Tuesday Tea with Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne

REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne
REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne

Welcome to Tuesday Tea! Please join me for some Cinnamon Cake served with spiced cider as we chat about an amazing book, Refuge of the Heart, by Ruth Logan Herne. I was honored and blessed to read this book before its official release.

THIS IS A STUNNING BOOK! Isn’t the cover simply BEAUTIFUL?! And as much as the cover glows, the story inside is even more illuminating.

Ruth Logan Herne is a favorite author who often writes about difficult topics in her inspirational romance books, and the story in Refuge of the Heart is no exception. The horrors of war and the courage and faith necessary to survive these terrible situations are topics of this new release by Franciscan Media. (This publisher’s tag line is “Live in love. Grow in faith.”……perfect for the books they publish.)

Ruth Logan Herne’s writing touches my heart with compassion for Magdalena Serida, a struggling refugee from the war in Chechnya. Mitchell Sanderson is a District Attorney with his own sorrows to overcome, as he tries to live his Christian faith. The story is compelling, the characters engaging, and the message of faith brilliantly composed. I highly recommend this book …….which may change your heart in the same way my heart was touched……to have the courage to live my faith in a more complete way. I pray you will be blessed by this book as I have been.

Just to highlight a few of the many passages which touched my heart as I read this book:

“We move forward because we have to. Not because it is easy.”

Maybe God had put her in this place, with this church, to let her light shine unto the heavens.

“Remember to trust God’s love, his timing, his grace.”



District Attorney Mitchell Sanderson wanted for nothing and lost everything in a tragic accident. a dogged worker, Mitch’s conviction rate earned him respect and trust. Now up for reelection, Mitch’s law-and-order persona makes him a shoo-in candidate. But when faith, conscience, and love of a troubled refugee ripple the smooth waters of his existence, can Mitch risk everything for love?

Magdalena Serida fought her way out of the terrors of a government-quelled insurgent uprising in Chechnya . The church-sponsored refugee knows the horrors of war firsthand. Now in America with her five-year-old sister, Lena is uncertain who to trust. Her Christian faith has maintained her through the loss of her family, but when Mitch Sanderson shows interest, Lena longs to take a chance. Should she open herself up to this man of law and order, a man who imprisons women like her? Or slip quietly back into the shadowed fringe of anonymity?

But choices slip away when Mitch’s friend spews half-truths about Lena, rumors that cost Mitch his new love and possibly the election. Can he find his way to a faith deep enough to love again, and to offer Lena the refuge of his heart?

My review on Goodreads:

Refuge of the HeartRefuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A heart-touching book!

My heart was so affected by Refuge of the Heart, a story filled with hope, forgiveness, and sweet romance. I loved Lena Serida from the moment she struggled with a grocery cart in a snowy parking lot. She shines as a bright light living her Christian faith to such an amazing level. Mitch Sanderson, as a tender, yet strong, trying-to-be-good man, is struggling with complex issues. His personality glows as he realizes his weaknesses and strives to become a better man. I raced to the end of this book, cheering for Mitch and Lena, as they faced many challenges they needed to overcome. In addition, there are so many wonderful characters, but Anna, Lena’s five-year-old sister, is a complete delight of positive joy….I just wanted to hug her…..and make cookies with her. Anna convicted me with the realization I can do more for children’s safety and comfort where I live.

Refuge of the Heart is a profound and thoughtful book on many levels, changing the way I look at the world and at how I live my faith. Filled with so many perfect moments of enlightenment, for both the characters and me, I highly recommend this book to all, but especially those who desire a story of amazing faith. Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne, for writing such a heart-touching book!

* I won this book, but was under no obligation to write a review. It is my honor to express my honest opinion about this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, RUTH LOGAN HERNE: Born into poverty, Ruth Logan Herne is the mother of six and grandmother to thirteen. She and her husband, Dave, live on a small farm in upstate New York. She works full time but carves a few hours each day to write the kind of stories she likes to read, filled with poignancy, warmth, and delightful characters. She is a 2011 award winner from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Ruthy can be found on her website www.RuthLoganHerne.com, chatting and giving wise advice in Seekerville, or cooking up goodies at the Yankee Belle Cafe.


Sister Mariel is remembered in Ruth Logan Herne’s dedication of this book as a very special teacher. In the story, Sister Mariel bakes a delicious cinnamon cake for Mitch and Lena, so this seems to be the perfect treat to offer with the review of Refuge of the Heart. The characters enjoy the cake with coffee, but Mitch’s cider or a cup of tea would also go well with this snack.

Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider (two versions)

This is the easy version. 🙂  I was planning to bake this mix for our tea today and display a stunning, mouth-watering photo. However, it is too hot here (no air conditioning) to even think about turning on the oven, so I hope you’ll understand. Here is the photo of what I intended to mix up for you:

Easy Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider
Easy Cinnamon Cake and Spiced Cider

Then I also have a second version to present….a yummy sounding recipe for Cinnamon-Laced Coffee Cake from Allrecipes.com.

Cinnamon-Laced Coffee Cake

And here is my recipe for Spiced Cider:

Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan.

4 cups of cider

2 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 stick of cinnamon

4 whole cloves

Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Strain out the spices, then pour into 4 mugs. Float a small pat of butter (Yes, real BUTTER!) on each serving.

Thank you for joining me for Tuesday Tea. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts about this amazing story, Refuge of the Heart.

Please help yourself to a slice of cinnamon cake and a cup of cider (tea or coffee, if you prefer) and share your thoughts about this book and it’s BEAUTIFUL cover in the comments. May each of your days be filled with God’s treasured blessings!



Author: Sherida Stewart

Inspirational romance author and Christian blogger

19 thoughts on “Tuesday Tea with Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne”

  1. Sherida, I am so jealous that you have read Refuge of the Heart already! I am going to pick up a copy this week. I would just order it on my Kindle, but I know this is going to be a ‘keeper’ so I want to have a copy to hold in my hands. Thank you for your thoughtful insight and the recipes. The pat of butter was a surprise!


    1. Hello, Donna! Thanks so much for stopping in for tea…..er…cider….today. No calories in that pat of butter here. 🙂

      Yes, Refuge of the Heart is a “keeper.” Even though I’ve finished reading it, I keep it on my nightstand just to gaze at the cover….a peaceful refuge just looking at that scene.

      Blessings to you!


  2. What a glowing review — your enthusiasm leaps off the screen!! You’ve succeeded to revving up by excitement over this book to a rabid frenzy! I have mine on order — from the states since it hasn’t released in Canada yet — and hoping that it arrives today. Praying it arrives today, actually. Thanks for increasing my anticipation tenfold!!!!!!


    1. Hello, Kav! So happy to have you visit today….and to have your anticipation of Refuge of the Heart increased. You will truly find this book inspiring.

      I’m looking forward to your review because I always enjoy the thoughts you express in your excellent reviews. I’ll also be praying your copy arrives TODAY! 🙂

      Blessings to you!


  3. Awesome review, Sherida! I fell in love with the cover the first time I saw it. Now I just need to buy it, especially after reading your review. And I’m all over the cinnamon cake! Yum! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Dora! I’m so glad you liked my review. Refuge of the Heart is getting many wonderful reviews!

      And YES to the cinnamon cake….which I will be baking when the weather cools off a bit here. You and Ernie know I love my food treats! 🙂

      Blessings to you!


  4. Sherida, I’ll have a piece of Sr. Mariel’s cake, please!

    You guys would have loved the real Sr. Mariel. I remember her voice, her tiny frame, the way she loved writing and words. When we read “The Yearling” in 9th grade, she repeated the phrase “addled with April” in such a way, that I knew it had been a long winter for the protagonist…. And when she praised my work, I knew she wasn’t didn’t see the poor child before her. She saw God’s gift, handed down, and she longed for it to be shared. Every book I write, I remember Sr. Marie’s soft eyes, and her approval, believing that I could live my dream…

    And she helped me get my first essay published. “Delightful Cold” in the National Anthology of High School Essays.

    Such a God-living, spirit-filled, wonderful woman. I was so happy to be able to tuck her into Refuge of the Heart, she was a perfect counterpart to Father Dominic! Would anyone like more cider???



    1. Ruthy, thanks for sharing a little more about Sr. Mariel. So glad she encouraged you! And how perfect to include her in Refuge of the Heart.

      Yes, please have some more cake and cider!

      We are all blessed!


  5. I’m not sure if my comment got eaten or if I messed up, and sometimes things get “eaten” because I mess up.


    Sherida, thank you for your kind and wonderful words! I’m so touched by them, and honestly, I’d love for all of you to read Lena’s story…. because I truly want Franciscan to be blessed by this story, they took such a big leap to jump out in the fiction market!

    And I think Lena’s story is just a plain and simple blessing to all of us.

    If we all work harder to “be a light” and share cinnamon cake and spiced cider! Oh, wouldn’t the world be a better place!



  6. Sherida, I absolutely agree–Ruthy’s new book is wonderful! I was so inspired by Magdalena and her courage. Mitch’s growth was touching to watch as well. Just overall a sweet story of faith and hope.


    1. Myra, thank you so much for stopping by today!

      Congratulations to you on your release of THE SWEETEST RAIN with Franciscan Media! This publisher’s tag line of “Live in love. Grow in faith.” is just perfect!

      Blessings to you and to the success of your new books!


  7. I finished The Sweetest Rain this weekend, and I loved the beauty Myra brought out of tough circumstances. It’s so easy to forget to be grateful until things go bad…

    I think God wants us grateful all the time! Silly us, to forget that!!!

    Sherida, now I must try to make this cinnamon cake, although I’m supposed to behave. I promised myself that after Labor Day, I’d be SO GOOD!!!!!


    And it’s so hard to mess up!



    1. Ruthy, Myra’s The Sweetest Rain does sound like quite a story…..and an interesting time period. Truly God’s treasured blessing of love does heal wounded souls. Yes, He wants us to be grateful, strong, and fearless….like your Lena! I’m still a WIP. 🙂

      And I’m craving all the sweet goodies (added chocolate chip cookies after seeing your treats)…maybe I’ll be good AFTER 2015.


  8. Hahahaha! Oh, the cookies for my after-school crowd were a huge hit! And then I roasted some butternut squash… One pan I totally ruined by getting lost in writing! And the other pan I did differently and actually ended up with mashed, roasted squash, and that one was amazing.

    I love to eat.

    It’s really ridiculous!


    1. Thanks for visiting, Sandra. Good to hear you have also read this amazing book…..yes, powerful!

      Please enjoy another serving of cinnamon cake.

      Blessings to you on this beautiful day! And I’ll see you here next Tuesday for your cover reveal of Love’s Dream Song! Fun!


  9. Sandra, I’m so glad you stopped by! Did you try the cider? Imagine leaf peeping in Maine with hot cider and cinnamon cake! #happy!!!!

    Sandra read “Refuge” in its infancy stages years ago. She was a blessed critique partner to have, and we learned so much as we worked through those early years…. and we’re still learning, now!

    Can’t wait until Dream Song releases, Sandra!


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