Do you LOVE Christmas? Get ready for a ranch-style holiday with CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY!

September 18th, 2018

Welcome to #TuesdayTea as we celebrate Christmas at Big Heart Ranch with the release of Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe!🎄 (Mass market available September 18 and Kindle available October 1.)

In honor of the newest Big Heart Ranch story, I’m serving Emma Maxwell Norman’s Chocolate Muffins with strong Arbuckle’s Ariosa cowboy coffee or a light peppermint tea. Please help yourself, as there’s plenty to go around.

Christmas with the Cowboy-Big Heart Ranch

From my earlier reviews of Tina Radcliffe’s Big Heart Ranch series, you know I love the children’s home setting for these books. And now with her newest release, Christmas with the Cowboy, I’m singing carols and baking goodies, all in preparation for our special holiday. In this treasured story, we’re celebrating a ranch-style Christmas at the Holiday Roundup!

ABOUT CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY

Former navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?

MY REVIEW

OH! OH! OH! THIS STORY IS SO GOOD!

Get ready for Christmas with this feel-good romance filled with the warm glow of the holiday spirit…children, snow and sparkling love.

What can I say? I loved EVERYTHING about Christmas with the Cowboy. Hero Zach Norman is amazing…*sigh*…my kind of quiet, self-sacrificing guy. As a single mom to twins, Emma Maxwell Norman is hardworking as she takes care of everyone with her organizational skills. The fast pace of getting the ranch ready for the Holiday Roundup keeps the couple busy as they learn to put the past in perspective and trust their feelings for each other.

Revisiting additional characters from previous books adds fun to the story. Lovable Dutch is a crusty, ol’ sweetheart. The two-year-old twins, Rachel and Elizabeth, are precious. The epilogue is Christmas perfection!

Author Tina Radcliffe knows how to make a reader laugh and cry as the conversations sparkle with humor and emotion. I want to spend Christmas at Big Heart Ranch enjoying cookies and chocolate muffins! This is definitely a story I didn’t want to end…and fortunately there will be another Big Heart Ranch book.

Favorite quote: “Big Heart Ranch is all about that. This is the place where we let go of our past. New beginnings. Like the birth of our Lord at Christmas.”

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. It is an honor to offer my honest opinion.

AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

To get more information about one of my favorite authors, check out her website where you’ll find a place to order Christmas with the Cowboy and the precious books in the series, Claiming Her Cowboy and Falling for the Cowgirl. Also, I’d suggest signing up for her newsletters listed under the “Newsletters” tab. Time out with Tina is for readers, and the Writer’s Inside Edition has great information on publishing, contests and opportunities for writers.

TINA’S WEBSITE

TREATS

Please enjoy a muffin (these are SO good) and your choice of a mug of Arbuckle’s cowboy coffee or a cup of peppermint tea.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY and chocolate muffins!

Of course we need a recipe for the chocolate deliciousness, so Tina has posted this recipe.

RECIPE FOR EMMA’S CHOCOLATE MUFFINS from Tina Radcliffe

Thank you for joining me for coffee or tea and MUFFINS! Even if it’s a bit early, I do wish you a Christmas filled with the warm glow of LOVE…a treasured blessing from God. ❤️

With blessings and prayers for you,

Sherida

*Your comments are appreciated and will be posted after moderation. I apologize for delays.

September! Do you need time to REFRESH? #TuesdayTea

September 10th, 2018

Welcome to #TuesdayTea…just a bit early! Today we’re celebrating REFRESH, so I’m pouring invigorating chai spice black tea by Stash or a calming herbal camomile by Celestial Seasonings.

September brings the beginning of autumn and the start of the new school year.

As a former kindergarten teacher, I have a collection of Caldecott Award books and alphabet picture books.

For many years, I was a teacher, both in early elementary levels and in preschools. The new school year always brought a refreshing new beginning. A new assortment of unique kids. The smell of wax crayons. Bulletin boards full of color. Shouts and laugher on the playground.

Fall colors along the road to the trailhead.

But now as September arrives, I have a quieter time to breathe in the refreshing cooler air, carrying hints of pine. During the start of autumn, the mountain hiking available near us is special. Colors of fall…reds, golds and maroon…paint the landscape and a chill touches the wind as we hike through forests, passing creeks and climbing hillsides.

Recently, we followed a trail up a mountainside to have lunch on Sharkstooth Pass at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level.

Majestic Mount Hesperus stood beside us as we traveled along the path.

Even though we were slow on the climb up, we were refreshed along the way by the little creeks we crossed and by the chilly breeze blowing along the rocky slopes above the tree line. When we reached the pass, we stopped for lunch and marveled at the valley below and how far we’d come.

View from near the top of Sharkstooth Pass

My husband and I both felt the presence of our Lord as we absorbed the beauty of His creation before us. We felt deeply refreshed.

To me, September is a time of refreshment after the heat and busy times of summer. I hope you are able to take time to refresh during this month.

VIDEO OF A REFRESHING LITTLE CREEK WE CROSSED.

SCRIPTURE 

That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Romans 15:32 (KJV)

PRAYER

Lord, we do get busy, pulled in so many directions. Help us appreciate the season of autumn as a time to breathe deeply, quiet our minds and refresh our spirits. Amen.

 BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS to refresh your heart….

Christmas with the Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch) by Tina Radcliffe (releases 9/18 and Kindle releases 10/1)

I’ve loved all the books featuring Big Heart Ranch, a home for forgotten children. Each story centers on one of the three siblings helping to run the ranch. Tina Radcliffe’s writing adds humor, along with faith, to create fun and inspiring romances. This latest book is filled with Christmas spirit. I love this story…and will post a review next week! 🎄

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver’s Creek) by Jan Drexler (releases 9/18)

Though I haven’t read this book, I always enjoy author Jan Drexler faith-touched historical stories. This is the first in a new series. From the description on Amazon, it sounds good.

”From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.”

At Home in Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne (releases 10/2)

If you like small town stories with warm down home characters, you will like this contemporary romance. This second book set in Wishing Bridge, New York, brings Dr. Ethan Brandenburg and nurse practitioner Thea Anastas together to temporarily bring medical assistance to the small town. They did not plan to be stuck in the tiny rural area, but He has an even better future ahead for these two people. A faith-filled story of leaving the past behind for brighter tomorrows.

WRITING NEWS

After completing an online class titled Monster Revisions, I have many ideas for improving my manuscript as I work through the revising process. In another class, I learned about submitting short stories for magazine publication and find this smaller word count goal may work for me.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! What ways or in what places do you feel refreshed? I hope you treasure being refreshed the by the start of a new season.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate comments. Your comment will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays.

August tea celebration of JOY! #TuesdayTea

August 14th, 2018

Welcome to my August #TuesdayTea celebration of JOY!

Granddaughter’s afternoon tea picture. ❤️

Recently, my husband and I stayed with our three grandchildren while their parents took a relaxing vacation trip. Our week with these amazing little ones was filled with treasured moments of JOY!

We played in the sand, splashed in the wading pool, baked cookies, drew pictures, harvested a cucumber, read stories, wrote books, walked to the park, watched movies and sipped homemade lemonade.

One of my favorite times was baking cherry scones with the little helpers, then enjoying a high tea luncheon.

We made cherry scones and cucumber sandwiches for afternoon tea!

The cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches were a surprise hit, along with the peanut butter finger sandwiches. A fruity herbal tea was the perfect beverage choice for our little group. Fresh strawberries provided the just-right dessert. All three grandkids loved the tea celebration, pleasing Grammy with their enthusiasm.

We made so many treasured memories! The eight-year-old delighted in creating scented soap for her parents, the five-year-old happily explained his amazing LEGO creations, and the baby reached for my hand as she settled in for her naps….perfect moments of JOY!

We are so thankful to be able to spend time with our grandchildren. It was a week filled with smiles and love…..treasured blessings of JOY!

WRITING NEWS:

I’m currently taking a class, Monster Revisions, to do an intensive edit of my historical romance manuscript. I’m filled with JOY to be working on this story again after completing it two years ago.

AUGUST BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Are you looking for book recommendations to end your summer? I have some suggestions, as reading time always brings JOY.

If you like historical, Julie Lessman’s Love’s Silver Lining is a romance set in Virginia City,  Nevada, in 1885. As the author does so well, this story is filled with sweet passion and the blessing of faith. I love the strong family members and other characters in this story.

If you like contemporary, A Father for Bella by Jill Weatherholt, is a good choice. I’ve just started this book and already find it engaging. It features one of my favorite settings….a country inn bed and breakfast hotel. I love to imagine I’m staying in small inns, like a virtual vacation.

If you like a bit of both historical and contemporary, the novella collection Legacy of the Heart, by Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed and Sherri Shackelford, would be just right. An antique locket is the thread between these five stories. I enjoyed them all.

Forest hiking in the mountains brings me JOY.

THOUGHTS:

From my mid-August reflections of summer, I’m thankful to have enjoyed many moments of joy. I found the following scripture appropriate. The sounds of joyful grandchildren and the summer hiking sounds of birds singing filled my heart with the light of our Lord. I treasure these memories.

SCRIPTURE:

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. Psalm 89:15 (KJV)

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! Please try a sample of the goodies. I hope you enjoy the cucumber sandwiches as much as my grandson did. What joy-filled times did you treasure this summer?

May your life be filled with the treasures of smiles and love…and many moments of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate your thoughts and apologize for the delay in approval and posting of your comments.

Can a woman do a cowboy’s job? #TuesdayTea

June 19th, 2018

Welcome to #TuesdayTea! I’m so glad you’ve stopped in because I’m reviewing the newest book by a favorite author, Tina Radcliffe, Falling for the Cowgirl.

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

Hold onto your saddle as you read Falling for the Cowgirl! You’ll find out if cowgirl AJ has what it takes to do a traditionally man’s job on my favorite ranch, Big Heart Ranch in Oklahoma.

AJ can also whip up yummy pies! So before I review this newest novel by Tina Radcliffe, take a slice of Three Berry Pie, fresh from the Timber Diner. I’ll pour you a cup of blackberry tea or a tall glass of iced tea with lemon if you prefer.

TRIPLE BERRY PIE-photo by Irina on Unsplash

BLURB

She won the job…

Can he win her heart?

Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart.

My review of Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

I LOVE this book….and everything about Big Heart Ranch!

While reading Falling for the Cowgirl, I laughed, I cried, and I delighted in every page!

At Big Heart Ranch, newly hired AJ McAlester finds working for her boss, foreman Travis Maxwell, to be challenging…in many ways. Watching these two strong-headed people clash provides for great entertainment as unexpected twists in their lives occur.

I like the strength AJ demonstrates as she strives to prove her abilities. I found grumpy Travis to be quite swoon-worthy as his true heart begins to shine. All the folks on the ranch are warm and welcoming, feeling like real friends, family and co-workers. The addition of various animals adds more feel-good fun to the story.

And what an inspiring place for the setting of this series! Big Heart Ranch is based on a real ranch that provides family-style homes for children who need second chances and plenty of love. Each book tugs at my heart.

Tina Radcliffe does sparky humor, tender romance and faith-weaving so well in all her novels. This story, with the touching surprises, just may be my favorite Tina Radcliffe book….and I’d love a slice of blackberry pie…and a pair of turquoise boots!

Favorite quote: “Love and the good Lord reign here.”

*I received a copy of this book from the author with no requirement to write a review. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinion about this story.

MY THOUGHTS

As I said in my review, I love the concept of Big Heart Ranch which offers hope and love to neglected children by using family-style homes. In the acknowledgements, Tina Radcliffe mentions her Big Heart Ranch was inspired by Big Oak Ranch, a home program for kids in Alabama.

Here in New Mexico is another organization helping children, Navajo Ministries. The children are grouped into three homes, each with a set of parents. Read more about the Navajo Ministries program HERE.

I’m grateful to those groups working to make life better for our children. I appreciate author Tina Radcliffe for bringing these efforts to our attention through her writing.

For more information about Tina Radcliffe, CLICK HERE. You can sign up for her fun newsletter and, if you’re a writer, don’t miss the “Inside Edition” tab where you can sign up for the (no-charge) writer information newsletter. I highly recommend both newsletters.

MY PRAYER FOR YOU

May you be touched by the treasured blessing of compassionate people, such as those who help suffering children and those who spread the word about these programs of God’s love in action.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

Thanks to Susan Snodgrass for creating this meme for Falling for the Cowgirl.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida Stewart

*Comments will appear after approval. I apologize for delays.

 

 

 

What’s your favorite summer activity? #TuesdayTea #Summer2018

June 12th, 2018

IT’S SUMMER!

Do you have a favorite thing to do when summer arrives? Something that really means summer to you? Summer seems to start a different routine. Swimming? Travel? Gardening? Hiking? How about relaxing and refreshing?

When our local farmers’s market opens, I feel like summer has truly begun since I can taste all the locally grown treats. I miss having my own veggie garden, so the stalls selling fresh produce delight my heart.

Look at the goodies I found at the first market of the season! The fresh salsa is perfect…with just the right amount of fire with New Mexico Chiles. Honey from Enchanted Bees, radishes, even New Mexico Sage soap!

Bounty from our local growers’ market!

Putting up some jars of apricot jam is on my summer schedule, along with a couple of short backpacking trips. Reading on our patio is planned for many warm afternoons.

Is reading on your summer to-do list?

Here’s a suggestion. Since some of my favorite romance authors released a collection of SUMMER cowboy novellas, I thought I’d share my review with you. So join me on the shaded patio with a glass of iced tea (sweetened with local honey from Enchanted Bees) while I tell you about this sweet romance collection.

COWBOYS OF SUMMER by Mary Connealy, Cheryl St, John, Tina Radcliffe, Missy Tippens, Lorna Seilstad and Sherri Shackelford

Cowboys of Summer-Kindle collection

What perfect romantic cowboy stories to enjoy during the summer!

I liked all these cute novellas by some favorite authors. Each one had great characters and fast pacing. I loved visiting the various communities with an emphasis on sweet summer romance…cowboy style.

Dr. Tess and the Cowboy by Mary Connealy

A fun-to-read story featuring enthusiastic paleontologist Tessa Rhoades searching for dinosaur bones on hard-working Joe Holt’s Nebraska ranch. His peace and quiet are disturbed by her exciting discovery. There is great entertainment as the couple must dig into their hearts to reveal their true passions.

Hometown Girl by Cheryl St. John

I always love a story with characters helping others, and Stevie Marshall is just such a woman as she helps teens through her garden market and 4-H activities. When her high school sweetheart, bull riding champion Justin Cooper, returns to town to help his father, summer fireworks flare. I enjoyed finding out if past regrets could be rectified to become something better for both of them.

Lake Effect by Tina Radcliffe

This is a fun story of leaving the past behind and forging ahead toward bright new beginnings. I enjoyed Jessica Richards’ experiences as she prepared to open Paradise Lake Bed and Breakfast. Rancher Tucker Jackson, with his work ethic and family priorities, is a strong hero. This summer visit to Paradise, Colorado, is filled with the beauty of the season and with plenty of friendly townsfolk to warm your heart.

His Lone Star Heart by Missy Tippens

Rancher Zeb West wants to buy his neighbor’s Double B Ranch, but the owner’s daughter, Beecher Brown, is hoping to keep her father’s ranch. To find true happiness, both face difficult struggles…Zeb to understand himself and Beecher to prove her abilities. I enjoyed the interesting conflict and the sweet romance. 

Great Strides by Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad is a new-to-me author. Since I’m a former special needs preschool teacher, Dana Etherton’s dream for her equine therapy ranch was of particular interest to me. I liked the second chance theme of hardworking Adam Malone’s situation. The pace of this story great, as is the perfect inclusion of small details…fragrance, color, and weather. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author.

The Decoy Bride by Sherri Shackelford

The trials of pretending to be someone else is a fun premise in this story. As an office assistant to a publicist, Paige Monroe is given a chance to try out being famous. During this experience, she meets rancher Sterling Tanner. It’s a wild ride as the two get to know each other and overcome their fears. “It had taken a brush with the very thing she feared to finally free her.” A laugh-out-loud sweet romance!

Five stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and highly recommended!

I hope you can fit some reading time into your summer days.

I pray you find some refreshment as you enjoy God’s treasured blessing of summer. Whatever you have planned, I pray it is fun, safe and filled with joy!

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sherida

 

A February #TuesdayTea book review—A Seaside Romance by Patti Jo Moore

February 27th, 2018

As we approach the last day of February, I welcome you to my Tuesday Tea review of the contemporary love story, A Seaside Romance, by Patti Jo Moore.

The month of February is a time to appreciate the treasured blessings of all types of LOVE…family, friends, romantic, and the love of our Lord.

My mother painted these bears to represent our family when our sons were cubs. With love, our family now includes 2 DILs and 3 grandsweeties.

***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***

Frosty mornings still greet me as February comes to a close. I’m anticipating spring, but warm days aren’t quite here yet. Reading stories can provide us with a virtual trip by transporting us to someplace different from our current place. A Seaside Romance is exactly this kind of book. Patti Jo Moore’s novel takes us to the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze, Florida……exactly what I need while waiting for the warmer days of spring.

TREATS

Since it’s still the month of love, I’m serving Valentine’s Day treats. Please help yourself to chocolate heart brownies or raspberry jam-filled Linzer heart cookies. I’ll pour you a cup of fruity raspberry tea. Now we’re ready to delve into A Seaside Romance!

Chocolate LOVE brownies

Raspberry jam-filled Linzer Heart cookies

MY REVIEW

A Seaside RomanceA Seaside Romance by Patti Jo Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sweet romance set in a charming beach town.

A Seaside Romance, by Patti Jo Moore, is a contemporary inspirational romance. Lovely Emma Hopkins is helping out at her aunt’s gift shop when she meets handsome traveling businessman Thomas Wilton. They both have secrets from their pasts which must be resolved before they can reach a romantic happily-ever-after.

Other interesting characters enliven the beachside village of Coastal Breeze, Florida, including compassionate Aunt Ginny, busybody Midge Weatherbee, and Thomas’ sister, Avril. I enjoyed the descriptions of the charming community and felt like I was shopping in the nautical themed gift shop featured in the story.

I especially liked the way prayer was realistically incorporated as a part of life, asking God for help and guidance. A great book for those who enjoy sweet romance!

Favorite quotes:
Yet what she could do was pray for strength to ignore those scars from the past, and also pray for strength and wisdom as she moved on with her life.

 

A BIT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR

You might enjoy learning a bit more about author Patti Jo Moore and the inspiration for her newest book. Over at Laurie Wood’s blog, you can read a recent interview, however please note the giveaway has ended. Read the interview here.

As mentioned in the interview, Patti Jo has two more books to be released in her Emerald Coast Romances series set on the beautiful…and warm…Florida Gulf Coast. I’m looking forward to more sweet romances featuring this charming community. You can find Patti Jo’s Facebook page HERE.

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Proverbs 21 (NIV)

 

PRAYER

I pray you are surrounded by the treasured blessings of love …in an ever-increasing circle.

THANK YOU for joining me for Tuesday Tea! (The heart card above was created by one of my grandsweeties. All grandsweeties are treasured blessings of love!)

With blessings and love,

Sherida

Chocolate and #OneWord2018, a #TuesdayTea with #Treasured #Blessings!

January 30th, 2018

Welcome to a CHOCOLATE Tuesday Tea! Don’t these truffles look amazing? I’ll pour you a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa, while you select a few of these chocolate candies. These “Snakebite” truffles are from a favorite shop in Durango, Colorado, the Animas Chocolate Company. I haven’t sampled these particular delights, but the decorative colors are perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat, don’t you think? So glossy and pretty!

Snakebite Truffles-“Chile infused dark chocolate ganache”

What does chocolate have to do with MY ONE WORD?

For a few years now, I have embraced the concept of selecting One Word for the year, along with a Scripture reference for my motivation. In the past, I’ve selected LIGHT, LOVINGKINDNESS, REFLECT and SERVING….words which helped me focus on one thought rather than a mix of many resolutions.

Starting in December, I began to seek my 2018 word…mulling over possibilities, trying out different choices, and praying for the flashing sign. Which word would God give me for 2018?

None of the ideas popping into my head seemed to be THE sparkling One Word for the new year. But waiting was good. Near the end of the month, I received the glowing word God gave me!

THE BACKSTORY

After a rough 2016, the past year of 2017 was a great year! As it was my husband’s first year of retirement, we did plenty of traveling, even more than we’d planned. We were fortunate to have special times with our sons and their families, including celebrating the birth and baptism of our third grandchild. I was blessed to be included in an encouraging group of Writing Sisters seeking the mutual dream of Christian publishing. Hiking in the mountains filled our summer days with joy, a miracle after my husband’s life-changing severe leg injury of a few years ago. With all these activities, 2017 was an amazing year!

However, I realized I was frenetic…..rushing all the time, stressing to do everything, trying to make everything (and me) better…always thinking about my lengthening to-do list, planning the next fabulous trip, and continually revising my contest-finaling manuscript. I had plenty of blessings, but still….I found myself unsatisfied.

I wished for more writing time.

I wished for more time with family.

I wished for more places to visit.

I wished for more miles hiked.

I wished for more success toward my publishing dream.

I wished for more chocolate.

You get the picture. I wanted MORE!

I believe I’m always GRATEFUL for my blessings, praying each morning after our devotional time of lifting praises of thanksgiving and prayerful requests on behalf of those on our prayer list. I don’t like to think my desires for more are greedy or bad for me….well, maybe wanting more chocolate is not a good idea. I know my needs are ABUNDANTLY provided for by our Lord.

During late December conversation with my husband, I felt a glowing moment of realization. God gave me my One Word for 2018…….APPRECIATE.

My One Word 2018

APPRECIATE is more than being thankful….more than being grateful. God wants me to pause…… to take some quiet time to go deeper and truly APPRECIATE what I have been given…

to TREASURE the time I do have with family,

to be CONTENT with my writing accomplishments,

to REJOICE in the trails I can walk,

to IMMERSE myself in the places I visit,

even to SAVOR  the chocolate I eat,

and to APPRECIATE who I am……a flawed, sometimes self-involved, perfection-seeking child of God. He doesn’t want me to stop striving and planning for tomorrow, but to stop and APPRECIATE for a moment….what I do have and who I am….because of HIS LOVE and GRACE!

BIBLE VERSE

This is the Scripture He placed on my heart:

If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—it’s time you appreciate God’s deep love. Proverbs 107:42 (MSG)

MY THOUGHTS

At the beginning of the year, I start a new note on my iPhone, titled with my new One Word for the year. Right under the title, I include the new Scripture verse. During the year, this is where I jot down any important thoughts. This way, I see my One Word and Scripture often.

Has my One Word enlightened my 2018 path? Yes! Already in the first month of this new year, my attitude has changed because of my focus on APPRECIATE. I feel more relaxed. Contented. When I start to whine or complain, I stop, giving myself a moment to appreciate my situation. This puts a new light on my attitude. Even my husband has noted my “inner peace.” Thank you, Lord, for Your love and guidance!

TREATS

And speaking of chocolate, here’s a treat from a special place, Animas Chocolate Company, in Durango, Colorado. And, yes, I appreciated sharing the delicious and spicy El Bandito coffee and pure milk chocolate bar (inscribed with “LOVE”) with my husband for an early Valentine treat.  But the best part? Appreciating the blessing of spending some quiet time with my husband. Perfect!

El Bandito coffee….spicy!

Animas Chocolate Company shop in Durango, Colorado.

PRAYERS

There is no need to comment. Instead, take a moment to APPRECIATE your TREASURED BLESSINGS, especially the blessing of God’s deep love for you. Please know I appreciate you and pray for you, my friend.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

 

#TuesdayTea review-Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

January 10th, 2018

Welcome to my (just a tiny bit late) #TuesdayTea review of Claiming Her Cowboy by a favorite author, Tina Radcliffe. I’m so excited about this new series featuring Big Heart Ranch, a home for orphaned or abandoned children who need love and second chances. The staff, the kids, and the ranch setting….not to mention the romance….all make you feel good about the world. A heart-warming story!

Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

MY REVIEW

Claiming Her Cowboy: Big Heart Ranch Book 1Claiming Her Cowboy: Big Heart Ranch Book 1 by Tina Radcliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVE this heart-touching story where Plan B can turn out to be the best!
What a wonderful romance of two strong-willed and caring people changing their own plans as necessary to help children! Author Tina Radcliffe’s new series centers around Big Heart Ranch in Oklahoma. It is an amazing place, filled with foster children who need hope and a loving family environment. The ranch mission statement is perfect: “Faith, hope and love. Faith in God, hope for tomorrow, and unconditional love.”
Having been in foster homes themselves, Lucy Maxwell and her siblings opened the ranch to give suffering children an opportunity to grow up in loving, family-like situations. Attorney Jackson Harris is tasked by his benefactor aunt to assess the financial needs of the ranch organization. The professional relationship between Jack and Lucy gets complicated when each individual wants to follow their own different plans. But when precious five-year-old Dub climbs into both their hearts, along with his two sisters, life gets even more complicated…in such a heartfelt way.
I love the assorted characters in this book, all the sweet children, and the reason for establishing Big Heart Ranch. As prickly Lucy and stern Jack learn to soften because of a set of triplets….and learn to trust each other…a beautiful story unfolds. This is the first book in a much-anticipated new series by inspirational author Tina Radcliffe. This story, along with its dedication page where the author mentions the inspiration for this series, will touch your heart!

Favorite quotes:
“Jack, it’s about planting seeds. Sometimes you can’t see the harvest. You have to trust that by doing what you are called to do, what this ranch is called to do, the harvest will be there.”
“I know God is listening. Sometimes things don’t happen when we think they should, but He always hears our prayers.”

*I received a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m honored to provide my honest opinion of the story.

 

TREATS

Since this book is filled with sweet kiddos, I’m serving sweet cupcakes and sweet lattes today. Doesn’t everyone love cupcakes?

Cupcakes and lattes!

QUOTE FROM CLAIMING HER COWBOY

”First Corinthians thirteen. Faith, hope and love. Faith in God, hope for tomorrow, and unconditional love.”

This is the mission statement for Big Heart Ranch. Perfect!

Thanks for stopping by for a quick book chat and a virtual treat. May your life be filled with God’s treasured blessings of faith, hope and love.

Blessings,

Sherida

Wishing you a Christmas filled with treasured blessings!

December 22nd, 2017

Welcome to my Christmas tea celebration!

Christmas music box painted by Mom.

May you embrace the JOY of the Christmas season….our time to reflect on the treasure of God’s love for us. He gave us the blessing of Jesus to bring LIGHT into the world.

Nativity ornament painted by my mother.

My mother enjoyed giving friends and family ornaments and decorations she made. Her expression of love was tucked into each gift. As I decorate for Christmas, I treasure the many reminders of her love.

One of many Mom-created angels.

Santas and wreath painted by my mother.

Of course we need some fun Christmas teas treats as we reflect on Christmas memories……

Please make a choice…or two. I’ll pour you a warm cup of Christmas tea!

Gingerbread man!

Peppermint-dusted Mickey beignet! Sooo good!

Dessert buffet!

Praying for your Christmas season to be filled with the treasures of LOVE and JOY! May you always walk in the LIGHT, my friend!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sherida

#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