Tea and Poetry Tuesday

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Gingerbread
by Louisa May Alcott

‘Gingerbread,
Go to the head.
Your task is done;
A soul is won.
Take it and go
Where muffins grow,
Where sweet loaves rise
To the very skies,
And biscuits fair
Perfume the air.
Away, away!
Make no delay;
In the sea of flour
Plunge this hour.
Safe in your breast
Let the yeast-cake rest,
Till you rise in joy,
A white bread boy!’

Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach

Beyond the Valley (Daughters of the Potomac Book 3) by [Gerlach,  Rita]

The third and final book in the “Daughters of the Potomac” series by Rita Gerlach, Beyond the Valley is my favorite. I enjoyed all three books, but I found myself on the edge of my seat cheering for things to get better in Sarah Carr’s life in this book. This book made me laugh and cry, which is another way I measure how good a book is–that it evokes strong emotions within me and moves me to both laughter and tears.

This story begins with a tragic event that affects Sarah’s life, and this event is quickly followed by three more tragic events in Sarah’s life. Then things in Sarah’s life seem to improve a little for a short while before the next tragic event, and this is the pattern for the rest of the story–Sarah, dealing with one tragedy after another, and all she wants is to be free and loved.

When she meets a doctor, who falls in love with her, it appears that her hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. However, as an indentured servant, Sarah is not free to marry as she wishes, and the man who owns her refuses to allow the doctor to buy Sarah’s indenture, but instead sells her to a backwoodsman. And so, Sarah’s life is thrust into more struggle for survival, as her heart aches to be reunited with the doctor.

Sarah’s faith, courage and bravery in all that she faces is an inspiration.

The doctor’s unwillingness to give up in his search for Sarah because of his love for her is the stuff an outstanding romance story is made of.

Once again, I highly recommend the “Daughters of the Potomac” series by Rita Gerlach to all who love history, romance, and adventure. The first two books are strongly connected, and I believe should be read together. However, this book, though connected to the first two, could be read on its own without the reader feeling lost.

These books and the strong characters in them will live in my memory for a long time to come.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tidbit:

I wish we could sit down together,
And have a cup of tea,
But since we can’t
When you have this one,
I hope you’ll think of me.
                  — Author Unknown

 

Today’s poem is an original limerick, written for a school assignment by my youngest son.

There was an old dragon with bad eyes,
Who couldn’t see anything of great size.
If his mate was in a healthy mood,
She would help him get food;
Which was usually barbecued flies.

Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

In 1775, Eliza Bloome’s ailing father dies and just a couple days later she receives notice that she has to vacate her home. Her father was a vicar and the home would be needed for his replacement.

An Englishman who would soon inherit a wealthy estate expressed interest in marrying Eliza, but he was not the kind of man Eliza wished to marry. There was another Englishman she wished to marry, but he thought her beneath him. However, when his plans didn’t go the way he wished, he agreed to wed her and take her with him to America. Eliza’s maid, Fiona, went along.

Things were going fairly well in America, though Eliza was unsure of her husband’s love, and she longed for it–for him to say the words. America was in turmoil and the Revolution began. Her husband had embraced America as his home and agreed that they should break free from the King of England’s control. So, just after Eliza gave birth to a daughter, her husband left to join the fighting.

Nothing was the same after that. One tragedy followed another, and Eliza returned to England with no real place to go.

This book has well-developed characters that I could empathize with. I cheered for them and cried for them, and my heart broke for them. There is romance, the struggles of war and the family’s the soldiers left behind, and there is loss, and pain and suffering.

I couldn’t put the book down. It is the first in “The Daughters of the Potomac” series by Rita Gerlach, and when I reached the end, I found the end written well enough that it could be the end, but there was one thing that had not been resolved that my heart longed for. So, I immediately began the second book in the series. You’ll see that review soon.

If you like historical romantic fiction, you will enjoy this story.

 

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tidbit is a bit unusual. I want to share a new tea item that someone gave me as a gift. It’s a wonderful little plastic pot with a built-in loose leaf tea strainer. You can put up to 12 oz. of water in it with your loose leaf tea, then heat it in the microwave, then let it steep. When ready, you fit the pot over your tea cup or mug and the there’s a piece on the bottom that lifts when on the cup, and the tea pours down into your cup but doesn’t let any of the loose tea into the cup of tea. It’s a wonderfully easy way to make a cup of loose leaf tea.

Called Back
by Emily Dickinson

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world go by!
Just girt me for the onset with eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as one returned, I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some sailor, skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye.

Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal,–
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tip:

Tea absorbs moisture. Be sure to store loose leaf tea bags in a tin or sealed jar.

Aspiration
by Emily Dickinson

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.

The heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the cubits warp
For fear to be a king.

A Book Review: Rose’s Redemption by Donna L.H. Smith

Rose’s Redemption is the new release by Donna L.H. Smith, and the second book of the “Known by Heart” series. The first book was Meghan’s Choice, and you can read my review of that book here.

The story setting is still the old western town of New Boston, where Meghan’s Choice also was set. As a matter of fact, Meghan and the main character, Rose, of Rose’s Redemption, are friends–a friendship that began in the first book.

Rose has had a very difficult life, and in Rose’s Redemption, those difficulties aren’t over. As she tries to change her life for the better and begins to hope that she could have real love, someone from her past comes back to find her.

I enjoyed Rose’s Redemption very much. Though, in Meghan’s Choice, Dr. Scott Allison was not my favorite  character, he redeems himself in Rose’s Redemption, and he plays a big part in the new life Rose tries to make for herself. Meghan and the characters from Meghan’s Choice still played a part in this story as well, so as a reader, I got to know them all better.

The characters in Rose’s Redemption are well-developed and I enjoyed meeting some new characters in New Boston in this installment of the “Known by Heart” series. I really like Rose and rooted for her the whole way through the book.

The story’s conflict was also well written, better than the conflict in Meghan’s Choice. I found the conflict in Rose’s Redemption to be more intense and realistic, and it kept me turning pages.

Donna L.H. Smith also had an interesting way of having some of her character’s experience God that drew them to Him. It was tastefully done and not preachy nor was it overdone. I don’t think someone who prefers not to read Christian novels would be offended or find it overbearing.

Donna L.H. Smith’s writing is stronger in Rose’s Redemption and she did a much better job of developing her characters and making me like them and care about them. She also included some subtle hints as to what may come in the next book, and I look forward to reading it.

If you enjoy stories with an old western setting, intense conflict, and sweet romance, I hope you will read Rose’s Redemption too.