Saturday, April 21, 2018

The British Brides Collection

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

FROM THE BACK:
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.

MY REVIEWS:

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 Fa├žade 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
OVERALL I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.  THE COVER IS SO LOVELY AND THE FRONT AND BACK HAVE FLAPS THAT FOLD OUT TO REVEAL A ROW OF VILLAGE COTTAGES. Sigh. 
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

THE YEAR WAS 1912


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.