“With Love Wherever You Are” by Dandi Daley Mackall

Love Goes the Distance!

In 1996, the author’s dying father asked her to go to his home’s attic, and get his old army trunk—and to make sure she did it when her mom wasn’t home.  He also made her promise that she wouldn’t look at the contents until both he and the author’s mother had passed away.  Although Ms. Mackall did what her father instructed her, she pestered him until he told her what was in the trunk.  At last he told her it was letters, hundreds of them, that he, Frank Daley, and her mother, Helen, had written to each other during World War II.  Since Helen didn’t like showing her sentimental side, Frank was afraid Helen would throw them out after his passing.

Even though she didn’t open the actual letters, Ms. Mackall did give in to the temptation to take a peek at them in the trunk.  She found a treasure trove of not just stacks of letters, but also Christmas and Easter cards from different locations throughout Europe, along with medals and Bibles signed by FDR encouraging all servicemen to read scripture.   That is when the seeds were planted for the author to write a fictionalized story based on the very real experiences her parents lived out during World War II.

When Army Nurse Helen Eberhart and Army Doctor Frank Daley met on Easter Sunday of 1944, neither one of their lives would ever be the same.  There was only a small window of time when the two of them were both stationed at the Army’s Battle Creek Training Camp.  Despite having very little time to get to know each other, Frank decided he wanted to marry Helen.  Overcoming her determination to never marry, along with the common knowledge that war marriages usually didn’t work out, was a big challenge for him.

Frank was up to the task, and Helen agreed to be his bride!  The Army seemed to work extra hard to make it difficult for service personnel to marry.  Both Helen and Frank had to take a pay cut, just like all married military personnel at that time had to.  They also were stationed very far apart, and couldn’t tell each other what country they were in.  Helen and Frank attempted to devise a code they hoped the letter censors wouldn’t catch so they could tell each other their location.

Other than the short time they had together when they first met, for the rest of the war Helen and Frank were not together, save for a couple of short rendezvous they were able to arrange.  Instead they had a long distance marriage, and wrote over six hundred letters to each other.  They ended each one with the phrase, “with love, wherever you are….”

This book was the author’s own love letter to her parents, and it is an amazing story. With Love, Wherever You Are, traces the romance, separation hardships, and faith the couple relied on.  You will view the ups and downs of the war through their eyes.

Helen and Frank Daley were members of “The Greatest Generation”—the group of people who grew up during the Great Depression, served in World War II, and then returned home to rebuild America and start families. They were dependable and hard working, not seeking fame or ambition, but did all they did because it was the “right thing to do,” as journalist Tom Brokaw pointed out.

That description holds true for the author’s parents, as well as, for my own pair of Greatest Generation parents that raised me.  Sadly, most of that generation have slipped away from us, especially in this last decade; in the year 2008 alone, it was estimated that more than 1,000 were dying a day.*  Well-written books like this one help memorialize that time period, and the people who lived through it.  Having it all wrapped up in a work of fiction makes it even better.  I highly recommend this 5 plus star book to everyone—no matter what your generation.  Helen and Frank will grab your attention from the first page, and you will not want to put it down until you find out how their story ends.

Tyndale House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of With Love, Wherever You Are, for the purpose of review.   I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

*Estimate by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once 16 million strong, U.S. veterans of World War II numbered 2.5 million by 2008 and less than 620,000 were still alive in 2016.

The Author’s Website:  www.dandibooks.com

The Author’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/dandi.mackall?fref=ts

The Author’s Twitter:  https://twitter.com/dandiMackall

The Author’s Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall

 

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “With Love Wherever You Are” by Dandi Daley Mackall

Butterscotch Brownies with Crème Brûlée Frosting: A Book Review Recipe

Brownies:

  • 18 ¼ ounces yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a large bowl mix cake mix, butter and 1 egg at medium speed until mixture is crumbly.  Press evenly in 13 x 9 pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with pecans and chips.  Press slightly into cake mixture with a back of a wooden spoon.

Cool thoroughly.  It is okay if some of the chips melt during cooling.

Crème Brûlée Frosting

Custard Frosting:

  • 2 ounces cornstarch
  • 10 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Brûlée Sugar Mixture:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

For the custard frosting:  Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment, whip the cornstarch and egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl until light and fluffy.  Warm the whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  When the cream mixture reaches about 100° F., add about half of it to the egg yolks, whisking, and then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan.  Continue cooking the yolk and cream mixture until it reaches a boil (about 180° F.).  Remove from the heat immediately and pour into a clean stainless steel bowl.  Whip in the butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  (The mixture may be stored in an  air-tight container up to 5 days.)

Spread over the cooled butterscotch brownies.  Let set about an hour.  Cut into bars.

Read more at:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/creme-brulee-cupcake.html

This recipe appeared in my review book, Baby Bunco, by Julie B. Cosgrove.

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Butterscotch Brownies with Crème Brûlée Frosting: A Book Review Recipe

Janie’s Lemon Bars: A Book Review Recipe

For the Base

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • ½ cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

 For the Top:

  • 4 large beaten eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind zest

Directions

For the base—

Mix the butter into the flour and sugar until it clings together.  Press evenly with your hands into an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.  Bake at 350° F. for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for at least an hour.

For the filing—

Beat together eggs, sugar and lemon juice.  Sift together flour and baking powder.  Stir into egg mixture.

Pour over baked, cooled crust.  Bake at 350° F. for 25 minutes.  Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into 1 inch square bars.

This recipe appeared in my review book, Baby Bunco, by Julie B. Cosgrove.

 

 

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Janie’s Lemon Bars: A Book Review Recipe

Leather Britches Beans: A Book Review Recipe

Pick fully ripe but tender green beans.  Remove strings from the beans and snap them or leave them whole, as desired.  Thread them onto strings by drawing a needle and strong thread through the center of each bean.  Hang the strings of beans from one end in a warm, dry place, like an attic, or on a porch.  When they are very dry, put the beans in cloth bags and hang them where they will be cold and dry, or put them in the freezer (which keeps bugs out of them).

To cook leather britches:  Soak the beans overnight if desired; then cover with water; add ham hock or other seasoning; and cook for several hours, until beans are tender.

Rickie and Susie Patterson

This recipe appeared in my review book, The Captain Takes a Wife, by Doris Durbin. She stated this was an old family recipe from Union County, Georgia.

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Leather Britches Beans: A Book Review Recipe

Dried Apple Stack Cake: A Book Review Recipe

Apple Filling:

  • 1 lb Dried Apples
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • ½ – 1 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 2 Cups Sugar

Cover apples with water about ½ – inch above surface (5 to 6 cups water).  Simmer 30 to 40 minutes until apples are almost mushy.  Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sugar; mix well.  Spread between cake layers while hot.

Cake:

  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ Cup Buttermilk
  • 5 ¼ Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Heat oven to 425° F.  Grease seven 9-inch or nine 8-inch round pans.  (This batter will have a stiff cookie-like consistency.  It holds well, so may be baked in several bakings depending on oven size and number of pans available.)  Cream shortening and sugar together; beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir buttermilk, baking soda and baking powder together and mix into batter.  Blend in flour and salt thoroughly.  Divide into 7 or 9 portions.  With floured hands, pat portions into prepared pans.  Bake about 10 minutes.  Let cool slightly; remove from pans.  Stack layers with hot apple filling between layers.  Let stand at least 24 hours before cutting.

                                                                                                     Edna Gray

This recipe appeared in my review book, The Captain Takes a Wife, by Doris Durbin. She stated this was an old family recipe from Union County, Georgia.

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dried Apple Stack Cake: A Book Review Recipe

“The Dog Who Was There” by Ron Marasco

The Kind Man!

Ever wonder what the world would look like through the eyes of a dog?  This book answers that.  Barley, a dog that lives in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, chronicles his life in this tale. His earliest memories revolve around his mother, a meadow and a kind little boy.  But a series of confusing events leave Barley homeless and alone.

Barley lives through both good times and lean times which correlate with the people in his life. He also notices things that happen to the humans around him.  Barley first hears about the Teacher from the elderly Adah and Dov’s conversations.  They talk about forgiveness and other teachings from the Teacher, and try to live them out.   As time goes on, Barley notices those two seniors, who were always happy, have an even deeper level of happiness because of the Teacher’s words.

Prisca often talks about the Teacher from Galilee while around Barley and Samid. Barley notices that Samid starts treating those around him differently, in a kinder way, after discussions about the Teacher’s preachings.  Samid even refuses to take part in illegal activities that had once been part of his life—he even attempts to get his friend to stop as well.

Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a donkey is described through Barley’s eyes.  The dog notes the man’s face is filled with so much kindness that Barley refers to him as the Kind Man from then on. He even witnesses the events in Jerusalem one week later that leave Barley confused and alone.  Ultimately, Barley incorporates some of the Kind Man’s teachings in his own behavior, and discovers a whole new world because of it.

This is a sweet story that attempts to answer many what ifs…what if a dog lived in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ ministry?  What if that dog could communicate his impressions of the people and events of that time period?  What if that dog also had to be dependent on the people around him, what would his life be like?

I liked this book’s interesting perspective, and it is a very fast read.  From the first time you read about Barley, you will care about him, and wonder if he is going to survive.  I was concerned that this book might treat Christianity with disrespect, but my worries were not fulfilled.  Faith was treated with high esteem; in fact, your faith might even be deepened from this tale.  Also, the description Barley had of Jesus’ last hours on this earth will bring tears to your eyes.  I enjoyed this 5-star book, and recommend it to both dog lovers, and those who are not.  Anyone will like this imaginative tale.

Thomas Nelson Publishing provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Dog Who Was There, for the purpose of review.   I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Author’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ron.marasco.12

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “The Dog Who Was There” by Ron Marasco

“Angel’s–Gods Supernatural Agents” by Ed Rocha

Angel Sightings

Have you ever seen an angel?  Not someone who is called an angel, but a real “honest to goodness” angel from Heaven?  This book chronicles many true encounters that people have had with angels in our modern time.  Do angels really exist?  Absolutely!  The Bible speaks of many cases when angels have appeared to people.

For instance, an angel came to Mary to tell her of Christ’s birth, an angel came to Daniel in response to his prayers, and an angel blocked the road when Balaam wanted to pass by on his donkey.  In those cases, the angel’s appearance frightened the humans they came to see.  Often the first words out of the angel’s mouth was, “fear not.”  The author writes of a modern day angelic experience he had that so overwhelmed him he could not stop his legs from shaking.

At other times, angels make their appearances disguised as humans.  In those instances, it is only after the fact that the people involved have understood they have had an encounter with an angel.  As Hebrews 13:2 states:

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:  for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

The author’s parents had just such an experience one night when they were stranded on a deserted road.   A tow truck suddenly appeared, and a tall man dressed all in white pulled their car out of the mud they were stuck in.  When he was finished, he left without a word.  When they tried to catch up with him, they noticed there were no tire marks on the road ahead of them–he appeared to have vanished into thin air.  That is when reality hit them that an angel had helped them that night.

As amazing as angelic encounters can be, the author emphasizes over and over again that we are not to worship angels.  The angels themselves are always quick to say the same thing: worship God, not them.  

Over the years, I have read a lot of books about angels and angelic encounters.  This is one of the best ones that I have come across, and is filled with amazing incidents involving humans and angels in our day.  These stories will strengthen your faith, and show how much God loves each of us to send such creatures to our aid.  I highly recommend this 5-star book to everyone.

Cross Focused Reviews along with Chosen Books have provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Angel’s–Gods Supernatural Agents, for the purpose of review.   I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Author’s Website:  http://www.edrocha.org/

The Author’s Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Ed_Rocha_

The Author’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/edssrocha/

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Angel’s–Gods Supernatural Agents” by Ed Rocha

Tea Cakes: A Book Review Recipe

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ tsp. Soda
  • ½ cup Buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla or Lemon
  • 1 cup Lard and Butter, mixed (Can substitute Butter or Shortening for Lard.)
  • Flour (sufficient to make a soft dough)

Cream butter and lard; add sugar and beaten eggs.  Into 1 cup flour, sift soda and baking powder; add to sugar mixture.  Add buttermilk and flavoring; add flour to make soft dough.  Turn onto floured board; knead until smooth.  Roll out ¼ inch thick.  Cut into any shape.  Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets in moderate over (350° F.) until brown and done, about 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                           Ethel Rawlins

This recipe appeared in my review book, The Captain Takes a Wife, by Doris Durbin.  She stated this was an old family recipe from Union County, Georgia.

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tea Cakes: A Book Review Recipe

Japanese Fruit Cake and Icing: A Book Review Recipe

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Cup chopped nutmeats (pecans, walnuts, etc.)
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Powdered Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Soda

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk to preceding mixture, beating well.  Mix in raisins and nuts.  Pour into 2 or 3 prepared 9-inch pans and bake in slow (275° F.) oven for one hour or until cake leaves sides of pan.

Icing:

  • 4 Cups Flaked Coconut
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 ½ Cups Hot Water
  • 2 ½ Cups Sugar
  • 2 Lemons grated rind and juice

Combine all ingredients and cook over slow fire, stirring gently until thick, then spread over Japanese Fruit Cake.

                                                                                                                                Chasity Corn Miller

This recipe appeared in my review book, The Captain Takes a Wife, by Doris Durbin.  She stated this was an old family recipe from Union County, Georgia.

Posted in Book Review Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Japanese Fruit Cake and Icing: A Book Review Recipe

“Baby Bunco” by Julie B. Cosgrove

70 is the New 40?!

At first glance, Janie Manson seems like a typical senior citizen.  A widow living in Sunset Acres, a Texas retirement community, she plays Bunco weekly, walks every morning with friends, and owns a cat.  But she has another side, that of a crime solver with a mind sharp as a tack!

Janie’s late husband, Jack, a police detective, used to discuss all his cases with her. Her insight helped him to solve many cases. Because of that, Jack received many awards, and is a well-known hero at the Alamoville Police Department—much to son-in-law Blake Johnson’s chagrin. Blake, also a Chief Detective, doesn’t know which is worse: trying to live up to the legendary work of Jack, or attempting to kept Janie from interfering with current police investigations.

When a newborn baby is found abandoned in one of Sunset Acres empty homes, Janie knows there is more to the story, and immediately goes to work to figure it out.  She hopes her Bunco Biddies friends will help her look into it.  Before she is done, she will find herself in a morgue at midnight, impersonating a rich drug addict, and dealing with a black market ring that will stop at nothing to continue their grisly work.

I enjoyed this book and the adventures of the “gray haired” set.  Although this is a work of fiction, I was surprised to find the black market featured in this book really exists in the U.S., and it is a serious problem.  I appreciated the humor and the Christian viewpoint this book is written from.  Baby Bunco is the second installment in the Bunco Biddies Mystery series, but this story can stand on its own without needing to read the first one.

There is a sweet ending to this story!  The back of the book contains two recipes featured in the story:   Janie’s Lemon Bars along with Butterscotch Brownies with Crème Brûlée

Frosting.  I recommend this 5-star book and think mystery lovers, and fans of fiction would really enjoy it.

Pelican Book Group has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Baby Bunco for the purpose of review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Author’s Blog:  https://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com/

The Author’s Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JulieBCosgrove

The Author’s Website:  www.juliebcosgrove.com

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Baby Bunco” by Julie B. Cosgrove