Friday, September 13, 2013

Reading Daybook

Reading Anne Truitt's:


"Montana real estate agent Quint McCoy will tell you that the most important thing is location, location, location. It's a lesson he learns all too well when he goes incommunicado for a four-week fishing trip to Alaska. While he's away, his mother Molly turns his office into the pie shop she has always dreamed of, Big Sky Pie. But that's not the only surprise in store for him.

"On her way out of town, Quint's soon-to-be ex Callee McCoy only wants to say a fond farewell to her beloved mother-in-law. But Molly soon persuades Callee to stay and lend a hand at the new shop, even if it means heating up the kitchen with Quint. As Callee and Quint rediscover their recipe for love, they realize that some couples are so sinfully good together that one delectable taste is never enough ...." (Publisher summary).

 A heartfelt thank you to Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing) for the Advance Readers Copy (ARC e-copy) a pleasant afternoon read. This is a story full of interesting characters and a believable plot that moves right along.

Bullets and Bread

Author Kent Whitaker's The Story of the Sacrifice in American Homes to Feed Troops in WWII. (Published by History Publishing Company, LLC (c) 2012


Bullets & Bread "examines the foods, food supplies, and the transformation of the food industry needed to supply a military that grew from one to ten million overnight, as well as the menus and the difficulties on the World War II Home-front. Includes examples of menus from heads of state, princesses and generals; as well as recipes...." ~~Publishers Summary.

"This is the story of the transformation to meet those needs and the interesting stories about the people, prominent and not-so prominent, of the era and the food they liked to eat and more frequently, what they had to eat. Many stories from the troops on the front are included and so too, many recipes suitable for today's dining."
                                                                                ~~~  (Taken from publisher's description).

"New book explores life on the WWII chow line."  By Wes Locher
"Kent Whitaker has an appetite for great food and the great stories that birthed the recipes. His latest book, “Bullets and Bread, Feeding the Great to the Grunts in World War II,” is a culinary history of the best and worst that WWII had to offer as told through the soldiers who had to eat it..... (To read the rest of The Star Review:  (Note: All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. The Star)
By day, Ken Whitaker works in graphics and advertising, nights are spent writing, cooking and writing about cooking. Known as the Deck Chef, Ken has appeared on Food Network's Emeril Live Barbecue Contest. The author of a several food-related books including, “Smoke in the Mountains: The Art of Appalachian Barbecue” and “Checkered Flag Cooking: Tailgating Stock Car Racing Ken lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife Ally, son Macee and three dogs.
 An e-copy of this book was provided by the publisher History Publisher Company, LLC via NetGalley. This review is based on my own reading and research and is recommended to readers who enjoy history, especially the World War II era and the those interested in food, cooking and cooking related stories from "The Greatest Generation."

Check out General Eisenhower's recipe for vegetable soup (page 196).

My thanks to History Publisher Company, Ken Whitaker and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Into The Whirlwind ~ A Novel Review

October 1871

On the night of the Great Chicago Fire, Mollie Knox's carefully constructed life and the future of the 57th Illinois Watch Company is nearly destroyed. With everything at risk, including her heart, Mollie is determined to save her late father's beloved business and the band of loyal employees who now depend on her.

This is a well-researched and well-written novel with strong Christian themes, interesting characters, an authentic setting, and enough intrigue to keep the reader turning the page. Also, I am a fan of this cover, nicely done.

Thank you, Bethany House, for a chance to read this story and become acquainted with author Elizabeth Camden. A copy of this novel was sent to me for review purposes, they words and thoughts in this review are my own.

Elizabeth Camden is the award-winning author of four books, including Against the Tide (2012), winner of a RITA Award, Christy Award, and Daphne du Maurier Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida.

Visit her website at: to read the opening chapter of Into The Whirlwind (and check out her other historical novels.)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning To Be Free

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist

By Amanda Jenkins 

Change, real change, like real life, is hardly ever easy and almost always messy. The path to transformation can be costly, is rarely efficient, and like most renovations can take a lot longer than estimated. Curious? Just ask Amanda Jenkins’ about her own crazy journey to perfection and what she learned along the way.

If you’re stuck replaying a past filled with personal failures or have too many goals on your to-do-list you might enjoy reading the confessions of an avowed list maker and stat keeper. Ms. Jenkins has found a better path by questioning her own goals and seeking God's advice.

A dozen worthwhile themes are addressed in here (goals need to be both flexible and thoughtful).  The book is divided into chapters (Vanity, Money, Recognition, Pride are a few titles) and is based on her own experiences and journal entries. Written from with a Christian viewpoint (she is the daughter-in-law of multimillionaire and New York Times Best Selling Author Jerry Jenkins ) the book contains page after page of long biblical passages from a number of different translations. While not my favorite approach perhaps some readers will find the answers they are looking for among the different voices.

The final chapter, New Chapter, contains questions for Bible Study groups, book clubs, private reflection and offers real tools to help the active participant embrace growth.


Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for the review copy.

Like a Field of Clouds, Fluffy and White

Shelly Graham is doing the unthinkable; she's coming home to her old bedroom where nothing has changed. Awaiting her are the twin wrought-iron beds, the painted pine desk, and the white clouds her sister had painted on the ceiling. The room hadn't changed but Shelly certainly has and its not just her finances that are in turmoil.

Best-selling author Robin Jones Gunn has written a pleasant Christian novel about starting over when life doesn't show up the way you hoped it would. Clouds is the fifth novel in The Glenbrooke Series.To learn more about the author check out her website here:

To order a copy of this novel:

A copy of this book was provided by Multnomah for review purposes. The words are my own.

Cardinal Dolan Praying in Rome

 Cardinal Timothy Dolan brought down the house on September 3rd, 2013. No, not at St. Patrick's Cathedral, but on the "Colbert Report," where the good Cardinal traded jabs with host Stephen Colbert, and discussed his bestselling e-book original, Praying in Rome.

Praying in Rome is Cardinal Dolan's personal reflection of his time in the Conclave that elected Pope Francis in early 2013. Full of his characteristic good humor, the book chronicles the myriad of emotions he felt during the resignation of Pope Benedict and during the process of electing the next Vicar of Christ.

During his conversation with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night, Cardinal Dolan joked that only his mother and Colbert had read Praying in Rome. In truth, his bestselling e-book has garnered enormous praise for its honesty, insight and humor.

Timothy Dolan Pt. 2: If Timothy Dolan were pope, he'd choose the name Stephen.

Information on ordering Praying for Rome here:

A Pilgrim's Tale, Ian Morgan Cron is Chasing Francis

"Pastor Chase Falson has lost his faith-and he did it right in front of the congregation of his mega church. Now the elders want him to take some time away. Far away. So Chase crosses the Atlantic to Italy to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest, where he encounters the teachings of Francis of Assisi and rediscover his ancient faith."  (back cover)

Pastor Chase is a man on a spiritual mission. The life and church he created is no longer working for either Chase or the young people who need more than a "McDonaldized Jesus" and the empty promise of "...a more victorious spiritual life in three easy steps."

"So where is God?" becomes the question that needs more than a scripted answer...something more than an appealing and easily digested "...brand of religion...." When nine year old Iris dies Chase's carefully constructed faith is no longer logical or straightforward.

Chase Falson's story reads more like a memoir than a novel and is sure to inspire any reader who seeks to find their own story beyond the labels.  The second part of Chasing Francis offers seekers a wonderful guided pilgrimage based on the voluntary life of St. Francis of Assisi. (Note: the collected bibliography is truly a treasure for those readers who want to continue the journey.)

Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron masterfully weaves lessons from the life of Saint Francis into the story of Chase Falson to explore the life of a saint who 800 years ago breathed new life into disillusioned Christians and a Church on the brink of collapse. Chasing Francis is a hopeful and moving story with profound implications for those who yearn for a more vital relationship with God and the world.

To learn more about the author and download two free chapters visit Ian's website here: