STRESS BAKING AT MY HOUSE TODAY!🎃

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 18 muffinsPrep Time: 20 minsCook Time: 20 minsTotal Time: 40 minsThese chocolate chip pumpkin muffins are the fluffiest, most delicious pumpkin muffins around! Super easy to make and foolproof!5 from 4 votesLeave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (milk or dark – your choice!)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and the eggs until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Whisk in the oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined – do not overmix! Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Fill the muffin tins about ¾ of the way full. Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until set in the center. Let cool before serving!

MY NETGALLEY AND EDELWEISS HAUL THIS WEEK 😲

Last week I was approved for seven awesome books! This week I was approved for eleven! I still have nine requests pending! So much for me cutting back huh?😳 Okay, here we go…….

EDELWEISS:

Now, you obviously, would never, ever look up your exes on Facebook. Nooo. And even if you did, you most certainly wouldn’t run off trying to track them down, risking your job, family and happiness in the process. Posy Fairweather, on the other hand . . .

Posy is delighted when Matt proposes – on top of a mountain, in a gale, in full-on romantic mode. But a few days later disaster strikes: he backs out of the engagement. Crushed and humiliated, Posy starts thinking. Why has her love life always ended in total disaster? Determined to discover how she got to this point, Posy resolves to get online and track down her exes. Can she learn from past mistakes? And what if she has let Mr Right slip through her fingers on the way?

From USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts comes a sweetly poignant new novel in her irresistible Moonlight Harbor series.

Jenna Jones has been standing on the shore of the Sea of Love for too long. Even with two good men interested in her, she’s been afraid to wade in. According to her best friend, Courtney, she should. The water’s fine. Life is great! Practically perfect, if you don’t count Courtney’s problems with her cranky ex-boss. Maybe Courtney’s right. It’s time to dive in.

When tragedy strikes, everything changes and Jenna’s more confused than ever. But this fresh heartache might help her figure out at last who she can turn to when times get tough.

Full of warmth and humor, Sunset on Moonlight Beach proves that every ending can be the beginning of a beautiful new story.

NETGALLEY:

Get swept into a summer of sunshine, soul-searching and shameless matchmaking with this delightfully big-hearted road trip adventure!

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move in to a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late to start over. 

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come three sweet stories centered around Amish traditions and the possibility of romance.

Building a Dream by Amy Clipston

Though they’ve known each other a long time, Kathryn and Anthony have finally decided to try becoming more than friends—but they are devastated when Kathryn’s father won’t allow them to date. He wants his daughter to marry a man with a more respectable job than building gazebos for Englishers. But when Kathryn’s father’s dairy barn burns down during a thunderstorm, Anthony is the one to arrange a barn raising. Will Kathryn’s father realize he has misjudged Anthony?

To Raise a Home by Kelly Irvin

A year after the wildfires, life has returned to normal for the West Kootenai Amish community. Evan Eicher, son of Deacon Tobias Eicher, has done his best to move on too. Helping his neighbors and friends rebuild has helped soothe a heart broken when Delilah Mast—the woman he loves but never had the courage to approach—moved with her family back to Kansas. At his father’s urging he courts Kaylee Plank, a sweet woman who adores him. But when Delilah moves back to teach school, Evan must wrestle with feelings he’s tried so hard to put in the past. And an accident at a barn raising will force Kaylee, Delilah, and Evan to face the truth about their hearts.

Love’s Solid Foundation by Kathleen Fuller

Devon Bontrager only returned to his old hometown to make good on a past misdeed. He hadn’t counted on reconnecting with Nettie Yoder, especially since she strung along his younger twin brothers some years ago. Nettie knows she’s made some mistakes in the past, but she’s determined to be an asset to her community from now on. But just as she’s making headway, her family’s barn burns to the ground. Why does it seem like God is punishing her family when she’s finally starting to turn her life around? Can she convince Devon that she has changed? Can Devon trust the woman who broke his brothers’ hearts?

High school football star, Tanner McCadden was voted ‘Most Likely to Dominate the World’ when he graduated from small-town life to big college victory, until a tackle blew out his knee and his future. Humbled and embarrassed, he made it as a football coach instead of a hero, he has never returned to his hometown. That is until a decade later when his father passes away and his mother struggles to maintain a five-generation farm alone.

Maple Grounds coffee shop owner and renowned Coffee Whisperer, Mary-Beth Richards loves her simple life spent concocting the perfect cup of coffee for each of her clients. The rest of her time is spent watching her little brother play football, and avoiding romantic entanglements, that is until Tanner McCadden rides back into her life on a Harley wearing a sexy smile.

When Mary-Beth’s brother begs her to ask Tanner to coach Sugar Maple High School’s football team to state victory, she is forced to face the man who took her heart and rushed out of her life. When she begins to feel that familiar attraction, she pushes him away to protect her heart by accusing Tanner of being heartless and narcissistic. Confused and hurt, he confides in his mother about his lifelong regrets and learns of the lies meant to keep him from sacrificing his future for a high school romance. Feeling betrayed, he knows the adoration of football fans never touched Mary Beth’s gift of making him feel worthy and loved.

It’s down to the last quarter. Can Tanner and Mary Beth rekindle their love before the game is over?

Miriam and Calvin Gingerich have been trying for a baby for several years, but the Lord hasn’t seen fit to bless them. Though Calvin claims he’s content with their childless state, Miriam knows he’s not, and when he starts spending more time off their farm, she worries he’s found someone else. But just as she finds herself at her lowest point, she discovers the ultimate surprise. Unable to confide in anyone who might tell Calvin—out of fear she’ll disappoint him with another miscarriage—Miriam turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller—and any books she may have on pregnancy and childbirth.

Calvin has been keeping a secret from his wife, but it’s not another woman. It’s a little boy. One afternoon when visiting Sarah Anne’s bookmobile, he meets Miles, a ten-year-old living with a foster family down the road. But after spending more time with the boy, Calvin learns that his foster family has no plans to adopt him. Calvin feels a connection with Miles and yearns to give the boy a home, but he’s afraid to tell Miriam, knowing she’s devastated they can’t have children of their own.

As weeks pass and Sarah Anne learns that Miles has nearly given up hope of ever finding a real home, she knows it’s time to intervene. It’s going to take some fancy footwork and a whole lot of prayer, but she knows she can help make this struggling couple into a happy family of four.

A touching novel of love and loss, a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good, from USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle.

Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved. 

Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community. 

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move. 

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

From New York Timesabestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray comes a new series that follows a bookmobile driver-turned-matchmaker who learns that her Amish patrons need a whole lot more than just new books to read.

Aaron Coblentz has a secret: he’s been studying to take the GED to get promoted at work. But he can’t let his Amish family know, not when his older brother already left the faith just a year after getting baptized, practically crippling the family. When Aaron asks bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for some additional study guides, she does one better. She arranges for Kayla Kaufman to be his tutor.

Kayla has a secret, too. Her life has been turned upside down in a matter of months—her mother’s death propelled her father into a constant state of depression, and unable to deal with his erratic behavior, her longtime boyfriend has broken things off. But despite losing those she holds most dear, she hasn’t completely given up on love. Only now she seeks to find it in the sweet romance novels she secretly checks out from Sarah Anne’s bookmobile.

As Aaron and Kayla’s study sessions start to feel less like work and more like pleasure, they soon realize that happily ever afters don’t only happen in fiction; sometimes they happen when you least expect it.

From a “skilled storyteller who reminds the reader that faith can help us survive the ups and downs in life” (RT Book Reviews), A Perfect Amish Romance is a moving and deftly told story that paints a heartwarming picture of the magic of true love.

From New York Times and #1 international bestselling queen of romantic women’s fiction Jill Mansell comes a poignant, funny, feel good storyabout second chances and finding your way home.

They never thought they’d see him again…

Didi Laing met her first love, Shay Mason, on a magical winter visit to Venice. For six months after that they were rapturously happy together and Shay came to work at Didi’s parents’ hotel in the Cotswolds. One event changed everything, shocking the town, and leading to Shay’s disappearance.

In the thirteen years after Shay walked out, no one expects ever to hear from him again. Then one day, out of the blue, Shay returns to Elliscombe to fulfill his father’s dying wish and unintentionally upends Didi’s life.Moving into the best suite in her hotel sparks all kinds of rumors and sets off a chain of events that affects the whole town. The residents of Elliscombe all have their own stories and secrets, more intertwined than anyone could have guessed…

The first scent of blooming flowers, fresh green fields, and invigorating days of sunshine. A Southern Maryland Amish spring bursts with hope, bright promise–and a practical young widow’s chance to try love anew…

With two lively daughters, an active newborn, and a huge farm to tend, Lena Troyer has no time for impossible what-ifs. She just can’t let herself be distracted by Samuel Mast’s unexpected return. Even though her childhood sweetheart became the man she longed to marry, Samuel never saw or wrote Lena again after his family abruptly moved away. Now a widow, Lena is determined to keep Samuel’s helpful ways and irresistible good humor at arm’s length–no matter how often he’s there when she needs him most…

A restless father with a shameful secret was the reason Samuel’s many letters never got to Lena. And it’s why Samuel can’t bring himself to tell Lena the truth–though he’s doing everything he can to regain her trust and prove he’s worthy of the resourceful woman she’s become. But as a rival for his affections complicates matters, Samuel and Lena must somehow put the past to rest–and believe that faith, honesty, and rekindled love will be more than enough to finally build a family together…

Amid the New Order Amish community of Oakland, Maryland, an unexpected gift of comfort and tender caring can help spark a surprising dream of love . . .

Between raising three grieving children and running a booming business, recent widower Aaron Bontrager desperately needs help–even if it means a marriage of convenience only. He couldn’t be more surprised by his new wife, ebullient Bethel Mast. With an unconventional, joyful sense of purpose, she’s starting to turn his house back into a home and bring stability and peace to his children’s lives. And somehow, her gentle understanding is reigniting impossible hope in Aaron’s guarded, lonely heart . . .

Bethel never had a fair chance for a home and family of her own. She doesn’t want to replace Aaron’s first wife, but she’ll face any challenge to aid him and his children. And she soon finds Aaron’s formidable exterior hides a sensitivity and caring that she’s quietly drawn to. Can Bethel show him that their practical arrangement is blossoming into so much more–and can be the start of a wonderful future together for all of them?

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!💜

REVIEW:THE RETURN BY NICHOLAS SPARKS

MY REVIEW:

THE RETURN absolutely shredded my heart! Nicholas Sparks speaks to my heart with each and every novel he has written and THE RETURN is no exception. What a beautiful story of second chances, love, guilt and fate. During a tour in Afghanistan, Trevor suffered multiple injuries, including losing a few fingers terminating his career as an orthopedic surgeon. He is suffering from PTSD but he’s in therapy to help him deal with it. Some days, it doesn’t really feel as it’s working though.

In New Bern, North Carolina he enjoys looking after the bee hives on his grandfather’s property and he also finds himself immediately attracted to the local deputy sheriff, Natalie. Could she have the same feelings but is holding them back? What huge secret is Natalie hiding? It was driving me crazy, trying to figure out why Natalie kept running hot and cold around Trevor and it makes him crazy too! She is hesitant to get to know Trevor but their attraction is undeniable. There are several complications that come to light for both of them.

Trevor also meets Callie, an emotional young teenager who was a friend to his grandfather. Trevor hopes Callie can help him find out more about his father’s death, but she seems to be hiding something and wants to keep her secrets to herself. Callie and Trevor’s lives become even more connected when Callie falls off a ladder at work and is now unconscious. After what he finds out at the hospital, it becomes a race against time to find the truth about Callie in order to save her life.

THE RETURN will surely pull at your heart strings and make it very hard for you to put down. If you are like me, you won’t be able to stop until you know what happens to Trevor and Natalie. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea get your favorite blanket and get on the couch. THE RETURN is an awesome way to spend the afternoon or evening. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down and will find yourself cheering for Natalie and Trevor as they try to navigate their way through a very different and unique situation. Nicholas Sparks will pull you in from the very first page and never let you go! How a man can write such emotional and heart tugging contemporary romance is beyond me, but I have loved all of his books and he is forever one of my auto buy authors!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

FROM GOODREADS:

In the romantic tradition of Dear John and The Lucky One, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor — and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can’t be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather’s cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues — until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

Thank you for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!💞

REVIEW: AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT BY B.T. POLCARI

MY REVIEW:

AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT is a fun cozy mystery that had me giggling out loud on quite a few of the pages. The situations that Sara Donovan finds herself in are hysterical and I just kept thinking, how the heck did that just happen? Sara is a freshman at the University of Alabama and works part time at a museum gift shop. That is where the fun begins. This fast paced story is filled with laugh out loud moments and so much mystery that the reader will not be able to put it down or stop giggling.

Sara has ordered an Egyptian mask, a cheap souvenir, and she discovers it isn’t what it seems! Once again, Sara turns into a super snoop to try and solve the mystery and uncovers a lot more than she bargained for! AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT is not like any other cozy I have read before. Sara starts her investigation against her mom and friends advice but she just can’t seem to help herself! Throw in a hot teachers assistant who conveniently shows up at the University and she almost loses her mind in her sleuthing!

Sara is a horrible detective and at times, she really cracked me up with her way of thinking. Haha it’s just so funny! I was laughing out loud but the story also kept me guessing. I read it in one long sitting and had to know what was going to happen to Sara. I truly loved AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT. B.T. Polcari creates characters that pull me right in and never let me go until the very last sentence, and AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT did exactly that.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Prism Book Tours . Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

FROM GOODREADS:

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.

With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Thursday!💜

THROWBACK THURSDAY

throwbackthursday

 

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

This week I’m picking a book I read a few years ago and loved!

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MY REVIEW:

 

When I read the preview for THE NIGHTINGALE, I knew it was going to be an emotional story and I knew it was going to make me cry. All of Kristin Hannah’s books have always made me cry. I had no idea I would be sobbing and be an emotional wreck after finishing it. The last name of both women in this heartbreaking novel means Nightingale in French, hence the name of this wonderful story.

 

Kristin Hannah’s latest book, THE NIGHTINGALE is the story of two sisters and how each reacts to the challenges of living in France under Nazi occupation. The sisters grew up in the years after the Great War and both saw and felt the destructive effects of that war on their family and those left behind. Their father returned from World War I a very different man than the one who left. Then shortly after that, their mother died. Their father could not or would not care for his daughters and they were deposited on relatives, schools and others, growing up with little familial love and connection.

 

While THE NIGHTINGALE is focused on the lives and different personalities of the two sisters and how each in their own way responds to the horrors of war, the question at the very heart of the book is – would I risk my life and when and most important, my child’s life – to save a stranger? Despite the often numbing effects of war and the constant threat of death, compassion and love underscore the characters’ decisions and actions. Needless to say, the story brings a strong emotional response. So keep the tissues handy.

 

THE NIGHTINGALE will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it. I have no idea when I will be able to read another book, but right now I can’t stop thinking about this one. There were several times I found myself desperately wanting to keep reading, to find out what would happen next, but I was afraid to turn the page, scared of the possible fates awaiting these characters. Kristin Hannah has a magical way of telling dramatic stories about women, friendship and family.

FROM GOODREADS:

In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

France, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

 

 

HAVE A GREAT DAY AND THANKS FOR READING!

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CAN’T – WAIT WEDNESDAY

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

This week, I’m waiting for…

RELEASE DATE:  JULY 13, 2021

FROM GOODREADS:

After divorce shatters her family, one woman’s struggle to pick up the pieces finally leads to a new beginning–but is the past truly behind her? #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber explores the powerful intersections of love and family in this poignant novel.

It’s been nearly six years since Julia Jones had her heart broken. After her husband became involved with another woman, she did everything she could to save their marriage, to no avail. Their two daughters continue to stand by Julia in the wake of their father’s behavior–and they’ve had a tough time getting along with the other woman who became their stepmother. Distraught after selling the family home, Julia moves into a condominium complex that offers the warmth and charm of a fresh start. Now, having settled into her new community and sold her successful interior design business, she’s embraced a fulfilling new life, one that doesn’t seem to need a man in it. Her beloved father’s trusty saying is ringing truer than ever: It’s better this way.

But when Julia meets a handsome new resident in the building’s exercise room, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Heath Johnson is a welcome change from the men she’s encountered on the occasional–mostly disastrous–dates her sister has eagerly planned for her over the years. As she and Heath, a divorc� himself, begin to grow close, their friendship blossoms into a love neither of them had expected. However, they soon realize that combining families, even with four adult children, presents inevitable challenges.

When a dramatic revelation threatens the happiness they’ve found, Julia and Heath must reconcile their love for their children with their love for each other. If they can’t, their bright future together may be nothing but a dream.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!💞