Friday, July 27, 2012

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

Libby is just trying to make ends meet by combining her love of old homes with a job helping investors return old homes to their former glory. When she witnesses her partner's kidnapping on Hope Beach, life becomes much more complicated. In between her attempts to find Nicole and discovering a family she never realized she had, Libby must discover who she is.
I thought this novel was wonderful! The author did a great job of combining mystery, suspense, and the constant struggle to live up to the standards that Jesus set for Christians. The characters are believable and the suspense riveting. I think one of the things I personally enjoyed about the book is that Libby has a love for old homes, so the story features several. I liked that, since my husband and I are remodeling an old home.:D

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Best tomato soup ever!

Roasted tomato soup


3 pounds tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Salt and pepper to taste


Core tomatoes; place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1/4 cup oil; sprinkle with garlic and thyme. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
In a large saucepan, saute onion in remaining oil until softened. Add roasted tomatoes and basil; cook for 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Put through a sieve or food mill; return puree to pan. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm cream (do not boil). Stir the cream, salt and pepper into soup. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Veil of Pearls by Mary Lu Tyndall

The year is 1811 and Adalia Winston has decided to escape from her cruel Barbados master. Though she is able to escape the island and make a new life for herself in Charleston as an assistant to a local doctor, Adalia is soon swept away by the glitter of being a small part of society.
I liked that this book was so unlike most Christian novels in that the author actually portrayed wealth in a different light. While it isn't wrong to want to have a life of ease, it isn't write when one becomes a slave to wealth or addictions. To many times, I think we get caught in the trap of thinking that God wants us to be wealthy, when really, He wants us to choose Him and follow where He leads, even if that means poverty.
The story might be a bit unbelievable, but it has a great message. I highly recommend this one!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie

Life is predictable for the Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton. That is, until the Fall of 1818 when he starts to experience a unaccounted loss of hearing and then is called upon to be the guardian for Alexandria Featherstone. The only problem is, his headstrong young ward doesn't believe that her parents are dead. Famed treasure seekers, Alex feels like she would feel their loss. To prove that her parents are still alive, she embarks on an adventure to discover the treasure they were seeking, hoping that it will lead her to them.
I found the characters in this story to be fun and quirky. I liked that it wasn't just a story about a couple of people, but that the secondary characters develop too.
I read the sequels and decided not to do a full review on them, since the first book was by far the best. I would recommend stopped with the first, since the story descends into a truly unbelievable tale.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nine loves

So, nine things I love. Do I do the obvious? The obvious would be God, my husband, family, and friends. I could extoll the virtues of my in-laws, since I have been quite blessed in that department.;) Instead, though, I think I will go with random again.

1. Baking. Andrew gives me hard time about how I do it for a job and then come home and bake in my free time. I don't know why, but I find it enjoyable to create something yummy.:D My favorite is trying new recipes out.

2. Gerber daisies. Seriously, how can those sunny flowers not brighten your day?:D

3. Photography, though I am afraid that my camera is kind of acting up at the moment. Still trying to figure out what I did to make the colors go a bit... off.

4. Ice cream on hot days (like the ones we have been having!). Whoever invented ice cream, I thank you.:D

5. Australia: you will not find a more welcoming country.;) I dream of taking Andrew to see it for himself!

6. Chai tea made out of a good, strong, black tea. It hits the spot on cold mornings.

7. Old houses, even if they are a tremendous amount of work.;)

8. Going bargain hunting at a thrift store or garage sale and discovering just what you need for a small fraction of the original price.

9. C.S. Lewis, particularly the way his writing makes you think about the simple things in a whole new light. If you have not read Mere Christianity, you need to.