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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Enjoy your weekend with your loved ones!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Reluctant Courtship

What a gorgeous cover!

Regency England once again sparkles to life under the pen of inspirational author Laurie Alice Eakes in A Reluctant Courtship.

The third and final installment in the Daughters of Bainbridge House series starts with a cliffhanger--literally. When Honore, an aspiring authoress, is rescued by her handsome neighbor, Meric, Lord Ashmoor, however, the trouble is just beginning.

It doesn't help matters that Honore, whose previous suitors include a traitor and a murderer, has been banished by her family to live in the country estate to keep her out of trouble. Meric, too, has known the touch of scandal, no thanks to his American upbringing and the nasty allegations that he helped prisoners escape from Dartmoor. He needs a wife above reproach. And Honore is definitely not that.

Honore insists on helping Meric prove his innocence, but quickly, it becomes apparent that danger surrounds them at every turn.

Readers who enjoy Regency romance will thrill at the sparkling dialogue and historic references, as well as the way the characters must maneuver within the structures of their society. A Reluctant Courtship is a fitting end to the series, although it stands alone well indeed.

I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Welcome Karen Lange and Homeschool Co-Ops 101!

Welcome Karen Lange to Tea and a Good Book!

I'm thrilled to help Karen celebrate the launch of her book, Homeschool Co-Ops 101. Below, you can read about the book, Karen, enter a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card, and also find other blogs she's visiting on her tour!

homeschool co-ops 101
Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families. Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.
  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:
karen langeAbout the Author Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens. You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

A Quick Chat with Karen...

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! I’m looking forward to visiting with you and your followers.

About ten years ago, I was encouraged by a good friend in the homeschool community to write a booklet about co-ops. She was the director of a statewide homeschool support network, and she knew people often asked me about how a co-op works. The booklet seemed like a good way to share the info, so I self published it.  In May of 2013, Helping Hands Press offered me a contract to expand it, so here we are! 

What can readers expect to find in the book?

The book offers info on how to start a co-op and weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for homeschool families. One thing I emphasize is that parents have options when it comes to co-oping. Co-ops come in all sizes and sometimes an existing one is not a good fit for a family. Parents shouldn’t feel bad or be intimidated if this is the case; they need to know that it’s okay to either not participate and even start their own co-op if they wish.

Another thing to note is that HC 101's usefulness is not limited to just homeschoolers. The how to section offers helpful setup and structure tips for other K-12 student groups. The activity segment has lessons, games, and hands on projects that suit these groups as well.                            

Here is a breakdown of each section of the book:

Section 1 includes info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.  Section 2 has a sampling of co-op games and activities, and Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. The topics include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or individual home use. Section 3 also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic. Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.

Tell us a little about your homeschool experience.

My husband and I homeschooled our three children (two sons and a daughter) in grades K-12. We chose to homeschool because, among other things, we wanted to personalize our children’s education and felt home was the best place to do that. During this time, we were active with our local homeschool support group’s events such as field trips and science and art fairs.  Co-ops played an important role too. These activities helped supplement our studies, provided balanced socialization, fellowship, and fun. They also offered a broader worldview as our children interacted with not just homeschool families, but the surrounding community.

If you happen to be interested in more info about the ups and downs of homeschooling, socialization, higher education, and other related topics, visit this link: http://www.insanitek.net/ink/archives/865

What would you like readers to take away from the book?

No one plan fits everyone, so I encourage families, whether they decide to co-op or not, to find the right balance and fit for them. My hope is that they would find ideas and encouragement for their children’s educational journey. 

Thanks again for sharing your space with me today. It’s been a pleasure!

homeschool co-ops 101
The Giveaway is open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Blog Tour Schedule
November 4 ~Ruth Schiffman, http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/ ~Robyn Campbell, http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
November 5 ~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
November 6 ~Gena Mayo, ichoosejoy.org
~Marja Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com/
November 7 ~Sandie Crozek, http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
~Melissa Brander, http://mkbrander.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 8 ~Susan Reinhardt, http://www.susanjreinhardt.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton, http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
~Melissa & Tiffany, http://www.homegrownfamilies.net
~Janette Dolores, http://janettedolores.blogspot.com
November 11 ~Susan Sundwall, www.sundwallsays.blogspot.com
~Michelle Isenhoff, http://www.michelleisenhoff.com/wp
November 12 ~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Jeanette Levellie, http://www.jeanettelevellie.com/
November 13 ~Susanne Dietze, http://susannedietze.blogspot.com/ ~Sherryl Wilson, simplysherryl.com
~Anne Payne, duhpaynes.blogspot.com
November 14 ~Rhonda Schrock, http://www.rhondaschrock.com/rhondas_blog/ ~Abi Buening, http://myheartbelongs2books.blogspot.com/
~Amber Schamel, http://www.amberschamel.com/history-blog.html
~Renee, motherdaughterbookreviews.com
November 15 ~Crystal King, http://asimpleheartforhome.blogspot.com/ ~Barb Winters, inthemidstof.wordpress.com/
~Tyrean Martinson, http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/
November 16
~Julie, soaringeagle8.blogspot.com
~Sarah, myjoyfilledlife.com
November 17 ~Amada Chavez, ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com
~Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
~Rebecca Boerner, http://ohiohomeschool.blogspot.com/
November 18
~Carlene Havel, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440085.Carlene_Havel/blog
~Cindy Loven, http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
November 19
~Karen Loethen, http://taytayhser.blogspot.com.au/
~Amy Smith, myseasonsofopportunities.blogspot.com/
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/
November 22
~Sarah Bailey, http://growingforchrist.wordpress.com
~Thumb Updown, http://momsthumb.blogspot.com/
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk, http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
~Ticia M., http://adventuresinmommydom.org/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mistletoe Memories--Now a Great Deal on Kindle, too!

If you love Christmas reads (like I do), you know it's never too early to jump into a warm and cozy novella collection of holiday stories from Barbour. I'm a fan of their novella collections, and their Christmas publications tend to be keepers.

Mistletoe Memoires is no exception.  (And right now, it's on Kindle for only $1.99!)

Disclaimer: three of the authors are collaborators on Inkwell Inspirations with me. They gave me the book. But they didn't tell me to write a review. Well, Gina sorta did. But she didn't spell out the punishment I'd receive if I didn't like it.

Fortunately for us all, I did. Here's the back cover blurb:

Spend a heartfelt Christmas on Schooley’s Mountain as four generations make a house a home. Carpenter Stephan Yost vows to build a precocious spinster a home by Christmas. Civil War widow Mary Ann Plum learns the greatest peace on earth comes from giving and receiving love. Olympia Paris must protect the orphanage she grew up in from a man intending to play Father Christmas to most of the town. Joy Benucci turns to a modern-day Scrooge to save a transitional home for foster kids. Will Christmas be a season of miracles in their lives?

Best of all, there's something for everyone in this collection. The four stories share one common theme: the house in which they're set, over almost a hundred years of history. So if you like historicals or contemporary-set love stories, there's one that is sure to appeal to you.

`TIS THE SEASON by Carla Olson Gade
When Doctor's daughter Annelise Kissing is kissed-at-first-meeting by carpenter Stephen, sparks fly. But there are obstacles between their German and Dutch heritages. Not to mention the fact that he works for her father.

MERCY MILD by Gina Welborn
Sheriff Zeke wants to adopt an orphan, but first he needs a wife, and he's always liked war widow Marianne. Too bad she doesn't want children. Ever.

MIDNIGHT CLEAR by Lisa Karon Richardson
Orphanage manager Olympia is not pleased with resort manager Teddy when he wants to build something new on the property. How can they work together when they're too busy fighting each other?

COMFORT AND JOY by Jennifer AlLee
Group home counselor Amy is amazed to find such a handsome guy waiting for her at the house.  Too bad he's Even, the lawyer, with an eviction notice!

 For the $1.99 price, it's a deal too good to pass up. Happy Christmas reading!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas Goodies--Julie Lessman's A Light in the Window!

Have you ever wanted a character in a book to be named after you?

Here's your chance! In honor of the release of her new Christmas romance, A Light in the Window, author Julie Lessman is giving away a $50 gift card, books, and characters with names of winners! Squee!

I've read Julie's books. Then I got to meet her at ACFW in Indianapolis this year, and she was so sweet to me. She may not remember the encounter, but I will never forget it!

I'm off to download the book. In the meantime, read on.Below, find her info about the contest. Then a run down of the prizes. Then view the book trailer!

Here's what she says about the contest:

♫ ♫ IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS ♫ ♫ ... especially in the brand-new video my hubby created for A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW starring my daughter, so I hope you check it out! And if you do ... you could WIN having a character named after you in my next book, a signed copy of that book and a $50 gift card!! Here's the link with all the details, so GOOD LUCK!! http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/

1st Prize (person with the most points) -- gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book, a signed copy of that book, and a $50 gift card.

2nd Prize (random drawing where every point  earned is an extra chance to win, but even one point can win) -- gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book and a signed copy.

3rd Prize (random drawing based on 1 point per name entered) -- gets a signed copy of any of my books.