Wednesday, January 3, 2018

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 of Once Upon A Dickens Christmas By Michelle Griep


Bleakly Manor COVER

I received this book from Michelle Griep and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Book Description: 

12 Days at Bleakly Manor is the first book in Michelle Griep's latest series, Once Upon A Dickens Christmas, and it was great! Michelle Griep is a new to me author and I am so glad I got the chance to read and review this book. I am not a huge fan of Christmas books but this one intrigued me. This is a Christian Historical Mystery Book, a retelling of Dickens A Christmas Carol.  Michelle Griep writes with authority about England in 1851,the hierarchy of this time, English Manor homes, prison system of that time, and love. I loved the cover art of the book and the story inside. I enjoyed Michelle Griep's writing, I felt like I was there in 1851, at Bleakly Manor, in England, and part of this book. I love books where I am transported into the story. The characters are an interesting group of people, with all different personalities and ways of life.  I personally found myself drawn to Clara and Ben. Their story goes full circle from love, to hate,to forgiveness, and back to love. The struggle they endured are real struggles we face in real life. Such a great cast of characters. I could not put this book down, it grabbed me from the first page and kept me guessing until the end. The suspense and mystery had me holding my breath in places, laughing in others, and crying is a few other places. Michelle Griep wove mystery/suspense, love, and faith into this wonderful book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Victorian Era writers, especially Charles Dickens, Mystery, and intrigue. This book will not disappoint. I cannot wait to read more from Michelle Griep, I have found a new to me author to add to my list of authors. I give this book 5 STARS.



12 days at bleakly manor copy 



About the Book

Bleakly Manor COVER


Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click Here To Purchase 



About the Author

unnamedMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com , or stalk her on Facebook Instagram Twitter and/or Pinterest


Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor
Guest post by Michelle Griep
Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS
Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY
Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS
“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES
Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS
Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.
And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.
And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14
Bukwurmzzz, December 14
Faery Tales Are Real, December 14
A Reader’s Brain, December 15
Have A Wonderful Day, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Carpe Diem, December 16
Cafinated Reads, December 16
Just the Write Escape, December 17
A Greater Yes, December 17
Remembrancy, December 17
Allofakindmom, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18
amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
Mommynificent, December 19
Bookworm Mama, December 20
Vicky Sluiter, December 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)
My Writer’s Life, December 23
Janices book reviews, December 23
For The Love of Books, December 23
Red Headed Book Lady, December 25
Bibliophile Reviews, December 26
Blogging With Carol,December 26
Mary Hake, December 26



Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8


Monday, December 18, 2017

For The Love Of Books: Christmas Embers By Chautona Havig

For The Love Of Books: Christmas Embers By Chautona Havig: I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and Chautona Havig for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The...

Christmas Embers By Chautona Havig

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and Chautona Havig for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

It's a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you think you've hidden it. Emily Byrne sits in her daughter's classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergartner's as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn't sure where her Christmas project will take her. Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose--find her son's father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she's well aware that the news will cause waves, but what's a mother to do? As these women join forces to search for Joey's father--a Rockland area pastor, no less-- Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can't quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her. Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn't confident she'll find the boy's father in time--if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this--an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes. A mother's love. A boy's confidence. A family's faith. A preacher's failure. Is redemption even possible anymore? Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.


My Thoughts: 

Christmas Embers is the latest book by Chautona Havig and it is mind blowing. As a fan of Chautona Havig, I couldn't wait to read this book. Her books are thought provoking and deal with real life situations that you don't find in a lot of books. Christmas Embers is not your typical Christmas Story. The title gives the impression of a feel good story but once you read the description you find out it is far from it. Chautona Havig brings to life a story of how sin does have a way of coming out into the world.  I cannot begin to give this story justice but I will try. Chautona Havig writes with authority on Kindergarten children, illness, prostitution, adultery, investigating skills, and forgiveness. I could not put this book down. I found myself drawn to it from the start and held me until the last page. I found myself feeling a myriad of emotions, I found myself crying in many parts, convicted of my own sins and the impact it has on life. The characters are real people dealing with real issues. I found myself drawn to Davia and her plight to do what is right by her son. Her determination and drive to have a better life for her and her son is inspiring.   This book really brings issues out in the open that need to be, adultery is still a taboo subject. I really found myself examining my life and where I fall short in my life. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5+ STARS. 

I would like to apologize to Chautona Havig and Celebrate Lit for the lateness of this review. 





celebrate-lit-christmas-embers

About the Book

Christmas Embers Cover-sm
 Name of book: Christmas Embers
 Author: Chautona Havig
 Genre: Contemporary Christmas  
Release Date: November 25, 2016 It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it. Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her. Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do? As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her. Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes. A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore? Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.
Click Here to Purchace Your Copy

About the Author

media-headshot Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.” An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong. She wasn’t. It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity. As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.” I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!” But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror. I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew. Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person. And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason. They’re there as a warning. This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas. Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

Blog Stops

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, December 5
Mary Hake, December 5
Daysong Reflections, December 6
Fiction Aficionado, December 7
Genesis 5020, December 7
Blogging With Carol, December 8
The Power of Words, December 8
Bigreadersite, December 8
A Greater Yes, December 9
Radiant Light, December 9
Just Jo’Anne, December 10
For The Love of Books, December 10
Aryn the Libraryan, December 11
Quiet Quilter, December 13
Allofakindmom, December 14
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
Pursuing Stacie, December 14
Pause for Tales, December 15
margaret kazmierczak, December 15
Red Headed Book Lady, December 16
Purposeful Learning, December 16
Janices book reviews, December 17
Christian Bookaholic, December 17
Karen Sue Hadley, December 18
Remembrancy, December 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

For The Love Of Books: Christy: 50th Anniversary Edition By Catherine Mar...

For The Love Of Books: Christy: 50th Anniversary Edition By Catherine Mar...: I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my ...

Christy: 50th Anniversary Edition By Catherine Marshall

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description: 

New edition of Catherine Marshall’s inspirational classic!
The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

My Thoughts: 

Christy is a much loved book by Catherine Marshall that is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this great book. I hadn't ever read this book but had heard about it from so many people since I began reading Christian Fiction that I was so excited to have the opportunity to read this Christian Historical Fiction. Catherine Marshall's Christy is based on her mothers story of leaving home to go to Tennessee to teach. Catherine Marshall wrote with authority on life in the U.S. especially North Carolina and Cutter's Gap Tennessee, /traditions/superstitions held in this community, teaching at the time, her challenges finding her place in the community, overcoming the stigmas about women and Christy teaching things that contradict their way of life. This story is fascinating and I found myself completely immersed in this place and time. I could not put this book down. I learned a lot about this time in our history, especially different people in different places. I found the characters well rounded and real people. I found myself drawn to Christy. Her strength and courage in the face of so much opposition are inspiring. Her faith never waivered and she loved what she did. I found that Catherine Marshall's writing great, truly transported me to the time and places she writes about. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read and review this book. Christy is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5+ STARS.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Christmas Admirer By Laura V. Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger Program and Laura V. Hilton for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description: 

 Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas.
Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?

My Thoughts: 

The Christmas Admirer is the latest book from Laura V. Hilton and I really enjoyed it. As a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction, I have been lucky to read and review a few book by Laura V. Hilton. I am not usually one to read holiday books but this one seemed different than the others I have seen, and I was right. Laura V. Hilton writes with authority on all things Amish, Jamesport, Missouri, glass blowing, secret admirers, grief, and responsibility to family. I find myself immersed in any book I read from Laura V. Hilton, her style of writing is great and it draws the reader in from the start until the very end. I found myself unable to put this book down. I loved the characters in this book, good or bad, they are well written and real people with real life issues. I found myself drawn in my Susanna. Her desire to please, especially her father who makes life altering decisions for her. She faces many hurts and obstacles but still has faith and believes in love. I found her story to inspiring. This book has a little bit of everything: Romance, mystery,and Christmas magic. This book is one of my favorites that will stay with me for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction and/or Christmas stories you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read more from Laura V Hilton, she is one of my top Amish authors. I give this book 5 STARS.

Please check out more information about this book and author. And of course a great holiday giveaway.



christmas admirer facebook banner copy

About the Book

Christmas admirer

Name of book: The Christmas Admirer  
Author: Laura V Hilton  
Genre: Amish Romance  
Release Date: September 5, 2017  

Amish romance fans will love this heartwarming holiday story, perfect for gift-giving. Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Laura Hilton

Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Glass Blowing and The Christmas Admirer
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Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me. But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks. It was fascinating. And I got to thinking what if…

 glass-blowing-1

So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower. The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are: Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri: The Snow Globe The Postcard The Birdhouse The Amish Firefighter The Amish Wanderer The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection) The Christmas Admirer Gingerbread Wishes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018) Love by the Numbers (February 2018)  

glassblowing-experience04

 I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses. All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.

Susanna’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until blended. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, fold cream and walnuts into cranberry mixture.Makes 16 servings.

Susanna’s Cranberry Sauce

For on top of turkey sandwiches as Becca requested
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
Directions
In colander, rinse cranberries. In sauce pan, add water or orange juice and sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries had burst. Let cool.

Susanna’s “Love Portion” Gingerbread

Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening, melted slightly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ c water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions
Shift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside. In mixing bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down until about 1 ½ inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate as desired.

Blog Stops

ASC Book Reviews, November 9
Books n Baubles, November 9
Janices book review, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day, November 10
A Greater Yes, November 10
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 11
A Holland Reads, November 12
Simple Harvest Reads, November 12
Beck To Basics, November 13
Carpe Diem, November 13
Christian Bookaholic, November 14
Baker Kella, November 16
Quiet Quilter, November 16
Karen Sue Hadley, November 16
Pause for Tales, November 17
Pursuing Stacie, November 17
For The Love of Books, November 18
Blogging With Carol, November 18
Bigreadersite, November 19
Vicky Sluiter, November 19
SusanLovesBooks, November 19
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 20
New Horizon Reviews, November 20
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 22
Daysong Reflections, November 22
Splashes of Joy, November 22

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Laura is giving away
Grand Prize Package: The Christmas Admirer, “Unto Us a Child is Born” painting on decorative serving plate by Donna White, The Hearthside Collection, Inc., and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
1st Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and The Very First Christmas by Juliet David with interactive illustrations by Pauline Siewert (children’s book). 2nd Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and “The Woman Who Honors The Lord Shall Be Praised” myrrh-scented candle from abba Jerusalem!
Click the link to enter!Click the link to enter!

Liar’s Winter: An Appalachian Novel By Cindy Sproles

I received this book from Kregel Publications and Cindy Sproles for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

 The choices you make determine who you are. Not no mark."
Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark—and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it "the mark of the devil," and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.
Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there's anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?
Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar's Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

My Thoughts: 

 Liar's Winter is the latest book by Cindy Sproles and it is wonderful. I had the pleasure of reading her book, Mercy's Rain, so I was thankful for the opportunity to read this book. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction, this book was appealing. I found myself drawn in by the the cover art and when I started reading I couldn't put it down. Cindy Sproles writes with authority on the United States especially East Tennessee during 1893, The Appalachian Mountains, superstitions, Mountain Folks, the hierarchy in this society, and the choices that have to be made in life.  I was taken in from the first page and it kept me guessing until then end, wanting more. Cindy Sproles writing style is mesmerizing, she really puts her readers right there, watching the events unfold. I found the characters in this book to well written and real to life. I think my favorite character is Lochiel. From birth to she is an adult she has to fight to live a full life. She is a survivor, who endured years of abuse and abandonment. As she is faced with her realities she needs to make the choice to survive and forgive all her past hurts. I found Lochiel an inspiration to keep fighting and to have faith. I cannot say enough good about this book and author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read more from Cindy Sproles, definitely on my must read author list!! I give this book 5 STARS.


I would like to apologize to Cindy Sproles  and Kregel Publications for the extreme lateness of this review. I am sorry I didn't post this on time during the tour. No excuse for it.