Posts Tagged ‘inspirational’

#CFRR2016 -News about the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat-Nashville, TN- August 24, 2016

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

What a fabulous opportunity to meet with these wonderful Christian authors! If you are near Nashville, or can visit in August, I know this will be a great time of fellowship with Christians celebrating writers and readers of inspirational books. The registration deadline of July 26 is fast approaching. (Earlier if capacity is reached.) LOOK AT ALL THESE CHRISTIAN AUTHORS–some of my very favorites!

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

PRESS RELEASE:

Christian Fiction Authors and Readers to meet at Unique Retreat

Intimate gathering of Readers and 30+ Authors will meet before ACFW Conference
Nashville, TN June 17th, 2016 (wire)

A one day gathering of Christian Fiction readers and over 30 authors will be meeting in Nashville, TN on August 24th from 9am-6pm CDT. The event’s theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction” and will feature speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings as well as booth sponsors.The Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) is an unprecedented event in the Christian Fiction genre for readers to meet authors. The event will include food, games, giveaways and free books. The event takes place on August 24 in Nashville, the day before the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference also in Nashville this year.

Avid reader Bonnie Roof from Louisville, KY teamed up with book bloggers “Annie JC” of justcommonly.blogspot.com and “MeezCarrie” of readingismysuperpower.org to form the planning committee based on their common passion for Christian fiction and a desire for authors and readers to interact in a casual setting. Keynote speakers at the CFRR include authors Julie Lessman, Tamera Alexander, Laura Frantz, Mary Connealy, and Ruth Logan Herne. Authors currently due to appear and participate in panels and other activities are Becky Wade, Brandy Heineman, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Carrie Turansky, Caryl McAdoo, Dana R. Lynn, Dani Pettrey, Debby Giusti, Elaine Stock, Gabrielle Meyer, Genevieve Woods, Jan Drexler, Janet Dean, Jean Gordon, Jennifer Slattery, Kara Isaac, Kate Breslin, Krista Phillips, Kristi Ann Hunter, Marie Wells Coutu, Melanie Dickerson, Melony Teague, Mesu Andrews, Myra Johnson, Pepper D. Basham, Sarah Monzon, Shelley Shepard Gray, Susan Anne Mason, Susan Page Davis, and Tracey Lyons.

The CFRR event will be held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, located just north of Nashville’s trendy Hillsboro village and just south of Nashville’s booming downtown. The event will take place on August 24th, 9am-6pm CDT. The event is open to registered attendees only. Registration is currently open online at http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/p/fee.html for $98 until July 26th or until the venue capacity is reached.

Contact:

Annie JC
Event Coordinator
Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat
justcommonly@gmail.com
http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/

BIBLE VERSE

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV

 PRAYER
Dear Lord, please bless this amazing event. Be with the incredible organizers as they complete the work of preparing for this retreat. Be with all these fabulous Christian authors as they spread Your Word through their writing. Be with those attending this special gathering. May all be blessed with an inspiring time of fellowship. In Jesus’s name, Amen
Thank you for stopping by to read about this event. I hope you will be able to attend. I’m sure you will experience God’s treasured blessings.
BLESSINGS TO YOU,
Sherida

 

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayTea review of Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Welcome to a HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY celebration for Back In the Saddle, by Ruth Logan Herne!!! This is the launch day for this newest book by a favorite author, so we’re celebrating with a tea from my favorite tea shop!

Ruthy’s newest book is a delight…full of handsome cowboys, strong family bonds, and sweet romance. Prepare to swoon as you take a look at this cover.

BACK IN THE SADDLE by Ruth Logan Herne

BACK IN THE SADDLE by Ruth Logan Herne

And the scenery is sigh-worthy, too. Washington is a beautiful state, especially the central valley setting of Back in the Saddle. Peaceful orchards dot the hillsides, amid ranches and small towns, with veggie farms tucked here and there. A very pleasant place to spend some time as you get to know the Stafford family of the Double S Ranch in Gray’s Glen.

BLURB for Back in the Saddle (Double S Ranch Book 1)

THE PRODIGAL is COMING HOME…..

It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at this chest–a tough yet beautiful woman Sam has hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye, and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.

Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick, who’s long been Sam’s right-hand man, isn’t thrilled when Colt inserts himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the town’s people forces all the Stafford men to reconsider what it truly means to be a neighbor. As Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district–or stay in the saddle for good?

*****

MY REVIEW: as posted on Goodreads and Amazon.

Back in the SaddleBack in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved every page of this book!

Filled with humor, warm characters, and western wisdom, Back in the Saddle is an uplifting story of strong family bonds and of a couple discovering their relationship within a legacy of hard work and commitment.

Reading Back in the Saddle takes you out West…the West of today, with life around a modern ranch, with small town interactions and community problems, and with real-life cowboys who are dedicated and ruggedly handsome. This is a story about family…..the hurts, the mistakes, the understanding, and the love that weave through the bonds of family. Sam Stafford, the strong-willed patriarch of his family of three sons, is the owner of the Double S Ranch, located in the beautiful central valley area of Washington State. Oldest son, Colt, has returned home after his high-powered New York City financial career faced a major setback. Colt finds a perplexing and outspoken woman, Angelina Morales, running the ranch house and caring for his ailing father.

I loved every page of this book as Colt and Angelina strive to do the right thing for those they care for and as they struggle with their deepening attraction. Forgiveness and faith play a vital role in their decisions, as this prodigal son returns home and finds the place for his heart. Written with just the right pace, from a heart-stopping “click” at the beginning, with continually escalating tension, then building to plenty of excitement towards the end, and finally a tear-inducing last scene…..I truly enjoyed every moment of Back in the Saddle.

*I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book. It is a pleasure to post my honest review.

A FEW FAVORITE QUOTES FROM BACK IN THE SADDLE:

“This is, I think, our juncture. A time of looking back and moving forward. For some reason we are here, at this place, in these moments. God provides and we partake. Or we mess up.”

“Because that’s what neighbors do. They help each other.”

“For the first time in a long time, I had to put my trust in something other than myself.”

Click here for an Amazon link to Back In The Saddle.

 

Angelina's Cherry Cupcakes

Angelina’s Cherry Cupcakes

TEA AND TREATS

Now for a special treat. In Back in the Saddle, Angelina is the house manager, cooking for the family and ranch hands. One of the delights she serves is her own special Cherry Cake. Ruthy puts this recipe in the back of the book and also gave it out during post at the Yankee-Bell Café. She said I may share it with you, my #TuesdayTea readers. Click here for Angelina’s Cherry Cake recipe! Rather than the layer cake topped with whipped cream frosting Angelina uses, I decided to bake the recipe as cupcakes, with a simple sweet glaze, for our #TuesdayTea treat. I hope you enjoy!

#TuesdayTea Cherry Marzipan Tea from Queen Mary Tea Room

#TuesdayTea Cherry Marzipan Tea from Queen Mary Tea Room

Angelina’s mother, Isabo, previously lived in Seattle. I’m sure she enjoyed afternoon tea at the very popular Seattle tea shop, Queen Mary Tea Room. My daughter-in-law introduced me to this charming shop. If you are celebrating an event (birthday, contest entry, book published, job promotion, anything), you’re given a glittering tiara to wear while having tea. And you know how much I like my sparkles! The afternoon tea is amazing…..simply perfect! Click here to visit the Queen Mary Tea Room. For our tea today, I’m serving their Cherry Marzipan green tea….perfect with the cherry cupcakes, don’t you think?

Cherry Marzipan Tea from Queen Mary Tea Room, Seattle, Washington

Cherry Marzipan Tea from Queen Mary Tea Room, Seattle, Washington

BIBLE VERSE

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,

You know Ruthy so well and have blessed her with gifts beyond measure. Please continue to place the perfect words on her heart to reach others with Your Word as she writes of forgiveness and redemption. Thank you for giving her the spirit to inspire and encourage others….in so many ways. We ask for her continuing success as an author and as a generous faith-filled servant. Please bless all Christian writers as they spread the hopeful message of Your Word.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

SOME EXCITING NEWS: There will be two more Double S Ranch books featuring the other brothers. The next will be middle son Nick’s story and the last will be about Trey, the youngest, a country and western music star. Fun to anticipate! I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the Stafford family and the Gray’s Glen area of Washington as much as I did.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. May you be blessed with an abundance of God’s treasured blessings!

BACK IN THE SADDLE by Ruth Logan Herne

BACK IN THE SADDLE by Ruth Logan Herne

 

 

 

#TuesdayTea review of Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Please join me for a #TuesdayTea review of Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe….including a special treat from Patti Jo’s Café and Bakery….a favorite place to stop in Paradise, Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

Rocky Mountain Reunion is small town romance at its best!

Having lived in many small towns, I appreciate the strength of friendship and faith found in these communities…..and this book highlights these qualities. Located in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Paradise, Colorado, is a special place. With its mix of loveable town characters, complete with failings and quirky behaviors, you feel you are among friends as you read this story.  I’ve loved each of the books in this series….and I’m hoping for more. There is just something about the hard work, wisdom and values of small town folk which bring hope and contentment to my heart. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should know each book is definitely a stand alone. This fourth book adds a charming Victorian house, a sweet black lab and a young girl who needs comforting. Hero Matt is honorable….trying to do his best…as he deals with many difficult issues. Anne makes me smile with her kind and giving personality. Their tender story is about understanding and forgiving….and trusting God and His perfect timing. I just love visiting Paradise, Colorado…..where I feel at home.

Here is my review as posted on Goodreads:
Rocky Mountain ReunionRocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love rekindled in Paradise, Colorado….small town romance at its BEST!

If you like romance stories filled with endearing characters, special places and inspiring love, I suggest you visit Paradise, Colorado, a perfect small town, complete with beloved townsfolk who value friendship and faith…….a place for a beautiful romance to bloom.

In Tina Radcliffe’s Rocky Mountain Reunion, ER nurse Anne Matson has centered her life around her demanding job and caring for her aging aunt…..the aunt who years earlier coerced her to leave the man she loved. Construction company owner Matt Clark returns to Paradise Valley with a nine-year-old daughter who just recently entered his life.

I loved this story! The looming problem is certainly compelling with the decisions that must be made….and the deadline is fast approaching. Waiting……and forgiving is hard.

I absolutely loved all the characters…..dedicated Anne, feisty Aunt Lily, hurting Claire, steadfast Marta, fun Juanita, faithful Stanley and, most of all, Matt, the handsome hero who has waited patiently, trying to be an honorable man. Though this book is definitely a stand-alone story, I enjoyed the glimpses of characters from earlier in the series.

With the backdrop of a beautiful mountain valley and the charm of a Victorian century-old house, Rocky Mountain Reunion brings you home…..to a place of faith, hope and love, with a picturesque conclusion.

If this is a return visit to Paradise or your first, be sure to stop in at Patti Jo’s Cafe and Bakery for a chocolate chip cookie or a cinnamon roll. You won’t be disappointed!

Examples of small town wisdom expressed in a few favorite lines from Rocky Mountain Reunion:

“I’m your friend and friends are there for each other no matter what.”

“Forgiveness is a decision. A step of faith. I’ve forgiven. The hard part is the pride.”

“We’ve all got a mountain of pride that stands between us and happiness.”

*I purchased and was given a copy of this book. I was not required to write a review. I love giving my enthusiastic opinion of this novel.

 

TEA AND TREAT TIME

One of the reasons I like to visit Paradise is the story always includes a stop at Patti Jo’s Café and Bakery…..so for a foodie like me….this adds to the story. This visit, I selected the chocolate chip cookies…..made with extra chocolate chips just the way Aunt Lily prefers them. Perhaps this time, you’d like your tea sweetened with honey from a favorite honey shop located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Patti Jo’s Café and Bakery

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Honey

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Honey

I used a recipe from All Recipes for this treat.

Chocolate Chip Honey Cookies

This recipe uses a bit of honey, which I thought was a good addition. We like to stop at a sweet little honey shop located in the Colorado San Luis Valley, which is very similar to Paradise Valley. Haefeli’s Honey in Del Norte, Colorado

 

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REUNION by Tina Radcliffe

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REUNION by Tina Radcliffe

I’m giving away a paperback copy of Rocky Mountain Reunion–US mailing addresses only. By entering the giveaway, you agree to have read and understand the rules per the legal page on my blog. So I can contact you about delivery if your name is selected, leave a comment with your email address, using AT and DOT to avoid scammers, then fill out the Rafflecopter form. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Please continue to bless author Tina Radcliffe in all she does as she gives to others. Help her stories of faith reach the readers who need to hear the message of your love…..that we wait on you and your perfect timing.  We ask that you give all Christian writers strength and encouragement as they write from their hearts, spreading grace and hope. May the readers of these books and this blog be encouraged and blessed. Thank you!

We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

BIBLE VERSE

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31:24 (KJV)

Thank you so much for joining me for #TuesdayTea in Paradise, Colorado. May your days be filled with God’s treasured blessings!

Sherida

#TuesdayTea-Review of ISLE OF HOPE by Julie Lessman

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Welcome to #TuesdayTea!

I’m reviewing Julie Lessman’s new book, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love (Isle of Hope Series Book 1).  

I’m thrilled Julie has written a contemporary romance…..and in the lovely coastal setting of Isle of Hope, Georgia. Please have a snickerdoodle (as featured in this book) and some peach tea….either iced or hot, as we chat about this emotional book of forgiveness.

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

ABOUT THE BOOK:

She stole his heart.
He stole her peace.
Can hope steal their pain?

At the age of eighteen, Lacey Carmichael was a wild girl bent on fun, promised to Jack Carmichael, a straight-and-narrow pastor’s kid bent on the seminary. When her father kicks her out of the house, she runs away from Isle of Hope, turning her back on everything she loves. Now, eight years later, she’s back as a woman of faith, hoping to make amends to the father she defied, the boyfriend she deserted, and the best friend she denied. Only the bridges she’s burned are still smoldering, kindled by an adulterous affair by Jack’s pastor father that damaged his son’s faith. But can a turning of tables—and hearts—lead the way back to “hope” for them all?

TREATS

Please enjoy some snickerdoodles before reading my review. I loved all the food treats included in this story! Here is recipe I found on the AllRecipes site for Snickerdoodle Mix in a Jar. This would make a yummy hostess gift for the upcoming holidays…..or a friendship gift to go along with a copy of Isle of Hope.

Snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodles!

MY REVIEW:
Unfailing Love (Isle of Hope, #1)Unfailing Love by Julie Lessman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Extraordinary! Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is a riveting story of humility, selfless love, and extraordinary forgiveness!
“Wow!” and “Oh, my!” …..my thoughts as I read the pages of Isle of Hope, a novel packed with emotion!
The first line of Isle of Hope lets us know there is drama and intensity ahead in this story. This is a reunion romance–a romance which started back in high school between Lacey, the class flirt, and Jack, a pastor’s son. Years later, they are back in Isle of Hope for a wedding celebration. Many issues come to light as the story evolves. Just as I felt the characters had solved an emotional crisis and all would be fine, another mountain would rise before them, definitely surprising me. This book compelled me to read as fast as I could to find out if their happily-ever-after was even a possibility after so much pain and regret.
I like Lacey’s courage and her persistence as she tries to reconcile with her father concerning their hurtful past. Jack is great. He shows such tenderness towards the woman who left him. He is dedicated to his family and to helping his pediatric patients. All the other characters were intriguing, but I especially liked Tess, with her warmth and gentle faith…and her nurturing gifts (bribes?) of food, including bacon for Beau, Ben’s dog. It is satisfying to live with these characters as they struggle with forgiveness.
Isle of Hope is fantastic to read…filled with the unimaginable pain of betrayal, which then escalates with the tension of powerful anger and hopeful love. Julie Lessman is a passionate writer who excels at filling a story with heart-thumping emotion, while including the gentle reminder that God is our HOPE, and He is truly in control.
Favorite lines:
“You should know better than anyone—there is no hope without forgiveness.”
“I believe that the truth spoken in love is not only the best gift I can give, but the most critical as well.”
“This is the moment you’ve been praying for.”
“It’s never too late to love.”
*I received a copy of this book for my review. This is my honest opinion of this extraordinary book.

ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN AND HER CONTEST

Julie has a contest on her website, which you can check her contest page for how to enter. JULIE’S CONTEST PAGE

For more information about Julie Lessman, you will find her website is filled with information about her books, how to sign up for her newsletter,  and her spiritual journey. JULIE LESSMAN WEBSITE

MY THOUGHTS

As I’ve mentioned above, Isle of Hope is an extraordinary book. Since I mainly read contemporary romance, I was delighted to learn Julie has expanded from her historical novels to begin a contemporary series. After reading this first book,  I’m hoping for some of the characters I so enjoyed will have their own HEA.

I appreciate the forgiveness theme in this book. We probably all have some issues, big or small, in our lives which cause bitterness. This book powerfully hit me with the reminder that forgiveness is the only way to peace….and God will give me the strength to forgive……extraordinary strength…..if I listen and obey.

I need to tell you this: Julie is such a gracious person. Regretfully, I had to back out of her official blog tour because I had over committed my time. Since I like to believe I’m a responsible blogger, I was embarrassed to let her know I couldn’t promise to have a review done by the date of the blog tour, even though I had already accepted an electronic version of her book. Perhaps someone else might have been upset and angry that I had broken my promise of promotion and reviews. However, Julie absolutely understood my situation, making me feel completely forgiven. I have the greatest respect for Julie because she does truly live her faith. It’s not just words in a book.

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Please help me remember you are our God of hope and extraordinary forgiveness. You know all things…my sins against others for which I need forgiveness and the forgiveness I need to extend to others as you have forgiven me. Please continue to help me have a forgiving and humble heart.

Thank you for gifting authors, like Julie Lessman, with the ability to write words which challenge me to walk more perfectly in your ways. Bless Julie’s efforts with this book to bring the hope of extraordinary forgiveness to many.

I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

BIBLE VERSE

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea!

May all your days be blessed with the extraordinary treasure of God’s forgiveness!

Tuesday Tea with Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
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.”

 

ABOUT REFUGE OF THE HEART

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.

TODAY’S TEA TREATS

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!

 

 

#TUESDAYTEA with CROSSROADS author Cathy Bryant–devotional message and giveaway!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

 

Author Cathy Bryant

Author Cathy Bryant

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

1 Peter 3:15 KJV 

I’m delighted to welcome contemporary Christian romance author Cathy Bryant to our tea time today. Cathy has written a devotional message titled “Does God Really Exist?” to help us be ready to share God’s message with unbelievers and answer their hard questions. She also has some details about her newest book, CROSSROADS,  her upcoming Facebook party, and a recipe for crab dip. Please see the link below to RSVP for the Facebook party and join in the fun. Cathy is also offering an ebook copy of CROSSROADS. Please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

DEVOTIONAL MESSAGE BY CROSSROADS AUTHOR CATHY BRYANT

Does God Really Exist?

Every one of the Miller’s Creek novels (Christian romance and romantic suspense) took root in my head because of a spiritual theme. The latest book CROSSROADS took on even more importance because of its theme of winning back those who have defected from the faith.

We all know someone–maybe a friend, co-worker, or even a family member–who has turned away from the faith in Christ they once professed.

During the course of the story, I tried to examine their objections to the faith as well as the tough questions we’re often asked by unbelievers. This devotional guest post attempts to answer one of the most frequent questions: Does God really exist?

Not at all for the sake of argument, I hope instead that my research on this topic provides each of us with answers we need to “…make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15).

Proof of God – Man’s Innate Moral Code

Within each of us is a universal moral code that exists despite differences in culture, socioeconomic status, and upbringing.

Think about it for a second. Every person, regardless of whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or where or how they grew up, have a sense of right and wrong behavior. Though we don’t always live by this unwritten code of ethics, we can attest to it. We all have a sense of fairness or justice that’s somehow embedded deep within us.

So where does this ethical or moral code come from? Does it originate with man? Hardly.

The very fact that men are incapable of keeping this code proves that it originates outside of us. Therefore it can only be assumed that Someone or Something bigger than us created the code or at least created us with the code buried deep within the fiber of our being.

To me, this is evidence exhibit number one in the case for God’s existence and superiority to mankind.

Proof of God – Creation

Another proof lies in Creation itself. And no surprise, but this very point is illustrated and confirmed in God’s Word.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. -Psalm 19:1-4 (NASB)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. -Romans 1:20 (NASB)

Notice that the heavens are continuing to express God’s glory and His role as Creator. And across the globe and around the planet, all men have seen it. This leaves us all without excuse.

Proof of God – Arguments and Answers

There will be those who take the position of the big bang theory and evolution as a way of denying God. My answer to either of those theories is that it takes a lot more faith to believe either one than it does to believe in the existence of God. In addition, if they’re right and I’m wrong, then I’m no worse off. However, if I’m right and they’re wrong, for them it means a life of eternal separation from the presence and power of God.

And as stated above, our evidence for God’s existence is two-fold: the moral code within each man and the glory of God’s created universe. May we equip ourselves with this Truth so we might better answer those who have tough questions.

Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your thoughts with us!

 

CROSSROADS by Cathy Bryant

CROSSROADS by Cathy Bryant

 

About the Book

CROSSROADS-a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian contemporary romance

A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal…

After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?

An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?

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CROSSROADS Facebook Launch Party & Kindle Fire HD6 Giveaway!

YOU’RE INVITED!

What: CROSSROADS Book Launch Party

Where: Facebook (from the comfort & convenience of your own home)

When: April 30, 2015 ~ 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Central time)

Why: To celebrate the book launch of CROSSROADS (a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian Romance by Cathy Bryant)

LOTS of Fun, Games and Prizes!

Prizes Include: Miller’s Creek pens, tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, digital books, autographed print books, Amazon gift cards, and

an Amazon Kindle Fire HD6!

Click here to RSVP and enter the Kindle Fire drawing.

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About Cathy Bryant

Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. All the Miller’s Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks.  A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at www.CatBryant.com or make contact with her in these places:

|Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest | GoodreadsAmazon | YouTube | Google+|

TEA TREAT RECIPE

For our tea treat, I’m serving a recipe Cathy shares with us…..Carter’s Crab Dip, which was inspired by the brawny soldier-turned-policeman and hero of CROSSROADS. He uncovers the heroine’s penchant for seafood and creates this special seafood dip for a picnic lunch the two share. Please have a cup of lemon tea, which goes wonderfully well with the crab tea sandwiches.

Crab dip served on toast triangles.

Crab dip served on toast triangles.

INGREDIENTS:

1 8-oz. cream cheese and 1 3-oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. lemon juice

2 T. mayonnaise

1/2 small finely chopped white onion

1 7-oz. can of crab meat

garlic powder and salt to taste

1/2 bottle of cocktail sauce on top (can substitute Tabasco sauce if you want the heat)

fresh or dried parsley

cocktail crackers

DIRECTIONS:

1. Blend the first seven ingredients together well, and spread on a serving dish.

2. Spread the cocktail sauce on top as a sort of icing.

3. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley.

4. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve with cocktail crackers.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I hope you enjoyed #TUESDAYTEA with Cathy Bryant! Please join in the fun of her CROSSROADS Facebook party on April 30.

#TUESDAYTEA for Christmas with reviews of some Christmas e-novellas

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Please join me for a Christmas tea as I serve Biscochitos with our tea. I’ve decorated our party with this year’s addition to our nativity collection, a gift from my husband. And we’ll chat about a few e-book Christmas novellas–which make quick gifts, if you need a few more ideas. Let’s celebrate!

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 KJV

Nativities are a passion of mine. Some sets I display throughout the year, but others come out for the Christmas season. This year we added this special treasure made by a Jemez Pueblo artist. A deer is included among the gathered animals since deer are an important animal to the pueblo. Rather than the traditional gifts, the wise men bring corn, a blanket, and a drum.

Pueblo Nativity

Pueblo Nativity

Biscochitos are the state cookie of New Mexico, traditionally served at Christmas. There are many different recipes for this cookie, which also is made in a variety of shapes. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe. She always made these for our Christmas festivities. They make lovely tea cookies.

Biscochitos Recipe 

1/2 cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tbsp orange juice

Cinnamon-sugar mix

 

Cream sugar and shortening.

Add flour, anise seed, baking powder, and salt.

Combine egg and orange juice, then beat into creamed mixture to make a moist dough.

Form dough into a long roll, about 1-1/4 inch in diameter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.

Remove from the refrigerator and slice cookies 1/4 inch thick.

Sprinkle one side with cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Biscochitos

Biscochitos

If you’re looking for a last minute e-gift book, I’d recommend some of the faith-filled Christmas novellas available.

The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

The Evergreen Bride (12 Brides of Christmas #3)The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a delightful Christmas story!

This historical romance set in 1887 in Sipsey Creek, Mississippi, is filled with sweet love.

I liked the enthusiastic school teacher, Annabelle Denson, who is determined to fulfill her dream of a white Christmas by traveling over her holiday to visit her cousin in Chicago, Illinois.

Sawmill owner, Samuel Frazier, is my kind of hero, with his gentleness, quiet manner, and sincere desire to make Annabelle happy.

Lovely surprises and touches of a country Christmas make this novella a charming story—a perfect story to feel the warmth of Christmas love!

View all my reviews

There are twelve books in this collection of Christmas Bride novellas, each sold separately for 99 cents.

 

Hope for the Holidays-both the contemporary and historical collections by best-selling inspirational authors would be good ideas for e-stocking stuffers.

Hope for the Holiday Contemporary CollectionHope for the Holiday Contemporary Collection by Mary Connealy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a collection of great authors!

I’ve just finished I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, and I smiled through the whole story. Author Tina Radcliffe has a gift for creating heart-touching characters through sparkling dialogue. Matt and Patience discover true understanding of perfect love as they move towards their Happily Ever After. The romantic tension, the interesting plot, and the touches of Christmas make this a great feel-good romance.

I’m excited to read all the other stories in this contemporary collection, as well as the stories in the historical collection, because these are all FAVORITE authors. The HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS collections are just right for enjoying the sparkling spirit of Christmas!

View all my reviews

Thank you for joining me for a Christmas TUESDAY TEA! I wish you a treasured Christmas filled with the blessings of hope, faith, and love!

#TUESDAYTEA: Review of SNOWFLAKE TIARA

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Welcome!

Please join me for a #TUESDAYTEA review of Snowflake Tiara, a two-novella collection of inspirational romance by Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer. Since Valerie’s book features farm-fresh foods, I’m serving Christmas mini-quiches made with organic sun-dried tomatoes and locally sourced Animas River green chilies. (My recipe is below.) I’ll pour you a cup of Ginger-Cinnamon tea while we discuss Snowflake Tiara, with its two stories-The Debutante Queen by Angela and More Than a Tiara by Valerie.

 

Christmas mini-quiches (green chile and dried tomato)

Christmas mini-quiches (green chile and dried tomato)

About Snowflake Tiara

The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach–1889 (Helena, MT)

Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But if her hidden indentured orphan is discovered, Calista’s reputation and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, could both unravel. Will love or law prevail?

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer–2014 (Helena, MT)

Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helen’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families? 

My review

 

Snowflake TiaraSnowflake Tiara by Angela Breidenbach

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A glittering duet of holiday romance—set 125 years apart!

Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer have paired together to create two different Christmas stories. Both share the setting of Helena, Montana, but Debutante Queen is historical and More Than a Tiara is contemporary. Both involve competing in pageants and providing for needy children. I enjoyed the description of life in historical Helena and the charming first Miss Snowflake Pageant details, as Calista and Albert fall in love. In the contemporary, I liked the way the relationship between Marisa and Jase was repaired and then strengthened.

The caring spirit and warm love shining from both stories, makes the sparkle of Snowflake Tiara glow! 🙂 I recommend this book to those who want to read two delightful Christmas romances.

View all my reviews

Recipe: Christmas Mini-Quiches

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using premade pie crust, cut circles of pastry to place in tart pans or the bottom of muffin tins.

In each tart, put in a tablespoon of grated cheese (Swiss or other white cheese).

Sprinkle chopped sun-dried tomatoes and chopped green chiles in each tart.

Mix 1 cup of whipping cream with 4 egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.

Slowly pour spoonfuls of this mixture into the tarts until filled.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.

 

Since Angela’s The Debutante Queen features a gingerbread village, I’ll share you with these sweet gingerbread houses.

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Thank you for joining me for #TUESDAYTEA! I wish you a sparkling Christmas season filled with God’s treasured blessings of hope, peace, and forgiveness!

And the Angel said unto them, “Fear not : For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10 KJ

 

 

TUESDAY TEA: A CUP OF GRATEFULNESS and a review of HOLIDAY DEFENDERS!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS!

SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS!

For this Veterans Day TUESDAY TEA post, I’d like to salute our veterans and all our military members (and their families) with a cup of gratefulness! We are thankful for their sacrifices which have preserved our freedoms. As a country, we have the freedom to hear and accept these words:

“For everyone who asks receives;

he who seeks finds;

and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matthew 7:8 NIV

Veterans Day is a perfect time to review Holiday Defenders, a collection of three inspirational romance suspense stories featuring military heroes and touched with Christmas warmth.

….

Holiday Defenders: Mission: Christmas Rescue\Special Ops Christmas\Homefront Holiday HeroHoliday Defenders: Mission: Christmas Rescue\Special Ops Christmas\Homefront Holiday Hero by Debby Giusti

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A TRIO OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS

What a Christmas treat-a trio of novellas filled with surprises and holiday romance!

The three stories in Holiday Defenders are exciting suspense-filled romances with touches of Christmas warmth.

Mission: Christmas Rescue, by Debby Giusti, has plenty of page-turning action as an intriguing mystery must be solved in order for soldier Nick Fontaine to protect his former girlfriend, teacher Liz Tate. Criminals who have abducted her brother are also after Liz and the children she is charged to keep safe. Filled with continuous excitement, the story ends with a charming Christmas tradition. A heart-touching romance by one of my favorite authors!

Special Ops Christmas, by Susan Sleeman, is set in Florida where there are harrowing attempts on scientist Claire Reed’s life. Green Beret Travis Chapman must keep her safe, even though this is difficult because of their past relationship. I was kept guessing about the attacker’s identity. Touches of holiday spirit are sprinkled throughout the story.

Homefront Holiday Hero, by Jodie Bailey, finds Kelly Walters busy with Christmas preparations for military families. Soldier Tyler Rainey is determined to find out who is behind the attacks on Kelly. There are unforeseen twists in his investigation as he finds himself attracted to Kelly.

Thank you Debby Giusti, Susan Sleeman, and Jodie Bailey, for your faith-touched stories, each a gift of exciting suspense with touches of Christmas warmth and holiday love. I read these with deepening appreciation for the holiday and year-round sacrifices of our military families. Holiday Defenders would be a perfect Christmas present to give this year!

View all my reviews

God bless all who give to our country through their service and sacrifice. Thank you!

SIP OF TEA-Review of Running on Empty by Ruth Logan Herne

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Author Ruth Logan Herne presents a difficult subject in her book Running on Empty. She develops this romance story with compassion and offers loving hope.

Running on EmptyRunning on Empty by Ruth Logan Herne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heart-touching story of compassion and hope!

Ruth Logan Herne has written a compassionate story about the very serious subject of pedophile crimes. I felt this was a realistic depiction of how a young girl would react after suffering this type of abuse, both physical and mental…..with confusion and the inability to ask for help.

Anne was abused by her running coach when she was thirteen years old. She was conflicted about the situation and was not able tell her family what happened to her. This hidden trauma caused problems in her later life.

The story develops as Anne returns to Forest Hills many years later to care for her mother. Joe, the husband she abandoned when she ran away from her past, is now the chief of police of the small town. Joe must deal with his feelings of pride and rejection. Anne must face her fears of her former coach and of the reaction of the community to her revelation of the truth. The romance between Joe and Anne involves working through past wounds towards forgiveness. Their relationship offers hope through love and forgiveness.

This story reminds us to be alert for symptoms of abuse when watching our children. Running on Empty is a heart-touching, believable story, filled with true compassion by author Ruth Logan Herne.

View all my reviews