Category: book review

Step By Step Bread #DKCanada #Review

This year I have set severals goals for myself in the areas of cooking and baking. I am determined to eat healthier and purchase less processed foods. One of my goals is to provide my family with more home baked pastries and breads (I want to be able to control what goes in my food and choose healthier options). I have tried on several occasions to make bread loafs and have failed each time (sigh!).
I jumped at the chance to review Step By Step Bread as part of DK Canada’s Start Something New promotion. I was determined to finally make THE perfect bread loaf!
Step By Step Bread has over 125 recipes to suit any bread lover needs as well as for any occasion. Recipes range from classic breads, artisan breads, flat breads, crisps, quick breads to sweet breads (the complete set of recipes!). It was hard to even know where to start! The author Caroline Bretherton has worked in the food industry for the last fifteen years. She then opened up her own catering company and now owns and operates her own eatery in the USA.
One of the best features of this book has to be the photographs. Each recipe has a page or two dedicated to itself with large and clear photographs. She breaks each recipe down step by step making it much harder to make a mistake (especially for this newbie in the world of baking bread!). The ingredients were simple and included items that I always have stocked in my pantry. Caroline covers every possible question that I could possibly have had in this book! Not to mention the fantastic variety of recipes that were included. It covers such a large variety of recipes which eliminates the need to have multiple recipe books laying around the house.
For my first trial, I made a simple ciabatta bread. This is a family favourite in our home and we have it with dinner quite frequently and is delicious when topped with cheese. I have attempted to google recipes on four separate occasions and each time my loaf either did not rise, was rock hard or uncooked on the inside. The instructions for this recipe were simple and easy to follow. I was actually able to start this recipe while getting the boys ready to head out for school/daycare and continue it while working from home. Which is the perfect fit for me!
The final verdict from my family? They loved my ciabatta loaf! This was the first loaf that I have ever made that came out perfect – have to admit I was quite proud of myself.
I love this book and it has made the perfect addition to my recipe book collection. It is incredibly easy to follow, a great variety of recipes as well as a variety of easy and harder skill level baking. A definite must have for families! I am excited to be starting my new year providing great home baked breads for my family!
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Endless by Amanda Gray

Romance, mystery and science fiction – Endless by Amanda Gray has it all!
Jenny is the main character in Endless who loses her mother at a young age. Jenny has a special and very different type of talent then most teenage girls; when she touches another person she “sees” into their past lives. She sees loss and pain. It is a secret burden she carries by herself not willing to open up and share with anyone else.
Suddenly life begins to change for Jenny. She dreams of a stranger who then appears in real ifeis name is Nikolai and claims he has travelled through time to be with her – his one true love. Jenny and Nikolai must join together in order to stop The Order, an organization whose job it is to ensure that people remain in their correct times. The Order is determined to find Nikolai and return him to his time. Jenny and Nikolai must fight to remain together or be forced to lose him forever.
Endless is marked as Youth Fiction but I fell in love with it. I think it would be a great hit with young adults – young girls more likely. I am a huge fan of timeless love and souls destined to be together. The novel blended the perfect amount of science fiction and romance together. Neither being too heavily focused on that it would drive away from the story line. I loved how deeply Nikolai loved his Jenny that he risked all to travel through time to find her. It hit on the belief that some people have that certain people are just destined to be together.

I really do hope there is a sequel to this novel as I felt like it left me hanging right at the end. It may be because I fell in love with the characters but I did not want to believe that this was all for them – there just had to be a little more.

It was definitely a great novel that I can see myself re-reading again!

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book. Opinions expressed are my own.

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A Promise Kept by Robin Hatcher: Review

Marriage can be difficult at times. It takes constant patience, love and kindness. Sometimes no matter what we do it does not work. When you mix in addictions the difficulty becomes even more apparent. We have to realize that we are hurting the other person or even being an enabler to your partner’s addiction.  
A Promise Kept by Robin Hatcher follows the story of Allison Kavanagh and her husband Tony. Their marriage began like so many others, full of love and hope. Through a series of trials they slowly began to fall apart. Allison fights hard to keep her marriage afloat but even she could not handle the suffering of Tony’s addiction anymore. When she hands him an ultimatum she never thought he would walk out the door but out the door he walked. 
Allison retreats to her Aunt Emma’s mountain side home that was left to her when her Aunt passed away. She finds in the attic a wedding dress and journals which slowly presents a different image of the person her Aunt Emma was. Allison is surprised to find her Aunt so much like herself. 
A Promise Kept is a powerful story of self discovery and forgiveness. Throughout the novel no matter what was tossed in Allison’s way when she let herself open up to God she was able to find her direction. It reminds us that forgiveness is truly the only way we can move forward in life. Our loved ones may hurt us unintentionally and sometimes we may have to make the ultimate sacrifice and walk away in order to heal each other. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do but one of the most important steps in the healing process.
The journals Allison finds is a reminder to us all that no matter how much we feel we know a person that they to may have gone through their own silent suffering. We should never be so quick to judge nor pass comment.
Robin Hatcher is the author of over sixty five novels and novellas. She lives with her family in Idaho. You can find more about her here.
You can find more reviews on a Promise Kept on the Litfuse Blog Tour. You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.
Rating: 5/5
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own. 
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The Headmistress of Rosemere “School” Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Don’t miss Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere. She is celebrating the release of book two in her Whispers on the Moors series with a fun “School” Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party!


Between January 17–28, visit Sarah Ladd’s Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win a Kindle Fire grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 28th! (Don’t have a Facebook account? Enter here.)

RSVP today for Sarah’s The Headmistress of Rosemere Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your Regency trivia skills, announcing the winner of the “School” Your Desk Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she’ll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at the next book in the Whispers on the Moors series!

So grab your copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere and hope to see you on the evening of January 28th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


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The Headmistress of Rosemere Review

Romance, historical fiction and the nobility. The workings of a fabulous historical fiction! 

The Headmistress of Rosemere written by Sarah Ladd follows the tale of Patience Creighton. Patience has dedicated her life to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. At twenty five, she has accepted her time to have her own family has passed, so instead she has chosen to invest her energy into the family run Rosemere School for Young Ladies. When her father dies unexpectedly and her brother unable to deal with this heads to London, she is forced to push herself harder to ensure the success of the school.
The owner of the property and the school, William Sterling, is well known for his bachelor status and gambling. He has racked up a high amount of debt and the creditors soon come calling. When a fire threatens the school, William must decide how far he will go to protect his birthright. After surprising truths about William’s past emerges both William and Patience must turn to God to find a plan for their lives.
The Headmistress of Rosemere is the second book in the Whispers on the Moors series. You can easily read this book without having read the first one. The story is complete from beginning to end (which I love as it can be frustrating to end a story right in the middle). The main character, Patience, is an incredibly strong young woman and I found so hard to see her as a spinster! She is a giving person who would do anything for the people around her. She is completely selfless – someone who I would have loved to have had as my own headmistress. 
She is so pure at heart and that is what draws William in. Her kindness is also her downfall (something we can see in everyday life). She gives so much to others that she forgets that she too is also a person and deserves her own happiness. I feel at times as a parent I can give too much of myself to others, be it through Parent Council, volunteer work, school and work that sometimes it can become overwhelming. This book had you wishing and praying that Patience would find her happiness.

The author, Sarah Ladd, has more then ten years in marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Her novel, the Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award. You can find more about her here.

If you would like to find more reviews on this novel please visit the Litfuse site here. If you would like to purchase a copy you can do so here.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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