21 May 2015

Most Eligible Bachelor Collection Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection

A WINNER!!!
WONDERFUL collection of nine Christian historic romance novellas! The earliest story is set in colonial times and the latests in the early 1900s.

I predict this will become a CBA Bestseller! This is one of the best collections from Barbour I have ever read. This will be on my Best of 2015 list on this blog!


*****
Love's Reward by Susanne Dietz
I absolutely loved this novella by debut author, Susie Dietz, who is also our featured author this week on OWG blog!!! 

When a rather mean-spirited "friend's" ad drives unmarried ladies to pursue talented architect, Daniel Blair, the San Franciscan's life takes a turn. I felt so badly for the young women who believed the advertisement was genuine. Life at the rooming house begins to sour as his landlady tires of the deliveries made by young women to her home. Meanwhile his longtime friend, a sweet and spunky young lady, finally seems to be realizing what a wonderful man Daniel is. Josie is definitely her own woman and a bit avant grade for the times. Her brother is a piece of work.

The scheming behind the scenes was especially well done. Even thought this was a novella, Susanne did a great job of working in the elements of a large architectural contest and also used that to show the competitive nature of various characters. Many characters, and their situations, aren't at all what you think they are. This is the kind of complex and layered novella that I love to read.

Lovely job of showing the whys and the why nots of Josie's and Daniel's relationship. I see Josie as rather adorable and ADHD and when... (never mind--I won't spoil that one scary scene for you!!!)

This was a darling story and Daniel was a sigh-worthy hero! Fantastic debut!

*****

The Highwayman by Shannon McNear
This lovely colonial story features a young wagon master who simply cannot get his tongue to work properly when he is around Long Tall Sally, the daughter of the main innkeeper on the Great Wagon Road in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  However, she's frustrated by his lack of communication, especially since she has known him for years. Her brothers constantly thrill over the adventures of "The Highwayman" a savior who swoops in and rescues people.  When Sally is rescued from a local miscreant, by the famed masked man, her heart thrills. But she doesn't know the wagon master is the one risking all for her. Shannon was a Rita nominee for her first colonial era novella and this new release is a great read!

Four Brides And A Bachelor by  Gabrielle Meyer
I love this story set in the 1800s in Minnesota. Being from upper Michigan myself, this particularly interested me.  In this novella, the your women teaching in a mission are told they MUST be married to continue in their jobs. One of the teachers was originally supposed to marry a minister from another mission. This eligible bachelor has been summoned forth but doesn't realize that NOW he has four young women to select from, which was decided by the directors of the mission as being most fair.  Very nicely done, especially with the little twist with the father at the end! 

Baker's Dozen by Gina Welborn
I had high expectations of this story, which were fulfilled. As per usual, Gina writes a compelling story which great characterization.  Set in the household of Duke, a wealthy widower whose daughter needs a mother, he has decided to bring in a bevy of young women to find a wife to be mother to his child.  Having grown up in the household,  Irie secretly was in love with Duke before she left for training school. Her mother is employed by his father. Duke's father asks her to help his son find the best woman to be his wife and mother to the granddaughter. This is one of the first stories I have read with a divorced heroine in it, so that was an interesting twist and far overdue. 

A Doctor's Agreement by Cynthia Hickey
I had the privilege of reading this excellent story as a Beta reader but then forgot I'd read it! Cynthia Hickey consistently writes great books and this is no exception. When the newspaper owner's daughter places an ad for a lottery to obtain a spouse for the single physician, she doesn't realize she'll be entered! 

The Final Baker Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo
Determined that she can prove herself capable of being self-sufficient, heiress Octavia doesn't realize there are many forces at work. She finds a "taxi cab driver" in New Orleans, Merritt Baker who may be the antidote to her marriage avoidance. Charming tale.

The Most Ineligible Bachelor In Town by  Connie Stevens
Turn of the century Kansas is the setting for an unappreciated postmaster's fine traits to finally be noticed. But first it will take a visit from his flashy cousin, supposedly a Pinkerton agent, to have the pastor's daughter finally be able to see who the best man in town is. But when danger comes to town, will they survive to finally express their affection to one another?

"A Bride For A Bargain" by Amanda Barratt
Fired from her lousy job,  Ada McClane calls out to God to help her figure out how to pay for her younger brother's treatment for his lung ailment (t.b.).  Meanwhile the richest bachelor in the city, Geoffrey Buchanan wonders how he can get his mother off his back. The society matron has set up yet another weekend at their posh country home in which she'll parade more single women from the proper "set" in front of him. Geoffrey contracts with Ada to act as his fiance for this event and offers her too much to refuse. But when the farce ends, will Geoffrey be able to leave Ada behind?

Archeologist's Find- by Erica Vetsch
This is the most unique of the stories which made it just a little jarring although it was good.  A wealthy young lady, Ally, is given an ultimatum by her mother to either find herself a husband within three weeks or agree to be courted by someone her parents approve of. Egyptologist and archeologist Max falls for the young art student who has so beautifully captured the essence of his collection. But when he discovers her true identity can their relationship survive?


Giveaway: We're giving away another copy of Most Eligible Bachelor Collection choice of paperback or ebook.

19 May 2015

Noela reviews The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection

The Most Eligible Bachelor

The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection
by Nine Various Authors
Barbour Publishing

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

 A Bride for a Bargain
by Amanda Barratt

The intriguing premise for this story sparked my interest, but the story itself easily held me captive! When excessively wealthy Geoffrey Buchanan finally finds the woman he is to marry, he is determined for it to be a union of love and not a society woman who is only after his money. So when his mother arranges yet another house party with the intent to marry him off to a suitable woman, Geoffrey decides to ask Miss Ada McClane whom he has only just met in Central Park to come along as his fiancĂ©e. Finding herself unemployed and with a sick brother to care for, Ada takes up Geoffrey’s offer with the more than generous remuneration. Will this poor working girl measure up to high society’s magnifying glass to pull this masquerade off? And can Geoffrey find the happiness he seeks that his wealth doesn't provide?

The Highwayman by Shannon McNear

Unique, compelling, and exhilarating! Along the Great Wagon Road of lower Shenandoah Valley, Pennsylvania, Samuel Wheeler earned a living as wagon master. The country was on the verge of the American Revolution, and there was much tyranny afoot from both the redcoats and those in their pockets. Sam had taken to donning a mask and masquerading himself as the Highwayman, cracking his whip with perfect precision and helping the cause of freedom. Little did the normally shy and tongue-tied Sam expect to one day be saving the girl of his dreams from some brigands. But in his costume, he found new confidence with Sally. What will happen when she falls in love with his fake persona and where will that leave Sam? What will happen if the authorities or the brigands catch up with this vigilante?

The Final Baker Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Although it was the last novella in this collection, it was by no means the least entertaining! The amusing and vibrant conversations and situations this enticing plot created throughout the story, was just as gratifying as the ending with its surprising twist. The wealthy Octavia Derby doesn’t want to marry and aims to prove to her father that she can take care of herself without his money. Determined to prove it, she accepts an opportunity to work as a typist for a month, although there is the little problem that her typing skills are non-existent. Octavia unknowingly meets her employer Merritt Baker upon arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana, and mistaking him for a taxi-cab driver; she situates herself in his buggy and proceeds to give him orders! The likewise wealthy Merritt Baker of Baker Shipping, is pressured from all sides to marry and is constantly fending off women who are after him only for his money. Can they both serve each other’s needs yet still meet their own?
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These, along with six other engaging novellas in this collection, tell the stories of some extremely eligible bachelors of yesteryear times. These stories by talented authors Erica Vetsch, Cynthia Hickey, Gabrielle Meyer, Connie Stevens, Susanne Dietze, and Gina Wellborn, are ALL thoroughly charming and entertaining! And all captivate the reader’s heart, as the women look for the true worth in these bachelors, and the men seek to marry for all the right reasons. 

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You can purchase 'The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection' at these places and others: Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; BAM 

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away several copies of 'The Most Eligible Bachelor - Romance Collection' this week!!! Leave a comment to enter, and your email if we don't know you. E-book outside of US unless available to you through Book Depository.


17 May 2015

Interview with Susanne Dietze by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Author Susanne Dietze

Susanne, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. It was nice meeting you at an ACFW conference a few years back!

Thank you for having me!
Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? Answer: 
I’ve struggled with anxiety off and on for several years, but the most recent experience coincided with writing the story that became my first sale. Signing a contract was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, but writing my story was not quite a fairy tale experience. I had a medical issue that turned out to be fine, but I was tested for autoimmune disease and cancer. I worked on Love’s Reward while waiting for those test results. “Love is love’s reward” (by Dryden) was already set as the theme of the story: the greatest prize of a relationship with God is Jesus Himself, and the reward of our relationship with another person is that relationship. Waiting for my test results was agonizing; however, I believe God was teaching me to trust Him with my unknowable future, to dwell close to Him on my journey without questioning where He takes me (because ultimately, my journey will take me to His arms!). While the particulars of my experience were far different than my characters’, I got to go through the process of trusting Jesus, right along with the characters.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
I’ve found comfort in times of anxiety Scriptures that remind me that my weaknesses and flaws are places where God can be glorified, and I must rely on His strength, not my own. I also return time and again to verses that remind me of God’s unending love.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9
Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 1 Cor. 15:43
One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love…” Psalm 62: 11-12

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
I do not have any information on that at this time.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In addition to the theme of trusting God, the characters struggle with forgiveness, feelings of inadequacy, and family dysfunction.

BIO:
Susanne Dietze is a pastor’s wife and mom who began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today she writes in the hope of encouraging and entertaining others. You can visit her on her website,www.susannedietze.com.
 
The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection
LINKS:
Twitter: @SusanneDietze
Blog:  Tea and a Good Book ~ www.susannedietze.blogspot.com

BOOK LINKS:



Question you’d like to ask readers:
The characters in the story are caught up in the bicycle craze of the 1890s. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away several copies of Most Eligible Bachelor this week. Respond to the Q to enter.

16 May 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST by Melanie Dickerson

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

Thomas Nelson (May 12, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an exquisite heart-stirring tale emerging from a creative fusing of two timeless classics ~ Swan Lake and Robin Hood. Taking place during the year 1363 in the German reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, the ambiance is detailed with a castle and its dungeon, the wealthy in stark contrast with the desperately poor, fair maidens with flowers in their hair, the common marktplatz, jugglers, and the joyous midsummer night dance. This is fairy tale escapism with everyday realism at its best… beautifully encompassing human failings and inner turmoil but with the promise of happy ever-after.

The fairest maiden in all of Thornbeck, Odette Menkels, is the graceful niece of a prosperous merchant. Beautiful in spirit as well as body, she spends her nights tirelessly and selflessly hunting in the Margrave’s forest to feed hungry families and orphaned children, and by day, teaches them to read. Aware she is violating forest law, Odette is increasingly fearful of being caught and suffering a terrible punishment.

Jorgen Hartman is the wealthy Margrave’s forester and it is his responsibility to capture the illegal hunters and to bring them to justice. Jorgen’s haunted past provides added incentive to catch this criminal.  When he meets the lovely Odette and finds his heart captured by this incomparable beauty with her generous nature, he is unaware that she is the poacher he is seeking.

Odette has always justified her crime but the discovery of a local poaching ring leads her to believe her kills may be benefiting a dangerous black market and not the children. As her affection grows for the handsome forester, Odette begins to wonder about ethics and if she is being righteous in her own eyes instead of God’s. Fighting confliction, danger, and loyalties, all Odette knows is that she must never get caught.

I was completely swept up in this tale that’s cloaked in intrigue and mystery, and loathed anytime I had to pause the story! Absolutely loved every minute of this mesmerizing tale that prompted both tears and smiles. I think the reader will also be deeply inspired by the motivational and thought-provoking threads on the issues of forgiveness, integrity, and starting anew. This was a sublime love story that will have everyone wishing for their own fairy-tale! 

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Available for purchase at these places: Amazon; CBD; BAM; Barnes & Noble; Book Depository

GIVEAWAY: We have a copy of this fabulous book for one blessed commenter!! E-book outside of the US unless available to you through Book Depository. Leave a comment below to win, and your email unless we know you!



10 May 2015

Tribute to Carlton Mathews - Our Blog Angel Teresa Mathews' Beloved Husband



Teresa and Carlton Mathews

This week we are honoring our beautiful friend and 'Overcoming With God' blog contributor Teresa Mathews, by sharing a tribute to her beloved husband, Carlton Mathews, who sadly passed away recently on May 7, 2015.

Carlton is now rejoicing in the presence of his Heavenly Father and is free of all pain and earthly sorrows. We rejoice in that but are grieving at the enormous loss to our sweet friend, Teresa, who holds a very large place in our hearts, and we know, in all of yours, too. Please remember in prayer, Teresa and their two sons Daniel and Joshua, and family and friends, throughout the coming days and weeks to come. He was and always will be her love and her heart. Teresa, we love you more than words can say, and pray for your peace and strength, along with God's love and guidance as He holds your hands and wraps His arms about you.


L to R - Joshua, Carlton, Daniel

Fifty-three year old Carlton Mathews was an extremely devoted and loving husband to Teresa and an amazing dad to their two handsome boys. Teresa and Carlton were happily married for 28 wonderful years. He worked as a salesman at a plumbing supply company and was an anointed praise and worship leader at Abundant Life Assembly in W. Columbia, South Carolina. Carlton loved and obeyed the Lord with all his heart and we know he was welcomed with great rejoicing into Heaven with the resounding words of God saying "Well done, thou good and faithful servant... Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Carlton has touched many, many lives in his one lifetime, not the least was his beloved family who will miss him more than words can express.


Teresa and Carlton at church

Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
1 Corinthians 2:9 - But as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.."

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We invite you to leave a comment below for Teresa, and to express your love and sympathy that she may be encouraged and blessed by the outpouring of love and support from everyone.
*We won't be replying to these comments as they are just for Teresa to read. However we know she will be very touched and grateful for your kind words. God bless!


07 May 2015

Diana's Review Of A LOVE LIKE OURS By Becky Wade

Bethany House, 2015
Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars~

Heart "Racing" Romance

In A Love Like Ours, author Becky Wade pens a stirring, captivating novel of hope and heartbreak, that powerfully sweeps the reader's emotions from the horrors of war-torn Iraq to the peaceful paddocks and lush, verdant pastures of Whispering  Creek Horses.

After 20 years, Lyndie James has returned to Texas anxious to see her childhood best friend, Jake Porter. Jake's older brother runs Whispering Creek, a ranch that trains racehorses, and Lyndie applies there for a job exercising thoroughbreds. Jake had served with the Marines in Iraq, and when an IED hit his Humvee and took the lives of three of his friends, he turned cold, bitter, and continued to suffer from anxiety and reoccurring nightmares. The beautiful, sunshiny Lyndie is a woman on a mission...to train and score the role as jockey to the magical stallion, Silver Leaf...and to save Jake from himself and the scars that run much deeper than the one on his handsome face.

Becky Wade, where have you been all my life?! To be quite frank I am not a big fan of horse racing, but when mixed with square dancing and tall, good looking Texans in Stetsons, exquisite toe curling romance, and a dangerous accident on the track, I found my heart racing right alongside the thoroughbreds! What an amazing read! I started out slowly and sped to the finish line late into the night to see how or if everything was going to turn out for Jake and Lyndie. Becky Wade is a powerful writer and this new fan anxiously awaits her next book! With well fleshed out characters and the message of salvation included throughout, A Love Like Ours is definitely one novel you don't want to miss!

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." ~Mother Teresa~ (quote from A Love Like Ours)

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This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, B&N, and your local bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away TWO copies of Becky's book this week! Leave a comment here & you can comment on each "Becky" post this week for 3 chances to win if you'd like!!

05 May 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews A LOVE LIKE OURS by Becky Wade

A Love Like Ours
A Love like Ours
Bethany House Publishers  (May 5, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Riding towards Love, Hope, and Faith

The widespread expanse of the Whispering Creek Ranch accommodates panoramic views stretching across low green hills, a striking lodge-style mansion, white-fenced paddocks and pastures with magnificent horses, grand barns, and a top of the line training track. Sadly, the beauty of this vista belies the solitude and suffering of the ranch’s horse-trainer Jake Porter.

Jake wrestles with PTSD from his time serving in Iraq. Feeling broken in too many ways, he has since lived a mostly isolated life training Thoroughbred racing horses for his brother, never allowing anyone to get close. When his close childhood friend Lyndie returns to Holley, Texas, he strives to keep those barriers erected around him. But Lyndie, never losing the fearless spirit she once possessed as a child, begins to slowly break through his rigid barricades. As much as Jake longs to allow this vibrant and exquisite girl fully into his life, he believes he must keep her safe - on the race track and from himself.

Small in stature though big in personality, the determined Lyndie has managed to obtain a job exercising Jake’s racing horses, and believes that she and her severely disabled sister Mollie can bring about healing to both Jake and his promising stallion Silver Leaf. Now grown up, Lyndie finds herself once again alongside Jake, only now so much has changed. Muscled, lean, and devastatingly handsome despite the scar on his face, Jake’s quiet composure has survived but his tortured eyes beneath the Stetson guards a deeply scarred man. His limited and brusque words silently proclaim his pain. Initially only wanting to help mend him, Lyndie now finds herself falling for this tall, dark, and brooding man. Can Lyndie bring healing, or will her heart become as shattered as his psyche?

Author Becky Wade has sublimely harmonized ‘A Love like Ours’ to impart the heart-rending angst of Jake’s PTSD whilst also delivering a breathlessly intense romance and the perfect measure of humor throughout. The standout for me though, was the convincing portrayal of PTSD in Jake. The chills that passed through him were so tangible I literally felt them race through me also. The characters are written with such gripping sensitivity, the romance so tender yet so passionate, and their faith journeys so inspiring, it is easy to Highly Recommend this book!


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You can purchase this book at these places and others: Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away TWO copies of Becky's newest book this week! There will be three posts and the two winners will be drawn from all three post's comments so leave a comment here. You can comment on each post this week to have THREE ENTRIES!!

Visit Becky at www.BeckyWade.com


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