Book Review: Out of the Dust

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Friday, November 21, 2014

“Don’t waste your pain,” says unlikely missionary Avis Goodhart. She didn’t – and neither should you.

Despite a background of childhood abuse, dyslexia, and marital infidelity, Avis took her first international mission trip at age fifty. The church, school, and orphanage she later founded in northern Peru, all products of both her pain and her radical obedience to the Lord, have brought thousands of others out of the dust. This compelling story of an ordinary woman who serves God in extraordinary ways will challenge, inspire, and empower you to:

* Eliminate excuses from your life
* Recognize that in God’s kingdom, availability matters more than ability
* Allow your pain to produce – not prevent – your obedience
* Serve the Lord with the same abandon shown by one unlikely missionary

As someone who doesn't consider themselves highly religious, I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up, started reading and didn't put it down again until I was done. I even tried to and failed! Avis' story is one that will draw you in, along with the fact that the book reads as if she's talking to a dear friend. Even if you don't consider yourself a Christian, I think that you could find this to be an inspiring read. Avis' life is amazing and so is her faith and her strength.


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Book Review: An October Bride

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:57 PM

Thursday, November 20, 2014

She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.
Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married-so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.
While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other.
In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.
About the Author
Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she's not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption. Visit her website at
Wow..this one really touched me. Having been in a similar situation, I understood Emma's motivation. Jake, on the other hand, surprised me with his offer. Thank goodness he had great reason to make it! This was one that made me laugh, it made me smile and at times had me thinking back over my own life. I am so glad that Emma found just what she needed, just when she needed it. Katie has an amazing gift for writing characters that you fall in love with and Emma, Jake and her family are no different. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read this just may be my favorite in the series.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Christmas Cat

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:23 PM

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.

As a cat lover, I couldn't turn down the chance to review this book and I'm so glad I didn't. This short tome had me smiling and giving my own cats some extra scritches. Poor Garrison with his allergies had me chuckling. I felt like he was the neighbor down the street, someone I knew and those cats, each with their own personality, made me smile because I know just how different each cat can be. As I'm writing this, my little diva is grumbling that one of the other cats dared come near her. After him being here for four years, she still grumbles at him. That's just how she is and each of the cats that Garrison must find homes for had their own personalities. If you'd like a short, holiday read, then this book is a must for your stacks. In fact, I think it'd made an awesome stocking stuffer for the cat lover in anyone's life.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Trading Secrets

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:00 AM

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins.
Bestselling author Melody Carlson brings young adults another fascinating tale of worlds colliding, secrets being revealed, and friendships forming. Teens will love this story of miscommunication and mishaps along the way to the truth.
More young adult fiction! I wish that I could say that I enjoyed this one as much as the others that I've reviewed recently, but I just can't. While the story itself is good and kept me reading, this wasn't a book that I had a hard time putting down when I needed to go and do something else. Also, I really felt that it wasn't always entirely accurate in its portrayals of the Amish community. I'd say more, but then I'd be dipping into spoilers territory so I really don't want to do that. Overall, I'd say the story is cute and perfect for the young adult/tween set, but just not totally my cup of tea.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: My Perfect Pantry

Posted by Katrina Roets at 2:01 PM

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chef, restaurateur, and Food Network Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian knows that the pantry is the backbone of any kitchen and the place from which every great meal starts.

Forget exotic condiments and specialty foods. With a working base of 50 readily available ingredients, from oats and honey to almonds and canned chickpeas, you will always have the makings of a delicious home-cooked meal. Whether cooking in his world-class restaurants, on Iron Chef, or judging the offerings on Chopped, Geoffrey knows every great meal starts with a trip to the pantry first for inspiration. In The Perfect Pantry, Geoffrey shows you how to use your pantry to jump start any meal. When you bring home your fresh produce and proteins, you’ll have 150 recipes at the ready, and many of these can be made with pantry ingredients alone.

You’ll see a simple can of beans as a Smoky Black Bean Bisque or coconut milk as Spicy Coconut Tempura Shrimp. Standard back-of-the-cupboard fare like almonds become crispy crust on a broiled pork chop; peanut butter lends itself beautifully to a spicy slaw, cider vinegar gives great flavor to a chicken main as well as to donuts, and mustard transforms a pot roast. Throughout, you’ll find quick but ingenious tips for each of the 50 ingredients, like how to use Earl Grey teabags to infuse ice cubes or a syrup for French toast.

The Perfect Pantry makes it so easy for your everyday staples to lead, rather than support, the creation of extraordinary meals. Geoffrey gives you the shopping list you need, as well as the road map for making the most of what you have on hand.

Whew! What a long book intro, huh? Well, if you read nothing else, I hope that this is the part that you do read. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I got my fingers on another cookbook to review. I just can't seem to say no to them! I'm an cookbooks and to certain shows on Food Network. Every time I see one of those chefs, I wonder what they keep in their own kitchens. In this case, Geoffrey Zakarian was happy to show all of us what he feels are the 50 perfect pantry staples. I was thrilled to see that I keep a lot of these in my own kitchen and other than one (anchovies), I completely was on board with not only his choices, but also his recipes. There are some amazingly delicious recipes in this book and not a single one of the ones that I looked at called for some weird ingredient that I have no chance of finding out here in the boonies. It was a delight to see someone of his talents keeping things real for those of us who are not even close to his level of ability.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Whiskey Witches (1)

Posted by Katrina Roets at 7:00 AM

Detective Paige Whiskey comes from a long line of witches. They may not all be the most powerful, but they are outspoken and supportive of their community. She alone has no gifts. She can’t summon fire, can’t read minds. She knows the arcane. She’s studied it. That, along with her connection to the Whiskey Witches, lands her some pretty strange cases.

Like the sacrificial murders of St. Francisville, Louisiana. There’s a killer on the loose, choosing people in a vain attempt to raise a demon. Once she gets there, she realizes the murders were nothing more than an elaborate invitation, tempting her into the claws of the killer.

She does have a gift, a very powerful and terrifying one.

The killer is after her.

It's not often that I read a book and I spend the entire time wondering what it is about it that's keeping me reading. Usually I know right away if I'm enjoying a book or if I'm just not. In fact, the only other time I remember having this feeling is with the first Snookie Snackcake book. I was left with such mixed feelings that I never went back to the series. This one could be similar for me. As I was reading it, I kept thinking that I really liked the premise. In fact, I was enjoying the book. Then, I'd notice an editing error and I'd have to walk away for a bit. Yes, they make me twitchy. I can't help it. It's my job to notice these things. Then, I'd want to know what was happening so I'd come back. Final opinion? It's a good book and other than one part that I just didn't get, I think it's a story that a lot of you will enjoy.

Edit: It's been brought to my attention that the copy that I received wasn't the final edited version! Whew! Knowing that, I can happily say go for it on this book! The story is interesting and if you enjoy paranormal fiction, this could be an excellent series for you.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. No spells were cast on me so all thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

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Free book: Twisted

Posted by Katrina Roets at 2:36 PM

Friday, November 14, 2014

Twisted KINDLEMaya Anderson has faced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she’s constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year. A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the murder of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. He’s despised by some and feared by most. Determined to become Ben’s friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. It isn’t long before they realize that they both have secrets in their pasts. As the line between dealing with grief and struggling with a desire for revenge begins to fade, the secrets that draw them together may be what will ultimately tear them apart. Because the closer Maya gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes.

**Listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012**

Twisted is free on Amazon November 14th, 15th and 16th!!


Grab your copy here


Follow the author on: Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Website



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