Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Song Unheard Video and Book Review

Book2 in Shadows Over England series by Roseanna M. White

A Song Unheard – Shadows Over England, Book#2
by Roseanna M. White

London 1914
I really enjoyed book 2.  The vimeo video is a lovely 1-minute place to start before opening the book {click link above}.
Willa is a big “sister” in a gang of orphan thieves.  There is nothing more important than family, and they will do anything to survive and protect each other. Including, taking jobs from the mysterious Mr. V.   Willa is a talented violin player, thanks to a violin she retrieved from the garbage and a guarded woman with a chip on her shoulder.
Lukas is a well-known and gifted violin player in his own right, who has recently arrived in London to escape the Germans who invaded his hometown in Belgium.  He is desperate to find his mother and sister, and protect his family code breaking key.
When Mr. V approaches him, Lukas turns him away.  So instead, the intriguing Willa is sent undercover to gain the key.  Lukas is so taken with her abilities, he offers to tutor her, giving her the perfect entry into his world.  But that world quickly turns far more dangerous than any job she has accepted before, and it might just cost her everything.
Neither of them has any real use for God, so their faith journeys were enjoyable to watch unfold.
I especially loved the way God’s voice was unique to Willa, as well as Margot.
Margot: little sister to Lukas and stuck in Belgium with her mother.  She is brilliant and wise, but currently under the same roof as a German Generalleutnant trying her best to survive and go unnoticed.
Barclay Pearce is Willa’s older “brother”. I really like this character.  He is everything you want a big brother to be, and I hope we learn more of his story in book three.
Note: The Author’s dedication is lovely: To my childhood piano teacher, Joanne Peto, who taught me that a D# could weep, an E* could sing and a melody could be Jesus to a hurting heart that would never listen to words.
Tea Quote: Ch. 17 Will you have dinner with me?... Or tea – you English love your tea, n’est’ce pas?
I have seen tearooms, with young couples coming and going without chaperones. This is appropriate here, I assume?

I recommend using Google Translate for some of the words in the book.  I found it useful for pronunciation as well.

It is my privilege to be included in Roseanna M. White’s Influencer List and I received this copy for no compensation from BETHANY HOUSE PUBL.  My opinion is my own.
Read: 01/16&17/2018
© 01-02-2018
Pages: 398

SERIES: Shadows Over England
A Name Unknown –  Book #1 July 2017
A Song Unheard – Book #2 January 2018
An Hour Unspent – Book #3 September 2018

(5 stars)

Until next time,
Hugs & a cup of tea!

In addition to MY BLOG, Reviews posted at:
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Natl Hot Tea Day as well as The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen a book review

So, almost one year ago, I wrote on this blog about National Hot Tea Day in America; January 12th per the Tea Council of the USA.

In honor of its 3rd year, I served tea to a group of 3-7-year-olds.  However, first I had my own cuppa just as the kids were arriving.
The 3-year-old little boy told me, "I like tea! I like tea! I like tea!" 
"Would you like a sip of my tea?" I offered. "Did you add caffeine?" he asked :-)   I laughed, "No. It's decaf." "Ok", he said and happily took a drink.

We practiced manners (saying grace, please and thank you, napkins on laps, sipping not slurping, sharing and passing, asking not grabbing, etc.).  We had tea in the morning and tea in the afternoon. 

The Littles truly enjoyed it, as did I.  I love passing along the gift and joy of teatime.

During the past week, I also enjoyed reading book 2 in the exact same series I posted at this time last year, which I thought was a fun coincidence.

Birthday flowers I received from 2 of the Littles :)
Along with the book sent by the publisher in exchange
for an honest review.
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage – Book #2 Tales from Ivy Hill
Julie Klassen

•°o•:*:•.BUSY VILLAGE LIFE.•:*:• o°•

Ivy Hill, Wilshire, England, September 1820

So much is happening in this second installment of Tales from Ivy Cottage. On the author’s character page found on [talesfromivyhill dot com] I counted over 100 characters! That’s a lot, but it makes for a very interesting series; one in which you can imagine yourself stepping back into time to visit the quaint village life.
Jane Fairmont runs The Bell and had a starring role in the last book. 
Mercy Grove, schoolmistress and spinster, living with Matilda Grove (Aunt Matty).
Rachel Ashford, currently being pursued by Nicholas Ashford, a distant second cousin who inherited her home after her parents were deceased.  She now lives with Mercy and Matty and hopes to learn where her place in society is through attending the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society.
James Drake, charmer/recent owner of The Fairmont hotel, shows interest in Jane, as well seeking information on a long lost acquaintance.
Mr. Ainsworth, old sexton/gravedigger, is one of my favorite background characters.  He has a deep respect for all things living, and a special scene with Jane which really yanked my heartstrings.
Sir Timothy Brockwell, baronet, and former love interest to both Jane and Rachel during their youth, yet now 30 and never married.  He is very kind but trapped by what’s expected and proper.
These are just a handful of the interesting characters whose lives are woven together with day-to-day events, celebrations, losses, hopes and worry for the future, and faith. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and TEA, oh the tea… it is woven throughout time and again. Sigh.
The author has some lovely pictures, character directory, map of the town, etc. all found under Tales From Ivy Hill dot com.
internet photo from Art of Tea

Book #2 © December 2017 Bethany House, 442 pages with discussion questions

Book 3 – Book 3 – The Bride of Ivy Green, due out Dec. 2018 , due out Dec. 2018
5 stars
(Reviews Posted to: / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  /  Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo / / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest)

I hope you enjoyed my review and teatime with the Littles.  Incidentally, January is also known as Natl. Hot Tea MONTH so you are not too late to join me in celebrating!

We certainly have been partaking A LOT this month since school does not start back up until Tuesday, Jan. 16th.  It has been divine. Lots of poetry tea times as well.
my own photo with RWE quote. 

adorable google image

Hugs and a cup of tea to you friends!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Holding the Fort Regina Jennings Book Review

Holding the Fort – Book #1 The Fort Reno Series
Regina Jennings

•°o•:*:•.Very Enjoyable.•:*:• o°•

Wichita, Kansas 1885
Louisa Bell, with the captivating voice, is the star performer at the Cat-Eye Saloon, until she’s not!  Private Bradley Willis, her act-before-you-think little brother, is stationed at Ft. Reno in Indian Territory.  Word has it he’s found trouble… again.  Being desperate for work and a roof, and determined to find a way to help her brother, she heads off for the fort with as many dancehall dresses as she can manage.  In her mind, soldiers must need entertainment.
Along the way, she meets a kindly Mennonite woman, Mrs. Sheridan, who is also headed to the fort to become a governess to Major Daniel Adams children.  However, an awful case of hay fever has changed those plans.  She is distraught at not being able to deliver the chest of books she has brought for the Major.  Louisa offers to take them for her.   Mrs. Sheridan is grateful, and leaves her “a more serviceable blouse and skirt; so she won’t ruin her fine things traveling in a coach.”
Ch. 3 “May God make your trip good and no sinning and everything good,” Louisa said.  Mrs. Townsend’s eyes twinkled. “That, my dear, is the most original benediction I’ve ever received.”
I absolutely loved the way Daniel and Louisa met for the first time. It is so unique I won’t spoil it here.  Later, when Louisa arrives at the fort, Lt. Jack Hennessey mistakes her for the new Mennonite governess, and she decides not to correct him or reveal her relationship to Bradley Willis.  Privately, she pulls him aside to describe her account of an accident befalling one of the troopers.  The details send Jack into a fit of laughter he has a hard time hiding.  Jack has a big heart, and often a twinkle in his eye.  I hope to learn more of his story in future installments. He shows Louisa to her “quarters”; Major Adams home!  She soon meets his rowdy daughters, Caroline & Daisy, who aren’t the small children she was expecting.  How will she possibly be able to teach them anything? 
Major Adams is a no-nonsense, widower of ten years.  He has worked hard to climb the ranks of the military, and he expects the same of his soldiers.  When Private Willis decides to blow off steam by drinking and shooting out lanterns on the base, he throws him in the guard house.  But the WAY he did it, gives him pause.  Meanwhile, he’s had all he can take of his bickering daughters and decides it’s high time to bring in reinforcements.  A stern, older teacher from the Mennonite community that he respects so much should make a perfect governess for his girls, and hopefully, keep his busy-body mother-in-law at bay.

I enjoyed this historical, Christian romance, and recommend it to others.
See a 4-minute video shot by the author at Fort Reno, OK here:

© 2017 Bethany House
342 pages
I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
Read: 1/8/2018 - Reviewed: 1/9/2018

5 stars

Reviews posted to: CBD / GOODREADS / / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Barnes And Noble / GOODREADS / My Pinterest / BooksAMillion / Indigo.CA / My FB page / DeeperShopping  / Google Play / Kobo / unable to post NOT LISTED ON SITE / Author’s FB page

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ornaments Unwrapped

Good Saturday Morning Friends!
You may recall I participated in an Ornament Swap hosted by the very kind Karina over at Merciful Moments.

Look at the beautiful paper filled with words.
I love words on things.  Words that speak to my heart.
Celebrate. Merry Christmas. Joy. O Holy Night. Rejoice.
Selection of teas, Lovely embroidered towel,
Notepad & Pen, Dove dark chocolate with almonds,
frankincense & myrrh cute, teeny hand soap.
Well, I received a very special package yesterday!  So, let's unwrap it shall we?

BEAUTIFUL sculpted winter woodland
creatures ornament.
This package came all the way from Georgia.
Map of Atlanta Georgia GA
She lives near Atlanta.
 The lady who sent it is 
Judy & she likes many of the same things I do: Tea Parties, Hallmark movies, reading.  She has also been married 45 years! Isn't that wonderful!!! Round of applause for you Judy!!
I also want to say how grateful I am for all of the effort you put into making this package special for me.  I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, blessed by the love of Christ.
Hugs and a cup of Christmas tea,
from my Christmas kitties and me!

Map of Los Angeles California CA
from somewhere near So Cal.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Came Early

Christmas came early when my
favorite author's latest book arrived!
Out of the Ordinary – Apart from the Crowd #2
Jen Turano

June 1883 – New York
Harrison Sinclair and Miss Gertrude Cadwalader were delightful supporting characters in book 1 of this series.  Now, we see them front and center, beginning on a yacht party for their dear friends.  Gertrude is a paid companion for Mrs. Davenport, an eccentric older lady, who has gone missing…again.  Harrison is a self-made man and has no time for romance, and an unusual fashion sense that drives his best friend mad. However, Gertrude is an intriguing and different sort altogether, as well as his friend.  Mystery abounds as items go missing, and Gertrude seems to land in hot water.  
Harrison is so kind, and determined to help clear his friend’s name.  Their “friendship” catches the attention of other women hoping to snag Harrison, and trouble quickly follows.
In the meantime, Mrs. Davenport has secrets of her own that keep us guessing.  And she has odd ideas of fashion design she insists on testing out on poor Gertrude; including a reconstructed birdcage!
Tea Moment: Mrs. Davenport gulped down her tea, even though doing so had her eyes watering, probably because the tea was still rather hot.  Setting her cup down on the small table beside her, she picked up a shortbread cookie and stuffed the entire cookie into her mouth.  That made it all but impossible for her to respond, although she made a great show of turning to look out the drawing room window as she spit some of the cookie into a napkin. –Ch. 15
Once again, I highly recommend Jen Turano’s book.  She is my all-time favorite author. With a style completely unique, and the laugh-out-loud moments you cannot go wrong! I have read every single one of her books including the free novella prequels.  Never disappointing. 

© Nov. 2017 Bethany House
346 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: 11/21/2017 Reviewed: 12/5/2017 (sorry for the delay!)
SERIES: Apart from the Crowd
0. At Your Request – Free eNovella Prequel (click here)
1. Behind the Scenes April 2017 (read my review here)
2. Out of the Ordinary Nov. 2017
3. Caught by Surprise July 2018

At Your Request (Apart From the Crowd): An Apart From the Crowd Novella by [Turano, Jen]
Free Download Here
Read my Review of book 1 here

Pre-order Book 3 here
The delightfully
entertaining Jen Turano
(click here)

Hugs and a cup of Christmas tea,
Two of my favorite Christmas Teas
featured.  One is brand new from Trader Joe's!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Operation Christmas Child and Christmas Happy Mail

Hello friends,
Just thought I drop in & post a little.  I've sort of lost my mojo for blogging.  It takes a ton of time and effort, vs. posting a quick snip on Instagram (smile).  Seasons change as you no doubt know.
from my fairy garden

Last Saturday I had the privilege of serving at *Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Processing Ctr.  It is one of only 8 in the country, so I am blessed to have access to it.  I am even more excited that I am going back Friday to hear Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) speak, along with some others who will share how these shoeboxes have impacted poor children of the world, and blessed them with a tangible representation of Jesus.

Some of the highlights of the day: •Praying over our boxes •A note from a child that cracked me up •Meeting a new friend who lives literally blocks away from my dad in Central CA and drove 4 hours to come serve! {behind us / photos on a wall for us to write prayers on} •a child's fun note with scriptures & games •a look at the warehouse •The OCC Christmas Tree
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 ESV
#IpackedAShoebox #OperationChristmasChild

"it shows my generosity" :)

Inside the Processing Ctr.

Outside of Child's note - scriptures

Inside of Child's note - fun!

Made a new friend :)
Next to the *OCC Christmas Tree

 I also wanted to share that I am participating in a fun ornament exchange this season hosted by sweet Karina over at: "Merciful Moments".  She is a charming teenager with a heart for Jesus.  A super fun surprise was that my swap partner's name is....drum roll please....DIXIE!  Some of you may recall my 80-year-old aunt's name
If you are sending cards out, would
you consider sending an extra one to
my Aunt? She lives alone with no
modern media.  Old school mail
really brightens her day. 
Email me & I will send you her address.
(Email button to right).
is also Dixie and we write to each other regularly.  So today when we went to the post office, TWO DIXIES were sent happy mail!  Since Dixie #2 has no idea who I am, I will share my fun package which I truly hope blesses her!
She says: "I am a true "farm wife" (although in Montana it is called ranch instead of farm! LOL) I love all livestock and any farm related tools...and rust and galvanized stuff makes my heart quicken! My house is totally an older farmhouse. I love anything which is old and worn! Antiques and well-worn items "float my boat" I enjoy Hot Chocolate...anything containing chocolate...milk chocolate!!!!!"
Christmas card, magnetic calendar, stickers, Christmas teas, Organic hot cocoa [& how cute is that vintage looking packaging from Trader Joe's?], mini box of chocolates, cozy socks, Christmas towels, rusty-look metal Cross ornament, teeny-weeny rustic stocking ornament, tiny die-cast pickup... which, I TOTALLY thought was an ornament, & then found out it wasn't - ooops!
All wrapped up!  I included a sweet coloring page from the only thing I purchased during Cyber Monday, and that was only because I saw it was 1/2 off on her IG page! (artist: Karla Dornacher - find her awesome, brand new color book here: Christmas Color Book or the PDF version here: Christmas Color Book PDF) and then some darling advent cards from the lovely Abbey over at: Little Birdie Blessings - She had a sweet contest on her Instagram page and she gifted EVERYONE who entered the PDF printables.  How sweet is she?

I always teach the daycare Littles to pray over our outgoing packages.  It helps reinforce "pray without ceasing" and makes people far away a little more real to them.  Just an idea to share if you have Littles in your life. :)

 I hope to do a followup post when my swap partner mails me an ornament package :)
This year I am really attracted to
vintage Pointsettias. I have loved
vintage Christmas cards for years.
I spotted this one on etsy & thought it
so pretty!  And a lovely way to
close, as I wish you
"A Happy Holiday Season"