The Goodbye Girl: A Serial Novel – The Prequel to the Pemberton Manor series by Becky Doughty

Pemberton-The Goodbye Girl by Becky DoughtyStuck in an elevator on Christmas Eve, Grace, August, Lucy and Itsy overcome fear, learn not to judge by appearances, and share a fellowship wrapped in the sweet meaning of grace. The subtle references to the biblical Christmas story add richness without being preachy. The characters are quirky and delightful, especially Itsy, who is all heart! Add a touch of romance and this book is a winner! (Note: this story is part of a serial novel set so there are some unanswered questions at the end that hopefully will be answered in future stories.)  Check out author Becky Doughty and her books at

If you enjoy this story be sure to pick up The Moon Mother which tells the history about Lucy and Itsy and how they ended up at Pemberton Manor.  Pemberton-The Moon Mother by Becky Doughty


Recipe Time: Sausage Bake by Kroger

While clipping coupons I found this tasty ‘Spring Meets Summer’ recipe in a Kroger coupon flyer.   As a fan of fresh vegetables, herbs, polska kielbasa, and something easy to fix, this recipe definitely made it to the “let’s try it tonight” stack!

Kroger’s flyer states, “Capture the garden-fresh taste of spring and the meaty, grilled notes of summer with this sausage bake.  Cut Kroger Polska Kielbasa into coins and chop up select vegetables.  Toss with olive oil, garlic, rosemary parsley, salt and pepper.  Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through and ensuring sausage reaches a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Refrigerate any leftovers.”

recipe 4Hmmm…there are no specific measurements so my first offering was a “trial and error” in taste, and thankfully I hit the right notes with my family.  Thank goodness I had enough vegetables for two pans full!

My Ingredients:

  • 1, 16 ounce package Polska Kielbasa, sliced
  • Small Red Potatoes, halved or quartered
  • Sweet Green Pepper, cored and sliced
  • Roma Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced
  • Portobello Mushrooms, whole and halve slices depending on size
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon minced Onion
  • ¼ heaping teaspoon dried Rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray


My Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place kielbasa, potatoes, green pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms in large mixing bowl.  Pour a light coating of olive oil until all vegetables are lightly coated.  Line baking pans with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray, or use a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  (Note I used a buttered flavored spray to add a touch of flavor).  Pour vegetables in pan creating a single layer for even baking.  Mix garlic powder, parsley, onion, rosemary, black pepper, salt in small bowl or sandwich baggie until well blended.  Gently shake or spread mixture over all vegetables as evenly as possible.  Place pans in oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked thoroughly.  Serve warm.

Notes:  My batch served 6-8 people.  People who like onion may want to add fresh onion as a vegetable instead of using minced onion.  All spices should be measured to personal taste.Recipe 1

Review Time: The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

a-noble-servant-by-melanie-dickersonPre-order now! Book releases May 9, 2017!

Melanie Dickerson works her story-telling magic again with a character based in the Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, The Goose Girl. Dickerson fans first meet Magdalen of Mallin in The Beautiful Pretender.  She is a true friend to Avelina, who ends up marrying the Margrave of Thornbeck.  But, two years have past and Magdalen struggles in an unwelcoming home and suffers to watch the people of her land battle poverty.  An unexpected invitation to marry the Duke of Wolfberg offers Magdalan a chance to improve the state of her home and people.  She also hopes the the Duke will remember her from her brief time at Thornbeck and perhaps may come to feel a fondness for her as she has felt for him over the last two years.  However, all is not as it would seem in Wolfberg.  Magadalen loses her identity, and while caring for some testy geese discovers nothing is as it would seem!  This is a delightful young adult tale about identity, faith, self-control, and finding the courage to face the challenges of life even when the outcome may be difficult and painful.  Beautiful cover and well written tale – Another good story in the Thornbeck series!

Check out other stories in the Thornbeck series as well as Melanie’s Regency and Medieval story collection:

Book Spotlight: Sit Stay Love by Dana Mentink

Sit Stay Love by Dana MentinkDog lovers will appreciate this touching story of an elderly, overweight dog named Tippy, and the lives she transforms through her mischief making antics and her sweet, loyal gaze.  From pro baseball pitcher, Cal Crawford, to out-of-work teacher, Gina Palmer, and adoring baseball fans in between, Tippy softens hearts and awakens the senses to God’s blessings that make life meaningful and rich.  The back cover says, “I’ve asked everyone from the shortstop to the hot dog vendors, and no one wants a thirteen year-old mutt,” but I’m telling you by the end of the story you’ll wish you had a Tippy of your own.  Great story, tender romance, and one very special dog – You can’t go wrong with this book by Dana Mentink!

Check out other books in the Love Unleashed series:

I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book through a newsletter subscriber contest.

Review: Pemberton Manor: The Moon Mother by Becky Doughty

Pemberton-The Moon Mother by Becky DoughtyThe Moon Mother, a prequel in the new Pemberton Manor series, is a sweet novella about Lucy, a young mother and mother-to-be, who is running from an abusive relationship. She finds herself living at Pemberton Manor with a quirky set of neighbors. Living in constant fear and determined to protect her radiant daughter, Itsy, and unborn baby, Oliver, Lucy wonders who can she trust? The unseen, yet watchful, Mr. Paxton? Sean the book “dude”? Nosy Sarah and her pessimistic sister, Gracie? August Jones? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say there is a cliff-hanger that leads into a serial story. This prequel gave just enough character and setting details to hook me into reading more about the unique community at Pemberton Manor. 

Check out Ms. Doughty’s next installment in this series, The Goodbye Girl on, as well as author/narrator, Becky Doughty, at

Pemberton-The Goodbye Girl by Becky Doughty

Recipe Time: Oven Fries by Don Mankie

fries-3When it comes to cooking, folks in the foothills of the Virginia Appalachian Mountains expect a traditional flavor usually found by using a combination of salt, butter, lard, and fatback along with a Fry Daddy deep frying cooker.  Those last three words alone are enough to clog the arteries no matter how good the food tastes.  So, you can imagine my dilemma in finding tasty delicious food that fits the expected “meat with potatoes” dinner without the heavy fat and salt content.

I received a health newsletter recently with the usual health advice, but this time there was a recipe offered that caught my interest – Oven Fries.  Oven = no Fry Daddy cookerFries = Potatoes.  This seemed like a good start, but does the recipe taste good and would my family like it?  The answer is YES!  One pan of Oven Fries disappeared in a matter of minutes with requests for more, and no ketchup was needed.

So without further ado here is Don Mankie’s Oven Fries recipe.  Mr. Mankie is a dietitian with Carilion Clinic.


6 Large Potatoes

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wash and dry potatoes, leaving peelings on.  Cut into ½ inch slices and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss until potatoes are coated with oil and seasoning.  (Note: I put all the seasoning ingredients and oil in a gallon size plastic baggie and tossed the potatoes in the baggie with allowed for more even coating).  Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nutrition Information:  One serving is 6 wedges.  Per serving: 160 calories; 3.5 grams fat; 3 grams fiber. Gluten Free.

Review Time: Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

Pre-ordejust-the-way-you-are-by-pepper-bashamr today – Releases April 6, 2017!

One of my favorite new authors, Pepper Basham, knows how to win her readers over with her unique, descriptive prose and special gift of making characters come to life.  In her new contemporary series, Just The Way You Are (A Pleasant Gap Romance), she offers up a plate of fun with a dreamy hero, a clumsy heroine, good Appalachian humor, a delicious romance, and a healthy dose of faith. Her American character, Eisley Barrett is delightful with her mountain accent, love of chocolate, and perchance for accidents. She falls into a creek, falls onto an unsuspecting grandpa, falls into a hole, and yet, she’s refuses to fall in love.  But as God works to win her heart, so too does Wes Harrison, a cynical actor who is in need of someone genuine and and joyful in his life. I loved the way these two characters dealt with their past mistakes and took a risk to make lasting, positive changes in their lives, and learned to trust one another.  I laughed out loud, had to grab some tissues for a few tears, and fanned myself over the attraction between Eisley and Wes.  This story is so good and left me smiling happily and longing for more in this series.

If you have not read any of Pepper Basham’s historical or contemporary stories, take time to check out the following books.  All were excellent, enjoyable stories:


Note:  I’ve pre-order a copy of Just The Way You Are for myself, but I want to thank the author for allowing me to read an ARC copy of her story.  I was in no way required to review this book.  I only review books that I enjoy and I hope my blog readers will enjoy too.