Monday, August 18, 2014

Pearl in the Sand: A Novel by Tessa Afshar

It has been a while since a book so grabbed my attention like this one has.  It has instantly become one of my favorite book club reads, right up there with The Red Tent, The Samurai's Garden and a few others.

The character of Rahab was written so well that it is easy to see how she rose above her circumstances to make a difference in the lives of others.

Forced into a life she did not choose by parents who felt they had no other option other than to sell her, she chooses her own terms and makes a life for herself.

Over the course of years, she builds a successful career and has an inn type house.  She then follows her heart, finds God and has a chance to start fresh.

I LOVE this book!!!  I plan to read another Tessa Afshar book very soon.

(Sorry this one is short - I read it, and LOVED it, then read a few more books and need to go back and re-read this one...)

Pearl in the Sand: A Novel
by Tessa Afshar

Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (August 24, 2010)  ~ 321 pages
Fiction / Historical / Biblical / Women in the Bible

Edition Reviewed: Kindle eBook - I purchased my copy of the Kindle eBook as it is our current book club book.

About the Book: from the author's website
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well--walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith...of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.

** Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Come Join Me at the Harlequin Reader Party October 25th #HarlequinBooks

If you will be in or around Seattle on October 25th, 2014 I hope you will join me at the Harlequin Reader Party!  It sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

I bought 2 VIP tickets (one for me, one for Mom so we can make it a "girls day out" kind of day), which means that we get to have exclusive seats at Sheila Roberts' lunch table (there are 12 Harlequin authors, 8 seats per table).

At the start, I believe each of the authors are going to visit each table in a sort of like speed dating.  We can chat, ask questions, etc.  Then our author will join us for lunch, which I think is followed by a book signing (free books for VIP ticket holders).

Meet, chat and have lunch with 12 Bestselling Authors and get FREE signed books!

there are two choices for tickets - the VIP tickets are very limited (There are 8 tickets per author table - so don't wait too long to get your ticket), and limited access tickets where you can attend just the book signing.

Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center, 17620 International Blvd, Seattle, Washington, 98188-4001

Saturday October 25th, 2014 from 10:00AM - 3:30PM

Who will be there:
BJ Daniels
Maisey Yates
Susanna Carr
Bronwyn Scott
Susan Wiggs
Susan Andersen
Sheila Roberts
Susan Mallery
Lynda Aicher
Lauren Dane
Karina Cooper
Diana Copland

As I find out more information, I'll post an update :)

Hope to see you there!!!!

~ Wendi

Monday, April 28, 2014

Perfect Mother's Day Gift Idea: Dove Chocolate Discoveries Rose Edition Mother's Day Sea Salt Caramels (Includes Gift Card) - Order by April 30th for Mother's Day Delivery

Mother's Day is Sunday May 11th - have you bought something special for the Mom, Grandma, Sister, Aunt or other special woman in your life?  If not, no worries!

I've just tried the Dove Chocolate Discoveries Sea Salted Caramels and they are DIVINE!  Shhh - I'm not telling hubby.  After the perfume I received for Mother's Day a few years back... from the dollar store... I went ahead and did damage control for this year and ordered myself a box!

Info:  Two dozen rose edition Sea-Salted Caramels make the perfect Mother's Day Gift!  Exotic pink and rose sea salts dance on top of our Chef-Series Chocolate, and make a customer favorite even more delightful! The 24 piece collection includes:

     Milk Chocolate with Murray River Pink Salt from Australia: With its apricot-colored flakes, this delicate and wonderfully mild salt melts quickly on your tongue.

     Dark Chocolate with Bolivian Rose Salt: This South American beauty sparkles with exceptional flavor and a gorgeous rose color.

Personalized gift cards included with all purchases that ship direct. - See more at:,684.aspx#sthash.yskhVuNk.dpuf

Submit your order by April 30th and choose Direct Ship in order to get them delivered in time for Mother's Day!!  

If you place an order, my Mom is hosting a party at the moment, during checkout you can find her party using Lynn S - she would be very happy to see an extra sale :)

Rose Edition Mother's Day Sea Salt Caramels  
by Dove Chocolate Discoveries 

On sale for $29 and includes Mothers Day Card!!

Edition Reviewed: Sample received with my Chocolatier Kit!

I'm a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier - Love Chocolate and want to have fun earning some extra money?  Let me know and I'll give you all the details - it is fun and EASY!

*Disclosure: I am a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier. I get a very small commission for any purchases made when you order from me on  . :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Best Ever BBQ Chip Butter Fried Chicken Strip Recipe (These Went SO Fast I Couldn't Snag a Picture)

These were such a hit for dinner that I couldn't act fast enough to snag a picture! So, come back later when I do another batch and I'll grab a picture!

My Inspiration: I had a bag of BBQ Potato Chips that was open, and I didn't want to throw them out, but wanted them off the counter, so I decided to decimate them (smash them to bits) and save them in a Ziploc Twistable container for use with butter fried chicken.

Back Story: At one point, the hubby and I had a quest to make a Better-Than-KFC Fried Chicken Breast, and I accomplished it one time, but didn't write down my recipe and have NOT heard the end of it ever since.  So, I'm always sort of thinking about the next try.....

The finished result of this try were eaten SO fast I didn't have time to do more than snag a bit for myself.  So, I vow to grab a picture before anyone knows I'm making them next time. ;)

Best Ever BBQ Chip Butter Fried Chick Strip Recipe
by Wendi Barker
You will need:
Chicken, Cut into chicken strips
4-6 Tb Butter
1 egg
2 Tb water
2 Tb Panko (or similar light plain bread crumbs)
1 - 1 1/2 Cups crushed BBQ chips (the thin ones, not the wavy)
Salt to taste

1. Cut your chicken into strips, whatever size you want
2. Beat one egg in a shallow dish and add water so it coats the chicken easier
3. In a second shallow dish combine Pankow and crushed chips
4. Salt/Pepper chicken
5. Dip chicken into egg (I did it in batches and just put a handful into the dish)
6. Dip chicken into chip/Pankow mix
{meanwhile, coat skillet with non-stick spray, melt butter}
7. Put chicken into hot skillet in batches, flip pieces as they cook (I flip them when I can see the meat on the top turning white and the coating on the bottom is a golden brown)
8. Continue until all the chicken is cooked.  I place the cooked chicken pieces onto a plate covered by paper towel so they don't get mushy.


If you try this easy recipe, let me know how you like it and if you change anything!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Coming Soon ~ Pinterest Projects: 2014

One of my good friends recently moved to another state, and I miss her dearly - we had game nights, football afternoons, and movie nights too. In an effort to stay connected over the distance, we decided to start a monthly Pinterest Project.

We agreed on the first one, and I am WAY behind!  We also decided we would include anyone who wanted to join us and we would also try to get some fun gifts (Christmas, birthday, teacher, etc) done during the year as well as some fun stuff just for us.

Here is the link to the Pinterest board I started to share our projectes in:

For January, we chose to do a painted canvas, decorated with glue before painting so that there is a raised image on the canvas.  It looks great!!

When I get mine done, I'll add a pic :)

~ Wendi

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Build a Transformer or Create Your Own With Transformers Construct Bots by Hasbro

As the Mom of 2 boys, I'm very familiar with Transformers in every form - be it movie, cartoon, toys, action figures, and now the all new Hasbro Transformers Construct Bots, which are a fun new construction-based toy that encourages creativity.

Construct Bots give you the ability to create your favorite Transformers and convert them easily between their robot form and vehicle form, or you can customize and create your own Transformers.

Each Construct Bot Construction kit comes with the pieces to make a specific Transformer, instructions, and extra pieces so you can design and play with your own creation.  The larger sets come with a very handy and stackable storage box where you can keep pieces and instructions.

We received both Ironhide (smaller 45 piece set, no storage box) and Wheeljack (larger 55 piece set that comes with a storage box) to try out:

And here is what we made...

If you could only hear the adventures happening in our family room right now!  Parts are being swapped, and robots are saving the good guys!

Now I will warn parents - from about ages 3-6, children may need some help with transforming the bots into their vehicles and back again, but they are done very similarly, so it is no big deal once you see how they connect!  Otherwise, the parts are easy to connect and change, so kids have almost limitless ways they can change their Transformer to keep things fun and create new adventures.

Not only can kids play with the physical toy, but they can log into the online game, add the points that come with the toy packs, and they have an area to upload the bots you create and name!

The boys actually have been having so much fun with these, that we also now have the Optimus Prime/Megatron set as well.  I can't wait to see what new robots they create!

Transformers Construct Bots  
by Hasbro

Various sizes ~ Prices vary from $9.99 to $24.99

Edition Reviewed: 2 Transformers Construct Bots Kits - Review copy received courtesy of Hasbro via their PR company, many thanks for sending me samples to review!

About Transformers Construct-Bots (from the manufacturer via Amazon):
Welcome to the incredible world of Transformers robots. It is a world of high technology, ancient history and a battle that has spanned the entire galaxy and millions of years. Optimus Prime, leader of the heroic Autobots, battles the tyrant Megatron and his evil Deceptions for the fate of freedom across the universe. There's a Transformers figure for every kid or collector. From big converting figures to miniature battling robots, you can team up with Transformers toys to create your own incredible adventures. Whether you're defending Earth with the Autobots, or conquering space with the Deceptions, the action is up to you. Transformers is a world-famous entertainment brand with 30 years of history, blockbuster movies, hit television shows and countless novels and comic books. With Transformers toys, you can create your own chapters in this epic, ongoing story. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)
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