Thursday, 20 September 2012

Book Review: Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

About the Book: A young widow nursing the wounds of her past…

A cowboy with demons of his own…

Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.
Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she’s living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow’s. And Carissa’s daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.
Challenged by mounting hardships, can Carissa and Tyler preserve their fledgling love in a land as unforgiving and vibrant as the people who call it home?

My Thoughts: Historical fiction is definitely one of my favourite genres and this one hit the nail on the head once again, not a surprise for anyone who's read Tracie Peterson's work before.  

This book deals with some serious issues, but does not come off as heavy at all.  I love it when authors accomplish that - when something that feels almost like mindless entertainment, ends up providing you with wonderful food for thought.  This book is about healing, about giving your pain to God, and about love being a risk worth taking.  

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.

Book Review: Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

About the Book: Michigan, 1883 - Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan–and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?

My Thoughts:  I loved this book.  Loved it.

The main characters were so believable, because they were not perfect.  They each had strengths and weaknesses and both Lily and Connell grew in character because of the other's strengths.  And isn't that exactly what a marriage is supposed to be?  (I guess that's a spoiler, but really, we all know they're going to end up together)  Iron sharpening iron.

What I love about Lily is her determination to stand against evil no matter the cost.  When good men do nothing, evil flourishes.  We cannot let fear, loss of material gain or anything else, stop us from standing up for what's right.  Now, there are also foolish ways of going about doing that, a lesson Lily learns too, but the principle is bang on, and if more people were willing to take a stand like that, we'd see change beyond what we could even imagine.

I found this story very inspiring and well-written.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Not Me Monday - School

I don't know about you, but I am always super organized and always know exactly what is going on in my kids schedules - especially when it comes to the starting up of the brand new school year and all the extracurricular activities that come along with it.

It goes without saying then that I would be completely organized for the beginning of dance classes and there's no way I would've forgotten that last year dance class actually started a couple of days before school started.  No, not me!

I didn't only remember that fact on Monday evening as we were going to bed and I definitely didn't have to quickly start up my MacBook in order to check on the website what day dance classes started, only to realize that they start Tuesday.  As in that Tuesday.  As in the very next day.  Nope, not me!

I wouldn't need to be thankful Emma's stuff all fit well enough to wear and have to quickly whip over to Walmart during her class in order to buy Olivia's ballet shoes before her class started an hour later.  Nope, no me!

And obviously, even if I were to have done any of that, that certainly would be the only organizational mishap to happen the first week of school.

I wouldn't have delayed ordering labels until less than one week before school started and end up having to pay for next day shipping in order to get them in time.  No, not me!

And even if all that had happened, I definitely would not miss out on Meet the Teacher and the opportunity to drop off school supplies because I thought it was on Wednesday when it was actually on Tuesday.  Nope, not me!

Book Review: Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

About the Book: Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

My Thoughts:  Despite delving into topics as solemn and serious as robbery, murder, nightmares, childhood trauma and war, Mary Connealy manages to make this a fun book to read!

The characters are realistic, entertaining and likable - I especially like feisty Callie! The storyline is intriguing (I read it all in one sitting!) and even though this is the 3rd (and final) book in the series, it was easy to follow even if you hadn't read the first two books (like myself).

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Not Me Monday

When I invite company over for lunch, I'm always careful to make delicious food and would certainly never burn something.  Nope, not me.

I try to make things everyone will like and pizza buns is always a hit, but I would never so busy with other lunch fixings that I would forget that they were under the broiler.  Nope, not me.

I wouldn't detect a faint odour that signaled to my brain that something was wrong.  And obviously I wouldn't have to rush to the oven, yank open the door and pull out burnt pizza buns.  Nope, not me.

And I most certainly wouldn't serve them anyway because I didn't have enough extra ingredients to make a fresh, non-burnt version and justify the decision by reasoning that we were all too hungry to wait anyway.  Nope, not me.

I wouldn't simply scrape off the burnt edges and tell the kids they would taste just fine, before even tasting them myself.  Oh no, not me.

I wouldn't taste them myself only to realize how horrible they actually were, forcing me to have to pick off the worst of the burnt cheese so they were somewhat edible. No, not me.

It follows that I also wouldn't tell the kids they didn't have to finish their pizza buns and allow them to fill up on chips as that would be very unhealthy and I never let my kids even have junk food, never mind fill up on junk food.  No, not me!

And I most certainly wouldn't post a picture of said burnt pizza buns for all blog world to see.  No, not me.

And I definitely would not publicly admit that I'm very glad the company was my sister.  No, not me! ;)

For more Not Me Monday posts, click here.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

From Pinned to Practice #1

Inspired by my sister's From Pinned to Practice series, I've decided to start doing the same thing.  I, too, have fallen for the lure of Pinterest but have also fallen prey to the same tendency as many others have (tell me I'm not the only one!) - and that is to pin and pin and pin, but never actually try all those wonderful ideas!

I have already tried out a few of them, but I will be determined to try more - hopefully at least one a week.

So, here's the first installment of my rendition of From Pinned to Practice!

And, surprise, surprise - it's a recipe.

Grilled Pork Chops by

4 boneless pork loin chops
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon steak seasoning (such as Montreal Steak Seasoning or make your own*)

Mix olive oil, soy sauce and steak seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and pour into a one-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork chops and set the bag in a baking dish in a way that the pork chops get a healthy dose of the marinade (it may be advantageous to flip the bag over halfway through the marinating time). Marinate in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours (no more than 8). Heat the grill to medium and grill the chops 6-8 minutes per side (depending on how thick they are) until they are no longer pink in the center. Remove the chops from the grill and tent them with foil and allow them to rest for 5-7 minutes. Slice the chops in 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices across the grain and serve.

I tried the recipe exactly as is, and LOVED it! (Well, Nathan did the grilling - he's amazing at it).

Top picture is the original pin, bottom picture is our reality.  

Happy pinning and practicing!


Related Posts with Thumbnails