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

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.

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…

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.



Puff pastry sheets

Marzipan-almond paste roll

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


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)


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


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!




Author: Sherida Stewart

Inspirational romance author and Christian blogger

10 thoughts on “End of summer #amreading reviews and easy #TuesdayTea treat!”

  1. Hi Sherida,
    Congratulations on finishing your Matchmaker contest story and to your husband for closing in on that PhD, both awesome accomplishments!

    Nice review of Her Unexpected Family, I really enjoyed it too. Ephesians 4:32 is my verse for the year so of course I loved seeing that in the book. Your picture of the book on the hiking trail is fun too.

    Blessings on you, your family and your writing!


    1. Thank you, Tracey, for joining the summer tea celebration and for the good wishes for us. Your reviews are always so thoughtful and appreciated.

      That is a great verse for the year! Fun to see you in some mutual places as we go on this reviewing journey.

      Blessings to you and your family!


  2. I forgot to say what I’ve been reading. I’ve read four ARC, Ruthy’s The First Gift, Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac, Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter and A Family for Christmas by Sherri Shackelford. Three of the four reviews are written and will finish #4 this week, whew!!


    1. Wow, that is an amazing amount of reading and reviewing! Four ARC’s….and all by outstanding authors! I’m behind on my reading, but looking forward to catching up a bit. You need another couple of summer fruit tarts to keep your energy up!


  3. It’s been so HOT here in Va. this year I’ve been hibernating just like I do when it’s really cold, and reading is my favorite indoor activity.

    I would LOVE a fruit tart, but having the sweet tooth I do, what I could really use is a few more hikes like you’ve been taking 🙂

    I enjoy seeing you “around town” too. It’s wonderful to connect with people who have a love of books like I do! I’m joining you in praying for our writer friends and that includes you!


    1. Tracey, your prayers for our writer friends…including even me…humble me and truly touch my heart! Thank you! These connections to online friends are directed by God, I believe.

      Wish my virtual hikes burned off REAL calories! We’ll have to do lunch….or take a walk….one of these days…in person…and talk about books. 🙂


  4. Sherida, thank you so much for that lovely review! I love Grant and Emily’s story so much… it was one of those sweet eye-opener stories and an absolute delight to write.

    AND THOSE TWINS!!!! Dolly is absolutely captivating and I could just scoop her up and smother her with smooches, but Tim, with his normal, little-boy gusto is such a good brother!

    I’ve worked with many a “Dolly” in my time, at multiple ages, and while it’s hard for parents to keep high expectations of special needs kids, in my opinion it’s clutch to their best development… to give them the best chance they have at feeling good about themselves and life! And Emily rocked it, LOL! I’m so glad you loved her. YAY!

    And lovely review of the gals’ novella collection, Sherida. They will love this! God bless you for all you do… and keep writing. Don’t stop. The world will be a better place, darling, if you press on.

    I promise you.



    1. Ruthy, thanks so much for stopping by for tea and treats….thought you’d like to know, the apricots and honey were from our local farmers’ market! Reading Her Unexpected Family really made me want to be a wedding planner…love this story! And love your sweet words of encouragement for my writing journey….I will keep writing. 🙂 Blessings!


  5. Sherida, i am almost through with Ruthie’s ‘Her Unexpected Family”! Beautiful story! I need to get the novella collection too. It sounds great.

    Congratulations to you for reaching for your dreams!


    1. Donna! Thank you for the congratulations…I know you were thinking of me during all that adventure! You’ll like all the stories in the novella collection, too…virtual hiking, which reminds me I need to get in some REAL hiking…soon…after it cools down. Blessings to you, CP!


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