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A Bargained For Bride: Book Review

a-bargained-200x300It is a rare occasion in which I finish a book (Well, technically a Novella) and feel at peace.  In other words, don’t feel like the story ended too soon or wasn’t enough.  This one gave me that feeling.  Not only did it give me a feeling of peace after reading it, I was happy.  Super happy for Jill and Boone, at the transitions they had adjusted to and the growing they had done as well as pleased with the way the story unwound itself.  Marcia Lynn McClure brought out deep thought and introspection in a very pleasing manner.  After reading A Bargained For Bride I slept peacefully and dreamt dreams of a woman who appreciated the love within her own life.  If you are looking for a book to read and don’t have much time, this book is perfect.  It will remind you how you truly feel about your loved one and give the desire for insight into the decisions of another time and place.

I truly enjoyed this book.  I loved that it was short and I truly enjoyed the whole gist of the story.  This is truly a good read, one that will help you relax.  So, get your hot cocoa and a blanket and curl up with this one!  You won’t regret it!

A Bargained-For Bride by Marcia Lynn McClure (Novella)

Excerpt

“You’re the sweetest girl in Mourning Dove Creek, you know?” Jack mumbled as he paused in kissing Jilly a moment.

Jilly smiled. “And you’re the handsomest man in Mourning Dove Creek, you know,” she flirted in return.

Jack smiled. “I do know,” he said.

Jilly giggled. Jack Taylor was so predictable—and a little conceited. He really did think he was the handsomest man in Mourning Dove—and he was, for the most part.

Secretly, however, if Jilly ever allowed herself to be completely honest about it (which she tried to avoid), there was one other man in Mourning Dove who always crossed her mind when the subject of the handsomest man in town arose. Yet there was no lingering on thinking of that man—no sirree! Not for a moment! Not for any reason—ever. And so Jilly just kept telling Jack that he was the handsomest man in Mourning Dove Creek. Besides, it was almost true—being that the other man lived outside of town and not right in town the way Jack did

Author Marcia Lynn McClure

marcia-237x300Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

Originally posted 2013-10-28 00:01:04.

Peach Mango Sorbet Recipe

Peach Sorbet Recipe

We spend a lot of time in a small coastal town called Beaufort, in eastern North Carolina, which is where the inspiration for IXEOS came from. In the summer, virtually everything we eat comes from the seafood market or farmers’ stands. One of our favorite things is fresh peach mango sorbet. Here’s the recipe:

PEACH MANGO SORBET

Approximately 5-6 fresh, ripe peaches, peeled and chopped

1 small ripe mango (regular or champagne), peeled and chopped

juice of 1 lime

½-1 cup simple syrup (recipe below)

3 tbsp vodka

ginger ale

Puree the peaches and mango with the lime juice and ½ cup of simple syrup.

Add the vodka (you won’t taste it, but it will keep ice crystals from forming in the sorbet). Taste and adjust sweetness with more simple syrup (will vary depending on sweetness of the peaches). Add ginger ale to make 5 cups.

Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

SIMPLE SYRUP

Mix even quantities of water and sugar in a small saucepan (ie. 1 cup of each).  Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar crystals are gone. Let cool before using in sorbet.

Keep leftover syrup in the fridge for up to 2 week.

NOTE:

You can use this basic recipe to make all kinds of fruit sorbets. Most ice cream makers take about 5 cups. When I make grapefruit sorbet, I juice about 4 cups of fresh juice, and add 1 cup of syrup (again, depends on the flavor of the grapefruit).

Fresh strawberry or strawberry mango sorbet is also delicious! The mango in these recipes enhances the other fruit without being a noticeable ingredient – I don’t even like mango on its own, but in sorbet it is excellent!

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ixeos rebIxeos Rebellion

With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs.

As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?

 

Ixeos

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.

 

 

Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Originally posted 2013-07-21 08:24:35.

Weirder Than Marshmallows Book Review

Weirder Than MarshmallowsSponsored by Tomoson.com

Wierder Than Marshmallows was written by Dan Fogg.  It’s a collection of essays on various thoughts published by Night Fire Publications.  The thoughts are seemingly random, but quite relevant as they are ones we all think of.  Written as an attempt to be witty, I think the author had a great collection of ideas!  The delivery leaves enough to get your thoughts rolling and smart retorts flying around your head!  It is quite entertaining, and brings even more entertaining thoughts!

As of right now, the book is only available in PDF form, but it will keep you entertained when you need a moment of escape!  It is currently available for sale on the Kindle.

It would make a great gift for the Know-It-All in your life, or simply one to provoke conversation!

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2011-12-07 10:52:00.

Ora’s Gold Thoughts & Giveaway

I’ve read many books that I didn’t want to put down.  It was like I had to read them through as fast as I could, as if I had to live in the book or else face my mortality.  Ora’s Gold was the first book I’ve ever read that I felt like was a treasure that I had to ration out, knowing that it would end and I couldn’t just run right through it.  I wanted to savor each page without distraction, without losing anything by reading with speed.  When I read, I was gone.  Lost in a world painted so clearly by Charlotte Young that I felt both detached from my real world and desperate to help in hers.

Charlotte Young was able to paint a world so clearly that it seemed real, so that when I was not reading I was thinking of the problems of the world, only the problems I was thinking about weren’t the real world.  Without giving a spoiler, I’ll simply say that I had to help somehow, which obviously is impossible since it’s not a real world.  Many authors are unable to accomplish this level of reality in their story telling and I appreciate the talent of Ms. Young.

More often than not, book endings tend to leave me feeling like something is incomplete or lacking in some way.  The ending to Ora’s Gold left me feeling as if a chapter was closed.  It was not necessarily negative, I could go back anytime to that world but I didn’t feel like injustice had taken place or I’d been left hanging like I do many times when I read.  Honestly, it’s difficult to explain the way it made me feel.

Obviously, I greatly recommend Ora’s Gold.  I’m looking forward to reading more books by Charlotte Young and while in the past I almost never re-read anything, I’ll be revisiting Ora’s Gold.

About the Book

Australia is ruled by the SIF. The Special Investigation Force
controls everything. Water, food, fuel … women’s bodies.
18-year-old Ora has never questioned their authority; everyone knows
it’s all for the ‘safety of the nation’. But Ora’s decision to
move in with her aunt is a bad one. She’s just landed herself in the
middle of nowhere with a deluded activist who wants to change the
world, one illegal birth at a time. Sooner or later someone is going
to die and Ora doesn’t know where to turn.
The beach is her only sanctuary and it’s here that she meets Jake,
thoughtful and experienced, who encourages her to live a little. So
why is it that as soon as she starts to have some fun, everything goes
dangerously wrong?

About the Author

Writing and storytelling are a big part of my life. Whether it’s telling the stories myself, or collecting them from others, words have power and I love using them. I’ve written and edited for numerous parenting publications and was the co-publisher of Barefoot Magazine for three years. I’m the author of a book for breastfeeding mothers and my debut novel for young adults, “Ora’s Gold” will be out in August 2016.

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Summer Under My Quilt

Introducing the debut Author Crystal Sellers with a story of love, life, and learning to let go.

CrystalSellers

Smmer Under My Quilt

Megan Creeway spent the summer at her grandparent’s lake house. Her life had imploded and she didn’t know how to get it back. Her husband was a cheat, her son was outgrowing his mother, and her grandpa was very sick. Seeking refuge from it all, the one thing she did not expect, was to find herself being courted by the very handsome local Pastor.
Reid Stone was finally enjoying his life three years after a divorce. He started over in the quaint town of Lake Charlotte as the pastor of the local church. He quickly made friends yet still led a peaceful quiet life of bachelorhood.

An Excerpt from the novel

He appeared just as captivated by the fireflies as she had just been a moment ago, watching them dance in the air above the wheat field. It was all so majestic, like a carefully orchestrated Broadway play. One thing Megan always enjoyed was how the night sounds of the country took her far away from reality.

My Thoughts

You can read my original review on Good Reads but the skinny is: I LOVED this book!  It was a great read; wonderful story of home, family, love and triumph over trials.  It’s a definite page turner that you just don’t want to put down.  The story will warm your heart while giving you a sense of peace and comfort about the world.  The characters are well written and I felt like I knew them when I was done reading about them, like somehow they could be friends or family of mine.  Though I’m not sure what would take place, I’d love to read a sequel to this book because, frankly, I feel like I miss them.  While reading the book, they became very real to me.  I can imagine the lives the characters would continue to live and what they might be doing, but I’d love to read it from the author’s perspective.

Author’s Links

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Facebook

 

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Zion’s Call Excerpt

Zions Call

Zion’s Call by Jeremy Maughan

1830’s LDS Historical Fiction

Howard Egan has left his life at sea to try his hand at the new america. A dream of owning land and a better life for himself. More than anything he wants to find a woman to spend this new life together. To his surprise he finds her on his first day on shore. He just didn’t expect her to be so beautiful or to be so harsh.

Thrown into the middle of a political firestorm between a Mormon missionary and local business men. Tasked with being the Mormon’s Bodyguard Howard has to find a way to secure his love, fulfill his duty and keep himself and the Mormon alive.

 

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Excerpt
Howard spoke up. “Ladies.”
The three turned to face him. The woman in the center gave him an exasperated look. “Pardon me?” she asked. “Did you speak to us?” She looked him up and down. She gave a little click of her tongue and looked on unapprovingly.
Howard was taken aback by her harsh tone. He struggled to get words out, “Yes. “He stammered, “I wanted to meet you.” he said slowly so he could be understood. He cursed his swollen tongue.
The girl on the left giggled a little, the one in the middle gave her a rueful glance before looking back at Howard. She frowned. “Do you always speak like you have a mouth full of marbles? Are boots a foreign concept from where you’re from?”
Howard started to turn red. He didn’t expect to be talked down to by this woman or any other. His anger started to rise. “I just wanted to meet you and get your name.”
“A little forward aren’t you sir? I don’t think you gave me yours, for starters.”
“My apologies ladies. I am Howard.” He said putting one hand to his breast.
The girl on the left raised her eyebrows, waiting for more. “Just Howard? Are we to call you Mr. Howard?” she asked.
He looked at the other girl. Are all girls of Salem so forked tongued, he thought, or just these? “Sorry, Howard Egan.” He again found his name difficult to pronounce correctly.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Egan” the girl on the right said.
“I don’t know about that,” the black haired girl said. “Come, ladies.”
The three turned to go.
Howard took a step closer. “I didn’t get your names.” He didn’t want them to leave.
They turned again. The girl in the middle tapped her toe lightly on the cobble stones. “No, and you didn’t earn the right.” She paused to look him over again. “Clean up. Stop fighting and some day you will get to. But not today.”
She looked up at the wagon and saw the man sitting there. She nodded quickly to him and said, “Good day Mr. Chisholm. How is Mrs. Chisholm?”
“Good day to you too. She is doing well. You will have to come by sometime for pie. She so does love your company.” Mr. Chisholm replied.
“I just might do that.”
She turned and looked at Howard. He felt he was being judged, like a pig at the fair.
“Do you know this man?” she asked,
“I do. I have agreed to take him on as an apprentice.”
She inspected him one more time and looked back at Mr. Chisholm. “Well you must see something I don’t then.”
“I suspect my wife will feel the same way.” “Good Day, Mr. Chisholm” She inclined her head. Her friends did the same. The curls framing the black haired girl’s face bounced as she nodded. “It was a pleasure seeing you. I will take you up on your wife’s pies.”
They turned to leave, leaving Howard standing dumbstruck in the road.
Mr. Chisholm looked down and saw Howard was still watching the women walk away. He laughed and called to Howard to climb back on. Once he was back on the wagon, Howard asked, “Who is that girl?”
“I don’t know if it is my place to tell you. She made it pretty clear she didn’t want you to know her name. As well as I can remember, she has always been like that.” Mr. Chisholm replied.

Jeremy MaughanAuthor Jeremy Maughan

Jeremy Maughan a seventh generation member of the LDS Church, was born February 1978 in Provo Utah. As a young man he had a passion for reading. One of his fondest memories is laying on the back on his parents boat reading for days at Lake Powell. He would spend days reading Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, David Eddings,Terry Pratchett and many of great fantasy writers. He says that the only way he passed English in high school was because his teachers allowed him to turn in book reports as extra credit.
After High School Jeremy attended Devry Institute of Technology and studied to become a programmer. After two semesters he dropped out, having already landed a great programming job. He didn’t find the need to continue his education to get a job he already had.
A few short months after dropping out of school he was convinced by a close friend, who was a recent convert to the LDS church, to serve a mission. In May of 1997 he was called to serve in the Oregon Portland mission. He reported to the MTC just 6 weeks after submitting his mission papers. There he gained a deep testimony of the gospel that has stayed with him throughout his life.
Once he returned home from his mission his love of the North West pulled at him and he moved to Seattle to pursue his profession programming career. While attending institute his meet the love of his life and married her for time and all eternity in the Timpanogos Temple. In their 14 years of marriage they have had 5 children. Two boys and three girls.
Jeremy’s writing career started with a simple 30 day challenge and the desire to fulfill a item on his bucket list. Wanting to do a challenge to write every day for 30 days he needed something to write about. After days of struggle he was studying the writings C.S. Lewis and was inspired by the story behind The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Jeremy decided to follow in Lewis’s footsteps and write about his own children. A story was hatched and he set out to write a novel for his kids and about his kids.
He caught the writing bug and has written many stories for his family and friends. His most recent work, “ZIon’s Call” is a full length historical fiction novel based on one of his ancestors and his conversion to the gospel.

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Grizzly Trade

Grizzly TradeA comfy spot will not do you justice with this action packed book full of twists and turns.  I promise you’ll be on the edge of your seat with this great Alaskan adventure!  Needless to say, I loved The Grizzly Trade!  It was such a great read!  It did cause a little issue with my husband, as he had problems with my inability to put the book down and focus on what he was trying to tell me….  for days.  LOL.  No worries though, he got over being mad and I got to finish my book!

I have to say, even his author bio is written in such a way that I was interested, and I’ll admit that I normally just skip right over those.  I know, I’m terrible.  While Grizzly Trade is not a title or amongst a genre I would normally read, I was super thankful that I read it!  It was unpredictable, exciting and fresh.  I even learned a little about Alaskan wild life!  Even if you don’t normally read these types of books, let me assure you that it is so well written you will be too riveted to put it down.

About the Book

GRIZZLY TRADE is a novel set in Alaska that goes beyond the old Jack London themes. Sliding seamlessly between pathos and humor, GRIZZLY TRADE is a raucous romp through the Alaskan wilderness.

A taciturn Vietnam vet named Red just wants to be left alone in his Alaskan retreat, but when he starts to find dead bears in the forest with their paws hacked off, he is forced to wage war once more, and this time he intends to win. Tim Branson is a gregarious small-town reporter, looking for a news story that sizzles.  Despite their differences, Red and Branson are forced to become allies when a methamphetamine addict and an unemployed lumberjack start selling bear gallbladders and paws on the Asian aphrodisiac market.

While trying to track down the poachers, Red and Branson discover toxic chemicals dumped on the pristine salmon fishing grounds.  Accusations fly and the entire town takes sides.  Tim’s job and Red’s sanity are at stake as they try to find the connection between the bear killings and the environmental disaster.

About the Author

profile-1Dale Brandenburger wanted to become a novelist after studying journalism at University of Maryland, but he realized he hadn’t experienced anything worth writing about, so, in 1982, he moved to Alaska. He began working for the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game in 1984. At the urging of his boss, he earned a degree in environmental science from Sheldon Jackson College and became a fisheries biologist. He excelled at his new career and writing took a back seat, although he always kept a journal and collected stories. Thirty years later, he found he had enough material for 10 novels, but he didn’t want to re-hash the Jack London theme of man struggling against nature. He wanted to write a fast-paced character-driven novel that included a touch of pathos along with the sense of humor that is so much a part of the Alaskan spirit. GRIZZLY TRADE is his first novel. Dale Brandenburger lives in Juneau, Alaska, and is currently working on his second novel.
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Small Talk

Small Talk“Out of the Mouths of Babes” is a phrase that goes back to Biblical times where it can be found in Matthew 21:16

“and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

As it implies, the pure honesty that sometimes comes out of the minds of children too small to truly know what they are saying can truly be just the thought we need to hear.  I truly believe that it is that wisdom that comes from their ability to hear God speak in a way that we learn to ignore, doubt and even block out as we grow up.  In ‘Small Talk’ Amy Julia Becker shares with us some of the lessons she has learned from the innocent and loving words that sometimes pour out of the hearts and minds of her children.  I truly enjoyed reading her book and I hope and pray that it touches you as well.  There were moments when those words her children spoke to her touched me as well and I am grateful that God put it on her heart to share with us.

About the Book

Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the Author

Amy Julia BeckerAmy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.
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