Posts Tagged ‘Sandra Leesmith’

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

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

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

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

Snowplow along Wolf Creek Pass.

Snowplow along Wolf Creek Pass.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Along the trail...

Along the trail…

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

A perfect collection of three inspirational romances for summer reading!

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

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

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

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

***********

Now for our tea celebration!

#TUESDAYTEA TREAT: Summer Fruit Marzipan Tarts

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

Easy summer fruit tart...apricot.

Easy summer fruit tart…apricot.

 

RECIPE:

Puff pastry sheets

Marzipan-almond paste roll

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

Honey

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRAYER:

Dear Lord,

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

In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen

BLESSINGS:

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

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

Blessings,

Sherida

 

#TuesdayTea-LOVE’S DREAM SONG with Sandra Leesmith

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

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

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

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

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

Quote from LOVE'S DREAM SONG.

Quote from LOVE’S DREAM SONG.

A few more of my favorite lines from the book:

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

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

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

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

BLURB

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

My review of Love’s Dream Song:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TREATS and the THREE SISTERS

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

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

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

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

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

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

SHERIDA:  What is your connection to the setting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Sandra Leesmith

Author Sandra Leesmith

ABOUT AUTHOR SANDRA LEESMITH

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY:

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

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

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

COVER REVEAL of Love’s Dream Song by Sandra Leesmith with #TUESDAYTEA

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

I’m so pleased to share the cover of Sandra Leesmith’s newest book with you and to talk with her about her research and connection to this Color Country setting. To celebrate the setting of this book, I’m serving Biscochitos, a favorite southwest cookie, plus your choice of tea or Sandra’s special Chocolate Velvet coffee. Sandra has generously offered to give a copy of Love’s Dream Song to a commenter, so be sure to filled out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered.

Now on to the BEAUTIFUL cover of Love’s Dream Song:

My thoughts about the cover:

This cover is perfect for the Arizona setting of this story. It captures the impressive rock formations as in the Monument Valley and also the flavor of ranch life in the west. I’ve visited the desert setting depicted in this book and find this cover truly reflects its beauty. I’m thrilled Sandra has written a story highlighting the fascinating scenery and culture of this area.

Yes, the sky is truly that shade of clear blue in our beloved desert. The rock cliffs in the desert landscape display ever-changing shades of red as the sun moves across the sky. For a romance, this couple expresses just the right tenderness. The eagle soaring above is a perfect addition.

Here is a blurb about Love’s Dream Song:

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

Love’s Dream Song is available on Amazon for pre-order and will be released on October 17, 2015.

Click here for the Amazon link to Sandra’s books.

Now let’s chat with Sandra about this setting and her research.

Sherida: How did you get the idea for this story?

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

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

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

Sherida: What is your connection to the setting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherida: Thank you, Sandra, for stopping by for tea….or your favorite Chocolate Velvet coffee…and revealing the intriguing cover of Love’s Dream Song. It is always interesting to find out how authors develop and research the ideas for their stories.

GIVEAWAY: Sandra has offered a copy of Love’s Dream Song, in either ebook or print version, to a commenter. To enter, see the Rafflecopter form for details and make a comment mentioning whether you prefer ebook or print version if your name is selected. You will be notified by email if your name is chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About author Sandra Leesmith:

Author Sandra Leesmith

Author Sandra Leesmith

 

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

What is your impression of the cover? Please share your thoughts in the comments and  enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.  THANK YOU, SANDRA, for visiting with us and for your offer of a copy of Love’s Dream Song!

#TuesdayTea will be posting a review on October 6, so I hope you’ll return for my review.

May your day be filled with God’s treasured blessings!

TUESDAY TEA-Love’s Promises with Sandra Leesmith and hiking near Lake Tahoe…

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

 

Usually when I invite you to have TUESDAY TEA with me, we’ll share a pot of tea and a tea time treat. Today our treat is a bit different. I’ll explain. After attending the sunrise service at our church on Easter Sunday, my husband and I went hiking in the desert to refresh in God’s amazing creation of wilderness. The area of our hike, shown below, seems like an interesting contrast to the setting of the book I’m featuring today on TUESDAY TEA, Sandra Leesmith’s LOVE’S PROMISES. Sandra’s novel is filled with scenic mountains, sparkling water, glistening snow, and the scent of Ponderosa pine forests. Beautiful Lake Tahoe is where this love story unfolds as Monica and Greg experience the outdoor adventures the Lake Tahoe area offers. Therefore, I’m serving trail food, water and energy bars, as Sandra discusses the active environment of her inspirational romance, Love’s Promises. Please be sure to enter the giveaway (at the bottom of this post), featuring Lake Tahoe and Sandra’s favorite coffee.

Tuesday Tea-Hiking!

Tuesday Tea-Hiking-This isn’t Lake Tahoe!

 

First, enjoy the beautiful cover of this book! When Sandra revealed the cover a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to learn there was a tea house on tiny Fannette Island, or as the locals call it, the Tea House Island. You can see the island on the cover. However, the Tea House is not a place to drop in for afternoon tea, as Sandra will explain below.

Love's Promises by Sandra Leesmith

Love’s Promises by Sandra Leesmith

 

About the Book:

For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality. All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance. As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to accept each other’s promises and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?

Purchase the Kindle ebook on Amazon

Paperback coming soon!

Now to chat with Sandra about the beautiful Lake Tahoe setting of Love’s Promises!

SHERIDA:  What glimmer of an idea started your thoughts for Love’s Promises?

SANDRA:  Two glimmers happened for me. My husband and I bought a house at Lake Tahoe, and it needed a lot of work done on it. The work needed permits, and that is when we ran into the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. My husband is a biologist and we both have deep concern and love of nature, so we were very impressed with the Agency’s plan to protect the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe in spite of the extensive use. The research was very rewarding.

The other thing that happened at that time is that I was involved in a class for women offered at church that pointed out God’s plan for women and their role as godly wives. Becoming an adult in the era when women’s lib started, I thought the precepts presented in my Bible class were refreshing, and I wanted to show those in my writing as well.

SHERIDA:  Both of your inspirational experiences are developed so well in the book, the concern of preserving natural beauty and the reflections on God’s plan for being a wife.

As I mentioned, I love tea houses, but the Tea House mentioned in your book is not what I was thinking it would be. Please tell us a bit about the Tea House you describe in Love’s Promises.

SANDRA:  No, the tea house located on Fannette Island in Emerald Bay is very unconventional, isn’t it? It was built by Lora Josephine Knight, who purchased the property on shore and the island in 1928 and built the house and teahouse according to Scandinavian architecture. She would take her lady friends out to the island for tea. The small structure included a fireplace and a table and chairs. I think she built it to protect them from the wind and cold that can come up while on the lake.

SHERIDA:  I do hope to visit this tea house! My husband and I love travel. We have plans to see Lake Tahoe this summer for the first time. What would you suggest to add sparkle to our visit? (We like camping, hiking, and food. Any place for tea or coffee you enjoy?)

SANDRA:  My recommendation would be to go to the tourist information centers. They are located in the major towns and also in the state parks and national monuments. You need to make reservations early as they book up fast for camping. Any of the campgrounds are fabulous. Take your bicycles, as you can ride to interesting places from all of the campgrounds. Hiking trails abound in the forest around the lake. There is also access to the Desolation Wilderness Area on the west side of the lake.

Every town has fabulous restaurants for coffee and tea. Just ask the campground hosts where you camp. I particularly love to have coffee on the deck at Sunnyside along the west shore. (Here is their website: http://www.sunnysidetahoe.com) Btw, they received a “best ambiance” award in 2014.

SHERIDA:  Thank you for your trip-planning suggestions, Sandra. And thank you for your blog tour events and the giveaway featuring Lake Tahoe. I love Love’s Promises!

SANDRA:  Thank you, Sherida. I am looking forward to the blog tour. I am delighted that you love the book.

 

Follow the Love’s Promises blog tour set up by Amber Stokes by clicking on the pretty button below. Visit with the other bloggers who present fun information about LOVE’S PROMISES!

 

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE’S PROMISES:

This is a story about Monica Scott’s determination to build a house, designed by her father, on an environmental sensitive plot of land in the Tahoe Basin area of California in the 1980’s. Her plans are thwarted by Greg Linsey, an agent with the organization charged with protecting the quality of life in the area. Well-motivated characters and the different ways love is expressed, fill this story with thoughtful inspiration. I enjoyed the sense of hiking and exploring the beautiful scenery of Lake Tahoe, so lovingly described by Sandra Leesmith.

Favorite quotes:

A slight breeze rushed through the trees. The cool air refreshed his exerted body. Birds sang. Squirrels scattered in front of him. Pleasure coursed through Greg as the stirrings of spring transferred from nature to him. He looked around and thanked God again for His wonderful creation, and thanked his forefathers for the wisdom to preserve it. For the first time in months, peace settled in his heart.

“That’s called love. It’s the way love works. You put someone else before yourself. In appreciation, that person does the same.”

About author Sandra Leesmith:

Sandra Leesmith

Sandra Leesmith

 

Sandra Leesmith loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at www.sandraleesmith.com.

You can connect with Sandra on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. You can also find her and her talented writing buddies at the Seekerville blog.

GIVEAWAY

Sandra is offering one reader a taste of Lake Tahoe with a sweet prize pack: a signed paperback copy of Love’s Promises, a journal, a Lake Tahoe coffee mug, a pound of Millstone Velvet Chocolate coffee, and a Hulet Glass chocolate drop! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Sandra Leesmith and my readers for stopping by for TUESDAY TEA, even if we just had water and trail bars today, but so fitting for the beautiful hiking to be experience in Sandra Leesmith’s Love’s Promises! Be sure to enter the giveaway. Hope you enjoy Love’s Promises, as I did! May you always be blessed by the gift of our Savior’s love as celebrated at Easter! Blessings to you!

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.

 

COVER REVEAL—-A BEAUTIFUL COVER! Mountains, forests, wildflowers and glowing love…Perfect!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

I am delighted to share this beautiful cover with you–Love’s Miracles by Sandra Leesmith. Sandra is one of the authors at www.seekerville.net. Seekerville was recently named as one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest. I “met” Sandra and her editor, Amber Stokes, in Seekerville.

 

Love's Miracles by Sandra Leesmith

 

 

About the Book

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.

FYI

The blog tour for Love’s Miracles is scheduled for May 20th – 31st. Be watching the Seasons of Humility blog (www.seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com) for more information in the coming weeks! The book will be released in Kindle format in late May.

About the author

Sandra loves to hike, read, bicycle, and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and Labrador retriever. 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.

 

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.

Thank you, Sandra Leesmith, for sharing this beautiful cover! I want to hike the trail to that mountain and read about Margo and Zane!

I will admit, I have picked up a book because of its cover. Have you ever chosen a book based on the appearance of the cover? If so, what elements of the cover attracted you to that book? (I love mountain scenes!)