Feast day of Saint Kendeas, the Wonderworker of Cyprus

icon of St Kendeas in church

On October 6 the faithful flock to the church of Saint Kendeas in Cyprus to commemorate his memory and feast day.

Learn more about him here.

Book cover English ed

Under the Grapevine, A Miracle by Saint Kendeas of Cyprus was my first children’s picture book telling the true story of the miraculous healing of my grandmother by a much loved local saint who lived more than one thousand years ago.

This book is now out of print but limited copies are available and can be ordered from here, or at the York Book Expo, York Fairgrounds on Saturday October 17 from 1-5pm!   I hope to see you there!

York Book Expo David

Watch and hear a reading of Tea with the Queen

Just posted today, a reading of my new children’s book, Tea with the Queen! Click here to watch. Enjoy!

Author interview

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Demi Stevens for the York Book Expo. On this video I talk to Demi about my four children’s books, including my new book, Tea with the Queen!

Click here to watch!

Please stop by my table at the York Book Expo on October 17 to check them out!




Tea with the Queen raises funds for brain tumor research at the York Book Expo!

The first ever York Book Expo at Memorial Hall is on Saturday October 17!

This is an exciting event featuring N.Y. Times best selling author, David Rosenfelt and over 100 local authors and vendors. Admission to the Book Expo is FREE. Come and meet tremendously talented authors and illustrators. It will be an awsome day for readers and writers – and also raising money for York County Libraries and York SPCA.

Please visit my table. I will be selling copies of my books, Under the Grapevine, The Hermit, The Icon and the Emperor, The Legend of the Cross and Tea with the Queen. Sales of Tea with the Queen will benefit brain tumor research and the charity, charliechargeson.

I look forward to seeing you!

York Book Expo Tea with the Queen

York Book Expo David


Celebrating 500 episodes of Readings from Under the Grapevine!

UnderTheGrapevine AFR pic

In honor of the 500th episode of “Readings from the Under the Grapevine,” Ancient Faith Radio is giving away a gift set containing The Miracle of the Red Egg by Elizabeth Crispina Johnson, The Legend of the Cross by Dr. Chrissi Hart, and the CD Pascha: Come Receive the Light by Eikona.

For a chance to win, simply write to me at and tell me  which “Grapevine” reading you have enjoyed the most, as well as what you love about Pascha (Easter). The winner will be announced on April 10, 2015:

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Chrissi Hart


Tea with the Queen No.1 on amazon UK kindle store!



Now is the time to get your free kindle ebook, Tea with the Queen! Ranked No.1 for the second time as of this morning in children’s ebooks on Europe and mice! Go to amazon UK or amazon to order your free kindle, or to order the book in paperback. And enjoy your trip to Buckingham Palace and the beautiful illustrations by Stephen Macquignon! Check out the lovely reviews on amazon!

Praise for Tea with the Queen



Just in, praise for my new children’s picture book released on December 4 by Xist Publishing!


Chrissi Hart does it once again! She has written a ‘must read’ gem for all families. A perfect book for sparking the imagination of young children wanting to travel to England to visit the queen for tea. Cozy up, and read to your children while preparing your own special tea party. Sheer fun and delight for your little ones.
Maria Del Rey, Publisher. ChildGood Magazine: The Journal for Creative Families. Apple Newsstand and Google Play Android

Order now for a special Christmas gift for your child! Available from amazon, amazon UK  in paperback and ebook and Nook Kids with audio!

An Interview with Niko Chocheli on his illustrations for The Legend of the Cross

Legend-of-the-cross-ARC-CoverEarlier this year, I was privileged to read my new children’s book, The Legend of the Cross to children at the St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA. While at the book-signing table with Niko Chocheli, illustrator for our book, I took the opportunity to interview him about his beautiful illustrations. The first letter on each page is illuminated in a medieval manuscript style. The blue heavenly color used throughout the book is in the style of Georgian enamel, known as cloisonné. The colors are those used by Titian, a Venetian painter who inspired Niko. Below is a page by page commentary which I hope readers will find useful:

The front cover of the book shows a lion, wearing a gold crown and a cross above a scroll. The lion is the lion of Judah, the symbol of Christ who was from the tribe of Judah. The lion may also be viewed as Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia which was based on the lion of Judah. The lion represents power and courage, while the crown shows the lion is king.
The dedication page shows King Solomon and a heavenly Jerusalem in the background.

P 3 Shows the triple branched tree made of cypress, pine, and cedar, with a skull at its base representing Adam’s skull.

P 4  In the darkness, behind Adam and Seth, there is a silhouette of a cross which implies the beginning of the journey of the cross.

P 5 The cross is the gateway to heaven, salvation and paradise. See Niko’s book, Prepare O Bethlehem:

“The gate of Eden is opened
Adam dances in exaltation.”

P6 Shows the Archangel Michael in his glory, with a cross motif behind and above him.

P7  The angel is holding Adam’s soul and the cross behind them is the entrance to heaven. The church is the rock and is depicted this way throughout the book.
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” King James Bible.

P8 The earth is ruled by the cross. This is a Bolnuri cross, an ancient symbol from the early fifth century. Jerusalem is shown to the right. All symbols are prefiguring Christ’s birth.

P9 Noah’s ark contains a church on a rock, symbolizing our salvation.

P10 King David is composing his psalms under the shade of a tree with the lion of Judah at his feet.

P11 King Solomon and the woodcutter.

P12 The hippos express wealth and splendor of a great king.

P13 The large rock formation is famous in Ethiopia. The queen of Sheba travels from Ethiopa to Jerusalem, with the pyramids of Egypt in the background. An angel holding a cross is guiding them. The procession of animals and gifts represent the splendor of Africa.

P14 and 15 show the Queen of Sheba, with the church far away and in the horizon. Georgian crosses are painted behind her. She is riding a rhinoceros suggesting wealth and splendor.
P 16 The elephant kneels in respect and honor as it looks towards the church in the distance.

P17 The lions symbolize throne griffins inspired by the painting, The Judgement of Solomon, by French painter, Nicolas Poussin.

P18 The pelican is also symbolic of Christ who is also shown in the background on the cross, as  a blue dreamlike vision. The pelican symbolizes sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the Eucharist.

P19 The illustration of the throne of Solomon was inspired by an ancient Georgian throne,  in Tao Klarjeti, Turkey. The owl represents the wisdom of Solomon. The Queen of Sheba holds a cross one hand and the other hand touches the  earth – suggesting the cross will rule the world.

P 20 Shows the wood being placed in a pit forming the pool of Bethesda with five porticoes.

P21 This illustration is shown from the perspective of the angel above over the pool of Bethesda. The lame man, his bed and crutches are shown on the letter F.

P 22 The shape of the cross and the bark of the wood are shown below in the letter T. The Theotokos is shown in the bottom right.

P23 The magi come on elephants to the newborn King. The triune symbol of the cross with the star is above the Theotokos and Christ child in the cave.

P 24 and 25 Show a close up of the wood of the cross in the pool.

P26 Jerusalem is behind the crucified Christ with the sun and moon. The skull of Adam is below the Cross and the blood of Christ renders Adam a new Adam.

P27 Shows the resurrection  with Christ in His full glory! He is the Pantocrator and the Cross below is illuminated with gold colors overlooking a large, expansive landscape.
P 28 The angel flips pages of a book which is not yet finished.

Back cover – The country of Georgia commissioned The Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem, which is represented in the top right corner. Shotav Rustavelin, a Georgian poet, dedicated an immortal poem to Queen Tamara of Georgia, and he is shown on the left. The hole below marks the spot where the holy tree is believed to have once grown, now behind the altar at the Monastery of the Cross.

A lovely gift for Easter and Pascha! The Legend of the Cross.

The Legend of the Cross book with chocolates


Discover the legend of the tree that would become the Cross of Christ. Grown from seeds gifted from the heavens, a magnificent tree participates in ancient history before becoming the crowning symbol of Christianity.

Don’t miss this complement to the story of Easter that is sure to become a Christian children’s classic.

Chronicles of Narnia fans will love the lion on the front cover – the lion of Judah, who represents Christ!

Please visit amazon to read the five star rated lovely reviews!

Here are the titles of those reviews:

A wonderful spiritual book for the family – Maria del Rey, publisher, Childgood magazine.

Beautiful story – Bradley Culbertson

A soul-piercing read -  Molly Sabourin author of “Close to Home: One Orthodox Mother’s Quest for Patience, Peace and Perseverance.”

Beautiful and spiritual – Elaine Katsaros

Mesmerizing tale – Jane G Meyer, author of The Hidden Garden and other picture books.

The deeper magic – Jenny N. Schroedel, author of the Blackbird’s Nest and Reflections on Stillbirth.

A legend with a better than Fairytale ending. Adriane Evans, MS ed. and mother of 4

A magical journey – James R Early, author.

Touching mystery – Jodi and Dessi. Dessi Jackson is author of A Saint and His Bees.

The Legend of the Cross is available in kindle, hardcover and softcover.




More praise for The Legend of the Cross

This touching review just added on amazon by Jody and Dessi Jackson, brought tears to  my eyes. It is humbling to know that this new book is touching hearts and minds of children and adults alike!

As I sat there reading this book to my children I kept thinking how gifted the author is. The sweetness of the story, the delicious way the author uses words and the amazing illustrations will wrap around you and take you on an amazing journey. Traveling the paths among the first garden to the Cross you will be charmed. The story will draw you in and make you aware of far greater mysteries than the ones our eyes can see. After you are done snuggling up and reading this charming tale it will stay with you for the rest of your life, for once you see the beauty of God you can not remain the same. My children have been touched so beautifully once more by the author’s writings and they have been shown more beauty and loveliness, for that I am forever grateful. Bless yourself and the children (even older children) in your life. Reach out and order this sweet book and marvel at the mysteries of God!!!

Dessi Jackson is author of The Saint and His Bees and Saint Felix and The Spider.