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 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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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!
Usually when I invite you to have TUESDAY TEA with me, we’ll share a pot of tea and a tea time treat. Today our treat is a bit different. I’ll explain. After attending the sunrise service at our church on Easter Sunday, my husband and I went hiking in the desert to refresh in God’s amazing creation of wilderness. The area of our hike, shown below, seems like an interesting contrast to the setting of the book I’m featuring today on TUESDAY TEA, Sandra Leesmith’s LOVE’S PROMISES. Sandra’s novel is filled with scenic mountains, sparkling water, glistening snow, and the scent of Ponderosa pine forests. Beautiful Lake Tahoe is where this love story unfolds as Monica and Greg experience the outdoor adventures the Lake Tahoe area offers. Therefore, I’m serving trail food, water and energy bars, as Sandra discusses the active environment of her inspirational romance, Love’s Promises. Please be sure to enter the giveaway (at the bottom of this post), featuring Lake Tahoe and Sandra’s favorite coffee.
First, enjoy the beautiful cover of this book! When Sandra revealed the cover a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to learn there was a tea house on tiny Fannette Island, or as the locals call it, the Tea House Island. You can see the island on the cover. However, the Tea House is not a place to drop in for afternoon tea, as Sandra will explain below.
About the Book:
For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality. All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance. As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to accept each other’s promises and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?
Now to chat with Sandra about the beautiful Lake Tahoe setting of Love’s Promises!
SHERIDA: What glimmer of an idea started your thoughts for Love’s Promises?
SANDRA: Two glimmers happened for me. My husband and I bought a house at Lake Tahoe, and it needed a lot of work done on it. The work needed permits, and that is when we ran into the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. My husband is a biologist and we both have deep concern and love of nature, so we were very impressed with the Agency’s plan to protect the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe in spite of the extensive use. The research was very rewarding.
The other thing that happened at that time is that I was involved in a class for women offered at church that pointed out God’s plan for women and their role as godly wives. Becoming an adult in the era when women’s lib started, I thought the precepts presented in my Bible class were refreshing, and I wanted to show those in my writing as well.
SHERIDA: Both of your inspirational experiences are developed so well in the book, the concern of preserving natural beauty and the reflections on God’s plan for being a wife.
As I mentioned, I love tea houses, but the Tea House mentioned in your book is not what I was thinking it would be. Please tell us a bit about the Tea House you describe in Love’s Promises.
SANDRA: No, the tea house located on Fannette Island in Emerald Bay is very unconventional, isn’t it? It was built by Lora Josephine Knight, who purchased the property on shore and the island in 1928 and built the house and teahouse according to Scandinavian architecture. She would take her lady friends out to the island for tea. The small structure included a fireplace and a table and chairs. I think she built it to protect them from the wind and cold that can come up while on the lake.
SHERIDA: I do hope to visit this tea house! My husband and I love travel. We have plans to see Lake Tahoe this summer for the first time. What would you suggest to add sparkle to our visit? (We like camping, hiking, and food. Any place for tea or coffee you enjoy?)
SANDRA: My recommendation would be to go to the tourist information centers. They are located in the major towns and also in the state parks and national monuments. You need to make reservations early as they book up fast for camping. Any of the campgrounds are fabulous. Take your bicycles, as you can ride to interesting places from all of the campgrounds. Hiking trails abound in the forest around the lake. There is also access to the Desolation Wilderness Area on the west side of the lake.
Every town has fabulous restaurants for coffee and tea. Just ask the campground hosts where you camp. I particularly love to have coffee on the deck at Sunnyside along the west shore. (Here is their website: http://www.sunnysidetahoe.com) Btw, they received a “best ambiance” award in 2014.
SHERIDA: Thank you for your trip-planning suggestions, Sandra. And thank you for your blog tour events and the giveaway featuring Lake Tahoe. I love Love’s Promises!
SANDRA: Thank you, Sherida. I am looking forward to the blog tour. I am delighted that you love the book.
Follow the Love’s Promises blog tour set up by Amber Stokes by clicking on the pretty button below. Visit with the other bloggers who present fun information about LOVE’S PROMISES!
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE’S PROMISES:
This is a story about Monica Scott’s determination to build a house, designed by her father, on an environmental sensitive plot of land in the Tahoe Basin area of California in the 1980’s. Her plans are thwarted by Greg Linsey, an agent with the organization charged with protecting the quality of life in the area. Well-motivated characters and the different ways love is expressed, fill this story with thoughtful inspiration. I enjoyed the sense of hiking and exploring the beautiful scenery of Lake Tahoe, so lovingly described by Sandra Leesmith.
A slight breeze rushed through the trees. The cool air refreshed his exerted body. Birds sang. Squirrels scattered in front of him. Pleasure coursed through Greg as the stirrings of spring transferred from nature to him. He looked around and thanked God again for His wonderful creation, and thanked his forefathers for the wisdom to preserve it. For the first time in months, peace settled in his heart.
“That’s called love. It’s the way love works. You put someone else before yourself. In appreciation, that person does the same.”
About author Sandra Leesmith:
Sandra Leesmith loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at www.sandraleesmith.com.
Sandra is offering one reader a taste of Lake Tahoe with a sweet prize pack: a signed paperback copy of Love’s Promises, a journal, a Lake Tahoe coffee mug, a pound of Millstone Velvet Chocolate coffee, and a Hulet Glass chocolate drop! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway //d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js
Thanks to Sandra Leesmith and my readers for stopping by for TUESDAY TEA, even if we just had water and trail bars today, but so fitting for the beautiful hiking to be experience in Sandra Leesmith’s Love’s Promises! Be sure to enter the giveaway. Hope you enjoy Love’s Promises,as I did! May you always be blessed by the gift of our Savior’s love as celebrated at Easter! Blessings to you!
This week, my real life hero and I celebrate our forty-two years of Happily Ever After. We’re gathering at the Old West Book Shop today. In my husband’s honor, I’m serving his favorite Arbuckles coffee (strong) and his favorite treat, Oreo cookies. He’ll be reading his treasured Louis L’Amour books while we’re lingering over coffee.
This is the man who asked me to go to the Junior Prom with him for our first date.
This is the man who still wanted to marry me when I told him I wasn’t able to have children.
This is the man who stoodby me as I went through many years of infertility treatments.
This is the man who calmed me as we went through high-risk pregnancies.
This is the man who was by my side both times we brought miracle babies into the world.
This is the man who comforted me when two of our babies went to heaven before being born.
This is the man who is a wonderful father to our two sons, who are amazing men.
This is the man who has always worked hard to provide for his family.
This is the man who delights in being Granddad to the most adorable grandchildren in the world.
This is the man who strives to live a Christian life every day.
This is the man God created to be my best friend, my companion along the trail.
This is the man who is my hero.
This is the man I love.
Blessings to you, DEAR HUSBAND of forty-two years….and forever!