Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sweet Caroline

Do you like to read fiction? I love a good story. And I love most any genre of story.....except Science Fiction... it's too over the top for me.

I really love it when the book is Christian fiction so I don't have to worry with the content being less than desirable. I read a book recently that fits all of these things to a 't'! I really enjoyed it and I would love to recommend to you all. The book is called Sweet Caroline.

This was my first opportunity to review a work of fiction. At first I was a little leery of reviewing fiction. What if I couldn't get into the plot? What if I just plain didn't like it?

I don't know what I was worried about. This book delivered in all area's. It is love story in more than one way I think, and was all around an enjoyable read!!! The plot drew me in and the character's could have been friends of mine! I loved this book.
About the book:

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.
This book was written by Rachel Hauck. Here is a bit more about her!

I'm a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's.
I roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero.
Born in Ohio, I lived several years in Oklahoma and Kentucky before my parents moved the family to Florida.
I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.
But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.
After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.
But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.
I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.
Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.
I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.
In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.
With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Here are the rest of the details:

There is a contest - The Sweet Life contest! Enter to win a Scrumptious Baking Basket from Rachel. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter here:

Go to Rachel's

To order this book:

And I get to give a copy away! Here is what to do to be entered into the drawing:

In the book, Bubba's Buttery Biscuits are served each and every day at the cafe. As a true Southern Girl, I LOVE biscuits -- and this recipe looks really good. I am going to try it next time I make biscuits. Which I do at least once or twice a month when I make a big breakfast for my family. Here is the recipe:

Bubba's Buttery Biscuits

3 cups self-rising flour

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.
Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)

Biscuits are one of my comfort foods in life. Along with my Mama's Macaroni and Cheese! SO, let's hear it! Leave me a comment and tell me what your comfort foods are and I will enter you into the drawing! I love new recipes too, so leave those as well - if you like! I will announce a winner on Friday, June 6th.


Cheryl said...

My comfort food is definitely my MaMa's chicken and dumplins.
No one can cook them like she could!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Ahhh...the sweet comfort of a dish of icecream with chocolate syrup and peanuts. This was a nightly tradition growing up. I've had to curb that tradition to about once a week, but each time I make my way to the kitchen, I think of my mom and dad and that is one of the most comforting thoughts I will ever know.

I'm going to get the Sweet Caroline book for my mom. She devours a book per day! Thanks for sharing the review with us.


Ginger said...

I don't know if I can win since we are related but thought I would try. ;) I have lots of comfort foods but to narrow it down - my favorite comfort meal cooked by Mama is: Pinto Beans, fried potatoes, fried okra, sliced tomatoes, and corn bread - YUMMY! Oh - and stick some of her mac n' cheese in there, too, and that gets another YUMMY! (I was going to bold that but couldn't figure out how to do it! :( Love you!

Deidre said...

Hmmmm....comfort food. That would have to be my Mom's potato salad or my grandmother's homemade macaroni and cheese. Yum!

This book sounds really good! Thanks for the review.

How the packing going?