25 August 2016

Diana's Review Of The Lady And The Lionheart By Joanne Bischof

The Lady And The Lionheart By Joanne Bischof

The Lady And The Lionheart
By Joanne Bischof
Mason Jar Books, July 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 Stars!~
(No spoilers!)

An Achingly Beautiful Novel! 

Roanoke, Virginia 1890

Author Joanne Bischof  has penned a poignant, hauntingly beautiful romance set amidst the exciting scents, sounds, and entertaining thrills of the Big Top—and of a lovely young woman who inadvertently gets tangled up in a web of darkness and secrets that takes place behind the scenes of this mysterious world.

After suffering from an unspeakable act at the age of fifteen, Ella Beckley lives an unobtrusive, quiet life as an employee for Dr. Penske—running errands, boiling water, and tidying the scullery. Deeply scarred by her past, her shame has driven her away from her home and God as well, and she is content to live her bleak, drab existence...that is until Charlie Lionheart enters her life. Mr. Lionheart is an enigma - a handsome, charming gypsy whose courageous act in the circus both terrifies and captivates thousands. He humbly cares for his pride of majestic lions with love and skill, and gives his very life in exchange for an orphaned baby—a trade that costs him a terribly high price.

Lionheart enlists Ella's help with the sick baby and as she arrives at the circus, her forbidden friendship with him deepens and she learns the true depth of this man's sacrifice for this gypsy child. Suffering in his own dark, secret world of adversity, will Lionheart's faith and love be the key that unlocks the suffocating fear that envelopes Ella—awakening the promise of new hope and inward healing—and perhaps even romance?

Breathtaking, fascinating, mesmerizing...there just aren't enough adjectives to describe this achingly beautiful novel! Charlie Lionheart was the ultimate hero, who with his animal magnetism (sorry - couldn't resist) not only held the captive audience in the palm of his hands, but my heart as well! The scenes with the massive lions were so well written and realistic, that I, too, felt the heart-pounding terror and fascination along with the crowd. Not to mention the angst-filled, toe-curling romance—ahh, such sweet torment. My emotions soared throughout this entire book and when I reached the lovely conclusion I sadly, with tear-filled eyes, said goodbye to some of the most endearing characters to ever grace the pages of a novel. As a matter of fact, please meet them below! Joanne Bischof has stolen my heart and deeply touched my soul with her writing, and I'm convinced she will yours, too.

The Heroes And Heroines From One Of  My Fave Books Ever! (Used With Author's Permission )

This book may be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

GIVEAWAY:  A paperback copy of The Lady and the Lionheart will be given away to one blessed commenter! Be sure to leave your email written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers! (US Entrants Only)

24 August 2016

Teresa Mathews' Birthday Celebration

Happy birthday, Teresa! And we're praying that you continue to recover from your surgery! We're so glad that God has sent you to earth to be our Poetess Angel! You're a blessing to everyone you meet!

Here's a pirate's cake for you, Teresa!!! I wish I had a picture of you in your pirate outfit!!! Har har har, me matey!!!

In me pirating days!

Giveaway: We're giving away a box of inspirational books, in honor of Teresa's birthday!  Leave her a happy birthday message and the OWG Angels will vote on who left the best happy birthday message!!! 

23 August 2016

Teresa S. Mathews Reviews DISILLUSIONED by Christy Barritt

Disillusioned by Christy Barritt

Reviewed by Teresa S. Mathews

5 Stars*****

Once again Christy Barritt has written a very gripping novel that you will find yourself drawn into from the very first page. While reading it you may have a sense of déjà vu as the story line is somewhat similar to a real life “ripped from the headlines” story from a couple years ago here in the US. In fact, while reading Ms. Barritt’s story, I began to think how a totally different situation could have been possible in that case.

When Nikki Wright received word her Navy Seal brother, Bobby, had escaped from a terrorist camp in Colombia, South America where he had been held captive, all she wanted to do was to get Bobby home safe. She also wanted to make sure he got the help he needed. Never would she think their country would start spreading lies that he was in with the terrorists. Turning to a family friend for legal help, Nikki is sure she will be able to get Bobby the help he needs before handing him over to the government for debriefing. After a close encounter with someone trying to kill them, Nikki isn’t sure who can be trusted.

Even though Bobby is acting paranoid and unstable he knows the only person he can trust to help him and Nikki is Kade Wheaton, another former Seal. Nikki was not happy with that call, since she has yet to forgive Kade for what she sees as an unforgivable betrayal.

On the run Nikki has to come to terms with her feelings of disillusionment with her country, with the abandonment of a God who stopped caring about her years ago and deal with her fickle heart that still seems to beat for Kade; all while trying to convince her country of her brother’s innocence in what appears to be an upcoming terrorist attack!!

I will have to say Christy Barritt is one of the most talented suspense writers ever! Each one of her books I’ve read leave you feeling like you’ve just taken an exhilarating walk, no, maybe a jog, or better yet a run for your life! Just when you think you might have figured out who is causing all the madness, murder or mayhem, she shocks you with something out of the blue and you end up going WOW!! Thank you Ms. Barritt for adding some much needed excitement to my life!!

***Thank you to the Author for providing a digital copy of this work in exchange for my honest opinion!***

You may purchase this and other books by Ms. Barritt at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, Christian Book and your local bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: Our special thanks to Ms Barriett for providing an e-book copy of this treasure that will go to one blessed commenter. Please make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you should you the "one"!! 

21 August 2016

Coping with Debilitating Migraines - Guest Post

CFP: Melissa Jagears' friend, Karen, shares her guest testimony today with us, about coping with severe debilitating migraines.

MJ: Karen Riekeman is a friend of mine who was subjected to me rattling on and on about A Heart Most Certain while I was writing it. During the process, I realized her testimony would work well for one of my secondary characters, Bernadette Wisely. But anyone who knew that we knew each other would likely catch the similarities, so thankfully Bernadette gave me permission to play with her testimony for this book. I figured her story was quite the “Overcoming with God” story, and she was gracious enough to share. Hopefully, someone will be encouraged by the real story behind one of my secondary characters. 

Here’s Karen:

I am wife to Budg Riekeman, a mother of three, a legal secretary, a sometimes decorator, and a pastor’s wife who lives in a small town in Kansas.

In a similar way to Bernadette’s character, I struggled with my relationship with the Lord for many years. I lacked a vibrant relationship with Him and was not able to give much of an example to others of what a close relationship with the Lord looked like. Due to my own lack of discipline, parenting three children, the work that goes into ministering in small churches, and relying on my years in the church as a crutch, I managed to go for years with very little one-on-one time with the Lord. I was saved at the age of 16 and knew such a transformation at that time that I knew that I was saved and that I was loved by Him, but I couldn’t seem to buckle down and make myself be disciplined enough to meet with Him each day. I would have moments where I would determine to be more disciplined and a few periods where I did manage to grow in Him for a time but, on the whole, I grew very little over those first 20 years in ministry. Oh, I could fake it really well. I knew the prayers that needed to be prayed in public; I knew the right answers in Sunday School; I knew where the verses were to be found in the Bible; I taught in Sunday School classes; led in Vacation Bible School; organized retreats and women’s ministry events, but they weren’t backed up with any kind of vibrancy in my relationship with Jesus.

We had the privilege of ministering in sweet churches in Texas, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota and now Kansas. The people were wonderful and we felt loved and cherished in each place. I had good friends and cherished memories from each church. My husband was growing by leaps and bounds in his faith and trust in the Lord in each place, and I would look at him with such envy, but it didn’t spur me much to be disciplined myself. It was the same way you look at someone who is in good shape and envy that they can jog without stopping to catch their breath but you don’t have the discipline to get in shape yourself.

In August of my 40th year, I came down with a severe headache that would end up lasting for about 7 months with little to no relief. I had never been diagnosed with migraines before that time, so it came as a surprise to me that the final diagnosis was migraines. However, no medication seemed to help and few things brought any relief during that time. Even when you are in pain, life goes on and the kids were in sports and school events and I still needed to work, so I coped but each day was a struggle. I would go to bed at night grateful that sleep would bring some form of freedom from the pain. However, I would wake up in the early hours of the morning in so much pain that I would crawl out of bed to sit in the recliner in the living room. I sought the Lord in His Word and in prayer for relief from the pain and for hope for my future.

Because of the earliness of the hour and the quiet in our house, I had time for the Lord like never before. I worked through Bible studies and I read through the Psalms over and over as they brought me such comfort. Sometime during those months, I began to fall in love with Jesus. I loved that it was just He and I in the quiet and solitude, and I knew He was there to meet with me. I felt His presence and I knew like never before how loved I was. He met me in His Word and began to give me verses that promised me hope and that He would never leave me. He gave me the courage to face each day and to find my sufficiency in Him alone. It was still hard, I was still in pain, but Jesus became my source of strength. Sometimes the words just seemed to jump off the page at me and I knew they were directly for me.

By March of the next year, the pain began to ease and the worst of the headache ended but by then I was so in love with Jesus I couldn’t stop meeting with Him. My girlfriends really noticed the difference and often commented on how different I was from before. My Sunday school classes were different and Bible studies with groups were more meaningful and I had truth to share like never before.

I still live with the migraines. I wasn’t miraculously healed. It has been over 10 years and I continue to deal with them. Sometimes for weeks at a time but they’ve never gone on for months like before. I’ve learned that Jesus is sufficient for whatever we face; to have compassion on those who are hurting; to be grateful for “good” days; to trust Him on “bad” days; to believe Him and to trust Him whatever the day brings; and that I never want to go back to how I was before.

Similar to Bernadette, ministry is different now because it springs from my relationship with Jesus. I don’t do what I think others want me to do, but instead I do what I believe He is calling me to, using the gifts and the talents He has given me.

CFP: Thank you for sharing with us, Karen! I suffered from a six month migraine following a car wreck. Thank God mine resolved but I do still get them (I never had before.) In my latest novella, my hero suffers from severe migraines, too, which plays into the storyline. I'm looking forward to reading Melissa's latest novel, and bet her story is wonderful. Blessings to both of you!

Giveaway: A copy of Melissa Jagear's A Heart Most Certain and a copy of my newest novella, Tea Shop Folly.  
Answer this question (and leave your email address if you aren't a regular here): Have you ever suffered from chronic headaches and how did God help you cope?

18 August 2016

Diana Flowers Reviews 'Tea Shop Folly' By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Tea Shop Folly By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Tea Shop Folly (A Teacup Courtship Novella)
Forget Me Not Romances, July 1, 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~

A Delightful Novella!

Author Carrie Fancett Pagels has crafted a delightfully charming novella which takes our penniless, despairing heroine from the impoverished Blue Ridge Mountainsto a lovely estate set amongst the lilacs, maple trees, hydrangeas, and poppies of beautiful Michigan.

Almost destitute and finding she has inherited a house from her great-aunt, Lilly travels to Michigan to investigate. Upon her arrival she is amazed to discover she actually owns a three-story home, a carriage and horses, and teacups! Teacups?...yes, hundreds of them! Apparently her eccentric aunt loved collecting tea cups, saucers, teapots, and other tea paraphernalia. Thinking Lilly's new home is a Tea Shophandsome Theo, a Soo locks engineervisits frequently in the hopes that he will find the perfect antique teacup for his mother's collection. What ensues are plenty of sparks as Theo recommends Lilly's "tea shop" to potential customers, and they certainly fly between the pretty Lilly and the striking engineer!

Tea Shop Folly is a very well written, impeccably researched story and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Upper Peninsula...learning many interesting things about it that I wasn't aware of. This enchanting novella drew me in from page onefilled with amusing situations, romance, lovable characters, a beau-tea-ful setting, and plen-tea of trouble brewing! I guaran-tea that everyone will totally enjoy this wonderfully engaging story and this lady particularly loved the floral names of Lilly and all of her sisters...for obvious reasons! ;) 

This book is now available in paperback or ebook format on Amazon!

GIVEAWAY: A copy of Tea Shop Folly in choice of format to one blessed commenter! Be sure to leave your email address for contact purposes - written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.

16 August 2016

Noela reviews A HEART MOST CERTAIN by Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most Certain

A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society Book #1)
Bethany House Publishers (2 August 2016)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

A Heart Most Certain’ is a richly rewarding story that will deeply challenge you, inspire you, bless you, and make you late for absolutely everything until you reach the last page. Of that, I am most certain!

Lydia King’s heart is in the right place. She faithfully goes to church and is a part of the Moral Society ladies group who protest against prostitutes and raise money for different church projects. When Lydia is challenged by the society’s president Mrs. Little, to garner a donation from the town’s wealthy miser Nicholas Lowe, she determines to succeed where others have failed. Lydia feels she must impress Mrs Little if she is to have a chance to marry her son, the politician. Securing marriage to the well-off Sebastian Little would ensure she wouldn’t end up in the poor house and that her ailing mother will be taken care of. 

When Nicholas is pestered by Lydia for a donation and won’t take no for an answer, he proposes a bargain she can’t refuse. Their pact has more than a few surprises in store for Lydia as she is challenged in everything she has ever believed in. She will be tested spiritually, ethically, and emotionally. Nicholas, a man of many layers and secrets, sought to show Lydia a thing or two, but learns a few things himself when his whole life turns upside down along with Lydia’s.

Often we need to take the time to look below the surface and not take everything we see and hear at face value. These wonderfully genuine characters discover this for themselves through their experiences—sometimes to their delight, and other times to their sorrow. The wealth of spiritual encouragement within the novel includes motivating messages of ‘Who else will do it if you and I don’t?’, choosing God’s favor over man, and enlightening illustrations of hypocrisy. Infused with a double helping of romance, drama, and humor, I give ‘A Heart Most Certain’ a most emphatic ‘Highly Recommended’!!

*Thank you to the author for providing a copy of 'A Heart Most Certain' in exchange for my honest opinion.
~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ 

You can find this wonderful book for purchase at these places: AMAZON; CBD; B&N; BAM

GIVEAWAY: Melissa Jagears is generously offering a PAPERBACK copy of 'A Heart Most Certain' to one blessed commenter. USA only. 
*To be eligible, please leave your email address for contact purposes should you win. Using (at) and (dot) will protect you against spammers.

11 August 2016

Review & Giveaway - Starlight Serenade by Debra E. Marvin

Starlight Serenade by Debra E. Marvin
Part of the "Get Your Kiss on Route 66" collection from Forget Me Not Press!

"Clean Read - A Perfect Voice for this 1930's Story!"
I read Debra E. Marvin's delightful new novella while sick in bed. What a wonderful diversion. I will tell readers that this is a "clean read" rather than a Christian fiction. I checked with Debra on that and she confirmed it. While there are subtle references to faith and to church, there is not a spiritual arc in this story nor it is a story of faith. However, it is a clean read and enjoyable, especially if you enjoy this unusual time period -- 1930's. Debra E. Marvin has a perfect voice for this novella and for the heroine. She includes great details of the time period. I loved how she went into depth with the details of the Lowell observatory and the cute quotes at the beginning of each chapter, that had to do with stars! 

One cool thing was that Debra included a younger 19-year-old brother who is an autistic musical savant.  She did a good job of how she developed this special character.   

Blurb: The Englishman would look back one day and blame it all on Jazz…
Flagstaff, Arizona 1930. Full-time Astronomer, and part-time sharp dresser Julian Dyson didn’t discover Pluto but he does discover a nasty case of self-righteousness when a former Ziegfeld Girl’s folly threatens his good name.

Broadway understudy Clara Longworth and her peculiar younger brother are on their way to a new life in Hollywood when they are stranded along Route 66. Clara is asked to fill in as nightclub entertainment, but her good intentions set her up as accomplice in the blackmailing of a government man who makes the real thugs look classy.

Until Julian and Clara put their heads together for more than dancing the Black Bottom, their big-as-the-night-sky dreams are on target to fail. Maybe they need a telescope to see what’s right in front of their starry eyes.

GIVEAWAY: An ebook copy of Starlight Serenade to one commenter! Answer the question -- what is the last 1930's era fiction you have read?

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