Friday, October 19, 2018

FREE eBook

eBook Screenshot
Wired Love  – A Romance of Dots and Dahes by Ella Cheever Thayer
Free ebook Transcribed from 1880 by Andrew Katz
eBook Screenshot

Nattie is 19 and trying to make it on her own.  To that end, she has rented a room from a gossiping busy-body of a landlord, with other tenants and works a going-nowhere job at the telegraph office.  Her job can be tedious as well as boring.  That is until she receives a message from someone at the “X n” office that flusters her. “Had you not better go home and send someone who is capable of receiving this message?”

This story is great fun and you can easily relate what they do with their telegraphy equipment to modern-day texting and internet use.
eBook Screenshot
““There certainly is something romantic in talking to a mysterious person, unseen, and miles away!” thought Nattie, as she put on her hat.”

Another fun aspect was all of the words I did not recognize.  Because I read it in Kindle, I was able to highlight them and get the definition. For any of you word nerds, these are most of the ones I highlighted if you care to test your knowledge: jocose, presentiment, anathematized, disquietude, substantive, appertaining, disgorges, cognomen, indefatigable, Charlotte Russe, sagacious, recherchΓ©, equanimity, lugubriousness, caprice, inamorata, salubrious.

I enjoyed the Bohemian dinner party very much.  It brought back my youth and the days of being inventive and making do.
There is a series of misunderstandings that adds to the drama, and is extremely relatable to today. “For on the wire in the telegraphic world, as well as elsewhere, are idle, mischief-making people, who cannot endure to see others enjoying themselves, if they also have no share.”

This is a clean, secular story set in America during the days of the telegraph.  It is FREE to download from the internet (please note, some reviewers have complained about the poor quality of the hard copy, so an eBook might be best):


a Morse key circa. 1900
Note: An electrical telegraph was independently developed and patented in the United States in in 1837 by Samuel Morse. He assistant, Alfred Vail, developed the Morse code signaling alphabet with Morse.

(5 stars)

Wild heather flowers!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Christmas Heirloom – Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations

Legacy of Love, a Haven Manor Novella by Kristi Ann Hunter
•:*:•. A Wonderfully Heartwarming Christmas Tale .•:*:•
1827 Lancashire, England
Sarah Gooding plays piano and is companion to the elderly and frail Dowager Countess of Densbury, and she loves cake!
Mr. Randall Everard is a third son and therefore of little consequence to the earldom. However, he is the apple of his grandmother's eye and he has a deep love of cultivating the earth. 

The Dowager Countess has lived a full life and enjoys music, fellowship and practical jokes. She is both kind and formidable if trifled with. She wears a beautiful pendant her sweetheart gave her in her youth that often reminds her of the wonderful love they shared. This Christmas she has some very special ideas of how to celebrate and hopefully cultivate young love.
From this moment on we live life the way my grandmother did. We love Jesus. We love each other. And we let everyone else come along or get out of the way.”
I laughed out loud and I also cried. A wonderfully heartwarming Christmas tale.
(5 stars)

Gift of the Heart, a Novella by Karen Witemeyer
•°o•:*:•. Incredibly Sweet Story of Acceptance .•:*:• o°•
1890 Hope Springs, TX
After the death of her husband and losing nearly everything, Ruth and her seven-year-old daughter, Naomi, are starting over in the up-and-coming town of Hope Springs.  With scant few personal items, a beloved family heirloom is the only thing of value she possess. But, that will be given to her daughter one day, when true love comes to call.  Although she has reservations about so many things, she has gumption and the sheer will to provide for her daughter will push her past any doubts. Beauregard owns the local hotel. Heck, he owns most of the town. But his debilitation keeps him hidden away. That is until a fiery widow with a talkative little girl, a meddling best friend and a pesky cat pull him out of his shell.
Bo and Ruth are drawn to each other and find something they were each missing in their lives.
"When Ruth pushed open the door, warmth from the front room enveloped them like a welcoming hug. …  It left her feeling cherished, pampered. Loved?"
(5 stars)

A Shot at Love, a Sound of Rain Novella by Sarah Loudin Thomas
•°o•:*:•. Great little Romance in the Woods .•:*:• o°•
1958 Bethel, West VA
22-year-old Fleeta is a crack shot and can hold her own with any man. More of a tom-boy, she dreams of becoming a gunsmith but is beholden to her family.
1. "Fleeta whispered a prayer that…the ghost deer hadn’t been a sign of anything bad. There were rumors about him."
2. "She’d had her fill of men. She’d take care of herself and never look to a husband for anything."
Hank Chapin is a timber man but is getting restless for something new, and perhaps settling down.
He collects guns, and when he’s invited home for the holidays with his best friend Judd, he decides to enter the local turkey shoot with his brand new Remington 740 Woodsmaster rifle.  Little does he know what he’s in for when he meets the attractive and strong-willed Fleeta hidden behind a pile of masculine clothing and a Winchester 1890 rifle.
3. "He had the definite sense he could no more hold on to her than he could a gossamer cloud of mist."

TEA MOMENT: “The best apologies have something to hold them, maybe a bunch of flowers you cut out in the woods, or a tin of tea from the store. The words are the main thing, but it’s nice to have something to remember them by."
Great little romance in the woods that draws you in and moves right along.
(4 stars)

Because of You a Bradford Sisters Romance Novella by Becky Wade
•°o•:*:•. Maddie and Leo find their way through Christmas to Each Other .•:*:• o°•
Present Day, Merryweather, WA
27 year old Maddie Winslow and 31-year-old Leo Donnelly have a unique connection. Maddie is compassionate and a people person who works in a sweet shop. Leo is a bookish professor and rather shy, and dad to three year old Charlie. When they are paired up at church to work the “Mission – Christmas” project together and bless Kim and her a daughters, a local family in need, they spend more time together than just the occasional run-in they might have expected during the holiday season.  
“I’m not on my own. God is still with me and God still provides. He always makes a way.”
(3 stars)

Bethany House Pub. (c) 2018
Karen Witemyer kindly sent me a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review with no further compensation.
4 stars overall
The stories are cozy with just enough Christmas to delight, but not be overwhelming if you read it in October like me!! 

Purchase Options:

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New TEA for Hallmark Countdown to Christmas

I can't believe I forgot to include this in my last Hallmark post!
Link to Purchase
There is a brand new, exclusive tea at Cost Plus World Market to enjoy while you watch all of the Hallmark Christmas movies!

"A treat to commemorate Hallmark Channel's festive Countdown to Christmas film series, this deliciously spiced tea is made with fine Indian and Ceylon leaves, warm cardamom and cinnamon. Brew a cozy cup and settle in for the annual 10-week lead-up to the most wonderful time of the year. 36-count teabags"

Hallmark CORRECT Movie Guides

Hey friends,
I LOVE watching all the new Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.
I have noticed some wonderful, but INCORRECT lists/memes floating on social media.  Here are screenshots direct from Hallmark's websites for your quick reference.  They have PDF versions (links under photos) so you can print the lists (front and back) and keep it next to your TV remote for DVR quick reference.
Click here for link to PDF
Click here for link to PDF

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Flossie's Tea Cakes and True Nobility

Author, Lori Bates Wright was kind enough to send me a sweet recipe card tucked in with her new book: True Nobility.
Having just finished the book yesterday, I wanted to try making "Flossie's Tea Cakes" which turned out to be more of a buttery shortbread cookie, but none-the-less perfect for teatime.   Since it has been raining all morning, tea and biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to chamber music and baking.
I really love a good bit of edgy danger, without grim details and a hero who saves the day.  Add in some clever banter & romance with a lovely aristocrat and by George you have something!
True Nobility – The Saberton Legacy Book #1
Lori Bates Wright

•°o•:*:•. Damsel in Distress with Clever Banter.•:*:• o°•
I recently found out about this new book because another author (Roseanna M. White) shared the cover she had designed.  I loved it and decided to investigate and ended up offering to join Lori’s street team.  I am very glad I did. 
England 1860, Midnight
“Moonlight fell through an open casement as a rising shadow crept closer to the bed.”
Now, how’s that for an opening line? It’s one of many that implies danger and intrigue which kept me guessing.
Nicholas Saberton is an American naval captain and runs Haverwood Shipping.  He has been summoned to escort the no-nonsense Lord Haverwood and his daughter, Lady Victoria, from England to the colonies.  He is a large, formidable man who speaks his mind and is not used to being summoned, particularly without explanation.  However, out of respect for family ties, he agrees and is thrown into a whirlwind of peril and secrets, and a feisty female to boot. FUN QUOTE: “Never make the mistake of confusing me with your average man.”
Lady Victoria has been groomed at finishing school and trained by her uptight father to hold her tongue regardless of her opinions.  However, Nicholas finds great amusement in provoking her beyond her well-trained manners.  They lob jabs at each other continually that are amusing and at times, sweet. 
Zachery Saberton captains The Tempest and is the youngest of the three Saberton brothers.  He is of a gentler nature, yet still a strong and dependable young man.  I enjoyed him as well.
Aunt Charlotte is quite the colorful character who is a kindly middle-aged woman without a mean bone in her body and, along with her lovely and musically talented daughter Aurora, are of the American Haverwoods.
Here is a close up of the recipe, however, I found
12-15 minutes cook time worked best in my oven.
TEA MOMENT: “Tell Flossie to put on a kettle for tea.  Edward likes his tea, you know. My, my, my, but look at you. What a beauty.”  -Aunt Charlotte

SPECIAL QUOTE: “Simmons, man the prow. It’s just a squall. We’ll ride it out.  There’s blue skies up ahead.”  I won’t reveal a spoiler here, but this scene was, for me, a tear-jerker.
There were several interesting quotes above each chapter, from scriptures to famous authors.  Laugh out loud moments and ones that made me smile were also enjoyed.  I liked the way Tori and Nicholas came together and recommend this historical love story. Another bonus was the large font this book is printed in. Much appreciated.
Sierra Vista Books – 2018
"Let morning bring me word of Your
unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Psalm 143-8
Ch. 18
The author sent me a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further compensation.
I hope you will order Lori's new book.
Lori is very sweet and approachable.
Find her at Lori Bates
As I mentioned earlier, it's FINALLY been raining here in So Cal.  Here are a few pictures I took today. 

7:00 a.m. Golden Skies after last night's storms
My navel oranges are starting to ripen & God
has watered them for me :)
Pumpkins covered in drops I spotted
while out shopping this morning.

Rain drops linger on the wee flowers
Today October 13, 2018 happens to the U.S. Navy's 243rd birthday, so I wanted to wish my daddy many happy returns and once again, thank him for his service.

As always, hugs and a cup of tea!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Blog of Blessings

This morning I awoke around 5:15 with a massive headache.  Years ago, after the invention of the DVR, my brain did this weird thing and started dreaming in fast forward.  Yes, it’s true!  Not all the time, but whenever it does happen it is quite difficult and gives me a headache.  Luckily, I have, by the grace of God, learned how to pray myself out of it and wake up!  It being quite early I reached for my phone and turned to Instagram as a distraction to not fall back asleep and right back into crazy dreams.

Now, you might think that’s not the best choice… social media being what it is, but ya know God can take ALL things and work them for His glory.  For a while now, I have been filling my feed with pages that glorify God and speak to my soul and deleting those that do not.  Even the pages I thought were super creative and lovely have been deleted when they began to exhibit thoughts and distractions that go against my beliefs and reverence for Christ.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to share some of the wonderful posts that spoke to me this morning, because I had an overwhelming urge to do so with you in this tiny little corner of the world wide web (smile).  I can only assume it is a prompting from the Holy Spirit, and hopefully, somebody else will be blessed too.
I will share each person’s Instagram address in case you want to follow as well.

Eventually, my alarm went off, and Vivaldi’s Autumn portion of the Four Seasons was playing.  How perfectly de
If you right click this link, you can play it in the background in a separate tab.

ahniart “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.”
-Psalm 119:105 (MSG)
Lord, in the darkness you are my one true light. So often I cry out for you to flip the switch and illumine the entire path before me. But in your mercy, your light is held low, like a hand-held lantern, that prepares the way for my very next step. The closer I keep to you, the more sure I am of the firm foundation before me. I am not alone. You hold my right hand and you guide me all the days of my life. I need not fear. For here on this moonless path you are my one true light. Make my heart brave and keep my mind at peace as I slow my pace behind your every step...for you are my faithful glow-in-the-dark guide. Amen.
deeplyrootedmag “If the Lord strips everything from our lives, except His presence and relationship, would we continue in life with the same joy and strength as before? That question ultimately determines the level of certainty and comfort we place on His gifts rather than on His presence. Often, when we place too high a value on His tangible gifts and blessings, we will experience suffering that renders us incapacitated. However, when we place a high value on knowing the Lord, the suffering, though painful, is endurable because God’s Word continually refreshes us with the reality of His presence and love.
Paul found himself facing the ravages of a hostile crowd of religious Jews who sought to strip away his comfort and freedom. Paul came face to face with real suffering and experienced the pain of rejection, yet, he did not seem to lose sight of the presence of the One who alone would never leave or forsake him...” —Dr. Glenn Jago
πŸ“·: @marisaalbrecht
handletteredtruth “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."”
John 16:33
littlebitfunky 10.4.18 - Galatians 1:10 - This verse is a greatlitmus test for truth. What does the speaker have to gain by what they are saying? Is it favor or power over men? Or are they relaying words that cause a pause and a moment to reflect and wonder if we are abiding in Christ? Are they saying what they need to say to win? Or are they pulling truth from the book of Life? We have to be careful not to be swayed by sweet words that make our ears happy. More often than not, those words do not do our hearts any good. Sweet words are like sweet candy, they taste good and make us happy in the moment, but they don’t nourish our bodies towards growth. Popularity among people is always fickle, and can be here today and gone tomorrow but God’s truth ensures forever. When we stand on His word we can know that we won’t have to re-evaluate how we feel in the next season or with the next person. Truth is truth is truth and it can only be found in Christ.

myoldbooks My sister’s cookies, along with a sweet October poem for #nationalpoetryday (if you live anywhere near NJ, she makes beautiful, delicious cookies! ) πŸπŸ‚ @mbcustomcookies
“October gave a party,
The leaves by hundreds came,
The chestnuts, oaks and maples,
And leaves of every name,
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.”
~ George Cooper 
I had read this poem before and feel in love with it, plus the cookies are beautiful! (smile)  She often posts pictures and quotes from vintage children’s books which are so sweet.
bethel "We've been given power [by the Holy Spirit] that unwraps every impossibility."
Tonight's #openheavens2018conference opened with a powerful word from Bill Johnson on what it means to live in the awareness of an open heaven. As we allow our minds to be renewed by the Lord, joining our values and thoughts to His, we are inviting the realities of the kingdom into our every day moments and we will see impossibilities become possible. // We can't wait for Day Two of Open Heavens! Join us tomorrow morning at 9:30am PST on!
littlebitfunky Never quit something in the middle. The middle is always the messiest. Just look at Jesus. His crucifixion was the middle. Imagine if He had quit then, after His Father sent Him and before He was risen from the dead. What would we have gained? A mess. Nothing. No one would even remember Him. He would have been just another “criminal” put to death. What if David quit in the middle? Or Moses? Or Rahab? Imagine how different their stories would be...actually we wouldn’t even know them because their story is a story because they didn’t quit in the middle. There’s a lesson there. If we quit in the middle we cheat ourselves of the ending. Of the lessons in pushing through and sometimes even the lesson of failing. But. More often than not, the middle is JUST a place to trust. Catch your breath, remember who you are and whose you are and continue on until the end. Fear tells us to quit in the middle. We are not afraid. We are victors!
teaaholic Tonight I’m fruit and clove. I’m bergamot.
I drop a teabag in the cup and boil
the kettle until it sings. As if on cue,
a part of me remembers how to brew
the darker things—those years I was a pot
of smoky leaves scented with orange oil.
Truth is: I don’t remember much of school,
the crushed-up taste of it. I was a drink
forgotten on the table, left to cool.
I was a rusted tin marked childhood.
I don’t remember wanting to be good
or bad, but only that I used to sink
in water and wait for something to unfurl,
the scent of summer in the jasmine pearl. - Tea by Jehanne Dubrow
⬆One of my favourite poems about tea. #NationalPoetryDay
hosannarevival From Julia: "This year, I made a life-choice that ended up in a lot of change. Switching jobs first came with joyful anticipation, but as the new school year started in swing, I began to question my choice. Things got hard, and it was easy for those doubts to go from tiny whispers to loud shouts. Did I make the right choice? Did I mess everything up? The lies that others around me were telling me started to shape my thoughts of myself. Am I really who they say I am? // But then I turn to Psalms, and everything changes. The lies in my head, the shouts of doubt, are slowly replaced with the whispers of His voice saying to me, "I am on your side. I am on your side." Because in all this change that scares me and fills me with fear, He has never left me. He sees me, running around, trying to be perfect, trying to do it on my own, and reminds me over and over again through his word--I, the God of the Universe, am on your side. And it isn't just out of obligation. He is on our side out of sacrifice. // So in my questions about my own self-worth, I am reminded that He sacrificed for me. When the world seems to be chewing me up and spitting me out, He is raising his voice to tell me "I am here! Notice me! Remember me!" Through His word, he tells me that He has never once left my side, that there's no place He would rather be than next to me. That there is no amount of work I could do to impress Him or change His mind about me. He doesn't just love me, he adores me, cherishes me, longs to be with me. // My friends, we have no reason to fear, no reason to doubt, no reason to question our worthiness. He has taken our fear and traded it in for joy. He has taken our worries, our questions, and replaced them with bold, bold love. He is by your side, even on your darkest days. And He isn't going anywhere." @julia.allspaw
bethel “People who have seen Jesus want to see Him more - not because they’re greedy, but because He’s so beautiful.” - @shawnbolz . Tonight's #openheavens18session with Shawn was incredible, and spoke to the invitation that God has given each of us to draw near to Him and be changed to be more like Him! Join us tomorrow for Day Three, where we'll hear from @erwinmcmanus !
teatimemagazine How we would love to take a break from our busy day and hop across the pond to enjoy this delicious afternoon tea at @stjameshotelandclub. Where would you escape to for your next tea adventure?
armedwithtruth ‘Tis a new season! Fall leaves. Scarves. And pumpkin everything. 😊🍁
#Repost @lindsay_letters This downloadable print is my FREE treat to you — my way of saying “Happy October!!!!” πŸ‚ .
delight_in_colour I’m still studying the Song of Songs - let me tell you, the riches of the word of God are so deep, and spending a good, long time soaking in one book is an awesome way to really meditate on God’s truth. The last stanza of Song of Songs feels like an odd way to end the book - it feels unfinished with this final call from the Bride to her beloved. But when we understand the nature of love we realize that the story is always unfinished. There is always more to be desired, hoped for and experienced. This is the same in our relationship with God - except that one day we will see him face to face and the story will be complete and perfect for eternity... what a reason to pray ‘Come Lord Jesus!’
I had fun playing with a layered watercolour technique that I learned from @arden_elise and her fabulous videos! I chose these colours because these verses talk about the beloved being like a stag on mountains of spices. The beautiful stag from the new Thrill of Hope stamp set from @sweetnsassystamps designed by @ninaboneenah was perfect for this page, and the trees in the set work beautifully with it as well!

24carrotkitchen Paleo scones that taste like the real thing! I love cranberry orange, but other combos work with this super easy dough. 
This one deserved looking up and here is the recipe link!!!

Awesome Cranberry Orange Scones-So Easy!
Prep Time: 10 Minutes  Cook Time: 20 Minutes  Total Time: 30 Minutes

bethel "He’s not scared of our questions." - @lesliecrandall . What a powerful reality of the nature of God - that He is steady and patient with us in our process. 
Today's #openheavens18 sessions has been full of hope, wisdom, and encouragement! Join us tonight on @betheltv_ for worship with Bethel Music and teaching by Shawn Bolz!