Thursday, March 31, 2011

Changes!

I've wanted to work up some changes on The Creative Side of Me for awhile now, but I've got to be in the mood!

After all, change can be both exciting and nervewracking!

(And a blog change is a lot of work!)

The blog-changing mood struck last weekend.

I've slowly been working behind the scenes and am hoping to go live sometime in the next few days. Bear with me as some things may not look right for a bit.

Also, stay tuned for a name change, too! thecreativesideofsteph.blogspot will remain as the address for a short time, but will soon be changing to my own domain name (yay!) as soon as the dust settles...or even sooner.

Hopefully you won't notice much change - feeds and emails should still go through, but some of you may need to update your bookmarks (especially so you don't miss new posts and giveaways)!

Thanks for staying with me during the upheaval!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies

We've got a new favorite need-a-quick-sweet dessert in the house. Snickerdoodle Blondies.

YUM.


When I saw the recipe over on Heidi's blog, I immediately bookmarked it. They sounded just like something my husband would love.

Wasn't so sure about myself.

My grandma and mom used to make 'blondies' when I was young. Their blondies had a distinct butterscotch flavor, and I just wasn't a fan. I've made those blondies for my husband, though, and he loves them.

I couldn't quite figure out how butterscotch and snickerdoodles could combine, but I knew it would be no loss to me if I didn't care for Snickerdoodle Blondies. Less sweets, less me. ;-)

Well, so much for 'less me!' No butterscotch flavor exists in these bars. Think a giant snickerdoodle with a brownie texture.

YUM. Delish. So good. Mmmmm.

We love them! Thanks, Heidi!!


SNICKERDOODLE BLONDIES

2-2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt (I cut back to 1/2 tsp and still thought it was almost too salty)
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

In another bowl, beat butter and brown sugar 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture and spread in a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Sprinkle combined sugar and cinnamon mixture over top and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do NOT overbake!

Cool, cut, and try not to eat them all. ;-)


Recommend: YES
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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

The Daughter’s Walk was a fascinating story of a woman who accepts a wager to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City. IF she can complete the walk within seven months, she’ll be given $10,000.

The story fascinated me, because it is based on a TRUE story!

In 1896, Helga Estby, trying to save her farm from foreclosure, takes her oldest daughter Clara along on the long journey, leaving behind a husband and seven other children.

I had a very hard time empathizing with Helga. As a stay-at-home mom, I have a hard enough time leaving my kids for an evening out with my husband. To leave her young children in the charge of the older ones for only the CHANCE of money (needing to walk an average of 29 MILES/DAY and accepting no rides) seemed to me, not only foolish and selfish, but disrespectful to her husband.

But, I guess people will do just about anything when they’re desperate for money.

I was not alone in my thinking, though!

When Helga and Clara finally arrived back home over a year from their initial departure, both the family and community are angry and bitter over their venture, forbidding ‘the walk’ to ever be talked about again.

However, the story is not really about Helga. Jane Kirkpatrick focuses on daughter Clara’s point of view. Jane fictionalizes what happens to Clara after such a life-changing event.

Parts of Clara’s life after the long walk seemed to drag a bit, but I could see a young woman trying to find her place and purpose, but most of all trying to find family.

The Daughter's Walk was a very interesting read of risk and regret.


AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book:
The Daughter's Walk
by Jane Kirkpatrick

Chapter 1 - Decision

My name is Clara Estby, and for my own good, my mother whisked me away. Well, for the good of our family too, she insisted. Trying to stop her proved useless, because when an idea formed in her Norwegian head, she was like a rock crib anchoring a fence: strong and sturdy and unmovable once it’s set. I tried to tell her, I did. We all did. But in the end, we succumbed to her will and I suppose to her hopefulness, never dreaming it would lead where it did. I certainly never imagined I’d walk a path so distant from the place where I began.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, telling stories out of sequence, something a steady and careful woman like me should never do.

It began on an April morning in 1896, inside our Mica Creek farmhouse at the edge of the rolling Palouse Hills of eastern Washington State, when my mother informed me that we would be walking from Spokane to New York City. Walking, mind you, when there were perfectly good trains a person could take. Walking—thirty-five hundred miles to earn ten thousand dollars that would save our farm from foreclosure. Also to prove that a woman had stamina. Also to wear the new reform dress and show the freedom such garments offered busy, active, sturdy women.

Freedom. The only merit I saw in the shorter skirts and absence of corsets was that we could run faster from people chasing us for being foolish enough to embark on such a trek across the country, two women, alone.

We were also making this journey to keep me “from making a terrible mistake,” Mama told me. I was eighteen years old and able to make my own decisions, or so I thought. But not this one.

Mama stood stiff as a wagon tongue, her back to my father and me, drinking a cup of coffee that steamed the window. I could see my brother Olaf outside, moving the sheep to another field with the help of Sailor, our dog, dots of white like swirling cotton fluffs bounding over an ocean of green. Such a bucolic scene about to reveal hidden rocks
beneath it.

“We are going to walk to New York City, Clara, you and I.”

“What?” I’d entered the kitchen, home for a weekend from my work as a domestic in Spokane. My mother had walked four hundred miles a few years earlier to visit her parents in a time of trial. We’d all missed her, and no one liked taking over her many duties that kept the family going. But walk to New York City?

“Why would we walk, and why are we going at all?” I had plans for the year ahead, and I figured it would take us a year to make such a trek.

My father grunted. “She listens to no one, your mother, when ideas she gets into her head.”

“Mama, you haven’t thought this through,” I said.

My mother turned to face us, her blue eyes intense. “It’s not possible to work out every detail in life, but one has to be bold. Did we know you’d find work in Spokane when we left Minnesota? No. Did we think we’d ever own our own farm? No. These are good things that happened because we took a chance and God allowed it.”

“We didn’t expect me to become injured, to mortgage the farm because we needed money to plant and live on,” my father said. It sounded like they’d had this argument more than once but never in front of me. “Bad things can happen, and this…this is a bad thing, I tell you.”

“There is nothing certain in this life,” she said to both of us. “We must grab what is given. ‘Occupy until I come,’ Scripture tells us. ‘Multiply’ is what that word occupy means. Here is our chance to do that, to save this farm, and all it requires is using what God gave us, our feet and our perseverance, our effort and a little inconvenience.”

“A little inconvenience?” I said. “I have plans for the summer, and I’m going to go to college in the fall and work part-time. I can’t leave my job.”

“I, I, I… Always it is about you,” my mother said. “You won’t have money for school if we lose this farm. You’ll have to work full-time to help this family. You see your father. He can’t do carpenter work as he did before. One must risk for family. We must trust in the goodness of human nature and God’s guidance.”

“But who would pay us for such a thing? Do you have a contract?” The wealthy Spokane people I served often spoke of contracts and lawyers and securities as I dipped squash soup into their Spode china bowls or brushed crumbs from their tables into the silver collectors before bringing chocolate mousse for dessert. These were businesspeople who
would never try to multiply by walking cross-country without a written contract.

“These are trustworthy people. They have the New York World behind them and the entire fashion industry too.”

What Mama proposed frightened me. “If we make it, how do we know they’ll pay us?”

“If we make it? Of course we’ll make it,” she said.

My father sagged onto the chair at the table, held his head with his hands while my mother flicked at the crumbs of a sandbakkel cookie collected on the oilcloth. I wondered if she thought of my little brother Henry. He’d loved those cookies.

“Who says these sponsors are reliable?” I said. I was as tall as my mother but had a rounder face than either of my parents. My mother and I shared slender frames, but her earth-colored hair twisted into a thick topknot while my soft curls lay limp as brown yarn. My mother set her narrow jaw. She didn’t take any sassing.

“Never you mind.” She brushed at her apron. “They’re honest. They’ve made an investment too. They’ll pay for the bicycle skirts once we reach Salt Lake City, and they’ll pay for the portraits. They’ve promised five dollars cash to send us on our way. The rest we’ll earn. Can’t you see? It’s our way out.”

“So you say,” my father said. He ran fingers through his yellow hair, and I noticed a touch of white.

“But why do I have to go?” I wailed. “Take Olaf. A man would be safer for you.”

“It’s about women’s stamina, not about a man escorting a woman. And you… You’re filled with wedding thoughts you have no business thinking.”

My face burned. “I’m not,” I said. “He’s… I work for his family, Mama.”

How she knew I harbored thoughts of a life with Forest Stapleton I’d never know. I was sure I’d never mentioned him. Well, maybe to my sister Ida once, in passing.

“I know about employers’ sons,” Mama said. My father lifted his head as though to speak, but my mother continued. “Besides, family comes first. You can go to college next year, when we have the money. What we need now is that ten thousand dollars so we can repay the mortgage and not lose this farm. It could go to foreclosure if we don’t do this.” My father dropped his eyes at the mention of that shameful word. “Ole, God has opened a door for us, and we would slight Him if we turned this down,” she pleaded.

“How can you leave your babies?” my father said then, his voice nearly a whisper. “How can you be away from Lillian and Johnny and Billy and Arthur and Bertha and Ida and Olaf—”

“I know the names of my children,” my mother said, her words like stings.

“Ja, well then, how can you leave them?”

“It is only for a short time, seven months, Ole.” She sat next to him at the table, patted his slumped shoulder. “They will be in good hands with you and Ida and Olaf to look after them. It is a mark of my trust and confidence in you that I can even think about doing this thing.” She looked at me now. “When I walked before, that four hundred miles in Minnesota, you did well, all of you. It made you stronger. And I came back.” She patted my father’s hand. “I’ll come back. We will, Clara and I. Everything will be as it was before but with the mortgage made. The entire farm paid off, money for each of my children to go on to college when they want. No more worries about the future.” She took his silence as agreement. “Good. We go into Spokane later this week for our portrait,” my mother said to me, relief in her voice. “These will be sent to the New York papers and the Spokesman-Review.”

My father winced.

“People in Spokane will read about this?” I said. The thought humiliated. What would Forest think? What would our neighbors think?

“People across the country will know of it,” my mother said. She almost glowed, her eyes sparkling with anticipation.

“American women listen to their husbands,” my father said in Norwegian. “Or they should.” He rose from the table, shoved the chair against it, and stomped out.

I wanted my father to forbid her to go so I wouldn’t have to leave either. I didn’t dare defy her; I never had. We always did what she wanted. I was stuck.

“He’ll come around,” my mother said more to herself than to me. “He’ll see the wisdom of this. It’ll work. When we succeed, then, well, he’ll be grateful I did this for him, for the whole family.”

“Maybe he will,” I said. “But don’t expect me to ever be.”

Excerpted from The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick Copyright © 2011 by Jane Kirkpatrick. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Also reviewed on Christianbook.

Recommend: YES

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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mary's Perfect Southern Sweet Tea

Deep South Dish is one of my favorite blogs to visit! Mary not only posts fabulous, family-friendly recipes, but you can tell she's smiling and drawling y'all while she writes.

I've imagined in my mind a combo of Southern Queen Paula Deen and country gal Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman. :-)

I was reading a Deep South Dish post the other day, and clicked on another recipe, and then another... that's what happens when you start reading through Mary's site! Well, I came across her recipe for Perfect Southern Sweet Tea.

Hm. Who needs a RECIPE for tea?! I first thought. BUT...my tea never seems to be very consistent. I like a strong tea flavor, but it usually ends up bitter.

I had an "Aha! moment" after reading through Mary's detailed tea recipe and knew I MUST give it a try.

Mary wasn't kidding.

It's perfect.


So, click yourself over to Deep South Dish and print out the recipe for Perfect Southern Sweet Tea!

Mary, thanks for sharing yet another winning recipe!

Recommend: YES
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**Disclaimer: Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Monday, March 14, 2011

My Kitchen Problem...and a GIVEAWAY!

Have I ever shown you pictures of my kitchen? Probably not.

It's the one room in our house that needs a little TLC. Visible studs, ceiling beams, and plywood is my current decor. The kitchen is the project that tops my husband's home improvement list.

After looking at these pictures, can you tell what is #1 on my new and improved kitchen wishlist?



Not a dishwasher (although that would be lovely!), but better lighting!!

Now, I'll show you my inspiration kitchen:


Isn't it purty?! Not only do I love the bigger-than-I-currently-have window for natural light on even the gloomiest days, I LOVE the unobtrusive recessed lighting. We've got recessed lighting in several other areas of our home and it is so very, very nice.

Now since you read all about my kitchen, here's something for you!

Once again, the great people over at CSN Stores have offered one of my readers a gift certificate to spend at any of their 200+ stores. Perhaps you'll find something to fix a kitchen problem of your own!

GIVEAWAY ALERT!
Want to WIN IT? One winner will receive an $65 gift code good for any of the 200+ CSN Stores. To enter, tell me what a problem area is in your kitchen OR what appliance or gadget would be in your dream kitchen! For additional entries (must do above to qualify for extra entries!),
  • Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect (sidebar) or a feed reader or subscribe by email (must confirm subscription). Comment and let me know! If you're already a follower/subscriber, comment and let me know! (1 entry)
  • Blog about my giveaway and leave me a link to your post! (1 entry
  • Follow The Creative Side of Me via Networked Blogs. Comment and let me know! (1 entry)
  • Enter my giveaway URL into another blog's giveaway McLinky and send me the link so I can see it! (1 entry)
  • Snag my blog button (in the far right column) and leave a comment with the link! (1 entry)
  • Fan The Creative Side of Me on facebook and leave me a comment saying so! (1 entry)
  • Sign up for Swagbucks using my referral link! Comment and give me your Swag Name! (10 entries!)
  • Follow The Creative Side of Me on Twitter and tweet this (1 entry, daily):

Enter to WIN a $65 CSN Stores GC @creativeSOme Details: http://bit.ly/hnf7u0 Ends 3/28 #giveaway #contest

Entries that do not fulfill guidelines will be deleted, so read carefully!

Entries accepted until Monday, March 28, 11:59 PM (EST). Winner(s) will be chosen by random.org and winner(s) will be notified by email. Winner(s) must confirm prize email within 48 hours or another winner(s) will be chosen.


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**Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

Also this week, CFBA is introducing A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell.

This is only the second book I've read of Siri's. After finishing them both, I would say that she excels at historical fiction.

Although full of details, A Heart Most Worthy doesn't feel like you're cramming for an exam with more facts than your brain can handle. Easily weaving the facts of a bygone era with vibrant characters, Siri's story is one you'll keep thinking of even after you finish the last chapter.

There are times in the book, that feels like a narrator is telling you the story. Sometimes it made sense and was enjoyable to read...other times, I felt it didn't fit and only interrupted the flow of the story.

For example, you are reading from one of the girl's perspective when the 'narrator' jumps in and says, 'You may not have done what she did, but don't be so quick to judge,' or something like that. Different. And, sporadic. Hadn't ever read a book that did it quite that way before. Not necessarily unlikeable, but definitely different.

FYI, the 'Christianity' in the book is Catholic, as each of the three main characters are Italian immigrants and the time period, early 1900's. I am quite sure that the Catholic bent is historically accurate of that time, place, and people, however, as a born again believer, I did not enjoy the many scenes of confession and crossing ourselves.  

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times.

Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client.

Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book:
A Heart Most Worthy

Also reviewed on Amazon and Christianbook.
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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hearts Aglow by Tracie Peterson

This week, CFBA introduces Hearts Aglow, book 2 in Tracie Peterson's Striking a Match series.

In Hearts Aglow, Deborah continues studying to be a doctor under Dr. Christopher Clayton, although the villagers think the medical world is no place for a woman. As Chris and Deborah’s relationship begins to develop, Chris has to leave town for a family emergency. Deborah prays he will soon return, but after a long absence, a newspaper headline has her assuming the worst.

Since my mother-in-law had just finished reading Embers of Love (book one in Tracie’s ‘Striking a Match’ series), I let her read Hearts Aglow before I did.

She really enjoyed it (finished it in just a few days!) and said the story was filled with many exciting and heartbreaking situations, like hurricanes, fires, and medical problems (I can’t tell you everything she said – you have to read the book yourself)!

Tracie weaves a strong theme of following God and trusting Him, no matter the circumstances. If you’ve been waiting to continue Deborah’s story, Hearts Aglow will not disappoint, although the ending will make you quite anxious for book 3 to be published!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book:
Hearts Aglow

Recommend: YES

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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Monday, March 7, 2011

I WON!! Fairytale Cookie Dozen

So... I love to enter giveaways. I have rarely won anything, but I like to enter just the same! 

Background: Last year, I had the opportunity to review and host a giveaway of Fairytale's delicious brownies. I've been a fan ever since! When my mom broke her ankle in a car accident, I didn't send flowers...I sent her a Fairytale Dozen to aid in her recuperation. (For chocolate makes everything feel better!) ;-)

Imagine my excitement when, as a Fairytale Brownies Facebook fan, I recently WON a dozen of their newest endeavor: gourmet cookies!

The classic Cookie Dozen is packaged just like its brownie brothers and sisters, in a lovely dark chocolate brown box with rich purple Fairytale band (mine included a sweet 'congratulations' card):


When you lift the lid, you can see the care that Fairytale puts into each package. Neatly covered in tissue paper and sealed with a magical sticker:


Mmmm, and then the individually wrapped cookies (3 each of Caramel Pecan, Double Chocolate, Coconut Walnut, and Toffee Chocolate Chip) are revealed:


It was very difficult to decide which cookie to start with. I am not the biggest fan of nuts, so I reached first for the Toffee Chocolate Chip (I even warmed it in the microwave for a few seconds...YUM!):


Let me tell you, the toffee MAKES this cookie!! If Fairytale began bagging and selling their toffee bits - no, CHUNKS - I'd be the first in line to buy a case! ;-) (Doesn't surprise me since I loved Fairytale's Toffee Crunch Brownie).


And, of course, I had to try the Double Chocolate next. There's not much to say about that one - you can't go wrong with double chocolate anything with me!


I'm afraid I didn't get pictures of the Caramel Pecan (regular cookie base chock full of salty pecans and sweet caramel) or Coconut Walnut (chocolate cookie base dotted with flecks of coconut and chunks of walnuts) cookies... I can only say that my husband really loved them. They disappeared before I knew it with him!

Fairytale's cookies are yummy. They are sweet and rich, and perfect with a glass of cold milk - or hot cup of joe (if that's your thing). Each cookie is hand shaped (I know, for I watched Fairytale featured on Food Network's Unwrapped)!

Fairytale's staff and service is pretty amazing, too. Real people behind those sweet brownies and cookies! The next time you need a get well card or thinking of you bouquet, think instead of a gift that will really impress! I know you'll get an extra hug and kiss if you send a sweet package from Fairytale! ;-)

Recommend: YES

I just wanted to thank Fairytale (and Hilary) for sending me the Cookie Dozen. I was so excited to WIN something so sweet, and the cookies were fabulous!

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**Disclaimer: I won a Fairytale Cookie Dozen by entering a contest on Fairytale's Facebook Fan page. I was under no obligation to review the product. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Monster Cookies

If you like 'everything' cookies, then you'll love these Monster Cookies.

Oats, chunky peanut butter, and chocolate chips... YUM!


The recipe instructs you to drop by 1/4-cup measuring cup (hence the name, MONSTER Cookies). This method will yield 2-1/2 dozen LARGE cookies. I've never made them that way. I just make regular sized cookies, which makes just over 6 dozen.

MONSTER COOKIES

1-1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter-flavor shortening
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups quick oats (uncooked)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and shortening in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs. Beat in peanut butter, corn syrup, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir in oats and chocolate chips with spoon.

Fill 1/4 cup measure with dough. Level with knife. Drop 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Do not overbake. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool.

Recommend: YES

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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Bond Never Broken by Judith Miller

This week, CFBA is introducing A Bond Never Broken by Judith Miller, book 3 in her Daughters of Amana series.

I think A Bond Never Broken is one of the best books I’ve read by Judith.

During the Great War, suspicion is high and persecution lurks over German Americans. Jutta, who left the Amana colonies when she was just a girl, is forced to return and spy on the quiet community to protect her parents, who have been falsely accused of baking glass into bread and sending it to soldiers. If she is unable to report anti-war activities or sentiments, her parents are threatened with jail…or worse.

When I started the third book in the Amana series, I was initially disappointed to see that, like the first book, Somewhere to Belong, there were two main characters and the whole book was written in the first person.

That means that every few chapters either Ilsa or Jutta is speaking.

I had a very hard time keeping the girls straight in Somewhere to Belong, so I thought I’d have the same problem and dislike A Bond Never Broken.

Not so. The story was so well-written and engaged me so much, I had no problem switching between characters. A Bond Never Broken was a fresh and unique story, centering around the stateside fear and prejudice during World War I.

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book:
A Bond Never Broken

Recommend: YES

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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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