@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Love this! Anthropologie Farm Glam Giveaway from @SuzanneWFisher

Brilliant idea for a fun promotion! Who doesn't LOVE Anthropology?


In Suzanne Woods Fisher's new book, The Letters (Revell), Rose Schrock (much to the chagrin of some of her family members) converts the basement of her Amish farmhouse into a bed and breakfast. She makes some surprising discoveries along the way and sees God's hand at work through her journey.

Help Rose decorate her basement and get it ready to become a full-fledged bed and breakfast during the Farm Glam Anthropologie 12-Day giveaway! Suzanne is hosting 12 days of giveaways you won't want to miss leading up to the release of The Letters, August 1. Visit each day, July 20-31, for a new prize.

Get a sneak peak of The Letters before it's released - click to start reading it for FREE!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Get in my belly | Mrs. Olson's Apple Cake (very good)

I have been gifted with one of my granny's (great grandmother) hand-written cook books. A few weeks ago, reminiscing over lunch with my grandmother, she talked about some of the foods her mom used to cook. (In our family the conversation will inevitably turn to food.)  She told me about her favorite cake that her mom used to make. "Mother would always make it on my birthday and wrap it up special. I was so excited because I got a half all to myself. Which was a pretty cool thing in a large family."

When I got home that afternoon I went straight to the little orange notebook containing my granny's recipes.

Some of the soft brown pages are falling out, the penciled hand-writing is fading, and some of the glued on newspaper clippings are loosing their stick. I am ever-so-careful with it.  I discover that the apple cake recipe is indeed in the book - Mrs. Olson's Apple Cake (and in parenthesis a note states that it is very good). It is written in granny's bird-like script. Glee.

I plan straight away to make the cake and surprise my gram with it. The name "Olson", in the recipe tells me it has been passed down from my great-grandfather's side of the family (from North Dakota). Olson is my gram's maiden name. (Edwina Alice Olson, oldest daughter of Edward and Lennie Viola Olson (from Kansas).)

I was a little hesitant to test the recipe. Gram said that my mom tried it once and it didn't turn out well. After reading through the recipe, I note that it's got some odd ingredients for an apple cake: cocoa powder and coffee. Next I see that it bakes at only 225 for an hour. I know that will never work in my oven. I also note that it's got four eggs, but that the egg whites are to be beat until firm. This tells me that the batter will be heavy from the butter and the apples and the whites are needed to lighten it.

So I begin. I make some necessary adjustments - add salt and raise the oven temp to 350 for the first 30 minutes and 325 for the next 30.

Mrs. Olson's Apple Cake (very good)


1 cup walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups coarse chopped granny smiths
1 cup cold coffee

Separate eggs. Stiffly beat egg whites.

Sift dry ingredients:
2 1/4 flour (organic, unbleached)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Cream together until fluffy:
1 cup butter (organic, unsalted)
2 cups sugar (organic)

Add egg yolks and beat for 1 minute. Then add coffee (mix in slowly or it will splash everywhere). Then add in the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Then add the fruit and nuts. Stir in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Grease two glass loaf pans and line with parchment paper in the bottom of the pans. (Original recipe is supposed to make just one. But, I think my Kitchen Aid Mixer is able to beat the batter into a double batch.) Bake at 350 for the first 30 minutes. Then lower temp to 325 and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Cakes will be set and dark brown.

Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes and turn out onto rack. Let cool for another 20 minutes. Wrap in saran wrap while still warm and let sit over night.

It's also sinfully good (and crunchy on the outside) to just eat it warm.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Colleen Coble's "Rosemary Cottage" Nautical Summer Giveaway


Water can be calming and healing, but it can also be dangerous, as Amy Lange and Curtis Ireland both found out. Both lost their siblings to the sea, and they hope to find healing on Hope Island. But will they find it, or will their quest to find answers set them at odds with each other and with those who have secrets that need to stay hidden?

Find out in Colleen Coble’s latest book, Rosemary Cottage, which released July 9. To celebrate, Colleen is hosting a 12-day Nautical Summer Giveaway. From July 16-27, Colleen will be giving away a new nautical prize every day. She’ll announce the winners on July 29 on her website, so mark your calendars for that date to see if you were picked as a lucky winner!

Not on Facebook? Enter here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Win an iPad Adventure Pack from @SuzanneWFisher | A Big Year for Lily Giveaway Extravaganza!

Suzanne Woods Fisher is celebrating the release of A Big Year for Lilybook three in the beloved Adventures of Lily Lapp series, with a giveaway extravaganza!


  One winner will receive:
Twelve winners will receive:
  • Special prizes specially picked by Lily (something new each day)! Suzanne will announce the winners on July 29 on her blog!
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. All winners will be announced July 29th at Suzanne's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 29th to see if you won one of the fun prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ragged Hope | $200 Visa Cash Card Giveaway and 8/1 Author Chat Party!

Cynthia Ruchti  is celebrating the release of Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press) with a $200 Visa Cash Card "Hope" Giveaway and Facebook Party!


One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card
  • Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at the "Ragged Hope Author Chat Part on August 1st. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of encouragement, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also share an exclusive look at her next project and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Ragged Hope and join Cynthia on the evening of August 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayHope to see you on the 1st!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Bride for All Seasons | 12-Day Unexpected Packages Giveaway! Enter today.

Four novellas, four brides, and four stories to fall in love with. 

Enter the world of mail-order brides with four of your favorite authors: Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, and Margaret Brownley. In A Bride for All Seasons (Thomas Nelson) each of the prospective brides is hopeful for a second chance at love—and that second chance always seems to come in an unexpected package.
The authors are celebrating with a fun 12 Days of Unexpected Packages Giveaway! Between July 12-23 visit the authors' Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on July 23rd! Such fun!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Quoted | How bookstores can connect with local bloggers

Overnight expert. *wink*

Weighing in on the world of book promotion and sales at Christian Retailing:

Once you find some local bloggers, make sure the blogs are appealing, well-written and have a following. Another way to find out how blogs and social media can serve your customers is to simply ask them. Lathrop suggests polling customers to see if they have active Facebook pages or blogs. If they do, you can ask if they would be interested in reviewing products. 

Retailers can also connect with public relations firms like LitFuse to see what blog tours and author events are headed their way. Stores could host a live video chat with a favorite author via Skype and host it on their blog or local blogs at the same time, offering discounts or coupons to those who come into the store. Retailers can also get blog ideas from other Christian retailers and even from other local businesses, like favorite restaurant blogs, Facebook pages and Pinterest pictures.

“It’s all about building loyalty,” Lathrop observed. “The landscape is always changing, and you have to be creative. The great thing is you don’t have to fork over a ton of cash. Just start doing your research, pay attention to the people God already has in your life and try some new things.”

 Read the rest here.