Friday, April 21, 2017

Behind the Scenes - Jen Turano Book Review




Behind the Scenes – Apart from the Crowd #1
Jen Turano

Hey, I staged this! :)


artist Carmen Medlin - pinterest picture
I hope each of you had an extremely blessed Resurrection celebration. Please grab a cuppa and join me for another exciting book review.




•°o•:*:•. Wallflowers Rejoice! .•:*:• o°•

Another excellently crafted story by master storyteller, Jen Turano!
March 1883 – New York
“Contrary to the prevalent thought of the day, I’m not a lady who feels as if my life has been ruined simply because I’ve obtained the somewhat undesirable label of wallflower.” –Ch.1
Permilia Griswold is sort of a gilded age Cinderella in the sense she puts up with the whims of her step-mother and step-sister. She is awkward in social situations and really could care less about gentlemen, balls, the season, etc.  She was raised by her father, traipsing all over the country for his mining business, until he decides she needs a woman’s touch in her life.  He finds and marries a woman of society, intent on changing everything about Permilia, while spoiling her own daughter. Permilia has a keen sense of fashion, business, and charity.  She loves the Lord, and seeks wise counsel when needed. She also has a few secrets. Her interpretation of the Go-As-You-Please Quadrille had me laughing out loud.
Asher Rutherford is a self-made, affluent businessman, with an excellent sense of style, and owns one of the most successful department stores in the city.  He leads a predictable life, and is quite content mingling in society, attending his clubs, and going about his business day with little interruption to his schedule.  However, each encounter he has with the unusual Miss Griswold leaves him perplexed and asking questions he’d never considered before.
“A second later, he found himself taken aback when Miss Griswold thrust a dainty hand his way, seemingly unconcerned yet again with the idea that ladies never, as in ever, initiated an act that would consist of them hauling a gentleman to his feet.” –Ch.3
I don't drink coffee I take tea my dear.
Pinterest Picture
Harrison Sinclair is Asher’s dear friend who is one of those men rather unaware of his handsome mystique.  I suspect he is color blind, with all of his odd combinations of clothing, and he seems to have a genuine concern for those around him. I found him extremely intriguing.  “He grinned. “I know most dangerous men are assumed to drink coffee, and black coffee at that, but” – he shuddered – I can’t abide the stuff.” Bonus points for Harrison, because I loathe coffee too! –smile.  He adds much to the story, and I can’t wait to learn more about him in future books.
Miss Gertrude Cadwalader (a mouthful of a name to be sure), is a recently acquainted friend of  Permilia, through their mutual resignation to the wallflower section.  She is great fun, as she takes matters in hand when needed, and looks like a laughing stock much of the time due to her employer’s odd ideas.  That employer being Mrs. Davenport, who is one adventurous older lady.  Oh, my!  Yet another character I want to get to know better!!  Jen Turano really has a way with supporting characters!
pinterest picture
Miss Henrietta and Miss Mabel are delightful, albeit persnickety sisters that add wonderful fun, mystery and more questions to the story.  They are also extremely interested in tea! Yay!! “That hobby, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to learn, given the interest we’ve learned you share with us, is searching out and collecting new blends of tea.” –Ch.13  Permilia picked up her cup. Raising it to her lips, she took the smallest of sips, blinking in surprise a second later. “Good heavens. That’s delicious.” –Ch.14  After reading that, I had to stop and go make another cup of tea!
Now, of course, there’s at least one villain.  And of course, I will not tell you who he/she/they might be. But, suffice it to say the mystery kept me guessing as it unraveled along the way. 
Jen Turano is my absolute favorite author. Her style is so unique, and the laugh-out-loud moments are divine! I have read every single one of her books including the free novella prequels.  She never disappoints.  
© April 2017 Bethany House
343 pages
In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a copy from Bethany House Publ. which I am privileged to provide with no other compensation. - I highly recommend this five-star book.
Read: 04/18&19/2017 Reviewed: 4/21/2017

SERIES: Apart from the Crowd
Click titles for purchase info.
Link to purchase
Untitled – Book 3 – late Spring 2018



Hugs and a cup of tea,

Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo /  Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PALM SUNDAY EASTER COLOR PAGE


Hello friends.  This Sunday is Palm Sunday and the Littles and I have been reading lots of Easter story books.  I found this sweet coloring page online from 
and thought you might enjoy it for your Littles or Sunday school class.  I added the words Hosanna in the highest.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

PRAYERS PLEASE - BUS FULL OF SENIORS

PLEASE PRAY: I am so saddened by this (the 2nd bus crash I am reading about this week). My former Pastor just posted and is asking for prayer for his church family in TX. 14 senior citizens on a bus returning home from a senior retreat were hit by a truck when it swerved across the highway and into their bus. 13 have now passed, and gone home to be with Jesus. Only the truck driver and 1 church member currently survive.
Please add the families and all involved to your prayer chains. Here is the full story:

Monday, March 27, 2017

CHRISTIAN BAND "WE ARE MESSENGERS" Prayers/Support

I know I have not posted for a while.  *LIFE!* smile... but this story touched me, so I am reaching out for them.  Feel free to copy and share!

You may recognize We Are Messengers from the popular Christian radio songs, Everything Comes Alive, and Messengers.

Below is what happened this weekend.  I thought others might want to know and be praying.

I typed this after listening to Darren on the We Are Messengers FB live video: On their way home from an amazing show, filled with joy from people getting healed and coming to know Jesus. They were looking forward to getting home, asleep on the bus that God had given them, and around 4 a.m. their driver, Tom, drove into another car that was parked in the right lane of the interstate.  No hazards on. Dark. No way to avoid it.  Flames immediately erupted. They all woke up in a panic, and it was a miracle the bus and trailer didn’t roll or flip. It seemed as if someone physically parked the bus 4-5 blocks away along the shoulder, and then the doors opened, and they all rushed out.  The bus was engulfed in flames. None of them, not even the driver opened the doors.  Darren (lead singer) ran back to the other car, crying and praying no one was in it. He tried to access it, but it was completely engulfed in flames.  They would come to find out a young man had lost his life in that car.  There are no further details, as the whole situation is under investigation.  They band is welcoming all prayers, not only for themselves, but the other family.  They are exhausted, saddened, but thankful to have their lives.  



From band member, Caleb Clinghan FB page: 
I woke up this morning to my head slamming against the side of the bus. I immediately heard the crash of us hitting a car and the screeching sound as our bus was off the ground with the car underneath us. The bus ended up traveling about a half mile with the car underneath us before coming to a stop. When we stopped I heard our driver immediately start yelling "Get out! Get out! Everyone get out!!" And when I rolled out of bed and looked up, I saw the front of the bus in flames. And flames rising up around the left side of the bus. I yelled "Which way?" I didn't know which way was the safest. And Tomyelled"Follow my voice." I followed his voice and we walked off of that bus. Nobody felt any heat from the fire. Not a single person had a single hair singed on their bodies. We should have died this morning. And yet we live. Everything may be in ashes, but I think that's God's favorite foundation for growing something beautiful. And I can't wait to be a part of it. I love you all and I hope I can help you know Jesus the way I know Him. He truly is the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path.
(A separate post) All of us lost almost all of our personal equipment in the accident this morning. Any little bit helps. And if you can't help financially, please pray pray pray. Our God is bigger than any financial issue or equipment. Prayers and donations are much appreciated.

(A separate post) I am overwhelmed by the love, support, and prayers that have been poured out over us since this morning. Thank you all so much. The Lord gives and He takes away,but blessed be His name. Always. When we head back out, we'll be heading out in full force to attack the gates of Hell. The enemy meant this for evil, but God will use it for His glory. I love you all!


I am really hoping they exceed the $30k Organizer: Jim Scherer requested!
Give if you feel led, but please join me in praying for all. Thanks, Heather

We Are Messengers - Everything Comes Alive (Official Video)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weather Mobile for the Littles

Good afternoon.  Today, I want to share a fun and simple weather mobile you can easily do with your Littles.

I was inspired when I saw a rough version posted on IG by "PlayIdeas" also www.PlayIdeas.com.  I decided to modify it using the same fun style of faces that Vanessa uses over on the FB page Wee Who Wander. And then I added scripture. Here are my 2 simple drawings, which you are welcome to copy/paste and print onto 2 pieces of cardstock.
Sun, Cloud, Raindrops

Rainbow and more raindrops

Supplies: Printed pictures, scissors, hole punch, colors, string, a branch (or a chopstick if you can't find one!)
Proud Littles with their mobiles!
 I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are!

Hugs and a cup of tea,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tea-Baking-Books-Kindness

LπŸ‘€k what has arrived @ WalMart!! ☕πŸ’›πŸ―☕πŸ’›πŸ―☕πŸ’›πŸ―πŸ˜„

I regularly check tea aisles when shopping and was so pleased to find Harney & Sons at my local WalMart. Vanilla Comoro is a decaf tea, and my absolute favorite right now.  It smells like cream soda when you open the tin! I enjoy it with a splash of milk and local honey.  In fact, I enjoyed a cup on Sunday when I read a free download of a novella called A Goose Creek Christmas by Virginia Smith and paused after Ch. 1 to spontaneously make Millie's Apple Cinnamon Muffins listed in the book.  Although I slightly overcooked the mini loaves, they were quite tasty with the tea, on a very rainy day!


CLICK HERE TO FIND BOOK DOWNLOAD
Millie’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour 
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk or canned coconut milk
1 T. canola oil
3 T. unsweetened, natural applesauce
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups peeled apples, diced


Topping
½ cup brown sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
3 T. butter, room temperature
½ cup nuts, finely chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°. Spray muffin tins (18 regular size or 12 large size) with cooking spray or line with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a second bowl, stir together the buttermilk or coconut milk, oil, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Fold in the diced apples.
For the topping, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and oats. Cut in the butter. Add the nuts, if desired, and combine with a fork until crumbly.
Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full with batter and then sprinkle with the topping.
Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins.
Makes 18 regular size or 1 dozen large muffins.


As for the book, I would give it 3 to 4 stars, but only because I far prefer historical fiction. What I did like about this story was that there were characters of all ages. It was a pleasant diversion, but I doubt I would seek out the other books. The writing is decent, just not "wow". However, it is a clean read, which I always appreciate.


Now some other thoughts:
Some of my blogging & IG friends have posted some lovely reminders I wanted to share, along with my own.

Abbey at Little Birdie Blessings blog

Stephanie at The Enchanted Rose blog
MyTeaJourney on Instagram

I will pray for our president, just as I did the last one.
I will pray for our country.  I will pray for unity.
I am grateful for prayer, and the freedom to do so.
God bless you all. Hugs and a cup of tea,


GREAT MOVIE Resurrection of Gavin Stone


Image result for the resurrection of gavin stone
copied from google
I REALLY enjoyed this movie!  It is funny, particularly if you attend church, and shares a good message.  I would recommend it for adults, and teens, but not small children as it probably won't hold their interest.  It is completely clean and just made me all-around-happy.
If you received any movie passes for Christmas, this is a good way to use them :)


ABOUT THE FILM

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is an inspirational comedy rated PG about faith and forgiveness. Gavin Stone, a washed-up former child star is forced to do community service at a local mega- church and pretends to be Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.
Image result for DOVE FAMILY APPROVED
Dove Family Approved Movie


Click above to play movie trailer.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship Book Review

Pictured in my garden.  :-)
An Uncommon Courtship – Hawthorne House Series
Kristi Ann Hunter

•°o•:*:•.HIGHLY EMOTIVE.•:*:• o°•

1814 Hertfordshire, Regency Era, England

Lord Trent Hawthorne is a man among men. He is handsome, wealthy, cultured and extremely cautious of ever getting too close to women.  He has a biblical world-view, and therefore avoids situations that he feels would not make the Lord proud of him. He does not give the gossips any fuel. However, he is a charmer and loved by most of the aristocracy.  
So when his curious nature leads him to investigate a strange horse and singing coming from a dilapidated building on his property, the last thing he expects is to wind up married to a stranger!
How in the world can he find love that way?  The kind of love his family holds so dear.
Lady Adelaide Bell is a klutzy, glasses-wearing, second daughter and of little importance or value to her over-barring mother.  Adelaide has learned how to fade into the background, find comfort in books, and have low expectations of life. However, when her circumstances force her into an unplanned marriage with a man she knows nothing about, how will she ever navigate her new life and the constant questions along with self-doubt she constantly feels.
Many of us overthink and assume potential outcomes.  This book explores those emotions flying through the characters heads as they try to make sense of their new lives.  But God has a plan and will guide them along an interesting quest of discovery.  The descriptions of clothing, room dΓ©cor, Hyde park, ballrooms, etc. is lovely to read. The background characters are wonderful as well. Older brother Griffith is a pillar of strength and wisdom. Ch. 28 “Griffith sighed and set his arms on the edge of the desk… “Trent, you didn’t give your life to Jesus to follow your own plan.  You have to follow His plan, and for whatever reason He gave you Adelaide and you accepted her.  Now what are going to do about it?”
Of course, there are a couple of villains to round out the story.  Besides Adelaide’s mother, a flirtatious Mr. Givendale is a thorn in the story. 
And OH, the pineapples!!! Well, you’ll just have to read the book.

Kristi Ann Hunter has quickly become a favorite author of mine, weaving a wonderful story, and she really captures the Regency era in a lovely way. Plus the book cover is gorgeous!


© January 2017 Bethany House - 344 pages
In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a copy from Bethany House Publ. which I am privileged to provide with no other compensation. 5 stars
Read: 1/15&16/2017 - Reviewed: 1/17/2017 

HAWTHORNE HOUSE SERIES (I love that there are more than 3 books, and we also don’t have to wait forever between stories!)
A Lady of Esteem – Free eNovella – 7/1/2015
A Noble Masquerade – Book 1  9/8/2015 (which I describe as You've Got Mail, Regency style)
An Uncommon Courtship – Book 3 – 1/3/2017
An Inconvenient Beauty – Book – 4 - Griffith Hawthorne’s Story – Scheduled 09/2017

Hugs and a cup of tea,




Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Alibris / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo /  Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Natl Hot Tea Day 2017 and The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Today (01/12/2017) marks the 2nd annual Natl. Hot Tea Day in America, according to the Tea Council of the USA. I am commemorating the day with my 1st ever YouTube video (20 seconds - tea hee).  Press play, or right-click and open in a separate tab.

I enjoyed a lovely pot of Flavors of France tea, from a local tea room in Southern California.  I hope you enjoy something warm and wonderful today as well.

I'd like to share with you a lovely book I read this past weekend, in which, appropriately tea abounds.
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Book #1 Tales from Ivy Hill
Julie Klassen

•°o•:*:•.CHARMING.•:*:• o°•

Ivy Hill, Wilshire, England, May 1820

A small English village is such a charming place to visit.  It draws you in, and welcomes you to stay, find community and become invested in its people.


That is how I felt in Ivy Hill, while slipping out of my every-day-life and between the pages this story centered around. Jane Fairmont Bell (age 29) has inherited her husband’s coaching inn, The Bell,  after his sudden death.

  

She lives her life in a daze, wearing her “widow’s weeds”, relying on the staff to see to running the inn, until one day, its needs can no longer be ignored.  Her brother-in-law, Patrick, has returned to help and eventually her cantankerous mother-in-law, Thora Bell, also returns to shape things up.  There are many problems at hand.  The inn has fallen into disrepair, the bank reveals a large loan that is past due, many people don’t believe Jane can handle the responsibility of being a business woman; particularly the abrasive cook Bertha Rooke, and mystery lies in wait. Additionally, as the story progresses, three potential suitors hint interest at Jane. Personally I am rooting for Gabriel Locke, the Bell’s horse farrier.  But, book 1 is not about Jane finding new love, but rather learning what she is made of, and how to rely on her neighbors.
A favorite storyline was the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, where local business women meet to discuss business concerns. 
Photo courtesy of Teatime Magazine

–Ch.14 “So the knitting is merely a guise?” “Basically,” Mercy agreed, eyes twinkling. “What about the tea?” Jane asked. “Heavens no. Tea is mandatory. What would a clutch of women do without tea?”
There is an entire patchwork quilt of characters in this story, much like a real village.  I got to know them, enjoyed some, wanted to punch others, fellowshipped in their faith, grieved their losses, and in the end was so delighted to share in their lives.
The author has some lovely pictures, character directory, map of the town (featured herein), etc. all found under TalesFromIvyHill.com.
I enjoyed this story very much and recommend it to others.

Book #1 - © December 2016 Bethany House
444 pages with discussion questions
Book 2 – The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, due out Dec. 2017

I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
Read: 1/7&8/20176 - Reviewed: 1/12/2017 - 5 stars

Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Alibris / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo /  Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest 

Hugs and cup of tea,

Friday, January 6, 2017

Psalm 5:11-12 Refreshment

I read these words today in my new Bible study workbook [Jesus Calling: Living A Life of Worship] which I happily found on sale at Sam's Club for only $5.48.

The photo is from my own garden where things pop up of their own accord.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the sweet alyssum not only in the standard white, but also in lavender!

**YOU CAN RIGHT CLICK THE VIDEO TO OPEN IN SEPARATETE WINDOW & HAVE LOVELY INSTRUMENTAL HYMNS PLAYING IN
THE BACKGROUND**

[Psa 5:11-12 NKJV] 11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. 12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as [with] a shield.

Have a refreshing day friends.

Hugs and a cup of tea,