Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

September! Do you need time to REFRESH? #TuesdayTea

Monday, 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

Tuesday, 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.

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

Tuesday, 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

 

SERVING #TreasuredBlessings with my #OneWord2017

Wednesday, 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

#CFRR2016 -News about the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat-Nashville, TN- August 24, 2016

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

What a fabulous opportunity to meet with these wonderful Christian authors! If you are near Nashville, or can visit in August, I know this will be a great time of fellowship with Christians celebrating writers and readers of inspirational books. The registration deadline of July 26 is fast approaching. (Earlier if capacity is reached.) LOOK AT ALL THESE CHRISTIAN AUTHORS–some of my very favorites!

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

PRESS RELEASE:

Christian Fiction Authors and Readers to meet at Unique Retreat

Intimate gathering of Readers and 30+ Authors will meet before ACFW Conference
Nashville, TN June 17th, 2016 (wire)

A one day gathering of Christian Fiction readers and over 30 authors will be meeting in Nashville, TN on August 24th from 9am-6pm CDT. The event’s theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction” and will feature speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings as well as booth sponsors.The Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) is an unprecedented event in the Christian Fiction genre for readers to meet authors. The event will include food, games, giveaways and free books. The event takes place on August 24 in Nashville, the day before the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference also in Nashville this year.

Avid reader Bonnie Roof from Louisville, KY teamed up with book bloggers “Annie JC” of justcommonly.blogspot.com and “MeezCarrie” of readingismysuperpower.org to form the planning committee based on their common passion for Christian fiction and a desire for authors and readers to interact in a casual setting. Keynote speakers at the CFRR include authors Julie Lessman, Tamera Alexander, Laura Frantz, Mary Connealy, and Ruth Logan Herne. Authors currently due to appear and participate in panels and other activities are Becky Wade, Brandy Heineman, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Carrie Turansky, Caryl McAdoo, Dana R. Lynn, Dani Pettrey, Debby Giusti, Elaine Stock, Gabrielle Meyer, Genevieve Woods, Jan Drexler, Janet Dean, Jean Gordon, Jennifer Slattery, Kara Isaac, Kate Breslin, Krista Phillips, Kristi Ann Hunter, Marie Wells Coutu, Melanie Dickerson, Melony Teague, Mesu Andrews, Myra Johnson, Pepper D. Basham, Sarah Monzon, Shelley Shepard Gray, Susan Anne Mason, Susan Page Davis, and Tracey Lyons.

The CFRR event will be held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, located just north of Nashville’s trendy Hillsboro village and just south of Nashville’s booming downtown. The event will take place on August 24th, 9am-6pm CDT. The event is open to registered attendees only. Registration is currently open online at http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/p/fee.html for $98 until July 26th or until the venue capacity is reached.

Contact:

Annie JC
Event Coordinator
Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat
justcommonly@gmail.com
http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/

BIBLE VERSE

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV

 PRAYER
Dear Lord, please bless this amazing event. Be with the incredible organizers as they complete the work of preparing for this retreat. Be with all these fabulous Christian authors as they spread Your Word through their writing. Be with those attending this special gathering. May all be blessed with an inspiring time of fellowship. In Jesus’s name, Amen
Thank you for stopping by to read about this event. I hope you will be able to attend. I’m sure you will experience God’s treasured blessings.
BLESSINGS TO YOU,
Sherida

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tea with Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne

REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne

Welcome to Tuesday Tea! Please join me for some Cinnamon Cake served with spiced cider as we chat about an amazing book, Refuge of the Heart, by Ruth Logan Herne. I was honored and blessed to read this book before its official release.

THIS IS A STUNNING BOOK! Isn’t the cover simply BEAUTIFUL?! And as much as the cover glows, the story inside is even more illuminating.

Ruth Logan Herne is a favorite author who often writes about difficult topics in her inspirational romance books, and the story in Refuge of the Heart is no exception. The horrors of war and the courage and faith necessary to survive these terrible situations are topics of this new release by Franciscan Media. (This publisher’s tag line is “Live in love. Grow in faith.”……perfect for the books they publish.)

Ruth Logan Herne’s writing touches my heart with compassion for Magdalena Serida, a struggling refugee from the war in Chechnya. Mitchell Sanderson is a District Attorney with his own sorrows to overcome, as he tries to live his Christian faith. The story is compelling, the characters engaging, and the message of faith brilliantly composed. I highly recommend this book …….which may change your heart in the same way my heart was touched……to have the courage to live my faith in a more complete way. I pray you will be blessed by this book as I have been.

Just to highlight a few of the many passages which touched my heart as I read this book:

“We move forward because we have to. Not because it is easy.”

Maybe God had put her in this place, with this church, to let her light shine unto the heavens.

“Remember to trust God’s love, his timing, his grace.”

 

ABOUT REFUGE OF THE HEART

District Attorney Mitchell Sanderson wanted for nothing and lost everything in a tragic accident. a dogged worker, Mitch’s conviction rate earned him respect and trust. Now up for reelection, Mitch’s law-and-order persona makes him a shoo-in candidate. But when faith, conscience, and love of a troubled refugee ripple the smooth waters of his existence, can Mitch risk everything for love?

Magdalena Serida fought her way out of the terrors of a government-quelled insurgent uprising in Chechnya . The church-sponsored refugee knows the horrors of war firsthand. Now in America with her five-year-old sister, Lena is uncertain who to trust. Her Christian faith has maintained her through the loss of her family, but when Mitch Sanderson shows interest, Lena longs to take a chance. Should she open herself up to this man of law and order, a man who imprisons women like her? Or slip quietly back into the shadowed fringe of anonymity?

But choices slip away when Mitch’s friend spews half-truths about Lena, rumors that cost Mitch his new love and possibly the election. Can he find his way to a faith deep enough to love again, and to offer Lena the refuge of his heart?

My review on Goodreads:

Refuge of the HeartRefuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A heart-touching book!

My heart was so affected by Refuge of the Heart, a story filled with hope, forgiveness, and sweet romance. I loved Lena Serida from the moment she struggled with a grocery cart in a snowy parking lot. She shines as a bright light living her Christian faith to such an amazing level. Mitch Sanderson, as a tender, yet strong, trying-to-be-good man, is struggling with complex issues. His personality glows as he realizes his weaknesses and strives to become a better man. I raced to the end of this book, cheering for Mitch and Lena, as they faced many challenges they needed to overcome. In addition, there are so many wonderful characters, but Anna, Lena’s five-year-old sister, is a complete delight of positive joy….I just wanted to hug her…..and make cookies with her. Anna convicted me with the realization I can do more for children’s safety and comfort where I live.

Refuge of the Heart is a profound and thoughtful book on many levels, changing the way I look at the world and at how I live my faith. Filled with so many perfect moments of enlightenment, for both the characters and me, I highly recommend this book to all, but especially those who desire a story of amazing faith. Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne, for writing such a heart-touching book!

* I won this book, but was under no obligation to write a review. It is my honor to express my honest opinion about this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, RUTH LOGAN HERNE: Born into poverty, Ruth Logan Herne is the mother of six and grandmother to thirteen. She and her husband, Dave, live on a small farm in upstate New York. She works full time but carves a few hours each day to write the kind of stories she likes to read, filled with poignancy, warmth, and delightful characters. She is a 2011 award winner from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Ruthy can be found on her website www.RuthLoganHerne.com, chatting and giving wise advice in Seekerville, or cooking up goodies at the Yankee Belle Cafe.

TODAY’S TEA TREATS

Sister Mariel is remembered in Ruth Logan Herne’s dedication of this book as a very special teacher. In the story, Sister Mariel bakes a delicious cinnamon cake for Mitch and Lena, so this seems to be the perfect treat to offer with the review of Refuge of the Heart. The characters enjoy the cake with coffee, but Mitch’s cider or a cup of tea would also go well with this snack.

Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider (two versions)

This is the easy version. 🙂  I was planning to bake this mix for our tea today and display a stunning, mouth-watering photo. However, it is too hot here (no air conditioning) to even think about turning on the oven, so I hope you’ll understand. Here is the photo of what I intended to mix up for you:

Easy Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider

Easy Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider

Then I also have a second version to present….a yummy sounding recipe for Cinnamon-Laced Coffee Cake from Allrecipes.com.

Cinnamon-Laced Coffee Cake

And here is my recipe for Spiced Cider:

Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan.

4 cups of cider

2 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 stick of cinnamon

4 whole cloves

Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Strain out the spices, then pour into 4 mugs. Float a small pat of butter (Yes, real BUTTER!) on each serving.

Thank you for joining me for Tuesday Tea. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts about this amazing story, Refuge of the Heart.

Please help yourself to a slice of cinnamon cake and a cup of cider (tea or coffee, if you prefer) and share your thoughts about this book and it’s BEAUTIFUL cover in the comments. May each of your days be filled with God’s treasured blessings!

 

 

GOD PLANNED ABUNDANT TREASURES FOR YOU!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
TREASURES

TREASURES

“For where your treasure is,

there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:34 NIV

May your heart be filled with the treasures God planned for you!

Seekerville to host MY ONE WORD author! Pick a word!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Seekerville will be hosting My One Word author, Rachel Olsen, on Monday, January 5, 2015. The “one word” concept is intriguing because of its simplicity in focusing efforts for resolutions for the year and changing your life. Hope to see you in Seekerville on Monday, where I’ll be sharing the “one word” I’ve selected for my actions for 2015….and it may change my life. (Plus I’ll bring a cup of tea to savor…which always helps with the thought process!) www.Seekerville.com

SEEKERVILLE

SEEKERVILLE

TUESDAY TEA: A CUP OF GRATEFULNESS and a review of HOLIDAY DEFENDERS!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS!

SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS!

For this Veterans Day TUESDAY TEA post, I’d like to salute our veterans and all our military members (and their families) with a cup of gratefulness! We are thankful for their sacrifices which have preserved our freedoms. As a country, we have the freedom to hear and accept these words:

“For everyone who asks receives;

he who seeks finds;

and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matthew 7:8 NIV

Veterans Day is a perfect time to review Holiday Defenders, a collection of three inspirational romance suspense stories featuring military heroes and touched with Christmas warmth.

….

Holiday Defenders: Mission: Christmas Rescue\Special Ops Christmas\Homefront Holiday HeroHoliday Defenders: Mission: Christmas Rescue\Special Ops Christmas\Homefront Holiday Hero by Debby Giusti

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A TRIO OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS

What a Christmas treat-a trio of novellas filled with surprises and holiday romance!

The three stories in Holiday Defenders are exciting suspense-filled romances with touches of Christmas warmth.

Mission: Christmas Rescue, by Debby Giusti, has plenty of page-turning action as an intriguing mystery must be solved in order for soldier Nick Fontaine to protect his former girlfriend, teacher Liz Tate. Criminals who have abducted her brother are also after Liz and the children she is charged to keep safe. Filled with continuous excitement, the story ends with a charming Christmas tradition. A heart-touching romance by one of my favorite authors!

Special Ops Christmas, by Susan Sleeman, is set in Florida where there are harrowing attempts on scientist Claire Reed’s life. Green Beret Travis Chapman must keep her safe, even though this is difficult because of their past relationship. I was kept guessing about the attacker’s identity. Touches of holiday spirit are sprinkled throughout the story.

Homefront Holiday Hero, by Jodie Bailey, finds Kelly Walters busy with Christmas preparations for military families. Soldier Tyler Rainey is determined to find out who is behind the attacks on Kelly. There are unforeseen twists in his investigation as he finds himself attracted to Kelly.

Thank you Debby Giusti, Susan Sleeman, and Jodie Bailey, for your faith-touched stories, each a gift of exciting suspense with touches of Christmas warmth and holiday love. I read these with deepening appreciation for the holiday and year-round sacrifices of our military families. Holiday Defenders would be a perfect Christmas present to give this year!

View all my reviews

God bless all who give to our country through their service and sacrifice. Thank you!

TUESDAY TEA: My One Word for 2014: HIKING

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Please join me today as I’m serving a tea I received as a Christmas present…Coconut Vanilla black tea from Miro Tea in Seattle.  (www.mirotea.com) Also, I’m sharing with you a conversation I had with God about selecting My One Word for 2014.

My One Word for 2014:  HIKING

My One Word for 2014: HIKING

 

On New Year’s Eve, Seekerville  (www.seekerville.net), one of my favorite websites, asks its villagers to select ONE word as a resolution for the year rather than a long list. This comes from an idea expressed in My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. I gave prayerful consideration to “My One Word” for 2014 and discussed my selection with God.

ME:  I think I’ll chose WALK.

GOD:  You need a word with more action.

ME:  Okay, my word will be WALKING.

GOD:  Walking is good, but you need a word with more effort for my plans for you in 2014.

ME:  HIKING?

GOD:  That’s perfect.

ME:  *whining* But I don’t know if I want to work that hard and I’ve been really busy and I’ve been tired lately and I just want to sit around and enjoy life……..Plus there are lots of Bible verses with the word “walking” to use in my devotional writing…….. I don’t think the word “hiking” is even in the Bible!

GOD:  Your word should be HIKING for this year. My plans for you in 2014 require effort and an attitude of selfless service. I’ll be with you along the trail…every step of the way.

ME *thinking of His words written on my heart*:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6  NIV

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

So HIKING is My One Word for 2014.

I will be HIKING with service in our new church family.

I will be HIKING with dedication on my writing journey.

I will be HIKING with encouragement with my husband.

I will be HIKING with gratefulness for my many blessings.

I will be HIKING with love and praise for our Lord.

 

“Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV

What is your “My One Word” for 2014? Thank you for stopping by for tea. I’ll see you on the trail!