Thursday, May 28, 2020

Second Chance Proposal Book Review

I normally put off the historical books which I am not sure why because I don't hate them as much as I think that I do.  There was a little price tag on the side of the book so I know that I got it from a library book sale.  Second Chance Proposal (Amish Brides of Celery Fields Book 4) by Anna Schmidt was an interesting look back to older and more simple time but nothing in the story was simple.

Homecoming Reunion:  John Amman left his Amish community and sweetheart Lydia Goodloe to make his fortune in the outside world, while Lydia stayed behind to devote herself to teaching. She can accept spinsterhood, and even face the closure of her beloved school. But John's return after eight years tests her faith anew. Lydia hasn't forgotten a single thing about John Amman—including the way he broke her heart.

John risked becoming an outcast to give Lydia everything she deserved. He couldn't see that what she really wanted was a simple life—with him. Lydia is no longer the girl he knew. Now she's the woman who can help him reclaim their long-ago dream of home and family…if he can only win her trust once more.

John left the Amish community after joining the church so he was shunned.  He decided to return and repent because life with the English was not great and he lost all his money.  He also wanted to rekindle his life with Lydia.  He was going to marry her when he left but he wanted to make money to support her which is why he left.  She told him that she didn't need money and all she needed was him but he didn't think that he could support his family.  Lydia was working as a school teacher when he returned and decided that she was going to spend her life single.  There are a lot of things that happen when he returns and she has to make a choice whether she still has those old feelings for him.  I thought it was a really cute story with good characters.  It shows how the town pulls together to support their members and work to keep them.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did.  I wish that I could read some others in the series but it looks like this is an older series that isn't as available anymore.  I did reserve everything at the library by the author so I will see what else I can find.  I will keep my eyes open at future sales and libraries to see if I can check out the rest of the series.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Menu Plan Monday 5/25

Spaghetti with meatballs and pan fried zuchini (Penne for my son) with garlic bread
Fried Rice with egg rolls, pot stickers, and edamame
Grilled Chicken with rice and corn on the cob
Homemade Pizza (Pepperoni and Buffalo Chicken)
Chicken Tacos or Enchiladas
Chicken Nuggets (maybe stir fry)
Chicken Fries or Chicken Wraps with homemade fries

Last week we had everything according to plan until Saturday.  I went to the store and got a good deal on a whole chicken which I was going to freeze but it was really juicy.  I moved Saturday's meal until Tuesday of this week so that I could make the chicken.  We had a whole roasted chicken with hash browns and corn on the cob.  I spent the weekend trying to prep things for the coming week after boiling and shredding some chicken last week.  I made a big pan of enchiladas for the freezer, shredded cheese for the fridge, cutting hash browns for dinner that night, cutting french fries for dinner Sunday. 

On a Coastal Breeze Book Review

I got the opportunity to read the new book by Suzanne Woods Fisher so I jumped on it.  I read the brief description on the back of the book but I can tell you that I was in after seeing the cover of this book.  Doesn't it look like a vacation?  I didn't even really know what it was going to be about but I was ready to jump in and find out.  Obviously I have read other books by this author and I love all of her writing so that was a bonus.  The sad part was of course that this was a second book in the series but I decided to try and I wasn't disappointed because it stands on its own as an independent book and has me wanting to check out the first one.  On a Coastal Breeze (Three Sisters Island) by Suzanne Woods Fisher quickly arrived on my door step and I couldn't wait to pick it up.

For Madison Grayson, life is good. Newly licensed as a marriage and family therapist, she can't wait to start her practice. Despite the unfortunate shortage of eligible bachelors on the island--they're all too young, too old, or too weird--Maddie feels like she's finally found her sweet spot. Not even one panic attack in the last year. Not one.

And then Ricky O'Shea drops in. Literally. Floating down from the pure blue sky, the one man in the world she hoped never to see again--the one who'd been her archnemesis from kindergarten through her senior dance--parachutes into town, landing on Boon Dock, canopy draping behind him like a superhero. Ricky O'Shea. Now Pastor Rick, the new minister on Three Sisters Island.  Time to panic.  With wit and a bit of whimsy, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Three Sisters Island where family, forgiveness, and a second chance at love await.

I was immediately taken in by the small town and the characters and it felt like you knew them already (even though I hadn't read the first book).  I was pulling for Madison Grayson while she was trying to open her practice and start her life on the small island where her family lives.  It was great to meet all the other members of her family and the town.  Her sister comes back into town to cook at the local restaurant for the summer and help her other sister get married.  Things are always changing with this fun family including their father.  In addition to all of the family things going on, Ricky O'Shea moves back to town to be the new minister.  Maddie has a life long issue with Ricky and wonders why he would come back.  They fight back and forth through the book and it leaves you yelling at the book (just like you would a good movie) because these two have obviously changed and they have a history that just might work toward the future.  There are lots of changes with all three sisters in the book but you have to pick it up to find out what happens because it is a page turner that you will have trouble putting down.  You have to make sure you pick up the book and find out what happens to all of the characters in this great small town.  I hope that you check out this book even if you haven't read the first.  Of course after finishing you might be looking for the first book in this series too! Since there are three sisters, I can only assume that there is also going to be a third book so I will keep my eyes out for that one too!!  I hope that you check out the whole series and let me know how you like it.

**I was provided a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are my own and a positive review was not required.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Menu Plan Monday 5/18 (maybe Tuesday)

Spaghetti Pizza Bake (Penne for my son) with garlic bread
Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Corn on the Cob
Grilled Chicken with rice
Homemade Pizza (Pepperoni and Buffalo Chicken)
Grilled Hamburger and Chicken with Mac and Cheese
Fried Rice with egg rolls and pot stickers, and edamame
Chicken Fries or Chicken Wraps with homemade fries

 Last week went fairly well according to plan.  I forgot to put the pizza dough in the bread machine Thursday so we switched it with Friday's meal.  We are doing an amazing job of eating the leftovers in the fridge whether in dinners or for lunches.  The pizza night was the one thing that we weren't eating before but now switching to homemade crust has made that a tasty leftover too.

We had everything on the meal plan for this week but I was in charge of school on Monday morning and I totally forgot to post the meal plan for the week.  We are sadly out of ground beef but have tons of chicken so I know that we have tons of food to go for the next month but I just need to sit down and plan out June.  We have used up a lot of things in the freezer including most of our soft pretzels and lots of our chicken broth.  We are almost out of chocolate chips and oatmeal!!  We have tons of pumpkin, applesauce and bananas in the freezer to make lots of quick breads.  We have lots of frozen fruit, sausages, and meatballs which we will be seeing a lot of in the next month. I am doing my best to use up things in the freezer and pantry so that we don't have to get as much at the store since they aren't well stocked.  Hope that you are doing well!!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Need You Now Book Review

I had read this author in the past and enjoyed her book so I picked up this book most likely off the free shelf at the library.  Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (2012-04-09) by Beth Wiseman was another book that I found in my pile.  I decided that I would read that next and put that in my new pile of books that I didn't have any shelves for because my already read shelves are totally full.  Before this stay at home order, I was doing pretty well selling the books that I had in the house so that I could not hold on to them but now nothing is going out for a little bit.  Hoping that I will get back in the habit once things go back to normal.

When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas.  Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way.  Married life hasn't always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried them through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises.  While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of Darlene's students starts paying more attention to her than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time.  If Darlene ever needed God . . . it's now.

I had no expectations going into this book but I quickly learned about the Henderson family, Brad and Darlene with Chad, Grace, Ansley.  They moved their whole family because Chad was getting into trouble with friends in high school so they decided to start over in a more rural area with the house that they were left from their family.  The move caused a lot of things to change and there were lots of ups and downs while everyone got settled into the new small town and the new life that they were building.  Chad turned his life around and had all the people making bad decisions pushed out of his life while Grace who was the model child before was having lots of problems.  Ansley decided to embrace country living and get chickens (which her mother hated after a bad experience getting pecked as a child).  At the same time when things settled down and the kids were taking care of themselves, Darlene got a job as an assistant at a school.  Things started to fall apart even more and everyone blamed themselves.  You have to pick up the book to find out what happened but I know that there will be lots of surprises that you will enjoy.  This book had a lot of religious over tones so if that isn't your interest, make sure you skip this one but I thought it was natural and not forced.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did.  I know that I this author is known for Christian fiction so many fans may come for the religious parts of the book but I like the great characters and towns that the books are set in.  I hope that you enjoy this book as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Used to Be Lovers Book Review

I picked up the next book in the stack which was Used-to-Be Lovers& Into His Private Domain: A 2-in-1 Collection (Harlequin Bestselling Author Collection) by Linda Lael Miller.  I love that the authors name is larger then the name of the book now.  It is literally on all four books that are sitting on my pile.  I guess the answer is that many people pick up a book because the author is someone that they have read and enjoyed in the past.  It is interesting because I just noticed it was the same with all of the books that I had just read.  Has anyone else noticed this??


Tony Morelli had always pursued the things he wanted with single-minded tenacity and authority. It had been a very successful strategy in business, and it had been just as successful with Sharon Harrison. From the moment they met, he and Sharon had had an explosive chemistry. Tony had been sure they would follow their heart-stopping passion into happily-ever-after.

Then everything fell apart—Sharon wanted more, and Tony was no longer sure of their future. But he did know he wasn't ready to let Sharon go. And if a determined seduction had won her once, this time he would wage a passionate war to keep her, no-holds-barred…


Into His Private Domain by USA TODAY bestselling author Janice Maynard

Reclusive billionaire Gareth Wolff doesn't tolerate trespassers on his mountain, even though the beautiful stranger claims to have amnesia. Gareth knows she wants something. Something he's spent a lifetime trying to forget…

The first book was written by an author that I hadn't read before but I picked this book up so I figured that there was something that sounded interesting on the summary.  It was about Tony and Sharon Morelli who were married but in the process of getting separated.  They have two children so they are splitting living in the house so that the kids don't have to move.  Sharon is dealing with the fact that she wanted to leave the marriage but she was in love with her husband still.  It was hard to keep different lives because of the link with the children.  Tony was trying to put the marriage back together but he wasn't doing a very good job at it.  It was a funny story with lots of drama like a bad movie that I love to watch because you are yelling at the TV to tell them that they are doing the wrong thing.  Pick up the book and see for yourself if you want to yell at both of the main characters for their actions.  The second book was great with a women showing up Gareth Wolff's front porch and falling and getting amnesia.  They quickly learn that her name is Gracie from her license but she can't remember any of her past and her father is out of the country.  Gareth takes her in and they quickly find a comfortable life in his small and secluded cabin.  Life is going well although Gracie can't remember anything from her past but she is seeing glimpses but nothing is long lasting.  There are ups and downs and you have to pick up the book to find out what happens and if Gracie gets her memories.  I hope that you pick up the book and enjoy both stories yourself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Blue Hollow Falls Book Review

I have started looking my shelf for books to read.  Many of them are parts of a series but I was happy to see that this was the first in the series.  Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman was the book that I got to read next.  I haven't read others by this author or in this series but it was a fun start.  I went on the library reserve system to reserve the second book when the libraries open so that I can check out the rest of the series but I could only find one more so I put the next one in the series on reserve.

From her free-spirited mother, Sunny Goodwin learned the value of peace, love, and Jerry Garcia. The inheritance from the father she never knew? That’s a little more complicated... Sunny never expected to find herself owning a centuries old silk mill in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains . . . or becoming a half-sister to a ten-year-old named Bailey. Once the shock subsides, she plans to cash in and head back home. But the overgrown greenhouse she finds on the property calls out to the gardener in her, and she senses Bailey’s need for nurturing too... And someone else is making it hard for Sunny to leave: Sawyer Hartwell, an Iraq War hero who wants to make the old mill a creative hub for the artisans of Blue Hollow Falls . . . and wants Sunny to share his vision, and his life. But sexy as this ex-soldier may be, she’s not sure she’s ready to give love a chance...

Sunny grew up with her hippy mother and ended up being very prepared because she was always ready to be the responsible one in the family.  She made decisions based on her mother's actions but she recently lost her mother.  Shortly after that, she found out that she lost the father that she never met.  She found out that she was in her father's will so she drove out of DC in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains to find out that she is now part owner of a mill and that she had a half sister.  She was overwhelmed to learn everything but she decides that she should put her part of the mill into a trust for her sister so that she has something for her future.  It is amazing to see the turn around in all the characters in this story.  You have to pick up the book to find out what happens but I know that you will be surprised by all the things that happen in the story.  I hope that you check out this book which is the first in the Blue Hollow series. I know that you will enjoy these great characters and the amazing settings in DC and Virginia.