Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blessedly Stressed and Surviving ...

Blessedly Stressed and therefore I have not had a chance to finish my book. But as I write this it is 10:39 pm and while I have only a few chapters left to go, I have just gotten home from a very long but Blessedly Stressed day, and do not want to rush the ending.

Somehow this day started far earlier than I had anticipated, was filled with plot twists and unexpected delights as well. In the end I got to spend the evening with my family and my hockey family, helping to build a community and send our team to a tournament in the Spring.

I also am running a 24/7 event on The Beyond The Bookmarks Page that I am finding to be the most wonderful experience. Meeting and sharing crafts, recipes, books, and more, giving me something wonderful to do this holiday season. 
A huge thank you to any and all who have joined us so far. 

If you ever need something done ask a busy person, if you need the impossible done ask a mom. I have the pleasure of working with some amazing people in my life both online and in real life. I am grateful for each and everyone of them.

I promise to be back with a review tomorrow and to live in the moment today.
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a day in reflection. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Season of Miracles For One Reluctant Reader...

Today I am sharing a personal victory story during this season of miracles, you see miracles do happen on the most ordinary of days and while many have witnessed miracles of different magnitudes, what may seem small to some is huge to others.  I can pinpoint the moment in time my youngest son, previously known as The Reluctant Reader, found a love of reading.

It was a week ago Saturday at 7:20 am, when my son said, "Mom, can I bring my book in the car to hockey." Few things have left me speechless and in this moment I found myself catching my breath.  I agreed yes he could bring his book.

That moment was a catalyst to a week of adventure and delight, mayhem and discovery I had not imagined in my wildest dreams.
I thought this was a one off moment but it actually was the launching ground for a turnaround I never thought possible. You see my son, all my boys come by their reading reluctancy quite honestly. maybe you are new to my blog or maybe you noticed all the mistakes I make. I have spent the better part of 20 years now trying to correct my profound dyslexia and overcome my inability to read and write.  So when all my boys struggled with reading I was not shocked but sad, hopeful that they would one day figure it out, with my youngest, I did not think it could be so soon.

Fast forward to last Monday at pick up from school, imagine my surprise when the Principal, and the teacher in charge of Special Needs (my kids have Autism) both separately met me  in the hall to tell me that my son had a really off day. Which is really not like him and when I got him in the car and asked him why his day was so off  and finally he admitted he was "so cranky because, (he) just could not sleep and had to know how my book ended so I stayed up all night with my flashlight reading and the flashlight batteries died on the last page..." Hard to keep a straight face I had to let him know that he could not have his book in bed and that he would have to go to bed early and apologize to his teachers the next day.  I was secretly proud and horrified.  Over the week he read all three of his books and outloud to two different visitors to our house, then Saturday morning true to his word he had book in hand while we made our way to hockey.
Saturday morning, my son, the goalie, the reformed reluctant reader sustained his first ever hockey injury. A PAPER CUT.
Few things can prepare you in life for the moment you have to rip a book out of a child's hand only to protect them from getting hurt on the ice. It is. I will tell you nearly impossible to put a chest protector on a child who has both hands on a book.
He was a good sport though, pink bandage on his finger and book in hand, it may have actually been the fastest I ever got him into his goalie gear...
While I finished helping his brother get dressed, he went to read by the side of the rink. When I got to him, the adult team that plays before us was standing their, two goalies, commenting and wishing him a good game and they tried but could not get him to look up from the book. Laughing they left saying yes books are better than hockey...

This may not seem like a miracle to you, but for this once reluctant reader herself, it is just that and a dream come true.
 Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a holiday story. I look forward to sharing more with you again tomorrow.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Lesson

I finished Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Lesson just before 10 last night. This is the third in the series and more complex than the previous two. While my favorite character Homer is an important side character, I would have loved to have had more time with Aunty Bess. Honestly that is the only fault I could find in this mystery. It is a very good one, I enjoyed the characters and the story. I did not have it figured out when the twist was revealed. It was sad and cozy all at the same time. This one is out now and has some great recipes at the end too!
The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . . It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning. As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation...

This one is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here. 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On My Table and In My Cup December 2nd -9th

I am late in posting this morning, and I hope I did not cause a worry. Truth is I went to bed so exhausted I forgot one of my most favorite things to do and that is write my daily post.
This week has been a busy one though not for reading, I have felt as though I am on a speeding train and not managed to yet finish Honey-Baked Homicide, working on it though every chance I get!
On my table this week was Dressed To Kill a wonderful book from Vicki Vass and I hope you can see part of my excitement is that top left corner is my quote and name!!! I had an advanced copy of it so it was a delight to see this in print!
I throughly enjoyed Another One Bites The Crust by Ellie Alexander, this one had me on eggshells and I loved it! Out soon and such a fun series!
Exciting as a tea lover to have had this to read before it comes out. This is out December 26th and one I can not wait to have in my hand as a print book!
I had the delight and pleasure of reading Hark The Herald Angels Slay earlier in the week,this is a great series and I am thrilled to have had it to read, a little summer Christmas escape is very welcoming in the cold damp December mornings.
I have had 9 different teas already this month and what a fun advent calendar this is. Today is  a green cranberry tea.
I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow and will do my best to have it on time!
Thank you for joining me for a look back at what has been on my table and this week in review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fancy Friday Finds- Harry Potter Themed Tea...

I accidently stumbled into a brilliant tea shop on Etsy offering Harry Potter Themed Teas! I am so excited to see these! Caught my eye right off the bat was the Christmas at Hogwarts Tea!  Offered in two sizes this one is at the top of my list.
Click here to see the listing in the Beccas Little Boutique. 
Butter Beer Tea! I am in! This black tea with butterscotch and caramel. Check it out here! 
Not a Harry Potter Fan? How about this blend called Currently Reading...
Click here for this listing
Might these make great stocking stuffers for the people in your life?

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a few fancy Friday finds. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The first week of tea from my 24 Steeps Advent Calendar

Well it is a week into December and I swear I just blinked and the entire week went by. In addition to trying to read as much as I can, I am working and hosting a 24/7 event on Beyond The Bookmarks this month. One of the things I am taking time to enjoy this month is the tea in my cup each morning from my Steeped Tea Advent Calendar. December first and my tea was their Christmas Chai, a spicy and very sweet black tea.

Day two was my favorite of the week, it is called Maraschino Cherry and it was spectacular. I would not have bought this tea had I not tried it but now it is high on my list to buy next order!

This was day 3 and on December third I had White Chocolate Souffle Rooibos tea, this was a light and tasty treat first thing in the morning!
Day 4 was Creamy Milk Oolong, normally I like a fruity Oolong but this was light and refreshing. 

This was day 5 and Peppy Peppermint in my cup! Love this tea, it's one I regularly order from them so I was very pleased.
Day 6 was Earl Grey de La Creme and this is one I know well too so I was pleased to have it on my morning table.

Day 7 is Winter Sangria, which is a fruit tea. I will give it a try and post the photo when I get up in the morning and share it here.

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery tea advent week in review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ellie Alexanders Another One Bites The Crust...

The new year is going to be off to an amazing start for cozy lovers with Another One Bites The Crust by Ellie Alexander! I finished reading this last night and I was on egg shells the entire book. I was so worried the whole time that something terrible was going to happen to one of my most favorite characters in the series and I found myself holding my breath through much of the book. Ellie does a great job with character building and makes you care so much about fictional characters that you come to think of them as real. While the place is real it is so hard to not think that I could just get in my car and drive 10 hours and be sitting in Torte while visiting Ashland. Having driven through and reading about it throughout this series I can tell you first hand that the setting feels as realistic as it looks, with a few exceptions that is. I loved this one. It was suspenseful, it was nail biting and it was fun. I loved it and I think you will too. This one is out January 2, 2018 and you can pre order it now.

You can pre order on Amazon by clicking here ( I am not an affiliate and I do not get anything if you click over)
I want to thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com