Friday, November 27, 2015

An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home by Ellen Stimson - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)
With its snowy streets, pine forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling from the chimneys, Vermont was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. And no one celebrates the season better than Ellen Stimson, author of the best-selling Mud Season, and now the author and home cook behind this cozy new collection of holiday magic.

From warm drinks for the first snowfall to treats for furry friends, from indulgent snacks for carolers to a traditional menu for Christmas day, An Old-Fashioned Christmas will keep you and your loved ones eating, drinking, laughing and baking all through the holiday season.

Anyone who loved Mud Season will remember Stimson’s hilarious and heartwarming stories of life in her small Vermont town—and An Old-Fashioned Christmas brings her trademark touch to holiday memories new and old. Readers will be inspired to begin their own family traditions like the Stimsons’ annual Christmas Adventure, the collection of nostalgic tree ornaments, and of course, the legendary Christmas party attended by friends and family from all over. This is a book you will return to year after year.

A guide to celebrating Christmas in proper Vermont style—from sleigh rides to country stores—rounds out this deeply personal and completely delicious collection. The 98 homey recipes in this book will soon become annual favorites for your family too, including:

Maple Pecan Cookies
Root Beer Pulled Pork
Maple, Fennel, Sausage and Cheddar Meatballs
Chestnut Mousse

“I’ve been a little uneasy about Christmas for a long time and now I shall stop. ‘A festival of debauchery’. I like that idea. A big party. Cut out the stuff you don’t enjoy. And a whole raft of stimulating recipes. And a good snowstorm. Wonderful——Garrison Keillor

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts:

If you are not ready for the Christmas season, you are sure to be after reading Ellen Stimson's new book, "An Old Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home."

Oh my goodness, this is one yummy book!  Not only does Stimson share beloved family recipes that are to die for, she also includes charming stories about her family's holiday traditions.  And the photographs that are sprinkled throughout the book are just fantastic. While Stimson is from Vermont and the majority of her stories are based there, this is a Christmas book that can appeal to anyone anywhere who loves the holidays!

If you need a little boost to spark the Christmas magic for this year, then this is the book for you!  I plan to keep this charmer out handy for the entire season!  Thank you, Ellen Stimson, for putting the sparkle back into the season!

ellen stimson author photo

About Ellen Stimson

Ellen Stimson is a bread-and-butter homecook…possibly more butter than bread. Her table is usually overflowing with friends, family, and folks who have come just to listen to her stories. Some of those tales made it into her bestselling memoir, Mud Season. She cooks and writes from a farmhouse in Vermont.

Connect with Ellen

Website | Facebook | Twitter


My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to the publisher for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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A Thousand Shall Fall: A Shenandoah Valley Saga by Andrea Boeshaar - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

A Thousand Shall Fall: A Civil War Novel
(Kregel, November 2015)

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off---only to find she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they're all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally---and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar's extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

Purchase a copy:
My Thoughts:
I am a big Civil War buff and I really enjoy reading stories set in this era, be they Confederate or Union in theme. So I was excited to read Andrea Boeshaar's new novel, "A Thousand Shall Fall," and I wasn't disappointed.
This mesmerizing story of a young girl's search for her family, her dangerous adventures in that journey and the love that she finds along the way was absolutely entertaining.  Boeshaar proves to be the consummate researcher in the "unpleasantries between the States" and captures the time period as well as the characters perfectly.  Her characters are fully developed and intriguing, and the storyline moves along briskly but leaves nothing out.
I also so appreciated the Christian aspect of this novel - both characters were strong in their faith as well as secondary characters and it was refreshing to read this in a historical novel of this era. 
I highly recommend this book.  I look forward to subsequent books in this series as well.

 About The Author: 
Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs "The Writer's ER," a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.

Connect with Andrea: website, Twitter, Facebook

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

400 - a thousand shall fall 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea's blog.

a thousand shall fall-enterbanner

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and to the publisher for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Spotlight - The Loves of Ruby Dee by Curtiss Ann Matlock

This has been a wild and crazy week with Thanksgiving coming up, but if you need to take a break, get yourself to a quiet place and enjoy a wonderful book by one of my favorite Southern authors, Curtiss Ann Matlock.

Curtiss Ann's writing is so warm and wonderful, and her stories are filled with romance with just the right amount of adventure and with a gentle touch of humor!  (Yes, I'm partial - Not only is she a great writer, she is a treasured friend as well.)

Give "The Loves of Ruby Dee" a read - you'll be so glad you did!

About The Book:

Her books are wise and wonderful. I loved it!”~ Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Three men love her…but only one man can win her.
Ruby Dee D’Angelo came blowing up the dusty ranch road and into the lives and hearts of the Starr men: the failing but intractable patriarch, Hardy Starr; the youngest son, Lonnie Starr, lost in a mad whirl of rodeo and loose women; and Will Starr, eldest son holding everything together and seething with unfulfilled dreams.
When the dust settled and Will Starr got a good look at her standing beside her yellow convertible, he knew he had made one giant-sized mistake. The woman was way too young and beautiful--and too much of a woman—to be stuck out on an isolated high plains ranch with three untamed Western men. She was certainly no match for his irascible father. Will attempts to send her packing, but Ruby Dee is not a woman easily daunted. Her life has been filled with trouble, and she believes in getting through, not backing down.
As each man is touched and healed by Ruby Dee’s loving and encouraging spirit, it is Ruby Dee herself who will be healed—as she touches their souls and changes their lives forever.
In a story filled with memorable characters, touching wit, humor, and drama, Curtiss Ann Matlock takes us back to the heart of rural Oklahoma of the 1980s and into the heart and soul of a remarkable woman, and the men—and friends and neighbors—whose lives she changes for the better. This is Matlock at her very best.
“A wonderful antidote to glitz romance. Ruby Dee is so sweet, so loving, so wise, that you know she’ll get it right in the end, and you stay with her all the way to make sure she does.” —Detroit Free Press
About The Author:

Curtiss Ann Matlock is a the author of thirty-three novels, including the tender and funny Valentine series. Her books have earned rave reviews, spots on the USA TODAY bestseller list and numerous awards.

Told with a strong Southern voice, her insightful stories portray the uncommon valor of everyday people and the humor, heartbreak, and shining graces of small-town life.
Born in North Carolina, Curtiss Ann lived many years in Oklahoma; she now resides with her family near Mobile, Alabama. You can find out more about her and her work at
To Buy Curtiss Ann's books, click on one of these links!
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Home At Last by Jan Sikes - Book Review

About The Book:

With empty pockets and a heart full of dreams Luke Stone leaves behind the nightmare of fifteen long years in Leavenworth prison, not giving it a backward glance.

Eyes firmly on the future, he boards a Greyhound bus bound for Texas...for freedom...for the one who holds his heart. The unjust conviction no longer matters and revenge haunts him no more. Darlina Flowers, the woman who takes his breath away, waits ahead and with her by his side, nothing can stop him.
He is headed HOME AT LAST.

My Thoughts:

With her first book, "Flowers and Stone," Texas author Jan Sikes introduced her readers to honky-tonk musician Luke Stone  and the love of his life, Darlina Flowers. Now, Sikes brings more to the adventurous life of this couple with a beautiful continuation in  her latest book, "Home At Last."

Luke Stone and Darlina have been through so much - including the stressful period in which Luke was imprisoned for reasons unjust and unreal. But now Luke is home with his family and friends and is determined to make a new life for himself, Darlina and their children. The road is rough and rocky, but with love on his side, Luke can make it through anything life throws at him!

Jan Sikes writes from real experience when it comes to this Texas romance - she's lived the story and she truly brings her loving heart and blessed soul to the writing.  She bravely tells this heart-wrenching tale, including all the rough and rowdiness, plus the warm faith in the power of love and forgiveness.

If you enjoy stories that grip your heart as well as your mind - this is the book for you!  I highly recommend all of Jan's books in this series, "Flowers and Stone," The Convict and The Rose, and this latest, "Home At Last."  And coming soon, "Til Death Do Us Part."


About The Author:

Jan Sikes started writing when she was a young girl, around the age of eight. Her first writing was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing. 

    The stories she writes (so far) are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something that is worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth.
The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits the stories that she shares through her writing.  

     She is passionate about her writing projects and is driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way.   

     Along with each book, Jan also releases a music cd of original songs that fits the time period of the story.

      North Texas is where she calls home. You'll often find her at Texas music festivals and shehas five incredible grandchildren.

Memberships: The Texas Association of Authors, The Academy of Texas Music, Writer's Guild, Non-Fiction Writer's Association, National Association of Professional Women, International Women's Leadership Association, Goodreads and Author's Den.

Check out her website at for more info on her books and upcoming projects!

My thanks to the author for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wyoming Rugged by Diana Palmer - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Wyoming Rugged

About Wyoming Rugged

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (November 24, 2015)

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Diana Palmer is back in Wyoming with a tale of love born in Big Sky Country…

Billionaire oilman Blair Coleman has always taken care of his business. After having been used and cast aside by a woman he thought he loved, his personal life is far from his first priority. He knows only one has ever truly cared for him—but the irresistible blonde beauty is the daughter of his best friend.

Niki Ashton has seen her father’s friend wounded and she’s seen him fight. Blair is the strongest—and most stubborn—man she’s ever known. That very heart and passion makes him the man of her dreams, but whenever they’ve been in danger of getting close, Blair has always pushed her away.

It takes a possible tragedy to strip away all of Blair’s misgivings. Now it’s all or nothing: marriage, baby, family, forever. But will the choice be too much for Niki…or too late?

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My Thoughts:

I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Diana Palmer's previous novels, which surprised me as she has nearly two hundred titles to her credit. So I was anxious to see what makes this author so appealing to so many.  I soon found out it is Palmer's descriptive style of writing that pulls her fans into the story and makes them feel a part of the thrilling, and sensual activities of the characters.

"Wyoming Rugged" can be called a "December/May" romance, as the main character, Niki Ashton is 16 years younger than the man she loves. This could be a rather tricky scenario for an author to deal with, but Palmer does so with a gentle but entertaining touch!  I enjoyed the backdrop of Wyoming/Montana for this story as well.  Fans of contemporary romance as well as western-flavored romance will be glad to add this title to their list of books to read!

"Wyoming Rugged" is the fifth book in Diana Palmer's "Wyoming Men" series, but first time readers can easily join into the series with this story. 


About Diana Palmer

An icon in western romance, Diana Palmer has been writing with Harlequin since 1980 and has published over 180 titles, with over 61 million books sold! When not writing, Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology and animals. She also has dogs, cats, birds and lizards.

Learn more about Diana at her website,

Diana Palmer’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 16th: Life is Story
Tuesday, November 17th: Mignon Mykel Reviews
Wednesday, November 18th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, November 19th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Friday, November 20th: Disheveled Book Blog
Monday, November 23rd: Books a la Mode – excerpt and giveaway
Monday, November 23rd: Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous
Tuesday, November 24th: Majorly Delicious
Tuesday, November 24th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, November 25th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Wednesday, November 25th: Romancing the Readers
Friday, November 27th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, November 30th: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, December 1st: Hot Guys in Books
Wednesday, December 2nd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, December 2nd: Romancing the Book
Thursday, December 3rd: Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, December 4th: Written Love Reviews
Monday, December 7th: What I’m Reading
Tuesday, December 8th: Romantic Reads and Such
Wednesday, December 9th: Home Love Books
Monday, December 14th: Cowboys ‘n Country

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Harlequin Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Eclair and Present Danger: An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery by Laura Bradford

Summer is a long time away, but oh, the anticipation for my good friend Laura Bradford's brand new cozy mystery series makes longing for summer a sweet thing indeed!

Laura's new book, "Éclair and Present Danger," is the first book in her new series "Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries," and she was gracious enough to share the cover!  The book is due to be released in June, 2016!  Can't wait!!

Laura's book is available for pre-order, so hurry and reserve your copy now!  You'll be so glad you did!

Also, check out Laura's website to see what other wonderful reading goodies she has lined up for her readers!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme sponsored by Breaking The Spine!  Check out what others are anxiously waiting for!!

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