Posts Tagged ‘historical’

#TuesdayTea Review of Her Motherhood Wish by @KeliGwyn

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

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

HER MOTHERHOOD WISH by Keli Gwyn

ABOUT HER MOTHERHOOD WISH

BUILDING A FAMILY 

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

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

MY STORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TREAT FOR TEA TIME

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

Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

Recipe for Amazing Lemon Scones from AllRecipes.com

 

BIBLE VERSE

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

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

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

We ask this in Jesus’ name……Amen

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

With warmest regards,

Sherida

#TuesdayTea Review of Make-Believe Beau by @KeliGwyn

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

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

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

Lemon Bars

End-of-Summer Lemon Bars

MY REVIEW:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TEA TREAT RECIPE:

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

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

Seven tools to spark ideas for writing historical fiction. #amwriting #historical

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Are you writing historical fiction? Do you sometimes need the spark of an idea to move your manuscript forward? I certainly do, so I’m sharing these tips for what works for me.

While writing historical romances, I find inspiration in some fascinating places. Maybe it’s the history buff in me, or maybe my interest in how other people lived years ago, but ideas popped up when I did these things:

My grandmother is second from the right. This is probably around 1910.

My great-grandparents’ family photo. My grandmother, Mabel, is second from the right. This is probably around 1910.

1.LOOK AT OLD PHOTOGRAPHS

Pinterest is a great place to search for the time period and subject you are writing about.  Photos from historical societies and history books also provide setting ideas. Family photos are other good places to find gems. I found a picture of a stiff-faced family which sparked the idea for a flashback memory for my heroine. Of course, you need to be sure the scene propels your story forward, but reflecting on a moment which adds important elements to the story can be useful.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Silverton, Colorado 1905

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Silverton, Colorado 1905

2. VISIT HISTORIC SITES

A wealth of valuable ideas can be found in old towns and historic districts. I find ideas for the settings of my stories by taking walking tours of places I want to write about. Often, there are guide books available which give intriguing details about the people and their occupations to  spark further ideas.

Durango-Silverton steam engine

Durango-Silverton steam engine

3. EXPERIENCE LIFE IN ANOTHER TIME

This is truly the best way to get the feel of a bygone era. My stories always seem to involve train travel, and since we love tourist railroads, riding an excursion train is always on our agenda. There is no better way to experience the stench of coal smoke, the grit of cinders, the thrill of the whistle, while relaxing as the train rocks down the tracks. I suggest heeding the “All aboard!” call of the conductor whenever possible.

Someday I hope to try a wagon trail camping trip to experience the trials of the Oregon Trail. Read

Staying at a historic hotel also immerses you in the setting so you can imagine life during a different time…but the beds are more comfortable now and private bathrooms are good additions.

Wyman Hotel and Inn, Silverton, Colorado 1902

Wyman Hotel and Inn, Silverton, Colorado 1902

4. READ MEMOIRS

Recently, I found an obscure book written by a man who had lived in the area I was writing about. The violence during his time period impressed me, and his use of language was helpful. Reading the man’s remembrances of his early life in New Mexico sparked the idea of adding a raspberry picking adventure to my story. This was authentic to the time and something I hadn’t considered. If you can’t find a memoir through your library, this type of book can sometimes be found in local independent bookstores in a location you’re interested in writing about.

5. SCROLL THROUGH OLD WORD DICTIONARIES

Since a historically accurate novel should contain words used during the time, I found the Online Etymology Dictionary helpful to check when a word was first used. Looking through the word lists also gave me ideas for interesting words to add to my story. Tizzy wasn’t in use during my time period, but scatterbrain and hare-brained were used. I find word etymology fascinating…and sometimes skitter off into too much research.

Click here for Online Etymology Dictionary.

 

Antique shops

Antique shops

6. BROWSE ANTIQUE SHOPS

Looking through antique shops can give you an idea for an item to add to your story which gives your writing an authentic feel. I like old tea-cups, bottles and cans of items available during your time period, and kitchen utensils. Just a mention of an Arbuckles’ coffee crate can put your reader in the Old West setting of your story.

Arbuckles' Coffee Crate

Arbuckles’ Coffee Crate

Also, printed materials from your era give glimpses into everyday lives if you can find a newspaper or magazine from the time period you are interested in.

 

Historic museums

Kit Carson Home and Museum, Taos, New Mexico

7. VISIT HISTORIC MUSEUMS

Small towns often have museums which are idea treasure boxes, offering glimpses into the lives of early citizens. Seeing the personal belongings which were important enough to bring to new homes out west reveals the characters of real pioneers. The gift shops often have great books for research.

 

Thank you so much for stopping by. What tools do you use to spark ideas when you’re stuck during your writing process?

Please share your thoughts and your idea-sparks by commenting on this post. May your day be filled with God’s treasured blessings as you write and/or read a historical novel!

Sherida

TUESDAY TEA: a sip of tea while talking about THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE by Lena Goldfinch!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Welcome to TUESDAY TEA! Today I’m talking about The Unexpected Bride, a new book by Lena Goldfinch. Since the touch of cool weather is in the air, I’m serving Autumn Oolong tea for your sipping pleasure today. Enjoy a cup as you read an excerpt below of this sweet historical romance….and gaze at this beautiful “feels-like-fall” cover! Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE

THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE

About the Book  

What’s a man to do when his father orders him a bride?

Rebecca Sullivan has been “Becky” all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a “perfect lady” for a wife—a real Southern belle, who’s now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a “perfect lady” for her future husband.

If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he’d have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca’s vulnerable eyes…and knows he’ll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.

Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?

Book One in The Brides Series Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel

Release Date: October 6th, 2014

Available for pre-order in ebook format:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Lena Goldfinch Author Bio

LENA GOLDFINCH writes romance and fantasy for adults and teens. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she’s writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Visit Lena at www.LenaGoldfinch.blogspot.com.

PRE-ORDER PARTY

PRE-ORDER PARTY

Excerpt

The lean-to was chilly and not for the first time, Isaac considered boarding it up proper and calling it a barn. He sat on the stool and began milking the goat, all the while mentally preparing for the worship service they planned to go to later that morning. The Scriptures he’d read first thing that morning were fresh in his mind, and his prayers kept returning to the problem of Rebecca. One inner voice urged him to send her back home, but another voice spoke of commitment. He’d said vows before God to love and keep her till death do them part. Those weren’t words he was willing to dismiss lightly.

“What’s her name?” Her voice was suddenly in his ear, quite close.

Isaac jumped. The goat bleated at him.

“Sorry, girl.” He patted her side and resumed milking her with slow, careful hands. He glanced over his shoulder toward the subject of his thoughts.

Rebecca stood watching him, leaning over the rail and peering in at them with curious eyes. He was surprised to see her out this early. She usually left him to his morning chores, and most times he’d get back inside the cabin and find her already up preparing breakfast.

“What’s her name?” she repeated.

“Name? The goat?” He looked at the goat dumbly. It was a goat. He’d never gotten much further than that. She gave them a daily supply of milk, but other than that she was generally a nuisance. She liked to butt down the stall door. And whenever she got loose, she’d eat what few vegetables he was able to grow in the summer. She also liked to nip at his shirts and underthings when he hung them out on the line–if he was lucky. Most times she’d tug the whole line down and drag it through the mud.

“Yes, the goat,” Rebecca said, a pleasant-sounding smile in her voice. “Don’t tell me she hasn’t got a name?”

There was something nice about hearing a woman’s voice in the morning. It reminded him a little of when he was young, and his mother had chatted with him in soft tones while they ate breakfast. As if speaking too loud would jar them too quickly out of whatever dreams they’d had the night before.

Rebecca’s soft voice put him much in mind of those times.

“All right. I won’t.” Isaac focused on his milking.

“She doesn’t have a name?” Rebecca pressed. “How can you have an animal that doesn’t have a name?”

“Never gave it much thought. She’s good for milk, but other than that she’s nothing but trouble, always munching on the laundry.”

“Well, then I think your choice is clear. Either you call her Milky or you call her Trouble.” Her teasing tone brought a reluctant smile to his lips.

“Well, then, if I have to choose, then I guess she’s Trouble.”

The real Trouble was standing behind him, her elbow propped against the top of the rail, her chin cupped in one dainty hand.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Celebrate the upcoming release of Lena Goldfinch’s new historical romance with this sweet giveaway! One winner will receive a book locket necklace from the Lily Pickford Etsy shop, as well as a paperback copy of The Unexpected Bride. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please have another cup of Autumn Oolong tea from The New Mexico Tea Company before you leave…..a lovely blend for a fall day. Thanks for joining me for a sip of tea!

Autumn Oolong tea from the New Mexico Tea Company

Autumn Oolong tea from the New Mexico Tea Company

TUESDAY TEA-The Warrior’s Vow by Christina Rich with a giveaway!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Please join me in my garden to discuss The Warrior’s Vow by Christina Rich. I’m serving Raisin Cake and your choice of chamomile or mint tea. Christina has generously offered to giveaway one copy of The Warrior’s Vow to one commenter! Please see the information about the giveaway at the end of this post. The cover is absolutely stunning!

 

The Warrior's Vow by Christina Rich. Please enjoy some Raisin Cake!

The Warrior’s Vow by Christina Rich. Please enjoy some Raisin Cake!

About The Warrior’s Vow:

He Was Hers to Command

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him.

She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.

MY THOUGHTS:

What an enjoyable book! It was interesting to see these delightful characters develop in their journeys toward truth and understanding.

Though romance is my favorite genre, this is the first time I’ve read a romance novel set during the historical times of the Bible. The Warrior’s Vow, by Christina Rich, brought the people of that period alive for me. It is interesting to get a sense of life during those times through the well-chosen words used by the author.

This is a well-developed story, emphasizing that the choices people make defines their characters. I enjoyed the progression of Abigail’s evolving strength, belief in God, and commitment to Jesse. Jesse is such an honorable man…my kind of hero. A great story!

After reading this book, sunrises will be even more meaningful to me. I’ll definitely be reading more books by Christina Rich. Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, is on my to-be-read stack, and I will be reading it soon! I don’t think this reverse order will detracted from the stories, though characters from the first book are mentioned in the second.

My favorite quote from The Warrior’s Vow: “I cannot see the plans God has for me. All I can do is seek His guidance and trust that He is faithful in all things.”

A link to The Warrior’s Vow on Amazon

*The author generously gave me a copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion.

Now for the recipe……I did top the cake with a cream cheese frosting (mixed with a touch of honey, because that seemed fitting with Biblical foods). I put the walnuts on top rather than mixing them in with the batter. Click below to see the recipe.

Raisin Cake 

 

My husband is great help with finding recipes for me. He is my taste tester, and he gives this cake a “thumbs up.” He found this recipe at www.cookingwiththeBible.com, a site that has many interesting recipes and information about foods mentioned in the Bible. Though I picture the Raisin Cake mentioned many times in the Bible to be raisins pressed together to allow for storage, this Raisin Cake from Cooking With The Bible seems more appropriate for serving at our tea celebration.

THANK YOU for celebrating Christina Rich’s newest novel, The Warrior’s Vow, with me today on #TUESDAYTEA! Hope you try both the book and the Raisin Cake!

GIVEAWAY: To enter this giveaway for one copy of The Warrior’s Vow, please include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you about where to send the book if your name is drawn. The winning name will be drawn from the submitted names from a tea cup. The giveaway is open from July 8, 2014, until midnight on Sunday, July 13, 2014. Please check the Legal Page of this blog for the legal requirements.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, CHRISTINA!  You can read more about Christina on her blog/website.

 

 

TUESDAY TEA with Amber Stokes

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

 

Tuesday Tea-Bleeding Heart-Cookies

Tuesday Tea-Bleeding Heart-Cookies

Today we’re having tea with Amber Stokes and talking about her debut novel, Bleeding Heart, an Inspirational Historical Romance. We’re sitting at a small wooden table amid the scents of cinnamon, butter and yeast in the Mended Heart Bakery. Please join us as we munch on heart-shaped cookies (with my homemade plum jam in the centers) and sip White Pomegranate tea from the Queen Mary Tea Shop. This tea seems fitting with the colors featured on the enchanting cover of Bleeding Heart, which was designed with Lena Goldfinch. The cover truly evokes the wistful feeling of this story. Please be sure to look for the charming giveaway items (and the entry form) near the end of my post.

Bleeding Heart cover

 

About Bleeding Heart:

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

Summer 1886

Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?

A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.

All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.

Inspirational Historical Romance

To purchase Bleeding HeartAmazon Purchase Link (Kindle Edition)

This is a fun website with more information about Bleeding Heart.

www.bleedingheartnovel.blogspot.com

Many bloggers have included great interviews and reviews about Bleeding Heart. I think you’d enjoy visiting the other blogs. Each one is different, giving a bit more insight into the book.

Blog Tour Page: http://www.bleedingheartnovel.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT BLEEDING HEART:

Bleeding Heart, Amber Stokes’ debut historical novel, will take you on an epic journey. You will travel to the old west mining towns of Nevada, to the lumber camps of California and to the landscapes of Oregon. You will experience the journey of developing relationships, both enduring friendships and evolving love. This is not a light inspirational romance. It is a story with shattering heartache, but shows the maturing qualities of love and of faith. To me, this is a story of friendship—those people God puts in our paths to enrich our lives and to encourage our sacrifice for others. I cared for the characters as they struggled with the consequences of their decisions.  I’m hoping for future stories of these characters’ continuing lives. Amber Stokes is an author who creates fascinating characters and will deliver more great stories with emotional depth. Wonderful debut novel!

NOW FOR MY CHAT WITH AMBER. I’LL POUR YOU ANOTHER CUP OF TEA AND PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER HEART COOKIE AS WE TALK ABOUT BLEEDING HEART

SHERIDA: Amber, this is an amazing debut novel! How did you get the glimmer of the idea for Bleeding Heart?

AMBER: When I finished my first book (Forget Me Not – not yet published), I wasn’t ready to face edits, so I decided to just dive into a sequel. The “glimmer” came from a spurned suitor, a prostitute in a short but pivotal scene, and a secondary character who wanted to be involved in another story – all from book 1. I threw them together, tried to incorporate some advice given to me in the form of feedback for book 1 (from my dad and editor, namely), and then let the title I had chosen help guide the story. And that was the start of Bleeding Heart! It ended up taking some rather intense turns from there…

SHERIDA: Interesting that the “sequel” was published before the first book. (And Amber tells us that Forget Me Not will be published and is already listed on Goodreads. Yay!) Amber, you are a very busy person! So tell us, what do you do to keep the “sparkle” while you are writing?

AMBER: I suppose it varies, depending on the writing “season” I’m in! What helped me to keep the sparkle as I came to the end of the first draft of Bleeding Heart was being involved in a writing challenge (Seekerville’s “Speedbo” in March) and doing #1K1Hr sessions with other writers on Twitter (where we try to write 1,000 words in an hour).

What helped me when I was working on completing the first draft of Forget Me Not was sending e-mails to a dear blogging friend with writing updates. Her enthusiastic feedback and encouragement for new scenes truly helped to motivate me.

In both cases, it seems like having goals, both short-term and long-term, really have helped me get stuff done. Imagine that! *wink*

SHERIDA: I agree that writing friends really help keep us motivated. (Seekerville’s Speedbo was great encouragement for my WIP, also.) Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?

AMBER: My first semester of college, I did something very spontaneous. I was stressed with school work to do, practices for the musical I was in (just a small chorus part – but we still had to know all the group dances and such), and just the newness of being away from home for so long, on my own. So one Sunday night I bought a train ticket. It wasn’t for the destination – I just picked a spot in Washington state (I went to school in Salem, Oregon) that would allow me to have a day trip somewhere and back. While I probably could have been more responsible and picked a weekend date where I wouldn’t miss any classes or practices, I was still blessed by the experience – just me and God, on a train trip to nowhere that turned out to be refreshing, a jewel of a memory that I cherish. It was during that trip that I wrote the poem “Seasons of Humility,” which I ended up choosing as the title for my blog when I started it several months later. That poem has ended up shaping my blog and, to some degree, my business and my writing brand. It’s so cool that God can use little moments in big ways in a person’s life! And those little “jewels” God generously provides can really help us keep a proper perspective on it all, I believe.

SHERIDA: Amber, it is always interesting to hear of those “God moments” we have in our lives. Train travel seems perfect for quiet reflection when we need to enjoy the journey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and blessings with us today! Bleeding Heart is an amazing debut book. I’m looking forward to Forget Me Not!

About Amber Stokes:

Amber Stokes

 

 

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word – from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing her debut novel, Bleeding Heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber is doing a fun giveaway with the charming items shown in the picture below (plus a signed copy of the print edition of her book when it is available-soon). She picked items representing scene locations mentioned in her book. (The giveaway is for one US resident only.)

 

Bleeding Heart Blog Tour Package

Bleeding Heart Blog Tour Package

Giveaway Information

“Journey to the West” Giveaway! One U.S. resident (randomly drawn) will receive a signed copy of Bleeding Heart and a collection of items from the story’s settings, handpicked by the author.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for joining Amber and me for tea today. Hope you enjoyed the additional information about Bleeding Heart. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

And here is a “shout out” to my dear friend, HH. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my TUESDAY TEA posts! 🙂

The cookie recipe can be found at www.allrecipes.com and then search for Easy Valentine Sandwich Cookies. (They are yummy cookies!)

The White Pomegranate tea is from www.QueenMaryTea.com. (It’s one of my favorite tea shops.)

I was generously given an e-ARC of Bleeding Heart for my honest review. (Thanks, Amber!)

TUESDAY TEA-Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes, the cover reveal!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Bleeding Heart cover

 

I’m delighted to reveal the beautiful cover for Amber Stokes’ debut novel, Bleeding Heart. I “met” Amber in Seekerville (www.seekerville.net) and enjoy her enthusiasm and helpfulness. Amber has been writing her first book which I am looking forward to reading! First, the cover reveal! The heroine is sitting on the hillside with the sunset in the background….lovely! Then look at her dress and the flowers she holds….perfect! I was drawn to this story by its cover, but as I read about the book and then the excerpt (see below), I’m intrigued by Miss Clay and her future plans!

We’ll have a tea celebration and chat with Amber when Bleeding Heart is released in August 2013. But for now, enjoy the cover and a bit about her Inspirational Historical Romance, while you sip some iced tea with a touch of lemon sitting on the patio with me! Thank you for your visit!

GIVEAWAY: Please leave a comment with your thoughts about this cover, AND be sure to look at the end of this post to see the perfect Bleeding Heart gifts and enter the giveaway using the form.

About the Book

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

Summer 1886

Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?

A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.

All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.

 

Teaser from Bleeding Heart

Prologue

 

Breaking hearts should be considered a crime. That would make Elizabeth Lawson an outlaw and Joe Clifton the victim. And that wasn’t a far stretch in Joe’s mind. She had rounded up his heart, branded her name across it when it should never have belonged to her, and then left him high and dry. Still, he was getting sick of hanging around the scene of the crime. He just didn’t know where else to go.

Lake Tahoe had once been his favorite get-away destination, a place where he could go to just sit back and enjoy the view of water as clear as a shined-up mirror. Now those crystal depths and the unmoving boulders along the water’s edge taunted him, bringing back memories of a happy proposal and a less-than-happy scene where his heart was handed back to him on a silver platter – bruised, broken, and bleeding.

He didn’t want to make any more memories like that. So he made a promise to himself: He would never let anyone break his heart again.

 

 

 

Amber Stokes

About the Author

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word – from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing her debut novel, Bleeding Heart. You can connect with Amber on her blog, Seasons of Humility.

 

BTW, on Amber’s blog, www.seasonsofhumility.com, I think you’ll enjoy her thoughts on how this cover came to be while working with Lena Goldfinch.

 

 

 

About the Cover Designer

Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of “sigh-worthy” romance. You can visit her online at www.lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.Lena Goldfinch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Book’s Blog

In conjunction with the cover reveal, Amber’s doing a “blog reveal,” as well! You can find all the latest news about Bleeding Heart, along with book extras, at the Bleeding Heart blog.

 

And Amber has a giveaway with these beautiful gifts….see the form below.

Bleeding Heart Note Cards for Cover Reveal Giveaway 2

Teardrop Earrings for Cover Reveal Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TUESDAY TEA with Sandra Leesmith

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Love's Miracles

 

We’re having tea today the with the author of LOVE’S MIRACLESSandra Leesmith. We’re at the Wildflower Gazebo Tea Garden, serving Lavender Scones with wildflower honey and an exquisite blend of English tea, The Queen’s Earl Grey Jubilee, from the Queen Mary Tea Shop in Seattle. The tea includes delicate lavender blossoms. Please pull up a white wicker chair and sit with us while we talk about Love’s Miracles, where wildflowers bloom, hence the flower-flavored scones and tea I’m serving today.

Lavender Scones and tea served in the spring garden with blooming columbines.

Lavender Scones and tea served in the spring garden with blooming columbines.

About  Love’s Miracles

Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli’s mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle – and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free – and save their last chance for love.

 

My thoughts on Love’s Miracles

Reading Love’s Miracles helps us remember the sacrifices our military members and their families make to secure our nation’s freedom and the freedom of others who are not able to defend themselves. Love’s Miracles is a story of the post-Vietnam era, but is still relevant to current times. Sandra Leesmith writes of the emotions involved with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her words are written with the care and the consideration deserved by those who suffer from this condition. As I read this story, I was concerned about Zane and Margo as they worked through the issues they must face, their love blooming over time and through difficulties. The detail of both scenery and action is vivid. The ending left me in tears and with a profound appreciation for the sacrifices made during wartime.

As I read Love’s Miracles, my thoughts went back to 1971 when my husband headed to Fort Lewis, Washington, for Basic Training. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve Corp of Engineers. During this stressful time, he was prepared to go to Vietnam. I dreaded my husband being affected by the war, because I knew the possibilities. My father is a World War II veteran, having been in a German POW hospital after having a leg amputated, an injury which was caused by “friendly fire.” My father handles his disability with grace, helping others through amputee support groups. In my husband’s situation, the United States forces were withdrawn before he was called to go to Vietnam, though he continued to serve in the Reserves for many years.

Soldiers face extreme hardships and each person handles these situations differently. Love’s Miracles is a powerful story offering hope and understanding….and a reminder of those we owe thanks.

With thankfulness, my prayers go out to soldiers past, present and future.

 

Talking with Sandra Leesmith

SHERIDA:  Sandra, I’m so happy to welcome you to Tuesday Tea as my first guest. After “meeting” you and your editor, Amber Stokes, in Seekerville, I am delighted to review the re-release of your book, Love’s Miracles.

SANDRA:  Good morning, Sherida! Thank you so much for inviting me to join you for tea. I love tea. My dad’s family was from England so I always enjoyed tea time with them. Dad’s wife was British and she gave me quite a few lessons about the difference between a tea pot and a tea kettle. Makes me smile thinking of her.

SHERIDA:  Readers like to know how an author gets started with a story. How did you get the glimmer of the idea for your book, Love’s Miracles?

SANDRA:  Ideas rumble around in my head all the time. Characters talk to me and demand their story be told. I have always been a daydreamer so I figure my imagination is overactive. I like to think the stories come from the Holy Spirit.

This particular story was written in the eighties when there were so many after-effects of the Vietnam War. Veterans had a tough time when they returned home. They not only had to deal with public anger and hatred, but had to process the horror they had seen in battle. My brother was a Vietnam vet and my heart ached for the trauma I saw in him and so many others. The story emerged from those emotions.

SHERIDA:  You wrote about this difficult situation with compassion. I’m learning that writing is demanding work. What do you do to keep your sparkle while you are writing?

SANDRA:  What keeps me “sparkling” when I write is plenty of rest, exercise and healthy snacks. I start out my day with a morning walk and let the ideas swirl in my mind. I also walk when I’m stuck. Somehow the process of walking keeps my left brain busy enough to let my creative right brain have a say.

SHERIDA:  Interesting. Many of my story ideas are formed when I’m hiking. I like your thoughts on keeping the left brain busy. Sandra, beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?

SANDRA:  This was a tough question because I have been so blessed with so many jewel moments. One that sticks out to me is the time right after I retired from teaching and started writing again, and I hit a wall. I had written Cody the Coyote, my children’s picture book, but I couldn’t write much more because of an intense set of family crises. I took a hike and sat down in this field thinking, “I guess I just wasn’t meant to write.” All of a sudden a coyote showed up about forty feet away and started singing and yipping. He stood there and pranced his front paws and sang to me for about fifteen minutes.  I’ve never seen anything like it. But I knew that he was telling me that my writing was okay and that I would be fine.

Cody the Coyote finally did get published last winter. All of this simply showed me that even though we may have a glimmer of what we are supposed to do, we need to trust and have faith in the timing. 🙂

SHERIDA:  I love your special moment! God’s perfect timing! Cody the Coyote sounds like a great book for my two grandchildren. FYI-Sandra’s children’s books are written as Sandy Wardman.

SANDRA:  Thank you, Sherida.  It has been a pleasure. And the tea hit the spot.

 

Sandra Leesmith

About the Author

Sandra loves to hike, read, bicycle, and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two dogs, a Labrador retriever and a toy poodle. During the hot summer, she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome, where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project.

You can learn more about Sandra and her books at www.sandraleesmith.com.

LOVE’S MIRACLES can be ordered from Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Miracles-ebook/dp/B00CVFZEVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368994615&sr=8-1&keywords=Love%27s+Miracles+by+Sandra+Leesmith

Here is the information for the blog tour giveaway which is open to United States residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you all  for joining us for Tuesday Tea!

If you’d like a recipe for the scones, go to www.allrecipes.com and search for Lavender Scones.

If you’d like to order tea, go to www.QueenMaryTea.com.

Amber Stokes blogs at www.seasonsofhumility.com.

You can find the encouraging authors of Seekerville at www.seekerville.net.