Monday, July 23, 2018

A Tale of Two Hearts Michelle Griep

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•°o•:*:•. Book Lover’s Dream .•:*:• o°•
London, 1853 Miss Wilhelmina Scott, aka Mina, serves in her father’s inn, The Golden Egg. But, she much prefers to have her nose in a good book such as ‘David Copperfield’ or daydream of her ‘brown-haired hero’, William Barlow. Miss Whymsy is her former governess and co-conspirator in lending her books and enlisting her help with The Single Women’s Society of Social Reform. Effie is another dear friend who helps guide her in the story and added prayer, older wisdom, and grounding in her life.
William Barlow frequents her father’s taproom with his good friend and fellow law clerk, Mr. Fitzroy.  Mina has been taken with him for the better part of a year and is shocked when he suddenly suggests she become his pretend bride. He is trying to overcome a besmirched past and to win the favor of his uncle while thwarting his scheming cousins, Percy and devious wife Alice.
Uncle Barlow is a dear, kind man who enjoys books as much as Mina and is trying to ascertain the best candidate to inherit his home and fortune before he formally names an heir.
Foley 1850 Bone China, England, 'Broadway' tea set
TEA MOMENT: “He’s invited me to a tea of all things.” His voice smooth as fresh flowing honey, grew louder the closer she drew to his table.  Can you imagine that Fitz? A tea. How awful.” A smile curved her mouth as she imagined taking tea with William.  Just the two of them.  Him in his finest frock coat with a snowy cravat.  Her in a new gown.  She’d pour a steaming cup for him, and he’d lift a choice little cake to her lips while speaking of his deepest affections.  She sighed, warm and contented.  “I should think a tea would be very pleasant she murmured.” Both men turned toward her.
Tea is referenced several times in this story.
A SURPRISE guest happily appears at the end of the story that caused my mouth to fall open.  But no spoilers here!
I truly enjoyed this story.  Five stars. 
To be released September 2018, Barbour Publ., Shiloh Run Press, – 30 chapters
I received an advance eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I am privileged to provide, with no further compensation.

SERIES: Once Upon A Dickens Christmas
Book #1 - 12 Days at Bleakly Manor September 2017
Book #2 A Tale of Two Hearts September 2018
Book #3 The Old Lace Shop expected in September 2019

Today I enjoyed Pukka Revitalise Tea while
reading A Tale of Two Hearts.
It is a warming blend of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger!
Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea,

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Best of Intentions

S.S. OLYMPIC  by ship portraitist Antonio Jacobsen
This is a sister ship of the Titanic and Britannic.
She was considered a 'floating palace'. 
Purchasing Info
May 1919, three strangers meet on a ship following WWI. Each one is on a mission to find family. Grace Abernathy is traveling from England to Canada to find her sister Rose along with her new baby and bring them home before her mother leaves this world. Quinten Aspinall comes to her rescue when a male passenger tries to take liberties. Emmaline Moore has a traveling companion who has not quite become accustomed to the sea. The three decide to form a brief friendship until the ship docks.

Grace arrives in Toronto, Ontario and heads straight for the boarding house her sister’s letter has listed, only to find her sister is no longer there.  The story takes several turns and she learns her infant nephew is now in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Easton, Rose’s in-laws.  Rose’s letters adamantly detailed them as heartless people who abandoned their son and his new family.  Grace is determined to get to her nephew and ensure his happiness no matter the cost.

Andrew Easton has always felt second best behind his brother Frank. But, when Frank goes off and marries a young British clerk from his father’s company instead of the wealthy socialite he’s been courting and then goes off to war, expectations quickly change. Andrew must pick up the pieces, help run the family’s hotel business and marry the socialite who has turned her attention his way.  His father leaves little room for argument and his mother’s failing health pulls his heartstrings as well. His path has been laid out for him, but he can’t convince his heart it’s all going to be okay. Then, when his nephew shows up in his life he is drawn into fiercely loving the little boy and adjusting his life to ensure his well-being. When he meets Grace life to gets more complicated. CH.4: Vivid recollections of his boyhood came to mind, when he used to lie out on the back lawn at night and try to memorize the constellations.  It was during those moments of peace and awe that Andrew had felt closest to God. … He needed to get back to those simpler pleasures.

This story is filled with drama and intense emotion all the way through.  Grace and Andrew both seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. There are some very kind characters I enjoyed such as Reverend Burke who has really developed a knack for listening and gently guiding people. Plus he bakes cinnamon scones! 
Mrs. Chamberlain is a kind, doting, older lady who brings the first tray of tea (and toast) into the story (smile). Tea Moment (and happily there are many) - CH.6: She thought of her cozy room in the boardinghouse and the unexpected friendship she’d developed with Mrs. Chamberlain. She’d miss their cups of tea in the evening before they retired.  But for a chance to be close to her nephew, Grace could do almost anything.

I enjoyed learning about Dominion Day. Historical Note: On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys intense drama in a historical setting. At times I thought my heart was going to explode as it continually dropped into my stomach.

Thank you to the author, Susan Anne Mason and Bethany House Publishing who sent me a review copy.  My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation.

Canadian Crossings Series
1 The Best of Intentions – Grace Abernathy’s story 07/2018
Purchasing Info
2 The Highest of Hopes – Emmaline Moore’s story 03/2019
3 TBD - Quinten Aspinall’s story
Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

More Than Meets The Eye is Five Stars

Wonderfully Woven Story of Hope and Peril
More Than Meets the Eye – A Patchwork Family Novel - by Karen Witemeyer
Pecan Gap, TX 1894
Three unlikely and unrelated orphans have banded together to scratch their way into a respectable life and makeshift family under the name of Hamilton. Zach is the brisk older brother who does whatever it takes to provide for the family he never asked for.  Seth is a suffering asthmatic with excellent business skills and Evangeline is an innocent young woman who refuses to let her heterochromia (two mismatched eyes) define her character, despite the ignorance and lack of compassion from the locals. Each one passionately and fiercely loves the others and will care for them come hell or high water.

Logan Fowler has secretly returned to Pecan Gap, looking for justice for his family who was abruptly forced from their home when he was a teen.  He is camping out on the edge of the Hamilton’s ranch when he unexpectedly observes Evangeline about to be attacked by a wild boar and his moral compass just can’t let that happen.

Circumstances twist and turn and danger arrives unexpectedly when Logan and Evangeline observe someone throwing something into the river which forces these people to work together.

Tough turnips was a phrase I had never heard that made me laugh.  I might have to steal that one!
I really enjoyed this story and discovering the onion layers being peeled back from each character.  The danger element elevated the tale, and the faith-filled moments were touching as well.  Evangeline was so special and really brought joy and hope to everyone.  I highly recommend this 5-star story and look forward to the next one.

Karen Witemeyer is one of the sweetest authors you could connect with!  
You may do so at: or at
The Posse FB group fan page: CLICK HERE where the ladies in the group build community like no other group I have experienced! Truly a blessing.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing who sent me a review copy.  My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation. 

Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


If you are one of the 6 ladies who entered my tea contest, congratulations!  I have decided you ALL WIN!

A.M. Heath
Kindly email me your name and mailing address so I can get your tea out to you by July 9th.
Charissa, after a random drawing, you are my grand-prize-winner and there will be a little something extra for you!

Thanks for participating ladies. I think each of you mentioned at least one tea I enjoy as well.

God bless you and GOD BLESS AMERICA!