May you embrace the JOY of the Christmas season….our time to reflect on the treasure of God’s love for us. He gave us the blessing of Jesus to bring LIGHT into the world.
My mother enjoyed giving friends and family ornaments and decorations she made. Her expression of love was tucked into each gift. As I decorate for Christmas, I treasure the many reminders of her love.
Of course we need some fun Christmas teas treats as we reflect on Christmas memories……
Please make a choice…or two. I’ll pour you a warm cup of Christmas tea!
Praying for your Christmas season to be filled with the treasures of LOVE and JOY! May you always walk in the LIGHT, my friend!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)
Welcome to Tuesday Tea and our chat with author Myra Johnson about her newest release, A Rose So Fair. This third book in the Flowers of Eden series by Myra Johnson is an inspirational romance set during the Great Depression. The reader experiences the difficulties encountered as people struggled with economic challenges. If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a Kindle ebook, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form at the end of this post.
For me, the story recalled my grandmother’s snippets of her life during that time….the failing of my grandparents’ hardware store, food given to hobos passing by, my grandfather scrambling for odd jobs, and the “making do” with simple things as was necessary. I admired Rose Linwood, a heroine so typical of the strong women who carried on during those trying situations. Caleb Wieland is a great hero, persistent and loving. The story is filled with strong faith and courageous characters…as was required for life during that period of history.
Chatting with author Myra Johnson:
Myra kindly answered my questions about the inspiration for her book, her writing experiences, and one of the ways God has touched her life. Thank you so much, Myra, for joining us to talk about your newest inspiration romance novel!
SHERIDA: How did you get the glimmer of the idea for A Rose So Fair?
MYRA: The idea first began to form a few years ago as I was finishing up my Till We Meet Again series. The editor I had been working with expressed interest in a Depression-era series, so I started brainstorming. Already familiar with the Arkansas setting, I began there. While perusing research materials, I soon found myself homing in on the hardships farmers endured during the Depression. I began imagining three sisters and what their individual personalities would be, and so the Linwood sisters, the “Flowers of Eden,” began to take shape in my mind. Rose, the youngest, developed her own kind of spunk and determination, and she was certainly both challenging and enjoyable to write about.
SHERIDA: What do you do to keep the sparkle while you are writing?
MYRA: I’ve developed a fairly consistent writing routine. Weekday mornings are set aside for the “busy work” of writing—social media, marketing, recordkeeping, blogging, etc. So after lunch, my mind is freed from obsessing over those kinds of tasks, and I can concentrate on the book. I’ll usually reread the last scene or two from the previous writing session and do minor editing. This gets me back into the flow of the story and helps to sparks ideas for what will happen next. I work in Scrivener, which allows me to pin character photos to a sidebar, and glancing at the images from time to time helps me stay grounded in the characters’ mind and voice.
SHERIDA: Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?
MYRA: When I think about “jewel” moments, it’s hard to come up with just one, and most of them would include animals and nature. I remember one in particular when my husband and I were enjoying lunch and quiet conversation in our screen porch a few summers ago. Our home is surrounded by trees, and suddenly a barred owl flew in and landed on a branch right outside the porch, not even ten feet away. He sat there staring at us and our two dogs for a long time, almost as if he were trying to decide if Gracie, our 90-pound Lab mix, would be too big to carry off as “lunch.” Since then, we’ve heard many owls hooting in the distance but have never enjoyed another up-close-and-personal encounter like that one. It was very special.
ABOUT A ROSE SO FAIR
Plucky Rose Linwood grew up on her grandfather’s Arkansas tenant farm, a life her two older sisters never cared much for. Working alongside her grandpa, though, Rose learned to love the land as much as he did. Now her sisters have married and moved on, Grandpa has gone to his eternal reward, and Rose is determined to make a go of the farm on her own. But crops have been slow to recover since the drought of 1930-31, and the whole country struggles in the grip of the Great Depression. Drifters looking for work or handouts roam the countryside, some of them up to no good, so Rose keeps her trusty Winchester rifle at the ready. Caleb Wieland, Rose’s best friend, isn’t the farmer his late father was, and he’s about to lose his cotton crop to boll weevils. He’d let the farm go and search for work he’s more suited to, except he can’t desert his widowed mother. Besides, he’s been quietly falling in love with Rose since they were in grammar school, and the thought of leaving her behind is too much to bear. He’d give anything to win her heart, but Rose’s stubborn independence is proving as thorny as the flower for which she’s named.
A Rose So Fair is a gripping and heart-touching story!
This book truly brings to life the difficult days of the Great Depression, where daunting problems arose to test people’s fortitude, but also helped reveal the strength of faith and the ability to overcome trials with the help of others.
I admired Rose Linwood with her fierce loyalty to her grandfather’s farm and the dream she shared with him. She singlehandedly struggles to raise a cotton crop in order to satisfy the requirements of the leased property. Caleb Weiland is a great protective and persistent hero. He is torn between his financial responsibilities and his desire to have his love accepted by Rose. Both of them go through extremely difficult situations. I wasn’t sure how their differences and problems could be resolved since they were both such strong people, but after many emotional hills and valleys, the end is beautiful…sweet and satisfying.
I also enjoyed the other members of the family, including the two older sisters whose earlier stories evolve in this third book. Both drifter Quimby and the stray dog, Delano, add to the impact of the book. All the folks of Eden, Arkansas, felt so real.
The romantic tension is sweet, the thread of faith is comforting, and the message is thoughtful. With friends and family, along with trust in God, we are stronger together. I deeply enjoyed this book with its portrayal of life in the 1930’s with love, faith, and strength overcoming difficulties. I highly recommend A Rose So Fair.
“No matter how far away they send me, you’ll always have my heart.”
“God doesn’t want or expect us to carry our burdens alone.”
She said it reminded her nobody’s perfect, and that loving someone takes a whole heap of forgiveness.
*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a positive review. I’m honored to offer my honest opinion of this book.
In the story, Rose has tea and pound cake served by Mrs.O’Neill. As I mentioned earlier, I heard about the Depression from my grandmother who had a recipe for a sour cream version of pound cake. I’m sharing this with you today. Please help yourself to a couple of slices while I pour you a cup of tea.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Blend sugar, sour cream, and eggs together. Add flour and baking soda and mix. Divide batter into two greased mini-loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)
We are grateful for the abilities You have given authors like Myra Johnson. They bless us with their talent, giving us inspiration and hope as we read their words. Please continue to bless Myra Johnson as she writes to reach readers with Your message that strength comes from trusting You and working to uplift others.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Visit Myra at Myra Johnson’s website and consider signing up for her newsletter. In addition, writers will find craft information and fellowship at the Seekerville website where Myra is one of the amazing Seekers, blessing writers with great encouragement. Visit SEEKERVILLE!
Thank you for joining us for Tuesday Tea. May your life be filled with the treasured blessing of strength through working together with others.
If you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for a Kindle ebook of A Rose So Fair, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see your comment immediately. I moderate comments and with my busy schedule, it may take awhile for your comment to appear. Check back next week to see if you are the winner. Thank you!
I’m delighted you are joining me to chat about Keli Gwyn’s newest Love Inspired Historical, Her Motherhood Wish, with a heroine dear to my heart. This book releases today!
ABOUT HER MOTHERHOOD WISH
BUILDING A FAMILY
En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip’s determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don’t fit into his detailed plans for the future.
Callie can’t help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she’s falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip’s brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too.
Many years ago, the love of my heart expressed his devotion to me and said, “I want you to be the mother of my children.” I burst into tears! I confessed to him that a doctor told me I might never be able to have children. He comforted me and said we could adopt children, and those kids would be his own. I did marry this good man whose compassion reassured me that day. We’ll celebrate 46 years of marriage this summer.
In our case, God’s plan for us provided miracles…eventually we did become pregnant. We now have two grown sons, faithful men like their father, and definitely our miracles and treasured blessings.
So…….heroine Callie’s situation in Her Motherhood Wish touches my heart. I relate to her disappointment, hope, and attempts to trust God’s plan for her life. Keli Gwyn writes a wonderful story full of God’s treasured blessing of love.
Such a lovely cover…and the story inside is just as beautiful!
Her Motherhood Wish is filled with sweet moments as carpenter Chip Evans and loving Callie Hunt discover their happily-ever-after as they work at the Double T Orphanage. Callie’s dearest dream is to be a mother, but she faces some problems. I sympathized with her as she confronted the reality and disappointment of her situation. She is strong and accepting of her fate. As for Chip, many times I was quite displeased with him. He is protective and hardworking, but blindly adheres to the rigid plan he detailed for his future. However…. he completely redeemed himself in my eyes with the execution of his beautiful plan at the conclusion of the story. A precious ending!
I adored the two orphans, Jasper and Ruby, who warmed my heart with their needs and vulnerability. The occasional appearances of other characters from earlier books were a delight, but this book can definitely be read as a stand-alone. The suspense element in this story is an intriguing bonus.
Author Keli Gwyn always includes interesting historical detail in her stories, such as the art of cabinetry in this book. Her books touch my heart with their gentle message of faith and leave me with a happy sigh at the end. Great storytelling! I hope you enjoy Her Motherhood Wish, with its beautiful conclusion, as much as I did.
“The best we can do is love, support and encourage them, all the while praying that the Lord will work His healing.”
“…the Lord has a way of bringing joy from heartache.”
“You’re a beloved child of God, and He has plans for you.”
*I was given a copy of this book. I’m pleased to offer my honest review.
TREAT FOR TEA TIME
With the beautiful, glowing cover art adorning Her Motherhood Wish, I though Lemon Scones would be a bright and appropriate treat to celebrate this sparkling new release. (Yes, isn’t that cover gorgeous?!?!) In the acknowledgements of her book, Keli mentions her husband bakes homemade scones while she works on writing projects. What a great idea! 🙂 So please help yourself to a lemon scone and a warm cup of tea as we celebrate the release of Her Motherhood Wish!
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. ~Hebrews 3:4 (KJV)
Thank you for blessing Keli with the passion to write the stories You place on her heart…..stories which touch others. Her warm personality glows as she reaches out to others offering encouragement. Please continue to bless her writing efforts so her words reach more readers and comfort them with hope and trust.
We ask this in Jesus’ name……Amen
Thank you for joining me for this review of Her Motherhood Wish. May you be blessed as God’s plan for your life is revealed.
Welcome to my very late sweet Valentine’s Day Tea! Since we’ve been traveling, this is a short post….filled with goodies I saw while on vacation. Please help yourself to some of these delicious and festive morsels.
As we enjoy the treats, please consider this Bible verse which speaks to my heart: Our Lord tells us,
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have love you. John 15:12 (KJV)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a picture of my sweetheart:
My prayer for you: May you always appreciate your walk in God’s love…a treasured blessing!
Welcome to my Tuesday TEA …make that COFFEE blog. (In just a bit, I’ll explain about the switch in drinks.) We’re chatting about Tina Radcliffe’s newest Love Inspired book, Rocky Mountain Cowboy. To enjoy with the coffee, I brought blueberry muffins from Patti Jo’s Café and Bakery….Rocky Mountain Cowboy hero Joe Gallagher’s favorite.
Not only is Tina Radcliffe an amazing author, she is also the queen of coffee. Caffeine fuels her production of quality inspirational romance stories, so I’m pouring large mugs of quality Seattle coffee in Tina’s honor. I was fortunate to read Rocky Mountain Cowboy as I flew to Seattle to visit family. When I arrived, I savored amazing coffee selections from the City of Caffeine. Seattle knows how to roast coffee! Now on to this amazing book….with a personal note at the end of the review.
What an excellent romance…..set in Paradise Valley, Colorado!
I simply LOVED Rocky Mountain Cowboy, a perfect romance of forgiveness and second chances…of putting the past behind. I smiled from the first page until the end, delighting in all the characters who sparkled with heart-felt emotion. What a treat to spend time with therapist Rebecca and cowboy Joe on his ranch in Paradise Valley, Colorado. Through this book, I experienced life on the beautiful Gallagher Ranch while Rebecca helps Joe adapt to a different routine using his new prosthetic hand. Joe’s gentle encouragement helps Rebecca move beyond her complex past. I particularly delighted in the engaging conversations between the characters. Tina Radcliffe, one of my favorite authors, knows how to write fast-paced, engaging dialogue…some witty and some quite touching. The various friends and family members were fun additions, as well as the mention of treats from Patti Jo’s Cafe and Bakery. Life just can’t get any sweeter than a romance in beautiful Paradise Valley!
“Not worried. I’ve tried to banish that word from my vocabulary and turn things over to God.”
“You can’t be afraid to ask for help and you can’t be afraid to accept it.”
“The Lord brought you back here for a reason, Rebecca. Don’t throw away your second chance.”
*I was given a copy of this book. I’m delighted to provide my honest review.
In this book, hero Joe Gallagher is an amputee adjusting to his prosthetic hand. Author Tina Radcliffe presents this situation very realistically. My father, a forward observer in the Army during World War II, was injured during fighting in Europe and was captured by the German Army. While he was a prisoner of war, his left leg was amputated. He was twenty years old at the time, so he spent most of his life with an artificial leg. As his daughter, I saw the various improvements in the technology of prosthetics to help amputees live active lives. As Tina reflects in Rocky Mountain Cowboy, amputees are not defined by their injuries, but by the lives they live. Though Rocky Mountain Cowboy is based on valuable research dealing with the situation of losing a limb, Tina’s story really focuses on the romance between the hero and heroine. I’m thankful for authors who include disabled characters in their books. My father was not defined by his amputation, but by the very loving and faith-filled life he enjoyed for 92 years.
To celebrate Tina and her book, I’m serving large mugs of coffee today instead of our usual tea. Our sons know my husband and I enjoy coffee as well as tea, so take a look at these intriguing coffees we received as gifts from our sons and their families.
Our older son introduced us to Bean Box Coffee which provides a selection of coffees from various Seattle roasters. If you’re interest in trying some special coffee, check out this link: BEAN BOX
Our younger son traveled to Nicaragua a couple of times as part of a health mission with H.O.L.A. He enjoyed the coffee grown in that country and gave us a bag of Vermont roasted and Nicaraguan grown coffee.
AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE
Get to know Tina at her website: TINA RADCLIFFE (TIP: sign up for her newsletter)
For writers of all levels, she contributes to the Seekerville blog: SEEKERVILLE (I highly recommend you stop by for a visit. Readers have fun as well.)
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)
Today we lift up author Tina Radcliffe. Thank you for blessing her with amazing talent as a writer of inspiring stories filled the message of Your grace. She blesses others as she encourages other writers with uplifting advice. Please continue to grant her great success in all areas of her life.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for joining me for coffee today as we talked about Rocky Mountain Cowboy. I hope you enjoy the book and another visit to Paradise, Colorado, as much as I did. Do you have a drink of choice at Starbucks? Or do you have another favorite coffee? Please leave a comment. I’ll end with a couple of photos of beautiful Seattle.
May your life be filled with God’s treasured blessings.
Welcome to my celebration of the release of Ruth Logan Herne’s newest….and very awesome…..book, Home on the Range.
GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED…….LAURA WON……Congratulations! Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne! 🙂
THIS JUST IN! GIVEAWAY!!!!!! Ruth Logan Herne is offering a giveaway of her book!!! So you can be contacted, leave a comment below with your email (use AT and DOT to avoid spam)–standard rules apply. US addresses only. Name will be picked from a hat….really! Must comment by noon on Wednesday, October 26 MDT. Thanks!!!
We’re meeting today at the charming bakery in Cle Elum, Washington, which serves delicious maple bars…along with many sumptuous treats. So make a selection from their bakery case….yes, I know how difficult it is to choose…then grab a mug of coffee or tea and come sit awhile as we chat about Home on the Range.
ABOUT HOME ON THE RANGE
Can the brother left behind and a woman without hope work together for the good of two precious children?
Nick Stafford stayed in central Washington, working his family’s large ranch after his brothers left to pursue other passions—but his toughest job is being a single dad. As a child he watched his father fail at marriage and parenting, so Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, father, and ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever was. Despite that commitment, three years after Nick’s wife left him, he has a daughter in trouble at school and both of his girls are facing issues that force him to rethink his stubborn plans.
For Dr. Elsa Andreas, life fell apart when tragedy caused her to abandon her family therapy practice and retreat to the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. Her school principal sister believes Elsa can guide the Stafford girls and that working with kids will draw Elsa out of her protective bubble.
Summer on the Double S teems with life and adventure. Amid the bounty of God and land, will Nick and Elsa find the courage to build futures based on faith rather than fear?
A story of healing encouraged by the love and support of a strong family!
My heart smiled at the precious children and adorable puppies in this story….not to mention the cowboys and beautiful scenery of central Washington. Home on the Range is the second book in the Double S Ranch series, featuring the dysfunctional Stafford family. Colt and Angelina, the characters in the first book, Back in the Saddle, were engaging, drawing me into this second book about the lives of Elsa, Nick, and his two young daughters.
I was emotionally touched by the painful childhood suffering caused by self-centered adults and by Elsa’s emotional upheaval caused by self-doubt. Thankfully author Ruth Logan Herne weaves a thread of compassion and hope as the characters heal from the past with the wisdom and kindness of others. The developing romance between Elsa and Nick is so tender….with some mighty sweet kissing scenes….but faces some issues with trust and forgiveness. This is a story of flawed people who make mistakes, but are healed through love and the support of others.
I loved this book! Ruth Logan Herne writes amazing books filled with the love shown in strong families, with the redemption granted by second chances, and with the grace provided by faith. If you enjoy a sweet romance and being immersed in a modern-day family story of healing and hope, I highly recommend Home on the Range.
“Maybe people didn’t get to choose what experiences molded and melded them into contributing members of society, but they did get to choose how to handle those experiences.”
“It means that embracing the joys in life is healthier than letting the sorrows drag us down. If we can learn to shrug off our frailties and foibles, the world becomes a much better place.”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. I’m honored to write an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print. Ruth is a founding member of SEEKERVILLE, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.
Home on the Range received a TOP PICK 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times Review….(very impressive!) You can read that review and sign up for her newsletter…and find out more about her other wonderful books at her website by clicking: RUTH LOGAN HERNE WEBSITE
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
Thank you for the amazing talent You have given author Ruth Logan Herne…both her writing abilities and her spirit of service. Her heart-felt stories and compassionate actions touch so many, giving hope and comfort to hurting souls.
Please continue to bless all her efforts and the work of all Christian authors as they spread the message of Your Word through their writing.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen
The characters in the Double S Ranch series mention enjoying maple bars from a nearby bakery. As heroine Elsa says, “Add in a trip to Cle Elum for maple bars, and I’m all in.” (page 222) Since we recently drove through beautiful central Washington to visit our grandsweeties in Seattle, we just had to make a stop at the Cle Elum Bakery where we sampled many of their baked goods. (I’m embarrassed to tell you how many we HAD to try, but I’ll just say…I’m still exercising those bites away…but SO worth every crumb.) I’ll leave you with pictures of a few of the treats we sampled during our two stops….coming and going….at this charming shop, along with some of central Washington’s scenery.
Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! May your life be touched by God’s treasured blessing of healing!
Thank you for stopping by to sip tea, enjoy a treat and chat about Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn. I found this August Love Inspired Historical release to be an entertaining visit to Placerville, California, during an interesting time period. The romance is sweet and the faith element provides an important reminder of forgiveness.
Today I’m serving Lemon Bars as served by the Gold Country Confections shop in this story. So please help yourself to a lemon bar, while I pour your choice of iced or hot lemon tea. We’re ready for a celebration of the end of summer as we review Make-Believe Beau.
What an entertaining story with an intriguing mix of history and romance!
In 1874, draftswoman Jessica Sinclair is a self-sufficient lady with a challenging new position in a male-dominated workplace. Determined engineer Flynt Kavanaugh is her hardworking and fair-minded boss. Both have secrets concerning their earlier situations, providing an interesting story as they try to keep the past hidden and try to be convincing in their pretend courtship.
Jessica warmed my heart with her attitude of believing the best of others and with her cheerful, courageous personality. I found myself sympathizing with Flynt as he struggles with his convictions and his attraction to Jessica. He thought he had his life well-planned until he becomes Jessica’s boss and pretend beau. It’s great fun to watch this couple navigate the awkward situation imposed on them as they try to understand each other and overcome past issues.
Author Keli Gwyn brings the historical setting of Placerville, California, to life as details of constructing the actual El Dorado Canal and of life in the charming town are sprinkled throughout the book. One of my favorite nostalgic scenes is of the couple during a roller-skating activity…very realistic. Most importantly, the romance builds with sweetness and the faith thread is touching, with many takeaways expressed perfectly. If you enjoy history mixed with the romance of an interesting couple, I think you’ll truly enjoy Make-Believe Beau.
“The Lord’s gifted you with a remarkable voice. It’s my belief that when He gifts us, He does so in the hope that we’ll share what we’ve been given with others.”
“Everyone bore stains of one kind or another. That was why the Lord had come. To pay the price for the mistakes of mankind. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He’d cleansed her.”
*I won a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. It’s a pleasure to post my honest opinion of this book.
TEA TREAT RECIPE:
This is my mother’s recipe for Lemon Bars…a perfect end-of-summer treat with iced or hot lemon tea.
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
Set aside 1 cup of this mixture, then pat the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs until fluffy. Mix in 2 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon rind, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 4 tablespoons flour. (At high altitudes, use 6 tablespoons of flour.) Pour over the baked crust…no need to cool, then top with the reserved 1 cup of crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Cut into squares.
“…Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
We thank you for sending Your Son to wash us clean from our sins so we may live in your treasured forgiveness. Bless author Keli Gwyn as she writes stories to bless readers by spreading Your message of forgiveness and hope.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
You can learn more about author Keli Gwyn (and find tidbits about her writing journey) at her charming Victorian website: KELI GWYN
Thank you for stopping by for #TuesdayTea. May your end-of-summer days be filled with God’s treasured gifts!
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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!
“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.
“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!
“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.
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)
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!
Welcome to a HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAYcelebration 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.
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?
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.”
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!
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?
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)
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!
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 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.
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
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
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 https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
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.
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!