#TuesdayTea-LOVE’S DREAM SONG with Sandra Leesmith

We’re having tea…or Chocolate Velvet coffee….today with author Sandra Leesmith as we talk about her amazing new book, Love’s Dream Song, a romantic suspense set in the Navajo area of northern Arizona.

Since I have lived near the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation, it is especially fun to read a suspenseful adventure set in this beautiful desert country ….. along with the passionate romance story of Autumn and Jess. Sandra does settings so well…..you feel you are there! An example from the book:

Nature entertained them with a display of sunset color. Bright magenta deepened to red and then turned fluorescent orange. The jagged outline of cliffs was silhouetted like black sentinels against the vermillion brilliance.

This is a great romantic adventure with realistic heart-racing excitement.

Quote from LOVE'S DREAM SONG.

Quote from LOVE’S DREAM SONG.

A few more of my favorite lines from the book:

“Know your heart. Walk in the way of your dreams.”

“But I refuse to be bowed by the hatred. Real Tall Man taught me that when you let hatred affect your life, it then exists.”

“Being alone in the wilderness makes you face up to yourself. I’ve grown to love the desert country.”

This book releases October 17 and is available to pre-order. You can pre-order Love’s Dream Song HERE  .  So please have a piece of pumpkin bread as you read the blurb and my review of Love’s Dream Song. The giveaway form is near the end of this post.

BLURB

Autumn O’Neill came to Arizona on an archeological dig hoping to find out what happened to the ancient Anasazi tribes, but her true desire was to discover her own Navajo roots. It didn’t help that the dig was located on Jess Barron’s ranch and that the handsome rancher scorned his own native American heritage and believed Autumn was part of a drug ring operating on his land. When the dig is compromised and danger threatens their lives, Jess and Autumn can no longer fight their attraction for each other. They both come to understand that finding answers means listening to the voices of their ancestors and the longings of their hearts.

My review of Love’s Dream Song:

Love's Dream SongLove’s Dream Song by Sandra Leesmith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A blend of suspense and romance with an adventure in the Navajo cultural world…a great story!

I was completely engaged with this suspenseful book. Archeologist Autumn O’Neill is assisting with a trouble-plagued exploration of Anasazi ruins on the northern Arizona ranch of Jess Barron.

The suspense in this book is developed well, with many possible motives and suspects. I was definitely guessing until the end. The reunion romance between beautiful Autumn and undercover agent Jess is touching, yet complicated because of both their past relationship and their feelings about their Native American heritages. Both are interesting, complex characters.

The well-researched Navajo cultural elements added interesting flavor to the story, with tribal customs and bits of Navajo language included. Additionally, I liked this book because of its vivid and accurate depiction of the red rock country of Arizona….a uniquely stunning desert. Sandra Leesmith is an author who excels at bringing to life the settings of her books. You feel you are right there in the experience. I have lived near the Navajo country of Love’s Dream Song and find the sense of this amazing place is very realistically presented.

Author Sandra Leesmith has balanced suspense and passionate romance perfectly in Love’s Dream Song to bring readers a great adventure in the desert southwest. I highly recommend Love’s Dream Song!

*I was given an electronic review copy of this book. I’m delighted to post my honest thoughts about this story.

TREATS and the THREE SISTERS

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

The pumpkin bread ( PUMPKIN BREAD RECIPE from All Recipes ) seemed appropriate to serve as a treat while talking about this Navajo-inspired story because of the importance of squash to native people in this southwest region. The Three Sisters- squash, corn and beans- have been important food sources for the native people. The Three Sisters are crops which are mutually beneficial, so are planted together in mounds of dirt…the corn stalks provide a climbing trellis for the bean plants which provide the soil with nitrogen, enabling the squash plants to thrive and shade the base of the plants for water retention and to crowd out weeds. For more information, you can read about the Three Sisters here.

INTERVIEW:  If you didn’t read my interview with Sandra during the cover reveal post, you might enjoy learning about her research through the following questions.
SHERIDAHow did you get the idea for this story?

SANDRA:  My husband and I have traveled many times in Northern Arizona Color Country. We have explored many of the ancient Anasazi ruins in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Being a writer with a vivid imagination, I’ve always been fascinated with the history of these people.

It has always been a mystery as to what happened to the very advanced and flourishing Anasazi people. They are the native Americans who lived in the ancient cliff dwellings found in the Southwest. Hundreds of years ago, they suddenly disappeared and archeologists are not certain as to why. I used one of the less popular, but more intriguing speculations as part of the premise in Love’s Dream Song.

The summer I started this story, my hubby and I were hiking around a lot of the Anasazi ruins so the story evolved from the interesting facts we were learning about the ancient culture.

SHERIDA:  What is your connection to the setting?

SANDRA:  I have lived in Arizona most of my adult life. Most weekends and holidays were spent hiking and exploring the beautiful deserts in this colorful state. I love the variety and color, so describing the setting and bringing it alive is easy for me. I love sharing the beauty with others.

The cover is a photo of Monument Valley. It is one of the most popular areas. But all of Color Country is gorgeous. My husband is a scientist and very knowledgeable about the geology. In Color Country, which is a term that refers to the red rock areas of Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and Norwestern New Mexico, you can see so much of the geological features in vivid colors.

SHERIDA:  How did you research the topics covered in Love’s Dream Song?

SANDRA:  As mentioned above, my hubby is a scientist so we whenever we travel to an area, we study the geology and explore the historical aspects of the locale. Consequently, I am very familiar with the geological and historical elements presented within the story.

Being a teacher in Arizona, I was required to know the anthropological history as well. I love studying about ancient cultures. I love learning about different cultures.

When I finished writing this novel, I happened to be invited (through my work with ASU) to the Navajo nation to present educational workshops to the teachers on the reservation. Several women I met helped me with many aspects of the culture of Dineh (The People).

Author Sandra Leesmith

Author Sandra Leesmith

ABOUT AUTHOR SANDRA LEESMITH

Sandra Leesmith writes romance designed to warm the heart and make you smile. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. A retired teacher, she lives in Arizona with her husband. During the hot summers she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome, where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project.

You can connect with Sandra through her website, Sandra Leesmith website.

Her books are available through Amazon:  Sandra’s books.

GIVEAWAY:

Sandra has generously offered a copy to a reader. Thank you, Sandra! Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter. Be sure to make a comment in the blog comments with your thoughts about Love’s Dream Song and whether you want an ebook or print version if you win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Love’s Dream Song. Do you enjoy romantic suspense? Do you like to learn about diverse cultures through reading stories? Have you traveled to the desert Southwest?

Thank you so much for having teatime with us today! May your days be blessed with God’s abundant treasures!

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44 Responses to “#TuesdayTea-LOVE’S DREAM SONG with Sandra Leesmith”

  1. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Wow, Sherida, what a wonderful review. I am delighted that you found the book satisfying. Your opinion means a lot to me because you do know the area and the cultures represented in this story.

    Thanks for the lovely tea and pumpkin bread. I didn’t know about the three sisters so learned something new today. A lovely treat and I do love pumpkin bread.

  2. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Sandra, I’m so glad you enjoyed my review! The Three Sisters fit so well with your story, so I’m please you learned about this tale from me. Blessings to your newest book!

  3. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Sherida, I love the quotes you selected from the book. Thank you. I think I’ll use them myself for promotion. smile.

  4. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Sandra, I liked many of the “quotables” from your book concerning love and confidence. Thank you!

  5. Sarah Richmond Says:

    Just the kind of book I like to read: romance, mystery, and historical detail wrapped into an adventure in the beautiful southwest desert.
    Hope you sell lots!
    Sarah Richmond

  6. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Hello, Sarah! All your book elements are included in this book. The southwest desert is described beautifully. Thanks for visiting us for tea, pumpkin bread and the review!

  7. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Thanks Sarah. Didn’t Sherida write a nice review? I think you will like the historical detail as well. I had a great time doing the research.

  8. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    I am helping myself to another slice of that wonderful pumpkin bread. We are driving through New Hampshire at the moment on the way to the airport and the pumpkin bread is perfect. Goes with all the fall color.

    I really love how it goes with the Southwest as well. smile

  9. Missy Tippens Says:

    Great review, Sherida! You’ve got me excited about reading Sandra’s story. 🙂

  10. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Thank, Missy! Sandra does settings so well. Love’s Dream Song is a virtual trip to our beautiful southwest….with plenty of excitement included!

  11. Pam Hillman Says:

    Love this review and the descriptions of the desert make me want to pack up and go now! 🙂 Such a beautiful place. Congrats on the new release, Sandra!

  12. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Pam, thank you for stopping by! Our desert area is very different from your home, but I’m very sure you would appreciate this colorful country where God displays His glory so brightly.

  13. Janet Dean Says:

    Great review of Sandra’s book, Sherida! I love the red rocks and know what a great job Sandra does describing setting!

    Janet

  14. Sherida Stewart Says:

    I’m glad you stopped by, Janet! I’m so pleased you liked my review. You will definitely enjoy this book by Sandra as it feels you are walking in the red rock country.

  15. Ruthy Says:

    Oh, man, I always goof these things up, so it looks like I’ve clicked on EVERYTHING on the page, just ignore it and don’t put me in the drawing! I will pay FULL PRICE for the pleasure of this sweet story by my buddy Sandra!

    And Pumpkin Bread…. I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin roll, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie… oh mylanta, #addicted!

    Great job with this review, Sherida, and lovely post with Sandra!

    Ruthy

  16. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Ruthy, thank you so much for stopping by for tea. Please have some more pumpkin bread…..inspired by the pictures of your glorious farm pumpkins! I love fall!

    You will enjoy Love’s Dream Song….quite suspenseful! It will probably keep you up too late to make your very early morning writing time….but certainly worth a little less sleep to read Sandra’s book!

  17. Kav Says:

    Great review — it has whet my reading appetite for sure. I’m about to start reading this book. Excited about the setting (I always feel like I’ve been on vacation when I read one of Sandra’s books. Such interesting locales and they take on a life of their own in every book.) And the suspense is just icing on the cake, right?

  18. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Kav, I’m looking forward to your review also. Yes, I love the way Sandra gives us a virtual vacation….but I have lived in this southwest area, so it’s like returning to a favorite place while reading Love’s Dream Song.

    Please have another slice of pumpkin bread…..I put icing on it just for you. 🙂

  19. Tracey Hagwood Says:

    Hi Sherida and Sandra,
    I’ve only travel west once, but I did see Monument Valley on the trip. The terrain and colors of the west are so opposite of anything on the East coast, it was quite an amazing experience for me. I know Sandra’ s book with this setting will be an interesting read. Looking forward to it. Congrats on the release, Sandra!

  20. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Tracey, thank you for your comments…and for visiting with us! Yes, this book will bring back memories of your trip west. Enjoy!

  21. Myra Johnson Says:

    Sandra, your new book sounds fascinating! I still remember our visit to Mesa Verde and the Anasazi ruins. Really makes your imagination run wild!

    Sherida, thanks for this great review and for having Sandra as your guest! Now I’m hungry for pumpkin bread!

  22. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Myra, so you know this area….and will love this story! Thanks for stopping in for a review and pumpkin bread.

  23. Patti O'Manne Says:

    I love romantic suspense stories. Having my heart and mind involved in the story just makes it better. Finding one’s Native American roots always intrigues me. This looks like something I’ll enjoy.

  24. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Welcome, Patti! Yes, Love’s Dream Song has a great romance and an exciting mystery, so I hope you will find this book just right. The Native American culture was well developed as Sandra had beta readers from that culture verify her details. Great! Thank you for “liking” my page and visiting #TuesdayTea!

  25. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    I’m in Chicago and get 30 minutes free wifi. What a great surprise to see all these comments.

    Missy, Sherida does do a nice job with her Tuesday Tea. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Thanks Pam That is the same way I feel when I read one of your books. I want to go explore the Natchez Trace. smile

  27. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Thank you Janet, You do a wonderful job with setting also. I always feel like I’ve stepped back in time when I read your historicals.

  28. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Ruthy you are tooooo funny. I do the same thing. Thanks and the pumpkin bread is really good.

  29. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Kav, You are toooo sweet. I’m so excited for you to read Love’s Dream Song. I really appreciate folks like you and Sherida who take time to write a review. It means a lot to us and I truly do appreciate it. I have to say though its kind of scary too because I know how well read you are. I’m always worried about how well I did writing it. sigh. The plight of a writer.

  30. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Thank you Tracey for your kind words. I’m glad you have seen this country because in many ways it is hard to describe unless you’ve really seen it. I’ve just been visiting your neck of the woods. I love exploring new places.

  31. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Myra, Didn’t you love Mesa Verde? I think it so fascinating to try and think about what the Anasazi and what happened to them.

  32. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Patti, Sounds like maybe you’ve delved into searches for your roots. Tell us more. Thanks for stopping by.

  33. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Sherida, What a fun time we are having today with Tuesday Tea. Thank you so much.

    Hmmm can I get away with another piece of pumpkin bread to take on the plane with me?

  34. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Absolutely have another slice or two, Sandra. Safe travels! Thanks for checking in with us.

  35. Tina Radcliffe Says:

    You had me at pumpkin bread. I can’t wait to read your latest release, Sandra. Hi, Sherida!

    Guess what? It’s 70 in Arizona today. I opened the windows.

  36. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Hi, Tina! With 70 degrees for you today in Arizona, I’ll pour some warm caramel pecan sauce over the pumpkin bread….just for you. Thanks for stopping in for tea and treats. You will like Sandra’s book….exciting adventures in the desert!

  37. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Tina, Wow, you rate with caramel sauce on top of the pumpkin bread. It was in the sixties when we landed here in Phoenix. Amazing and what a blessing. I’m so glad as we always need the rain in the desert and of course love cooler weather.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    And guess what, It wasn’t raining when we got our luggage and car, but as soon as we were in the car, it poured. We are so blessed. smile

  38. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Tina will share the caramel sauce with you, I’m sure. Glad you arrived safely…and could stay dry. Thanks again for having tea….or coffee….with us! Blessings!

  39. Terrill R. Says:

    I just recently added most of Sandra Leesmith’s books to my tbr. Love’s Dream Song has such a unique plot. I appreciate that it isn’t a run-of-the-mill story. If I were to win, a print copy would be divine.

  40. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Terrill, thank you for joining us to discuss this book. Yes, it does have a different plot. You will like all the other books of Sandra’s you have to read…all with different types of plots. Good luck in the giveaway!

  41. Julie Lessman Says:

    LOVE SANDRA’S work, Sherida, so thank you for showcasing a truly gifted author and WONDERFUL human being!

    Was already chomping at the bit to move this to the top of my stacks of books, but now you made it all the harder! 🙂

    Hugs,
    Julie

  42. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Julie! Be ready for some excitement when you read Love’s Dream Song. Not to do any spoilers…..but in this story of Sandra’s, there is a heart-pounding incident in a narrow canyon. My husband experienced an event very similar while hiking the southwest desert. He says Sandra wrote quite realistically about this frightening situation. So be ready for adventure, mystery….and definitely romance! Thanks again for your comments!

  43. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Terrill, Its nice to meet you. I hope you like Love’s Dream Song. My books do tend to be out of the norm a bit which makes them fun for me and hopefully the readers.

    Your name is in the pot if you filled out the rafflecopter Sherida set up. Rafflecopter is a great tool. It is as much a surprise for us as for all of you readers. smile

  44. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Hi Julie, You are such a dear friend to say such kind words. I always have your books at the top of my TBR pile. smile I’m looking forward to your new release Isle of Hope.

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