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 review of Myra Johnson’s The Rancher’s Family Legacy, the third book in her Ranchers of Gabriel Bend series.
ABOUT THE RANCHER’S FAMILY LEGACY
A future he didn’t want….
Could become the family he needs.
Building contractor Mark Caldwell is ready to inherit his grandfather’s horse ranch and put his traumatic past behind him—if he can survive working in Texas Hill Country for a year. But when his dog bonds with local caterer Holly Elliot’s son, Mark can’t refuse Holly’s request to be her son’s mentor. Can they put aside their differences long enough to open their hearts?
An amazing story of family strength and love! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Of the three friends establishing the River Bend Events and Wedding Chapel, Holly Elliot is the extraordinary caterer for the group. Much of her focus is directed at keeping her young, epileptic son safe. When building contractor Mark Caldwell shows up because of a stipulation in his grandfather’s will, sparks fly between the two, especially because of the attachment between Mark, his dog and Holly’s son. Emotions flare because of different personalities and some misunderstandings. Because of past heartbreaks, a great deal of healing is necessary before the couple can move forward.
I love how author Myra Johnson has woven the complex family dynamics into all three Ranchers of Gabriel Bend books, each revealing part of the feud which has caused difficulties. With love and faith, this endearing family strives to overcome the past hurts. I’ve enjoyed all the books in the series, and I’m sorry to say goodbye to this community of small town values. But I can now imagine these sweet characters continuing on with their lives, giving back to the town and supporting both extended families. I highly recommend this romance for its uplifting, feel-good emotions of faith and strong family bonds. And if you know me, the tearoom concept is definitely “my cup of tea.”
“Life never goes quite as planned…..I try hard not to question God, but I do wonder why He lets some things happen….or doesn’t.”
“But knowing God cares, that He’s always with me, even in the pain, and even when I can’t feel His presence—it’s where I find the strength to face each day. It’s how I find gratitude for the good in my life right now.”
*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinion.
ABOUT AUTHOR MYRA JOHNSON
Myra writes inspiration romance from her home in Texas Hill Country where she enjoys the beautiful bluebells of the region during the spring. To learn more about Myra and her books, please check out her website: http://www.myrajohnson.com
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
~~Psalm 118:24 (KJV)
TEATIME TREAT RECIPE—BISCOCHITOS
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe. She was an amazing cook, especially in the cookie and pie departments.
1/2 cup solid butter flavored shortening or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. anise seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together shortening and sugar.
Add flour, anise seed, baking powder and salt.
Combine egg and orange juice, then beat into mixture a little at a time. (Dough should be moist but workable.)
Form into a long roll, wrap in plastic and let cool in the refrigerator.
Slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
Pat each cookie on one side with cinnamon sugar and place (unsugared side down) on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
I’m glad you stopped by for my review and for a teatime treat. I hope your summer will begin with a bit of relaxing time and a good story. Do you have a book you’re looking forward to reading this summer?
With blessings and prayers,
*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 NIV
Are you facing challenges? Health issues? Work-related stresses? Relationship issues?
When we must work through difficult times, we don’t usually see the reason or meaning for the struggles we endure. After we’ve gone through the fire, we can reflect back on what we’ve gained. Strength. Confidence. Humility. Empathy. Gratefulness.
Recently I had complicated foot surgery. If you know me, you know hiking is integral to my well-being….physically, emotionally and spiritually. Four weeks and counting with no weight bearing. Crutches are a pain…literally! Then I’ll face a couple of months with an “orthopedic boot” and then intensive physical therapy. No hiking or neighborhood walks. The hardest challenge is accepting I’m dependent on my husband for many daily tasks. He’s great about helping, but I don’t like limits on my abilities.
Even though this recovery is not the worst health challenge my husband and I have faced, this time of waiting is giving me plenty of opportunity to trust my faith…to stay positive and hopeful about the ultimate outcome. After this, I’ll deeply appreciate being able to walk across a room without the aid (hinderance?) of crutches. I’m clinging to the message in one of the Bible passages I think of when I need strength….fortitude for any and every challenge faced.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Doesn’t this passage fill you with hope and confidence? No matter the challenge before you, these words give strength to face the difficulty ahead. To pass through the fire….of pain, despair and fear. Our Lord prepares us to do battle with truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and His Word.
We enjoy attending Renaissance festivals, a little taste of the sights and sounds of the past. The jousting knights are the perfect example of putting on armor before the battle. At the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Phoenix, many attendees wear elaborate costumes. Colorful wares are offered in cute shoppes. Tunes from bagpipes and beating drums can be heard. The air has scents of wood fires and roasting turkey legs. There was even a cute tea shop, perfect for my tea-loving self.
So today I’m serving Shakespeare’s Romance Tea—white tea, raspberry leaf, hibiscus and peach.
If you’re interested in Renaissance fairs, I recommend the elaborate Arizona Renaissance Festival held on weekends during February and March. For details, visit http://www.arizonarenfestinfo.com.
Some of my author friends have books releasing soon.
Fitting in with the theme of jousting knights, Sherrinda Ketchersid’s debut, Lord of Her Heart, is available May 14, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. To escape an evil plot, Lady Jocelyn dons a disguise, hoping to find out the truth about her father’s situation. Jousting tournament champion Malcolm, who desires a peaceful life on his own manor, discovers her deception. They must learn to trust each other in this story of romance set in medieval times. Sounds intriguing!
Patti Jo Moore’s third book in her Emerald Coast Romance series, In Tune With Romance, releases later this month with Forget Me Not Romances. We can anticipate another sweet romance as we visit the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze. We’re all ready for some warm breezes, I imagine!
Currently I’m reading A Most Inconvenient Love, by Ruth Logan Herne. This historical, set on the prairies of South Dakota, is engaging as a school marm and a lumber baron find their way to a happy ever after. I always enjoy this author’s style of sprinkling wisdom among the pages of a great story.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the courage you give us for face the challenges in our lives. Your Word fortifies us with truth, righteousness, faith and salvation. Please be with us as we walk toward the light with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Are you facing challenges? May we pray for you? Have you walked a challenging path and come through stronger because of your experience? What Scriptures do you treasure when faced with difficulties?
I’ve felt the prayers of those of you praying for my surgery. I’d appreciate continuing prayers for my foot to heal completely so I’ll be out on the mountain trails this summer. Thank you for prayers, sharing and joining me for Tuesday Tea.
With blessings and prayers always,
*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.
Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of author Laurie Wood’s debut…NORTHERN DECEPTION. In keeping with the setting for this book…the arctic area of Canada…glittering with white snow…I’m serving Sparkling White Chocolate Scones. Please help yourself to a couple of treats while I pour you a cup of Twinings Buttermint tea, perfect with these seasonal scones.
NOW LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE BOOK!
Isn’t this a stunning cover? The pages inside are just as thrilling.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Reunions can be deadly.
After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientists. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.
Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.
MY REVIEW OF NORTHERN DECEPTION
A fast-paced story filled with exciting action as this couple’s safety is threatened…..and strong romantic feelings between them are rekindled!
When polar bear research scientist Kira Summers finds out her old boyfriend, arctic rover tour operator Lukas Tanner, lives in the same remote Canadian town, she finds her heart at risk again, as well as her life. Can Kira survive the threats and be given the second chance at love she wishes she could have?
NORTHERN DECEPTION is packed with heart-thrilling moments as Lukas tries to keep Kira safe. Author Laurie Wood knows how to create great suspense to keep us reading into the night. The tension escalated as I tried to figure out who was trying to harm Kira…and why. This book, with its interesting details, provided a fascinating virtual visit to the polar bear land of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I was shivering, not just from the freezing temperature, but also from fear of the huge northern bears. The characters were all believable, and I especially liked precious little Sophie. The romance between the couple is sweetly portrayed, with one of the absolutely cutest proposals I’ve ever read…..the perfect ending.
If you like romance with strong suspense elements and woven with threads of faith, I highly recommend NORTHERN DECEPTION. I’m counting on more great stories about Heroes of the Tundra from author Laurie Wood.
*I received a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinion.
To find out more about Laurie, to sign up for her newsletter, and to get information on ordering Northern Deception, visit Laurie Wood Author website.
RECIPE:SPARKLING WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES
In a large bowl, cut together with a pastry cutter or fork until blended:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
Add and cut together until mixed:
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate baking chips
Whisk together then stir into dough:
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Turn onto a flour dusted board and knead slightly until dough sticks together. Add more milk if too dry. Form the dough into two balls, then pat into discs roughly 1-inch thick. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with white sparkling decorator sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.These can be iced with powdered sugar glaze and more sprinkles added for decoration.
Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea and celebrating Laurie Wood’s debut book. I hope your week is filled with a bit of time for reading and with many sweet treats as we prepare for the Christmas season!
Blessings and prayers always,
*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.
Are you blessed by imperfection? Or are you a perfectionist, waiting for that perfect something, as I am?
While looking through my photos of a recent fall hike, a scarlet leaf captured my attention. It wasn’t perfect. Two holes marred its surface. Despite its imperfection, I’d stopped to take the picture…..as a reminder of the colorful autumn trails we traveled.
That made me consider my desire to be PERFECT. Do you struggle with PERFECTIONISM?
My dream of being an author is stalled as I wait for the PERFECT time to write, the PERFECT system to revise my manuscript, and the PERFECT publishing option to appear. I’m frozen with indecision……waiting for PERFECT.
As I contemplated my perfectionist tendencies, God nudged me to think about certain blessings in my life. I realized treasures don’t require perfection.
My grandkids made special presents for me last Christmas. As I unwrapped the potholder my grandson had woven together, he sat beside me and said, “Grammy, I made a mistake here.” He pointed to a place where a loop was missed. Even though some might not considered them PERFECT, I’m sure you can imagine how much I treasure these! Each day, I delight in seeing their precious gifts displayed on my kitchen counter. My heart smiles.
Then there is the imperfection on my husband’s left leg. Twelve years ago, multiple surgeries left a large skin-grafted area of grayish-colored alligator-like skin covering the knotted and damaged muscles beneath. But that scar is beautiful to me! It is a reminder that he didn’t die in the underground coal mine where he was trapped for twenty-two hours. It is a miracle he survived. It is a miracle his leg wasn’t amputated. It is a miracle he is able to hike today while wearing a leg brace. I’m thankful for many miracles!
God reminded me of these things as I thought about being a perfectionist.
TREASURE THE IMPERFECT! WE ARE BLESSED!
Am I seeking perfection? Is my writing progress frozen by requiring perfection? Am I a perfect person? Yes. Yes. No.
I am truly blessed by imperfection, so I want to change my view of this writing journey. Our Father knows we are imperfect, but still He loves us. I believe He doesn’t want us to be frozen with the fear of not being perfect. We should still strive for doing our best by polishing our writing, but then we must move forward with courage. Rather than hiding our light, we want our writing to shine for God’s glory! He has a plan for each of us. We need to step out in faith and trust in the Lord.
Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
To celebrate our October #TuesdayTea, I’m serving a trio of autumn inspired treats….creepy-crawly dirt cups, ghoulish salted caramel pudding and miniature pumpkin pie…plus your choice of tea, coffee or warm cider.
Do you have strategies to cope with being a perfectionist? Are you blessed by treasures of IMPERFECTION?
Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. For all of us, I pray we are able to set aside any paralyzing fears, trusting our Lord as we step out in faith to experience the life He has planned for us.
With prayers and blessings,
*Your comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting responses.
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.
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!
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 celebration of the Christmas season while we enjoy a festive treat of Cranberry Apricot Scones. I’m reviewing A Heart Full of Christmas, a collection of contemporary novellas all filled with the heartwarming joy of romance and happily-ever-after endings. These stories are written by five of the Seekers of Seekerville.
A Heart Full of Christmas is a sparkling collection of five inspirational romances written by five of my favorite authors. Each story has a different quality. The charming angel ornament on the cover is a precious hint of what is inside, as all the novellas feature the touch of a angel.
A MIRACLE FOR CHRISTMAS, by Debby Giusti, is an exciting love story of overcoming fears and focusing on the future. Watch for Gabriel, a secondary character, who is the kind of guy we all need for comfort during stressful situations.
HOME TO HIS HEART, by Ruth Logan Herne, is a story about former high school acquaintances who must confront difficult childhood memories. A relationship develops between them as his rambunctious and adorable twin boys bring them together. Ruthy knows how to “write” kiddos!
UNDER THE MISTLETOE, by Tina Radcliffe, has the flavor of my favorite Christmas tale. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this is a charming novella, filled with trademark Tina humor. I love this story. And a recipe for gingerbread cookies makes for a perfect treat-filled ending.
HOLIDAY HOMECOMING, by Sandra Leesmith, starts with a sweet pre-Christmas birthday gathering of old friends. At the suggestion of a special waitress, they reminisce about first loves. A delightful holiday celebration and romance with Southern California style.
SNOWFLAKE KISSES, by Missy Tippens, is a warm small town romance set in High Hope, Georgia. A lovely romance evolves as a family secret comes to light. Vintage ornaments and a Christmas Eve surprise add to a sweet story.
With this group of favorite authors, you will experience suspense, heart-touching emotion, laughter, warmth, and sweet romance…..all with the strength of faith-filled grace. What a perfect set of stories to get ready for the Christmas season. A great Christmas gift to fill someone’s virtual stocking…..errrr, Kindle!
*I won a copy of this book, with no requirement to write a review. I’m thrilled to share my honest opinion about this collection.
Another Christmas collection of Seeker novellas is Home for Christmas, a set of historical romance stories. I highly recommend both collections….great authors, great stories, great value. And these sets are excellent for gifting!
TEA TREATS: Cranberry Apricot Scones with Orange Glaze, compliments of author Mary Jane Hathaway.
I first saw this recipe when author Mary Jane Hathaway posted a picture on Facebook. She was preparing these scones for sharing the recipe on the Yankee-Belle Café blog. (www.Yankee-BelleCafe.blogspot.com) She graciously allowed me to share the recipe with you. Thank you, Mary Jane and all the Yankee-Belle Café gals!
I used dried cranberries, which worked fine. These are simply delicious…..and taste and smell like Christmas….a perfect treat for a Christmas tea celebration.
If you want to learn about Mary Jane Hathaway’s books, click here.
We pray for all Christian authors as they bring the message of hope and love to others through their books. We pray that others learn about the light of the world, placing their faith and trust in You.
In Jesus name, Amen.
I’m sending my prayers for all of you, dear friends, for a blessed Christmas and a year of treasured blessings in the New Year!
Thank you for visiting me and taking a bit of quiet time to celebrate the treasured blessing of Christ’s birth.
Recently we were blessed to take care of our grandsweeties for a few days while our son and daughter-in-law had a weekend away attending a wedding in New York City. Granddaughter and I made blueberry muffins one afternoon for an after nap teatime. Fun!
One of the many books we read to the grandsweeties while we were visiting was My Very First Tea Party by Michal Sparks. This book is published by Christian book publisher, Harvest House Publishers. I especially liked the thoughtful blessing included as part of teatime.
What a sweet book! This is a cute gift for a toddler (the board book) or preschool child (the hardback version). Adding a tea set would be a perfect combination. My granddaughter and I love to have teatime together, and this rhyming book details all the elements of a tea celebration, complete with invitation, blessing and thank you note. Charming!
Not only are the grandsweeties lovers of books, but art is also a favorite activity. Here is a picture painted by Grandson. He knows what Grammy likes!
We are thankful for the treasured blessing of our family and the sparkling times we spend together.