Archive for the ‘Food and Treats’ Category

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

 

#TuesdayTea review-Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Wednesday, 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!

Friday, 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!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

#TuesdayTea with A ROSE SO FAIR by Myra Johnson

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

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

Chatting with author Myra Johnson:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A ROSE SO FAIR by Myra Johnson

ABOUT A ROSE SO FAIR

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TEA TREAT

Grandmother’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

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

Sour Cream Pound Cake

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

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

BIBLE VERSE

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

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~Sherida

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayTea Review of Her Motherhood Wish by @KeliGwyn

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

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

HER MOTHERHOOD WISH by Keli Gwyn

ABOUT HER MOTHERHOOD WISH

BUILDING A FAMILY 

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

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

MY STORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TREAT FOR TEA TIME

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

Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

Recipe for Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

 

BIBLE VERSE

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

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name……Amen

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

With warmest regards,

Sherida

Sweet #TuesdayTea treats served with #LOVE!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Chocolate brownie LOVE hearts. What a treat!

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

How to choose from this collection of treats?

Raspberry cupcakes for a teatime treat.

Red Velvet cake…PERFECT!

Yes, sweet heart-shaped cookies!

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

 

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

 

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

Hiking with my husband…a treasured blessing!

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

Sherida Stewart

#TuesdayTea with #COFFEE and Rocky Mountain Cowboy

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

 

Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

PERSONAL NOTE

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

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

Bean Box coffee

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

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

Coffee from Nicaragua and roasted in Vermont

AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

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

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

BIBLE VERSE

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

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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

Sherida

View as we flew into Seattle.

Mount Rainier glowing in the afternoon sun.

#TuesdayTea review of HOME on the RANGE by @RuthLoganHerne

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

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

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

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

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

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

So many treats!

Hard decisions with so many treats!

ABOUT HOME ON THE RANGE

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

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

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

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

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen

TREATS

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

Cle Elum Bakery on Main Street.

The charming Cle Elum Bakery on Main Street.

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

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

Candied fruit bakery treat

Candied fruit bakery treat….taste of Christmas!

Crunchy maple twist...mmmm!

Crunchy maple twist…mmmm!

Coffee or tea for you?

Coffee or tea for you?

Fields of central Washington with mountains in the distance.

Fields of central Washington with mountains in the distance.

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

Love this old barn….and this beautiful story.

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

With warm blessings,

Sherida

 

#TuesdayTea Review of Make-Believe Beau by @KeliGwyn

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Thank you for stopping by to sip tea, enjoy a treat and chat about Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn. I found this August Love Inspired Historical release to be an entertaining visit to Placerville, California, during an interesting time period. The romance is sweet and the faith element provides an important reminder of forgiveness.

Today I’m serving Lemon Bars as served by the Gold Country Confections shop in this story. So please help yourself to a lemon bar, while I pour your choice of iced or hot lemon tea. We’re ready for a celebration of the end of summer as we review Make-Believe Beau.

Lemon Bars

End-of-Summer Lemon Bars

MY REVIEW:

Make-Believe BeauMake-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an entertaining story with an intriguing mix of history and romance!

In 1874, draftswoman Jessica Sinclair is a self-sufficient lady with a challenging new position in a male-dominated workplace. Determined engineer Flynt Kavanaugh is her hardworking and fair-minded boss. Both have secrets concerning their earlier situations, providing an interesting story as they try to keep the past hidden and try to be convincing in their pretend courtship.

Jessica warmed my heart with her attitude of believing the best of others and with her cheerful, courageous personality. I found myself sympathizing with Flynt as he struggles with his convictions and his attraction to Jessica. He thought he had his life well-planned until he becomes Jessica’s boss and pretend beau. It’s great fun to watch this couple navigate the awkward situation imposed on them as they try to understand each other and overcome past issues.

Author Keli Gwyn brings the historical setting of Placerville, California, to life as details of constructing the actual El Dorado Canal and of life in the charming town are sprinkled throughout the book. One of my favorite nostalgic scenes is of the couple during a roller-skating activity…very realistic. Most importantly, the romance builds with sweetness and the faith thread is touching, with many takeaways expressed perfectly. If you enjoy history mixed with the romance of an interesting couple, I think you’ll truly enjoy Make-Believe Beau.

Favorite quotes:
“The Lord’s gifted you with a remarkable voice. It’s my belief that when He gifts us, He does so in the hope that we’ll share what we’ve been given with others.”
“Everyone bore stains of one kind or another. That was why the Lord had come. To pay the price for the mistakes of mankind. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He’d cleansed her.”

*I won a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. It’s a pleasure to post my honest opinion of this book.

 

TEA TREAT RECIPE:

This is my mother’s recipe for Lemon Bars…a perfect end-of-summer treat with iced or hot lemon tea.

LEMON BARS
Mix together:
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
Set aside 1 cup of this mixture, then pat the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs until fluffy. Mix in 2 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon rind, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 4 tablespoons flour. (At high altitudes, use 6 tablespoons of flour.) Pour over the baked crust…no need to cool, then top with the reserved 1 cup of crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Cut into squares.
BIBLE VERSE:
“…Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
PRAYER:
Our Father,
We thank you for sending Your Son to wash us clean from our sins so we may live in your treasured forgiveness. Bless author Keli Gwyn as she writes stories to bless readers by spreading Your message of forgiveness and hope.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
You can learn more about author Keli Gwyn (and find tidbits about her writing journey) at her charming Victorian website: KELI GWYN
Thank you for stopping by for #TuesdayTea. May your end-of-summer days be filled with God’s treasured gifts!
Blessings,
Sherida

End of summer #amreading reviews and easy #TuesdayTea treat!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

End of summer reading…cooling off from the summer heat or heading out for an adventure on the trail?

What a different summer this has been for us! Hiking in the mountains is our favorite summer activity, but this year we’ve only made it out on the trail a few times. Both my husband and I had important writing projects to complete…his PhD dissertation and my 70,363-word inspirational romance novel for Harlequin’s Manuscript Matchmaker historical writing contest. Since I’ve submitted my manuscript and hubby is still working on his project, I’ve had some time to catch-up with reading, so here are some suggestions to end up your summer with some great reading.

Snowplow along Wolf Creek Pass.

Snowplow along Wolf Creek Pass.

 

If you’re steaming in the hot weather, and this picture cools you off, you would enjoy Ruth Logan Herne’s Her Unexpected Family. This book features Emily, a wedding planner, and Grant, a hero who works for the highway department. Since we need to drive the mountain passes often during the winter, I’m grateful for the people who keep the roads safe, even when they must work in dangerous conditions.

MY REVIEW:
Her Unexpected Family (Grace Haven, #2)Her Unexpected Family by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A PERFECT delight!

The whirlwind of precious two-year-old twins, the peek into the fun (usually) job of wedding event planners, and the warmth of the small community of Grace Haven all mixes together for an amazing story about the grace of forgiveness…a perfect story. Emily is so likeable with her common sense approach to life and the joyous love she expresses. As a protective father, hardworking Grant struggles with the past and the future, but he is a good man, willing to see his mistakes and to work on his flaws…my kind of hero.

I love this story, including the shout-out to dedicated highway department employees who work helping others during very challenging weather conditions. As a former special needs teacher, I appreciate the portrayal of Dolly and the viewpoint of parenting. From the details given about the event planning business, author Ruth Logan Herne knows about wedding planning…and I now want to do the job of organizing special memories for happy brides.

If you love small town stories of hope and forgiveness, this delightful story is perfect for you. You’ll love the ending!

Favorite quotes:
“Faith, forgiveness and trust were key factors in life.”
“God doesn’t care that we make mistakes. He cares that we fix them.”

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

Along the Continental Divide near Wolf Creek Pass...summer!

Summer along the Continental Divide above Wolf Creek Pass…near the spot where the winter photo was taken…big difference!

 

If you want to extend your summer by venturing out on the trail, then you will enjoy Love Will Find A Way, a novella collection by Cara Lynn James, Myra Johnson, and Sandra Leesmith. Each story features an adventure on a trail…in Connecticut, in Texas, and near the Grand Canyon.

Along the trail...

Along the trail…

MY REVIEW:
Love Will Find a Way: A Contemporary Novella CollectionLove Will Find a Way: A Contemporary Novella Collection by Cara Lynn James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perfect collection of three inspirational romances for summer reading!

STAGING A ROMANCE, by Cara Lynn James, is such a fun romance! I enjoyed this sweet story set at Blue Lake Christian Camp in Connecticut, where home stager Jenna Carlyle and businessman Nate McKenzie met as teenagers. Now they are adults facing responsibilities and considering their future plans. They work their way through issues using prayer and consideration for each other. Jenna’s occupation as a home stager was interesting. On a personal note, I liked this story because my husband and I attended church camp in Connecticut as teenagers…and walked down by the lake. This is a fun and uplifting romance!
Favorite quotes:
“I’m a firm believer that prayer matters.”
“I want to do what we want to do. It’s about us, not just me.”

WORTH THE RISK, by Myra Johnson, is a wonderful story of overcoming with faith! I love and sympathize with the characters in this story. Facing a new location and a new job, single mom Cara Gallagher deals with regrets and unresolved issues of resentment. Tour guide Lucas Montero is struggling with disappointments, but keeps his godly focus on serving others before himself. The secondary characters add sparkle…lively kindergartener Zoe, friendly Sandra, and kind Rosalinda. Weaving their way toward friendship and new beginnings, Cara and Lucas find their faith a strong support. I especially enjoyed the trail hike to see the pictographs and the visit to Candelaria.
Favorite quotes:
“But thank goodness God is in control.”
“Things happen. But it never changes God’s love for us.”

NEW BEGINNINGS, by Sandra Leesmith, puts you right into realistic action on the trails of Grand Canyon National Park! The author’s writing takes you on an adventure along the hiking trails of a favorite National Park. This story is filled with action and emotion as ex-police officer, Samantha Reynolds, and Flagstaff lawyer, Zach Williams, find love while helping others in a desperate situation. Great kissing scenes!
Favorite quotes:
“Let go and let God.”
“Don’t dwell on what could have been.”

*I won this book with no requirement to write a review. It is my pleasure to review this collection.

***********

Now for our tea celebration!

#TUESDAYTEA TREAT: Summer Fruit Marzipan Tarts

Farmers’ markets bring such joy during the summer…supporting local farmers and finding fresh delicious product. This easy recipe for Summer Fruit Tarts was created after I returned from shopping with apricots and honey. Please enjoy this summery treat with a glass of iced tea or lemonade.

Easy summer fruit tart...apricot.

Easy summer fruit tart…apricot.

 

RECIPE:

Puff pastry sheets

Marzipan-almond paste roll

Summer fruit–apricots, peaches, cherries, plums, berries

Honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees or temperature indicated on the package.

Cut the puff pastry sheets into squares, approximately 3″ x 3″ and place a 1/4″ thick slice of marzipan in the center of each pastry square. Bake according to the package directions, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, cook slices of the fruit of your choice over low heat to make a sauce. (The apricots were good as a stewed sauce, but instead of cooking the fruit, you could top the tarts with sliced fresh fruit or use berries…even easier.)

To serve, top a pastry/marzipan square with fruit and drizzle with honey. You could add ice cream or whipped cream. We didn’t use additional sugar because the marzipan/almond paste is sweet.

BIBLE VERSE: This is the Scripture written at the beginning of Her Unexpected Family, a good verse to tuck into our hearts.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

PRAYER:

Dear Lord,

Bless these Christian authors who spread your word through their writing. May they have strength to continue the writing journey. Please give them comfort in the knowledge they encourage others through their work. We pray all the people of the world come to know You and accept Christ as Savior. Please be with us all during the busy last days of summer.

In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen

BLESSINGS:

So, end of summer reading? Air-conditioned comfort as you read in a comfy favorite chair or out on the trail devouring a book while taking a rest break sitting on a rock? How do you relax during the last days of summer? With an awesome book, I hope!

May you be blessed with God’s treasured blessings of summer–good weather, relaxation time, and fresh produce. Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea!

Blessings,

Sherida