Do you like mystery/suspense books….with uplifting characters? A favorite inspirational author, Ruth Logan Herne, has written a superb story with all the intrigue of a mystery, all the danger of a suspense and all the encouragement of faith. I loved Merciful Secrecy! While you read my review, please settle in with a cup of tea or coffee….and a delicious dessert croissant. (Ruthy includes the recipe at the end of the book.)
MY REVIEW OF MERCIFUL SECRECY
An entertaining and heart-touching mystery! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
As an excellent addition to the Miracles and Mysteries of Mercy Hospital series, Merciful Secrecy takes us back to Charleston where four sleuthing friends provide their skills to protect a young nurse at Mercy Hospital who is being stalked by a stranger.
I was completely engaged in this story. The main characters are such fun, each with distinctive, compassionate personalities, as they work to determine who is threatening the emergency room nurse. With intriguing flashbacks, the details of past events are slowly revealed adding questions to what is currently happening at the hospital. Excitement, danger and twists kept me turning the pages. The heartfelt emotions had me reaching for tissues a few times. I highly recommend this mystery book for its touching message of dedication, friendship, family and self-sacrifice.
A busy hospital housed lots of folks in need of prayer. The Angel of Mercy (statue) was the perfect reminder that God lives and loves. Even in the darkest hours.
“We pray and we let God do what God’s best at doing—fixing things.”
*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m honored to offer my honest opinion.
ABOUT MERCIFUL SECRECY
“Anne Mabry loves her volunteer work at Mercy Hospital, and she loves the relationship she’s been able to form with the staff. So when she learns that nurse Katie McNamara is unsettled by a strange sequence of events, Anne can’t help but wonder if someone is threatening her. When Anne later meets Katie’s grandfather, a retired Atlanta detective, and learns that Katie was adopted after her father testified against the mob, Anne and her friends set out to make sure the young woman is not in any true danger.
When Anne sees a suspicious man hanging around the hospital, she wonders if he’s waiting for Katie, or perhaps her doppelganger, Kitty Sue. Could there be more of a connection between these women than just their physical appearance? Is something sinister afoot at Mercy Hospital? And can Anne and her friends solve the mystery in time for an Easter celebration to remember?” (From the back-cover)
ABOUT RUTH LOGAN HERNE
Ruthy is a multi-published, award-winning writer of inspirational stories who lives on a pumpkin farm in upstate New York. Her books feature small towns, lovable characters and challenging situations….all infused with faith. To learn more about this amazing author, please visit her website: http://www.RuthLoganHerne.com. Merciful Secrecy is available at: http://www.guideposts.org.
Are you a fan of mystery books? Do you have a stack of TBR books for this summer?Thank you so much for visiting my blog!
With blessings and prayers for an enjoyable summer of reading,
*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation.
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!
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!
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 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).
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:
Then I also have a second version to present….a yummy sounding recipe for Cinnamon-Laced Coffee Cake from Allrecipes.com.
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!