19 January 2017

Liz Johnson's Where Two Hearts Meet - Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

After I finished reading Liz Johnson's The Red Door Inn, Book 1 in this Prince Edward Island Romances series from Revell, I immediately wanted to know more about what happened to the sweet baker/chef, Caden, who was in book 1 and the heroine of book 2. So I ordered Where Two Hearts Meet!

From the Publisher:
Evocative Contemporary Romance Set in a Charming Inn on Beautiful Prince Edward Island

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen—and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets.  When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival—it might also break her heart.

Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

"The Way to A Man's Heart"
Where Two Hearts Meet
by Liz Johnson (Baker Publishing, 2016)

Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

I read this book as an ebook. What a delightful story!  I hesitated a little because I have a reporter in my own upcoming release, set on another island -- Mackinac Island -- albeit in 1895 and not 2016. I quickly got pulled into the story, though, and charmed thoroughly by the characters. Caden starts out being resistant to showing gorgeous Adam around the island. But a true friendship blossoms as they spend more time together.

There is an antagonist in the story who you'll "love to hate" and with a cool twist at the end of the story. The cooking contest is a really fun element in the story and gives good tension. But will Caden go off on a new path that God has planned for her? Will Adam? Can he turn in his assigned story? Will he find other truths?

The next book in the fantastic Prince Edward Island series comes out in summer, July, 2017! Can't wait to read it!

Bibliotherapy: Caden has some simmering self-esteem issues, some associated with her weight. She is, after all, a chef so we can't be too surprised she samples her food. She has to work through those feelings of self-worth. 

Do yourself a favor -- order a copy and read Liz Johnson's Where Two Hearts Meet. Click here to order from Barnes & Noble or here to purchase from Christian Book Distributors.

15 January 2017

Poet Guest Amy Ballard & Giveaway!

Author Amy Ballard

Carrie, thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be able to hang out on your blog and meet some of your readers.

To introduce myself, I’m a high school English teacher and freelance writer living in southern Idaho. I grew up in Maine, scribbling away at my journals and poems while homeschooling. I went on to study Creative Writing at Bob Jones University, then launched my writing career by working as a correspondent for the Times-News, a newspaper in Twin Falls. When I became certified to teach and became a full-time public school teacher, I had a lot less time for writing. Still, I sent the occasional manuscript out and kept believing that God had given me the gift of writing, and that over time, I’d see results.

Some of your readers will know my mother, award-winning inspirational author Susan Page Davis (susanpagedavis.com). Mom has been a great encouragement to me as a writer at every step along the way.

Now it’s finally time to celebrate the release of my poetry chapbook, Landlocked. It’s about place—the importance of place to the psyche, the craving we all have for our own place, and homesickness. My mom used to tell me that I bloom where planted. That’s true, but moving from Maine to Idaho hasn’t been a completely seamless transition. The journey isn’t over, and I still get homesick for New England after sixteen years in the West. But God has not failed to reveal the blessings of being right where He has placed me. In the seventeen poems in Landlocked, you’ll see my struggle at several points along the journey toward accepting my new home.

Some people don’t realize they like poetry. I mean, we know and cherish poetic passages from many sources—songs, Bible stories, even TV commercials—and don’t realize they’re poetry. We associate poetry instead with bad run-ins with Shakespeare in high school, or with cheesy greeting card verse. Really, poetry is for everyone. If you’ve ever sung along with a catchy tune on the radio or savored the wording of a favorite Psalm, it’s for you, too.

Here’s one of the poems from Landlocked:


Driving home from church, some evenings,
Dad would point to the western sky
Where purple clouds were gathered.
“If we were in Oregon,” he’d say,
“Those would be mountains!”

His native state must be like Heaven,
The way he talked. “I dreamed I died
And went to Oregon.”

His discontent grated on the rest of us
At times. Look around!
The Maine air’s so clean
They try to bottle it!

Now I live that same displacement.
Sometimes I wish these glorious mountains
Were only purple clouds.

Incidentally, my parents have moved from Maine to Kentucky, so the old saying, “You can never go home again” is true in my case. Now when I visit Maine, I’m a tourist. And that’s okay.
Landlocked by Amy Ballard

Here’s a poem that shows the other side of the coin, a time when I could see the beauty in my new surroundings.


What is it like to live in the city
and not have geese swimming overhead
in fine formation
while cows graze the yellow stubble?
Never to watch the shadow of a white cloud
glide along the foothills
like blue-violet paint on a roller?

The convenience of a corner store
and the proximity of movie theaters
could not replace the prairie’s splendor
in fall.

When Paul wrote, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content,” he wasn’t talking about “states” as in organized political communities under a government, but I’ve had to learn to be content in different geographical states. Granted, it’s not a true culture shock. Mainers and Idahoans speak (roughly!) the same language. One of my friends is a missionary in Croatia, and I can only imagine the sense of uprootedness she must feel. I know her faith in God is teaching her contentment, too.

I would like to encourage readers to allow God to work contentment in their lives. Reading my poems, you’ll know that it’s been a tough growth process for me and that the process isn’t over. But I believe God has put me here for a purpose, and I want to experience that purpose abundantly.

Order Landlocked at www.createspace.com/6821684.

Please drop me a line here in the comments, and find me on Facebook @christianteacherpublicschool. I blog at christianteacherpublicschool.blogspot.com. My Web site is amyballard.com.

Thanks again for having me!

CFP: Thanks for visiting OWG blog, Amy! And thanks for offering a giveaway of your book to one of our readers! Simply comment below to be entered.

13 January 2017

My Heart Belongs Line -- From Barbour -- Launches with Erica Vetsch

Barbour Publishing has launched the "My Heart Belongs" series!!! We had a super busy and lovely Facebook Party on Tuesday night!  If you missed it, you can still enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of a Kindle Fire and 13 ebooks to go with it (ends January 31st) by clicking on this link and following directions: Click here

Are you excited about the launch of this series? I sure am! And I can't wait to get to the Straits of Mackinac and Mackinac Island, where my heart belongs!!! Speaking of which, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring is available at pre-order HALF OFF price at Barnes & Noble and Amazon!!! I don't know how long that will last, though, so get your copy now!!! Releases July 1, 2017!

08 January 2017

NO FEAR by Teresa S. Mathews


When your thoughts are running away from you.
When you heart races and you don’t know what to do.

When it seems, your life is turned upside down. 
And you feel your world spinning round and round.

When your life hasn’t turned out liked you thought. 
When all your dreams have come to naught. 
When your doctor tells you, “there's no cure.” 
In this one thing you can be sure;

Your life is in the hands of GOD, 
He’s been every place you’ve ever trod. 
As His perfect love draws you near, 
Remember in HIM there is NO FEAR!! 


Back in 2014 when my husband Carlton was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, GOD began to deal with me about fear. He brought to my remembrance many scriptures about fear and He reminded me many times that fear doesn’t have a place in a Christian’s life.  I thought He was showing me this to encourage Carlton while he was going through treatment. No, He was getting me ready for the most difficult time of my life, losing my husband of twenty-eight years. He was showing me how to live a life fully trusting HIM with NO FEAR!!

Most of you know the struggles I have had since Carlton moved his residence from earth to Heaven on May 7, 2015, if not, you can read about it here. There have been many things I have faced that should have made me tremble with fear but GOD has held me close and reminded me HE is in control of my life.

On the first day, I visited the Oncology Radiation Office waiting to be called back, I begin to feel an overwhelming spirit of fear and I started to tremble. So, I begin to pray and ask the Lord to bring peace to me. One of my sons noticed me and asked what was wrong, when I explained, he held my hand and prayed too.  I began to immediately feel GOD’s peace surround me, but as we all know, satan wants us to live in fear, so he will do whatever he can to slip it back in our lives. He is very cunning and will use whatever tactic he can to succeed.

During the past 4.5 weeks, every time I undergo a treatment, which only lasts about 3-4 minutes, I pray that the radiation only goes to the “bad” area and not to the surrounding tissues, heart, lungs, ribs, back, etc... To me that seemed like a normal response to a stressful situation.

On Wednesday of this past week, while repeating my ritualistic prayer, the Lord spoke to my spirit these words….NO FEAR!!!  Wait a minute!! Could my little silent prayer asking for protection from the radiation, be born out of FEAR??!! Then I felt the Lord telling me “Instead of praying a fearful prayer, why not use this time to pray for the others that are coming in and lying on this table undergoing radiation treatments.” It only took me a few seconds to process this and I began to pray for salvation and healing for anyone that comes into that lonely room to undergo treatment.

Let me clarify that asking GOD for mercy and protection is not wrong, in fact that is what we are supposed to do. Our Heavenly Father loves to hear from his children; but when your prayers are being driven by fear and not by faith, it grieves Him. 1 John 4:18  tells us “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”  GOD’s love is perfect and it will drive away any fear that we have.

Another scripture on fear is 2 Timothy 1:7  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  Fear will torment our minds and that is not what GOD wants for us. He has promised us a sound mind! When we call out to Him, He will help us overcome our fears, just like Psalms 34:4 says “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

Another wonderful reminder that GOD will help us overcome our fear is Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

I appreciate all the prayers that everyone has sent up for me and for the ones that you will continue to pray but I also ask that you join me in praying for EVERYONE that is fighting cancer. Hearing that word can instill fear in anyone, so let’s remind them and especially satan, that GOD IS GREATER than cancer and in HIM THERE IS NO FEAR!!

Here are some additional scriptures about not being fearful. 

          Deut. 31:6             Joshua 1:9            Psalm 27:1            Psalm 56:3-4            Psalm 118:6

          Isaiah 41:13          Isaiah 43:1            Hebrews 13:5-6     John 14:27

Here are a couple of my favorite songs by Chris Tomlin.



If you have a favorite scripture that has helped you overcome fear,  
please leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you!! 

05 January 2017

Audiobook Review of Kim Vogel Sawyer's Guide Me Home

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Narration by Kate Forbes
Audibook by Recorded Books

Skillfully & Beautifully Guided Home!
Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Since my great-grandmother was from Olive Hill, Kentucky, which is right by Carter Caves, I had to listen to this book. We've been to Carter Caves once, and it was fascinating. The references Ms. Sawyer makes to that total darkness are so true. There's nothing liking being in the pitch and total black of a cave where even the person standing right next to you is not at all visible.

Kim Vogel Sawyer's novel gives multiple points of view for this fascinating novel. I'm pretty sure there were five but it might have only been four. Her rendering of local accents struck me as fairly accurate. Like Rebekah, the heroine, my own mother was the only sibling who didn't have an Eastern Kentucky Appalachian accent. I think Mom must have worked on that whereas Rebekah credits her book-reading for the absence of her accent.  

Because of the dangers of cave exploration, I found I kept waiting -- like a "wait for it. . . wait for it. . ." moment and when it arrives it is such a twist that I was totally taken by surprise. Well done! Didn't see that coming.

I am not a fan of Kate Forbes as a narrator. When I realized she was doing the narration I almost returned the audiobook. I'm glad I didn't. She ended up for this title doing a fine job.

Bibliotherapy: Class differences, educational differences, poverty, disobedience, consequences of sin, and the power of love to overcome.

Available from Barnes & Noble 
Also at Audible.com
Christian Book Distributors

30 December 2016

Noela's List of 2016 Favorite Reads!

Featured below are 10 of my favorite novels from those I've reviewed on OWG this year, in no particular order. Of course there are many more that I've read or are yet to read that are also truly exceptional books. I hope that these outstanding few will inspire you to check them out to either purchase by clicking on the picture, or to add to your wish list! Enjoy!
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Sofi's Bridge
Tragedy and trauma haunt Sofi and her sister. When Sofi may lose her sister, they silently flee in the early hours along with the gardener. But will their destination be their refuge or carry grave risks for them all? Masterfully penned with an intriguing atmosphere and an exquisite love story!
* * * * *

Her One and Only
Pair a macho football star that's sworn off love and his diminutive beautiful bodyguard that's all business—and delight in the electrifying chemistry that they attempt to subdue! This invigorating story scores a touch-down with irresistible characters, a sizzling romance, and a foreboding mystery!
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Saratoga Letters
This is an enthralling novel fashioned around the historical Battle of Saratoga. Authentic and emotive, this story is creatively paralleled from two different eras—two hundred years apart. From the battlefield of the Revolutionary War during 1777 to modern-day 1977 and the commemoration of the infamous battle, this two-part story is connected through the ages by not only ancestry and other fascinating similarities, but heartbreak, danger, and enchanting romances!
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So Rare a Gift
In 'So Rare a Gift' you'll be swept up in an unforgettable tale of valor and zeal, secrets and lies, and deadly revenge. Trouble follows Anna Rone as she flees to America to escape a forced marriage and to seek out the truth of her brother's death. Needing security in this new land, she marries a man she's known for but a few days—but does she really know who she's marrying? Exquisite prose and a breathtaking romance make this a not-to-be-missed experience!
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A Lady Unrivaled
'A Lady Unrivaled', Book #3, completes the Ladies of the Manor series. I truly cannot recommend this series enough! All three books are absolute masterpieces of Edwardian romance and suspense. Each book likewise delivers the most delightful wit throughout—such that it out-sparkles the priceless red diamonds that places everyone's life in so much danger! Beautifully written as always!
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Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter
Set in 1742 during yet another wave of brutal religious persecution in France and the Palatinate, this gorgeous novel vividly portrays an aristocrat's granddaughter's arduous survival of both body and heart as she flees from tremendous danger and betrayal. Exquisitely descriptive with fascinating historic detail!
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The Beautiful Pretender
'The Beautiful Pretender' is a medieval fairy-tale retelling of The Princess and the Pea meets Beauty and the Beast! Imposing stone castles, wolf-infested forests, and immensely gripping characters together with treachery, sacrifice, and love, ensures this medieval tale emerging from 1363 in the Holy Roman Empire—is one that seizes the reader instantly from the breathtaking beginning!
 Melanie Dickerson also had TWO other releases this year that were just as stunning and worth checking out: A Spy's Devotion (A Regency Romance) and the recent release 'The Silent Songbird'!
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A Promise in Defiance
The worst of lawlessness and immorality encounter God and grace in this Wild West tale. Grittier than your average historical, 'A Promise in Defiance' is painted with bold strokes of realism, creating a fast-paced, unpredictable, and utterly compelling experience. This mind-blowing story is part three in one of the most powerful and memorable series you'll read in this genre!
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She Walks in Power
Step back through the ages into medieval England where you’ll encounter the King’s elite Knights when they’re sent to retrieve the Spear of Destiny—a powerful and holy relic. Hidden within the forest, the Spear is protected by the flame-haired Robin Hood type character known as the Falcon of the Emerald Forest. One of the Knights, Sir Ronar LePeine is torn between obeying his King and his captivation of the beautiful Falcon. His struggle will soon overturn his world and set him in the midst of an epic spiritual battle. Intrigue and suspense, amazing character chemistry, and a dynamic message make this a must-read!
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Left at the Altar
The town of Two-Time, Texas, runs on two different times thanks to a long-running feud between the town’s two jewellers. The wedding between their children that was supposed to end the division and bring one time to Two-Time, only succeeds in dividing the town further when the groom leaves the bride standing at the altar and a breach of promise lawsuit is filed. The fancy Boston lawyer who is new to the town takes on the groom’s case but develops a fondness for the jilted bride. Can anyone win in this case? I had the time of my life reading this witty and fun story by Margaret Brownley!
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Two Bonus Books - Click on the book TITLES to read about them!

Love Everlasting

Giver of Wonders
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Below are 4 of my favorite NOVELLA'S and BOOK COLLECTIONS. Click on the picture to purchase or to read more about them! 

With This Ring?
Life and love can be vastly unpredictable which can add plenty of intrigue and sparks. This is exactly what transpires in these FOUR novella's of love and proposal's emerging from unforeseen circumstances!
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Lone Star Love
FIVE stories set deep in the heart of the lone star state—Texas. Each tale is a unique Texas treat on its own, highlighting the great state and bringing you adventure in spades as history comes to life! This amazing collection contains 3 novella's and 2 novels. 
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Love, Lies, & Typewriters
Taking place during WW2, 'Love, Lies, and Typewriters' delivers a captivating love triangle tale between Lucy, a war-hero cowboy, and a reporter. If she falls for the wrong man, or even the right man, will the headlines read 'happy ever after'? Thoroughly enjoyable and saturated with an authentic 1940's flavor!
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Forest Ranger Eric Palmer's life was only all about moose until a friend from his teenage years arrives in Moose Creek and opens his heart to the possibility of love. You'll love meeting Matilda the troublesome moose in this small town of big dreams. A delightful Christmas tale!

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Two Bonus Novella's - Click on the picture to read more about it or to purchase!

On the Wings of a Whisper
Tea Shop Folly
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GIVEAWAY: I would love to give away a late Christmas present to one blessed commenter. Tell me which book you would like to read from my faves and an e-book copy of it will be yours if I draw your name! (International entrants welcome!) 
*Leave your email address for contact purposes should you win!

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