Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

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The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors #1) by Sarah E. Ladd (Thomas Nelson)

This is the author’s debut novel and she is already writing like a pro.  I was captivated by this book right away and could hardly put it down.  I really have nothing bad to say about this novel and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Immediately you are drawn into the storyline, set in Darbury, England in February 1814.  Amelia Barrett had befriended Katherine Sterling whose husband, Captain Graham Sterling was away on his ship.  Katherine gives birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lucy, but the birth was too difficult and she dies.  But before she dies, she makes Amelia promise to always care for Lucy.  And that promise was one she intended to keep, no matter what.

Amelia, the heiress of Winterwood Manor, must marry before she turns 24 (just a few months away) or her inheritance will go to her next of kin.  Her Uncle has made arrangements for her to marry Edward Littleton.  At first she thought he was a wonderful man and she thought she loved him and he loved her.  But as time grew near the wedding date she started finding out the true nature of her fiance.  He refused her to keep the toddler, Lucy.  And that was one thing that Amelia was not going to go along with.  And then in steps Captain Graham Sterling, back from the war waiting for ship repairs, he comes to visit his daughter that he has yet to meet.  From here the story gets exciting and dangerous.  You’ll just have to get the book to read more and I promise that you won’t be disappointed.  If you love a good historical, Christian romance with some suspense mixed in, then you’ll love this book.

I was given a free download of this book by NetGalley for my honest opinion.  I will be buying this novel for our Media Center in April.

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Friday Gleanings by Carmen – March 29, 2013

Good-Friday-Wallpaper-24“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him.”  (John 1:10 HCSB)

This month, we have been studying The Patriarchs by Beth Moore.  I have read the story of Hagar many times and never noticed this passage:  “Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink.”  (Genesis 21:19 HCSB).  Hagar was distressed, being in the desert alone with her son, Ishmael.  They were out of water, and her son was failing, so she let him rest under a bush, and removed herself from the scene, fearful that she would have to see him die.  Can you imagine a mother’s angst?  But then God opened her eyes…the water was there, but she didn’t see it before; God was there, but she was oblivious to His presence before.

Throughout the Scriptures, we find passages filled with the many ways that people fail to recognize The Living Water, Jesus.  Many things can blur our vision and keep us from seeing Jesus: disobedience, fear, sorrow, hardships, emotional distress, and even ignorance.  At times, God, knowing our hearts shields our eyes and minds till we are ready to submit completely to Him.

Sometimes our blindness comes from disobedience. The Scribes and Pharisees, for example, had access to the Scriptures, but when Jesus stood before them, they did not want to believe that He was the “promised one.”  The other extreme is ignorance.  At Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptist declares: “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize.”  (John 1:26 NLT). The public ministry of Jesus had not yet begun.  He had not revealed Himself.

Between disobedience and ignorance there are many reasons we lose sight of who Jesus really is. Even while Jesus was still on this earth, those closest to Him had trouble recognizing Him and understanding what He was about.  One stormy night on Lake Galilee, He came to His disciples walking on water, and they cried: “It’s a ghost!” (Matthew 14:26 NLT).  In Mark Chapter 8, the same disciples are concerned about their bread supply, so when Jesus speaks of bread, they fail to understand that Jesus is speaking about The Bread of Life.  Jesus rebukes them saying: “Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember”?  (Mark 8:18 HCSB).

After the Resurrection, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb:  “She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.”  (John 20:14 NLT). In her emotional distress and sorrow, she mistakes Him for the gardener. It is not until Jesus says: “Mary!” that she realizes who He is. In the same way the travelers on the road to Emmaus, walk with Jesus and talk to Him without realizing He is the very person they are speaking of.  It is not till He breaks bread with them, that they realize who He truly is. And finally, we have Thomas, traumatized by the events of the preceding days, must have sensory  proof in order to acknowledge Christ.

Today, we still fail to recognize Jesus, but there is a special blessing for those who do: blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  (John 20:29 NIV).  And 1 Peter 1: 8-9 (NLT) says: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving us and for sending us your son, Jesus.  LORD, keep our eyes, minds and hearts open, so that we will always recognize Him.

In His precious Name,

Amen

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Free E-Book – March 27, 2013

  • FREE on Kindle:  The Glimpse: A Vision of America’s Future by Grant Carroll (I have no idea how long it will be free, so if you want it go ahead and download today.)

This book has caught my interest.  I’ve been looking at the reviews on Amazon and even watched a video review one pastor posted about this book. I went ahead and downloaded the book for myself, not thinking I would pass it along, because I really don’t know the author or anything about him.  So then I did a google search and found this Vimeo interview with the author, Grant Carroll, and watched it and now I’m really intrigued.  I’m passing this along you you so you can look for yourself and see if this is the kind of book you may want to read.  Watch the interview and see what you think.  Always check what you read, fiction or non-fiction, with the Bible to make sure it’s scriptural.  If you do read this book, I would love to hear comments about it.

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New Arrivals – March 2013

Here’s a list of new and donated books and DVDs we have added to our collection during March.  I hope you see something you like and you’ll come to the Media Center to check them out.

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Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter

10634544Smitten (Smitten Series #1) by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter

Ok, here goes…I was completely “smitten” with this book! I don’t usually like romance-only novels, but I decided to give this one a try. Since I am the director of my church library and I’m always on the lookout for all genres to please our patrons and I kept seeing this book advertised and checked it out from our local library system. I was immediately drawn into the “save the town” campaign and even though the romances were predicable, I still enjoyed the process of seeing them finally admit to each other of their love. But what really made me a believer was the town’s effort to change it’s whole look in order to save the town after the mill closed down. I was excited to see how each of the four women pulled together and made the town (including the men) see their vision of making Smitten, Vermont a romantic getaway. I loved how each person was drawn to the Lord in seeking His will and deciding to trust Him and not their plans. I wanted to move to this fictional town and open up a Christian book/gift store and go with the theme! Even though I love historical, suspense, mystery-type books with just a little romance thrown in, I really did enjoy this book and I know a lot of our patrons will love this book also. I have bought both “Smitten” and “Secretly Smitten” to add to our collection in our library.

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Discounted E-Book – March 26, 2013

I’m having a hard time finding really good Christian freebies lately, but I am coming across some great books at a great price.  Here is one that sounds very good and has some very good reviews.

  • NO LONGER $1.99 (as of 3-27-13) on Kindle and Nook:  With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin.  I’ve never heard of this author but I really enjoyed looking at her website and I’m excited about reading this book.   

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Discounted Books – March 25, 2013

I didn’t find any really good freebies today, but for those of you who like to purchase e-books I have found 3 really great books at great prices.  Just click on the e-reader to be taken to the site to read about it and download.  Also, click on the author’s name and be taken to their website.99

  • NO LONGER 99 cents (as of 3-27-13) on Kindle and Nook:  All For A Song by Allison Pittman
  • $2.99 (as of 3-27-13) on Kindle and Nook:  To Whisper Her Name (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel #1) by Tamera Alexander.  I’ve read this book and it’s an excellent historical romance with some mystery blended in…it’s perfect!
  • NO LONGER $3.99 (as of 3-27-13) on Kindle and Nook:  Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart.  Our Women’s Book Club read this book in May 2011 and had a conference call with the author, Ann Gabhart, at our Book Club meeting.  It was fantastic.  She is such a wonderful lady and we enjoyed talking to her and loved her book.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Damascus Countdown by Joel C. Rosenberg

Scan 130810000This is the final book in the Twelfth Imam Series by Joel C. Rosenberg and it’s bittersweet for me.  I could read about David Shirazi and more international intrigue for several more books, but I don’t know if my nerves could take anymore!  This is the kind of book that takes you inside the pages and you experience it all and sometimes I had to just lay it aside to take a breather and relax.  Joel Rosenberg really knows how to write and take a reader captive with his storyline and characters.

If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, The Twelfth Imam and The Tehran Initiative, don’t read this one until you do. It’s definitely not a stand-alone novel.  They all build on each other and the characters grow and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you dizzy!

In this final book, David Shirazi (aka Reza Tabrizi & code name Zephyr) is on a doomsday mission that takes him straight into a nuclear bomb.  He is having to deal with tragic family issues and finally coming to terms with his feelings with, Marseille Harper, a childhood sweetheart.  But he’s a long way from home and no time to deal with it because he is jumping from country to country trying to outsmart the Twelfth Imam and try to stop a complete nuclear disaster.  And honestly, you can’t anticipate everything that happens to him.  So just sit back, hold on, and read until you are tense and can’t catch your breath and put the book down and relax with a glass of iced tea and cookies…then you’ll be ready to pick the book back up and go full throttle again!

I loved Dr. Birjandi, the best scholar of Shia Islamic history and secret follower of Jesus.  When he is teaching two new converts and answering their questions as to what the Bible prophecy is concerning Iran and Damascus I was spellbound.  I have never heard it explained in a way that made so much sense.  I have actually taken notes and put it in my Bible inside the Book of Isaiah to keep as a reference.  I know that the author, Joel Rosenberg is a very highly respected teacher in this area and he always seems to be right on with his interpretations of Bible prophecy.

I have read some of the lower ratings on Amazon and I do hope that they won’t stop you from reading this series.  Yes, you should know right up front that this is an extremely Christian work of fiction.  And yes, Jesus Christ is mentioned a lot…for me that’s what makes this book so wonderful.  I loved it when David witnessed to his friend while they were right in the middle of a firestorm and headed toward certain death.  David asked his friend, Torres…”if we don’t make it through this thing–and you know as well as I do there’s a real chance that we won’t–do you know where you’re going?”  “What do you mean?”  “I’m saying when you die, whenever that is, do you know if you’re going to heaven or hell?”  and then David explained, in the best way I’ve read in a novel, the plan of salvation.  That’s what it boils down to…do you know?

If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.  It’s a thrill-a-minute, riveting, suspense filled book that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire 465 pages! Whew!  What a ride!

We have both fiction series by Joel Rosenberg in the Media Center and we also have his non-fiction book, Epicenter.  If you are a member of our church, come on by and check these books out and start on an amazing adventure.  If you are reading this blog from around the country or even around the world, you can purchase these books, or maybe your church has a Media Center and you can check them out.  Also, you can check your local/state libraries to see if they have them to check out, I know Georgia libraries have them.  Happy Reading!

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Women’s Book Club Discussing Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Book Club SelectionPromises to Keep is a book full of surprises and insight.  Roz, the main character says that “bad memories are weeds and the good memories are flowers.”  However, Tillie, who is older and wiser believes that every moment of every hour is precious: “I ask God to help me remember the forgotten moments, and he always brings something good to mind…People look at greatness in the extraordinary and completely overlook the ordinary. That’s why those moments are all forgotten, counted as nothing.  It’s a terrible loss.”  One of the reasons to love this book is that it teaches us to embrace every day the Lord has given us.
We had 8 beautiful ladies to join us at our Book Club on Saturday, March 23, 2013.  Of course everyone had a wonderful time of fellowship while eating a delicious breakfast that everyone contributed to and then we had a great discussion of Promise to Keep by Ann Tatlock.  (Unfortunately, our photographer that has a tripod (me) was not able to attend, so Carmen was not in the picture…she was behind the camera.)
Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock - March 23, 2013

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock – March 23, 2013

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Free E-Books – March 24, 2013

Click on the e-reader and you will be taken directly to the website to read about the book and download it.  Also, you can click on the author’s name and will be taken to their website so you can learn more about them and other books they have written.

  • FREE March 24-30 ONLY on Kindle and Nook:  The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer.  We have this book in our Media Center and I’ve read it…it’s very good.  He writes legal suspense, similar to Robert Whitlow.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this book, especially since it’s free!!
  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Stuck in the Middle (Sister-to-Sister #1) by Virginia Smith.  I’ve read two other books by this author, Just As I Am #1 and Sincerely, Mayla #2 and I really enjoyed them.
  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Why Trust Jesus? An Honest Look at Doubts, Plans, Hurts, Desires, Gripes, Questions and Pleasures by Dave Sterrett.

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Free E-Books – March 22, 2013

I’ve found three free books and one for a great price.  Click on the e-reader and you will be taken to the website to read about the book and download it.  Also, click on the author’s name to be taken to their website.

  • FREE on Kindle:  But For Grace by Tracey Bateman
  • FREE on Nook:  In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman #1) by Judith Miller.  This is not a free book on Kindle, but I sure do wish it was because it sounds really good.
  • FREE on Kindle:  To Rise Above by Julianne Jones.  Looks like this is the second book in a series, but from what I can gather you don’t have to read the first book, but if you like background info you might want to keep an eye out for To A Distant Land.  I went ahead and downloaded this free book and if I like it (it sure sounds good) then I may have to buy the first book.
  • $2.99 on Kindle and Nook:  The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz.  I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read others by Laura Frantz and have really enjoyed them.  In fact, Courting Morrow Little was a reduced price earlier this month…I’ve read it and it’s VERY good.

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Friday Gleanings by Carmen – March 22, 2013

“But as for the cowards, the faithless and the corrupt, the murderers, the traffickers in sex and sorcery, the worshippers of idols and all liars––their inheritance is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

I like to read history books.  The only problem with this genre is that history is true, factual, and based on events that are irreversible.

In the 1970’s, I read a book about the beautiful love story of Lady Anne Neville and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III, King of England).  After dodging several plots against their lives and their love, Richard marries Anne.  However, because the players in this story are real people, a happy ending is not to be had. In 1485, two short years after they are married, Anne dies of tuberculosis and Richard is seen crying openly at her funeral, celebrated at Westminster Abbey.  I remember putting the book down and not wanting the story to end that way. Unlike fiction, we cannot give the bombing of Hiroshima a happy ending.  We cannot stop Marie Antoinette from being beheaded.  We cannot prolong the marriage of Richard the III and Lady Anne, no matter how much we may think they love each other.

Scan 130800000The Bible is the ultimate “true book.”  When we read it, we must accept all of it or none of it.  If we try to pick and choose the parts we want to believe, God’s love story is compromised and it ceases to be true.

Last year a friend of mine gave me a book to read.  The book is If God Is Love by Philip Gulley.  The book is about God’s grace and love, which is portrayed accurately and scripturally.  However, the author draws the conclusion that a loving, merciful and compassionate God cannot also be a just God.

Mr. Gulley begins the book with the premise that Satan and hell do not exist.  He says that because God’s grace is so amazing, everyone will ultimately be saved.  Salvation is for all people no matter what they have done or have believed.  As much as I would love for all my unsaved friends and family members to come under the umbrella of “universal salvation”, I cannot change the truth and inerrancy of the Scriptures.  Either I believe it or not.

Mr. Gulley says that not believing in a dual outcome for humanity (heaven or hell), has allowed him to live a more peaceful life, a life without fear.  Sometimes I want to live without having to fear traffic accidents, earthquakes or evildoers, but I would never say car wrecks, natural disasters and criminals do not exist.  It certainly would make for a more peaceful life, a less fearful life, but my denial of these things would not do away with them.

God is real.  He is loving, kind, forgiving merciful, tender-hearted, faithful, but He is also all-knowing, powerful, righteous, and just.  We cannot have God’s goodness without His justice.  We cannot create our own God.  The God of the Scriptures is the “true” God. We must accept  His love and His chastening, His rewards and His punishment, and His sovereignty and His power over death, evil and Satan.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

You are the one true God.  Thank you for revealing yourself to us in the Scriptures.  We believe you are our creator, our father and also our Lord and judge.  We love, respect, and fear you.  Because you are God, we come humbly into your presence.  Our confidence in coming before Your throne of grace has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the righteousness of Jesus.  We believe that by His death on the cross, we have been saved from hell and the clutches of the devil.  Today we recommit our lives to taking the “Good News” to others who have not yet believed.

In the name of Jesus, who overcame death so that we might have eternal life,

Amen

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Free E-Book – March 21, 2013

I found one book today that I thought would be a great freebie to pass along. Click on the e-reader to be directed to the website to read more about the book and to download it.  You can also click on the author’s name and be directed to their website.

  • NOW IT’S $2.99 AS OF 3-27- 13 – NO LONGER FREE on Kindle and Nook:  God Built: Forged by God…in the Bad and Good of Life by Steve Farrar. “Steve Farrar is right on target, he understands our times, he talks straight, he doesn’t mess around, and best of all, he walks the talk!”  Chuck Swindoll, Insight for Living 

 

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The American Bible Challenge Game Show Begins March 21, 2013 9/8c

I watched this show some last season and it was really good.  Of course, Jeff Foxworthy is FUNNY!  And it really challenges your brain to try and answer the questions yourself as you see the teams try for the correct answers.  Give this show a try and see how many answers you can get.  Maybe pull out your Bible and flip through the concordance and see if you can find the answers quicker than your husband or kids…make your own Bible challenge right in your on living room.

Their website is full of neat features, there’s even a Bible study by Max Lucado!

Check out this preview of Season 2 that starts tomorrow night.

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Free E-Book – March 20, 2013

Here’s a free book offer that’s only good through tomorrow, Thursday March 21, 2013.  So check it out and download it.  I have never read any books by this author but this book had some good reviews and I’m going to give it a try.

  • NO LONGER FREE ($2.99 as of 3-22-13) FREE on Kindle:  Charity’s Gold Rush (A Strike It Rich in Montana Novel) by Cynthia Hickey

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Free & Discounted E-Books – March 19, 2013

Today I found one freebie and one discounted novel.  Both are by excellent authors, so if you have $2.99 and like Beth Wiseman books then this is a really good deal.

  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Waiting for Summer’s Return (Heart of the Prairie #1) by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  We have this series in the Media Center, so download the free e-book and then come in and check out the rest of the series.
  • $2.51 on Kindle and $2.99 on Nook:  Seek Me with All Your Heart (A Land of Canaan Novel#1) by Beth Wiseman.  This book was the 2011 Women of Faith Novel of the Year and the 2011 Retailers Choice Award Finalist.

If you download either of these books, or any books I post, I would love some feedback!  So come back and make a comment and let me know if you liked the book, was just ok with it, or didn’t like it.  Really great books deserve to be noted and even though I would love to be able to read them all, I just don’t have the time.  So I would be very grateful to you if you could let me know what you think.  Thanks and happy reading!

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Free E-Books – March 18, 2013

Click on the e-reader and you will be directed to the page to read more about the book and then download it.  You can also click on the author’s name and you’ll be taken to their website where you can read more about the author and his/her books.

  • FREE on Kindle, Nook and Apple:  Paradise Valley (Daughters of Caleb Bender #1) by Dale Cramer.  We have this series in the Media Center and although I have not read them yet, several of our patrons have and they loved them.
  • FREE on Kindle:  But For Grace by Tracey V. Bateman
  • FREE on Kindle:  Always Yesterday by Jeri Odell

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That’s My King! Jesus!

This video was shown in our church this morning and it’s amazing.  The man speaking is Dr. S. M. Lockridge and the video was posted by Albert Martin on YouTube.  I’m not sure who made the production but they did an amazing job and I hope they don’t mind me posting it on my blog for others to enjoy.

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All in Good Time by Maureen Lang – Great Book!

Scan 130750001I believe this is my first time reading a book by Maureen Lang and it won’t be my last.  She is a gifted writer who draws you into the book immediately and doesn’t let you go until the end…and then you want it to keep going!  She develops her characters wonderfully and gives a Christian perspective to the story without being “preachy”.

Dessa Caldwell is on a mission to help women in Denver who have no other choice than to work in a brothel.  She is not the least bit condemning because she knows that but for the grace of God she might be in the same place.  Her desire is to carry out her dear friend Sophie’s dream to open a home near the very district the women work, so she will be close enough for them to learn about her and her desire to give them other options.  To learn that beauty is from the inside and that beauty comes from God.  But she has a problem, getting money from donors and a loan from a bank is hard for a woman with no means of paying back the loan…especially in the 1887!

Henry Hawkins is a young handsome owner of a local bank, who keeps to himself and has quite a reputation for not being the least bit friendly.  He has a past he is trying to atone for and forget, yet it keeps creeping back and holding him back from moving forward.

Of course, you can figure out by now that Dessa comes to Henry for a loan and she gets the loan and you can probably go ahead and figure out the ending.  But what happens in-between is a wonderful story that is woven together with the lives of so many other people, a few women who have taken refuge in Pierson House and a villan, Turk Foster, who has his own agenda, and many others.  The excitement builds with each chapter and one quote sticks in my mind from the end of the book:

“She (Dessa) caught back such thoughts, as if Sophie herself were there to scold her.  “We may question the circumstances God allows to draw us to Him or to teach us, but we must never question His love. His will is known to those who seek it, all in good time.”

I highly recommend this book.  After reading this book, I discovered that there is another  book in The Gilded Legacy Series that came first, Bees in the Butterfly Garden, and thought I had missed out on a previous story with the characters.  But I have learned that this series is comprised of stand-alone stories that can be read in any order.  I have the first book and am looking forward to reading it and then I would like to read the Great War Series by Maureen Lang.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

I am donating this book to the Media Center and we also have Bees in the Garden, the first book in the Gilded Legacy Series.

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Free Taste of Home Cookbook – March 16, 2013

I know this is not a Christian book, but I was thrilled to see this book offered free. Get it ASAP, because I don’t know how long this great offer will last.  I just bought this book this past Christmas to give as a gift.  Now I get to download a free copy for me!

  • NO LONGER FREE (3-22-13) FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Taste of Home Fast Fixes with Mixes New Edition: 314 Delicious No-Fuss Recipes by Taste of Home Magazine

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