#TuesdayTea Review of A ROSE SO FAIR by @MyraJohnson with a #giveaway!

May 9th, 2017

#TuesdayTea with A ROSE SO FAIR by Myra Johnson

Welcome to Tuesday Tea and our chat with author Myra Johnson about her newest release, A Rose So Fair. This third book in the Flowers of Eden series by Myra Johnson is an inspirational romance set during the Great Depression. The reader experiences the difficulties encountered as people struggled with economic challenges. If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a Kindle ebook, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form at the end of this post.

For me, the story recalled my grandmother’s snippets of her life during that time….the failing of my grandparents’ hardware store, food given to hobos passing by, my grandfather scrambling for odd jobs, and the “making do” with simple things as was necessary. I admired Rose Linwood, a heroine so typical of the strong women who carried on during those trying situations. Caleb Wieland is a great hero, persistent and loving. The story is filled with strong faith and courageous characters…as was required for life during that period of history.

Chatting with author Myra Johnson:

Myra kindly answered my questions about the inspiration for her book, her writing experiences, and one of the ways God has touched her life. Thank you so much, Myra, for joining us to talk about your newest inspiration romance novel!

SHERIDA: How did you get the glimmer of the idea for A Rose So Fair?

MYRA: The idea first began to form a few years ago as I was finishing up my Till We Meet Again series. The editor I had been working with expressed interest in a Depression-era series, so I started brainstorming. Already familiar with the Arkansas setting, I began there. While perusing research materials, I soon found myself homing in on the hardships farmers endured during the Depression. I began imagining three sisters and what their individual personalities would be, and so the Linwood sisters, the “Flowers of Eden,” began to take shape in my mind. Rose, the youngest, developed her own kind of spunk and determination, and she was certainly both challenging and enjoyable to write about.

SHERIDA: What do you do to keep the sparkle while you are writing?

MYRA: I’ve developed a fairly consistent writing routine. Weekday mornings are set aside for the “busy work” of writing—social media, marketing, recordkeeping, blogging, etc. So after lunch, my mind is freed from obsessing over those kinds of tasks, and I can concentrate on the book. I’ll usually reread the last scene or two from the previous writing session and do minor editing. This gets me back into the flow of the story and helps to sparks ideas for what will happen next. I work in Scrivener, which allows me to pin character photos to a sidebar, and glancing at the images from time to time helps me stay grounded in the characters’ mind and voice.

SHERIDA: Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?

MYRA: When I think about “jewel” moments, it’s hard to come up with just one, and most of them would include animals and nature. I remember one in particular when my husband and I were enjoying lunch and quiet conversation in our screen porch a few summers ago. Our home is surrounded by trees, and suddenly a barred owl flew in and landed on a branch right outside the porch, not even ten feet away. He sat there staring at us and our two dogs for a long time, almost as if he were trying to decide if Gracie, our 90-pound Lab mix, would be too big to carry off as “lunch.” Since then, we’ve heard many owls hooting in the distance but have never enjoyed another up-close-and-personal encounter like that one. It was very special.

A ROSE SO FAIR by Myra Johnson

ABOUT A ROSE SO FAIR

Plucky Rose Linwood grew up on her grandfather’s Arkansas tenant farm, a life her two older sisters never cared much for. Working alongside her grandpa, though, Rose learned to love the land as much as he did. Now her sisters have married and moved on, Grandpa has gone to his eternal reward, and Rose is determined to make a go of the farm on her own. But crops have been slow to recover since the drought of 1930-31, and the whole country struggles in the grip of the Great Depression. Drifters looking for work or handouts roam the countryside, some of them up to no good, so Rose keeps her trusty Winchester rifle at the ready. Caleb Wieland, Rose’s best friend, isn’t the farmer his late father was, and he’s about to lose his cotton crop to boll weevils. He’d let the farm go and search for work he’s more suited to, except he can’t desert his widowed mother. Besides, he’s been quietly falling in love with Rose since they were in grammar school, and the thought of leaving her behind is too much to bear. He’d give anything to win her heart, but Rose’s stubborn independence is proving as thorny as the flower for which she’s named.

MY REVIEW

A Rose So FairA Rose So Fair by Myra Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Rose So Fair is a gripping and heart-touching story!

This book truly brings to life the difficult days of the Great Depression, where daunting problems arose to test people’s fortitude, but also helped reveal the strength of faith and the ability to overcome trials with the help of others.

I admired Rose Linwood with her fierce loyalty to her grandfather’s farm and the dream she shared with him. She singlehandedly struggles to raise a cotton crop in order to satisfy the requirements of the leased property. Caleb Weiland is a great protective and persistent hero. He is torn between his financial responsibilities and his desire to have his love accepted by Rose. Both of them go through extremely difficult situations. I wasn’t sure how their differences and problems could be resolved since they were both such strong people, but after many emotional hills and valleys, the end is beautiful…sweet and satisfying.

I also enjoyed the other members of the family, including the two older sisters whose earlier stories evolve in this third book. Both drifter Quimby and the stray dog, Delano, add to the impact of the book. All the folks of Eden, Arkansas, felt so real.

The romantic tension is sweet, the thread of faith is comforting, and the message is thoughtful. With friends and family, along with trust in God, we are stronger together. I deeply enjoyed this book with its portrayal of life in the 1930’s with love, faith, and strength overcoming difficulties. I highly recommend A Rose So Fair.

Favorite quotes:
“No matter how far away they send me, you’ll always have my heart.”
“God doesn’t want or expect us to carry our burdens alone.”
She said it reminded her nobody’s perfect, and that loving someone takes a whole heap of forgiveness.

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a positive review. I’m honored to offer my honest opinion of this book.

TEA TREAT

Grandmother’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

In the story, Rose has tea and pound cake served by Mrs.O’Neill. As I mentioned earlier, I heard about the Depression from my grandmother who had a recipe for a sour cream version of pound cake. I’m sharing this with you today. Please help yourself to a couple of slices while I pour you a cup of tea.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

Blend sugar, sour cream, and eggs together. Add flour and baking soda and mix. Divide batter into two greased mini-loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

BIBLE VERSE

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.     Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

We are grateful for the abilities You have given authors like Myra Johnson. They bless us with their talent, giving us inspiration and hope as we read their words. Please continue to bless Myra Johnson as she writes to reach readers with Your message that strength comes from trusting You and working to uplift others.

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

~~~

Visit Myra at Myra Johnson’s website and consider signing up for her newsletter. In addition, writers will find craft information and fellowship at the Seekerville website where Myra is one of the amazing Seekers, blessing writers with great encouragement. Visit SEEKERVILLE!

~~~

Thank you for joining us for Tuesday Tea. May your life be filled with the treasured blessing of strength through working together with others.

~~~Sherida

GIVEAWAY

If you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for a Kindle ebook of A Rose So Fair, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see your comment immediately. I moderate comments and with my busy schedule, it may take awhile for your comment to appear. Check back next week to see if you are the winner. Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayTea review of Second Chance Romance by @JillWeatherholt

March 28th, 2017

I’m so happy to have you visit for my review of Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt. This is a heart-touching story offering hope and healing with a second chance for happiness.

ABOUT SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE

Small-Town Daddy 

Jackson Daughtry’s jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad’s number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner’s hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie’s pretty brown eyes. Now it’ll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she’s already home.

MY REVIEW

Second Chance RomanceSecond Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great story of a second chance for a happily-ever-after…for two!

Second Chance Romance, by Jill Weatherholt, is a strong story of overcoming devastating sorrow with the help of faithful family members, new friends and a charming five-year-old girl.

I felt deeply for Melanie Harper who suffered a devastating loss and struggles to move on with her life. Jackson Daughtry and his daughter are the people God uses to rescue Melanie. Jackson is an exemplary hero…protective of those he holds dear. Jackson’s adorable daughter, Rebecca, is so joyous with her exuberance, positive attitude and freely-expressed love for others. The characters touched my heart as they worked through issues of trust and fear. I love the small mountain town of Sweet Gum, Virginia, located in the Shenandoah Valley, as it is brought to life by the townsfolk who help each other during difficulties. I’m ready to stop in at
The Bean Cafe for one of Phoebe’s brownies and a large portion of “happiness in a glass.”

This is a feel-good story filled with sweet romance and the blessing of love which provides hope for the future.

Favorite quotes:
“… the power of prayer is unstoppable. Nothing is ever wasted when you share it with Him.”
“Daddy says God is in control. He knows what’s best for us.”

TREATS

The Bean Cafe of Sweet Gum is co-owned by hero Jackson and Melanie’s aunt. Along with good coffee, The Bean serves huge brownies made by Aunt Phoebe, so help yourself to a big chocolate chip and nut-filled goodie.

BIBLE VERSE

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Please bless Jill Weatherholt’s writing career. She brings refreshing hope and comfort through her words. May her message reach many readers and touch those with hurting hearts.

We ask this is Jesus’ name, Amen

***

Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by for a moment to chat about a sweet inspirational romance book by debut author Jill Weatherholt. May you enjoy God’s treasured blessing of hope and happiness.

~Sherida Stewart

#TuesdayTea Review of Her Motherhood Wish by @KeliGwyn

March 7th, 2017

I’m delighted you are joining me to chat about Keli Gwyn’s newest Love Inspired Historical, Her Motherhood Wish, with a heroine dear to my heart. This book releases today!

HER MOTHERHOOD WISH by Keli Gwyn

ABOUT HER MOTHERHOOD WISH

BUILDING A FAMILY 

En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip’s determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don’t fit into his detailed plans for the future.

Callie can’t help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she’s falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip’s brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too.

MY STORY

Many years ago, the love of my heart expressed his devotion to me and said, “I want you to be the mother of my children.” I burst into tears! I confessed to him that a doctor told me I might never be able to have children. He comforted me and said we could adopt children, and those kids would be his own. I did marry this good man whose compassion reassured me that day. We’ll celebrate 46 years of marriage this summer.

In our case, God’s plan for us provided miracles…eventually we did become pregnant. We now have two grown sons, faithful men like their father, and definitely our miracles and treasured blessings.

So…….heroine Callie’s situation in Her Motherhood Wish touches my heart. I relate to her disappointment, hope, and attempts to trust God’s plan for her life. Keli Gwyn writes a wonderful story full of God’s treasured blessing of love.

MY REVIEW
Her Motherhood WishHer Motherhood Wish by Keli Gwyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a lovely cover…and the story inside is just as beautiful!

Her Motherhood Wish is filled with sweet moments as carpenter Chip Evans and loving Callie Hunt discover their happily-ever-after as they work at the Double T Orphanage. Callie’s dearest dream is to be a mother, but she faces some problems. I sympathized with her as she confronted the reality and disappointment of her situation. She is strong and accepting of her fate. As for Chip, many times I was quite displeased with him. He is protective and hardworking, but blindly adheres to the rigid plan he detailed for his future. However…. he completely redeemed himself in my eyes with the execution of his beautiful plan at the conclusion of the story. A precious ending!

I adored the two orphans, Jasper and Ruby, who warmed my heart with their needs and vulnerability. The occasional appearances of other characters from earlier books were a delight, but this book can definitely be read as a stand-alone. The suspense element in this story is an intriguing bonus.

Author Keli Gwyn always includes interesting historical detail in her stories, such as the art of cabinetry in this book. Her books touch my heart with their gentle message of faith and leave me with a happy sigh at the end. Great storytelling! I hope you enjoy Her Motherhood Wish, with its beautiful conclusion, as much as I did.

Favorite quotes:
“The best we can do is love, support and encourage them, all the while praying that the Lord will work His healing.”
“…the Lord has a way of bringing joy from heartache.”
“You’re a beloved child of God, and He has plans for you.”

*I was given a copy of this book. I’m pleased to offer my honest review.

TREAT FOR TEA TIME

With the beautiful, glowing cover art adorning Her Motherhood Wish, I though Lemon Scones would be a bright and appropriate treat to celebrate this sparkling new release. (Yes, isn’t that cover gorgeous?!?!) In the acknowledgements of her book, Keli mentions her husband bakes homemade scones while she works on writing projects. What a great idea! 🙂 So please help yourself to a lemon scone and a warm cup of tea as we celebrate the release of Her Motherhood Wish!

Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

Recipe for Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

 

BIBLE VERSE

For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. ~Hebrews 3:4 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Thank you for blessing Keli with the passion to write the stories You place on her heart…..stories which touch others. Her warm personality glows as she reaches out to others offering encouragement. Please continue to bless her  writing efforts so her words reach more readers and comfort them with hope and trust.

We ask this in Jesus’ name……Amen

Thank you for joining me for this review of Her Motherhood Wish. May you be blessed as God’s plan for your life is revealed.

With warmest regards,

Sherida

Speedbo 2017! #amwriting

February 28th, 2017

Speedbo starts March 1!

What is Speedbo?

Speedbo is a month of focusing on your writing goals and is sponsored by the Seekers of Seekerville.

Who are the Seekers and what is Seekerville?

The Seekers are an amazing group of inspirational romance authors who share their knowledge with other writers in the village community of Seekerville. In Seekerville writers of all levels come together to learn the craft of writing the best book possible. The whole community encourages one another as we all share our adventures while seeking publication of our inspirational romance manuscripts…striving for the dream.

If you want a month of support and motivation as you move toward your inspirational writing goals, please join us. To get more information and to sign up today, visit Seekerville-Speedbo 2017! You will make progress and have fun!

Bible verse:

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:14 (KJV)

Blessings!

Sweet #TuesdayTea treats served with #LOVE!

February 22nd, 2017

Chocolate brownie LOVE hearts. What a treat!

Welcome to my very late sweet Valentine’s Day Tea! Since we’ve been traveling, this is a short post….filled with goodies I saw while on vacation. Please help yourself to some of these delicious and festive morsels.

How to choose from this collection of treats?

Raspberry cupcakes for a teatime treat.

Red Velvet cake…PERFECT!

Yes, sweet heart-shaped cookies!

As we enjoy the treats, please consider this Bible verse which speaks to my heart: Our Lord tells us,

 

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have love you. John 15:12 (KJV)

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a picture of my sweetheart:

Hiking with my husband…a treasured blessing!

My prayer for you: May you always appreciate your walk in God’s love…a treasured blessing!

Sherida Stewart

SERVING #TreasuredBlessings with my #OneWord2017

February 1st, 2017

In mid-December, as I was praying about my One Word for 2017, God gave me the word SERVING. I whined. “Really, God? I don’t want that word. This has been an emotionally exhausting year. I need a word that’s easy. Can’t I have RELAX, QUIET, RESTORE, something restful?” Yes, I was reluctant to accept the word God placed on my heart.

2016 was a stressful year…my husband needed to finish and defend a PhD dissertation, I faced contest deadlines for writing a manuscript in four months, and amid winter storms, we were moving from our apartment in Colorado back to our home in New Mexico. Toward the end of the year when we felt all our challenges had been completed, my father suffered a stroke and passed away a week later. I was overwhelmed. But the spiritual theme I’d used in the manuscript I had completed echoed in my mind…

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Yes, God gave me the strength to accomplish a great deal during the past year. I wrote THE END on a 73,000 word book and received encouraging feedback from a top New York editor. My husband successfully completed his ten-year education project and is now “Doctor Engineer.” Our move was delayed by icy roads, but we arrived safely home. Most importantly, my father, a man of strong faith, lived independently as he wished up until the stroke. As God’s compassionate plan, my dad didn’t suffer long and joined my mother in heaven. During all this, God blessed me with the treasured blessings of strength and comfort, along with the faith and hope of eternal life, provided by our Lord’s grace.

My dad

I’m abundantly blessed with love, faith and forgiveness. Then as I continued to contemplate my One Word, I found myself reflecting on the wise thought in the Bible: of those given much, much is required. God knows me so well….my fears, my weaknesses, my talents. While I was still delaying my One Word declaration for 2017, God placed this Scripture on my heart:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

So with grateful acknowledgement of all my #TreasuredBlessings, my One Word for 2017 is SERVING. I anticipate with joy what God will do with my servant attitude.

Were you given a #OneWord2017?

May you always walk with God’s treasured blessings!

Sherida

#TuesdayTea with #COFFEE and Rocky Mountain Cowboy

January 24th, 2017

 

Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Welcome to my Tuesday TEA …make that COFFEE blog. (In just a bit, I’ll explain about the switch in drinks.) We’re chatting about Tina Radcliffe’s newest Love Inspired book, Rocky Mountain Cowboy. To enjoy with the coffee, I brought blueberry muffins from Patti Jo’s Café and Bakery….Rocky Mountain Cowboy hero Joe Gallagher’s favorite.

Not only is Tina Radcliffe an amazing author, she is also the queen of coffee. Caffeine fuels her production of quality inspirational romance stories, so I’m pouring large mugs of quality Seattle coffee in Tina’s honor. I was fortunate to read Rocky Mountain Cowboy as I flew to Seattle to visit family. When I arrived, I savored amazing coffee selections from the City of Caffeine. Seattle knows how to roast coffee! Now on to this amazing book….with a personal note at the end of the review.

MY REVIEW

Rocky Mountain CowboyRocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an excellent romance…..set in Paradise Valley, Colorado!

I simply LOVED Rocky Mountain Cowboy, a perfect romance of forgiveness and second chances…of putting the past behind. I smiled from the first page until the end, delighting in all the characters who sparkled with heart-felt emotion. What a treat to spend time with therapist Rebecca and cowboy Joe on his ranch in Paradise Valley, Colorado. Through this book, I experienced life on the beautiful Gallagher Ranch while Rebecca helps Joe adapt to a different routine using his new prosthetic hand. Joe’s gentle encouragement helps Rebecca move beyond her complex past. I particularly delighted in the engaging conversations between the characters. Tina Radcliffe, one of my favorite authors, knows how to write fast-paced, engaging dialogue…some witty and some quite touching. The various friends and family members were fun additions, as well as the mention of treats from Patti Jo’s Cafe and Bakery. Life just can’t get any sweeter than a romance in beautiful Paradise Valley!

Favorite quotes:
“Not worried. I’ve tried to banish that word from my vocabulary and turn things over to God.”
“You can’t be afraid to ask for help and you can’t be afraid to accept it.”
“The Lord brought you back here for a reason, Rebecca. Don’t throw away your second chance.”

*I was given a copy of this book. I’m delighted to provide my honest review.

PERSONAL NOTE

In this book, hero Joe Gallagher is an amputee adjusting to his prosthetic hand. Author Tina Radcliffe presents this situation very realistically. My father, a forward observer in the Army during World War II, was injured during fighting in Europe and was captured by the German Army. While he was a prisoner of war, his left leg was amputated. He was twenty years old at the time, so he spent most of his life with an artificial leg. As his daughter, I saw the various improvements in the technology of prosthetics to help amputees live active lives. As Tina reflects in Rocky Mountain Cowboy, amputees are not defined by their injuries, but by the lives they live. Though Rocky Mountain Cowboy is based on valuable research dealing with the situation of losing a limb, Tina’s story really focuses on the romance between the hero and heroine. I’m thankful for authors who include disabled characters in their books. My father was not defined by his amputation, but by the very loving and faith-filled life he enjoyed for 92 years.

TREATS
To celebrate Tina and her book, I’m serving large mugs of coffee today instead of our usual tea. Our sons know my husband and I enjoy coffee as well as tea, so take a look at these intriguing coffees we received as gifts from our sons and their families.

Bean Box coffee

Our older son introduced us to Bean Box Coffee which provides a selection of coffees from various Seattle roasters. If you’re interest in trying some special coffee, check out this link:  BEAN BOX

Our younger son traveled to Nicaragua a couple of times as part of a health mission with H.O.L.A. He enjoyed the coffee grown in that country and gave us a bag of Vermont roasted and Nicaraguan grown coffee.

Coffee from Nicaragua and roasted in Vermont

AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

Get to know Tina at her website:  TINA RADCLIFFE  (TIP: sign up for her newsletter)

For writers of all levels, she contributes to the Seekerville blog:  SEEKERVILLE     (I highly recommend you stop by for a visit. Readers have fun as well.)

BIBLE VERSE

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.   Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Today we lift up author Tina Radcliffe. Thank you for blessing her with amazing talent as a writer of inspiring stories filled the message of Your grace. She blesses others as she encourages other writers with uplifting advice. Please continue to grant her great success in all areas of her life.

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thank you for joining me for coffee today as we talked about Rocky Mountain Cowboy. I hope you enjoy the book and another visit to Paradise, Colorado, as much as I did. Do you have a drink of choice at Starbucks? Or do you have another favorite coffee? Please leave a comment. I’ll end with a couple of photos of beautiful Seattle.

May your life be filled with God’s treasured blessings.

Sherida

View as we flew into Seattle.

Mount Rainier glowing in the afternoon sun.

Treasured blessings of a #MerryChristmas!

December 24th, 2016

For my husband and me, this year is a different kind of holiday season….some joyful celebrations and some sad goodbyes. As we prepared for the holidays, we heeded the advice to simplify…to focus on the true gift of Christmas.

Our downsized tree is decorated with only a few of our special ornaments.

The mantle is adorned with precious memories…..a few of the many Santas my mother lovingly painted, only one of our nativity collections (this set my father made from repurposed wood), and the clock which was our first Christmas present to each other after our wedding.

At my husband’s suggestion, I even purchased our traditional Jesus’ birthday cake at the bakery. Yes, we did simplify our decorations and traditions this year, as we prepared our hearts to celebrate the ultimate gift from God.

Christmas Day will be quiet, with church and reflecting on the miracle of Christ’s birth and all the blessings received during 2016. All will be calm and bright!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10 (KJV)

My prayer for you is that your Christmas be filled with our Lord’s treasured blessings….the LOVE of family and friends, the HOPE of our faith in Christ, and the warmth of PEACE in your heart.

Blessings and merry Christmas,

Sherida

#TuesdayTea review of HOME on the RANGE by @RuthLoganHerne

October 25th, 2016
Maple bar and HOME on the RANGE

Maple bar and HOME on the RANGE at the Cle Elum Bakery in Cle Elum, Washington.

Welcome to my celebration of the release of Ruth Logan Herne’s newest….and very awesome…..book, Home on the Range.

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED…….LAURA WON……Congratulations! Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne! 🙂

THIS JUST IN! GIVEAWAY!!!!!! Ruth Logan Herne is offering a giveaway of her book!!! So you can be contacted, leave a comment below with your email (use AT and DOT to avoid spam)–standard rules apply. US addresses only. Name will be picked from a hat….really! Must comment by noon on Wednesday, October 26 MDT. Thanks!!!

We’re meeting today at the charming bakery in Cle Elum, Washington, which serves delicious maple bars…along with many sumptuous treats. So make a selection from their bakery case….yes, I know how difficult it is to choose…then grab a mug of coffee or tea and come sit awhile as we chat about Home on the Range.

So many treats!

Hard decisions with so many treats!

ABOUT HOME ON THE RANGE

Can the brother left behind and a woman without hope work together for the good of two precious children?

Nick Stafford stayed in central Washington, working his family’s large ranch after his brothers left to pursue other passions—but his toughest job is being a single dad. As a child he watched his father fail at marriage and parenting, so Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, father, and ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever was. Despite that commitment, three years after Nick’s wife left him, he has a daughter in trouble at school and both of his girls are facing issues that force him to rethink his stubborn plans.

For Dr. Elsa Andreas, life fell apart when tragedy caused her to abandon her family therapy practice and retreat to the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. Her school principal sister believes Elsa can guide the Stafford girls and that working with kids will draw Elsa out of her protective bubble.

Summer on the Double S teems with life and adventure. Amid the bounty of God and land, will Nick and Elsa find the courage to build futures based on faith rather than fear?

MY REVIEW

Home on the RangeHome on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A story of healing encouraged by the love and support of a strong family!

My heart smiled at the precious children and adorable puppies in this story….not to mention the cowboys and beautiful scenery of central Washington. Home on the Range is the second book in the Double S Ranch series, featuring the dysfunctional Stafford family. Colt and Angelina, the characters in the first book, Back in the Saddle, were engaging, drawing me into this second book about the lives of Elsa, Nick, and his two young daughters.

I was emotionally touched by the painful childhood suffering caused by self-centered adults and by Elsa’s emotional upheaval caused by self-doubt. Thankfully author Ruth Logan Herne weaves a thread of compassion and hope as the characters heal from the past with the wisdom and kindness of others. The developing romance between Elsa and Nick is so tender….with some mighty sweet kissing scenes….but faces some issues with trust and forgiveness. This is a story of flawed people who make mistakes, but are healed through love and the support of others.

I loved this book! Ruth Logan Herne writes amazing books filled with the love shown in strong families, with the redemption granted by second chances, and with the grace provided by faith. If you enjoy a sweet romance and being immersed in a modern-day family story of healing and hope, I highly recommend Home on the Range.

Favorite quotes:
“Maybe people didn’t get to choose what experiences molded and melded them into contributing members of society, but they did get to choose how to handle those experiences.”
“It means that embracing the joys in life is healthier than letting the sorrows drag us down. If we can learn to shrug off our frailties and foibles, the world becomes a much better place.”

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. I’m honored to write an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print. Ruth is a founding member of SEEKERVILLE, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

Home on the Range received a TOP PICK 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times Review….(very impressive!) You can read that review and sign up for her newsletter…and find out more about her other wonderful books at her website by clicking: RUTH LOGAN HERNE WEBSITE

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the amazing talent You have given author Ruth Logan Herne…both her writing abilities and her spirit of service. Her heart-felt stories and compassionate actions touch so many, giving hope and comfort to hurting souls.

Please continue to bless all her efforts and the work of all Christian authors as they spread the message of Your Word through their writing.

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen

TREATS

The characters in the Double S Ranch series mention enjoying maple bars from a nearby bakery. As heroine Elsa says, “Add in a trip to Cle Elum for maple bars, and I’m all in.” (page 222) Since we recently drove through beautiful central Washington to visit our grandsweeties in Seattle, we just had to make a stop at the Cle Elum Bakery where we sampled many of their baked goods. (I’m embarrassed to tell you how many we HAD to try, but I’ll just say…I’m still exercising those bites away…but SO worth every crumb.) I’ll leave you with pictures of a few of the treats we sampled during our two stops….coming and going….at this charming shop, along with some of central Washington’s scenery.

Cle Elum Bakery on Main Street.

The charming Cle Elum Bakery on Main Street.

Bakery selection board. We bought Dutch Crunch bread....yum!

Bakery selection board. We bought Dutch Crunch bread….yum!

Candied fruit bakery treat

Candied fruit bakery treat….taste of Christmas!

Crunchy maple twist...mmmm!

Crunchy maple twist…mmmm!

Coffee or tea for you?

Coffee or tea for you?

Fields of central Washington with mountains in the distance.

Fields of central Washington with mountains in the distance.

Love this old barn....and this beautiful story.

Love this old barn….and this beautiful story.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! May your life be touched by God’s treasured blessing of healing!

With warm blessings,

Sherida

 

#TUESDAYTEA Review of LOVE EVERLASTING by Julie Lessman!

October 11th, 2016

Welcome to my release celebration for Julie Lessman’s newest contemporary romance novel, Love Everlasting!

FIREWORKS!

I’m delighted to have you join me for my #TuesdayTea review. Please come sit by the FIRE, with a HOT mug of STEAMING tea, as we chat about this faith-filled, SIZZLING emotional story…..accompanied with WARM, just-from-the-oven cookies. Yep, you get the idea…..this is a fiery story of finding love….and realizing the power of God. Congratulations, Julie Lessman, on the release of your powerful new book, Love Everlasting!

LOVE EVERLASTING by Julie Lessman

ABOUT LOVE EVERLASTING (ISLE OF HOPE series, BOOK 2)

He sets hearts on fire.
She’s been burned by love.
Can hope survive the flames of the past?

School teacher by day, ghostwriter by night, sweet and shy Shannon O’Bryen doesn’t mind writing romance on the sly, but to live it? No, thank you, not since the man she loved turned out to be a player who broke both her heart and her spirit. Now focused more on her faith and her fiction, she vows the next time she falls in love, it will be safely—through the pages of a book.

Dr. Sam Cunningham is a charismatic player who breaks hearts as regularly as he washes his pearl-white Corvette. Abandoned as a baby, Sam was an orphan shuffled through the foster-care system, bitterly driven to prove he is worthy of love—the kind that lasts forever. Once he learns Shannon is a romance writer, he enlists her help in winning back his ex-girlfriend. She teaches him about faith and the true definition of love, and he soon discovers he’s been seeking it in the wrong place all along—and with the wrong girl. But can he convince a woman who’s been burned by love to open her eyes—and her heart—to a love everlasting?

MY REVIEW

Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope, #2)Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A story filled with emotional FIREWORKS!
I’ve come to anticipate fireworks in author Julie Lessman’s stories. She’s known for her books of “Passion with a Purpose.” Her second book in the Isle of Hope series, Love Everlasting, does not disappoint….in the passionate and purposeful departments! The pages sizzle with intense feelings and faith-filled romance…..with the twist of a powerful emotional explosion I didn’t expect.
I’ve read the prequel (A Glimmer of Hope) and the award-winning first book in the Isle of Hope series (Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love), so I enjoyed reconnecting with the characters in this story. The focus in this second book is the romance between sweet Shannon O’Bryen and handsome Sam Cunningham, fittingly known as Dr. Love. Wounded by past loves, these two face barriers to finding happiness. Lessons learned about facing fears, learning to forgive, and the true meaning of everlasting love are laced throughout this beautiful story. Also, I liked the development of the romance between the mature couple, Tess O’Bryen and Ben Carmichael. Their love story is touchingly poignant with its combination of human weakness and lingering desire.
Julie Lessman’s passionate writing always touches my heart….and my soul. The intensity of emotions felt while reading her stories always lifts me to a greater place, reminding me of the true significance of faithful love. I highly recommend this passionate and faith-filled book. If you want to read an emotional book filled with hope and heart-touching love, I believe you will enjoy LOVE EVERLASTING!
Favorite quotes:
“But the truth is, it’s that very weakness—that futility and failure, that utter despair—that brings us to the bottom line.” Her smile quirked. “Finally letting go and letting God carry us through.”
“…there is no greater guarantee than God’s love, and although His timing is not always in sync with ours, He will provide…”
*I was given an e-copy of this book.

ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”

Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

You can find out more about Julie on her website: Julie Lessman

I recommend signing up for notifications of her blog posts, Journal Jots. She sends out informative updates and often has contests. Julie’s Journal Jots

TREATS

Cookies, cookies and more cookies!

Cookies, especially Monster Cookies, are a favorite treat for many of the characters in Love Everlasting, so I’m putting out a big tray of Monster Cookies. I used the basic recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but added three kinds of chips, milk, semi-sweet and dark chips…with the addition of pecans. Next time I’ll add toffee pieces and walnuts. And since it’s a party, I didn’t forget the colorful sprinkles! Extra sprinkles for everyone!

Monster Cookies with sprinkles

 

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

We lift up author Julie Lessman and her strong family for everlasting blessings. She walks so passionately with You…..her example and her stories inspiring others to draw close to You. Please continue to strengthen her as she writes for Your glory.

In Jesus name,

Amen

THANK YOU, dear friends, for stopping by my #TuesdayTea review blog. Since my website is focused on “God’s treasured blessings,” this quote from Love Everlasting is particularly perfect: “Now your faith has been forged in fire to produce a gleaming treasure of truth.” May your life be filled with God’s treasured blessings!

Blessings,

Sherida