Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Food Family Style: Simple and Tasty Recipes for Everyday Life...Review

About the book:
In a time when the family meal is increasingly losing out to music lessons, sports practices, and the general busyness of life, it's time to rediscover the joys of cooking and eating together as a family. Time may be short and budgets may be tight, but these 365 mouthwatering recipes are sure to draw families into the kitchen and around the table day after day. From tasty breakfasts, soups, and salads to sumptuous main dishes and desserts, Food Family Style delivers just what readers' families ordered.

Throughout the book are symbols indicating recipes that double easily, freeze well, are gluten-free or vegetarian, can be made in a slow cooker, and more. And since there's more to mealtime than just the food, this innovative book also includes tips about how to involve kids in meal preparation, meaningful conversation starters, and simple ideas to bring warmth to your home.

I love family friendly cookbooks and this one doesn't disappoint.

The book is organized by category with an index organized by ingredient.  The recipes are easy to follow and family/child friendly with serving sizes listed.  Most use every day ingredients that you have on hand.  There are helpful hints and tips in the margins as well as a chapter on kitchen and pantry essentials and healthy substitutions.

My biggest complaint about any cookbook is when there are no photos.  Having an idea of what the finished recipe looks like is one of the cool things about cooking.  But, aside from that, this is a cookbook that I will keep and use.  I have many, many recipes tagged.

One I can recommend is:

Breakfast Mini Quiches

1 prepared pie crust
8 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup cooked, diced bacon
(I added salt, pepper, a sprinkle of nutmeg and some diced onion)

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut out 6 circles from the pie crust (about 3 inches in diameter) and place in greased muffin cups.  Put muffin tin in refrigerator while you make the filling.  In a bow, beat together eggs, milk, cheese and bacon.  Fill prepared muffin tins and bake  20-25 minutes until puff and slightly brown.  Let cool 3 minutes and remove from tins.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Leigh Olivier Vickery here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 8/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Haven...Review

About the book:
Spring brings new life, young love, and second chances to Stoney Ridge.

On a warm spring day, Sadie Lapp returns home to her quiet, unassertive life in Stoney Ridge after spending the winter in Ohio.

Gideon Smucker, an awkward schoolteacher, has been in love with Sadie since childhood and eagerly awaits her return. But does Sadie feel the same about him?

Will Stoltz, a charming and impetuous college student, has been banished for a semester and sent to babysit endangered peregrine falcons nesting at the Lapp farm. He'd rather be anywhere else . . . until he befriends Sadie.

As the hopes and ambitions of these three young people converge, life in Stoney Ridge may never be the same.

Once again, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher intrigues and delights with a story that explores the bonds of friendship, family, and true love in this captivating series.

When Sadie returns to Stoney Ridge after visiting her sister, she returns home with a baby in a basket and discovers that people would rather gossip that find out the truth.  She meets Will Stoltz a young man who is studying endangered falcons that have begun nesting on the Lapp farm.  At once drawn to Will, Sadie is confused about Gideon Smucker, the school teacher who has always loved her.  When misunderstandings arise and judgments are made, Sadie finds herself wondering where she will find happiness.

While I found myself  frustrated with selfish, gossipy people in Sadie's community, I loved visiting the Lapp family again.  These characters are simply remarkable.  Finding out more about Menno was a fantastic surprise.

First in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, you can read this first book The Keeper here. After reading The KeeperI was anxious to read Sadie's story in The Haven and it was worth the wait.  I look forward to M.K.'s story next.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Suzanne Woods Fisher here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.


* * * *
4/5 Stars


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For Such a Time as This...Review

About the book:
Drought has forced farmers around the small town of Bountiful in the Hope region of Oregon to mortgage their property. Then word comes of plans for a spur line to run through the area and join the railroad in nearby Milton. Folks with money see an opportunity to fill their coffers by buying farmland cheap then selling to the railroad for a profit. The Bank of Bountiful, owned by Eli Whitman, appears to be doing that, as well.

Widowed two years earlier, Eli, with a son and daughter to raise, sought a hard-working, educated Christian woman to care for them and his home. Olivia Moore filled the bill, and as soon as Eli recognized her as an excellent investment, he offered her first employment then a marriage of convenience.

While Olivia is an excellent choice, her large family gives Eli pause. He knows about the problems posed by in-laws, so he will do whatever it takes to avoid a repeat of his earlier experiences.

When Papa tells Olivia the Moore family must move according to Eli's terms for the new railroad line, she fears for their safety, since they'll be homeless during winter. Where will they go? How will they survive?

It is up to Olivia to convince her husband to renege on his demands, though she swore before their marriage she would stay out of his business. 

Loosely based on the premise of Esther in the Old Testament.  I liked it well enough, but I thought Olivia was too perfect.  The whole story was a bit far fetched and I had trouble getting into it.  Fans of Ginny Aiken and historical Christian fiction will undoubtedly enjoy it.  It just wasn't for me.

Thanks to Sarah at FaithWords for the opportunity to review this book.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 7/12

* *
2/5 Stars

Friday, August 10, 2012

Short-Straw Bride...Review

About the book:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

I wasn't quite sure about the premise to this story as it didn't seem quite plausible, but I was pleasantly surprised.  From the time Travis rescued her as a young girl, Meredith has always been in love with him.  But, the Archers reclusiveness always prevented her from seeing him again.  But, when she overhears a conversation that will put Travis and his family and ranch at risk, Meredith risks her life and reputation to warn him.

Meredith was spunky and strong and the Travis, a charming if reluctant hero.  I enjoyed their relationship and they grew together after a shotgun wedding.  Another delightful story from Karen Witemeyer.  It's light, but enjoyable and a perfect diversion on a warm summer afternoon.

Thanks to Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Karen Witemeyer here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lethal Legacy...Review

About the book:
The police say her father's death was suicide. But Kelly Warren says it was murder--and she has new evidence that she believes proves it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn't put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when Kelly ends up in the emergency room with a suspicious life-threatening medical condition, the incident strikes him as more than just coincidence. Digging deeper, he discovers she's linked to a long-ago crime. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?

Kelly Warren knows that her father's death wasn't a suicide, but she can't get anyone to listen.  Detective Cole Warren isn't sure he wants to believe her until she ends up in the ER and he begins to realize that things aren't always coincidental.  Together they embark on a quest to clear her father's name and bring his killer to justice.  Along the way, they discover that life is better when they're a team, but someone is determined to keep them apart and end Kelly's life.

To say I enjoy Irene Hannon's stories is a serious understatement.  I have yet to read one that wasn't fantastic.  She has a remarkable way with characterization and her stories are always thrilling adventures full of that perfect mix of suspense and romance.

Third in the Guardians of Justice series, Irene Hannon doesn't disappoint.   You can read my reviews of Fatal Judgment and Deadly Pursuit here.The story stands alone, but as always, it's a much richer story if the books are read in order.

Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Irene Hannon here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tidewater Inn...Review

About the book:
Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the seaward shore of Hope Island could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer's talent and love of history. She's delighted to learn of family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she's met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brothers and sisters are convinced she's there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, Libby's under suspicion for the crime, and her handsome lieutenant clearly doubts her innocence.

Libby's dream-come-true is becoming a nightmare. Can she find her friend and establish her innocence? Must she sell Tidewater Inn and lose her family again? Or can she find a home for her heart on the beautiful shores of Hope Island?

When Libby learns that the father she never knew has left her a historical inn on a small island of North Carolina, she is surprised.  As she visits Hope Island, she discovers a brother and sister she never knew about and secrets that present a different view of her father than what she grew up with.  As she tries to assimilate this information, she is also pressured by developers to sell her property.  Her best friend is missing and she must not only discover if Nicole is still alive, but resist the pressure from developers, pressure that includes stalking and attempted murder.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina hold a special place in my heart. So, any chance I have to read a book that is set in that area, I take it.  Tidewater Inn doesn't disappoint.  With well developed characters, this is a compelling story and one that was difficult to put down.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Colleen Coble here. You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other tour stops and reviews here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hide and Seek...Review

About the book:
Amelia Lennon no longer wears a uniform or carries a weapon. An Army trained Foreign Affairs Officer, she’s negotiating a dispute with the Kyrgyzstan government that threatens to leave the U.S. without an airbase in that region. She traded her gun for the power of words, but now she needs both.

While following her government contact - Jildiz Oskonbaeva, the lawyer daughter of Kyrgyzstan’s president - Amelia witnesses an attempt to abduct her. She manages to prevent the kidnapping, but now the two women are on the run in a city that’s erupting into chaos.

Master Sergeant J.J. Bartley is the Special Operations team leader tasked to rescue Amelia and Jildiz. With two new members in his unit - one with a secret that could endanger everyone’s life - J.J. must soldier his unit through crazed mobs intent on overthrowing the government. Back home, his pregnant wife is misinformed that her husband and the team have been killed. But before this is over, Bartley will find out that’s the least of his problems.

A believable plot, a strong heroine and courageous heroes who aren't afraid to admit their belief in God.  This was non-stop action and a riveting story. I skimmed over much of the technical military details because I just don't have the understanding, but the book is well written and the authors are definitely writing to their strengths. I tend to avoid thrillers and military stories, but this one sounded interesting and I'm so glad I read it.  I was reminded of the early Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy.

Thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group and First Wildcard for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Jeff Struecker here and Alton Gansky here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can read the first chapter here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars