Saturday, July 25, 2015

NOT by SIGHT - 5 Star Book Review


Not by Sight by Kate Breslin 

•°o•:*:•.ALL THE GOOD STUFF.•:*:• o°• 

Opening Scripture: For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book. It was everything I could hope for!

Highlights: London – Suffragettes – spies – WWI – the WFC (Women’s Forage Corps) with a focus on one small group of interesting characters working the farm lands of a country estate in County of Kent in order to help the war effort – a brooding war victim hiding behind a “WWI splatter mask”. 
WWI Splatter Masks for tank crews
see more images for "WWI splatter mask"
on google or pinterest 

It's too bad the publisher didn’t think to include an image on the back cover but I have included one here for you}, 

a bit of Ireland near the end – faith – history – God – scripture – romance – mystery – secrets – a budding writer – tea & a tea room – healing – EEEEK! IT’S SO GOOD!
White chocolate-dipped strawberry, swan-shaped scones and black tea on floral English tea service china
A little nod to Swan's Tea Room (this is really from Garden View Tea Room, Disneyworld, FL - internet photo)
I usually write much longer reviews, but this book is SO GOOD, just get it… go now!!! (-smile)

If this is Kate Breslin’s standard writing, I will be a fan for life!

5 stars

© 2015 Bethany House
366 pages + Author’s Notes and Discussion Questions

I received an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. CBD already shows it in stock!

Read: 07/21&7/23/2015 - Reviewed: 07/25/15

Publisher's Description

With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country's cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she'll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them--or the faith they'll need to maintain hope.

Author Bio

A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is the author of: For Such a Time and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at

Hugs and a cup of tea!
Heather Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lady Maybe Not


Lady Maybe
by: Julie Klassen
•°o•:*:•.LUSTY.•:*:• o°•

[Rom 13:12-14 ESV] 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

I have been putting off the writing of this review because it is with a heavy heart I do so.  While this book is well written, with lots of mystery and twists, it is not at all what I would expect from a well-known Christian author.  I realize I will be in the minority for my opinion, but I cannot, in good conscience, lay the book aside without giving fair warning to other conservative Christians. 
This book has a strong love triangle that pulls back and forth at Hannah.  I found her to be quite wishy-washy.  I was surprised at how steamy the intimate scenes were.  Where my friend and I who share books are usually fine with handing books down to her teenage daughter, I have warned her not to do so with this book.  Perhaps utilizing Penguin Publishing instead of Bethany house gave the author more freedom.  While she does not cross the line completely, I know I felt disturbed reading the material.
God, church, scripture are hardly present at all in this book.  In one of the much later chapters, maybe 2/3 or more through, Hannah finally has a repentant heart, and prays to God.  She is encouraged by a kindly staff member and reminded of God’s forgiveness.  She even shows incredible grace to her nemesis.  However, shortly after that, she still seems wishy-washy about which man she will choose.  After being out looking for one man, and then packing and paying the remainder of her rent to continue to look for him, she receives the other into her room: [“But, Hannah, I want to be with you.  I could not bear to never touch you again…” He ran his hands up her arms, lowered his head and kissed her exposed shoulder, prickling her skin into gooseflesh.  “Don’t go yet.  Stay and give me a chance.  Give us a chance.” For one moment, she considered it.-Ch.29]  Uuuugh. That was hard to read.  Even though she had been careful to not let him in her room previously for the sake of propriety, for this scene she did.  She did not come off very repentant.  And allowing him to get that close to her and touch her was just cruel.
The Bible is clear, that lust is a sin.  Rather than just being a casual observer of what the character was going through, as related to simple alluded to explanation, I felt drawn in with more explicit detail than was necessary.  Sadly, I believe reading the romantic scenes in this book can easily promote the reader to feel lust. 
I can only pray that her next book, The Painter’s Daughter, scheduled for release in December through Bethany House will be a cleaner read.

2 stars

© 2015
Berkley Books, a div of Penguin Random House Publishing
384 pages + Readers Study Guide
I received an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Read: 07/11&12/15-, Reviewed: 07/15/15

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A VERY MERRY UNBIRTHDAY, Choosing Joy and Shopping Fun

Yesterday, July 1st, I received a most unexpected surprise in the mail from my friend Sam, in Florida.  She shared with me she thought it would be fun to celebrate my birthday, 6 months early, to the day! I met her through a teacup exchange several months ago over at: The Enchanting Rose

and had later sent her a fun package for her birthday.  She used the very same box to send ME a birthday box. Enclosed within my box of goodies, was a note reading SURPRISE! which was placed perfectly so it was the 1st thing I saw.  Next there were goodies wrapped in birthday paper including a teacup notepad and loose tea in a tiny tin!  There are key lime straw cookies (since key limes are a thing in FL), a bag of chocolate covered cranberries, a Florida mug (where Sam is from) which notes that Tallahassee is their state capitol, the mocking bird is their state bird, and orange blossom is their state flower (a personal favorite of mine).  January 1st is my birthday, so she included a sweet little January cup/saucer from Royal Albert bone china, England, and several individual tea bags.  Everything was arranged in a lovely lavender box.  Thank you Sam!  How fun and thoughtful.  I hope you have a wonderful time in Belgium with your cousin :)

~ Now for Some Fun Finds ~
Today, I only had 1 daycare Little in care with me.  Sooooo.... we went shopping of course.
But first,
Positive Art Quote Print wall decor inspirational quotes nursery decor Kids Wall Art Today I choose joy print Motivational quote art ID3-10
Image found on etsy. Click here to purchase.

I thought I'd share something, because maybe it will bless somebody else. You see, something not so nice happened to me today.  I am nearly out of my shampoo & conditioner which is salon grade.  It is  really the only thing I splurge on because it's the only thing I have found that does not bother my head.  My massage therapist friend who used to be able to send a co-worker to  the supply store for "Licensed Hair Professionals" could not help me out this time, so completely outside of my normal character, and with some anxiety, I took a chance and waited in front of the store.  Eventually, somebody came and I approached her and explained my situation, asking if she wouldn't mind getting me my supplies.  She agreed, albeit begrudgingly, I sensed. I thanked her and smiled, and handed over the money.  After about 30 minutes, she came out with my products.  One was much smaller than the other, because it's all that was in stock.  I thanked her again and tipped her $5 for her trouble.  She took it and left.  I buckled up my Little, and prepared to leave.  I decided to count my change and discovered instead of around the $45 she should have given me, she had only given me $28.  I was just ripped off :(
Now, I could get angry, or I could do what I have been trained to do, and what my summer women's bible study group has been studying.  I took it to the Lord in prayer, and asked Him to help me to choose joy.  In the bigger picture, this life and what happens is only temporary, but a vapor.  So, I choose to focus on Eternity.  To solidify that decision I texted my sister and asked her to also lift it up in prayer, knowing full well I tend to re-hash things in my mind.  She texted me comforting words and scripture.  Do you know after that it was so easy to (like the song from Disney's Frozen says) "Let it goooo. Let it goooo" and enjoy my time shopping.  I'm so thankful we have our heavenly Father to run to with our troubles (and a sissy I can run to for prayer).  Now, please don't misinterpret this. In no way is this a pat on my  back.  If just one person finds encouragement in my situation, that's awesome.  I'll probably need reminding of this as I'm learning to 'choose joy' more everyday.  

We headed in to a local Upscale Resale store that is a ministry of a one of our community churches. 

I found this charming toile pillow for $2, the china frame for $1 and the book (story originally written in 1942) for .50c
We brought other goodies home as well.  Children's Veggie Tales VHS tapes and a couple of Christian fiction novels.  We spent a whole hour, taking our time, slowly perusing.  I let the Little push a doll's stroller around she found.  It was heaven.

Then we went to TJ Maxx.
I found these oh-so-fun Matryoshka dolls storage containers.  I have a thing for Matryoshkas & I love that these are white and will go with anything!

I also found more of that Touch Organic tea I blogged about before.  This time, not only the very berry, but also apricot.  I'm looking forard to trying it.  Perhaps I can persuade my sister and nieces to drive out!  I live 2 counties away from her; around 50 miles.  We have crazy freeways here in So Cal, so she jokingly refers to my home as being 'across the pond'. ;)
LOOK at these gorgeous teabag rests I found.  Only $6.99 for a set of 4.  They feature lovely white roses with lavender flowers.  I bought both the sets they had (perhaps some will become gifts).
If you like this round 24" round table cover,
you can get it by clicking here.
 Currently on
sale for only $5!

After that, we headed to the .99c Store.  The one on this particular side of town is SO much nicer, so if I can, I try to stop in.
While browsing I found THESE!
melamine dessert plates.

melamine mini trays
They would be perfect anytime, but especially with children!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, full of memory-making fun with loved ones, and prayers of thankfulness for our freedoms.
patriotic postcard
Blessings & a cup of tea,