Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bookmark Fun

Looking forward to reading The Road to Paradise next!
Hello again. I mentioned these books in my last blog post (CLICK HERE), and now I wanted to share a little bookmark fun.

I created this bookmark representing the novel series "Vintage National Parks" by going to the author's website and utilizing her free postcards.

Except, I used my computer's "Snipping Tool" to capture the postcards and then paste them to MS.Word.  Then I cropped the pictures to fit into a long table.  I also added thumbnail size pictures to the top.  I printed it on cream cardstock, cut with cute scissors, and hole punched the top.  Then I added a cute ribbon and cross gifted to me by a friend and TA DA; a themed bookmark for this series that came together in no time at all.

The quotes on each postcard are:
💜"All good things are wild and free." - Henry David Thoreau
🧡"The mountains are calling and I must go. - John Muir 
💚"I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2
💙"Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest." - John Muir

I shared it with the author Karen Barnett who seemed pleased with my efforts.  So I encourage you to have a little bookmark fun with whatever you are reading or a book you may be gifting :-)

Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea!

Friday, June 8, 2018


I visited Yosemite several times as a girl and it is a wonder with all of its giant redwoods, sequoias, pine scents, cool breezes, waterfalls, giant rocks, cliffs, trails and wildlife.  This book made me want to travel there again.  Some of daycare Littles are there now camping and celebrating a fifth birthday! Hooray!!

I figured a thermos of tea was appropriate for the wilderness (smile).

Where the Fire Falls – A Vintage national Parks Novel - by Karen Barnett

Olivia Rutherford is an aspiring Watercolorist and currently portraying herself as a free-spirited flapper among California’s nouveau riche. Clark Johnson is a guide in Yosemite National Park, and on a quest to discover God’s ultimate path for his life.  He’s managed to pretty much avoid women for the last three years.
Ch. 1 “I’m not afraid of women. … They’re just a highly unpredictable species.  One minute they’re as sweet as honeysuckle; next you find yourself up to your kneecaps in hellfire.”
When the two are thrown together they both begin a journey of self-discovery and share the amazing beauty of the park. However, deception, secrets and danger follow them around creating a rocky path at times.
Tea Moment:   Ch. 4 Vanderbilt was a pith helmet short of an African safari.  Next thing you knew, he’d be demanding tea from a china cup.
I loved the campfire songs! Red River Valley is a favorite of mine and the old hymns touched my soul.

There is so much beauty captured in this story. Ch. 10 “God saved up the best bits of creation and spent them here.” Ch. 11 The sun’s radiance still played off the summit in the distance, the details in the granite exposed by the long reddish rays blending light and shadow. Ch. 16 God’s presence was in Yosemite… Every blade of grass, every breath of wind, even the light passing over the polished granite and dancing through the waterfalls’ spray seemed touched by His spirit.

Thank you to Karen Barnett for alerting me to the BOGO deal. I took advantage of the pre-order opportunity & am so happy I did.  I cannot wait to receive The Road to Paradise. My opinion is my own and given freely.
Read: 6/6&7/2018 - Reviewed: 6/8/2018 / ☆☆☆☆☆

FREE STUFF – Go to the author’s website to get a free novelette "Christmas in Paradise", 8 free vintage style postcards, digital poster and bonus eBook “Women of the National Parks”.  So generous and cool!

John Muir is also mentioned a few times in the book, so I wanted to also share my recently purchased copy of Muir’s The Boyhood of a Naturalist.  It is over 100 years old and after reading Where the Fire Falls, I look forward to jumping into this book.

I do hope you will be able to add these to your TBR list, and perhaps enjoy a bit of Yosemite or another National Park.
Until next time,
Hugs and a cup (or thermos) of tea!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

It's book release day for this wonderful installment in the new Haven Manor series from most excellent author, Kristi Ann Hunter.

I was so excited when the golden envelope arrived! I immediately took it out to the garden to photograph!

I could not put this book down and read the entire thing on Saturday!  I enjoyed every minute of it.

A Defense of Honor – Haven manor Book 1 - by Kristi Ann Hunter
London – 1816
Graham, Lord Wharton, is bored with balls; bored with high society; bored with life in general.  That is until a chance encounter with a lady in a green ball gown catches him off guard.  Compelled to investigate he is faced with the most unusual person he has come across in a long time.  However, mystery and danger seem to follow her and she might not be the best diversion after all.
Katherine FitzGilbert is determined to right the wrongs of the well-to-do’s indiscretions and protect those who need her.  She may not be able to change the past, but she will do everything she can to see to the future of those she has secreted away.  With the help of some dear friends, including Mr. Nash Banfield, the wonderful solicitor from the introductory FREE eNovella, A Search for Refuge, she is doing her best to provide a calm and serene life for her charges out in the country.  That is until things begin to unravel.

AAAAGHH! The word was supposed to read
STURDY, not study! ;/
I really enjoyed the characters and story.  I especially liked that while the subject matter (pre-marital relations) behind the story can be an ugly one, the author wrote it in a very comfortable way, never subjecting us to an overly descriptive scene like some authors do. I absolutely adore the scene in Ch. 6 with Graham and little Daniel in Mrs. Lancaster’s shop . And when Graham takes his friend, Aaron Whitworth, around to his tenants and introduces him in a very special way, I was laughing out loud. 

Tea Moment: Ch. 30 Daphne brought tea with her to the back porch that night. She sat on the steps next to Kit and offered a mug before sipping her own drink in quiet serenity. 

I recommend this book and look forward to future installments. 
My favorite bookmark
& gardenias from my garden.
Read: 6/3/2018 - Reviewed: 6/5/2018 / ☆☆☆☆☆
Thank you to Bethany House and the lovely author for this paperback copy. My opinion is my own and given freely. Keep updated on the author’s website, Kristi Ann Hunter dot com

Haven Manor Series
“The Haven Manor series follows a group of women who take what could have been a life-crushing circumstance and turned it into an opportunity to help desperate women and their children from the same fate. Their pasts may have brought these women here, but God has an amazing future in store for them.” -Author’s Website
Read my review here: My Review
A Return of Devotion – Daphne’s Story - coming Feb. 2019
Coming Soon – Jess's Story

Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea! 
Drink Tea, Read Books, Be Happy :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018



The Accidental Guardian – High Sierra Sweethearts Book 1 - by Mary Connealy
SW of Lake Tahoe, NV – Oct. 1867

Sisters, Deborah and Gwen Harkness have agreed to watch three-year-old Maddie Sue Scott and toddler cousin Ronnie in exchange for joining a small wagon train heading west so they can start a newspaper of their own. When an unthinkable tragedy occurs, they find themselves stranded with no idea how to get help.  Trace Riley (I love that name!) is headed to his home in the High Sierra’s on his horse Black with his dog Wolf when he happens upon the odd group. The ladies are certain God brought him to them and he agrees they certainly need help if they are to survive. Trace is a Bible-believing wilderness man in his prime who has no real experience with ladies or family other than the early years spent with his Pa, but he can track like nobody’s business and when danger returns to his mountains he is determined to guard all who need safe passage.  I quite enjoyed this story where carving out a life is hard, but joyful in the camaraderie and pride of helping others and honest work.

Copy provided by Bethany House Publishing with no other compensation.  I am not required to provide a favorable review and my opinion is my own.

High Sierra Sweethearts:
1 – The Accidental Guardian – April 2018
2 – The Reluctant Warrior – October 2018
3 – The Unexpected Champion – coming in 2019
My blogging partner today is Abbey.
Until next time; Hugs and a Cup of Tea

In addition to MY BLOG, Reviews posted at:
Amazon /  Barnes & Noble / CBD / GoodReads / Google Play / Kobo  / Author or Influencer’s FB page if applicable / My Pinterest-


ALL for LOVE – A Historical Romance 3 Novella Collection © 2018 Bethany House

The Boden Birthright – Cimarron Legacy Series Novella by Mary Connealy
Boston, Mass August 1852 / New Mexico Territory
The Bradford family is extremely wealthy has been caring for the grandson Cole Boden ever since his mother and baby sister passed away during childbirth.  Chance Boden, Cole’s father, lives in the opulent house but grief holds him hostage. One day, he snaps back to reality and decides to start fresh with his son.  They head off with a plan and stop along the way at the home of Frank Chastain and his daughter, Veronica who just happen to own 1/4 million acres in New Mexico Territory.  There is an instant attraction between Veronica and Chance, and she is especially taken with his son Cole.  Frank becomes a good friend to Chance and teaches him the ways of ranching in this hard wilderness.  The story is packed with details and takes an abrupt turn forcing big decisions. Plenty of prayer and presence of God.  I cried a lot and really enjoyed it. Originally pub. in 2016 as an eNovella – now I want to look into and read the rest of the series!

A Lady of Esteem – A Hawthorne House Series Novella by Kristi Ann Hunter
London, 1812 Regency Era
At 10 years, Amelia Stalwood was foisted onto extended family to care for.  Eventually, she was sent to one of their homes to live with a staff and governess and essentially forgotten. She made the best of her life, befriending the staff of the home as well as staff members all over town, fully expecting to have to go into service one day when she was of an age to no longer be a burden.
Anthony Pendleton, Marquis of Raebourne has recently committed his life to Christ and has returned to London to reestablish his place in society.  Arriving three days early, he runs headlong into Amelia cleaning his library bookcases of all things, despite the fact he does not recall her being in his employment.
The two continue to run into one another and the story develops in an unexpected and delightful way and God’s presence is felt.  Most enjoyable. Originally pub. in 2015 as an eNovella – and the other 4 books in the series are wonderful! Read them all!
From Author’s Website:
“The Hawthorne House Series follows a set of aristocratic siblings led by the Duke of Riverton. Set from 1812 - 1815, these stories show how beautiful life, love, and family can be when you let God be a part of them.”
(4.5 novels)
0.5 A Lady of Esteem – originally an eNovella – 7/1/2015 & now available in paperback as noted above.
1. A Noble Masquerade –  9/8/2015 You’ve Got Mail, Regency Style
2. An Elegant Façade –  7/5/2016
3. An Uncommon Courtship – 1/3/2017
4. An Inconvenient Beauty –  09/2017

At Your Request – an Apart From the Crowd Series Novella by Jen Turano
New York City, Jan. 1883
Although I read this story when it was first released as an eNovella, I am delighted to read it again. It makes me want to visit the wallflowers in books 1 and 2 again, and wonderfully anticipate book 3!
Miss Wilhelmina Radcliff is reunited with her dearest childhood friend, Mr. Edgar Wanamaker, at a ball of all places and is mortified to have him see her fall in society from debutant to social secretary. While wallflowers are supposed to be quiet and sullen, the ones we meet here are anything but! Edgar, having made his way in the world, has returned seeking a wife and wondering what became of Wilhelmina.  Finding her at a ball in a most awkward position, he cannot help but be amused and lend a hand.  Jen has such a delightful way of crafting a story. I quickly found myself laughing and smiling over the unexpected scenes, wonderful tea moments, a horse named Mr. Merriweather and charming human characters from the gilded age.
Apart From the Crowd Series
0.5 At Your Request – originally an eNovella Prequel 2017
1. Behind the Scenes April 2017
2. Out of the Ordinary Nov. 2017
3. Caught by Surprise coming July 2018

My blogging partner, Delilah 
Until next time; hugs and a cup of tea!
Copy provided by Bethany House Publishing with no other compensation.  I am not required to provide a favorable review and my opinion is my own.

In addition to MY BLOG, Reviews posted at:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD / GoodReads / Various Group Influencer’s FB pages if applicable / My Pinterest-

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The British Brides Collection

THE BRITISH BRIDES COLLECTION –Barbour Publishing © 2014
English and Scottish Romance Novellas

Spanning over 500 years of history in the British Isles, nine inspiring romance stories take readers through English gardens, around London ballrooms, and within Scottish castles.  Follow along as each of the brides-to-be encounter high drama and epic romance on the way to the altar.  Will they survive with their faith intact?
Inspired by authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, these nine romances are penned by an exclusive selection of Christian fiction authors and will become a cherished favorite for fans of British history and literature.


Woman of Valor by Jill Stengl – © 2001
Norfolk County, 1631. After losing her parents Helen Walker has come to her cousin's home, Marston Hall, to care for her cousin's three neglected children. They have recently lost their own mother as well as their brother. All three are dealing with the grief in their own way.
Their father is reluctant to care for them as he deals with his own pain of loss. Oliver Kirby is the horse trainer, but seems to be much more and is sent to retrieve Helen. She is filled with terror, but relies heavily upon God for His guidance and comfort. 
Excellent story filled with scripture and prayer. Very encouraging.stars

A Duplicitous Façade by Tamela Hancock Murray © 2005
England, 1812. Melodia agrees to marry Rolf even though she has never met him because her father has betrothed her. During a masquerade ball a stranger in red shows up flirting with her husband that causes her to have all sorts of questions.
While both husband and wife were God seeking Christians, they never seemed to have a true connection.  Lacked Substance stars

Love's Unmasking by Bonnie Blythe © 2005
England 1814. Lady Agatha, aunt to  Amaryllis Sinclair, has sent for her in an effort to win a bet with her friend that she can get her charge married off before her friend does the same with her own charge, Fanny. Amaryllis assumed her aunt was being generous in providing for her first season in London and that it was an answer to prayer. However on her very first night out she is accidentally found in a compromising position with the Viscount, Matthew Leighton, who agrees to marry her or risk going to court. Neither trusts the other but there are far more nefarious things at play. Story ended more abruptly than I would like and I would have loved an extra chapter. Still enjoyable 4.5 stars

A Treasure Worth Keeping by Kelly Eileen Hake © 2004
1827. "Finally after a year of tending to the various properties his father had left him and evading simpering misses with frills and gewgaws not to mention their determined Mama's he would be able to devote time to his books." STEPHEN MONTEBOURN. EARL OF PEMBERTON
Samuel Turner and daughter Paige are scheduled to assist with a remodel of the library.
Sweet Miss Emma is the Earl’s sister.
Horrible debutantes are invited by the Earl’s mother to assist in marrying off the stubborn Earl. 
This book has it all. A library filled with books, a secret, fantastic history, and a smart romance waiting to be revealed. 5 stars

Apple of His Eye By Gail Gayer Martin © 2001
Victorian England, 1851. 18 year old Sarah Hampton's father owns apple orchards that are famous for their "cyder".
John Banning is a yeoman/a farmer who's parents rent a small cottage along Sarah's property line. At 25, he has just started as her family orchardist and gardener.  
She has no use for the men of society, and prays God will direct her to someone worthy of her heart. Then she meets John who is very concerned with propriety and tries to avoid her. But, over time their hearts take over, and they pray God can help them find a way to be together.
Very nice little story. stars

Moonlight Masquerade By Pamela Griffin © 2005
1865. Leticia is rescued from London's dark, foggy streets by Edward, when she is nearly run over by a horse and carriage. He sees her safely home.
Weeks Later they again run into each other at a beautiful Manor home that her cousin's family has been invited to. Their grandmama has insisted she is to attend as a lady and a guest; not as a simple companion to her cousin, who is determined to become the Marquis' new bride. But dangerous highway men await them, and deceptive plots lurk around the corner.
A very enjoyable story of secrets, gentle love, and danger. stars

It turns out several of the Scottish tales in this book are woven together.

Fayre Rose By Tamela Hancock Murray © 2004
Scotland, 1348. Laird Kenneth is collecting taxes from the poor people in the kingdom. Witta Shepherd has not one coin to give and the Knights are none too happy. When they threaten to throw her father in the dungeon Fayre argues for him. Seeing the beautiful & unique orange roses she grows they decide to take her and her roses instead of her father, hoping she can produce the lovely blooms for the royal families back at Kennerith Castle.
Sort of a fairy-tale feel to the story. 5 stars

Fresh Highland Heir by Jill Stengl – © 2004
Scotland, 1748. Celeste Galbraith and her father have just inherited Kennerith Castle. Her father suspects danger lurking and now that they have inherited titles he has received a few threats. Upon arriving at the castle he hires Alan, a trusted servant, to become his daughter's round-the-clock bodyguard. She is beyond annoyed with this development but soon comes to regard him with favor. He shares his love of Christ with her as well as his love of horseback riding and nature. They discover her father's worries we're not in vain and danger is coming. stars

English Tea and Bagpipes by Pamela Griffin © 2004
Scotland, 1822. Fiona, a Scottish Highlander and Alex an English nobleman are reluctantly forced together to chase after their siblings who have eloped.
She has stayed close to her home, Kennerith Castle, having been branded a witch and is very wary of outsiders.
He is here to follow his father's orders and make sure his brother upholds his responsibility and marries someone befitting his station. He also wants to ensure his brother is not disinherited which would leave him The Heir Apparent. He is a doctor and loves his profession with no desire to take over the family fortune.
An excellent story that moves right along and remains interesting the entire time. Very enjoyable. stars
Read over 3/24 - 4/12/2018

I hope you get a chance to read it.  Hugs, and a cup of tea!
Heather Elizabeth

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Hello friends.
I hope you have been well.  Sunday, April 15, 2018 is Titanic Remembrance Day. One hundred and six years ago, that ship and the lives of so many became etched into history forever.  I have a very special story to share and I hope you are blessed by it.  The first time I read it, I was deeply moved, and still am each time I read it.
But first, allow me to share a special cup of tea with you.
It is the RMS Titanic Blend from Harney & Sons.  A wonderful, rich, hearty black tea.  I thought it appropriate to brew a pot and sip while I write you.

Here are the ingredients if you are interested.  
And now for our story.

Rev. John Harper & daughter Nana
John Harper was born to solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886, when he was thirteen years old that he confessed The Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of his life. He never knew what it was to "sow his wild oats." He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years old by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.
As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent... he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply "The Word of God!" After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next...

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious oceanliner were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship's launch, it was the world's largest man-made moveable object. 

At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner.
As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling, "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!" It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually, the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.
That night 1,528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, "Are you saved?" The young man replied that he was not.
Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said, "Here then, you need this more than I do..." and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1,528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris.

Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people, yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were, "Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends..." John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!

Author Unknown. Sources for this article: "The Titanic's Last Hero" by Moody Press 1997," John Climie, George Harper, & Bill Guthrie from "Jesus Our Jubilee Ministries" in Dallas, Oregon

I can not recall how I first came across the above story or its writer, but I am so happy to have saved it in my email for several years & to be able to share it with you.  
The tiny cross was a recent gift from a friend who
traveled to the Holy Land, cup and saucer were a gift from my daddy
in 2006. Teeny plate a keepsake from my brother's wedding.

Here is a related video, but the story does seem to differ slightly in some areas.

On a completely different note, April 13th was National Scrabble Day.  I had some fun with that with my kitties.
She loves to explore.  Here she is up by
the TV on my dresser.  I find her randomly hanging
in odd places!
Max IS my Guard Cat and actually growls
if strangers pass by or approach the house.
He promptly attacked the scrabble tiles!
I could not have planned this any better.
As I set up the tiles, a bird made noise
outside the window and her eyes bugged out of her head!
Anyhow, I pray you are blessed today and every day.
Hugs and a cup of tea,
I can not recall where I first saw this
lovely quote, but I suspect
it was from a dear friend & fellow
blogger, Stephanie over at
The Enchanting Rose.  I thought it
poignant for this post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CA Strawberry Day and World Poetry Day

Well, living in CA I must celebrate National CA Strawberry Day!
& since it is also World Poetry Day I searched
online for a short strawberry poem and found this one.
I am a big fan of Haiku because it is so easy to teach.
This one follows the rule of 5/7/5 (syllables). 
Do you see THAT?!
Thanks Sam's Club!
The Snowman's Lament⛄
My snowman sadly bowed his head in March, one sunny day, and this is what he softly said before he went away: "In the middle of December I was handsome, round, and tall, now I hardly can remember those December days at all. Oh my stomach's started shrinking, I am losing all my form, and I'm thinking as I'm shrinking that I wish it weren't warm. I can feel my shoulder stooping as my body is getting thin, my nose has started drooping and my mouth has lost its grin, I am surely getting shorter, there is little left of me, my head is but a quarter of the size it used to be. I am getting hard of hearing and my vision's little use, for my ears are disappearing and my eyes are coming loose. Through the icy weeks of winter I stood prouder than a king, now I'm thinner than a splinter, winter's melting into spring!"

In my cup today ~ Strawberry Chocolate tea by
The Republic of Tea: "Sip by sip, not gulp by gulp."

Hugs and a cup of tea,
Heather Elizabeth