#TEATIME INTERVIEW WITH CARRIE SCHMIDT @meezcarrie

October 11th, 2022

I first ”met” Carrie Schmidt in Seekerville and as an organizer of the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat. She is the owner of the popular Reading is My SuperPower blog and co-owner and founder of JustRead Publicity Tours. Now she’s entered the author realm as the one of the authors of a writers’ toolbox book…. Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers…. to help aspiring authors break into the world of publishing while also sharing valuable insights for published writers. Her section describes how to reach readers….a perfect area for her to point writers toward the keys of successfully opening the doors of readers’ hearts.

GETTING PAST THE PUBLISHING GATEKEEPERS

A QUICK INTERVIEW WITH CARRIE

Carrie graciously answered a few questions about her new writing and publishing experience.

SHERIDA: Since my blog features teatime, do you prefer coffee, tea or something else? What do you like as a treat with your beverage of choice? 

CARRIE: Ooooo…. do I have to give up my author card if I don’t like either coffee or tea? I’m really more of a diet Coke kinda gal with an occasional Snapple Apple drink or hot chocolate, depending on the temps outside. And as for a treat, I’m a fan of baked goods in just about any form – scones, muffins, cake, brownies… with my diet Coke of course to cancel out the calories. Hahaha!

SHERIDA: With all you are involved in, your life is already quite busy. I know you were reluctant to take on the task of writing a section of this book. What nudged you to accept the challenge? 

CARRIE: A couple of things… First – and most importantly – I just felt God’s touch on my heart to do it. It’s not anything I can put into words other than just a peace-filled assurance that I was moving in the right direction. Secondly, we lost my beloved Dad to a blood cancer called multiple myeloma in December of last year. He, along with my mom, has been my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my blog and all the opportunities that have come from that in the last seven years. He always said he knew I’d write a book one day, and this seemed like a great chance to honor him and help authors at the same time ❤

SHERIDA: Now as you reflect back on the process of writing and publishing Gatekeepers, what surprised you during the experience?

CARRIE: How HARD it is! Haha! I have a new respect for authors and the labor of love it is to put words on a page and then get those words from rough draft to published page. Along with all the ‘extras’ that need to be done to launch a book baby out into the world. The work does not stop when you’ve finished writing the book, and while I knew that on one level now I definitely know it from experience!

SHERIDA: Congratulations of the release of your book, Carrie! Thank you for kindly answering my questions. Those times when God directs our paths are treasured moments. You made the right decision to go forward with writing your book. Your Dad is smiling…..as is Bonnie. Hugs!

TEATIME TREATS

KRINGLE

Before you read about Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers, grab a special almond Kringle, which I picked up on a recent trip to Seattle…..and of course a Diet Coke (or two) to cancel out those calories. *wink, wink*


ABOUT GETTING PAST THE PUBLISHING GATEKEEPERS

Remember when Dorothy finally reached the Emerald City only to be halted by the Gatekeeper, blocking her hopes of seeing the Great and Powerful Wizard?

The path to publication is like that. Agents, and Editors, and Publishers, oh, my! Each one is a barrier between you and a publishing contract. 

But what if you understood what agents, editors, publishers, and readers really want? 

If you’re struggling to get past the publishing gatekeepers, this book will give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how to win the heart of each type of publishing professional. In fact, Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers won’t just give you a peek—it will give you a guided tour. In this book, four publishing professionals—an agent, a publisher, an editor, and an influencer—share what it takes to unlock each “gate” within the publishing industry. 

Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers is a must-have resource for all aspiring authors, and it offers insights to help multi-published authors as well.

What can you find specifically in Carrie’s section WINNING THE HEARTS OF READERS?

From Carrie: “I love that Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers doesn’t only address issues and questions that aspiring authors might have – I get to continue the conversation for published authors with topics such as:

  • where to find readers of your type of book 
  • prioritizing your focus instead of trying to promote in all the places
  • how to determine which influencers truly want to help & which influencers are only in it for the free books
  • how (and how not) to approach influencers
  • what makes readers try a new-to-them author
  • the importance of cover, blurb, and author website must-haves in making a good first impression on readers
  • how to make word-of-mouth work for you
  • the importance of community in reader engagement
  • why your story matters”

ABOUT AUTHOR CARRIE BOOTH SCHMIDT

If you’d like more information about Carrie, please check out her blog and website.

Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie started the popular blog ReadingIsMySuperPower.org in 2015 and since then has had the honor of co-founding the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours. In addition to these endeavors, she is a regular contributor to Seekerville and has written for magazines such as RT Book Reviews and Christian Market. Carrie now lives in Georgia with her husband, though her roots range from East Tennessee to Central Kentucky and northern Illinois. You can connect with Carrie on ReadingIsMySuperPower.org, Facebook @meezcarriereads or @meezcarriewrites, and everywhere else social at @meezcarrie.

As Carrie describes herself in the introduction to her section of the book: “In addition to being an avid reader, I am a blogger, a reviewer, a !rst reader, an influencer, a contest judge, a speaker, a conference coordinator, and a publicity tour company founder. In a nutshell, I get to live, breathe, and sleep books. (Is there any better pastime??)”

And is there any better person to point you toward the keys to unlock the hearts of readers?

Carrie, thank you for answering my questions and super congratulations on the release of your book baby!

Thank you, my friends, for joining me today for a #teatime interview! What are your thoughts about touching readers’ hearts?

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

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

My #TeaTime #review of Sabotaged Mission by Tina Radcliffe!

July 26th, 2022

I’m thrilled to introduce you to the newest book by an amazing author. Known as an award-winning and bestselling contemporary romance author, Tina Radcliffe just released her first Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance novel, Sabotaged Mission.

ABOUT SABOTAGED MISSION

Framed and on the run….With nowhere left to hide

When a failed mission leaves CIA operative MacKenzie “Mac” Sharp injured and her partner presumed dead, going off-grid is the only way to survive. But her old flame, CIA officer Gabe Denton has tracked her down and led a well-connected enemy right to her door. Now with someone trying to frame and kill her, working with Gabe is the only way to clear her name…and stay alive.

TEA TREAT-BANANA BREAD FROM MY MOTHER’S RECIPE

There is a softening moment in the story when Mac thinks of a sweet memory. “She remembered that Gabe once brought her banana bread he’d made. How odd that she should recall that right now.” For our treat today, banana bread seems like the perfect accompaniment with this review. Please help yourself to a slice of my mother’s famous banana bread! I’ll pour you a cup of tea…or coffee if you prefer.

MY REVIEW

Uplifting suspense! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Romance, suspense and faith…..what a combination!

Sabotaged Mission is definitely a page-turner, starting with a heart-pounding explosion at the very beginning and continuing with danger all along the way. As MacKenzie Sharp heals from an injury suffered during a failed CIA mission, her life is continually threatened. While being protected by her former boyfriend, Gabe Denton, a by-the-books CIA operative, she tries to figure out what went wrong with her last assignment. Why is she being framed for the incident? How is Gabe involved in her current situation?

Riveting action and a sweet rekindled romance held my interest as I tried to figure out the bad guy…among many possibilities and a few twists. In other books by Tina Radcliffe, I’ve enjoyed the lively and humorous banter between characters. Fortunately even in a suspense, she delivers her trademark sparkling comments. “Why didn’t you tell me I look like a home-improvement project gone bad?” And watch for the ready bag comment. “I’ve been doing it all wrong. Mine has extra socks.” Yes, I laughed out loud! Gotta love a hero like Gabe!

Sabotaged Mission is highly recommended for readers of romantic suspense who want an uplifting story. The faith elements, which highlight messages of forgiveness and trust, refresh the spirit.

Favorite quotes: 

“If you can make it through the hard times, the good times will be all the sweeter.”

“I’ll improvise and pray.”

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

ABOUT TINA RADCLIFFE

An award-winning author who writes engaging books, Tina encourages readers and writers through her newsletters and the sharing of writing information. To order her many books and to learn more about this generous and faith-filled author, please visit her website: http://www.tinaradcliffe.com

SCRIPTURE

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

~~Isaiah 40:31

MY MOTHER’S RECIPE FOR BANANA BREAD

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 cups flour

1 teas. baking soda

1/2 teas. baking powder

pinch of salt

1 teas. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and mashed bananas. Mix in dry ingredients until throughly blended. Add vanilla and nuts. Bake in a greased, 9″ x 5″ pan at 350 degrees for about one hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If the bread starts to brown too quickly, put a sheet of foil over the top until finished baking. Let cool before removing from the pan.

Thank you for joining me for banana bread and my review of Sabotaged Mission. I pray your life is going well and you have special plans for the remainder of the summer.

With blessings,

Sherida

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

BACKPACKING IN THE CASCADES-A REWARDING WAIT

July 10th, 2022

WAIT, my One Word for 2022, again proved inspired as we WAITed for the Golden Ticket.

Filled with anticipation, my husband and I headed to Washington in June for our long aWAITed backpacking trip in North Cascades National Park……our second three-generation backcountry adventure.

View from the trail in North Cascades National Park

To obtain a coveted reservation for a remote camping site in North Cascades National Park, an entry in a lottery is required. So we WAITed until March 3 for the registration to open. Four of us signed up for a chance, then WAITed until March 18 to be notified. ONLY ONE of us had won the “Golden Ticket.” Then we WAITed until April 12 for the time window to open allowing us to choose a site.

The WAIT was worth it! We got great sites for three nights on a trail which would be just right for the different ages (5-years to 73-years-old) and abilities of our family group. Then there was the WAIT for June to start our adventure.

Backpacking in North Cascades National Park

On the trail

On the trail.

Our grandsweeties were fabulous hikers….a total of fourteen miles with more than a 1000’ elevation gain. Each grandchild carried their own pack with needed items, even the youngest carrying her water and snacks. Their parents are to be commended for hauling heavy loads with the tent, stove, water purification items, meals and other needed supplies for their family of five. When we reached each day’s campsite, everyone pitched in to set up tents.

Tents in the trees.

Our oldest granddaughter learned to light the Jetboil to heat water for dinner. Our grandson practiced wise bear-country food storage by throwing the rock bag onto a tree limb in order to hang food safely during the nights. Our youngest granddaughter pointed out wildflowers along the way.

Tiger lily .

We dined on yummy dehydrated meals. During downtime, we played a card game, Kings in the Corner, on a tree stump. During a rainy morning breakfast under a tarp, a friendly deer stopped by to visit.

A friendly breakfast visitor

The trail was beautiful, lined with tall trees and offering views of mountain peaks. We crossed many cascading creeks and were thankful for a sturdy bridge over Thunder Creek. The sounds of rushing water alternated with quiet forest sounds as we hiked along the path.

Along the forest trail, heading to one of our campsites.
Crossing cascading streams.

Fortunately there is a sturdy bridge over Thunder Creek. The turquoise color is because of glacier flour.

SCRIPTURE

Your love, Lord, reaches to the highest heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteous is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! ~~ Psalm 36:5-7 (NIV)

What an amazing experience we had making memories among God’s magnificent creations! Did you need to WAIT for a special activity or gathering this summer? I pray your days are filled with special treasures!

With blessings,

Sherida

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

My #teatime review of MERCIFUL SECRECY by Ruth Logan Herne.

June 8th, 2022

Do you like mystery/suspense books….with uplifting characters? A favorite inspirational author, Ruth Logan Herne, has written a superb story with all the intrigue of a mystery, all the danger of a suspense and all the encouragement of faith. I loved Merciful Secrecy! While you read my review, please settle in with a cup of tea or coffee….and a delicious dessert croissant. (Ruthy includes the recipe at the end of the book.)

MY REVIEW OF MERCIFUL SECRECY

An entertaining and heart-touching mystery! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As an excellent addition to the Miracles and Mysteries of Mercy Hospital series, Merciful Secrecy takes us back to Charleston where four sleuthing friends provide their skills to protect a young nurse at Mercy Hospital who is being stalked by a stranger.

I was completely engaged in this story. The main characters are such fun, each with distinctive, compassionate personalities, as they work to determine who is threatening the emergency room nurse. With intriguing flashbacks, the details of past events are slowly revealed adding  questions to what is currently happening at the hospital. Excitement, danger and twists kept me turning the pages. The heartfelt emotions had me reaching for tissues a few times. I highly recommend this mystery book for its touching message of dedication, friendship, family and self-sacrifice. 

Favorite quotes:

A busy hospital housed lots of folks in need of prayer. The Angel of Mercy (statue) was the perfect reminder that God lives and loves. Even in the darkest hours.

“We pray and we let God do what God’s best at doing—fixing things.”

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

ABOUT MERCIFUL SECRECY

“Anne Mabry loves her volunteer work at Mercy Hospital, and she loves the relationship she’s been able to form with the staff. So when she learns that nurse Katie McNamara is unsettled by a strange sequence of events, Anne can’t help but wonder if someone is threatening her. When Anne later meets Katie’s grandfather, a retired Atlanta detective, and learns that Katie was adopted after her father testified against the mob, Anne and her friends set out to make sure the young woman is not in any true danger.

When Anne sees a suspicious man hanging around the hospital, she wonders if he’s waiting for Katie, or perhaps her doppelganger, Kitty Sue. Could there be more of a connection between these women than just their physical appearance? Is something sinister afoot at Mercy Hospital? And can Anne and her friends solve the mystery in time for an Easter celebration to remember?” (From the back-cover)

ABOUT RUTH LOGAN HERNE

Ruthy is a multi-published, award-winning writer of inspirational stories who lives on a pumpkin farm in upstate New York. Her books feature small towns, lovable characters and challenging situations….all infused with faith. To learn more about this amazing author, please visit her website: http://www.RuthLoganHerne.com. Merciful Secrecy is available at: http://www.guideposts.org.

Are you a fan of mystery books? Do you have a stack of TBR books for this summer? Thank you so much for visiting my blog!


With blessings and prayers for an enjoyable summer of reading,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation.

A #Teatime review of The Rancher’s Family Legacy by Myra Johnson

May 24th, 2022

Welcome to my review of Myra Johnson’s The Rancher’s Family Legacy, the third book in her Ranchers of Gabriel Bend series.

ABOUT THE RANCHER’S FAMILY LEGACY

A future he didn’t want….

Could become the family he needs.

Building contractor Mark Caldwell is ready to inherit his grandfather’s horse ranch and put his traumatic past behind him—if he can survive working in Texas Hill Country for a year. But when his dog bonds with local caterer Holly Elliot’s son, Mark can’t refuse Holly’s request to be her son’s mentor. Can they put aside their differences long enough to open their hearts?

MY THOUGHTS

An amazing story of family strength and love! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Of the three friends establishing the River Bend Events and Wedding Chapel, Holly Elliot is the extraordinary caterer for the group. Much of her focus is directed at keeping her young, epileptic son safe. When building contractor Mark Caldwell shows up because of a stipulation in his grandfather’s will, sparks fly between the two, especially because of the attachment between Mark, his dog and Holly’s son. Emotions flare because of different personalities and some misunderstandings. Because of past heartbreaks, a great deal of healing is necessary before the couple can move forward.

I love how author Myra Johnson has woven the complex family dynamics into all three Ranchers of Gabriel Bend books, each revealing part of the feud which has caused difficulties. With love and faith, this endearing family strives to overcome the past hurts. I’ve enjoyed all the books in the series, and I’m sorry to say goodbye to this community of small town values. But I can now imagine these sweet characters continuing on with their lives, giving back to the town and supporting both extended families. I highly recommend this romance for its uplifting, feel-good emotions of faith and strong family bonds. And if you know me, the tearoom concept is definitely “my cup of tea.” 

Favorite quotes:

“Life never goes quite as planned…..I try hard not to question God, but I do wonder why He lets some things happen….or doesn’t.”

“But knowing God cares, that He’s always with me, even in the pain, and even when I can’t feel His presence—it’s where I find the strength to face each day. It’s how I find gratitude for the good in my life right now.”

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

ABOUT AUTHOR MYRA JOHNSON

Myra writes inspiration romance from her home in Texas Hill Country where she enjoys the beautiful bluebells of the region during the spring. To learn more about Myra and her books, please check out her website: http://www.myrajohnson.com

SCRIPTURE

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

~~Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

TEATIME TREAT RECIPE—BISCOCHITOS

This is my mother-in-law’s recipe. She was an amazing cook, especially in the cookie and pie departments.

1/2 cup solid butter flavored shortening or margarine

2/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. anise seed

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 tbsp. orange juice

cinnamon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together shortening and sugar.
  3. Add flour, anise seed, baking powder and salt.
  4. Combine egg and orange juice, then beat into mixture a little at a time. (Dough should be moist but workable.)
  5. Form into a long roll, wrap in plastic and let cool in the refrigerator.
  6. Slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  7. Pat each cookie on one side with cinnamon sugar and place (unsugared side down) on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

I’m glad you stopped by for my review and for a teatime treat. I hope your summer will begin with a bit of relaxing time and a good story. Do you have a book you’re looking forward to reading this summer?

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation.

What is this? With a WAIT, I found out.

May 10th, 2022
What is this?

I saw this on the outside wall of our house toward the end of last year. I had a suspicion, but I needed to WAIT to see if I was correct. When a bird attempted to peck that very spot, I believed I was right. To protect it from harm, we covered the area with paper, hoping this would hide it from attracting more inquisitive visitors.

After our months-long WAIT, we saw this.

Look!

Do you see it?

Here’s a closer view.

After we waited patiently, this little nymph appeared, followed by a few more over a span of a couple of weeks.

Yes, a praying mantis baby!

Several months earlier, I’d watched an adult praying mantis climbing along the exterior of our house. A few days later, I noticed the odd thing stuck to the wall. I guessed it was an egg sack, but needed to WAIT for the reveal…..in God’s perfect timing.

The WAIT seemed appropriate for 2022 since WAIT is my 2022 One Word. I needed a reminder of His timing, His plan and His miracles.

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. ~~Romans 8:25 (KJV)

There still remain things I’m waiting on this year, but these seeing these tiny creatures finally emerge provide encouragement for all things I’m waiting for in 2022. With the instruction to faithfully “trust in the Lord” because His plans for believers are good, we have the promise of hopeful outcomes in our situations.

I do admit I need reminders to keep my trust in God during the uncertainty and challenges facing us all…..leaving worry and fear behind. Are you waiting for something? I pray you are comforted by the promise He will reveal His perfect plan for you……at just the right time.

With blessings,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will post after moderation. I apologize for the delay.

WAIT-My One Word for 2022

January 14th, 2022
One Word 2022

For many years, I’ve chosen a single word….My One Word…..to use during the year. Some people look at One Word as an abbreviated resolution. Others like this as single idea to focus on. I’m a to-do list maker, so I write out my resolutions…with some success…but I love the simple concept of One Word to remind me of my focus. I do both. (I probably should use the word “simplify” some day.)

And I should clarify. I don’t choose the word. It’s given to me. Usually in early December I start to consider what word stands out in my thoughts. Then I pray about my musings. This year I struggled with God about the word He chose for me.

ME: “What? WAIT is to be my word? Did I understand You correctly? But WAIT is so passive. WAIT doesn’t move me forward. WAIT isn’t exciting.”

But then He showed me my verse. It turns out the chosen Scripture is one of my favorites.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~~Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

WAIT is a good word for me this year.

I will be still and WAIT to hear our Savior’s voice.

I will WAIT with patience as God prepares our hearts for this year.

I will WAIT in trust as our Lord reveals his perfect plans for us.

I will WAIT without fear as He leads us through 2022.

Have you heard of One Word? Do you use the One Word concept? What is your One Word?

I pray your year is filled with blessings.

Sherida

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

#Teatime review of Searching for Home by @JillWeatherholt

January 3rd, 2022

Welcome to my #Teatime review of Jill Weatherholt’s latest Love Inspired romance! If you’re looking for an uplifting story to start 2022, this book is a great choice. Isn’t the cover featuring adorable triplets absolutely charming?

Searching for Home by Jill Weatherholt

ABOUT SEARCHING FOR HOME

Can three little matchmakers lasso a cowboy father?

When injured professional bull rider Luke Beckett returns to his hometown to recover, he doesn’t expect his B and B host and physical therapist to be his first and only love, Meg Brennan. He’s also unprepared for Meg’s Ada or able triplets to steal his heart. Luke’s past has him doubting he’s good enough for Meg and the children, but they might be just what the doctor ordered to help him heal…..

MY REVIEW

An absolutely enthralling story! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When you pick up Searching for Home, be prepared for a delightful romance as three adorable little matchmakers fill your heart!

“Cowboy Luke” Beckett, a successful rodeo star, returns to his home town of Whispering Slopes to recover from an injury. His physical therapist turns out to be his former girlfriend, Meg Brennan, who recently returned to town to care for her sister’s triplets and a failing bed and breakfast lodge. 

With both suffering from past abandonment issues…physical and emotional….the couple truly wants to provide stability for the three hurting children. But issues of trust and understanding cloud Meg and Luke’s perceptions of their future together. With the cute encouragement of the little matchmakers, the romance slowly develops.

I always find small town stories so warm and comforting. Whispering Slopes is this kind of community. “The people in this town were like one big family. They were the most loving and caring folks she’d ever known.” Author Jill Weatherholt creates characters I want to stroll with down the charming main street, stopping at a shop for hot tea, sweet scones and a friendly chat.

And this romance!!! *sigh* Two people disillusioned about family and love, but still filled with compassion toward others who need help. Love and faith shine throughout the pages. I especially liked the ideas the little ones developed to bring the couple together. The bed and breakfast setting…and the plans involving the inn…..are charming. Then there is the PERFECT ending! Page by page, I was absolutely enthralled with this uplifting story!

Favorite quotes: 

“Why don’t we just focus on having a good time today and not worry about what the future might bring?”

“Sometimes God has His own plan for our life. We might not always agree or understand, but we have to trust Him and His timing. He always knows what’s best for us.”

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

Now for a teatime treat. Wouldn’t triple chocolate cookies be perfect with a book featuring triplets? I’m serving mint tea or perhaps you’d prefer warm cocoa with these chocolate cookies.

Tea (or cocoa) and triple chocolate cookies!

Thank you for stopping by for this review post. I hope your Christmas was filled with joy and the New Year ahead is filled with great books! What are you most anticipating in 2022?

With prayers and blessings, Sherida

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

Sending wishes for a Christmas filled with love!

December 23rd, 2021
Christmas decorations in the desert.

For all of us, 2021 has been a year of challenges and adapting to changes. My well-used and appropriate “One Word” for the year was COURAGE. And I was blessed with courage as my husband and I made many changes this year!

During this time, we happily relocated to be closer to family. This move meant downsizing our stuff, buying and selling houses, and learning about living in the desert….warmer temperatures, different plants and unusual creatures….javelinas! When December arrived, we even noted differences in holiday displays. Instead of twinkling lights wrapped around snow-covered fir trees, Santa hats sit atop cacti, and sparkling glass balls cover the tips of agave plants. These changes make me smile!

Hiking is a different experience from the mountains we’re accustomed to. You learn to walk carefully along the paths while enjoying the varieties of desert vegetation.

A desert hiking trail

TIP: Do not get close to Teddy Bear Cholla……they “jump” to attach as you pass by. The stickers hurt going in….and even more when pulled out! I learned from firsthand experience!

Up close to a Teddy Bear Cholla!

Through all the changes this year, we are abundantly grateful to live near our family. With challenges faced in 2021, we rejoice in the constant grace of our Savior. We know He is with us every step of the way!

Christmas 2021

As 2021 winds down, we can anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ birthday….an event which brought great changes to the world. Now is a good time to reflect and consider our blessings. You may have conquered challenges you didn’t foresee. You may need strength to continue through difficulties. God is with us always and has planned for our success. Our Savior’s birth gives us courage and hope for the future!

I pray your Christmas is filled with the joy of Christ and you feel surrounded by His love! Happy birthday, Jesus!

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.~~Psalm 31:24 (KJV)

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

Welcome to my #Teatime review of The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe!

July 27th, 2021

I’m so pleased you’ve joined us to talk about Tina Radcliffe’s newest release. Tina’s books are ALWAYS fun and inspirational. The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice is all this and more. Kate will grab your heart as you get to know her self-sacrificing spirit. I hope you love this story as much as I did. Please have an apple fritter from Eagle Donuts and a mug of coffee or a cup of tea.

ABOUT THE COWGIRL’S SACRIFICE

Making new dreams is never easy.

This cowgirl has wandered back home…Will she choose her past or her future?

Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

MY REVIEW

Kate Rainbolt’s much-anticipated story is an absolute winner!

I love the Rainbolt brothers featured in the earlier Hearts of Oklahoma books, and author Tina Radcliffe’s last story in the series, The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice, was worth the wait! We finally get sister Kate’s romance! With intertwined pasts, a handsome cowboy and a wandering cowgirl must overcome complex issues to find grace and follow their hearts for a second chance at a happily-ever-after ending. A complete delight to read! 

Sheltered by protective older brothers, Kate Rainbolt took a courageous and unusual path to become a rodeo clown. When a traumatic accident temporarily sidelines her, Kate heads home hoping to recuperate while working at the family ranch.

After his estranged father’s death, Jess McNally returns to Oklahoma to be near his ailing mother. Employed as ranch foreman for Kate’s brothers, Jess McNally is conflicted when he becomes their sister’s boss. Years ago, he had plans to marry Kate, but she left him behind to pursue other dreams.

Tina Radcliffe’s books are always entertaining, filled with humor, touching characters and sweet romance. However, this return visit to Rebel Ranch in Oklahoma, provides an even higher level of enjoyment. My heart was warmed at Kate’s empathy for Jess’ niece, Olive, who shares a similar painful childhood. Kate’s compassionate and faith-filled personality shines throughout the book. I enjoyed her journey to a new beginning and truly admired her selfless gift of sacrificial love.

And of course there is food involved! We get virtual apple fritters from Eagle Donuts, a special cupcake from Daisy’s Pies and Baked Goods, and in this story, sweet nine-year-old Olive gives Kate cooking lessons, proving we all can learn if we have the right encouragement. (Recipes included on Tina Radcliffe’s webpage!) I highly recommend this latest story by one of my favorite authors.

Favorite quotes: 

“I guess anything beautiful comes with risks.”

After ten years as a tumbleweed, could she put down roots forever?

“This isn’t about paying a debt, “ Kate said. “This is about how sometimes you just know you’re on the correct path.”

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

SCRIPTURE

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. ~~Philippians 1:6

The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe

Thank you for joining me for tea, apple fritters and my thoughts about Tina Radcliffe’s final book in The Hearts of Oklahoma series. I’ve enjoyed all the stories about the fascinating Rainbolt siblings, so it’s hard to say goodbye to Rebel Ranch, but I know this author has more heart-touching books to come. Tina Radcliffe is the queen of witty cowboy romance! If you want more information about Tina…..and recipes for the foods mentioned in the book, check out her website www.TinaRadcliffe.com.

What about you? Do you like the touches authors add to their stories…..foods, pets and kids? I hope you are having an inspired summer with good books, restful retreats and treasured moments.

With blessings and prayers,

Sherida

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

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