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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

My Thoughts:

The painting shows a lovely young lady with a violin.  Her head is shaven and she bears a series of numbers on her arm.  Auschwitz was her prison.  What was her story?  Did she survive?  Sera James, an art dealer, is determined to uncover the painting she saw so many years ago.   She's discovered copies of it but where is the original?  What she doesn't know is that William Hanover, a man she is soon to meet, also intends on finding the painting.  The story of the young lady in the portrait draws the two of them together as they untangle a forbidden love story that happened long ago... 

I thoroughly enjoyed The Butterfly and the Violin.  Kristy Cambron does a masterful job of creating a story that weaves both present and past together.  World War II, Austrians aiding Jews, musicians in the concentration camps and the will to survive are all pivotal elements in this saga that spans the years.  The story is fiction but there is plenty of truth scattered through the pages.  Courageous heroes that risked their lives to help others.  Cruelty that is too much to bear.  Kindness shown when all hope is lost.  My heart broke at times as I read yet my faith soared at other moments.  An incredible story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page...

About the book: A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl---a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/zhXo3

About the author: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: "Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . ."

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


 One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire

  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

  • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

    So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

    *I was given this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    The Loving Kitchen- Cozy Words and Recipes that Comfort and Delight!

    My Thoughts:

    I was enticed by the cover photo (Chicken and Harvest Vegetable Soup) of The Loving Kitchen, by Leann Rice.  Inside the pages of this book I found nurturing, comfort, love, not to mention, recipes that would absolutely delight my family.  What makes this book extra special are the words that Leann Rice introduces each recipe with- heartfelt passages that make you feel like your cooking with a friend...   I adore butternut squash and Leann's Butternut Squash Bisque sounds incredible!  "Because this soup is pureed you can eat it out of a bowl with a spoon or you can pour servings into mugs so you can curl up with a mugful and your favorite blankie.  I vote for mug and blankie."  This girl knows my heart!  Mugs and blankies?  Yes, please! Within minutes, I had pen and paper out and had created a list for the grocery store.  

    The first recipe we tried was Overnight Breakfast Casserole.  It's the first recipe in the book- I couldn't wait to get going!  We have our house on the market and an Open House was planned that day.  I'm surprised the house didn't sell by the aroma of this deliciousness baking!  The scent lingered long after we had enjoyed it.  Cinnamon swirl bread, maple sausage links, cinnamon- you get the picture. :)  Heavenly.  (Note- Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast has been on my mind ever since I saw the picture.  Oh my goodness.)

    The next recipe we tried was Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake.  Perfect for this time of year and the bumper crop of zucchini that many of us enjoy.  It was crazy delicious!  I should have tripled the recipe- gotta make a note of that for next time. ;)  The Caramel Apple Crisp and Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce will be visiting our tummies soon.  

    I was touched by the introduction, Reaching Out and Gathering In sections of The Loving Kitchen.  The author has personal stories to share and a message to be heard.  Her recipes are beyond delightful but her words linger long after your appetite has been sated.  Reaching Out refers to times in life when others need help- but just can't ask for it.  Illness or loss of a loved one are times when we need to show family/friends that we care.  Leann Rice gives wonderful ideas when we just don't know what to say or do.  Beautiful.  Gathering In is about family and fun ideas you can do together.  Themes for dinner, games to play together, traditions to create.  I plan on using them with my family.  Delightful.

    The Loving Kitchen is a warm hug delivered through words and food.  It would make a lovely gift for a family member, friend or you!

    Back Cover:

    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.
    *I was given this book by BookLook in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*