Archive | January, 2015

“I Choose You Today” Author Chat Party

31 Jan

I Choose You Today

Married for nearly 38 years, author Deborah DeArmond and her husband have made the spoken declaration, “I choose you today” a regular part of their communication. It’s when we least feel like saying it that we need to remind ourselves that love is a choice, not a feeling. I Choose You Today features 31 scriptural principles that support marriage and help couples develop healthy biblically based behavior.

Join Deb DeArmond for a pre-Valentine’s Day author chat party about marriage and making love last.  Prizes will be given!

Tuesday, February 3 at 7:00pm – 8:00pm CST
https://www.facebook.com/events/730461920395297/

Friday Freebie

30 Jan

Forgiveness Collection

A Bridge Unbroken and The Fragrance of Crushed Violets
by Cathy Bryant

FREE January 27-31 at Amazon!

Now bundled in this digital collection, the fifth Miller’s Creek novel A BRIDGE UNBROKEN and its companion Bible study THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS both explore the difficult topic of forgiving the inexcusable.

A BRIDGE UNBROKEN

Not all scars are visible…
Frightened and on the run, Dakota Kelly just wants to erase the painful past. But her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with her high school sweetheart–the one responsible for the scars on her heart. Unfortunately, he’s not the only ghost from the past. Someone else is on her trail and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside old wounds and a harbored secret to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempts to forgive?

THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS

A Bible study on forgiveness…
What do we do when someone seems determined to bring us down through an attack that is personal, public, and unfounded? How do we deal with meaningless acts of destruction especially when the offender shows no remorse? In short, how do we move past the emotional pain to a place of forgiveness?

This forgiveness Bible study examines relevant scriptures for the purpose of building a Biblical understanding of:

• what forgiveness is and what it isn’t
• God’s role in the process of forgiveness
• what Jesus accomplished at the cross for each of us
• our mandate to forgive as we’ve been forgiven
• what gets in the way of forgiving others
• and how to truly forgive the unforgivable

Winners!

29 Jan

Women of the Bible

The winner of a print copy of Women of the Bible Devotional is:

conniepsaunders

 

A Reader's Journey Through Matthew

The winner of a Kindle copy of A Reader’s Journey Through Matthew is:

eppersonkatrina

 

Congratulations, ladies!

Thank you all for visiting and participating in this giveaway!

Spotlight: Tail Lights

29 Jan

BookCoverPreview

Tail Lights by Connie L. Smith

Purchase Link:
Amazon

About the Book:

Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran – Preston to a life of Rock and Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.

Over four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.

When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.

Each other.

 Book Excerpt:

Surprisingly, he was leaving his apartment when I reached his floor, and he smiled at me like no animosity existed between us. “Hey, Preston.”

“Hey, Preston,” I mocked, then held up the figurine and fastened a glare on him. “Take it back.”

He had the nerve to smirk. “How do you know I gave that to you?”

“Who else would leave a dolphin on my doorstep besides the guy who knows I love dolphins and wants to suddenly fix four years’ worth of betrayal?” His smirk disappeared, and I shoved the object closer to him. “Take it back.”

He shook his head. “I don’t want it back.”

“Well, I don’t want it ether.” When he arched a brow, I rolled my eyes. “Okay, it’s cute. It’s absolutely adorable, and it would look fantastic on my end table, but I can’t take this.”

“Why not?”

“Because I know what it means! You made a mistake, and you’re trying to make up for it. But it’s too late, Nick. And if I take this, it’s like saying that you have a chance to make things right, and you don’t.”

His brow again lifted. “You sure about that?”

I frowned. “Which part?”

With a grin, he shrugged in an almost casual manner, far too comfortable in a conversation that made me anxious. Evidently he’d meant what he said about mending things between us, and he wasn’t about to let my reservations ruin his determination.

“You’re absolutely right about what the dolphin means, but are you sure I can’t make things right?”

“I’m so far beyond sure that sure isn’t even in my line of sight anymore.” I held the dolphin farther out, hoping that he’d take it. “I can’t keep clinging to things that weren’t good for me in the first place if I want my next four years to be any better than the last four years.”

Then he scowled. “And you think I wasn’t good for you in the first place?”

“I know you weren’t. If you were, you wouldn’t have believed Dad and dumped me, and…” Sighing, I waved the figurine in his direction. “Take it.”

“Your sentence trailed off,” he pointed out, a small smile forming on his lips. “That’s a good sign for me.” Eyes on me, he stepped closer, completely invading my personal space and causing the hand holding the dolphin to fall back against my stomach. After a moment of silently looking at me, so intense and needing, he pointed a finger at my face.

“That’s exactly why I can’t take it back,” he whispered. His finger moved to brush my hair behind my ear, trailing along my jaw before tracing my lips. I knew I should move, slap his hand away, something. But I couldn’t. I just stared, my mouth gaping in shock, my mind consumed with Nick and his caresses. “That was the biggest mistake of my life. And you are my life.”

His index finger exchanged for his thumb, outlining my bottom lip over and over. “I should’ve fought for this, and I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’m getting my life back.” Then he stepped away, gesturing at the dolphin. “That’s only the first step.”  Turning, he walked to the stairway entrance at the other end of the hall, leaving me standing – still gawking where he’d been and suddenly holding the dolphin figure much tighter. 

 

 About the Author:

Connie L. SmithConnie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and is currently working on her MA.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Readwave

Wind in the Wires RECIPES

28 Jan

Wind in the Wires

Wind in the Wires by Janet Chester Bly

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Click here to read the first chapter of Wind in the Wires.

A cowgirl searches for love and family. An old man seeks justice for two cold case murders. Their journey together exposes lies and betrayal. Will the truth be too hard for either to bear?

It’s 1991. Reba Cahill loves ranching with Grandma Pearl in north central Idaho. But there’s a lot of work and only two of them. Reba decides she needs a husband to help her run the ranch. But she finds few prospects in the small town of Road’s End. 

But Reba is also missing something else: her mother. Deserted by her at three-years-old and never knowing her dad, she feels a sense of longing and loss. And bitterness.

When elderly, quirky Road’s End citizen Maidie Fortress dies, Uncle Seth presents Reba Cahill with an expensive piece of jewelry that turns Reba’s world upside down and leads her down unexpected paths and toward unsuspected admirers. Will the facts also ruin all hope for romance? 

 

 

Recipe Reba VeggieBeefSoup1

Reba Cahill’s Veggie Beef Crockpot Soup
Janet Chester Bly

Cowgirl Reba Mae Cahill of Wind in the Wires was so excited to learn about crockpots. She got her first one in 1989. Not one to like to fuss in the kitchen, she could start her soup or stew in the morning after chores and loved the feel of knowing it slow cooked all day. Off she went to fix fences and wrangle cows with her black horse, Johnny Poe. The veggie choices varied, but not the spices. She favored the mix of basil, dill and turmeric.

Basic Ingredients:
1-2 lb. ground beef
12 oz. mixed veggies–frozen, canned, or fresh
2 12 oz. cans tomatoes
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. basil or to taste
1 tsp. dill or to taste
1 pinch turmeric or to taste
Salt to taste
30 oz. beef broth
6 oz. ketchup
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 clove garlic minced
2 stalks celery, cut up
1 can corn
1 can green beans
add fresh or frozen (thawed) spinach last half hour

Crockpot or Stovetop Directions:
Add to large crockpot and cook on low for six hours or on high four hours. Or in large kettle on top stove and simmer several hours.

 

CornMuffin JalapenoCheddar

Pearl Cahill’s Jalapeno Cheesy Corn Muffins
Janet Chester Bly
Serving: 24 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour (see links below for gluten-free conversions)
4 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. sugar or light brown sugar or 3 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
Add pinch each: chili pepper, black pepper, and paprika
2 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
10 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) or fresh or canned, well drained
4 jalapenos, minced (**) or 1 can jalapenos diced and drained

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Directions:

1 Preheat oven 400° F.
2 Grease muffin tins or insert paper liners.
3 Combine eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in bowl.
4 In another large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
5 Add shredded cheddar, jalapenos, garlic and onion, and corn kernels to dry ingredients.
6 Add wet ingredients and mix gently just until all is moist.
7 Divide batter evenly into 24 muffins, about 3/4 full.
8 Sprinkle with extra Parmesan and cheddar cheese.
9 Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Converting a recipe to gluten-free: http://huff.to/1KSxsjv … or use this online recipe and adapt to Grandma Pearl’s version: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/jalapeno-cheddar-corn-muffins
Or for the 2 cups of wheat flour, convert to 1 1/2 cups rice flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch, and 1 tsp xantham gum.

**Slice jalapenos in half. Remove seeds and membrane for less hotness. Don’t touch face or eyes before washing hands thoroughly.

 

Recipe Pearl RhubarbApplePie1

Pearl Cahill’s Rhubarb Apple Pie
Janet Chester Bly
Servings: 8 from 9” pie

Ingredients:

4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup peeled and chopped sweet apples
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 2/3 cups sugar or packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey
3/4 tsp. orange zest
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 pastry for double-crust 9” pie (from your own or your grandmother’s favorite recipe)

Directions:

1 Preheat oven 400° F.
2 For the filling: in large saucepan combine rhubarb, apple, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and nuts.
3 Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
4 Add butter. Cool.
5 Prepare pastry shell for double crust pie. On lightly floured surface, roll 1/2 dough from center out to form 12” circle. Place in 9” pie dish. Trim to 1/2” beyond pie dish edge.
6 Pile filling into shell.
7 Roll remaining dough and form into 12” circle. Lay over filling. Press ends into crust edge. Fold bottom over. Crimp edges together.
8 Egg wash on top: 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush top of crust. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
9 To prevent edges from burning, cover with 1” strips of foil.
10 Place on baking sheet.
11 Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake additional 25 minutes until center is bubbly and crust golden.
12 Cool on rack.

 

About the Author:

Janet-w-leather-scarf-1-200x300Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her husband award-winning western author Stephen Bly to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows.

Janet Chester Bly is the widow of award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they authored and co-authored 120 fiction and nonfiction books. She and her three sons finished Stephen’s last novel for him, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. The family’s story is told on her website blog: http://www.blybooks.com/. Wind in the Wires is Janet’s first solo adult novel, a contemporary western mystery, a road adventure with a touch of romance. It’s Cowgirl Lit. Reader’s Guide for Group Discussion included. 

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Review: BURIED

27 Jan

Buried

BURIED by Elizabeth Goddard

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook.com | DeeperShopping

Fleeing to Alaska is the only option for Leah Marks after witnessing a murder. Afraid for her life, the legal investigator hopes a remote cabin will be a safe shelter. But the killer has tracked her to Mountain Cove. As he chases her into snow-packed Dead Falls Canyon, an avalanche buries them both. Saved by daring search and rescue specialist  Cade Warren, Leah longs to tell him the truth. But how can she, without bringing even more danger into Cade’s life? Especially when they discover the killer is very much alive and waiting to take them both down.

Thoughts:

“In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide.”

BURIED is an exciting Alaskan adventure! Elizabeth Goddard’s imagery grabbed me and pulled me into the story on the very first page! The drama unfolds quickly and kept me engaged throughout the book. I especially enjoyed the setting and the search and rescue aspects of the story, which are described with great vividness and detail.

Full of danger, intrigue, and romance, BURIED will delight fans of romantic suspense! I loved this story and look forward to more adventures in Mountain Cove!

 

highresgoddard-HR-2-2-e1382722351811

Elizabeth Goddard is an award-winning author of eighteen romance and romantic suspense novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—winner of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011. After acquiring her computer science degree, she worked at a software firm before eventually retiring to raise her four children and become a professional writer. A member of several writing organizations, she judges numerous contests and mentors new writers. In addition to writing, she home schools her children and serves with her husband in ministry.

To learn more about Elizabeth and her books, visit her website at http://elizabethgoddard.com.  While you’re there, be sure and sign up for her quarterly newsletter so you won’t miss any exciting news!

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.

Blog Tour + Review: Wind in the Wires

26 Jan

Wind in the Wires

Wind in the Wires by Janet Chester Bly

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

A cowgirl searches for love and family. An old man seeks justice for two cold case murders. Their journey together exposes lies and betrayal. Will the truth be too hard for either to bear?

It’s 1991. Reba Cahill loves ranching with Grandma Pearl in north central Idaho. But there’s a lot of work and only two of them. Reba decides she needs a husband to help her run the ranch. But she finds few prospects in the small town of Road’s End.  

But Reba is also missing something else: her mother. Deserted by her at three-years-old and never knowing her dad, she feels a sense of longing and loss. And bitterness.

When elderly, quirky Road’s End citizen Maidie Fortress dies, Uncle Seth presents Reba Cahill with an expensive piece of jewelry that turns Reba’s world upside down and leads her down unexpected paths and toward unsuspected admirers. Will the facts also ruin all hope for romance?  

Thoughts:

Wind in the Wires is the first book in a new series by Janet Chester Bly.  This Trails of Reba Cahill novel is Janet’s solo debut, as the books she has written in the past were co-authored with her late husband Stephen Bly.  Janet also co-authored with her three sons to finish Stephen’s last novel for him, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot.

Wind in the Wires takes the reader back to 1991 in the small town of Road’s End, Idaho.  The author’s imagery is vivid and I easily envisioned the rural countryside.  While the characterization is strong, the cast of characters is vast and I found myself struggling to become invested in the characters.  The plot also presented a few challenges.  There were times when the story was engaging and other times when I felt a bit lost and my interest waned.  As the story progressed, I enjoyed the elements of suspense as family secrets were uncovered and surprises were revealed.  As the story concludes, questions linger and set the stage for the novel to follow. 

Despite my personal struggles, I have no doubt there are many who will enjoy this unique story! 

My sincere thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book.  All thoughts expressed in this review are my own. 

Click here to read the first chapter of Wind in the Wires.

 

About the Author:

Janet-w-leather-scarf-1-200x300Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her husband award-winning western author Stephen Bly to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows.

Janet Chester Bly is the widow of award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they authored and co-authored 120 fiction and nonfiction books. She and her three sons finished Stephen’s last novel for him, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. The family’s story is told on her website blog: http://www.blybooks.com/. Wind in the Wires is Janet’s first solo adult novel, a contemporary western mystery, a road adventure with a touch of romance. It’s Cowgirl Lit. Reader’s Guide for Group Discussion included. 

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads