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 amazon.com, as well as author/narrator, Becky Doughty, at www.beckydoughty.com.

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.

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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.

Review Time: The Nanny’s Little Matchmakers by Danica Favorite

nannys-matchmakers-by-danica-favoriteDanica Favorite charms her readers with a sweet, historical romance set in Colorado.  Mitch has lived through a bad marriage.  His only joy is his five unruly children.  Polly has seen too many bad marriages in the mining town of Leadville, and seeks to be an independent woman and a teacher.  A chance encounter with a bad nanny, energetic, but lovable children, and a frazzled father has Polly changing direction and pitching in to help.  But what happens when Mitch is accused of murdering his wife?

Polly reminds me a bit of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables.  Her determination, kind, but independent spirit is center stage in the story.  Add five rambunctious kids who made me think of Nanny Mcphee, and you have a fun story about overcoming past hurts, accepting and loving people as they are, and a healing that brings restoration, wholeness and peace.  Top it off with a bit of matchmaking magic and you have a delightful story, filled with a warm sense of community and sweet romance.

Check out other books by Danica Favorite at http://danicafavorite.com/.

lawmans-redemption-by-danica-favorite

The Nanny’s Little Matchmakers was sent to me as a prize for attending an multi-author event.  The review was completely my choice and my opinion.

 

Book Review: The Kindling by Tamara Leigh

the-kindling-by-tamara-leighI worried. I sighed. I panicked. I swooned. And I enjoyed this story about Sir Abel Wulfrith, who was greatly injured and desiring to die at the end of book three, The Redeeming, in the Age of Faith series.  Helene of Tippet is summoned to tend Sir Abel from his physical wounds that may well leave him less than the respected warrior he once was.  As she works with the stubborn, angry knight, she challenges his mental and spiritual wounds to heal too.  Their close proximity reveals their desire for one another, but Helene knows that as a commoner nothing can come of it, especially if Sir Abel discovers her true identity; that she is the sister to the wicked, Sir Robert… the man who greatly wounded Sir Abel.

I loved Helene’s character.  Her compassion, intelligence, strength, and awareness of her own weaknesses and the weaknesses of others, makes her easy to love and respect.  I have adored Sir Abel’s tempestuous character since The Unveiling, and longed to see his restless, fierce character tamed with love, especially after learning of the cruelty of his first wife and marriage.  Helene’s noble character, despite her common birth, keeps her from giving into the powerful attraction she feels for Sir Abel and becoming his mistress.  Her self-control keeps the passion simmering, and Sir Abel has to reconcile the past with what he truly wants for his future.  The cameos by past Wulfrith family members give the story a strong sense of community and a longing for more Age of Faith stories.  I will agree with one reader review that felt the ending for Helene and Abel a bit too short after so much struggle, but it is my hope we will see them happily situated in book five, The Longing.

I recommend all the books in The Age of Faith series by Tamara Leigh!  And did I mention cover love…check out the beautiful covers for all her books!

So for my readers, you’ll notice that I’ve had Tamara Leigh in the spotlight a lot over the last couple months.  When I find a series that I enjoy I tend to devour it!  So I hope you’ll be patient with me while I work through this series and I invite you to try it too!

Review Time: The Redeeming by Tamara Leigh

the-redeeming-by-tamara-leighThis story picks up where The Yielding leaves off – Gaenor has run from a forced marriage to Christian Lavonne, enemy of Wulfrith family. Hidden away in the Wulfrith training fortress, she meets an intriguing knight who is kind and sees her as more than the king’s chattel, but who is promised to another. When she returns home for her sister’s wedding, Sir Durand offers her a chance to runaway again. The consequences of her actions sets into motion mistrust that will take an act of God to mend. I fell in love with the enemy-hero, Christian Lavonne. His struggle to become Baron of Abingdale and undo the bitter wickedness of his father and brother was so admirable, as well as his desire to have a peaceful marriage with his reluctant bride, Gaenor. At times I pitied Gaenor and at times criticized her for the choices she made. Yet, Gaenor’s determination and willingness to do what is right even when her actions place shame upon her is endearing. The taunting interplay between Abel Wulfrith and Christian Lavonne was amusing, and this part of the story begins setting up the story line for the next book, The Kindling. I can’t say enough how much I enjoy this series and I have total cover love for these books.  For more on the Age of Faith series and all of Tamera Leigh’s books visit:  www.tameraleigh.com

Review: How to Make Victoria Sponge by Margaret Kazmierczak

how-to-make-victoria-sponge-by-margaret-kazmierczakHow to describe this contemporary story about a married, working mother of four children; most of them teenagers, and her weekly battle to be wife, mother, teacher, neighbor, protector, encourager, maid, daughter, and healer? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” (KJV), and that is the core of this book. Victoria Sponge wakes each day to the chaos and commotion of dramatic teens, a sensitive young child, a busy husband, distracted preschool toddlers, a father with Alzheimer’s, a neighbor in distress, bullies at school, audits, accidents and more. Maintaining her composure, faith, and acting with compassion is challenging. How does she do it? She wakes each day saying, “Yes!” to God, and praying and praising God through her day regardless of the situation and challenge. This book is good, but it is not one that can be read in large doses. There is a great deal of scriptural ‘meat’ to chew on and ponder. The more I read, the more I found myself praying along with Victoria and often her prayers became my prayers for the situations in my own stressful day. There are some tough topics in the book which the author handles with candidness and empathy. Is this an easy book to read – No. Is it worth reading – Yes!

Note: Author uses British spellings and terminology which may be different from American spellings and term usage.  To me this added to the charm of the story and gave it flavor.

Final thought:  I would consider this a very interesting book for a bible study or Sunday school study as it offers plenty of topics for discussion – topics that are both personal and spiritual all pointing to building a strong relationship with God.

I received this complimentary copy of the book from the author for participating in a multi-author promotional event. The choice to read the book and offer a review was my own.