Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: The Loving Kitchen: Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends, and Neighbors by LeAnn Rice

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401605265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401605261

Book Description

The Loving Kitchen is a collection of comforting recipes straight from the kitchen of popular food blogger LeAnn Rice.

You know the feeling you get when you’re an overnight guest in someone’s home, and you awaken to a hot-off-the-griddle breakfast? Or when a coworker brings in a pan of her famous brownies to celebrate your recent promotion? Doesn’t it feel great when dinner at the neighbors’ house includes multiple courses of scratch-made recipes and conversation that lingers beyond dessert and that last cup of coffee?

For many of us, these are the moments in which we feel most loved. That’s the idea behind The Loving Kitchen. Get your family’s day started right with LeAnn’s fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, or a bowl of Almond Coconut Granola and yogurt. Keep your favorite sports fans fueled through the entire game with hearty servings of Hot Sausage and Spinach Dip, or toss together a Grilled Chicken and Berry Salad for lunch with your dearest girlfriends.

Want a signature dinner you can serve on those special occasions? Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Orange Cranberry Glaze with Creamy Smashed Baby Potatoes is the perfect meal to celebrate a milestone. LeAnn’s sunny narrative and ideas for bringing people together will remind you that the best meal you’ll ever cook is the one you prepare as an act of love.

About the Author

 LeAnn Rice is an approachable voice of wisdom in hospitality. Her heart is in welcoming the neighbor, nurturing the family, and feeding the community. She reaches tens of thousands through her popular food blog,, a site she developed as an outreach tool. 

My Review

I am reviewing the digital copy of this cookbook.  While I enjoy physical copies of cookbooks, I am becoming quite proficient at utilizing cookbooks on my iPad. The Loving Kitchen is very easy to use on my iPad.

This is a wonderful addition to my cookbook collection. I love southern cooking and this cookbook contains many recipes that I know I will refer to again and again. The cookbook consists of seven chapters of recipes:
  •  Morning Fare
  • Bountiful Breads
  • Starters and Salads
  • Soups and Sandwiches
  • Entrees
  • Vegetables and Sides
  • Desserts
 It also has two sections at the end, Reaching Out and Gathering In, that are very helpful in suggesting ways to reach out to people.  The Reaching Out chapter begins with one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain:  "Twenty years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did." A good reminder to reach out to those who need help...the ones who need it the most are not going to ask.

Just in the first chapter alone I found two recipes I am going to try soon:  Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and Bacon and Sugared Bacon. It has some great chicken recipes: Crispy Southern Fried Chicken, Crunchy Herbed Chicken and Chicken Marsala. There are a multitude of desserts to try as well...Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie and Key Lime Pie to name a few.

I highly recommend this cookbook. It is well laid out and has lots of photos illustrating the recipes. Very impressed and this will be one of my go to cookbooks.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery by Nancy Allen

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 660 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Witness Impulse (April 15 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ESEE84S

Book Description

To uncover the truth, she'll have to break the code of the hills …

In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.

When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.

But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.

While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance ...

A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter's Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke's thrillers.

“What a terrific book--strong, tough, smart and powerful. This compassionate and compelling mystery reveals the disturbing reality of one woman’s quest for justice--while a bleak and sinister culture tries to bury the truth.”
— Hank Phillippi Ryan, the Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha, and Anthony Award-winning author of The Wrong Girl

About the Author

Nancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She’s tried over 30 jury cases, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. The Code of the Hills is her first novel. 

My Review

Riveting. Powerful. I could not put it down. The Code of the Hills brings the subject of incest and abuse to the forefront. Somethings are never talked about. In this book, they are being talked about.

Elsie Arnold is a prosecutor with no shortage of faults. And it is her faults that make her human. Make her feel. Make her want what is right. While trying to follow the rules.

Author Nancy Allen is a brilliant storyteller. This is a riveting and suspenseful tale. Elsie cannot fail in her mission. Young lives are dependent on her success. Your heart will race and you won't be able to put this book down until you've finished.

Highly recommend The Code of the Hills. Nancy Allen is a great new voice. I'm looking forward to her next novel already.

Review: NIV Life Journey Bible Find the Answers for Your Whole Life Published by Zondervan

  • Hardcover: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1st edition (July 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310948959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310948957

Book Description

This Bible is geared for people seeking personal growth, which includes emotional health and wholeness.

It can be difficult to translate God’s word into an effective plan to stay spiritually healthy, especially as we grow and enter new phases in our lives. The Bible always holds relevant lessons, but sometimes it takes an experienced guide to help you grow, wherever you may be in your life. Doctors Henry Cloud and John Townsend—bestselling authors of How People Grow and the Boundaries series—bring you the NIV Life Journey Bible, the full text of the Bible’s most accessible translation paired with their own acclaimed teachings. This Bible provides invaluable support for personal growth and wholeness.
  • 300 insights
  • Excerpts from Cloud and Townsend’s previously published material
  • 40 profiles of biblical figures
  • 66 book introductions
  • Key growth principles in each book of the Bible
  • 20 essays and longer articles about topics such as growth, grief, relationships, etc.

My Review

I have a digital copy of this bible to review. It is a wonderful addition to my biblical reference collection. This bible is unique in that it provides insight for people who are looking for emotional growth in their personal study of the Word. These insights are provided by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

The NIV Life Journey Bible has a productive layout that provides quick and easy access for the readers. It has a reading plan and it has introductions to each book of the bible. It has essays that cover topics such as grief. It also has biblical figure profiles.

All in all a well laid out and very helpful bible. I recommend this bible to people looking to grow their faith.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady #16) by J.A. Jance

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 22 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G29VYKS

Remains of Innocence

Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.

About the Author

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and four interrelated thrillers about the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle and Tucson.

My Review

 I do enjoy a well-written mystery by J.A. Jance! Remains of Innocence is a great addition to the Joanna Brady series which is set in very southern Arizona in the historic town of Bisbee. There are two different cases in Remains of Innocence. In the first case, a mentally disabled man is found at the bottom of a glory hole. Has he been murdered or did he commit suicide? And who has been killing and torturing small animals?

In the second case, a young woman finds money hidden all over the house of her hoarder mother. Liza Machette, the young woman, is faced with many questions when her mother passes away. Her mother's house is burnt down then people close to Liza start dying. Liza secretly heads out to Bisbee where her half brother is the medical examiner not knowing that he has been tortured and murdered.

Lots of great suspense and twists and turns. Great read. If you are a J.A. Jance fan then you are going to love this book. If you haven't discovered  J.A. Jance yet, then it is about time! Remains of Innocence is the 16th book in the Joanna Brady series.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: NIV New Spirit-Filled Life Bible Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word By Jack Hayford (Executive Editor)

  • Hardcover: 1920 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401678211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401678210
Book Description

Find the Holy Spirit throughout the Bible. Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way, has led a team of anointed scholars to produce the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible. This outstanding resource offers a fresh look at the Scriptures and the work of the Holy Spirit. This Bible addresses important issues of Spirit-filled living in the context of solid biblical scholarship.
Features include:
  • Kingdom Dynamics—41 themes throughout the Bible that give us values as we advance the gospel throughout the world
  • Word Wealth—More than 550 key terms defined and brought to life, pulling the language from the original Greek and Hebrew into everyday English
  • Truth-In-Action—Charts with practical application from every book of the Bible
  • Detailed book introductions
  • Verse-by-verse study notes

About the Author

Dr. Jack Hayford is president of The King’s University in Los Angeles, which he founded in 1997. From 2004 to 2009, he also served as President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He is probably best known, however, as “Pastor Jack,” founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. Pastor Hayford has penned more than 52 books and composed 600 hymns and choruses.

My Review

The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible is a different bible than those that I usually utilize for bible study. It is a great addition to my collection. Each book begins with a summary that includes the author, date, content, personal application, Christ revealed and the Holy Spirit at work. There are boxes that contain word wealth which defines words as well as putting them into context. Other boxes contain Kingdom Dynamics which explains biblical themes. Also there are Truth-In -Action at the end of each book which helps you apply biblical truths.

The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible is written in simple English which is helpful for both new and mature believers. Give this bible a chance. I know you'll find it very helpful and insightful.