Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Welcome to my #TeaTime double review of Tina Radcliffe’s His Holiday Prayer and The Deeds of The Deceitful!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

I’m delighted you’ve join me for tea and chatting about TWO books by Tina Radcliffe, one of my favorite authors. His Holiday Prayer is a December release by Harlequin’s Love Inspired contemporary romance line. Just look at the festive cover which sparkles with holiday charm! The Deeds of The Deceitful is a cozy mystery, co-authored with Ellery Adams. With our tea, I’m serving Chocolate Spice Balls, one of the recipes included with the mystery book.

His Holiday Prayer by Tina Radcliffe

MY REVIEWS

His Holiday Prayer
What a sparkling Christmas romance….a “just friends” to a perfect happily-ever-after story!

Widower and father of darling twin daughters, Tucker Rainbolt has been friends with compassionate Jena Harper for a long time. They went to college together, then partnered to establish a veterinary practice in Rebel, Oklahoma. Thinking he needs a change, Tucker decides to relocate to Texas and accept a university faculty position. However, sometimes making different plans allows us to see our current situation more clearly. With Jena and Tucker, it’s fun to watch their friendship evolve through self-awareness and tender feelings, finally realizing where their hearts truly belong.

Beyond the romance, I especially loved the realistic family dynamics. Strong bonds highlight the camaraderie of family relationships….established families, beginning families, and discovered families. The Rainbolt siblings tease and joke, but unconditional love for each other provides strength through difficult times, shared joy during celebrations, and encouragement to meet the challenges of life. I’m already anticipating the next Rainbolt book featuring sister Kate!

Author Tina Radcliffe writes with humor and touches of faith as she gives readers a warm-the-heart story, filled with Christmas delights (Jingle Paws fundraiser!) and festive treats (pumpkin roll, cherry tarts, peppermint bark, anyone?). If you want to read a feel-good holiday romance, I highly recommend His Holiday Prayer!

Favorite quotes:
“We accept His forgiveness and move on. Isn’t God’s grace sufficient? He forgave you. When are you going to forgive yourself?”

“We all need a Mrs. Stewart in our life.” 🙂

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

The Deeds of The Deceitful by Ellery Adams and Tina Radcliffe

The Deeds of The Deceitful
An engaging cozy mystery!

Deeds of the Deceitful is such fun to read. Not only is there an intriguing crime to solve, but there is a hint of romance and a virtual trip to the charming Atwood Inn near Richmond, Virginia.

I completely enjoyed the assortment of amateur sleuths who meet as the Sunrise Bible Study group, but also get involved in solving local mysteries. With a suspicious death, a missing painting, and a cast of possible suspects, I was fascinated with trying to figure out this “who done it.” Since I’m a foodie, the details involving a couple of chefs and a baker….plus all the goodies from Magnolia’s Marvels….were a delight. (Recipes included!)

This is the first time I’ve read a selection from the Hope Street Church Mysteries series, so I can definitely say this book is a stand alone…and I want to read the others. With great details and an interesting investigation, I highly recommend Deeds of the Deceitful to all cozy mystery genre enthusiasts!

Favorite quotes:
“This is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle when the dog ate a few pieces.”
“My grandmother always says that the only thing bigger than our problems is the Lord.”

Christmas tea with Chocolate Spice Balls

TEA AND TREATS

This time of year, it’s fun to being out my Christmas dinnerware, given to me many years ago by a dear friend. I’m serving Chocolate Spice Balls with your choice of Constant Comment tea or a peppermint herbal blend, both varieties go well with the cookies. The recipe is included at the end of The Deeds of The Deceitful.

ABOUT TINA RADCLIFFE

Tina Radcliffe has been dreaming and scribbling for years. Originally from Western NY, she left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her past careers include Certified Oncology R.N. and library cataloger. 

Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and a four-time Carol Award finalist and three-time ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist. A 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner and a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year winner, Tina is also on the RWA and ACFW Honor Roll of Best-Selling Authors. In 2019 she won the Holt Medallion for Christmas with the Cowboy. A short story writer, she has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine.

You can sign up for Tina’s newsletter and learn more about her books at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com (And she posts recipes on her blog!)

You’re invited to my #TeaTime review of Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover!

Thursday, November 5th, 2020
Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover

I’m delighted to share this review of my friend’s newest Love Inspired Suspense book. Sharee Stover has written another thrilling and romantic story! Please join me for tea and raspberry kolaches as we discuss this fascinating book.

Treats: raspberry kolaches as featured in Grave Christmas Secrets

MY REVIEW

Page-turning excitement! I suggest you read Grave Christmas Secrets with bright lights turned on!

Author Sharee Stover has written another amazing romantic suspense! The pages fly, the excitement builds, and the romance entices. The heart-hammering action starts right at the beginning…..and DOES NOT STOP until the end!

Right from the opening scene, forensic anthropologist Dr. Taya McGill’s life is threatened. She’s alone at a remote site when she uncovers evidence of a crime. Undercover ATF agent Keegan Stryker is trying to hide his identity from ruthless criminals, but feels compelled to help this intriguing woman escape from these desperate killers.

I liked the intensifying chase scenes, the escalating danger, and the constant threats hidden everywhere. Those surprising moments gave me chills. Trying to figure out the true villains kept me guessing. And Keegan! What a hero! A brave, compassionate man who is called to protect others. Sigh

Did I mention I’m now hungry for kolaches? Raspberry, anyone? Every story needs a good bakery. 🙂

Author Sharee Stover is a favorite author. I’m delighted she has written another thrilling romantic suspense. If you like non-stop action with sweet falling-in-love moments, you won’t be disappointed in Grave Christmas Secrets…..a heart-pounding, exciting novel!

Favorite quote: “Your comment coincides with something I recently read in my Bible study about thinking on good, worthy things.” “Philippians 4:8?”

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

TEA AND TREATS

Sharee recently mentioned she likes to include food items in her writings. In this story, the Taya and Keegan visit a small bakery and sample raspberry and prune kolaches. Well, of course I developed a craving for these treats. Most recipes are based on a yeast dough, but I found this very easy version with the pastry made from cream cheese, butter, and flour. I hope you enjoy this simple delight as much as Keegan and Taya did in the story. And wouldn’t these be pretty for Christmas?

Easy Jam Kolaches

Hers is a recipe for kolaches…..easy and a variety of jams can be used.

https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/jam-kolache/a46faf5d-ce56-49c0-8d44-d5e1335fcbf0

ABOUT AUTHOR SHAREE STOVER

Colorado native, Sharee Stover, lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and a ridiculously spoiled dog. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to ignite, transform, and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. Sharee is a three-time Daphne du Maurier finalist, winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award, and winner of the 2019 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards for Best First Book. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit her at www.shareestover.com. You can sign up for her newsletter and order all her books from her website.

BIBLE VERSE

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.

~~2 Samuel 22:29

Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover

Thank you for joining me for tea, treats, and my review. May your November be filled with gratitude.

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

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

A #Teatime review of A HOME FOR HER DAUGHTER by Jill Weatherholt

Thursday, August 27th, 2020
A teatime celebration for A HOME FOR HER DAUGHTER.

Welcome to my #Teatime celebration of Jill Weatherholt’s newest inspirational romance, A Home for Her Daughter. Jill is a special friend and an amazing author. I’m thrilled to chat with you about this sweet contemporary story.

ABOUT A HOME FOR HER DAUGHTER

To give her daughter a brighter future, she must leave the past behind.

Inheriting a house, money and a camp is the fresh start Janie Edmiston has been praying for. But the will stipulates Janie must work with her childhood friend—and crush—Drew Brenner, to get the camp running…or lose it all. The newly divorced mother and the widower aren’t looking for love, but sometimes it takes a child to show two broken hearts the way forward…together.

MY REVIEW

I was immediately drawn into this story and couldn’t stop reading!

An uplifting book about two people dealing with past hurts and helping each other find happiness! What adventures are ahead for Janie and Drew as they work together to save a childhood camp and try to heal from difficult pasts.

Divorced single mom Janie Edmiston returns to Whispering Slopes, Virginia, with her charming daughter. She learns she has inherited a summer camp from a dear friend, but the lady’s will comes with conditions. She and her former close friend, Drew Brenner, must work together to restore and open Rocky River Camp by July 4, or neither will be left anything. Working so closely with a woman he was once attracted to is a concern for park ranger Drew. He prefers his solitary life on the trail after a devastating loss.

The hurtful situation Janie needed to recovery from and the terrible guilt Drew carried were difficult…almost impossible…obstacles to overcome, but through trusting in faith, support from their small town community and the desire to establish a home for precious little Riley, a sweet romance develops between this couple. I was completely engaged with this story. I highly recommend A Home for Her Daughter to those seeking an uplifting story of overcoming challenges to reach special dreams ….and a beautiful happily ever after. Joy can be just beyond life’s difficult times!

Favorite quote: “There’s nothing sweeter than a child who speaks from the heart.”

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

Author Jill Weatherholt

ABOUT JILL WEATHERHOLT

This is Jill’s fourth Love Inspired contemporary romance, each filled with heart-touching inspiration and a sweet happily ever after. I’ve come to know Jill through her stories and interactions on her blog. She is an amazing friend….and a hummingbird enthusiast! You should see her “hummie” photos! To learn more about Jill….and to see those energetic hummingbirds….visit her website: www.jillweatherholt.com

TEA AND TREATS

I’m serving Sparkling Lavender Sugar Shortbread cookies for our celebration, along with Lavender Lemon Gunpowder tea from New Mexico Tea Company. The violet tea pot was a gift from my mother, hand painted by a friend of hers. The reason I’m featuring lavender? Lavender is the favorite color of little Riley, Janie’s daughter. So let’s celebrate a lovely day and a good book!

Sparkling Lavender Sugar Shortbread Cookies

RECIPE FOR SPARKLING LAVENDER SUGAR SHORTBREAD COOKIES

In a food processor, blend together 1-1/4 cups flour and 3 Tablespoons sugar. Add 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces. Pulse until combined. The mixture will be crumbly. Turn out onto a cutting board. Sprinkle in 1 to 2 Tablespoons lavender-colored sparkling sugar. (I bought the lavender sugar from the Queen Mary Tea Shop in Seattle, Washington….my favorite place to celebrate with afternoon tea. To match a theme, you can use any color of decorator/course sugar. You could add a little flavoring, perhaps to go with the color….yellow course sugar with lemon extract would be good.) Knead together to disperse sugar. Flatten dough into a 5” x 8” rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Top with more colored sugar, if desired, patting in gently to stick to the dough. Put in the dough in a freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut into 1 inch square cookies. Place each on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes, watching carefully so the cookies don’t brown. Take them out of the oven and cool on the pan until set.

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. ~~Proverbs 16:9

Thank you for joining the release celebration for A Home for Her Daughter…..a hopeful story of trusting God during difficult times. I pray you feel close to our Lord when you are faced with life’s challenges.

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

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

#TuesdayTea Review of READY TO TRUST by Tina Radcliffe

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Meet Reece Rainbolt! What a hero! I’m so pleased you’ve stopped by to meet Reece and enjoy tea with Peachy Ginger Scones while we chat about Ready to Trust, the second book in Tina Radcliffe’s Hearts of Oklahoma series.

READY TO TRUST by Tina Radcliffe

ABOUT THE BOOK

Proving he’s a changed man could be his biggest challenge yet.

Rancher Reece Rainbolt’s shocked to learn he’s inherited half of Claire Ballard’s family farm—and that he’s a father. Now Claire’s determined to break ties with the man who once left her behind. But Reece will buy her half only on one condition: she must stay in town to help with the harvest…and let him get to know his little girl.

MY THOUGHTS

Reece Rainbolt of Rebel Ranch…..what a HERO!

Well….I don’t usually like bad boy heroes, but for Reece Rainbolt, I’m making an exception. Why my change of heart? Reece is the epitome of a self-sacrificing man, though still a bit stubborn. He’s learned from past mistakes and now does his best to live a faithful life as he helps his family and community. Plus he’s a gorgeous blue-eyed rancher! Did you see that cover?

I admired strong-willed single mom Claire Ballard. After inheriting half her father’s peach orchard, she has an overloaded plate of responsibilities. She stubbornly tries to handle everything by herself, including raising her adorable daughter, Zoe, who happens to look a lot like Reece.

Hmmm….can two hard-headed personalities reconcile their past mistakes and learn to trust each other? With the best interests of the precious five-year-old child at stake, this second chance couple provide a fun, humorous and touching path to a happily ever after. Of course they have some help along way as the small town folks add encouraging observations. I hope you like wise old ranch hand Willard Cornell as much as I do. He nudges his boss in the right direction with delightful quips.

I love every book by author Tina Radcliffe, but Ready to Trust is the best yet. If reading a story can convince me to forgive the wild guy hero, that’s a great romance! If you love amazing heroes, small town communities and heart-tugging romance, I recommend you put Ready to Trust (and heartthrob Reece) at the top of your TBR stack.

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

TEA AND TREATS

Teatime-Peachy Ginger Scones and peach tea with Reece Rainbolt
Peachy Ginger Scones with Reece Rainbolt!

Since Reece and Claire are busy with the peach harvest in this story, Peachy Ginger Scones are the perfect accompaniment to this summer book. Of course we need tea, so a delightful, refreshing peach flavored tea is just right. Iced or hot?

RECIPE FOR PEACHY GINGER SCONES

Mix 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 scant teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1/4 cup cold butter until mixture is crumbly.

Add 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 small egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. Gently stir in 2 tablespoon chopped crystallized candied ginger and 1/4 cup chopped fresh peaches (no need to peel the fruit.).

Transfer dough to a floured surface and gently form into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into six triangular pieces. Place the scones on a baking sheet. (I like to use parchment paper.) If desired, sprinkle the scones with sparkling sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with peach preserves for extra peachy goodness.

These scones make a great base for peach shortcake, just split the scones, add sliced fresh peaches and top with whipped cream. Ahhh, a taste of summer!

Peaches, Peachy Ginger Scones and Reece Rainbolt of READY TO TRUST

ABOUT AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

Tina is an award-winning author of many inspirational romance books…each filled with warmth and faith. To learn more about author Tina Radcliffe and her newest series, Hearts of Oklahoma, visit her website-www.TinaRadcliffe.com. If you’re craving peaches, check out the many recipes included on her webpage.

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. ~~Lamentations 3:22-23

Do you have any favorite summertime treats? I always binge on sweet cherries and must fix peach cobbler at least once. I’d love to hear your thoughts! My posting of your comments may be delayed. My apologies! I will respond as soon as possible.


Thank you for joining me for a tea celebration of READY TO TRUST. I pray you find a bit of time to relax and refresh during the month of August while reading a good book. May God be with you this summer as you treasure the blessings you hold dear.

With prayers of comfort, health and strength for you,

Sherida

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

#ThursdayTea review of Silent Night Suspect by Sharee Stover

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Welcome to my review of Sharee Stover’s newest release, Silent Night Suspect. Sharee is one of my Writing Sisters, so I’m especially delighted to feature her December Love Inspired Suspense book today. Doesn’t this cover…. with it’s isolated cabin in the forest….. intrigue you?

Silent Night Suspect by Sharee Stover

ABOUT SILENT NIGHT SUSPECT

Suspected of a crime she knows she didn’t commit… All she wants for Christmas is to remember. Blood on her blouse. A gun in her hand. A cartel leader’s dead body in front of her. Widow Asia Stratton can’t remember what happened—just that she’s been framed. The only way to prove her innocence is to work with her ex-sweetheart, Nebraska state trooper Slade Jackson. But can they clear her name before this Christmas turns even deadlier? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

MY REVIEW

WOW! The heart-racing action…and danger…never stop in this exciting romantic suspense!

Right from the start, widow Asia Stratton is in jeopardy….and sitting in the middle of a crime scene. Then her ex-boyfriend, Nebraska State Trooper Slade Jackson, arrives. The question is, will he protect her or arrest her?

The action in this dramatic romance is truly nonstop as the couple desperately search for safety. They confront twists and turns around every corner. Having lost everything, Asia feels she is on her own to exonerate herself after what has happened. Trooper Slade battles remorse over how his past decisions have hurt Asia. He is torn between his feelings and his promises.

These characters are intriguing! With his strong protective instincts and self-sacrificing attitude, Slade is my kind of hero! He has cared for Asia since they were children. Now he hopes to make amends for his past decisions. Asia is strong, but emotionally hurting. Her predicament feels real as she struggles to understand the situation she finds herself in. While Slade and Asia piece together clues to the crime, their attraction to each other develops. Can they find a way to trust each other as suspicions swirl around them? This author’s powerful writing keeps us guessing…and rapidly turning the pages!

Author Sharee Stover is definitely on my must-read list. If you enjoy fast-paced, second chance romances, this will be high on your TBR pile. Great characters and non-stop action propel this exciting love story to a stunning conclusion!

Favorite quote: “I can honestly say many of my hardships have bloomed into blessings.”

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

TEA TREATS

In Silent Night Suspect, Asia and Slade have a favorite treat….cinnamon rolls from both Muffin Man Bakery and Meadow Hills Bakery. Do you have a favorite cinnamon roll? I love any variety from bake-from-the-can biscuit types to gooey-syrupy deliciousness from a cafe. However, to enjoy my favorite one, we must drive to 5 hours to Tamarisk Restaurant in Green River, Utah, where they serve an ENORMOUS cinnamon roll topped with a generous portion of cream cheese frosting. Mmmmmm! So in honor of Sharee’s newest release, I’m serving these delicious treats…with your choice of a cup of tea or a mug of coffee.

The amazing cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls served at the Tamarisk Restaurant in Green River, Utah.

SCRIPTURE

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” 
~~Psalm 56:3

ABOUT SHAREE STOVER

Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to transform, ignite and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit Sharee at https://www.shareestover.com

Thank you for joining me for cinnamon rolls and my review of Silent Night Suspect. I wish you a sweet holiday season filled with treats!

With blessings and prayers always,
Sherida
*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

#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.