Friday, January 29, 2016

Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander

Can Love Redeem
A Broken Past?

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she'll have her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He's glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn't possible when he can't get the young widow Shelby off his mind.

Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and personal history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

Publisher: Revell, 2016
Cover Design: Studio Gearbox
Cover Collage: Shutterstock
Author Photo: Jodie Westfall Photography

My Review
A beautiful novel that explores the meaning of home and the people we share it with.

Widow Shelby Kincaid returns to the family farm established by her ancestors to raise her two daughters in a place that holds so many wonderful memories for her. Upon her arrival, she meets AJ Sullivan, the man who inherited Misty Willow, who has finally agreed to a rent-to-own contract. Their families have been rivals for years, and Shelby can't wait to have the farm back in her family's possession. But as time passes, Shelby realizes AJ isn't like the rest of the Sullivan's and despite her attempts to shut him out, he slowly works his way into her heart. 

Full of twists, emotion, and lovable characters, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, family sagas, and those who believe in the meaning of home. I give this book 4 stars!

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee. Learn more at

Thursday, January 28, 2016

With this Ring? Historical Romance Collection

Sometimes Love Is Found in
the Most Unexpected Places!

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives.

Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2016
Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears
Cover Design: Koechel Peterson & Associates, Inc./Gregory Rohm

My Review
I loved this historical romance collection of proposals gone awry. Four of my favorite Christian authors teamed up to provide four entertaining and realistic novellas that prove happily-ever-afters don't always play out the way we want them to. Full of conflict, unique set-ups, and the humor these authors are known for, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun, feel good romance with strong characters. I give this book 5 stars!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

7-Layer Dip

Here's a simple and delicious go-to recipe, great for get-togethers and watching winter sports.

7-Layer Dip
Candice Sue Patterson

1 cup Mexican-style cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1- 16oz can of refried beans
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed
lime juice
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
6 tomatoes, diced

Make the pico de gallo by mixing tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze approximately 2 tbsp of lime juice over the mixture. Sprinkle with salt. Stir it all together and set aside.

Add the mashed avocado to a separate bowl.

In another bowl, mix the taco seasoning with the refried beans. Spread the bean mixture in a flat layer on a platter or deep dish. Spread on a layer of guacamole (mashed avocados), then a layer of sour cream. Sprinkle on the cheese. Spoon on the pico de gallo. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top.

Feel free to play around with this recipe by adding more ingredients you love, like corn or black olives.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Year in Review

2015 brought unexpected events. Some good, some bad. 

The farm aspect of our "hobby farm" went from growing to non-existent. Spring brought a tough trial, which prevented us from having the time to plant our yearly vegetable garden. Our chicken flock became dinner for hungry foxes. Our peach trees weren't as productive as usual, and our plan of getting sheep didn't pan out. 

But the year also brought wonderful blessings. So as I set new goals for 2016 and plan events, I've decided to share the highlights of the past year. 

My debut novel was contracted by Pelican Book Group for release in late 2016!

We had milestone birthdays!
5, 11, and 13

We went to Disney World!

We got to take part in director Scott Paul's documentary on "The Home."

The kids had a successful year in 4-H!

Hubby and I toured Louisville, Kentucky in a bi-plane.

I participated in some wonderful and uplifting writer's meetings. 

We carried on our family traditions.

Our family is growing! The head above mine is to be my new sister-in-law!

I signed a contract for a new contemporary romance titled Preserving Liberty
for release in 2017!

I can't wait to see what this year brings!