Archive for the ‘BOOK REVIEW’ Category

#TuesdayTea review of A GIFT LIKE NO OTHER by Julie Lessman!

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

Welcome to #TuesdayTea! I’m thrilled to review Julie’s newest story, A Gift Like No Other, a historical romance featuring the O’Connor family. Doesn’t this cover inspire thoughts of a joyful Christmas spent with loved ones?

A GIFT LIKE NO OTHER by Julie Lessman

Even though I’m already anticipating the Christmas season, I’m savoring the last days of autumn (and pumpkin spice) until Thanksgiving. Today I’m serving pumpkin muffins with your choice of a pumpkin spice latte or a cup of bracing English Breakfast tea. Please join us as we chat about this special holiday romance with it’s reminder of the importance of keeping marriage vows strong…..with His loving guidance.

ABOUT A Gift Like No Other

WARNING: Due to a subject matter that deals with marital problems, please be advised that this sweet inspirational novella contains a higher level of romantic passion.

Her dream is writing.
His is the perfect wife and mother.
Until God fulfills them both 
with a dream like no other.

Twelve years ago, Faith O’Connor happily gave up her dream as a copywriter to become a wife and mother, clinging to her husband’s promise she could return someday. But when the opportunity arises to write for the Boston Herald again two days a week, her dream hits a snag … along with her marriage.

To Collin McGuire, family is everything because he never really had one of his own. Raised by a father who died early and a mother who didn’t care, Collin is determined to give his children the very best with a full-time mother. But when he denies Faith her dream, he soon discovers he’s denied his own as well … until Christmas day brings a healing through a gift like no other.

MY REVIEW

A Gift Like No Other (An O'Connor Christmas)

A Gift Like No Other by Julie Lessman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Loved it! Snuggle up with a cup of orange-cinnamon tea and a sugary snickerdoodle, ready to be blessed by this sweet, spicy story!

Devoted fans of Julie Lessman’s writing know her books are filled with passionate emotions. Her well-developed characters settle into a special place in the reader’s heart. This is so true with this story as Collin and Faith’s seventeen-year marriage faces a few challenges, which all marriages do over time. I loved the way this husband and wife confronted their problems with advice from their family and with the realization of God’s gifts. Very touching and very real. The heartfelt emotions of the Christmas Eve epilogue provide the perfect ending for this story…like a present for the reader, wrapped in festive paper and topped with a sparkly bow….the blessings of a gift like no other.

Favorite quote: “Guilt is like a cancer that eats away at our soul, robbing us of joy, hope, and all too often, the very forgiveness that will set us free.”

A note of warning from the author: Due to a subject matter that deals with marital problems, please be advised that this sweet inspirational novella contains a higher level of romantic passion.

*I received a complimentary ebook with no requirement to write a review. I’m pleased to offer my honest opinion about this story.

SCRIPTURE

You will pray to Him, and He will hear you, And you will fulfill your vows.~~Job 22:27

ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN

Julie Lessman is a dear author who writes inspirational contemporary and historical romances. I love her heart for the Lord and her tag line…..stories of “passion with a purpose.” For more information about her other books, please visit her website, where I suggest you also sign up for her newsletter, JOURNAL JOTS. http://www.JulieLessman.com.

Thank you for stopping by for an autumn tea and my review of Julie’s sweet (with a touch of spice) inspirational romance story. I pray your days are filled with faith, love and abundant joy during the holidays ahead.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Your comments are appreciated and will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

#TuesdayTea review of A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of Jill Weatherholt’s newest Shenandoah Valley romance, A Mother for His Twins, a September release by Love Inspired Books. This story of forgiveness and acceptance touched my emotions in deep ways. I’m serving chocolate cake with coconut frosting, one of the hero’s specialties. Help yourself to the peppermint tea or a cup of coffee to enjoy while you read about the story. At the end of this post, I share some thoughts about why I personally feel this particular story is important to read.

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt

THE BLURB

First-grade teacher Joy Kelliher has two new students–twin boys who belong to her high school sweetheart. If teaching Nick Capello’s sons wasn’t difficult enough, the widower’s also her neighbor…and competing for the principal job she wants. Now with little matchmakers drawing Joy and Nick together, can they overcome a painful past to build the family Joy’s always wanted?

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

A Mother for His Twins

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A heart-tugging second chance romance!

Second chance romances are always fun….former sweethearts reconnecting after life has taken the couple in different directions. Author Jill Weatherholt’s newest book, A Mother for His Twins, touched my emotions on so many levels.

Teacher Joy Kelliher must confront a trauma from her past when her high school boyfriend returns to town with his two young sons. Widower Nick Capello is returning to his hometown to provide a new beginning for his twin boys. He is surprised to find his high school sweetheart has remained in Whispering Slopes and is applying for the same principal job he wants.

I enjoyed the characters in this story, especially the darling little twins who have such different personalities. The romance, with such a self-sacrificing hero trying to learn from his mistakes, is tender as the former sweethearts must work through the issues keeping them apart. The emotional pain Joy carries is difficult to admit, but she works hard to overcome her past. The last line of the story is one of the best I’ve read, followed by a perfect epilogue. I loved A Mother for His Twins!

Favorite quote: “You can’t change the past, but moving forward, you can do things differently.”

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


ABOUT JILL WEATHERHOLT

Weekdays, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. On the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, she now resides in North Carolina. She holds a degree in psychology from George Mason University and a paralegal studies certification from Duke University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Jill loves connecting with readers.

Jill is also an author in the new collection, Autumn Hearts, five stories of romance during the fall season. Please visit Jill’s website at www.JillWeatherholt.com to order any of her books. “Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey.” I like her Facebook page which includes inspiring hummingbird photos. I also suggest signing up for her email newsletter!

THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME FOR TEA AND CHOCOLATE CAKE. I hope you enjoyed this review and a moment of virtual refreshment. If you want to read more thoughts on why A Mother for His Twins especially touches my heart, continuing reading. One of the reasons storytellers are important is their ability to give readers glimpses into different life situations. This allows us to appreciate and empathize with the emotions of others. I thank Jill for writing such a story. There are spoilers ahead, so come back AFTER you read the book if you don’t want any further details about this story and how it connects to my personal experience. Isn’t trusting Him with answered prayers… and unanswered prayers…. a deep walk of faith?

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~~1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

When you read A Mother for His Twins, you will note my fun surprise on page 62. *smile* Thank you, Jill Weatherholt!


With prayers and blessings always,
Sherida


*Your thoughts are appreciated. I apologize for delays in moderating and posting comments.


CAUTION: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

My thoughts on the value of storytelling……
This is a difficult post to write, but it is important to thank authors for writing about difficult topics. Reading helps us understand and have empathy for others who have faced challenges different from our own experience. Jill Weatherholt’s book, A Mother for His Twins, touched a subject dear to my heart…infertility.


After graduating from the same Connecticut high school, my boyfriend and I both headed to Colorado colleges, our chosen universities several miles from each other. Our relationship continued to develop despite the distance between our schools. We tried to arrange Saturday dates as often as we could coordinate our plans. At the end of one special date, the guy I’d fallen for in high school began to propose to me….making sweet declarations of love and saying he wanted me to be the mother of his children. He was stunned when I burst into tears, crying uncontrollably. As my confused boyfriend tried to console me, I explained…between sobs….a doctor had recently told me I had a medical condition making it difficult to conceive a baby. I might not ever be able to have his children. Now that he knew my problem, would he reject me? Stop loving me? After calming me down, my hero said he wanted me to be his wife, no matter what our future held. After I graduated from college with a degree in elementary education, we said our vows in my grandparents’ little Kansas church.


Our married life was full. My husband received his diploma, then did some Army training as a 2nd Lieutenant in Washington. We moved to Chicago, then Guam for a few weeks, then New Mexico, then back to Colorado for his graduate school. Finally we settled down, bought our first home in a tiny mountain town, and I was happily teaching young children. But despite years of infertility tests and treatments, we didn’t have a baby. My desire to have a child consumed my thoughts and emotions. The testing was expensive, painful at times, and extremely frustrating. The medications caused wild emotional turmoil.

Anguish. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t be a normal woman?

Despair. How could something I wanted with all my heart be impossible for me?

Envy. Why were other women so easily able to become pregnant….seeming to take their motherhood for granted?

Anger. How could some women discard a precious life?

Doubt. Why didn’t God answer our prayers?


Eleven years had passed after our wedding day. We began to look into other options to become parents, but at that time, adoption was a difficult process with a long waitlist. Resigned that our life would be without children, we accepted we could be happy as a childless couple. We’d focus on our rewarding careers, but a piece of our hearts would miss the babies we’d never have.


Miracles do happen! Finally I got the news I was pregnant! We were ecstatic to find we going to have the child we had prayed so long for!

Because of complications which threatened the baby, I took a leave of absence from my kindergarten teaching job so I could have complete bed rest for the next five months. We prayed for the safe arrival of our child. Finally our son was delivered by C-section….a healthy baby boy!


Two years later, I was pregnant again…with twins. However, an ultrasound showed one baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The doctor cautioned I might not be able to carry the remaining baby long enough for him to survive. We prayed. And miracles really do happen! With another emergency C-section, our second son arrived, full-term.…healthy and strong.


However, not all prayers are answered the way we’d like them to be. For the third time, I found I was pregnant. This time God had a different plan. That unexpected child joined the sibling in heaven. I’ll have two babies to rock and cuddle when I get there someday.


Through everything, we are forever grateful for our two miracles who are now outstanding men. Additionally, we now have three precious grandsweeties!


Why did my husband and I receive these miracles when other couples struggle and never become parents? I don’t have answers. God loves us all equally, so why we have children and others don’t is a mystery only He knows. Since I’ve walked awhile in the infertility path, I have empathy for women who don’t become pregnant, but I can’t truly know the feeling of loss they have.

Thank you, Jill, for writing a book I hope will help others understand the consuming emotions of the highly personal and difficult situation some women face when trying to become mothers. May we always support one another with love and compassion.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another…. ~~ 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (KJV)

Ready for a virtual beach retreat? See my #TuesdayTea review of IN TUNE WITH ROMANCE by Patti Jo Moore!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Welcome to my Tuesday Tea review of Patti Jo Moore’s third book in her Emerald Coast romance series, In Tune With Romance. Today we’re celebrating this inspirational romance book with a springtime tea treat of Lemon Scones. I’ll serve you a scone and a cup of lemon tea while we chat about this engaging book filled with the charming characters living in Coastal Breeze, Florida.

Teatime with lemon scones.

In her books, Patti Jo Moore creates wonderful characters. You feel like all the residents of Coastal Breeze, Florida, are your friends. Each book in her Emerald Coast Romance series features a different couple negotiating the way to a happily ever after. The charming beach town comes to life through perfect details. I definitely feel like I’m vacationing with friends when reading one of her stories. In this third book, we meet outgoing Meg Mills and introvert Todd Davis. “Can two people who are polar opposites help each other and find romance in the process?”

MY REVIEW

In Tune With Romance

In Tune With Romance by Patti Jo Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The amazing characters in this touching story held my heart as they faced their fears!!

Introvert Todd Davis is a music teacher and a piano tuner. He is trying to put his life back together after difficulties in the past and a hurtful divorce. Compassionate Meg Mills is reaching for a different dream after her husband passed away two years ago. To move forward, they both must overcome fears. While they help each other, tension builds between these two opposite personalities (with a shared love of cats!) as they become aware of their mutual attraction.

What a dramatic ending as the hero must face his biggest fear! Then the epilogue is lovely! *sigh*

Author Patti Jo Moore has a special way of making me fall in love with all the folks in this charming beach town of Coastal Breeze, Florida. This book is a stand alone, but revisiting the sweet people from her other books is always fun. Hopefully there will be more trips to this special place! If you like virtual vacations and engaging characters, I highly recommend this inspirational romance of second chances and facing fears.

Favorite quotes:
“Lord, I can’t do this alone. I need Your help.”

“If she was ever going to move forward, she had to take those first steps. And trust.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patti Jo Moore writes “Sweet Southern Stories” and has lived in Georgia all her life. She loves the Lord, her family, and cats, and always has a mug of coffee close by. The other books in the series are A Seaside Romance and An Unexpected Romance, all published by Forget Me Not Romances. Patti Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter. She posts each month on the Seriously Write blog. See her personal blog at: http://www.catmomscorner.blogspot.com

RECIPE FOR “AMAZING LEMON SCONES” from All Recipes

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/229571/amazing-lemon-scones

I decorated my scones with lemon drizzle, adding sparkly sugar and edible pearls. Lemon is a refreshing flavor for springtime tea.

In Tune With Romance by Patti Jo Moore

Thank you so much for joining me for tea treats and talking about this sweet romance and the cute town of Coastal Breeze. Where would you travel for a virtual….or real…..vacation escape this spring?

I pray you are blessed by your journeys each day, near or far, real or virtual.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Your comments are appreciated. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed by LOVE? A #TuesdayTea February devotional with a review and giveaway!

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday Tea with a review of Tina Radcliffe’s newest book, Her Last Chance Cowboy, the final story in the Big Heart Ranch series. I’m serving White Chocolate Chip Cookies and a special tea, Book Hangover from Riddle’s Book and Tea Company….”Being a bold hazelnut blend to recuperate after a book bender.”

February is the month of LOVE! I LOVE inspirational romance stories, so this is a perfect month to share one of my favorite authors with you….Tina Radcliffe. I LOVE her amazing faith-filled books about romantic LOVE and the LOVE of families. If she’s a new-to-you author, I hope you’ll read one of her stories. I think you’ll be hooked!

And because I LOVE my blog readers, I’m giving away one Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to a reader. See the details below.

Her Last Chance Cowboy with White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

MY REVIEW OF HER LAST CHANCE COWBOY

Her Last Chance Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch)

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Her Last Chance Cowboy is a book I could not put down! REALLY GOOD!

When two hurting hearts collide, the sparks fly! I think I held my breath for the whole story, praying these two could find a way to happiness.

Quiet, stay-in-the-background Tripp Walker tugged my heart in earlier books, so I was excited to read his story….and what a story it is! He is handsome, protective and hurting. He believes he can’t have a relationship.

Hannah Vincent has secrets from a past life where she was manipulated. She’s trying to hide by staying on the run to protect her adorable daughter, Clementine. Hannah is strong, fiercely independent, and searching for a home.

I loved the emotional roller coaster of escalating tension between Tripp and Hannah. Just when I thought all would work out….BOOM…the crash of two strong personalities happened. Can Hannah and Tripp find it within themselves to trust and forgive? Hang on tight! You’ll love the ending….soooo much!

Each the four stories centered at Big Heart Ranch have touched me….”a ranch that healed so many hearts.” This is a special place of second chances…for children and wounded people. Author Tina Radcliffe know how to bring the reader into the lives of the characters to feel their emotions and understand their thoughts. In this story, Dutch and Rue were special friends to the couple as they sought the path to happiness. We all need friends like them for help along the way!

If you like warm, humorous stories of faith and second chances, you will definitely like Her Last Chance Cowboy…plus there’s chili, red velvet cake and Sonic cherry limeades! I loved this book!

Favorite quotes:

“When a door opens, you have to walk through. Big Heart Ranch didn’t get to be where it is without us stepping out in faith.”
“My teacher says you have to be silent sometimes so you can hear God.”

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. These are my honest opinions.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win a Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to be delivered after the Kindle release date of March 1, 2019. By entering, you accept the legal terms as stated on the Legal Page of my website. US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEVOTIONAL

In last month’s post, I mentioned my 2019 One Word…JOY! This month I’m focusing on joyful LOVE. Today’s Bible verse combines LOVE and JOY. February is the month we celebrate LOVE….the many facets of LOVE…..for romantic love, love of our precious families, for our special friends, for our sweet pets, and for all we hold dear. Most important is God’s LOVE for us, as He shows us in so many ways. He promises we will find JOY if we embrace the LOVE He extends to us.

SCRIPTURE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…

Galatians 5:22 KJV

LOVE & JOY Galatians 5:22 KJV

PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us and giving us second chances. Thank you for surrounding us with so many expressions of love. Thank you for loving us enough to offer eternal life with You. Help us to reflect Your love so others will come to know You…to rejoice in Your enduring love and grace.

We ask this in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank you for joining me for tea, treats, and my review of Her Last Chance Cowboy. May you walk in LOVE AND JOY, receiving these treasured blessings from our Lord.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

I just had to include a photo of these LOVABLE pets, our granddogs, rescue Shelties, Gumshoe and Bitsy. Aren’t they adorable?

*Comments are appreciated and will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

#TuesdayTea review of NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of author Laurie Wood’s debut…NORTHERN DECEPTION. In keeping with the setting for this book…the arctic area of Canada…glittering with white snow…I’m serving Sparkling White Chocolate Scones. Please help yourself to a couple of treats while I pour you a cup of Twinings Buttermint tea, perfect with these seasonal scones.

Sparkling White Chocolate Scones

A cute little polar bear cub visitor!

NOW LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE BOOK!

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Isn’t this a stunning cover? The pages inside are just as thrilling.

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Reunions can be deadly.

After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientists. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.

 

MY REVIEW OF NORTHERN DECEPTION 

A fast-paced story filled with exciting action as this couple’s safety is threatened…..and strong romantic feelings between them are rekindled!

When polar bear research scientist Kira Summers finds out her old boyfriend, arctic rover tour operator Lukas Tanner, lives in the same remote Canadian town, she finds her heart at risk again, as well as her life. Can Kira survive the threats and be given the second chance at love she wishes she could have?

NORTHERN DECEPTION is packed with heart-thrilling moments as Lukas tries to keep Kira safe. Author Laurie Wood knows how to create great suspense to keep us reading into the night. The tension escalated as I tried to figure out who was trying to harm Kira…and why. This book, with its interesting details, provided a fascinating virtual visit to the polar bear land of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I was shivering, not just from the freezing temperature, but also from fear of the huge northern bears. The characters were all believable, and I especially liked precious little Sophie. The romance between the couple is sweetly portrayed, with one of the absolutely cutest proposals I’ve ever read…..the perfect ending.

If you like romance with strong suspense elements and woven with threads of faith, I highly recommend NORTHERN DECEPTION. I’m counting on more great stories about Heroes of the Tundra from author Laurie Wood.

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

This little guy just makes me makes me smile.

To find out more about Laurie, to sign up for her newsletter, and to get information on ordering Northern Deception, visit Laurie Wood Author website.

RECIPE:SPARKLING WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

In a large bowl, cut together with a pastry cutter or fork until blended:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter

Add and cut together until mixed:
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

Whisk together then stir into dough:
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Turn onto a flour dusted board and knead slightly until dough sticks together. Add more milk if too dry. Form the dough into two balls, then pat into discs roughly 1-inch thick. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with white sparkling decorator sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.These can be iced with powdered sugar glaze and more sprinkles added for decoration.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea and celebrating Laurie Wood’s debut book. I hope your week is filled with a bit of time for reading and with many sweet treats as we prepare for the Christmas season!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

Let’s get ready for #Thanksgivng with my #TuesdayTea featuring maple scones, coffee and #reviews!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Welcome to my Thanksgivng Tuesday Tea! We’re celebrating a few romance releases written by some of my favorite inspirational authors!

Maple scone with tea or coffee!

But first, a tea treat! I’m serving maple scones and your choice of coffee or tea. My husband and I recently had a date at a new coffee shop in town, so I wanted to share. Even though I’m still loving my seasonal pumpkin spice, this taste of maple added some variety to my autumn afternoon. Please enjoy these treats as I review these Christmas-flavored books!

REVIEWS

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne

A double treat of warm Christmas stories by award-winning authors!

I just love reading books filled with the Christmas spirit of love and hope….and these stories by two amazing authors offer all the wonderful “feel goods” of the season.

SNOWBOUND CHRISTMAS by Linda Goodnight
When nurse Kristen Andrews returns to Refuge, Oklahoma, her unexpected reunion with rancher Caleb Girard leads to the warming of old feelings between the couple. Many years ago, Caleb was saved by a good man, Greg Girard, who opened his home years to the troubled youth. Greg now needs help as he deals with kidney failure. Kristen has been hurt by past rejection, so doesn’t want to risk being hurt again. She finds herself together with Caleb every day as she provides dialysis treatment for his dad.

I enjoyed the building attraction between Kristen and Caleb. She takes charge, but is vulnerable. He is quiet, but strongly protective. Their developing romance is tender and sweet. A lovely faith thread is woven beautifully through out the story. The Christmas season finds a unique tree gracing the ranch house, and many prayers for miracles are lifted up in the community. A special story!

Favorite quote: “Fact is, faith isn’t even about getting what we want from God. It’s about trusting Him no matter what.”

FALLING FOR THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Ruth Logan Herne
In delightful Ruth Logan Herne style, Falling for the Christmas Cowboy touches hearts as difficult situations are overcome by grace, hope, and a sweet romance. Graphic designer Jessica Lambert meets rancher Ty Carrington when she attempts to restart her life in tiny Shepherd’s Crossing, Idaho. But it’s an awkward meeting for them both. They each have experienced loss, but they handle the grief in different ways.

Jessica’s enthusiastic four-year-old daughter, Dovie, brings joy to the pages with her positive attitude. Then there’s the complicating twist I didn’t expect. I love when an author surprises me with a turn of events. And there’s a beautiful Christmas celebration, so full of the spirit of the season with a heartwarming gathering of the townsfolk and a moving candlelit church service. If you like stories of faith and second chances, you’ll be blessed by spending Christmas with the people of Shepherd’s Crossing.

A favorite quote: In the space of five minutes, conditions had changed from needy to blessed, and not by her hands. God’s hands. And the kindness of strangers.

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

A DREAM FULFILLED by Julie Lessman

A DREAM FULFILLED by Julie Lessman

A Dream Fulfilled, a passionate story of faith, marriage and friendship!

Author Julie Lessman really knows how to write romance….including the “just right” amounts of faith and passion! I enjoyed this story about married couple Katie and Luke McGee. Set in Boston in the 1930’s, the struggle to balance family life and work responsibilities is the same as today’s overwhelmed parents experience. The message of relying on faith, friendship, family and forgiveness to overcome difficulties is beautiful.

Young mother Katie befriends another mother she meets a nearby park. Their relationship is quite powerful….a test of strength and giving.

Besides working extremely hard to provide for his wife and two daughters, Luke tries to help street kids, especially one boy who appears to be going through what Luke did as a child.

The relationship between Katie and Luke is threaten by challenging circumstances. At times it seems their marriage could be at risk, but they have a strong bond of love and a passionate faith.

There are twists and turns as this story unfolds. The characters and lovely Christmas
celebration will touch your heart!

Favorite quote: “Weeping may endure for a night, Katie, but joy cometh in the morning. So let’s just embrace the joy, shall we? Let’s harvest the wheat from the tares by reveling in the blessing of family and friendship and a God who holds us both in the palm of His hand—all the days of our lives, no matter how long that may be.”

SNOW ANGEL by Davalynn Spencer

SNOW ANGEL by Davalynn Spencer

A charming…and delicious….historical Christmas story!

Spinster Lena Carver experienced a childhood accident, leaving her feeling undesirable as a potential wife. Generous and hardworking, she assists her brother, the town doctor, with his patients and maintains their home.

The doctor finds Wil Bergman along the roadside, unconscious with a broken leg, no possessions, and a dog watching over him. Since he doesn’t remember what happened to him, there is a mystery surrounding his situation.

I especially enjoyed all the wonderful characters in this story! Lena is compassionate as she cares for the people of the town, thoughtfully organizing a festive community dinner and preparing Christmas bags for the children. All the cooking and baking she does to nurture others make me hungry for her special treats.

Wil is a strong hero as he sweetly courts Lena. I love how the romance unfolds and reveals the hurts of the past, but promises beautiful hope for the future. With Christmas arriving, touching gifts sparkle with love, and acts of kindness bless many.

If you like faith-filled stories reflecting the spirit of Christmas, SNOW ANGEL, by Davalynn Spencer, will warm your heart as you experience the holiday during an earlier time.

Favorite quotes:

The Good Book was right. There was a time for everything.

The firelight danced on her cheeks and in her hair, and for just a heartbeat or two he thought she was the closest thing to a real angel that he’d ever seen.

PLUS I’LL ADD A COUPLE OF UPCOMING INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCES I’M ANTICIPATING….

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood is releasing December 4, 2018. This story, set in Canada’s polar bear region, is filled with exciting suspense. Watch for my upcoming review! You can find out more at Laurie Wood Author website.

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

And be watching for HER HOPE DISCOVERED by Cynthia Herron. The small town of Ruby, Missouri, is guaranteed to warm your heart. Find out all the news by checking Cynthia’s website at Cynthia Herron author website.

Thank you for joining me for tea and treats. I hope your Thanksgiving…or your weekend for my out-of-country readers…is filled with blessings!

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good: his love toward Israel endures forever.” ~~Ezra 3:11 NIV

Please join me next week for my November word-of-the-month devotional about HANDS.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

Have you visited any Texas historical places? #TuesdayTea Review of REMEMBER TEXAS by Laura Conner Kestner

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of an intriguing debut novel by Laura Conner Kestner. Isn’t the cover stunning? I completely enjoyed this visit to Moccasin Rock, Texas. The assorted characters are all so captivating. And following the journey of Caleb and Abby as they fall in love is fun and unpredictable.

REMEMBER TEXAS by Laura Conner Kestner

I’m serving POTATO Chip Cookies with warm spiced apple cider today….the cider because it’s autumn and you’ll find out why I’m offering POTATO chip cookies as you read Remember Texas. I’ll include my mother’s recipe for the cookies.

ABOUT REMEMBER TEXAS

Award-winning fiction. Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw. Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape. As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other. Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

Remember TexasRemember Texas by Laura Conner Kestner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Remember Texas is such an engaging story! I loved it!

Romance and intrigue fill the pages of a fast-paced historical book set in early Texas. This book is an award winner, and I certainly understand why!

Caleb Calhoun is a Texas Ranger on a mission to bring an outlaw to justice when he meets Abigail Horton in tiny Moccasin Rock, Texas. The town setting, with its interesting assortment of townsfolk, invites you into a place of warm relationships, intricate family bonds and some dangerous elements. The tangles of the situations the various characters find themselves in are all so believable. The story moves along quickly with plenty of action and lots of questions about unusual events surrounding the area and its residents.

The hero’s actions caused my heart to warm as he falls for the reluctant heroine during some lovely romantic moments. I really enjoyed all the fascinating characters as they transformed during the course of the story, some from quite unlikeable individuals turning into delightful additions to the group.

I especially like the way the author brings all the intriguing details together by the end for a very satisfying conclusion, including a lovely proposal and beautiful epilogue. More stories by author Laura Conner Kestner are much anticipated! If you enjoy faith-filled historical romance, I believe you will be truly engaged with Remember Texas, a fun book to read!

Favorite quotes:

“I do believe that sometimes what people call coincidences are really part of God’s grander plan for us.”
“The words don’t have to be fancy, son. Just tell God what’s on your mind and in your heart.”

MEET AUTHOR LAURA CONNER KESTNER

You’d enjoy visiting Laura’s website for more information about her writing journey (including many awards) and some interesting historical tidbits about her home state of Texas. LAURA CONNER KESTNER’S WEBSITE

MOM’S POTATO CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

Mix together until combined:

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

Add:

2 beaten eggs

Sift together:

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

Then add to the sugar/egg mixture.

Then mix in:

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups crushed potato chips

6 oz. butterscotch chips

Drop drop dough by tablespoonful-sized scoops on to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch carefully so the cookies don’t burn. Enjoy!

 

Thank you for visiting with me today. May you be blessed with the treasure of encountering interesting places and books which bring the past alive.

 

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

A #TuesdayTea (or milkshake) celebrating Ruth Logan Herne books!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea celebration of author Ruth Logan Herne’s newest release, At Home in Wishing Bridge. We’re also celebrating her Christy Award nominated book, Her Secret Daughter. The Christy Award honors the very best of Christian books. Congratulations, Ruthy!

At Home in Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne

Ice Cream Treats

In Wishing Bridge stories, there is a small town ice-cream stand where the villagers meet to satisfy their frozen treat cravings. Near her own town, Ruthy appreciates the selection from Abbott’s Frozen Custard. Knowing hometown shops are valued by the author, I’m serving milkshakes today (instead of tea) from the Vanilla Moose, our local spot for frozen treats. Choose any flavor you’d like with all kinds of mix-ins. Last weekend was closing day for the season, so my husband and I stopped by Saturday evening. I indulged in my favorite shake…..chocolate with brownie bits and almonds. Mmmm!

Our local go-to frosty treat spot…the Vanilla Moose.

My favorite shake…chocolate with brownie bits and almond pieces.

REVIEWS

Now to chat about Ruth Logan Herne’s heart-touching stories! The first review is of her newest book which RELEASES TODAY!

My review of At Home in Wishing Bridge

At Home in Wishing Bridge (Wishing Bridge #2)At Home in Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a delight to come back to Wishing Bridge…a village of faith, hope and love!

After three friends, brought together as teens in a home for troubled youth, find themselves reunited years later in the small village of Wishing Bridge, New York, their ties deepen as they help each other find happiness.

This second story in Ruth Logan Herne’s heart-touching series featuring this charming town finds nurse practitioner Thea Anastas offering her skills at a medical clinic where Ethan Brandenburg, the temporary doctor, has his hands full with both the patients and his recently orphaned niece and nephew. She’s ready to leave for the big city. He’s anxious to move to his promised research assignment in Chicago. However, “accidents of timing or God’s perfect timing” keep them working together in Wishing Bridge.

I completely enjoyed At Home in Wishing Bridge as this couple confronted their past issues, reluctantly becoming aware of their feelings for each other. They both had difficult childhoods, feeling unloved and worthless. It was interesting to see how they approached rising from extreme pain to lift themselves, with the help of friends, to carry on and grow in the right direction.

I felt like I was part of this community with lovable folks who struggle with issues we all face. Good solid advice is sprinkled throughout the pages, bringing your heart closer to each individual as you become involved with the challenges they face.

Max is an absolute angel as he generously offers help to others…. a great example of how we all should live, treating people with kindness and respect. Eight-year-old Mara tugged at me as she tried to cope with the loss of her parents, not understanding how her life could ever feel normal again. But as the story unfolds, each hurting person works toward a sweet resolution.

A beautiful story of hope…hope and second chances after difficult situations….the kind of story author Ruth Logan Herne does so well, bringing faith and love to people through her books.

Favorite quotes:
“If folks look out for each other, there’s a lot less trouble in the world.”
“Rusty prayers are often the best.”

Here’s my review of the first book in the series.

My review of Welcome to Wishing Bridge

Welcome to Wishing Bridge (Wishing Bridge, #1)Welcome to Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A comforting small-town story of second chances and trusting friendships….both old and new.

As Christmas approaches with a blinding blizzard, Kelsey McCleary’s arrival in the small town of Wishing Bridge, New York, is dramatic. Stranded in a tiny community with a new baby and limited funds, she is embraced by the warmth of the village and by the support of two dear friends who come to help after receiving her urgent S.O.S. call.

Police officer and rescuer Hale Jackson is a local guy who returned to his hometown after disappointments in his pro football career and in his personal life.

These two become involved amid the winter weather trials and the unraveling of a mystery. Why is the name of Wishing Bridge familiar to Kelsey? What will she find in this little community tucked into rural New York?

This new book by Ruth Logan Herne is a wonderful woman’s fiction story about the strength forged through difficult circumstances with the support of friends…both new and old. There is romance, along with the author’s signature style….small-town warmth, endearing characters, and perfect portrayals of children. Sweet baby Hayley is so huggable! Touches of faith and compassion are sprinkled throughout the pages, making Welcome to Wishing Bridge an engaging story of starting over and sparkling new beginnings.

I enjoy the endearing stories set in small town America with the values of helping others and of working hard to make the world better. I’m glad to know there will be more to come from this charming town….where wishes come true and prayers are answered.

Favorite quotes:
“Around here a lot of us like to write down our hopes and wishes. It makes them more real to see them in black and white.”
“Can’t change the wind, but the good Lord blessed us with the gumption to change up our sails. If we’re willin’ to put in the effort.”

This is my review of the Christy Award nominated book!

My review of Her Secret Daughter

Her Secret Daughter (Grace Haven)Her Secret Daughter by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is soooooo good…..filled with the beauty of loving sacrifice!

As with any book by author Ruth Logan Herne, keep a box of tissues nearby because there are moments of tears…..tears of empathy and tears of joy. Yes, a great book! Sacrificial love themes are a favorite of mine, and Her Secret Daughter is filled with that kind of love….giving up your own desires to choose the best situation for others.

Josie Gallagher has worked hard to put her difficult past behind her, returning to the town of Grace Haven to live her dream of operating her own barbecue restaurant. But all her careful plans are swept away when handsome Jacob Weatherly arrives in town with Addie, his adopted daughter.

My heart hurts for Josie, knowing she dealt with some hard issues as a young woman. She both accepts and gives grace as she builds a new life for herself. She is strong in her determination to make things right.

Jacob is my kind of wonderful….a caring daddy and a morally strong man. He works hard to balance his work as a development executive with his most important role of providing love and a normal life for his adopted daughter, his sister’s child. And this child, Addie, is so fun, bubbling with enthusiasm. She dances on the pages!

Her Secret Daughter is so engaging, with many surprises along the way, as Josie and Jacob show that the strength of love can make the world better….and open a path to an amazing happy ever after. Did I mention Kleenex is needed?

Favorite quotes:

And with God on their side, they’d make everything work out.

He’d recognized the precious gift from God right away, almost as if it was somehow meant to be…and he’d been cherishing that gift every day since.

Ruth also had a Love Inspired cowboy book published this year.

My review of Her Cowboy Reunion

Her Cowboy Reunion (Shepherd's Crossing, #1)Her Cowboy Reunion by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gripping romance…..hearts are challenged and life is experienced on a beautiful western ranch!

In her books, author Ruth Logan Herne tackles emotionally difficult subjects with compassion and grace, and this series debut, Her Cowboy Reunion, is just such a story. Lizzie Fitzgerald and Heath Caufield had a past relationship. It didn’t end well. When they find themselves working together on an isolated Idaho ranch near the downtrodden community of Shepherd’s Crossing, tensions flare and hearts are challenged.

My heart and emotions were held captive by the difficult situation the couple faced as they struggled with trust and their feelings for each other. Adding to the deepening of the story, I was fascinated with the depiction of ranch life on a large western spread and enchanted by the exuberant little boy, Zeke, and by the dear woman, Corrie. As the author does so well, this book has touching offerings of family wisdom along with gentle guidance for reviving community spirit. But best of all, I love a romance where love can conquer overwhelming difficulties…with faith as the guide toward forgiveness….and this story takes a heaping portion of forgiveness for past hurts and misunderstandings, but a beautiful conclusion awaits at the end.

Since I’ve lived in many small towns of the west, I was immediately invested in the concerns of Shepherd’s Crossing and look forward to seeing the community develop as the town faces the challenges ahead. I’m sure we’re in for more delights as the folks come together in hope, faith and love….with the greatest of these being love….in all its various expressions. A heartwarming book!

Favorite quotes: (Don’t you love these classic Ruth Logan Herne writing wisdom-isms?)
~~It wasn’t about the money or the power of heading up a high-priced property. It was about taking the right trail to get where you were going.
~~“What we’ve got in mind and what the good Lord’s got planned don’t always agree, but that’s what makes life interesting. Sometimes it’s a collision course. Other times it’s a wide, beautiful curve.”

*I was given copies of all these books with no requirement to write reviews. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinions about these stories.

And in other book news, December brings a Love Inspired book duet by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne…A Cowboy Christmas.

A Cowboy Christmas by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne

Isn’t this cover overflowing with Christmas sparkle?

You can visit Ruthy at her website: Ruth Logan Herne’s Website

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea….or….#TuesdayIceCream.

May you enjoy the treasured blessings of stories which warm your heart!

With prayers and blessings,

Sherida