I was bored today...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

...so I made cupcakes!

I found this recipe for White Almond Sour Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting a few days ago on Julie's website, The Little Kitchen and decided to give them a try today!

For Love or Loyalty: MacGregor Legacy, Book One by Jennifer Hudson Taylor (My Review)

Monday, July 21, 2014

For Love or Loyalty
by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Copyright 2013
Abingdon Press
ISBN: 9781426714696
The Story:
To atone for her father's evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she's the bargaining price to free Malcolm's mother from indentured servitude, it's too late.

Malcolm MacGregor only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan's life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he's sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: free his family or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.

To read more about the book and the author, visit Jennifer's website:

Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I just got back from a 30 mile ride on the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail (seriously, if you love wildlife and coal/steel history, this trail is AWESOME!) and am proud of my accomplishment. I know, I know, a guy passed me on the trail wearing a shirt bragging that he biked 12,000 miles in 2009 so 30 might not seem like a big deal, but it totally is for a couch potato like me! I've never went for more than 15 miles, so doubling up and going 30 is huge! It's time I got a little more fit and since I don't have a gym membership and I don't like to run or jog, biking was the answer. I hope to hit the trails more often and hopefully go even further next time.

Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie (My Review)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hope at Dawn
by Stacy Henrie
Copyright 2014
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 9781455598809
The Story:

With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . .

More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.

To learn more about Stacy Henrie be sure to visit her website:

My Thoughts:
Some days just call for a sweet, simple romance -- Stacy Henrie's Hope at Dawn is that kind of read. Of Love and War promises to be a must-read series if the books that follow are half as good as the first. With series' like Downton Abbey bringing more interest to the World War I and the difficult years that followed, it's nice to be getting more books set during that time from authors across the romance genre. Henrie's Hope at Dawn is a "sweet" romance with Christian themes woven throughout that focuses not on the warfront, but what life was like for German Americans living in the US.

It's Official...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

there's going to be a series 4 of Sherlock that will consist of not the traditional (or nontraditional, depending on how you look at it) three, but FOUR episodes! Filming starts in January '15 for the "special", with filming to begin later in the year for the other three episodes. ASDFGHJKL!!! I can't even!!!!!

Read the press release on the Masterpiece site.

Image from PBS.org

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin (My Review)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

For Such a Time
by Kate Breslin
Copyright 2014
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764211607
The Story:
Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther 

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. 

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

My Thoughts:
When it comes to the story of Esther, I'm always intrigued. I've read a few retellings in my time and I've enjoyed most of them. Kate Breslin's debut novel, For Such a Time is one of those novels. While not perfect, it is certainly an interesting, thought-provoking, and dramatic read.

Hadassah Benjamin is saved from a Nazi firing squad only to fall into the hands of a potentially more dangerous foe, SS Colonel Aric von Schmidt. Keeping her Jewish identity a secret soon becomes top priority for "Stella". In order to save as man of her people as possible, she must also stay on the Colonel's good side. Little does she know that Aric is a multi-faceted guy and there is more to him than meets the eye.