Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

118When fun-loving glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont learns the Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, determined to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. No-nonsense and hoping to make admiral, Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills to fight German U-boats. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. For her part, Tess works hard to prove her worth in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston–both to her commanding officers and to the man with whom she is smitten. When Dan is assigned to a new escort carrier at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he’s torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help Tess root out a possible spy on shore. The Germans put up quite a fight, but he wages a deeper battle within his heart. Could Tess be the one for him?

With precision and pizazz, fan favorite Sarah Sundin carries readers through the rough waters of love in a time when every action might have unforeseen world-changing consequences.

What I Loved: There comes a time when you feel the need to clap at the end of a book, or in this case a series. This was one of those times. When Tides Turn brought a satisfactory ending to the series as a whole and the novel as an individual.
Sundin is amazingly talented in weaving the details of military life into her stories. In the case of When Tides Turn, there were areas when the information was a bit too technical for my mind to comprehend. And likewise, there were moments, especially early on in Tess’s story, when the mystery of the spy and French conflict was over my head. I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening in France and what this group in America was talking about. If you find yourself struggling, I’d advise you to “stay the course” 😉 and trust that the most important aspects will make sense in due time. As a mystery lover, I was still able to hone in on the characters’ actions and reactions…even if I didn’t always understand the present problem.
As usual, Sundin can be trusted to craft a well thought out character and even more beautiful, a solid and timeless message for the soul. I was very impressed with the layers of truth and application she was able to bring to light, especially concerning Dan’s ending.

Rating and Recommendation: I can’t speak of When Tides Turn and the entire Waves of Freedom series enough. I’m giving it 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical fiction and WWII fiction.

~I received a copy from Revell. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. 

Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner: Cake Batter Mini Cheesecakes

I made these for a friend’s birthday, and, boy, were they a treat! You can read the original post from the author of the recipe by visiting Catch My Party.

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Is there anything more fun than mini cheesecakes? The addition of sprinkles only increases the fun. Throw on some whipped cream and a candle and you have yourself a party. Lol
I loved the idea of these cheesecakes. Mine didn’t come out near as white or as thick as the creator’s, but we still really enjoyed them.
I LOVED the crust. There isn’t any sugar in this crust. The pinch of salt and walnuts add a nice bite to the crust that helps balance out the filling. I’ll certainly add these to my personal recipe collection to make again.

Ingredients: 
Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 8oz packages)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla cake mix
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles

Crust:

  • 1/4 box graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons walnut pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Melt the butter (about 30 seconds on high in the microwave). Put the graham crackers, walnuts, and salt into a food processor and pulse until broken down into crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Spray the pan with some non stick spray. Place 2 teaspoons of graham cracker into each mini cheesecake container and pack firmly with a spoon.

In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the egg, mixing until incorporated. Mix in the sugar and cake batter, adding a few tablespoons at a time. You don’t want to over mix, you just want a smooth consistency.

Stir in the sprinkles, reserving a few pinches for garnish.

Pour the mixture into the mini cheesecake pan, about 1 1/2 tablespoons for each mini cheesecake.

Optional: Sprinkle the top of each cheesecake with sprinkles before baking.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cool on the counter until you can handle the pan, pop out each cheesecake, and chill for an hour or two. They will fall a little while cooling.

Top with a dollop of whipped cream and add a few sprinkles. Aren’t they adorable and divine?!

Tips: 
There were a couple of questions that the author of the recipe left blank. I’ll tell you what I did.
In the ingredient list, she calls for cake mix and then in the directions she mentions adding batter. On her blog, someone asked whether it was dry mix or batter but she never replied back. I chose to use dry mix, and they came out great. So I suppose I chose right.
She also doesn’t tell how many cakes the recipe makes. Based on other recipes I saw that required 2 blocks of cream cheese, I didn’t expect the recipe to make very many. I doubled the recipe and barely scrapped out 24. I’m going to guess that the original recipe made about 10.
I doubled the recipe for both the filling and the crust. And I threw away half of the crust. I’m guessing 1 recipe of crust would have done just as well for double the filling.
My son complained about the salty crust. In hindsight, the full 1/4 teaspoon may have been a bit much. I’ll tone it down in the future by either using 1/8 teaspoon or just a pinch with my fingers instead.

202Novel Quote:

“So, you see, a man can love you, but only imperfectly. It is God alone who can be God.” – The Golden Braid

I simply love this quote. We can be so unbalanced in our expectations of love.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Be Bold, An Adult Coloring Book

21Be Bold offers an outlet to simultaneously focus on God’s Word and express creativity. Using scripture as the foundation for her designs, Ellen Elliot takes readers through a series of inspiring verses reinforced with short devotional writings. Topics include joy, hope, self-image, peace, and more. Each coloring page and corresponding devotional will help the reader develop a closer relationship with the Heavenly Father.

16

The Basics: Devotions are printed on one page with a matching coloring page on the opposite side. Pages are NOT perforated.

My Thoughts: The images are whimsical and designed with busy patterns. Each coloring page is designed with either an inspiring phrase or short scripture.
The devotions are short. The messages are timeless and meaningful, however, they aren’t heavy. I think the messages will be inspiring for a woman of any age, but the book is aimed for teens. Overall, as a coloring book, I think this is a very meaningful choice. As a devotional, I think it’ll help encourage you to walk the righteous path, but it isn’t a very deep study of the Word.

Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving it 5 stars. And I recommend it to anyone looking for a more meaningful coloring book.

~ I received a copy from Tyndale House. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own. 

Samples:

11

14

15

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Christian Fiction Cover Wars: First Battle

I’m introducing a fun new game called Cover Wars. I’m pairing off 2 Christian Fiction covers to see which one has the better cover. I’d love for you to join me by voting in the comments on your favorite in each pairing. Have fun!!

The Battle of the Pink Dresses. I make no secret of my love for pink, so it seems only fitting to kick the battle off with pink. But which cover is your favorite?

The Battle of the Brown Covers. It’s hard to say exactly what I love about these covers considering brown isn’t pink nor is it my favorite color by a long shot. And yet, I find both of these breathtaking. Which is your favorite?

The Battle of the Blue Dresses. Two lovely models in two pretty blue dresses. Which is your favorite cover?

The Battle of the Brides. Bridal covers are always a hit, but which is your favorite of the two?

The Battle of the Couples. I love getting a glimpse of the characters’ personalities by the way they’re posed on the cover, and both of these are memorably sweet. Which is your favorite?

Here are my votes:
Pink Dresses: At Love’s Bidding. Can I be honest and say that I’ve never cared for the pink dress on A Beauty so Rare? Don’t ask me why because I never understood it.
Brown Covers: I truly love them both so much, but I’m a sucker for the letters printed in the background, so I’m voting for The Outlaw Take a Bride.
Blue Dresses: Both are lovely, but The Magnolia Duchess has a Cinderella quality to it that wins me over.
Brides: I love the close-up veiled image of Until Then.
Couples: While I love them both, When Love Arrives wins me over with the vibrant colors.

But don’t let me influence you!! I’d love to hear what your favorites are! 

UPDATE: Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below. But for the sake of announcing a winner, I’m going to share the tallies for each pairing.
Pink Dresses: At Love’s Bidding won! Tamera 3 – Jennings 9
Brown Covers: The Outlaw Takes a Bride wins! Outlaw 8 – Siri 5
Blue Dresses: The Magnolia Duchess won! Magnolia 10 – Captive 2
Brides: It’s a TIE!! Kiss 6 – Krista 6
Couples: When Love Arrives wins! Griggs 3 – Johnnie 9

I hope you had fun! I’ll bring you another Cover Wars in May. 🙂 Until then, is there a book listed here today that you need to add to your TBR list? Or one that is your favorite? As for myself, I purposely chose books that I had already read. So I can honestly say that I recommend all of them to you. You’ll find reviews for many of them right here on the blog.
*Late voters:
I don’t intend to adjust winners for additional votes, but I’ll gladly chat with you about your favorites if you choose to comment. 

Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner: Crockpot Alcohol-free Irish Stew

I found the inspiration for this recipe while scrolling through Pinterest. After viewing a variety of recipes and crockpot directions, I developed this recipe for you. Let me just say that it tastes as good as it smells and it goes great with a tall glass of sweet tea! 🙂 

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Crockpot Alcohol-free Irish Stew: 

You can serve this stew over a mound of mashed potatoes as I did or chop the potatoes up and add them to the stew and enjoy in a bowl. It’s your call. For me, I was itching to try it out over a mound of mashed potatoes since this was a new idea for me.

Ingredients:
1-2 lbs of stew meat
4 Tb tomato sauce
3 Tb flour
drizzle of olive oil
4 large carrots
2 cans of beef stock
*1 can of peas

Directions: 
Coat meat in salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat evenly, adding another tablespoon of flour if needed for an even coat. Drizzle olive oil in a pan and sear the beef until it’s brown on all sides.
Peel and chop carrots.
Add beef stock, meat, tomato sauce, and carrots into crockpot. Season to taste. Cook on high for 4 hr or until meat is tender.
Add peas into the pot in the last hour.

Tips:
As mentioned this recipe can be served over mashed potatoes or you could add potatoes into the pot at the same time as the carrots.
The gravy didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked, so if you have a preferred thickening method feel free to add that step to your process…and tell me about it so I can try it next time. 😉

Novel Quote:

85 Let me set the stage for this quote. We’re in Ireland in 1170 on the eve of battle. The faithful warrior enters in and informs our heroine of their plan to keep her safe. She thanks him, and he replies,

“You are my princess.” -The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert, The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. 

There’s something so beautiful and simplistic about that line that made me sigh every time I read it.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Message in a Bottle Novella Set

85Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?

A Song in the Nightby Amanda
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she’d see again.

The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof
1890: Coronado Island, California
After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

My Thoughts: A timeless message of Hope reaches five couples in their time of need. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how a message, on paper, would survive for so long or how those who came later would read it. I thought it would be one of those stories where I would need to ignore logic in order to enjoy the stories, but I was pleasantly surprised. While the bottle carried messages from time to time, the message wasn’t written inside so much as it was outside. Hope was written on the outside for all to see and understand. But whether or not they would accept it…that’s another story.
And speaking of stories, you’re in for a treat with this collection. All five stories are set in vastly different eras, making this one of my favorite collections. The Message in a Bottle collection gets 5 stars from me. Here are my thoughts on the individual novellas.

The Distant Tide: The set kicks off with Gilbert and her Viking tale. This was my first Viking story, but I can promise you it won’t be my last. She really wet my appetite for this gripping era. Although, I was in a new territory with new customs, I didn’t have any problems understanding the story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

A Song in the Night: This was certainly a favorite of mine. Again, I found myself in a new land and era. I really enjoyed a look at the different customs. And I couldn’t get enough of this couple and their dangerous journey.

The Forgotten Hope: While I struggled a bit with connecting with characters and setting, I still found the story to be entertaining. The setting didn’t leap off the page as authentic, but I thought it was an interesting plot and it ended on a strong note for me.

A River Between Us: My heart was overflowing by the time I made it to the Civil War era story. It was everything I wanted in a single novella and then some. This was a story that I couldn’t put down. I loved watching these two enemies become lovers. And as always, Green’s settings are so realistic.

The Swelling Sea: What a solid ending to a great set! Joanne has a way of endearing the characters to the reader and this was certainly one of those times. Parts of the story moved a little slower for me, but I still found myself enjoying it overall. And I was treated to a very happy ending.

~I received a copy from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY and Book Review: Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

83.jpgOne Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance–and Danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War Ii means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War Ii to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

What I Loved: I’ve said this before when reviewing a Sundin novel and it’s no less true today. I loved it all! But for your sake, I’ll try to be a little more detailed in my gushing. 😉
Arch and Lillian couldn’t have been more different and yet in their attempt to run, they run right into each other. Sigh. Once again, Sundin exercises her talents in crafting unique and humble characters. Characters that you easily fall in love with and root for. It was interesting to see Lillian’s struggles of acceptance into society as a cripple during her day and the reality of battle fatigue through Arch’s point of view.
I really enjoyed the mystery that was weaved into the story. While I had some theories along the way, I was never completely confident in my ideas and was able to fully enjoy watching the mystery unfold.
In the midst of a sweet romance and well-researched WWII history is a solid message on relying on Christ only. Lastly, everything wraps up with a surprising, edge-of-your-seat ending.

Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend Anchor in the Storm to Christian Historical Fiction readers and WWII fiction fans. I’m giving it 5 stars.

Giveaway Details!! 
Sarah Sundin is hosting a giveaway this week in celebration of her new release, When Tides Turn, book 3 of Waves of Freedom. I’ll be reviewing When Tides Turn later this month, but for now I thought I would share her awesome giveaway with you.
The giveaway features some WWII/Navy inspired treasures. You can catch the entry form and package details on her blog. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and closes on March 19th. The winner will be announced on Sarah Sundin’s blog on the 20th.
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Posted in Christian

God Doesn’t Hand Out Crutches

3.jpgWhat is a spiritual crutch?

A spiritual crutch is anything you turn to for comfort, for peace, or for security.

Looking at that basic definition, we may not be quick to say that we use spiritual crutches. By that definition, these crutches sound an awful lot like a false god and we know better than to worship lifeless idols. Don’t we?  But let’s look a little deeper at what they are and see if we don’t have a pair of worn out crutches sitting in our room.

Do you ever turn on the tv in order to find something to distract you from your troubles? The tv has become a spiritual crutch.

Do you ever grab a book to read in order to hide from issues surrounding you?
A book has become a spiritual crutch.

Do you ever create art: paint, draw, knit, color, etc. to escape and unwind?
Art has become a spiritual crutch.

Do you exercise to deal with the things you can’t handle in life?
Exercise has become a spiritual crutch.

Do you eat in order to better handle a bad day?
Eating has become a spiritual crutch.

Clearly, we could go on and on for days but I think you get the point, and maybe by now you even have your finger on the spiritual crutch or crutches in your life.

Why are spiritual crutches wrong?
Spiritual crutches are a problem for the Christian because we are trusting in something to woo us back into our happy places instead of relying on the Living God to do what He said He would do.

Have you noticed that spiritual crutches look an awful lot like hobbies? So…are hobbies sinful? Are we to give up the things that give us pleasure?
Hobbies are not sinful. I believe the Lord gives us desires and talents and allows us to enjoy them. And why wouldn’t He? He gave us taste buds to enjoy food. He gave us the sense of smell to enjoy the wonders around us. He gave us sensual pleasures to enjoy the duty of procreation.
He often showers us with delightful add-ons just because He can and it pleases Him to do so. So what’s the problem with these hobbies-turned-crutches?

The problem is when you turn to your pleasures instead of God when you’re going through difficult times. The problem is when you reach for your “fix” instead of your God.
How often do we say something like, “I’m having a terrible day but a good cup of coffee will make it all better.” Or we might turn up the radio and drown out the sorrows. Let the base rock the tension out of our shoulders.

The problem is not in the things. It’s in our placement of these things. Here’s a good example:
I’m around readers through several social platforms, and I’ve heard this dozens of times. They’ll say something like, “I can’t concentrate on this book I’m reading. It’s a great book, but I have so much going on at home (dog died, sister is in the hospital, child ran away, and they lost their job). I just want to get into a book and get lost. But I can’t and I’m frustrated.”
Of course, they’re frustrated!! Why wouldn’t they be? They’re trying to cover the gaping hole in their heart with a Looney Tunes band-aid! It doesn’t work that way. We don’t work that way. We weren’t created for this at all.

The Lord is our safety net. He is our perfectly sized, never falls off, medicated band-aid. The truth is, you don’t need anything else. You don’t need a backup plan. You don’t need God and that cup of coffee. You don’t need the smell of paints and a little Scripture.

You need to put your focus on Christ and only Christ.
Recite scripture to yourself and see how quickly your day turns around. No need to spend $3.99 for yummy calories.
Sing praises and hymns and watch your mood shift from night to day. You won’t even have to use a bookmark or recharge your kindle.
Read the Bible and notice how clarity floods your soul. You won’t even have to pull out your art supplies.
Pray to the God who is always listening and see how quickly peace enters in. There’s no need to hit the gym again on your way home.

It’s not that hobbies are bad. It’s that we often accept them in place of something so much greater. I’m not suggesting that you stop enjoying things you love. But I am saying that the next time life overwhelms you, turn to God first. Let Him heal you in a way that only He can. THEN enjoy all the extra stuff. You can’t empty your mind by numbing your mind and that’s what these crutches offer. Instead, empty your mind by handing over everything that is bugging you. Hand it over in prayer and turn those prayer requests to praises.

How can I be so sure that God can heal me, mend me, and turn my attitude and my perspective around? Here is just a sampling of what God says in His Word:

Psalm 121: 1,2
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 120: 1
“I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me.”

Psalm 71:1, 5, 14, 23, 24
“In You, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame…For You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth…As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more…My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You-I whom You have delivered. My tongue will tell of Your righteous acts all day long for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.”

Psalm 62:5-8
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 54:1, 2, 4
“Save me, O God, by Your name; vindicate me by Your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth…Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.”

Psalm 42:5
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 28:6, 7
“Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

In the face of such evidence, how can we continue to turn to a donut for comfort? All we ever have need of is hidden in Christ. Let us remember this the next time we reach for a crutch. After we have been healed and our hearts are whole, we can enjoy our hobbies. But as believers, we have to stop letting our hobbies become the crutch that allows us to hobble through our day. We were never meant to hobble.

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Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner: Irish Scones

In preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, I’m dusting off a recipe that I’ve always wanted to try. You can visit I Heart Naptime where I found this recipe. 

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Irish Scones: 

In case you’re unfamiliar with scones, they are almost biscuit-like in texture but are usually a bit more dense than your common biscuit. Irish Scones are on the bland side of the equation, making this taste more like a biscuit. They were really good, but you won’t want to skip the sugar dusting step since it’s what gives the scones that pop of flavor. You also may want to bring along your favorite jam, curd, or cream when enjoying these. I’m rating the recipe 9 stars. I’ll make it again, but I don’t foresee it becoming my favorite recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
  • 3 eggs divided
  • 3/4 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 475*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder with a fork. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a measuring cup, mix together eggs and milk. Add to dry mixture and mix until just combined. Turn out onto a floured counter or cutting board and knead lightly until it comes together.
Pat into a large rectangle about 1 inch thick (using a rolling pin if needed) and cut into twelve equal sized rectangles.
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush over each scone rectangle. Sprinkle with sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool and serve with fresh whipped cream and jam.

Tips:
*The 475 temperature alarmed me since I normally bake my scones between 375-425. I tested a couple out at the 475 temp, but found better results at 425.
I cut this recipe in half because I’ve made enough scones in my life to know that a recipe with 4 cups of flour would not fit comfortably in my food processor.
I also needed to add another splash or two of milk because the dough was too dry to form properly. So take note: if your dough is crumbly, add a splash of milk and try again.
Food Processor Directions: If you have a processor, you can take the tedious work out of scones by blending your dough from start to finish. I start with the flour and other powder ingredients. Do a quick pulse to mix things up. Add chunks of cold butter and blend until it looks more like cornmeal and you can’t see the individual chunks of butter. Then add your wet ingredients and blend just until fully incorporated. *Warning, this recipe may be too large to fit in your processor. All of the recipes I’ve used in the processor contained only 2 cups of flour…but mine may be smaller than yours.

117Novel Quote: 

“Don’t just jump willy-nilly into something because it feels right in the moment. Really, truly seek the Lord…” – Every Bride Needs a Groom

Don’t you just love it when you brush up against such sound wisdom while you’re reading?

Check Amazon!! This book just might be a FREEBIE today!! It was free the last time I looked. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Super Heroes Devotional by Ed Strauss

113“Can you actually find spiritual truths in comicbooks and superhero movies?”  
Yes, you can!

For more than 75 years of comic book history and dozens of gigantic cinematic releases, Superheros have captivated our imagination–filling our senses with heart-pounding adventures, riveting plots, and spectacular special effects—and sometimes they have profound messages woven into them. Often the underlying themes reveal a Judeo-Christian influence, and even when it isn’t intentional, you can still draw deep lessons from them.  Whether it’s the self-sacrifice and humility of Captain America and the Hulk’s struggles with anger or the parallels between Superman and Jesus or between Black Widow and a ruthless Bible heroine, your favorite heroes and heroines (and even villains) have much to teach.

If you’re a fan of this good vs. evil world, you will love The Superheroes Devotional—featuring 60 interesting, challenging, and encouraging readings. With devotions drawn from dozens of favorite superheroes from both the Marvel and DC Comics universes—well-known names like Captain America and Batman and lesser-known heroes like Shazam and Gambit—each reading includes spiritual lessons relating superheroes to the heroes of the Bible in themes like faith, hope, courage, pride, and power. You’ll also enjoy reading about the history and background of each superhero, shared by author and lifelong fan Ed Strauss.

Read on, True Believer, and may you draw inspiration and encouragement from the characters and stories that you know and love from comicbook pages and big screen movies alike.

My Thoughts: When I think of a devotional, I’m looking for something that will help me center my day on Christ and possibly even teach or rebuke me. As a mature Christian, this wasn’t the type of devotional that taught me anything new, but I did find it highly entertaining and even enlightening. I enjoyed taking a new look at characters that I’ve grown up with and some that I haven’t met before. I’ll certainly never look at them the same! I was blown away by the connections Strauss had made.
While I don’t believe any devotional should take the place of your time in the Bible and very few are great Bible studies, I do believe this will be a great read for Christians who are also superhero fans. I can also see this being a great conversational tool for older kids/teens and their parents.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 5 stars and recommending it to Christian Superhero fans. I think you’re really going to love this one!

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”