26 November 2015



 Gratitude helps us to be thankful!

 Lord, thank you for our forefathers and their sacrifices!

A Thanksgiving prayer! 

 We are truly thankful for the gift of your friendship!
Happy Thanksgiving from Carrie, Diana, Teresa, Noela, and Bonnie!

Share in the comments some things you're especially thankful for and let us all give thanks together! God bless you!

24 November 2015

Diana's Review Of 'Isle Of Hope' By Julie Lessman

Isle of Hope By Julie Lessman

Isle of Hope By Julie Lessman
Julie Lessman, Nov. 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~

To Error Is Human - To Forgive Is Divine

Author Julie Lessman takes the reader on a poignant, impassioned roller coaster ride to the picturesque coastal community of Isle of Hope, Georgia—where full moons rise over the marsh and the scents of wisteria and pungent, salty sea water permeate the summer nights. A sleepy haven where charming cottages are nestled next to lush plantations, but wherein lies a plethora of secrets.

Wild girl, Lacey Carmichael, is back in town after an eight year absence—setting off a dramatic chain of events like ripples in a stream. Kicked out of her home by her cardiac surgeon father when she was eighteen, Lacey turned her back on everyone who loved her. Now she is back to make amends and show her father, friends, and Dr. Jack O'Bryen, her ex-boyfriend—that she is a changed woman by the grace of God. But the price of forgiveness does not come cheap as further bridges of betrayal are still smoldering after an adulterous affair by Jack's pastor father, destroying Jack's faith. Is there any hope for reconciliation after simmering, bitter emotions have lain buried below the surface all these years?

There's never been any doubt in my mind that Julie Lessman is la crème de la crème of sizzling romance, but this novel simply blew me away! Not just because there was plenty of romantic tension (which there was!), but the message of forgiveness and redemption interwoven throughout was so powerfully anointed that I had quite the relationship with my tissue box. I found my emotions running the gamut as I laughed at the characters' playful quips and antics, shed many a gut-wrenching tear, and was so mad at the audacity of even thinking that an adulterous affair could be labeled under the "forgiveness" category! Rude awakening for me...sin is sin. And speaking of rude, Lacey's father (aka Dr. Doom)...ugh, don't even let me go there! Julie Lessman lured me into this fabulous tale of romance, second chances, and healing—and captured me hook, line, and sinker. Isle of Hope is a masterpiece of a novel filled with hope and inspiration—raw, real life situations and characters, and of course, Julie's trademark twists and turns! Be sure to grab your copy today!


This awesome book may be purchased through Amazon.

GIVEAWAY: Julie Lessman is generously providing an ebook copy of Isle of Hope to one blessed commenter!! To be eligible please leave your email addy written (at) and (dot) to prevent spammers.

22 November 2015

Joan M. Hochstetler - A Journey of Overcoming in Publishing

Author Joan M. Hochstetler/ J.M. Hochstetler
What can you share about your journey to getting published?

It was a looong one! I began writing in the late 1970s. I worked hard to learn the craft for several years before beginning to submit proposals to publishers. It took until 2002 before I found the right agent, Joyce Hart, who negotiated my first contract with a major publisher for Daughter of Liberty and Native Son, the first two books of my American Patriot Series, along with a very nice advance. I thought I was on my way.

Within a month of my accepting the contract, however, my editor left and a new editor came in who wasn’t interested in me or historicals in general. Although my books published in 2004 and 2005, they received little support and consequently sold poorly. The editor informed me that they weren’t interested in contracting any more of my books. What had started out with such joy turned into a deeply painful disappointment.

After that there was no interest in any of my proposals. I became so discouraged and frustrated that one day when I was alone I burst out, “I just ought to start my own publishing house!” I was startled when a very distinct voice responded, “Well…why don’t you?” I knew right away who was challenging me. And I knew that if I hesitated, I’d lose an opportunity that might never come again. So I quickly answered, “If your hand is in it, Lord, I’ll do it. Just show me the way.”

The result was Sheaf House Publishers, an independent small press founded in 2006 whose main focus is fiction. The doors miraculously kept opening—from financial resources to a distributor that took me under their wing to several terrific authors and an amazing production team. We’ve gone through some rocky times but by God’s grace have kept on weathering the storm.

I started out by publishing my contemporary novel, One Holy Night, which was awarded the 2009 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year. I also published books by other wonderful authors, including a delightful memoir by Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys, From My Perspective, that I’m very proud of. And as soon as I got the publishing rights back to my American Patriot Series, I began releasing it in the new Heritage Edition, adding 3 more volumes, with 2 more forthcoming to complete this series—the only comprehensive, accurate historical fiction series on the American Revolution. Valley of the Shadow, Book 5, released September 1. I’m currently working on book 2 of my Northkill Amish Series, The Return, coauthored with well-known author Bob Hostetler, which releases in Fall 2016.

I’m reminded of one particular praise song whenever I think about how the Lord used this painful experience to give me the great privilege, not only to write for Him, but also to publish the works of fellow Christian writers struggling to find an audience, and how He continues to lead me today. “It Is Well” says it all.

Buy links (hot links): to Valley of the Shadow


Giveaway: Answer the question - Do you ever wonder about authors' journeys to publication? Winner receives an ebook copy of any one of Joan's books (void where prohibited by law.)

19 November 2015

Diana's Review Of 'Rising Darkness' By Nancy Mehl

Rising Darkness By Nancy Mehl
Bethany House Publishers, Oct. 27, 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~
(No Spoilers!)

Menacing Mennonite Suspense!

Once again, author Nancy Mehl has crafted a suspenseful page-turner set against the peaceful backdrop of the quaint, small town of Sanctuary—a predominantly Mennonite community with only two churches, two charming cafes, cozy picturesque houses, and is as safe as its name suggests—or is it?

Sophie Wittenbauer dreads going to Sanctuary as memories of an abusive, shameful past in her strict Mennonite hometown of Kingdom still haunt her. However, when she learns a suspect from a crime committed years earlier may be hiding in Sanctuary, she sees it as an opportunity to further her career at the newspaper. Although Sophie assumes a false identity so that she can investigate, she begins to receive threatening notes and fears her cover has somehow been blown. Then to her shock she runs into the very person she has loved her whole life—a man she could never be good enough for because of her degrading past. What is he doing in Sanctuary and who wants to stop her...perhaps permanently? As darkness envelopes Sophie and seeks to destroy her, will she begin to put her trust in the God she feels has forsaken her since childhood? Will she ever learn to love herself as God loves her and open herself up to romance?

Nancy Mehl's Rising Darkness is one of her best novels to date in my opinion! I pride myself in figuring out whodunits, but although I racked my brain I still had no clue who the bad guy was! The author compassionately and discreetly dealt with the subject of adult victims of child abuse and low self-esteem issues resulting from it. Sophie was so dear to my heart that I just wanted to hug her seemingly tough little independent self and tell her I went through the same battle and there is light at the end of the tunnel! God will turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness if we'll let Him! With just the right peppering of romance, realistic multifaceted characters, and a wonderful message of redemption—all interwoven with an intricate and suspenseful, heart-racing plot—what more could you ask for in a book? Not a thing!...so be sure to order your copy today!

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Mennonite Women Dress Quite Differently Than The Amish

This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and your local bookstore.

GIVEAWAY: Nancy Mehl is generously giving away a  paperback copy of Rising Darkness to one blessed commenter. To be eligible be sure to leave your email address using (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.

17 November 2015

Noela reviews The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid
Thomas Nelson (November 17, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The Golden Braid’ delivers a sublimely executed retelling of the classic tale Rapunzel ~ flourishing with chivalrous and daring deeds, burgeoning faith, and a beautifully enchanting though conflicted romance. Taking place during the 15th century in a world so vastly contrasting to ours; we visit imposing castles and encounter heroic knights engaging in clanging swordfights. In reality, our worlds are not so dissimilar in the fact that evil and jealousies still reside in the heart of man. But the beauty of the author’s gifted and mesmerizing story-telling, is that we may escape with our imagination to an exquisitely inspiring and unforgettable, happy-ever-after!

Naïve and innocent, the fair maiden Rapunzel with golden, flowing hair, is once more torn from a village as her oppressive mother moves them on, after a young farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage. Again, her mother cites the evils and deception of men. Though uninterested in this man, Rapunzel is disheartened to be uprooted repeatedly, never having a chance to belong, to make friends, or especially to learn to read. She hopes that with this next move to the larger city of Hagenheim, she may yet fulfill her yearning to read at least. When along the road, they are set upon by some brigands; her mother’s dire warnings of men seem to be proving true.

In the wake of being rescued by the gallant knight, Sir Gerek, everything that is instilled in Rapunzel by her mother regarding men, has her questioning its validity. Though her knight protector seems arrogant, he also proves to be honourable and curiously pleasant to look at and be with, which greatly perplexes Rapunzel. In Hagenheim, she grows fonder of this gruff though kindly knight despite knowing he has vowed to marry only for riches and rank. Here though in this city of secrets, Rapunzel’s life is turned on its head as mysteries and betrayals uncovered will change her life forever. Will the poor, peasant maiden ever find liberty and love or stay chained to lies and deception?

It was almost dungeon-worthy torture having to set the book down, but then neither did I want to make it to the last page! There was also a wonderful anointing on this tale that lifted my spirit as well as imagination, illustrating the scriptural admonition of ‘not leaning unto your own understanding’. The Golden Braid is a truly charming book, and a top favorite of mine for 2015!

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Available to purchase at these places: Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; BAM; and others!

GIVEAWAY: (CFP) We have a copy of the book for one blessed winner!  Answer this question--what aspect of Noela's review has you yearning to read The Golden Braid?
(Remember to leave your email for contact purposes should you win. Using (at) and (dot) will protect you against spammers.)

12 November 2015

Noela reviews THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Substitute Bride
Hearts Overcoming Press (October 11, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The Substitute Bride’ sweeps you up in an enchanting, heart-warming novella that gifts the reader with the message that we are never just a substitute, but chosen specifically by God for His joy and purpose. Upon unwrapping this gift, you discover an engaging story where the past and present collide to create a future of love, healing, and hope!

In the town of Shepherd, Michigan, the lovely Sonja Hoeke works as a substitute mail carrier for her father who was recently injured. Even so, her father—a domineering and ornery man—is desperate to get Sonja out from underfoot and married, and threatens to send her away. Thus, when Sonja happens upon a missive sent to her recently deceased friend Cora from a pen-pal named Louis--and discovers a proposal within—she impulsively replies by offering herself as a substitute bride.
Depot at Shepherd, Michigan

Railroad manager Louis Penwell, meanwhile is on his way to Shepherd to meet his penfriend Cora, hoping to marry her in order to advance within the railroad business. Burdened with the knowledge that she lived at the Poor House—the place of his nightmares—was yet another incentive to marry Cora. How will Louis handle the tragic news when he arrives? And what will his reaction be when he learns that Sonja has offered herself as a substitute bride?

This novella awards the reader with intrigue as our hero Louis receives parcels inscribed with cryptic messages; with drama through the heartless Poor House proprietor; and with a sweet emerging romance. A wonderful cast of characters—including the Reverend Carlton Mathews and his gracious wife Teresa—supplement the endearing heroes of the story. And I always enjoy how author Carrie Fancett Pagels unfailingly enriches her stories with meticulous historic detail... Making it not only informative but delivering an authenticity that ferries you away to another time! It's an honor to highly recommend this book!

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'The Substitute Bride' may be purchased here through: AMAZON

GIVEAWAY: A copy of 'The Substitute Bride' to one blessed commenter in choice of e-book or paperback! To be eligible for the drawing please leave your e-mail using (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.

10 November 2015

Review of Angela Breidenbach's Audiobook Quilts of Love & The Debutante Queen

A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

I have the privilege of reviewing two of Angela Breidenbach's wonderful books in this post - one a contemporary romance and the other a historical romance.

Confession: I rarely read contemporary books. But I wanted to listen to Angie's audiobook for the Quilts of Love series, A Healing Heart.

Blurb: Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence. She's not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack.

While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

Listen to A Healing Heart!!!
Five Stars *****
My review: I loved this audiobook! The story was compelling as one thing after another happens to the poor heroine, Mara, who is a widow trying to manage her family's business.  The hero, Joel, was was dynamic right from the beginning, making me root for him to be the new father in Mara's cute family. But Mara has many reasons to resist Joel's charm--especially since he and she have a way less than stellar previous history in business. He's been sent to consult with her by a man she's had an ongoing business relationship with, whom she trusts.  Can Joel earn her trust? And her love? The narration was very well done and the pacing really good. It was hard to stop listening and take breaks.

Highly recommend!!!
The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach

Five Stars *****
I read this book in 2014 but it is now out in audiobook! This was a delightful Christmas read. Highly entertaining! I read this book as a Kindle book in the Snowflake Tiara collection that Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer published last winter. Valerie's book is a contemporary and Angela's is historical romance.

The Debutante Queen is a super book, set in Helena, Montana, in 1889. I believe Ms. Breidenbach will be launching a series set in Montana during this time frame. This is a great book to read at Christmastime. Very sweet characters and a lovely romance. Angela Breidenbach's background as a former Mrs. Montana comes in handy in her insight into behind-the-scenes goings on in pageants! 

Calista is a Miss Snowflake contestant as Montana begins to celebrate statehood. But although her platform is centered around the plight of impoverished children, she is harboring a child who is an indentured servant. Albert is running the contest and senses that all is not quite right with Calista, as he begins to fall in love with her.  

Highly Recommend!

Giveaway: Answer this question--do you listen to audiobooks? When? One respondent will receive a choice of one of Angela's audiobooks (or ebook or paperback). 

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