Posts Tagged ‘book review’

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

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

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

A GIFT LIKE NO OTHER by Julie Lessman

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

ABOUT A Gift Like No Other

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

A Gift Like No Other by Julie Lessman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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

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

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

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

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

SCRIPTURE

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

ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN

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

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

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

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

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

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

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt

THE BLURB

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

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

A Mother for His Twins

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A heart-tugging second chance romance!

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

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

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

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

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


ABOUT JILL WEATHERHOLT

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

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

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

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

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


With prayers and blessings always,
Sherida


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


CAUTION: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

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


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


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

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

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

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

Anger. How could some women discard a precious life?

Doubt. Why didn’t God answer our prayers?


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

You’re invited to my #TuesdayTea review of LORD OF HER HEART by @Sherrinda Ketchersid!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019


If you enjoy fast action tales of knights, intrigue, and hidden identities, this book will delight you. I was completely captivated by Sherrinda Ketchersid’s medieval debut novel…..Lord of Her Heart.

Isn’t this cover amazing?

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. 

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways.Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives.

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

Lord of Her Heart

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Hero Malcolm melted my heart!

I was captivated by this medieval romance. This book has it all! The story includes intrigue in a fortified castle, chivalrous knights facing danger, a fierce maiden hiding her identity …and most importantly, a hero who will melt your heart….not perfect, mind you, but a strong protector striving to do his best.

I enjoyed the nonstop action as tournament champion Malcom Castillon and feisty damsel Jocelyn Ashburne raced to reach their dreams. He desires his own land, and she wants to return home. However, difficulties await the couple. They must survive various threats and learn to trust before they have a chance for happiness. The twists and turns along the way keep the excitement high. And the exchange of tender kisses keep the romantic moments heated. sigh

I loved this story! The details provide a glimpse into life during the medieval times…a fascinating historical period. Faith-filled advice on the requirements of a good marriage are thoughtfully included.

Author Sherrinda Ketchersid’s debut is a skillfully written novel. I’m anticipating more heart-gripping books by this author! If you like fast-paced storytelling, with hidden identities, swoon-worthy knights, and intriguing maidens, this tale is for you!

Favorite quote: Jocelyn had known from the beginning of her escape that her life would be in danger. She had not thought her heart might be as well.

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



ABOUT AUTHOR SHERRINDA KETCHERSID

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside.

Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love. Visit Sherrinda at http://www.sherrinda.com.

TEATIME TREATS

For our treats today, I made Sweet Honey Cakes as mentioned in the story. I’m serving a Scottish Highlands blend tea…a good strong brew to fortify your day.

Sweet honey cake.



Here’s the recipe I used for this cake. If you look closely, you’ll see I need to adjust the proportions for baking at my high altitude. Even with a depression in the middle, it still tastes good. https://prettysimplesweet.com/honey-cake/

A highland tea celebration.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. Have you read a Medieval Period romance? If so, what do you like about this historical time?

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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


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

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

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

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

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

Her Last Chance Cowboy with White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

MY REVIEW OF HER LAST CHANCE COWBOY

Her Last Chance Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch)

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite quotes:

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

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

GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEVOTIONAL

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

SCRIPTURE

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

Galatians 5:22 KJV

LOVE & JOY Galatians 5:22 KJV

PRAYER

Dear God,

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name,

Amen

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

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

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

#TuesdayTea review of NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

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

Sparkling White Chocolate Scones

A cute little polar bear cub visitor!

NOW LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE BOOK!

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

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

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Reunions can be deadly.

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

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

 

MY REVIEW OF NORTHERN DECEPTION 

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

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

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

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

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

This little guy just makes me makes me smile.

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

RECIPE:SPARKLING WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

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

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

Stir in:
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

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

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

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

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

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

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

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

Maple scone with tea or coffee!

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

REVIEWS

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Linda Goodnight and Ruth Logan Herne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A DREAM FULFILLED by Julie Lessman

A DREAM FULFILLED by Julie Lessman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SNOW ANGEL by Davalynn Spencer

SNOW ANGEL by Davalynn Spencer

A charming…and delicious….historical Christmas story!

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite quotes:

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

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

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

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

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

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

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

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

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

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

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

REMEMBER TEXAS by Laura Conner Kestner

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

ABOUT REMEMBER TEXAS

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

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite quotes:

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

MEET AUTHOR LAURA CONNER KESTNER

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

MOM’S POTATO CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

Mix together until combined:

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

Add:

2 beaten eggs

Sift together:

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

Then add to the sugar/egg mixture.

Then mix in:

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups crushed potato chips

6 oz. butterscotch chips

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

 

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

 

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

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

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

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

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

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

Christmas with the Cowboy-Big Heart Ranch

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

ABOUT CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

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

TINA’S WEBSITE

TREATS

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

CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY and chocolate muffins!

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

RECIPE FOR EMMA’S CHOCOLATE MUFFINS from Tina Radcliffe

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

With blessings and prayers for you,

Sherida

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

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

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

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

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

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

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

TRIPLE BERRY PIE-photo by Irina on Unsplash

BLURB

She won the job…

Can he win her heart?

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

My review of Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

MY PRAYER FOR YOU

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

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

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

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida Stewart

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

 

 

 

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

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

IT’S SUMMER!

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

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

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

Bounty from our local growers’ market!

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

Is reading on your summer to-do list?

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

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

Cowboys of Summer-Kindle collection

What perfect romantic cowboy stories to enjoy during the summer!

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

Dr. Tess and the Cowboy by Mary Connealy

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

Hometown Girl by Cheryl St. John

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

Lake Effect by Tina Radcliffe

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

His Lone Star Heart by Missy Tippens

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

Great Strides by Lorna Seilstad

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

The Decoy Bride by Sherri Shackelford

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

Five stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and highly recommended!

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

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

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

Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sherida