Book Review: The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:33 AM

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In a moment of decision, they will each face the truth of their own heart in God's presence

Tom must choose between the beautiful girl he loves and the call of God upon his life.

In utter despair and abandonment, Francis finds that Someone is already praying in his own dark Gethsemane. Never again will he need to hide his pain and insecurity behind a jest.

When James cannot escape the truth of who he is, waves of shame threaten to engulf him. He pours out his confession and grief to God and rises a newborn child of grace

They belonged to another century, yet their struggles are our own—finding our niche; coping with failure; living with impossible people; and changing when we realize that we are the impossible one. These humble seekers, called to live together in brotherhood, discover in the daily rhythm of their work and worship that the whole of life is a love story about a tender and passionate God. Rich with imagery and emotion, their tales depict love in action, and love given in the most trying of circumstances.

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This series of books (The Hawk and the Dove, The Wounds of God, The Long Fall) had me from the first few sentences. I started reading and I couldn't put them down. It's pretty well known that I'm a lover of historical fiction, but I admit that I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this series. Well, as you've already discovered, I loved it.  The writing was down to earth and opened me up to a world that I'd never really experienced before. It's not often that I get to delve into the lives of monks living back in the 14th century and honestly, I'm hoping that I get another chance at another time.

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I received copies of these books for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Crockpot Monday: Buffalo Chicken

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, May 25, 2015

The "omgit'salmostsummer" countdown continues and with it comes another family favorite meal.  The best part? Not only do my boys love it, but it's one of the easiest things to throw together ever. Three ingredients go into the bag and you throw a fourth in right before it's finished. Serve this one up with some summer side dishes and if your house is like mine, you have a serious homerun favorite.


Buffalo Chicken:

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12oz bottle of your favorite hot sauce (I use buffalo sauce)
1/2 pkg dry ranch dressing
2 Tbsp butter

Place chicken, hot sauce and ranch into your gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal and freeze.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator. Place in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Half an hour before serving, add butter and shred the chicken. Serve on rolls or buns. I like to top mine with a bit of ranch dressing for extra yumminess.


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Book Review: Big Gay Ice Cream

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:30 PM

Friday, May 22, 2015

Welcome to Big Gay Ice Cream’s debut cookbook, a yearbook of ice cream accomplishments—all the recipes you need to create delicious frozen treats

• New to making ice cream at home? Never fear—freshman year starts off simple with store-bought toppings and shopping lists for the home ice cream parlor.
• Sophomore year kicks it up a notch with tasty sauces and crunchy toppings.
• Junior year puts your new skills to work with shakes, floats, and sundaes inspired by some of Big Gay Ice Cream’s top-selling treats, including, of course, the Salty Pimp.
• In Senior year, get serious with outrageously delicious sorbets and ice cream recipes.

Along the way, you can enjoy Bryan and Doug’s stranger-than-fiction stories, cheeky humor, vibrant photography and illustrations, and plenty of culinary and celebrity cameos (including an introduction by Headmaster Anthony Bourdain)

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I think I found the most enjoyable cookbook read that I've ever had. Big Gay Ice Cream is full of great stories and even better recipes. Honestly, I can't wait to get home from Phoenix so that the boys and I can start experimenting with some seriously delicious summer treats. After all, who doesn't like ice cream? Okay, I suppose some people don't, but they certainly don't live in my household! I love that this book takes you step by step, yearbook style through all the different components that go into making delicious treats. Seriously, every time I walk by this book, I find myself picking it up and reading more of it and perhaps trying not to drool as well. If you're an ice cream lover or just a lover of super fun books, I hope this one makes it to your shelf.

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Book Review: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:48 AM

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Amazon wants you to sell a lot of books. And How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload teaches you exactly how to do it. Internationally renowned Amazon book marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri, has created the ultimate guide for mastering the Amazon marketing system.

And in moments it can be right at your fingertips! The savings in time you’ll gain is enormous—when compared to painstakingly researching this information yourself.

When you follow Penny’s time-tested proven formulas you’ll instantly skyrocket the exposure you receive and kick your book promotion campaign into overdrive!

Plus, you can bypass all of the misinformation out there about how Amazon works. That’s because every secret you need to know to understand the Amazon marketing system inside and out is right here. Penny Sanseveri takes you step-by-step through simple and dynamic processes that show you how to:

    Get top visibility for your book on Amazon
    Increase sales through perfectly-timed pre-order campaigns
    Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews
    Use Kindle Unlimited to your greatest advantage
    Boost sales by knowing when to give away your e-book – it really works!
    Use keywords and book descriptions that puts your book in front of tons of buyers
    Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales

Get your booked ranked #1 in your category!

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As someone who has not one, but two books that I'm working on writing, I was really excited to get my fingers on this book. Once my books are done, I intend to put them up as ebooks on Amazon and after reading through this book, I have a far better understanding on how to do this! I've heard that Amazon actually makes it quite easy for the novice, but this book is filled with tips and tricks that will make that process even simpler. While I was more interested in the first half of the book, the second half on how to get reviews is also handy for those who want to get the word out about their book. Honestly, if you have a book that you're intending to publish via Amazon, get your fingers on this book and use it!

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Book Review: Old Fashioned

Posted by Katrina Roets at 10:00 AM

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Former frat boy Clay Walsh has given up his reckless lifestyle and settled down to run an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. Determined to put his partying ways behind him, Clay has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. New to the area, Amber finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay and his noble ideas, but her own fears and deep wounds are difficult to overcome. Can they move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old-fashioned" courtship?


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Are you ready for a very different take on life? Let me introduce you to Clay, bad boy turned..well..old fashioned. He's changed his ways and he has his reasons. Enter Amber, his opposite in so many ways and their lives are never going to be the same. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't a page turner that kept me up all night, but it intrigued me and even after I finished it, it hung around in my memory, urging me to ponder its message. Is it one that I'm going to return to time after time? Most likely not, but it's a good read on a quiet afternoon.

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Crockpot Monday: Steak Fajitas

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, May 18, 2015

I honestly can't believe how close we are to summer break. When this post goes live, my boys will only have 3 weeks of school left. I'm already thankful for having meals like this one in my freezer because like I mentioned last week, summer break is no longer a break for us. It's just plain exhausting and a part of me almost longs for them to be back in school, not because I don't want them around, but because it seems easier...seems...it really isn't, now that I think about it....

Steak Fajitas


Ingredients:
1 large onion, cut into 1/2" strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2" strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" strips
2 lb. boneless, sirloin steak, cut into strips*
3/4 c water
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder


Place onion, peppers and meat into gallon sized freezer bag. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top. Remove as much air as possible, seal and freeze.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator. Place in crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve on warmed tortillas with our favorite toppings.

* Can be replaced with chicken if you prefer. you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Book Review: Bianca's Vineyard

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:30 AM

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bianca Corrotti's vineyard is more than a piece of mouth-watering real estate in Tuscany. It's an inheritance; a storehouse harboring the secrets of her Uncle Egisto, a world-class sculptor, and his troubled wife -- a woman whose destiny converges with Mussolini's when WWII overtakes them all. Based on a true story, Bianca's Vineyard follows a devoted family of strong-willed men and lion-hearted women waging an epic battle against a gathering storm intent on destroying their lives.

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Another up all night read! This book pretty much had it all -- mystery, romance, war, tragedy, and family. If nothing else, this book is an amazing family saga filled with characters who all have their own personalities and flaws. Too often, writers forget that people are flawed and leave out those imperfections. Not in this book though! On top of that, the attention to historical detail and just detail in general is fantastic! It was very clear to me that the author spent ages doing her research into not only this story, but the times and locations surrounding it. Honestly, the whole book just made me want to visit Italy and stay in some exotic villa while I explore the countryside. I may have to put that on my things to do list...

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Book Review: Better All the Time

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:00 AM

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Seraphina Darling has always struggled to stand out. With her weight issues at the forefront of her mind, Sephy prefers to place herself comfortably in the background. But when Sephy's best friend and older brother announce their engagement, she vows to make a permanent change in her appearance and her life.

Meanwhile her younger sister, Amy, lands her dream job: coordinating the restoration of the community theater's arts programs. As the deadline for the project's completion approaches, Amy continues to run herself ragged, struggling to delegate and trust anyone but herself.

As the Darling sisters move through tragedy and triumph, between shadows and the limelight, each must find a path into the freedom of who God intended her to be.

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Another night of lost sleep, another great book. Funny how the two happen to go hand in hand more often than not, isn't it? In this follow up book to All Right Here, Ms. Gardner kept me turning page after page. The characters were well written and I challenge any of you to find one that you don't relate to on some level. As someone whose family is comprised of just her and two teenage boys, reading about a large family was a fun change of pace. The best part? There's a third book coming!

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Crockpot Monday: BBQ Applesauce Chicken

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, May 11, 2015

Over the past 5 weeks, I've been sharing recipes that ended up in my ex-husband and his wife's freezer to help them prepare for their upcoming baby arrival. I'm excited to say that today, I started prepping meals for my own house! I don't know what summer is like for all of you, but for me, it's turning into being gone four days a week at various sports practices and camps. Honestly, I'm already exhausted thinking about it. Having crockpot meals in the freezer is going to make my life so much easier. Right now, I only have maybe half a dozen, but my goal is to have enough to get us through at least a month. Let's get started, shall we?

BBQ Applesauce Chicken

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 c chunky applesauce*
2/3 c bbq sauce
1 tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients into your freezer bag. Squeeze out excess air, seal and freeze.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator. Place in crockpot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

*Chunky applesauce is getting harder and harder to find, so when I can't find it, I substitute cinnamon applesauce.


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Book Review: Woven Wishes

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:00 AM

Through thick and thin, heels and flats, our secrets stay within. We’re not just friends, we’re sisters, too. Bound by blood until the end.

On the surface life seems pretty good for the three Haines sisters. So many wishes have already come true for Ava, Holly, and Tessa. However, things aren’t always as they appear. Dreams were given up over the years, while others still remain unfulfilled and out of reach. And what about unexpected wishes? The ones nobody ever thought they’d have to hope for—the ones that will leave them shaken to the core, wondering what lies ahead. They’ve always been able to pull through thanks to the support they give each other, yet sometimes, even a sisterly bond isn’t enough. Will Ava, Holly, and Tessa see their ultimate wishes finally come true?

Due to language, this book is recommended for ages 17+

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While this was a quick and easy read, it left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied. I think that's due to the fact that this was book four of a series where I hadn't read the first three books in the series. It did okay as a standalone, but I really felt as if the book didn't give me a chance to really get to know the characters. They never seemed to really gain dimension for me and as such, I had more trouble relating to them. That being said, it was a good enough book that I am considering looking for the first three books in the series. So, my recommendation is that you start with book one and if you enjoy it, keep on reading until you get through this one.

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Book Blast: Ting Tang Tony

Posted by Katrina Roets at 7:30 AM

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mama's Boy Tony Teaser - PBT

G-Strings, fake bodies, what lubricant to use, and which angle looks best on camera, these are all things Tony knows. What he doesn't know is how to pursue a real relationship, one outside the industry that's making him retire and leaving him behind. Tony DiMarco, aka Ting Tang Tony, made a big name for himself-- regardless of being small--in an industry where size truly does matter. He's had a long career hiding behind a camera lens where his shortcomings didn't affect him at all. At 38 he's forced to find a real life where hopefully size doesn't matter. The last place he thought his life would change is in Florida. Tripping over the gorgeous and upstanding, Emily Grant, snaps him out of the pity-pot he is just about to take a bath in. However, having never dated outside the industry has him second-guessing everything. How would someone possibly want his "little engine that could"? Can Tony open up about his playboy-style career, and more importantly, can he overcome the insecurities that he's shoved aside his whole life? Tony's got his work cut out for him, he needs to penetrate the walls Emily's built to protect herself and her own insecurities. Will she be able to handle Tony's crazy double life he's trying to hide from her, the one he lives back home in L.A.? There's a small chance it might work, that it might fit—something Tony certainly isn't used to. This may be his one opportunity to find that missing puzzle piece he's only been able to fantasize about. The whirlwind journey these two set out on will keep you rooting for the underdogs, and teach you that it's not always the size of the package that's important—it's what's inside that matters most. Genre: Romantic Erotica

Buy on Amazon New Low Price! $1.99

The Has Been Series Tour Starts May 27th - Follow It Here

kat and kristin author photoAbout the Authors:

Kat DeSalle is one half of the crazy writing duo that created the HAS BEEN SERIES. Born and raised in California, she graduated with a degree in Fine Art, which introduced her to a number of creative outlets. She dabbled in various jobs ranging from teaching art, to working in the finance industry. Ultimately, she found her passion in writing. Now, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and children, where she follows her dream of writing romance novels. Friend Kat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kat.desalle Tweet Kat here: @KatDeSalle Follow on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8346774.Kat_DeSalle Kristin Leigh Jones is the wearer of many hats—not literally—although she does look good in one. From being a full-time mom, wife, chef, maid, dog walker, litter box scooper to owning a photography business and working as a freelance editor ... She now adds writer to her long resume. Between juggling all these tasks she squeezes in as much time as possible for snuggling her babies, reading, and watching football on Sundays in the fall. Da Bears! Hailing from the Midwest her whole life, she fully appreciates the change of seasons but admits to really only enjoying it less than 5 months of the year. Kristin is very thankful to have found another half of her brain in her dear friend Kat. Who, might be thousands of miles away, is never farther than a text or a phone call. Together they make up the dynamic duo writing and producing the hilariously romantic and sexy Has Been Series. Friend Kristin on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristin.leigh. Tweet Kristin here: @k_leigh_jones Follow on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8352892.Kristin_Leigh_Jones
For updates, contests, and news on the Has Been series check out these awesome links:
Like the Has Been Series Fan Page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ED-Productions/1507805652772415 Follow our blog here: http://execdprodz.blogspot.com/

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Book Review: The Big House on Adams Street

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fritz, a young wealthy German, immigrates to America and experiences a shipboard romance on the way. His dream is to use his riches to help needy people, providing housing and hopefully developing a community of one accord. His family joins him after a big house has been built in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a variety of totally unexpected episodes, the beautiful, spacious house begins to bring together many unlikely people into a community. The transformation of lives is assisted by an elderly chaplain who is bilingual and has a great store of wisdom.

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Wow, it's been a while since I read a book that just didn't appeal to me. Unfortunately, this was such a book. While the premise was good, it just fell flat. The book moves quickly through a series of characters, but does so with such a speed that none of the characters ever become fully developed. Honestly, Katherine could have had a book all by herself. Also, the time period isn't brought to light until further in the book, which could lead to a bit of confusion. I think that Ms. Sparks has quite a bit of talent, she just needs to work more on her character structure/development and slow the pace down so that the reader gets a chance to really get to know and care about the characters.

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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: Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Join Andrea Carter for more adventures in nineteenth-century California! The independent tomboy Andrea Carter and her beloved horse, Taffy, were first introduced in Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home in 2005. Since then, popular author Susan Marlow has penned five more books in the Circle C Adventures series, filled in Andi's early years with the Circle C Beginnings series, and started a chronicle of Andrea's teen years in Circle C Milestones. Published to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this positive role model for girls, Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a collection of short stories inspired by fan questions that fills in many of the gaps between Circle C Beginnings and Circle C Adventures. Taking place between 1873 and 1880, each story is prefaced by an explanatory note that pinpoints the action of the story in relation to events in the existing Andrea Carter books. Wholesome fun, and with a clear Christian message throughout, Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a must-read for fans of the series and a fun introduction for those who haven't yet discovered these historical gems.

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I do hate when posts disappear! I don't know how, but somehow this one did. Have no fear, though, I'm back to tell you all about this book...again.

This book was a quick, easy read that made me want to go looking for all of the books in this series. While it's a children's book, that rarely stops me and this is the kind of series that I would have loved to have on my shelf when I was a child. Ms. Marlow writes in a down to earth style that had me turning page after page until before I knew it, the afternoon had passed and I was hurrying to go get dinner on the stove. This book is great for long time fans of the series, as well as newcomers. Fans will find references at the start of each story telling them right where they fit into the series.

I don't know if I'm going to go out and purchase the other books in the series quite yet, but for sure, they're going on my wish list!

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Book Blast: Winter's Magic

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:40 PM

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Winter's magic banner

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world. After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda. Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret. Winter's Magic will be $.99 starting May 6th on Amazon for one week!

cynthiagail

About the author:

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our three dogs. When I'm not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book. Website: http://cynthiagail.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaGailRomance Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynthiaGailBook Goodreads - Amazon Author Central


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Book Review: Aoléon The Martian Girl PART FIVE

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Aoléon, Gilbert, Bizwat, Helios, and Zoot make it to their final destination - Cydonia where Aoléon’s parents are being held captive. They infiltrate a secret underground base and are confronted by a small army of sentrybots.
Bizwat lends Aoléon and Gilbert some of his advanced combat skills via a psionic brain dump. However, this may not be enough to save them from overwhelming hostile forces that will do anything to stop them.

They finally meet Pax - the Martian who originally set them out on the mission to discover the truth about the Luminon and his plans to invade Earth. However Pax is not who he seems to be, and through a turn of events, they uncover the true power behind all that has been happening on Mars.

Will they be able to rescue Aoléon’s parents and save Earth from invasion?

Join Aoleon and Gilbert in the conclusion to this exciting middle-grade science fiction and fantasy adventure!

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What?!? It's over?!? This is the final segment?!? Seriously, I have enjoyed this series as much as anyone of any age could. The characters are fun, the pacing is fantastic and the graphics? C'mon, you know they're wonderful and I'm betting that there are fans of this series who would love to get their fingers on some prints for their walls. I have to say that the ending was a bit of a surprise, but an ending it was. There are no cliffhangers, but I sure hope that doesn't mean that Brent is done writing. Personally, I'm looking forward to any/all books that he comes out with in the future.

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Book Review: To Win Her Favor

Posted by Katrina Roets at 5:00 AM

Can Maggie prove that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America? Find out in Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Celebrate the release of To Win Her Favor with a Kindle Fire and book giveaway!

to win her favor - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • A copy of To Win Her Favor
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced May 11th on Tamera's blog. Plus stay tuned for more opportunities to win after May 11 with a special Pinterest contest—more details coming soon!

to win her favor - enterbanner
{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

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A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.

An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.

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I don't believe that I've ever read any of Tamera Alexander's other books, but after reading this one, I'm going to have to go looking for them, I think. I very much enjoyed this one. What I also enjoyed was checking out some of the other reviews and when I did, I saw one thing repeated over and over again. People have given this book a one star rating due to the intimacy within this book and that puzzles me. Granted, I understand that not everyone is as open about this sort of thing as I am, but the fact that they gave such a negative review for something so natural is baffling to me. They mentioned that it would be a problem for girls and unmarried women to keep their thoughts pure after reading it. I'd like to point out that this book isn't marketed or written for girls or young adults. This is an adult book. Also, let's face it, even in good Christian homes, married couples are often intimate and to pretend otherwise is just silly.  Anyway, that's my soapbox for that. The book is very well written, the characters well thought out and I very much enjoyed it and will be looking for her other books.

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Book Review: Never a Bridesmaid

Posted by Katrina Roets at 2:47 PM

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Meet the people who make it all happen – the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Can one bridesmaid undo the disasters caused by a poorly chosen maid of honor and save her sister’s wedding from disaster?

Mari’s older sister Crystal is getting married, and Mari is one of her bridesmaids – actually, the last in a lineup of five bridesmaids, but that doesn’t really bother her. Much. But Sienna Jameson as the maid of honor? Really? She might be Crystal’s best friend, but she’s ditzy and undependable on her best days. When the best man turns out to be hunky Derrick Richardson, the right fielder for the Houston Astros and one of Houston’s most eligible bachelors, Sienna abandons her duties as maid of honor to chase Derrick, and it’s up to Mari to make sure Crystal’s wedding day goes off without a hitch.

While Mari is wrapped up in dress fittings, bridal showers, and bachelorette nights, Derrick has taken notice of her devotion to her sister and her determination to make the wedding perfect. But between dodging Sienna’s advances and watching Mari running around like a madwoman, Derrick is left to steal moments whenever he can to get to know this beautiful bridesmaid.

When the maid of honor shows up to the ceremony late and more done up than the bride herself, Mari fears her attempts to make her sister’s wedding perfect have all been for naught. Will the bride be up-staged by the maid of honor? Will the fifth-in-line bridesmaid ever be recognized for all the work she’s done? And will Mari finally have a moment to revel in the magic of a wedding and dance in the strong arms of a man?

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Janice Thompson never fails to deliver when it comes to fun, humor and sweet romance. That is very much the case in the latest Year of Weddings novella. I loved the characters in this book, from sweet Mari to handsome Derrick and everyone in between. I feel like I absolutely gushed over this series last year and I'm doing it again this year, but I just can't help it. I'm a sucker for a well written romance and Janice Thompson has never let me down.

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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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Crockpot Monday: Honey Dijon Ribs

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, May 4, 2015

It's officially May which is almost summer! One of my favorite meals in the summer is corn on the cob and ribs. Sometimes we add mashed potatoes and others we add something like a potato salad. Plus, with the addition of steamer bags, I no longer have to boil water on the stove for the corn! A few minutes in the microwave and there's yummy corn for all!

So, add your favorite summer side dish along with these delicious ribs!

Honey Dijon Pork Ribs

Ingredients:
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 pounds boneless pork ribs (roast can also be substituted)

Add all of the ingredients to a gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze out as much excess air as possible. Freeze.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator. Place in crockpot. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook on low for 8-12 hours.


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Book Blast: Henry Gallant and the Warrior

Posted by Katrina Roets at 5:08 PM

Saturday, May 2, 2015

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In the 22th Century, the people of the Solar System have banded together against an alien invasion. Unfortunately, they’re losing—badly. As the only Natural remaining in the genetically engineered officer corps of the United Planet’s fleet, Henry Gallant has unique mental abilities that have proven essential to the defense against the Titan invaders. Nevertheless his fellow officers lack faith in him, and worse, he has angered prominent men by speaking truth to power. Despite this, Admiral Collingsworth has given him command of the Warrior, the most advanced stealth warship in the UP arsenal and ordered him to the alien’s main base to spy, intrigue, and disrupt their war capacity. Gallant’s mission leads to risky battles and painful choices, but no choice is more personal, or intimate, than the choice to face your own death. And for Henry Gallant—a flawed young man, in a hopeless situation, against overwhelming odds—a dreadful decision looms before him. He has only one saving grace—he is unafraid. Purchase link: AMAZON

pete2About the author:

As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books. (Website www.hpeteralesso.com) Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Literary Addicts 


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Book Review: The Heart of the Amish

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:00 AM

Friday, May 1, 2015

Everyone has been hurt. Everyone experiences conflict, great and small. Everyone has someone to forgive. But sometimes we just can't bring ourselves to forgive someone who has wronged us or we don't take the need to forgive seriously--not like the Amish do. Forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. To the Amish way of thinking, "You can't love the stream without knowing the source. " We must forgive others, they believe, because God forgave us.
"The Heart of the Amish" invites readers into the world of a people renowned for their ability to forgive. Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher illustrates how they are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. Readers will learn how to invite God into "their" stories, apply lessons from the Amish to their own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.

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This isn't my first review of a book written by Suzanne Wood Fisher and I strongly suspect that it won't be the last. She's long been a favorite author and when you combine that with my love of Amish books, well, there was no way that I was going to turn down the chance to read this one. Every chapter starts with an Amish proverb and ends with a section of reflection questions. It's honestly not a bad idea to keep a journal/notebook and pen right on the nightstand with this book. Unless you're crazy like me and sometimes just write directly in the book...which I've been told is a sin... Either way, filled with wonderful stories, proverbs and a chance to reflect on your own life, this book is going into my refer back to bin.

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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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