Thursday, September 13, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Book Review IF ONLY IT WERE YESTERDAY

It's time!  If you saw my September 6th Alice In Wonderland post here, this is the blog tour I mentioned.

Click Here for AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

I LOVE IT SO MUCH – A NEW FAVORITE

I don’t even know where to start.  It will be hard for me to write this review because THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS I LOVED!
This story starts and ends in modern day 2016, in Carroll, TN but travels back in time to 1885 much the way Alice steps into Wonderland.  But, the world and detail is so real and you are right there for the story.  26-year-old Elizabeth (Liz) Cooke and dear friend Scott are regular hangout pals. He is a gentleman in his own right, paying for movies and snacks, holding open doors, observing propriety and tolerating her joy at old movies. But, Liz cannot see any of that.  She is drawn into the old world charm of novels such as Pride and Prejudice whose romantic hero knows how to treat a lady and drink tea. When times were simple without the evils of today.
There are Disney references and movie references from favorites like You’ve Got Mail.  And the tea, oh the tea! So many flavors referenced (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Orange Spice Herbal, Apple Spice) and moments shared.  Even scones with lemon curd at the Grayson Library where her dear tea drinking, book-loving friend, and librarian Betty works. TEA MOMENT: Ch. 1 It didn’t matter what day or what time of the day, I was always welcome, and I knew there would be a tea party awaiting me.

After Scott helps her lug an old trunk up to her flat above her antique shop, “Curiouser and Curiouser Antiques and Gifts”, she discovers photos and a dress that have the wheels of her mind turning.  Somehow, she is magically transported back to that family and gets to live life with them.  But, we see it through her modern eyes, as she compares and contrasts the things of today; things I can relate to and instantly recognize. She is a woman of faith who has gotten lost in expectation and distraction.  We get to see her grow in a beautiful way and be frustrated beside her at injustice.  I particularly loved how we are enlightened to other points of view when Liz tries to fix problems.  I could see myself reacting in the same way, but when people around her explain why her views are slanted my eyes were opened. 
Brother Nathan; I loved his character.  His words dance around like the confusing caterpillar but his wisdom is sent down from heaven.

SOME FAVORITE QUOTES: Ch.1 Seriously? Me? It was like she didn’t know me at all. An e-reader was so cold and distant, while a book was warm and inviting.  A book could very well hug you back if you were to fall asleep reading and it fell on your face, or if you rested it on your arm.  Books were friendly.  And it was more than friendship.  Books were classic. Timeless. E-readers were not.
Ch. 8 "Where you're going says so much more about who you are and the heart that beats within. Sometimes a person's past is just plain hard or out of their control. But your future – the purpose you've set your feet upon – this is all of your own planning.”
Ch.10 “Ugh! I sniffed a book! In front of people? People who weren’t also sniffing books! Scott would have been rolling on the floor, laughing at me, had he seen.”
Descriptions are wonderful in this story: “skin the shade of tea and cream” “deep plum skirt” and several small historical details were educational such as how they heated a bath.

Click to enlarge for back of book description.
I really enjoyed this story and connected to it in so many ways!  I also appreciate how, following the story, the author tells you her inspiration for several of the characters loosely based on the characters from Alice in Wonderland.  It was sort of a lightbulb ah-ha moment for me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the author who approached me and asked me to review for her and I believe I have a found a new kindred spirit in. I truly did delete things but I had such a hard time condensing this review! BUY THIS ONE! (smile). My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation.

A Season Passed Series
If Only It Were Yesterday - 9/4/2018
Yesterday’s Christmas - coming soon
I may have ordered this
"Who Are You" tea
 from Adagio.com just
for this book review ((smile))
Tea Ingredients
Click each blogger to read her thoughts

Release Day Spotlights:
Sept 4:   Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise  Becky @ Blossoms And Blessings  Alicia  @ A Brighter Destiny
Reviews: Sept. 5: Laura @ Blue Eye Books  Sept. 6: Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny  Sept. 10: Karen @ Karen Sue Hadley  Sept. 11: Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings  Sept. 12: Virginia @ Bigreadersite  Sept. 13: Heather  @ Blue Jeans and Teacups  Sept. 17: Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae
Author A.M. Heath is having a giveaway!
for her U.S. Fans
Author Bio: 
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.
Author Links: 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER HER GIVEAWAY (Closes 9/17)
Hugs and a cup of tea filled with storybook dreams and happily ever afters!









Friday, September 7, 2018

Teatime, Crumpets and Cowpies

I so enjoyed this book by a new-to-me author!
***PROPER FUN***
Thane Jordan is a self-made cowboy who’s had to fend for himself ever since his brother, 
Click to enlarge & read
back of book description.
Henry, left for England.  Years have passed and he has received word from Henry’s solicitor, Weston, that his brother has passed on and named him in his will. He boards a ship to determine why in the world he needs to show up in person instead of simply corresponding by mail to settle the affairs.
Lady Jemma is shocked to discover she is not named in the will and is at the mercy of a strange, American cowboy.
The two are immediately at odds and constant banter between the two is great fun throughout the story.  What Jemma does with the trunks is both laughable and genius!
Weston is a delightful older gentleman with a twinkle in his eye that I enjoyed.
There are plenty of tea moments, much to my delight, and since the story moves between England and Oregon in 1890 it was interesting to experience both settings.
Click to enlarge.
TEA MOMENT: Ch. 9 Jemma sipped her tea and gazed at him over her cup, unaware of how appealing he found that particular pose.
Ch. 18 “I do pop on the kettle and make myself a cup of tea most afternoons. There is something about the ritual of heating the water, brewing the tea, and sitting quietly to sip it from one of my mother’s teacups that brings me a measure of comfort and peace.”
Click to enlarge.
Ch. 18 Tully slathered a warm crumpet with butter and jam, taking a big bite before slurping his tea.  (Tully is another big ole sweetheart I enjoyed in the story.)
Ch. 21 “Would you like me to make a fresh pot of coffee?” “No. What I’d really like is a cup of your tea and if you tell anyone I requested it, I’ll deny it to my dying day.” (sigh - - a handsome, tea drinking cowboy – he has “bewitched me body and soul”.)

Click to enlarge.
Although I was not expecting it, this story did have a few faith moments.  Lady Jemma exclaimed she was a Christian, Thane prays for their meals; even with his ranch hands, and they send up small prayers in crucial moments.
My only complaint with this book is how quickly it jumps from point of view without warning.  Most books I read have a little break with a symbol of some sort (¦) to warn you that the point of view is changing to a new character.  This one doesn’t even have a space between the paragraphs when it switches.  Once I got used to that, I really enjoyed the story.  I giggled a lot and the Christmas ending even had me in happy tears.
This is my first time reading this author’s work and truly the title just caught my eye causing me to investigate farther & finally to order it. I even went and purchased crumpets to have with tea and jam, although the author thoughtfully provides a recipe for them in the back.

Shanna Hatfield is a USA Today Bestselling Author.  Read all about her at ShannaHatfieldDOTcom.
I purchased this book from Goodwill through Amazon dot com. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own & without compensation.
 4 out 5 stars☆☆☆☆
Here is the china pattern. 
Since I was enjoying
Bumbleberry jam on
my crumpets, I indulged in
Blackberry Sage tea from
The Republic of  Tea
served with milk and honey.
Delicious!

Baker City Brides 5 Book Series – “Spunky women, handsome cowboys, and a town known as the
Denver of the Blue Mountains during its days of gold in the 1890s. Take a journey back in time with these sweet and clean historical romances.”
1.Crumpets and Cowpies 2.Thimbles and Thistles 3.Corsets and Cuffs 4.Bobbins and Boots 5.Lightning and Lawmen
I will have to look for these!

Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea with a crumpet or two!
Natl. Read a Book Day
was Sept. 6th.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Vintage Book Sharing Alices Adventures in Wonderland

Hello again, friends!  I have something lovely to share today.  It's my first time joining in a blog tour!
But, I will get to that shortly.
The book I am reviewing on the tour relates to a classic story:  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  I just so happen to have purchased a gorgeous vintage copy (printed late 1800s) for my daughter a few years ago. Here are the photos, which I hope you enjoy.  Be sure to click on them directly from the blog (if you are an email subscriber so you can enlarge them.)
Fabric Cover
Silver Embossed Spine
Inscription I glued in
Inscriptions before me
Inside

A text and art sampling.










Isn't it fantastic?  My turn on the blog tour will be Sept. 13th, so be sure to come back then because there will be a fun GIVEAWAY that includes the book, tea, and a china cup and saucer!  I recommend subscribing by email so you don't miss out.

Until next time, Hugs and a Cup of Tea

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

AN HOUR UNSPENT book 3 Roseanna White


•:*:•.WONDERFUL ENDING FOR THE ORPHAN THIEVES.•:*:•
London 1915
Barclay Pearce really should have been on the cover since this is his story.  I grew to love him throughout the entire series.  The eldest orphan, at 28 now, with sandy blond hair, who helped create a family out of mismatched street urchins is kind, generous and inquisitive. A wonderful big brother.  He has come to know Christ and has given up his criminal ways except to benefit the Admiralty and assist the war effort. Aside from the lack of an English accent, my choice to represent him would be Chris Pine (of Wonder Woman, Star Trek). This time he is tasked with obtaining an invention from a clockmaker that could help turn the tides of the war in favor of England.  But, he is not the only one interested in the invention and danger will come knocking.
Evelina Manning is the clockmaker’s daughter.  She has survived polio, with only an occasional issue in her leg. She is a strong-willed redhead and the apple of her Papa’s eye. She is engaged to Basil, a very wealthy gentleman destined for Parliament.  I thought Megan Follows (actress from Anne of Avonlea – all grown up there, spunky redhead, Edwardian clothing in that role again, lacking an English accent, however not a problem as she does one in Reign) would make a perfect Evelina! Her mother and her aunt are exasperating and berate her constantly.
In contrast, Barclay has a host of sisters and a few brothers who make up his extreme family and add a lot of dimension to each scene they are in.  Their love and commitment to each other are fierce.  I especially love Lucy in this book; strong determination, excellent cook/baker, who can get anyone to tell her anything and she blends her own tea! Yay Lucy!!

Tea Quotes: Ch. 4. A cup of tea appeared before her, in the hand of the smiling Lucy. “Here you are, Miss Manning. Guests first.” “Oh, I—” “Do try it —I blend it myself.” Her almond eyes were so hopeful that she left Evelina no choice but to accept the cup with a smile.
Ch. 6. “Well, I don’t care if there’s a shortage, I’ll not have tea without sugar, and this bowl is disastrously low. How am I to entertain with supplies like this?”(hahaha! Leave it to the rich to worry about sugar supplies for tea during a war.)

Spiritual Moment: Ch 5. Would God answer such prayers? Or was it too underhanded for the Almighty to honor? Blast, but his faith business was complicated.
Ch. 7 …the big leather book by his pallet on the floor made strange new truths ring in his chest.

Jaw Drop! End of Ch.10 Evelina does something SO UNEXPECTED I laughed and my jaw dropped open, rather wishing I could say to anyone who would care, “did you see that?!” But, no spoilers here folks.  Trust me, it’s good!!

This story touches on inventions, WWI including Zeppelins, intrigue, danger, Women’s Right to Vote, faith, family, healing, and romance.  It is very well written and I enjoyed the entire series. 5 stars.

My idea for Barclay Pearce
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.

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

Read all about the author here: Roseanna M White and she is having a couple of GIVEAWAYS here and here
Back of book

Until next time, Hugs and a Cup of Tea!

Find this mug here at: Library of Congress



Saturday, September 1, 2018

IF YOU LIKE JANE AUSTEN

I really enjoyed this annotated version of Sense and Sensibility.  I have never before read an annotated book, so I thought I would share some highlights and you can decide for yourself if you might enjoy this book!
Forward by Author, Julie Klassen 
How the annotated columns work.

I had no idea
Reading
in the Garden
Interesting
Love that her prayers are shared!

and my sister's birthday :)  But, seriously, I never knew
when Michaelmas was, even though I have read it
many times in other period books.

I did not even understand this was a duel!  Thank goodness for commentary!
Haha!  I enjoyed this.
As a homeschooling teacher myself, I appreciated this annotation. 
Naturally, there is plenty of tea drinking in the book.  As a feast for the eyes, I decided to give the 2008 mini-series a go.  I found it free on Amazon Prime and immensely enjoyed it.  I never would have watched if it had not been for the comments in
the book!

I had already watched the Emma Thompson / Alan Rickman
version, so I did not expect to change my loyalties and was
not really interested.  However, I was very pleased with this
edition and enjoyed the differences as well and was
happy to relate to the book on a new level.

It definitely took me longer to read this book since it is written over a hundred years ago and there are multiple characters to keep straight, but reading through and entire Jane Austen novel has long been on my bucket list and I am so happy to have read this version and accomplished my goal!
I am grateful to Bethany House Publishing for coming up with it.  Just wonderful!

If you would like to purchase your own copy, here is the ISBN info.  I found mine quite some time ago at a Christian Bookstore that has long since closed.
ISBN 978-0-7642-0740-2










I hope you have a lovely Labor Day Weekend friends!
Until next time,
Hugs and a cup (or mason jar) of tea!