Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The new original series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group's leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.
The show aires SUNDAYS, 8/7c on Hallmark

This incredible series even incorporates scripture in its themes and in the conversations between characters.  In FACT, The American Bible Society has built a bible study to go with the series, 

Vegan Ice Cream by Jeff Rogers

 I know, you're thinking Vegan Ice Cream? That can't be good. But give it a try. If you're lactose intolerant or just want to avoid dairy (like me) and still want a frozen treat once in a while. And if you have a really cool ice cream maker in your basement that you insist you will use this year (like me) then you need this book.
Vegan Ice Cream by Jeff Rogers is a beautiful little hard-bound book with dozens of recipes for ice cream that I never would have thought of. These recipes use a lot of nuts (cashews especially), I like knowing what goes into my food and when you make it yourself you are guaranteed a healthier treat. Some of the recipes have just three ingredients (like the nectarine ice cream, or the concord grape) and others are a bit more involved.
I haven't tried any yet but I will get that machine out this summer and I will enjoy these healthy snacks! I think I'll try the Mayan chocolate first!
This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Friday, May 23, 2014

While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad

 The second in Lorna Seilstad's The Gregory Sisters series, While Love Stirs is downright adorable. I fell in love with Charlotte and her love for cooking. The novel was filled with historical details about cooking and how gas ovens were introduced, along with how cooking emerged from guesswork to precise measurements. I adored reading that.
There was also a love triangle (or two) and some mystery. A good novel includes love, mystery, suspense, danger, and a heartwarming ending. This had all of those components and I look forward to reading the final in the series next year.

Here's the back cover:
This book was provided for review by Revell

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

 What a delight it was for me to get lost in A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge. I read a lot of books and I enjoy a lot of books, but this one was special. The addition of the recipes kept me wondering what good things were coming next. Now that I've read the book I think I'd like to visit the author and have a meal at her table because, seriously--the book is about food- good food, and the recipes look amazing.
The book is also about family secrets and there's a love story in there too. Don't be fooled, this is not a one-sided story, there are many levels here and it was a good way to spend my time.
 Here's the back cover:
 The beginning of every chapter has a food quote. Check these two out:

 And here are the titles to just two of the recipes. I want this food. It's so hard to be a foodie living in a town of chain restaurants.

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fatal Exchange by Lisa Harris

 Fatal Exchange by Lisa Harris is mostly an edge-of-your-seat action packed thriller. It starts off with action pretty fast, though it doesn't lay down a good base of who is who--I got pretty confused right off the bat. This is the second in a series and I didn't read the first, I suppose it would be a good idea for someone else to do so.
The storyline was very real and scary (gunman in a school) and it made me nervous to read it. 
Towards the end it felt like it was wrapped up too fast, like the action just abruptly ended and the book was finished. 
I enjoyed it and it kept my attention. I do wish that I'd been aware that it was part of a series and that I'd read the first one before this one.

This book was provided for review by Revell.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

 Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings is a story about letting down your defenses and dealing with the deep hurt in your heart. Anne Tillerton is a self-made widow and she wants nothing to do with men ever again. She hunts down a cook for a friend and is then left with the cook's baby as she (the cook) disappears from Anne's life and from her maternal responsibility. All Anne wants to do is get back to Buffalo hunting.
This book was enjoyable. Nice to travel back in time to the old west where trains and lawmen abounded. It took me a little longer to read than I normally take, but I had to pay attention to every line. 

Get Your Teenager Talking by Jonathan McKee

Get Your Teenager Talking by Jonathan McKee should be titled Conversation Starters because that's what it is. There are six pages of "5 Tips to get your teenager talking" and the rest of the book is "180 Conversation Springboads" (see below for an example of one). For me (a mother of a 20 year old and a 17 year old), this book is a little too juvenile. I think it's better suited for very young teens and even tweens. While it's good in theory, I cannot see my daughter answering these questions without looking at me like I've lost my mind. 
Now, on the other hand, this would be perfect for a small group, Sunday school class, or a youth group. I think even older teens and young adults would enjoy these questions and the discussions as a group more than one-on-one.
Here's the back cover so you can see more about the book:   

One of the 180 conversation springboards.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.

Friday, May 2, 2014

One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon

One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon was a beautiful book. I was fully immersed in the lives of the characters within minutes of starting to read. The story is one of loss, redemption, love, and forgiveness. It was a lovely way to begin spring! So many topics in this book-ranging from adoption to loss. I really appreciated the way the characters drew their strength from God. They prayed with each other and weren't afraid to let their feelings be known. This book is an example of everything right in Christian fiction. Loved it!

From the back cover:
Independent single mom Claire Summers is doing her best to make lemonade out of the lemons life has handed her. Workaholic Keith Watson is only interested in the bottom line--until a letter from Claire's eleven-year-old daughter reaches his desk and changes everything.
As the executive assistant to a philanthropic businessman, Keith is used to fielding requests for donations. But the girl isn't asking for money. She wants help finding the long-lost son of a neighbor. As Keith reluctantly digs into his assignment in his usual results-oriented style, he has no idea how involved he and Claire will become--nor how unusual the results will actually be. Who could have guessed that a child's kindhearted request would bring love and hope to so many lives...including his own?
Through compelling characters and surprising plot twists, fan favorite Irene Hannon offers this tenderhearted story that demonstrates how life is like lilacs--the biggest blooms come only after the harshest winters.

This book was provided for review by Revell.

Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

 If you're not familiar with the works of Richard L. Mabry, M.D. and love medical suspense fiction then you need to run out and grab some of his books. He writes the perfect mystery. Critical Condition is his latest and I could not put this book down. Started it in the morning during my treadmill workout and finished it before I fell asleep later that night. Just enough suspense to keep me alert but not freak the daylights out of me and make me want to sleep with a light on. Just enough romance to make me teary eyed. Just enough mystery to keep me guessing as to whether or not the people closest to the main character could be trusted. Just enough of everything. 
It even had just the right number of characters. Sometimes too many characters makes me put a book down (for good). I don't want to have to keep flipping back or refer to a chart to remember who is who.
This book was really good. I hate to use such simple words, but I truly did enjoy it. Don't miss it!

Here's the back cover so you can see what it's all about:

This book was provided for review by LitFuse