25 June 2013

Noela Nancarrow Reviews A NOBLE GROOM By Jody Hedlund

A Noble Groom
Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2013)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars ***** 


Jody Hedlund has crafted a mesmerizing and irresistible love story that spans across classes from the handsome son of a Baron to a poor farmer’s widow. A Noble Groom is a compelling romantic tale punctuated with nail-biting suspense and danger which provides the perfect blend of a deeply satisfying romance with an exhilarating drama. 

With the help of his manservant Matthias, Carl von Reichart flees Germany and a beheading that was imminent for a crime he didn’t do. With nowhere else to go that’s safe, he follows a plan that was laid out for him and arrives in Forestville, Michigan as Carl Richards, and looks for Matthias’ brother, Peter. After getting mistaken for the groom that Peter was expecting for his daughter, Carl explains he is only here to hide out for a time, and to help out his daughter until the real groom arrives from Germany.

Peter’s daughter, Annalisa Werner is a recent young widow with a sweet young daughter named Gretchen who loves nothing better than to have her mother tell her fairy tales. Annalisa herself sadly knows fairy tales are only for make-believe stories. She is aware of the German common law that a man could discipline his wife however he saw fit, including the use of physical force. Yet Annalisa had still dreamt of a fairy tale ‘happily ever after’ when she had married Hans. She soon learnt that she’d never please her uncaring husband and that true love didn’t matter, nor even exist.  Happiness was something she had no expectations of in her impending marriage that her father had arranged, but a groom was a necessity for her farm and hers and her daughter’s survival.

Carl was basically void of any farming skills but determined to do whatever he could to help out this pretty, but very sad young woman. He comes to adore Gretchen’s giggles and Annalisa’s smiles, and banters often with Annalisa to draw out those smiles. Though his feelings grow, he knows he holds a secret that will cause Annalisa and her family to hate him if not kill him. And then there’s the dreaded moment her groom will arrive that she is promised to.  

Carl Richards becomes a knight in shining armor to Annalisa in protecting her, making her feel special, and bringing laughter to her life, but she also knows that Carl must move on and that her happiness will be short-lived. Will Annalisa ever find her fairy-tale ending for her and her family? 

This beautiful story will squeeze your heart with longing for the endearing characters to succeed in grasping love and a happy ever after which seems so far out of reach. The friendship and love that blossom between Carl and Annalisa is captivating and enchanting, passionate and compelling, and inspiring the reader to want to read this engaging and powerful story time and time again.

Jody has incorporated an encouraging message threaded throughout A Noble Groom for widows, highlighting God’s special love and care for them from the One who calls Himself the defender of widows.


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This book may be purchased through AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble or your local bookstore.
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GIVEAWAY: We are giving away several copies of Jody's book this week - one for each review. Answer the question and leave your email address to be entered in the contest.

QUESTION: God tells us to honor real widows and to visit them. Do you know any widows or widowers that you could visit, and if you already do visit, are you able to share the difference it makes in their lives?  

69 comments:

  1. Yes, I have visited widows in our church. I think they all enjoy it, as do I. I am also a widow. I know it makes my day better with a visit or even a call.
    This was a good review Noela. I would love to be n the contest.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me9dot)com

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    1. Bless you MAXIE and thanks. Thanks for sharing how much it brightens up your day to get calls or visitors and God bless you for also visiting others!

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  2. I have a good friend who is a widow, & I feel God placed her in my life, just as she was needing "A friend", soon after her husband died. I had met her sometime before this, while working at a local store, where she stopped by sometimes, & we would occasionally "bump into each other". I had nnot seen her for quite awhile, when one day she "happened to come into the store again, which "happened" to be my 1st day back after taking some time off. After talking I discovered that her husband had recently died. In the next months, and now years, we became good friends and I was blessed to be able to help her as she went through the grieving process. I fully believe that God put us into each other's paths for a reason, and for His glory.
    Vicki
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I love hearing stories like that VICKI... of how God orchestrates circumstances and uses us to meet the needs of others. I believe that if we are willing and able of course, He will use us to do things like that. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I should have mentioned that God's timing is so great--this was also time, when I was needing a friend & even though we began our crazy traveling schedule soon after our re-meeting, we were able to become closer friends via online connections as well as during my quick trips home--we always try to get together on each of my trips home, even though they are short. It was also around this time, when I got a phone cal "out of the blue" from a long time ago friend and neighbor of mine, that I had not heard from in years--Diana Flowers. And Diana also shared some things with me on the phone regarding friendships, which helped me realize that God had been preparing me for the life of travel, which I now experience, that includes a lot of time away from friends and family, many times with nobody that I know to communicate with (and sometimes even people who don't speak the same language as me), yet he provides these great "online" friends and sometimes even a chance to meet up with some of those "long time ago friends" like Diana in person, once again. I am blessed!
    Vicki

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    1. That's the great thing about God, Vicki, while we are busy blessing others, WE are getting blessed too!! Praise His name! :)
      I agree with you, Diana's a lovely friend and a blessing to know as I'm sure you are to her!

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    2. Girls, no wonder my ears were burning. :P Thank you both and I feel the same way about y'all!

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  4. I have two dear friends that have been widowed in the last year and a half. I value the time we get to spend together, whether in person or by phone. The Lord knit our hearts together many years ago and it only makes the cord stronger to be able to share in their grief.

    Lovely review, NOELA. I have longed to read this book since the cover was revealed :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing ANNE, I'm sure those friends are so deeply grateful for your friendship and support during this time especially.
      God bless you, and all the best in the competition. I love the cover also and you will find he just perfectly fits the hero in the story to a T!! :)

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  5. I would love to win this giveaway! :-) Thanks for the opportunity!

    As far as your questions - I right away thought of my own Mother. My father passed away from brain cancer about 10 years ago... Having seen her heartache first-hand, I have a deep compassion for widows. And, since I was little, I have had a heart for orphans. They are always on my mind and am constantly looking for ways to service both orphans and widows. My husband and I are actually starting in August as house parents to children who may be orphans/come from single parent homes. We pray we can be a blessing to them.

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    1. my email rhonda(dot)ritenour(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Hi RHONDA, thanks so much for sharing with us! My mother has been a widow now for just over a year, and like yourself it's easy to see the heartache and loneliness up close when it happens within your own family.
      That's exciting what you'll be doing come August, I'll be praying with you for that. And of course we're admonished to look out for orphans as well as widows so bless you for that! I'm sure you'll both be a huge blessing to them. :)

      All the best with this giveaway!!

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  6. My friend is a recent widow and I know some widows in my church. As much as I think I know what they are going through it is a lot deeper then I think. My heart goes out to them and they truly just need someone to talk to. I always think about how I am so blessed to be able to have a husband who comes home and listens to me talk about my day or just is there as my "other". It gives me a bigger sense of sympathy and love for those who have lost their "other".

    kindergartenstoryteller(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. So true 'KINDERGARTEN STORYTELLER'! Oftentimes, widows just need someone to talk to... and I've thought like you have, how blessed we are to have someone that comes home at the end of the day. It sure helps to open your heart to those that are all alone. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. My mom was a widow at 52 years of age so widows and widowers have a special place in my heart. My mom never remarried and has since left this earth to be with the Lord. So, seeing her loneliness and love to talk to others, have someone to do things with, and need to cook and care for others taught me to be more sensitive to others like her. I spend time with a widow who doesn't know the Lord and my hope is that through our interaction, that she will one day choose to see her need for him in her life. That's my prayer anyway. Thanks for the good review. It definitely sparks my interest again in the book. Who doesn't want to root for a happy ever after ending with some drama kicking it up a notch?!
    Merryheart13(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's so young for your mum to become a widow MEL, but I'm glad to see she was such a great inspiration for you before she went home to the Lord. I'll be praying with you for the widow you're ministering to that she will come to know God!

      I'm pleased you liked the review and that it has sparked your interest again! It really is a fantastic story - one of my favourites! :)

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  8. I don't know any widows but I do know some single moms who need just as much encouragement and Christian fellowship as widows. I think that if the Bible were written in modern times single parents would be among the list of those to visit and take care of, along with widows and orphans.
    heavensmyhome@hotmail.com

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    1. SARAH, I agree... there are so many groups of people that need encouragement and Christian fellowship, with single mums being one of those groups most definitely!!
      Thank you so much for stopping by to read the review and to share. God bless and all the best with your entry!

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  9. I look forward to reading this book after reading such a wonderful review. I love Jody Hedlund's writing.

    It is so important to reach out to widows and make sure they don't get isolated after they have lost their spouse. Widowers, too, become especially isolated. I do think women are better than men at staying connected and see the importance of friends and family. As I age, family and friends become even more important to me.

    I feel the fragility of life and time passing by much too quickly for my liking. I lost a favourite aunt recently and I felt so sad for my uncle left alone. What a tough time it must be to adjust after losing your life partner.

    We need to be there for each other and help those who are lonely and isolated, especially widows and widowers.

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    1. WRITERCAT, if you stop back and see this, leave your email so that we may contact you if you are the lucky winner! :)

      Thank you for your comment and yes, this applies to both widows and widowers. Both equally important and in need of visitors and connections. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. God bless you!

      I know you'll just love Jody's book when you get to read it. All the best in the draw!

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  10. I do. A friend close to my age lost her husband. Also a friend of mine went to be with the Lord leaving her husband and 2 young sons behind. We had the joy of having them over at least once a week for a meal. Picking them up from school once a week, helping where we could. Until the Lord brought a wonderful Godly woman into their life. We are still friends. Our families are close. It wasn't much, but he tells us how it blessed them greatly.
    Nancycooks4u@gmail.com

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    1. How wonderful NANCY that you were able to do that for your friends husband and young sons! That is so inspiring and I can see how it would have been such a huge blessing for him at the time. Thanks for sharing your story Nancy, God bless you!

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  11. Great review of this new book by Jody Hedlund. . . I love her books and would love to read this newest one.

    I don't know of a widower myself, but I have watched my mom and dad do this for many years. They have been a great example to me and hopefully I will be able to follow them when God places someone in my path.

    hspruitt[at]frontiernet{dot}net

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    1. Thanks SHERI! Jodi's books are fantastic aren't they?! This one is no exception, let me tell you! ;)
      That's so great that you've been inspired by your parents and that you're open and willing to be available to be a blessing to widows/widowers, should God place someone in your life! God bless.

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  12. The widows I know is my mother-in-law and myself. I visit her almost everyday.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by MCantu1019. I'm so glad for you that you and your mother-in-law have each other for support. God bless you!

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    1. Hi BONNIE, I'd love for you to win too but we will need your email and an answer to the question to be eligible. :)

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  14. Great review, NOELA. I also enjoyed this story very much. Jody is a gifted writer.

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    1. Thanks MARIAN, I agree 100% with you... Jody is a very gifted writer! :)

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  15. I've read Jody's previous books but haven't gotten this one yet. I'd love to win. :)

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    I'm on the other side of this equation. My mother and I are both widows. We've been blessed by people, who've invited us for holidays and so generously shared their families.

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    1. This one of Jody's is exceptional SUSAN, I hope you get to read it soon! :) Best of luck in the competition!

      That is so lovely to hear that people have blessed you and your mother by sharing their families! That's a beautiful thing.

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  16. At my work, we have a volunteer who comes and helps in our department. She has been widowed for 20 years. She is an inspiration and a really good friend. We visit each other every Friday. I truly enjoy our talks! She helps me as much as I help her, spiritually. She's a great friend! :D

    Linda Ortiz
    strgth4yu@hotmail.com

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    1. That's fantastic LINDA!! Good for her doing volunteering too, a great way to meet lovely friendly people like yourself. God bless you!

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  17. NOELA great review, this is the first book I've read by JODY so I think I'm going to have to go back and read the rest of her books.

    As for your question; the widow I spend the most time with is my mom. Dad passed away 17 years ago so I have been helping take care of her. She is 86 and she is not able to get out by herself anymore so when she needs to go anywhere I take her. She tells me all the time she wants to "go home" (Heaven) to see JESUS and my DAD.

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  18. TERESA, I had no idea this was the first one you've read of Jody's! You'll definitely have to read the rest then. In fact, her previous one 'Unending Devotion' is one of my all-time favourite books!!

    I know I've said this before Teresa, but your mother is such a blessed mum to have you for her daughter!! The widow I spend the most time with these days is my mum also, but before that we'd adopted another lady who'd lost her husband. It's such a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces. I only wish I could visit my mum and take her out more than what we do!

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  19. Awesome review, NOELA! I am enjoying this book right now, although I haven't been able to read much as of late. One of my fave "Jody" books is The Doctor's Lady. That one is a must read!

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    1. Yes DIANA, The Doctor's Lady is another great book of Jody's. I remember finding that one so unique from most others I was reading at that time.

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  20. Barbara Gauthier. Yes, I spent nearly 50 years with a widow, my late MOther, whom I loved so very much. I would be honored to be entered in your contest and more honored to win!

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    1. BARBARA, we need your email!!
      I hope you stop by again and leave it for us as we'd love to have you in the draw and would love to have the honour of drawing your name! :)

      Your mother sounds wonderful, that's great that you were able to be there for her during all that time. God bless you!

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  21. God has blessed me with so many lady and men friends who have lost their beloved spouses. My own 94 year old mother is twice widowed and a beautiful encouager to her widowed friends and relatives. Perhaps that is where I learned how important a real friend can be to others whose sorrow of losing their spouse might dim a bit as their lives change, but never forgotten. Thank you for this exceptional giveaway and the chance to win a wonderful read.

    Sharing His Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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    1. Oh wow BARB, your mum is 94 and is still encouraging others?! That's wonderful, what an inspiration she is!! I'm sure you would've learnt quite a bit from her. God bless your mum and God bless you too for being there for so many.

      All the best with your entry Barbara for this amazing book! :)

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  22. Yes...do visit....Just brightens their day...makes them look outward and also to get out and realize that it is OK to talk about their loved one...OK to say their name, and to talk about them. It keeps them connected with the outside world. One widow told me a few weeks after becoming one, and entering church that "now I could sit THERE-pointing to a row that many other widow's sat together in". I told her, yes....you could...but you DON'T have to! You can sit where ever you want, and you can sit with us if you want. Just having a choice matters.

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    1. ANONYMOUS - We need your NAME and EMAIL to be able to enter you in the draw! :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by btw and sharing your experience! God bless you.

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  23. God tells us to honor real widows and to visit them. Do you know any widows or widowers that you could visit, and if you already do visit, are you able to share the difference it makes in their lives?

    We have a lady that my family has known for a while now. Her husband of fifty years passed away recently. We stay in daily contact with her and visit with her on the weekends. They have no family, so during holidays, mothers day, fathers day, etc. we have her over and celebrate with her. She is like a mother to us and a grandmother to my boys. We love her very dearly.

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    1. Hi SHAWNA, thank you so much for sharing your story. Those that have lost loved ones have so much to give as does that special lady in your family as in being like a grandma to your boys. I know that would be such a blessing for her to be able to celebrate those special occasions with your family too! God bless you.

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  24. Aww, thank you Noela for your kind and gracious comment about my mama. Yes, indeed I've learned so much wisdom from her and with each visit, I learn more. We are not close geographically, she's in Oregon and I'm in Texas...so I fly out every 2 or 3 months for a month long visit...always for her birthday in November and Mother's Day in May. We are so blessed to still have her.

    Blessings,
    Barb
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping back in Barb, always so nice to see and hear from you! :)
      I have to say, I'm blown away again - that you would fly out every 2-3 months to spend so much time with her! That really is a wonderful thing to do for your special mum. I am so inspired by you two ladies! Blessings and hugs!

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  25. Do you know any widows or widowers that you could visit, and if you already do visit, are you able to share the difference it makes in their lives?
    We have a few neighbors that are widows. We visit them when we can and my husband helps with yard maintenance and snow removal. They are very grateful.

    ~Cindi

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi CINDI, thank you for sharing! What you and your husband do is a great thing and can make all the difference in someone's life. And it's a fantastic testimony to all your other neighbours around too!!
      All the best in the competition Cindi!

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  26. There are 2 in particular that bring JOY to my heart. Whenever we come back home we always make an effort to go see them (from churches my husband pastored) and spend a few hours with them. Once when I was going to be cooking at church camp the youth minister handed out hospital bands with a name on each one, of those going to camp, to folks who promised to pray for that person during that week. Pat still has mine hanging in her bathroom, on the mirror, to pray for me everyday, now that we're missionaries.

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Oftentimes those who have lost a spouse become great prayer warriors which is a wonderful thing... and that is a great blessing for those who open up their hearts and lives to them! That's really special that Pat still has her band hanging up and continues to pray for you both. I pray also that God continues to bless the work you and your husband do, MELODY.

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  27. Well until my grandma Meg died, we visited with her and helped her. I also try to visit a widower I know who was my pastor as a teen and I know that seeing them and bringing them food and just the time spent is a blessing to them.
    I so enjoyed this.
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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    1. I'd say it would be an even bigger blessing to them LINDA, than you imagine. That's a wonderful thing you're doing. And like you said, we get a lot of enjoyment out of it as well! Win, win! ;) Thanks for dropping by Linda!

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  28. My Dad left my Mom over 25 years ago and she never remarried. It was a bad situation. I've never married and recently become disabled because of a medical error. I have to be at home majority of the time and Mom lives with me to help take care of me. I know that it would make a difference in my life and how much enjoyment and encouragement I would feel if someone would visit or reach out to me. I enjoyed your review.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by BARBARA, and please drop in anytime to chat with us. Look me up on FB as well, I'd love to add you as a friend!
      I'm so very sorry to hear about your mum's heartbreak and your disability. You can be sure I'll be praying for you, and the ladies I'm sure will too. It's so good that you've shared because it lets us all know that there are plenty of needs in our communities. God bless you and best of luck in the draw!

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  29. I love Jody's books and am anxious to read this one! Thanks for the chance!
    My sister-in-law, next door, is a widow and has health issues. We do lots of things for her, take food, etc. I have always felt strongly that we should do things for widows.
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Hi JACKIE, I was pretty anxious to read this one too, so I know exactly how you feel, lol! I hope you get to read it soon because I know you'll absolutely love it!!

      That's a wonderful ministry you have in helping your sister-in-law! What a blessing it is that she is just next door as well. :)
      All the best in the draw Jackie!

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  30. My neighbor two doors down is a widower. He's such a sweetheart and still feels his loss keenly.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by MARY and for sharing. How very sad for your neighbour, but I'm so glad he's got you as a friend in his life to help ease his loss a little.
      God bless you!

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  31. I am a widow. The loss and lonliness can only be filled by Jesus, family and friends. It is important to take care of widows, The Lord love the widows.
    Thanks for the chance to win. I can't wait!

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    1. Hello GUYANNE - we will need your EMAIL if you win, so if none of us know it already, please reply with it here, thanks! It's a great book!!

      Amen, the Lord does indeed love widows/widowers and He knows more than any of us how lonely and hard it must be for widows, for Him to include in His word an encouragement for us to visit and care for them. God bless you!

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  32. MY SISTER IS A WIDOW, I WAS WITH HER WHEN HER HUSBAND DIED OF A RARE CANCER, LEAVING 3 LITTLE GIRLS AT THE TIME...SINCE THEN, SHE HAS LOST HER HOME AND THE GIRLS ARE FULL GROWN BUT, THERE IS AN EMPTINESS WITHIN THE GIRLS LIVES AND I SURE WITHIN MY SISTER'S...I HELP WHEN I CAN, LENDING HER MY CAR AND WE TRADE BACK AND FORTH BOOKS...SOMETIMES, I'LL CUT HER HAIR... SHE LIVES ABOUT 5 HOURS AWAY FROM ME...SOUNDS LIKE A WONDERFUL STORY!

    silhouettesinscale@yahoo.com

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    1. It sure is a wonderful story JUANITA, and you're now in with a chance to win it! :)

      I'm so sorry to hear that your sister lost her husband so young Juanita, that must of been incredibly difficult for her and the girls. That's really great you were and are still able to be there for her though, especially living 5 hours away! I'm sure she appreciates you more than you even realize! God bless!

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  33. My aunt is a widow & is currently in a nursing home - after breaking a hip & having a stroke. I have been helping care for her for the last 3 months & while visiting her, stop by to see other widows I know that are in the nursing home.

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. That is fantastic that you are able to do that BONNIE! But I'm very sorry that your aunt broke her hip and had the stroke. I pray she will continue to heal and improve.
      Thank you for sharing and best of luck in the draw!

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  34. I teach ESL with one. She was a missionary for many years until her husband died. I feel like she's more of a blessing to me than I am to her. Fortunately, her children all live nearby, and they have a great relationship.
    In my hometown, there's an older widow who my parents go to lunch with once a week. Since she DOESN'T have family nearby, we always try to include her for holidays and family celebrations.

    I have been wanting to get my hands on this book since before it came out. I'd LOVE to win a copy. ENewman(at)outlook(dot)com

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  35. I have an older widow lady that I am friends with. We were neighbors for several years but about two years ago she move to the other side of town so I don't get to visit her as much. Her two sons and their families don't live nearby, so I know she enjoys me taking her out to dinner, or just stopping by for a visit.


    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. There's a widow I visit with occasionally at church, but I know I should be doing more of that. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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