home or follow the man she loves.

My Thoughts: This is the first book that I've read by Laurie Alice Eakes.  
This story begins with a lot of action and excitement.  The story really grips the reader.  
Honor is something that is worth more than gold. It seems that Elizabeth is in quite a quandary!  Her fiancee is literally chasing her on a dark and stormy night.  But lo and behold!  there is a kind, handsome dark stranger on that very road, Rowan!
It seems, to me, that Elizabeth may be a bit spoiled (not sure if that is what the author intended for the reader to see in her character) but this character trait makes me like her cousin.  
It seems that Rowan is always coaxing Elizabeth to meet him unchaperoned and alone.  Even though Rowan is suppose to be a "good" guy this character trait makes me "wonder" about his intentions.  After all, this is a read about honor, especially keeping a lady's honor.
This was an okay read.  The story begins so well but begins to lag . . . maybe because I didn't like the character traits I saw in the main characters.
You, dear reader, may enjoy this story.  You may see a different character trait in these fictional characters.  
*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Series: A Cliffs of Cornwall Novel
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310332060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310332060

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Sopapilla Cheesecake

Making this delicious and easy Soapapilla Cheesecake for our Easter lunch! 

Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2-8oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 stick butter (1/2 cup real butter not margarine)
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Unroll and press 1 can crescent rolls into the bottom of your baking dish press the seams together. In a separate bowl blend the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla  spread over top of dough. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese mixture pressing seams together again. Melt butter and pour over top layer of crescents. Mix the reaming 1/2 cup of sugar & cinnamon together. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture generously over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and bottom crust is slightly brown. So easy and delicious! Cool, slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Kregel Blog Tour} Badge of Honor & River of Peril (Goldtown Adventures 1 & 4) by Susan K. Marlow

Book Description:  Twelve-year-old Jeremiah "Jem" Coulter knows that Goldtown, California, has seen the last of the gold rush. But the flecks of gold he and an old prospector, "Strike," find in their played-out claim on Cripple Creek spur Jem's hope of striking it rich. In the meantime, he and his sister, Ellie, sell frog legs and firewood to bring in extra cash. When Jem's father accepts a job as sheriff of lawless Goldtown, Jem is suddenly saddled with an additional responsibility--to run their broken-down ranch. He faces a hard path as he tries to be a man and make his father proud, but then Cripple Creek mysteriously dries up and Strike suddenly disappears. Jem is determined to find out why. Can anything be worse than being a sheriff's kid? Will outlaws use his father's badge for target practice? Is that silver star just a target . . . or truly a badge of honor?

My Thoughts:  Badge of Honor by Susan K. Marlow is definitely some of the finer fiction for young readers ages 8-12.  
This story is about Jeremiah "Jem" who lives with Aunt Rose and his Pa in the gold mining town of Goldtown, California.
The story of Jem and his friend, the old prospector, Strike, brings a story of adventure and friendship.
Jem is unhappy, to put it mildly, that his pa has accepted the sheriff's badge.  Being a sheriff's kid is about the worse thing that can happen to a boy growing up in a gold mining community.  
Jem also worries that his pa's badge will make his pa look like a neon bright target to all the outlaws.  How can a sheriff have a badge of honor?
This is a wonderful story that will capture the attention of preteens.    There are many life lessons and truths that help preteens to understand life.  Boys especially will like the escapades that Jem gets himself in to.  
Action, adventure and faith . . . a story for the armchair cowboy!

*This book was provided for review by Kregel publications*
  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Series: Goldtown Adventures (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082544294X

My Thoughts: This is book 4, River of Peril.  In the first book we meet Jem and follow along as he has a high adventure.
But in book 4, there's even more adventure!
Jem and his dad are on a trip to the bustling city of Sacramento.  Oh! the sights and sounds!
This would be a great trip but Jem can sense that something is bothering his pa.  
Then at the end of a very tiring two day journey highway men who go by the name of Knights of the Golden Circle steal the precious gold shipment.  
But Jem's pa isn't upset about the robbery.  Then one day as Jem and his new found friend Nathan and his sister, Ellie, are having fun on the river wharf they stumble upon a dangerous smuggling operation
Pa is off on business and Aunt Rose is worried sick about Jem and his escapades.  
Then the bandits show up and Ellie goes missing.  Jem feels that it is up to him to find his sister before the bandits leave the area.
A fun and exciting read for preteens! This is a series that I think families would enjoy reading out loud. . . at family time.

*This book was provided for review by Kregel publications*

GREAT Deal for blog readers:

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril

By Susan K. Marlow


Canyon of Danger ebook

Free April 14, 2014

$1.99 April 15 through 18, 2014


 River of Peril ebook

Free April 14, 2014
$1.99 April 15 through 18, 2014

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Goldtown Adventures (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825442974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825442971