Saturday, April 30, 2011


Chocolate Mousse Cake with extra garnish
A really yummy cake recipe from the new novel, Tea For Two, by author Trish Perry . . . .


6 ounces crushed malt balls
8.8 ounce container mascarpone cheese
7 ounces heavy cream, whipped
3 seven ounce packages white chocolate & Macadamia cookies
1 cup Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (for non-alcoholic version use Irish Crème coffee creamer)

Chocolate mousse:
10 ounces chopped dark chocolate
2 eggs (room temperature)
¼ cup caster sugar (very fine granulated sugar)
¾ cup heavy cream, whipped


Make chocolate mousse—
  • In microwave-safe bowl, microwave chopped chocolate until almost melted, stirring after each minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat eggs and caster sugar with electric beater for five minutes.
  • Stir in cooled chocolate.
  • Fold in ¾ cup whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate until needed.      

Set aside ¼ cup crushed malt balls.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Fold together mascarpone, 7 ounces whipped cream, and remaining malt balls. Remove the base of an 8-inch spring form pan and place the ring on a large serving plate (ring will serve as a mold for the cake). Cut a strip of parchment paper and line side of ring. Dip cookies, one at a time, into liqueur and place in single layer in mold to cover base. Spread half mascarpone mixture over cookies. Top with another layer of cookies dipped in liqueur.

Spread chocolate mousse over cookies. Top with one more layer of cookies dipped in liqueur. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over cookies and sprinkle with the ¼ cup reserved malt balls.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Then remove spring form, peel away parchment paper, cut, and serve.

Author Trish Perry
About Trish: Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written eight inspirational romances for Harvest House Publishers, Summerside Press, and Barbour Publishing, as well as two devotionals for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology. 

Trish’s latest novel, Unforgettable, released in March, and Tea for Two released in April. 
She invites you to visit her at

About Tea for Two:

Tea For Two
Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law. Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force. And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.


When’s the last time you had a really yummy dessert like this one of Trish Perry’s? Our d-I-l Michelle brought a scrumptious Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake for Easter lunch last week.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


On The Trail with Stephen Bly

The very first cowboy didn’t come from Texas or Wyoming, but from central Mexico. The conquistadors settled into the New World and imported their Spanish horses and cows. 

Working slowly north along the missions and presidios, ranching and the Mesta cattleman’s association reached the Rio Grande and the land of Tejas near the end of the 18th Century. By then, the Old World armor and lances had been replaced with rawhide reatas, leather and wooden saddles with a wide horn on which to dally, and big roweled spurs on high heeled boots and wide-brimmed hats.

hacienda corridor
The main house and outbuildings at the Spanish and later Mexican ranches were always called the hacienda. I like that word. It conjures up images of huge one-story, sprawling adobe buildings with red tile roofs. With expansive gardens. Fruit trees. Chickens in the yard. Blacksmiths and tinsmiths. Carpentry and leather shops. And a stable of fine horses. Like a self-sufficient village.

It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own hacienda. I think I would have felt at home in such a place. But at my stage of life, that dream’s not likely to happen, here on earth. I’m content with my country home here in the mountains surrounded by ponderosa pines. As far as outbuildings, the yard filled with my homemade false-front Broken Arrow Crossing will have to suffice.

Broken Arrow Crossing
But some day I am going to live on a great hacienda. Jesus said it this way: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. . .I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2 KJV).

stairway to heaven
I don’t know your view of heaven, but I see it as a great hacienda. . .with Jesus as the Don. I’ll be thrilled to work in the carpentry shop or maybe ride herd for the boss. I do know that he is custom making a place for me. . .and you. . .so when we get there we’ll feel at home. I’m just sure mine’s going to resemble a sprawling hacienda.

What do you think your place in heaven will be like?  Leave an answer below and be entered in a drawing to win autographed copy of Throw The Devil Off The Train. Winners chosen Friday, April 29th.


Order your copy of Stephen Bly's newest novel now:  

Throw The Devil Off The Train (hardback, in print large enough for anyone to read). 

Autographed copies available through 
or order via your favorite local or online bookstore.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Baked Macaroni

I adapted this recipe from my 1940 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I've cut the fat content from the original and changed to whole wheat or SMART TASTE macaroni to up the fiber. So you can indulge with this recipe, knowing that it's healthy! 

Lyn Cote's Baked Macaroni

1 lb. whole wheat macaroni or Ronzoni Brand Smart Taste pasta (fortified with Calcium, Vitamin d and Fiber)

White sauce:
6 Tb butter or margarine
¾ c. flour
5 c. skim milk
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1 lb grated medium cheddar cheese (Or if you want to give this a Mexican flavor, substitute pepper jack cheese.)

1 c. bread crumbs (or crushed tortilla chips)

Cook macaroni, drain and put into greased, deep casserole dish or bowl. Make the white sauce and take pan off heat (to keep the cheese from becoming stringy). Add 2/3rd's of the grated cheese. Stir till melted. Pour over macaroni. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs over top. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. May serve as side dish or main course.


Drop by to learn more about Lyn's literary concoctions. And catch up on her free read, La Belle Christiane, an original manuscript never published, a new scene every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Author Lyn Cote
Daddy in the Making 
#2 in New Friends Street series
Harlequin Love Inspired Romance

Book Blurb:

Brought together by a Matchmaking Dog--

Dr. Jake McClure’s basset hound has fallen in love...with a single mom, her adorable twins and the orphaned kittens they rescued. Man’s best friend suddenly won’t budge from Jeannie Broussard—and Jake can understand why. Jeannie is full of love, laughter and everything Jake has been missing in his life lately. As Jake spends time with Jeannie and her girls helping to build her Habitat for Humanity house and rescuing stray animals, a bond forges between them, and soon Jake is wondering if he’s the perfect fit in this fatherless family....

To purchase, drop by

Monday, April 18, 2011


Stephen Bly with Sundance
On the Trail with Stephen Bly

Before this spate of sickness hit me, at 6’2” and two hundred and plenty, I’d never been accused of being small. My size thirteen boots don’t fit in a cowboy world where the smaller the foot the better. When I was in the market for a horse, I chose big ones. When I climbed on some little Texas pony, my feet dragged the trail.

My last horse, Sundance, stood right at 16 hands. A hand equals 4 inches, measured from the ground to the top of a horse’s withers. So, my 16 hand horse stood about 64”.

I live up in the northern ranges where horses tend to be larger than those down on the southern plains. Men have been getting taller the past hundred years. So have their horses. Back in the Old West a 16 hand riding horse proved rare to find. . .and that’s as big as they got.

Cowboys used the term ‘a full sixteen hands’ to apply to hired hands and bosses, as well as horses. This became the supreme compliment of the range for a cowhand. That implied honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, as capable a worker who ever rode a western trail. Reputation signified a lot in a society where physical stature and looks didn’t rule. Strength of character and will made the strongest impressions.

That value has changed in our society. However, the Old West way is God’s viewpoint too: “People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts” (1 Samuel 16:7 CEV).

John Wayne
Some men and many women stand a full 16 hands. They might not look like bodybuilders or movie stars or Oscar nominees. . .or ride tall horses. . .but they live each day by God’s power, aware of their faults, committed to God’s gauge. They form the pillars of moral strength and courage in families, churches, and communities across the country, in their decisions and deeds.

They live among us…these 16 hand folks. They’re the real heroes. They’re the true winners.

Who are some of the 16-handers in your world?


Throw The Devil Off The Train

She escaped from her hometown to seek a new identity. He seeks revenge for his brother’s death … and desperately needs quiet and sleep. They collide on a cramped, noisy train. And something evil’s on board. Can they make peace long enough to throw the devil off the train?

Available through or 

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Janet Chester Bly

We used to live in California near the San Andreas Fault. We know what it's like to endure the rolling, surging, rumbling of terra firma

My world’s been shaking for a long time now. It’s like I’m treading an earthquake fault and the big blow’s going to happen any day. That’s what it feels like to come alongside someone you love dearly who is critically ill.

Old comfortable routines get blown away. Familiar road signs blur. Safe standards like security and settled in your place with your people get reassigned.  Nothing’s sure. The ground rocks as I fight for balance, sanity, some way to regain some small part of all that’s being taken away from us.

But some anchors stay the same.

1.) I still walk with God. 
I know him. Well, not everything about him. I don’t grasp every insight about his character, every nuance of his wisdom, each facet of his personality. I look forward to all eternity for that closer up and more personal study. But it starts now.

He continues to speak to me through his words. For any specific situation. Like when I wondered where the guardian angels were when my hubby who has suffered so much took a nasty fall … he reminded me of Job who said, “Though he slay me, yet will I praise him” or those three guys tossed in the fiery furnace who stated, “Our God can deliver us. But if he doesn’t, we will still honor and obey him.”

2) I’m keeping on the journey to understand spiritual truth. 
All that information that’s been tucked away after years of church attendance and Bible studies and devotional readings of my own. It’s all there in the brain files. Even so, I don’t always recall the particular principle, the relevant law, one of those divine commands … upon demand. I have to keep processing the accumulated body of facts, the growing vision, until certain soul sparks glow with the Father’s Word of the Day: “Here it is. Pay attention. Live this out right here and now.”

3) I continue to meditate.
Reading and ruminating brings the power of peace to me. My old, tattered Bible’s alive with God’s Spirit. It’s sturdy. Well used. Full of scratches and notes. Pages wrinkled and worn. But then, on occasion I pull out a fresh, new copy and start over … for a cleaner, clearer perspective. I love it when precepts and promises jump out like they’re made just for me. The delight of discovery’s in sifting through ancient verses to filter into present crises and encounters. I’d rather walk by the awesome glow of massive eternal light than rush around by the puny flicker of my own self-made fire.

What have I been reading lately? Psalm 23 … as we walk through a personal  valley of the shadow of death. Psalm 91 … as I need gut-level trust in him more than ever. John 14 … to search the heart and hope of Jesus.

When was the last time you felt you were experiencing a personal earthquake?

Adapted from “31 Ways To Win The Fight For Personal Peace.” The full article’s available for free dowload at

God Is Good All The Time
Hope Lives Here
Books such as  
God Is Good All The Time 
Hope Lives Here
available through our bookstore at

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Here’s our Country Life Caption feature for today, sent by Valerie Comer of Canada. 

At first glance, this seems like a very sad or rude photo: a church with a ‘No Trespassing’ sign. But read on . . . . 

Says Valerie: "We came across this abandoned church on a back road in southern British Columbia and were disappointed to see the emphatic 'No Trespassing' sign attached to the door. Later we discovered that the landowner over-wintered bee colonies in the church. What had once, presumably, been a sanctuary for worshipers is now a sanctuary for honeybees."

About Valerie Comer

Valerie Comer writes contemporary romance set in British Columbia, Canada, as well as fantasy set in uncharted dimensions. She lives on a small farm with her husband, an energetic dog, two psycho kittens, several hives of bees, and a herd of Herefords.

Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughter.

Valerie is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and has recently sold her first work, Treasure’s Promise, a novella, to Barbour Books. To be released March 2012.

Valerie’s website:


What are your thoughts about an old church with a 'No Trespassing' sign? Or being used for a bee colony?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The Story Jar
by Robin Lee Hatcher & Deborah Bedford


A novel of three women, their stories threaded together through a story jar.

The jar itself is most unusual—not utilized in the ordinary way for canning or storing food, but as a collection point for memories. Some mementos in the jar—hair ribbons, a ring, a medallion--are sorrowful, others tender, some bittersweet. But all those memories eventually bring their owners to a place of hope and redemption in spite of circumstances that seem to have no solution.

Fresh, insightful, yet courageous in the face of difficult life issues, this collaboration by two talented writers first profiles. . .

. . .a pastor’s wife with two young daughters who faces cancer just as her own mother did before her. . .

. . .then a remarried mother working through a difficult relationship with a rebellious runaway daughter.

The third woman, alone with two teen-aged boys who no longer pay much attention to her and seem headed for trouble, discovers the long-lost story jar and its significance. She comes to realize she can bring her own sorrows and frustrations to the feet of the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Healer of the brokenhearted. She too will have memories for her own story jar. 


Thursday, April 07, 2011


Winchester, Idaho
Stephen Bly

I live in the tiny town of Winchester, Idaho, pop. sign says 308. One time customers stood six deep at the cash register of the local meat market to buy lottery tickets. The jackpot had just hit $100 million. “People act kinda crazy when the prize money gets that big,” the owner told me.

The prospect of big money does make folks do strange things. Whether you’re a Wall Street investor, a state governor, a homeowner facing foreclosure, or a cowboy on the range. 

Gold Fever hit in the Old West on numerous occasions. The California Gold Rush peaked by the late 1850s when word spread of a huge silver strike in Washoe (modern-day Nevada). Without waiting for the snow season to pass or the mountain trails to clear, discouraged forty-niners, curious late-comers, and successful merchants all journeyed over the Sierra Nevadas.

Some too poor to ride, with horses a scarcity, they hiked over the summit maybe a few feet behind the man ahead of them on the trail. Worldly possessions on their back, a pick and pan under their arms, they set off with high hopes to make a fortune. A few months later, most returned over the same mountains, threadbare and broke.

The promise of gobs of gold is a powerful motivator. Can make anyone lose all reason, go crazy. A man will leave his family and sail to Nome, Alaska, to dig in a frozen beach. A store owner will sell his business in Seattle and trek over Chilkoot pass in the middle of an 1897 winter headed to the Yukon.

Jesus understands Gold Fever. He knows where that puts him. “You can’t worship God and Money both,” he said (Matthew 6:24 MSG). He also fully realizes we have material needs. He has a simple solution: “Seek My help. Trust Me. Your everyday human concerns will be met” (Matthew 6:33 MSG).

Wanting fast, big money enslaves you, turns you into a fool. . .or a criminal. And how few who receive instant, enormous gains know how to care for it when they get it. Lots of before and after stories have been told about lottery winners and those who inherit windfalls.

Here's some ways to avoid those mistakes. 


1. Strive instead for slow, steady, smart investments. Fast money in often goes out faster.

2. Work for your daily bread. Fully appreciate everything you've got.

3. Diversify when you can. Invest and work in several different fields of interest and aptitude.

4. Thank God for what you receive. Learn to be grateful and content with your lot or little.

5. Ask Him to provide what you lack. "Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow" (John 16:24 TLB).


What's the smartest advice you ever received for handling money?

Throw the Devil Off the Train (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print))COMING MAY 1st: Throw The Devil Off The Train

It's 1880. She's got to escape. He's into revenge. It's a long, cramped train ride from Omaha to Sacramento. . .and something evil's on board. Will they put aside their hostility long enough to throw the devil off the train?

Monday, April 04, 2011


Janet Chester Bly

Stop. Look at a clock. Watch the second hand tick around. . .for as long as you can bear. Now, assess your response. Do you consider this. . .

A rare break of pure rest?
A moment closer to a personal finish line?
A moment closer to your entrance into eternity?
Wasting time while you age away?
All of the above?
None of the above?

Minutes count. Let them mean something. Here’s a suggestion.

Carry a small book or Kindle® in your purse. Or in the car. Have it available most all the time. Redeem any moment by giving your mind an assignment. Muse in a creative way. If you can’t think of anything, dip into your book. Even better, open The Book.

Aim to read some Bible verses every day. To receive guidance. To get to know God better. To help you see people and problems from His point of view. To know the record of how God has interacted with humans through the ages. No matter where you open this inspired, God-breathed book, you’ll find some truth that relates to your situation. If your mind’s open. If your heart’s willing. If your spirit’s ready. 

“I read it straight through once,” a woman once told me. “Once is enough. I don’t have to read it again. I know what’s in there.”

Whoa, does she ever miss the treasure. I once rode straight across Italy in a tour bus. Saw all the signposts to the great cities and stopping places. Sped through the streets of Rome. Been there. Done that.

Mine the insights. Meditate on the wisdom. Study every facet. Until light breaks through the fog, the dark. It will take all eternity to know all there is to understand about God. Meanwhile, what does He have to say to you today? Pick out a page. Pause until you find peace. Until you hear His voice.

"Don't be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you" (Psalm 27:14 TLB).


What's the best thing you've discovered to do to make use of the time or to find a moment's peace while you wait. . .in line, at the airport, by yourself in a crowd, for road work, etc.?


Download comp copy of "31 Ways To Win The Fight For Personal Peace" at our website: 


Saturday, April 02, 2011


'See Rock City' Tennessee billboard barn
Today we feature author Jo Huddleston of Alabama for our Country Life Captions. She sent us this billboard barn photo. We tend to favor country barn pictures, as does she. 


“Traveling in Tennessee gave me beautiful rolling hills, grazing animals, and barns to view. The roofs of many of those barns were specially painted with white-on-black letters of the slogan, 'See Rock City.' 

Reading these signs, I dreamed of what I’d never seen: a young girl’s fantasy land of escapism in the 1940s.”

Jo Huddleston

Jo Huddleston has written numerous articles & stories and traditionally published several nonfiction books, including His Awesome Majesty: Praising God's Greatness, available on Amazon. She has also completed her first novel. Her theme: "Offering spiritual tonic and hope."

Jo receiving Literary Hall of Fame plaque
Lincoln Memorial University (her alma mater) inducted her into their Literary Hall of Fame. Dr. B. James Dawson, President of Lincoln Memorial University, presented her a plaque at the special ceremony.

Scream, the cat
Besides writing, Jo enjoys her special furry friends, including her dogs, Monica and Jackson, plus her cat, Scream.

Find out more about her at her website:

Sign up for her newsletter and be eligible for book giveaways!


What's an interesting billboard sign that you've seen on a barn?

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