I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ten Things with Novelist Angela Breidenbach!

Welcome Angela Breidenbach to Tea and a Good Book!

Angela is a speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create a life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT.

1. I've lived in Spain for three years. My oldest son was born there and has a dual citizenship.
2. My husband and I won the "Newlywed Game" on our honeymoon cruise. The couple that was married 50 years to our 4 days became long time pen pals.
3. I have "awe attacks" according to my husband. It could be the beauty of creation or wondering what God thought when he knew we'd invent roads and drive on them.
4. I love synchronized swimming, both doing it and watching the sport. It's incredibly hard, graceful, and gorgeous to watch.
5. I like coffee and tea, but my coffee has to be hot and a sugar-free skinny peppermint mocha, but white chocolate is okay too. :)
6. My husband says I bake when I'm stressed. (Aside: I didn't realize that until he said it.)
7. I can't read or watch horror. My imagination is too vivid. I end up with days of nightmares. I watch a lot of comedy and sweet romances.
8. Because I'm a workaholic, I'm getting a new munchkin kitten to distract me from work. His name is going to be Schnitzel. Come see my website/blog http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com and watch for his picture. (Mama cat is due mid-April and I'll begin visiting him early May. He'll come home end of June!)
9. To me, writing is the most intimate, transparent form of communication. I open up freely in writing.
10. I write because I want to leave a legacy.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Angela! Love the book cover. And here's a peek at A Healing Heart:

What happens when the only man who can help is the one man she can't trust? A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter's unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters—are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara's heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter's graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time. Will Joel's photo find a place on the quilt... and in Mara's heart?

Don't forget to visit Angela!

Twitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor

Friday, April 19, 2013

Forsaken Dreams

Forsaken Dreams (Escape to Paradise)In Forsaken Dreams (Escape to Paradise), MaryLu Tyndall takes the reader on a journey over the sea from a South ravaged by the Civil War to the paradise of Brazil--a place to start over and live in peace. 

The characters are all in desperate need of peace and yearnings to start new lives.  Colonel Blake Wallace was a war hero, but he is haunted by the horrors he experienced during the Civil War and the death of his family. He is eager to start a colony in Brazil, far away from the darkness of his past. On board the ship, the New Hope, he meets Eliza Crawford, a widow and former Confederate nurse.

Eliza holds a secret that, if exposed, could ruin her new life in Brazil—a life she realizes she wants to forge with Blake. But Blake would never forgive her if he uncovered her secret.

Meanwhile, disease, storms, and darkness follow the ship, threatening the arrival of the passengers to their new paradise.

I had no idea former Southerners from the US established new homes in Brazil after the Civil War. MaryLu Tyndall creates fresh stories every time she pens a novel, and I love how her characters are three-dimensional, broken people. They are likable, but not perfect: they deal with alcoholism, PTSD, pain, and anxiety, just like real people do. Such inclusions make the spiritual threads all the stronger and more relatable. 

I look forward to the second book in the series!

I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

And the Winner Is....


Congratulations, ElaineK! Thanks to all who visited with Christine Lindsay when she shared her Ten Things, and thanks to all who entered the drawing!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ten Things with Author Christine Lindsay...and a Giveaway

Welcome Author Christine Lindsay to Tea and a Good Book!

Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning inspirational historical novels. In her novels, SHADOWED IN SILK and CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT, Christine delights in showing the love of God in times of great injustice on a national and domestic scale. She weaves the endless theme of redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. Like a lot of authors, Christine’s chief editor is her cat. 

  1. I was patted on the head by Prince Philip when I was a baby sitting in my pram just outside the Belfast City Hall. I’ve felt special ever since. Seriously though, I love all things British, adore Queen Elizabeth, and write most comfortably from a British viewpoint and voice.
  2. My great-grandfather and my grandfather (yes, father and son) were both riveters on the Titanic as it was being built in the shipyard in Belfast. My grandfather was only 14 at the time, and it was his first job as an apprentice riveter. As a family we take no responsibility for the sinking of that great liner. The lives of my ancestors have always stirred my romantic imagination. One day I will write a novel about riveters, but it was my ancestors on my mother’s side that seeded my fascination in the British Raj of Colonial India. Those men (and their families) who served in the British Army and British Cavalry in India were the fodder for my debut novel Shadowed in Silk.
  3. I adore the secular blockbuster novels by MM Kaye who wrote Far Pavilions so much, that when I decided to write fiction I wanted to write romantic adventure epics like her, set in British India, but from a Christian point of view.
  4. Being born in Northern Ireland means that I am also British, because N. Ireland (the 6 counties in the north) is still loyal to England. So in many ways I am a proper Brit, avid tea-drinker and lover of scones with clotted cream.

  5. At the same time I am also very Irish, with a sense of humor, and I laugh far too loudly at times. I think my sense of humor can be seen most clearly in my character Laine in Captured by Moonlight. She’s a bit zany, and I can be a bit that way too. Not too zany, just a bit.
  6. I’m crazy about cats. Love ’em. I also love dogs, but my cats are my babies. But oh yes, I do have 3 grown children whom I adore, and am Nanny to my 3 grandsons. I hope to get a granddaughter one day. I sort of casually mentioned that one afternoon after church when my son-in-law and daughter were visiting. And I got that “look” from my son-in-law. You know the “look”. That was naughty of me, I know. I’ll never do it again. I promise. None of my business when they start their family. But then . . . you know how it is when you see all those cute baby clothes in the stores . . . and smell the teeney weeney diapers. And babies are so wonderful.
  7. I guess I adore babies because I relinquished my first child (Sarah) to adoption and was reunited with her 20 years later. Sarah is the model on the front cover of my debut novel Shadowed in Silk.  The incredible way the Lord arranged all that is in a short article on my blog page Story Behind the Front Covers
  8. My beautiful daughter Lana is the model on the front cover of Captured by Moonlight, book 2 of my series Twilight of the British Raj. We had such fun that day doing the photo-shoot.
  9. It was my privilege to visit India once, so far, on a writing missions trip. I went to the south of India, Tamil Nadu, which used to be called the Madras Presidency, and which is the gorgeous tropical setting for Captured by Moonlight. One of the highlights of my life. I especially loved travelling on the train, and it was not first class, but ordinary travel with hard seats, and only bars on the windows. It was fantastic. I’ll never forget it . . . the train trundling through the countryside. Those memories created this paragraph from Captured by Moonlight. ...“On one side of the rutted track a rice paddy stretched out, a verdant green that almost hurt her eyes in the sunlight. Dotting the paddy, women’s saris—saffron, crimson, vermillion, peacock blue—shimmied in the light like beads on a bangle. Seeing this beauty again, she admitted she shouldn’t have let the painful memories stop her from coming back. Her roots to this southern land were as numerous and deep as those of the banyan tree.”
  10. I would visit India again, in a flash if the opportunity arose.

 Blessings on you.

Thanks for visiting today, Christine! 

Christine has graciously offered e-copies of her books to one lucky commenter today! Drawing ends 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 17. Make sure you leave your email addy in the comments!

 Be sure to check out:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When the Heart Heals

Ann Shorey delivers a delightful tale of romance, herbs, and danger in When the Heart Heals. The story follows Where the Wildflowers Bloom, but it isn’t necessary to have read that novel first.

Some of the folks in Noble Springs, Missouri, find Rosemary Saxon vulgar because she served as a nurse during the Civil War—and they question her abilities because she uses herbal remedies. Still, she yearns to be independent, so she applies for a job with the new doctor in town. Dr. Elijah Stewart needs the help, but he’s not sure he can trust her remedies. Their bickering may soften into something more romantic, but when a villain wants her gone for good, Rosemary’s independence may be threatened.

Shorey writes pleasing historical romances for the inspirational reader, and When the Heart Heals is no exception. It’s well-plotted and the characters are likable. Chapters run short, so it’s a great book to take on-the-go.

I recommend When the Heart Heals to any reader who enjoys historical, Christian Romance.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel for purposes of review from the publisher. A positive review was neither promised nor expected. Also, the author and I are represented by the same agent but we have never met, and I was not represented by our agent when I agreed to read the novel.

Monday, April 1, 2013

When Jesus Wept

Before reading When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles), I hadn't heard of Brock and Bodie Thoene, but I don't know why--they're a husband/wife team who have written over sixty Christian novels.

This novel is the first-person, fictional account of Lazarus of Bethany, brother to Mary and Martha, and friend of Jesus. The Bible teaches that Lazarus died, and four days later, Jesus wept at his grave before summoning him from the dead. Lazarus emerges from the tomb, wrapped in grave cloths. The scene is the one where Jesus declares, "I am the resurrection and the life." This event also enrages the religious authorities in Jerusalem.

The Thoenes state up front that they rely on Biblical accounts and their imaginations to tell the story, so it's interesting to see what comes straight from the Bible and where their creativity has taken them.

In their account, Lazarus owns a vineyard and makes fine wine. He's widowed and lives with Martha; Mary is wealthy, lives in Galilee, and has led a sinful life.

Familiar Bible accounts are made personal in the story as the blind beggar is someone known to Lazarus, as is the crippled beggar at the pool of Siloam (who cheated Lazarus' father, and whom Lazarus struggles to forgive). I love how the book shows how every Old Testament story points to Jesus, especially in a powerful scene toward the end of the book.

Some of the Thoenes' decisions were interesting to me. For instance, Mary of Bethany is conflated with Mary Magdalene. Also, Jesus doesn't really weep--an odd choice.

Still, the story points to Jesus as Lord and I would endorse it to readers of Biblical fiction and those who wish to encounter Jesus in a new light.

At a Kindle price of under $3 on Amazon, it's a deal!

Back Cover Copy:

Lazarus holds interest well beyond this miraculous event. Living in Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus witnessed many of the most important events of Jesus's life and ministry. Lazarus owned a vineyard and devoted his life to caring for its vines and fruit. But he encountered another man---Jesus---whose vineyard was the world, its fruit the eternal souls of men. When Lazarus's story and the story of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection touch in When Jesus Wept, we are offered a unique vision into the power and comfort of Christ's love. Brock and Bodie Thoene's most powerful and climactic writing project to date, When Jesus Wept, captures the power and the passion of the men and women who lived through the most important days in the history of the world.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for purposes of review. A positive review was neither required nor expected.