30 July 2015

Diana Reviews IRISH MEADOWS By Susan Anne Mason


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

In this mesmerizing Irish family saga, author Susan Anne Mason sweeps the reader away to a lovely and affluent estate—the O'Leary stables in 1911 Long Island, New York. After three long years, Gil Whelan is glad to be back home again. He had come to Irish Meadows as a small child where he had been taken in by the O'Leary family and treated as the patriarch's own son. Now he has come back to repay the debt and start his own farm.

Two beautiful O'Leary sisters as different as night and day; the coquettish and manipulative Colleen, and sweet, green-eyed Brianna must marry well to help save their father, James O'Leary's opulent horse farm. When Rylan Montgomery, a handsome, charming young priest arrives at Irish Meadows as well—a journey of angst-filled, entangling romance begins, throwing a wrench into James' plans to save his farm. Will Brianna, Colleen, and even Gil all become as puppets dancing to Papa O'Leary's tune or will their own plans and matters of the heart take over? And will Colleen ever mend her scheming, conniving ways?

I am definitely a new fan of Susan Anne Mason's amazing writing! I was pleasantly surprised at her ability to tell a story with exciting plot twists and complicated, seemingly impossible romantic situations interspersed with humor and heartaches by the number! The realistic characters are not sugar coated and struggle with a distorted sense of loyalty and obligation to Mr. O'Leary, trust issues, and childhood trauma resulting in shame and a lack of self-esteem. However, each must painstakingly work their way through these presumably insurmountable issues and ooh, the drama that ensues! An enchanting tale with two romances for the price of one (!) and a beautiful story of God's redemption and inner healing...Irish Meadows is definitely one not to be missed! I absolutely loved it!

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Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book may be purchased through BAM, Amazon, CBD, and your local bookstore.
GIVEAWAY: Susan Mason has graciously offered a paperback copy of Irish Meadows to one blessed commenter! US entrants only in this particular giveaway.



28 July 2015

The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch Reviewed by Bonnie Roof



The Cactus Creek Challenge by author Erica Vetsch
5 Stars *****
(Barbour Publishing, 2015)

The Cactus Creek Challenge, set in 1888 Cactus Creek, Texas - is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud funny novel by author Erica Vetsch. Chock-full of romance, restoration, hope, lovable characters,  non-stop action and adventure with some of the wildest escapades, ever - it will satisfy the palate of many readers.

Each contestant of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge switches jobs with another contestant for one month, the townspeople voting for the person that excels, by contributing money to the glass candy jar labeled with the name of that person's favorite cause. To make this year's contest more challenging, each contestant switches jobs with a contestant of the opposite sex. What could possibly go wrong when schoolteacher Cassie Bucknell swaps jobs with childhood friend Sheriff Ben Wilder, and baker Jenny Hart with livery stable owner Carl Gustafson?

Needless to say, each contestant learns much about his/herself, and finds that "walking in another's shoes" is never as easy as it appears. The schoolchildren and their antics will steal the reader's heart, as will: twenty-four-year-old Sheriff Ben, trying to live up to his father's reputation. Nineteen-year-old Cassie, who's had a crush on Ben since childhood, and wants to prove her maturity, even though he's always thought of her more as a sister-figure. Burly, giant of a man, tidy, widower Carl - who's afraid to risk more pain by loving again. Widow Jenny left a wealthy life-style and fled Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her young daughter, Amanda, after the death of Jenny's abusive, power-hungry husband. She's seeking security from her father-in-law's threats to assume guardianship of Amanda; mother and daughter both seeking self-worth, and afraid to trust the friendship of another man.

There are so many reasons to love The Cactus Creek Challenge. I would enjoy reading a sequel to this delightful, heart-warming, inspiring story!


GIVEAWAY:  Erica is graciously providing a paperback copy of "The Cactus Creek Challenge" to one blessed commenter. The eBook is available for $3.99 through today, 7/28, only. The prequel to The Cactus Creek Challenge, The Legend of Obadiah Wilder: The Glorious Defeat of the Dickenson Gang, is available as a FREE eBook download. Look for Erica's other new releases: "A Bride For Bear" from The Convenient Bride Collection, and "The Trail Boss's Bride" from Journeys of the Heart novella collection.

23 July 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews A WORTHY PURSUIT by Karen Witemeyer

A Worthy Pursuit
A Worthy Pursuit
by Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Pursuing trust, faith, and love..

Being able to trust others is necessary in life but it can also be a particularly difficult endeavor when there has been past hurts. Throughout this romantic western adventure in 1891, the issues of trust and the lack thereof are deftly interwoven throughout the pages of an inspiring and irresistible love story!

Stone Hammond is a bounty hunter turned retriever who has seen it all, and none of it was pleasant. When he is paid to retrieve a young girl by the name of Lily from a seemingly stiff-backed schoolmarm kidnapper, he encounters a beautiful, caring woman who doesn’t fit the usual profile of an abductor. But appearances can be deceiving, so Stone resists trusting this enigma of a woman who seems to actually cherish the child. He intends to get his questions answered but first he needs to earn her trust.

Former headmistress at an academy for gifted children, Charlotte Atherton determines to keep Lily and two other young charges safe after the school was unexpectedly shut down. Charlotte had pledged to Lily’s now deceased mother she’d keep the girl safe from Lily’s grandfather, but when the imposing and muscle-bound Stone Hammond finds them; will she be able to keep that promise? When others begin to also come after Lily, Charlotte will have to decide if she can trust Stone. And when he begins to pursue her heart, can the barrier of distrust she has for men crumble enough for Charlotte to find happiness, love, and a heart that can trust again?

‘A Worthy Pursuit’ is intriguing, engaging, and will hold you captive within the story like a trussed up bounty hunter’s prisoner! There’s plenty of adventure that’s set at a lively pace, and humor to keep you smiling throughout. The character pairing of the heroes is sigh-worthy perfect, with loads of chemistry, witty dialogue, and personality. Other delightful characters are as equally compelling. Highly recommended and extremely enjoyable!


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Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


You may purchase 'A Worthy Pursuit' from these places and others: Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble; Deeper Shopping

GIVEAWAY: We have a $10 Amazon Voucher for someone who leaves a comment below the review!! Leave your email if we don't know you.

21 July 2015

Diana Reviews The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

 
The Curiosity Keeper By Sarah E. Ladd
Thomas Nelson, July 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
4.5 stars~ (No Spoilers!)
Riveting Regency!
 

In The Curiosity Keeper, Sarah E. Ladd takes the reader on an unforgettable Regency adventure—of a young woman's journey from the dank, overcrowded, noisy streets of Somerset, London, to the flowering orchids that patchwork lush, verdant forest land, ponds laden with majestic swans, and cobblestones paths of Surrey, England.

Abandoned by her mother, Camille Iverness runs a shabby curiosity shop with her father in a rough area in London. After a brutal attack and betrayal, Camille is rescued by Jonathon Gilchrist, heir of Kettering Hall. Jonathan had been sent by his father to the curiosity shop to recover the Bevoy, a valuable, massive ruby said to bring blessings or curses to the owner. Convinced Camille knows nothing of the stolen Bevoy, Jonathan arranges a way of escape for her to the beautiful countryside where his family resides. Amongst treachery, greed, and deceit will Camille find a gem far more valuable than a priceless ruby?

Sarah Ladd has proven herself to be a masterful writer of Regency fiction! Her stories are filled with angst, romantic tension, multi-faceted characters, and mystery. The Curiosity Keeper is an unpredictable read full of twists and turns—prepare yourselves for a real shocker near the exciting conclusion! I truly found this one hard to put down until the climactic ending...as I do with all of Ms. Ladd's novels. Highly recommended!

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Sneak peek of Sarah Ladd's next book coming out next May, 2016! Isn't it a beauty? I cannot wait!

A special thanks to Net Galley for providing a copy of The Curiosity Keeper in exchange for my honest opinion.

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



GIVEAWAY: Author Sarah Ladd is generously giving away a paperback copy of The Curiosity Keeper to one blessed commenter!

16 July 2015

Lorna Seilstad's As Love Blooms - Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels


As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

FIVE STARS *****

Another sigh-worthy book, As Love Blooms (Revell, 2015), in the Gregory Girls Series by Lorna Seilstad.

LOVED all three of these books. I RECOMMEND them as a SUMMER READS COLLECTION and they are going into my favorites collection, too!

As Love Blooms is the youngest Gregory sister's story. Tessa Gregory is blessed with an abundance of imagination, talent, energy, and tenacity! She has spunk and personality plus! But what she wants, after completing two years of her Horticultural Science program, is to work in her profession and to help redesign the fabulous Como Park where she lives in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Mr. Nussbaum, the supervisor of the park will never hire a woman. Well, Tessa thinks like I do--never say never! So she finds a way to still do her work. That "way" involves a handsome gardner named Reese King who she talks into allowing her to masquerade (in male attire) as her assistant.

Tessa and Reese have a lot in common. They also have secrets that could tear their fledgling relationship apart. Set in the turn of the century in Minneapolis, Lorna Seilstad sets the stage perfectly against the backdrop of tension in political positions and relationships between men and women. The secondary romance between Tessa's "Aunt" and the senator was especially well done and bittersweet. Lovely layers to this story. Also enjoyed "catching up" with her sister's stories in those threads!
Como Park and Zoo, Conservatory, in Minneapolis
Highly recommend!!! As Love Blooms will be on my BEST of 2015 list!!!

Giveaway: We're giving away one paperback copy of this new release this week. Leave a comment to enter and also Follow my Turn of the Century Pinterest Page (click here) for an extra entry!

14 July 2015

Noela reviews AN INSIGNIFICANT LIFE by Connie Almony

An Insignificant Life
An Insignificant Life (The Maryland State University Series, Book 2)
June 2, 2015

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The far-reaching ripples of careless flirtations and pre-marital sex are 
explored within ‘An Insignificant Life’. Penned with compassion and sensitivity, author Connie Almony portrays the struggles of a group of students at Maryland University - lost but searching for meaning and significance. This heart-rending journey of finding courage and hope, and of God and love amidst heartbreak, is gut-wrenching, gripping, and has the potential to save lives.

The beautiful student and Resident Assistant, Tiffany Lundgren, is pushing toward her future goal of a successful career, seeking the significance that’s missing in her life. Always the flirt, Tiffany is becoming dissatisfied with the hollowness in her heart from poor relationships, and decides to focus on her future. She removes an obstacle that’s in the way of reaching her career goals but instead succeeds in opening a Pandora’s Box of pain that she can’t quite understand. Unfortunately, Tiffany’s poor choices may sabotage her chance to be loved by someone who finally sees past her body.

K-9 campus police officer Adam Grant is working with others to combat the dangerous drug trade on campus. A man of faith, Adam is drawn to Tiffany but troubled by her actions. He struggles in trying to reach her without seeming judgmental. It was inspiring to see him containing his justifiable emotions and in following sage advice from his pastor in order to help her. But can Adam and the tortured Tiffany find common ground or will the escalating campus dangers separate them forever?

Former alcoholic Todd Watson and fellow Resident Assistant Alexa Woo have a palpable animosity simmering between them, but will that change for the better or worse when the truth of their bitterness is revealed? And can Todd deal with his former stigma and the stress of the Campus drug ring without succumbing to the bottle’s allure again? These characters and others are amazingly realistic and relatable, drawing me fully into their lives. And the suspense and mystery surrounding the evil residing within the campus, makes for a story that keeps your attention right to the nail-biting finish!

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Tenth Avenue North - You Are More
Connie's music muse for An Insignificant Life
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You can purchase this book at: Amazon

GIVEAWAY: We have an e-book giveaway of Connie Almony's 'An Insignificant Life' for someone who leaves a comment below! Leave your email if we don't know you! 

12 July 2015

Goodreads Giveaways of The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels



Don't miss out on the goodreads giveaway for Carrie Fancett Pagels' short novel, The Lumberjacks' Ball. Are you a goodreads member? If so, please enter to win one of the two paperback copies!  Running for one month, until August 7th. Endorsements for The Christy Lumber Camp Series have come from authors Julie Lessman, Jen Turano, Serena B. Miller, MaryLu Tyndall, Lisa Norato, Debbie Lynne Costello, and Kathleen Maher.

Goodreads link for The Lumberjacks' Ball.




 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        The Lumberjacks' Ball (The Christy Lumber Camp Series) by Carrie Fancett Pagels
   

   

     


          The Lumberjacks' Ball (The Christy Lumber Camp Series)
     
     


          by Carrie Fancett Pagels
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends August 07, 2015.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter Giveaway




Comments closed on this post. Come back Tuesday for Noela's review of Connie Almony's new book and Thursday for Carrie's review of Lorna Seilstad's stunning new Gregory Girls' novel!

09 July 2015

Diana's Review Of 'To Capture Her Heart' By Rebecca DeMarino

To Capture Her Heart By Rebecca DeMarino
Revell, June 30, 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~

Captivating Colonial Fiction!
 
In To Capture Her Heart, Rebecca DeMarino has crafted a mesmerizing colonial saga of unrequited love and the igniting passions of a young Indian maiden for two men—set in the untamed New World, where Indian tribes war against each other, and boundaries are set between the Dutch and English settlers.

Heather Flower, a beautiful princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when she witnesses the murder of her beloved and is kidnapped by a rival Indian tribe. Left to die, she is rescued by the handsome Dutch Lieutenant, Dirk Van Buren. She grieves her loss at the home of her aunt and the Horton's, English friends of her people. Dirk's attraction for her is instantaneous, but he is held back by boundaries set for the Dutch by the English and Heather Flower must sneak off in the woods to meet him. Benjamin Horton, a charming childhood friend of hers, also seeks to claim her love. As her grief consumes her, will Heather Flower ever be able to open her heart to one of these fine men she loves as dear friends?...and if so, which one has the key to unlock it?

I can't say enough about Rebecca DeMarino's writing expertise and impeccable research of this era of our country's history. I was not aware of the boundaries set upon the Dutch and I learned so much while enjoying this fascinating read. Indians warring against the English and other Indian tribes, and the English still fighting the Dutch...troublesome times indeed! I was delighted that the main characters all returned from the first book in the series to brighten things up a bit, but no worries if you haven't read the first book. I would highly recommend it, but the author does a great job of recapping and that shouldn't be a problem to new readers. I had only one issue with this story. I never got to know Dirk as well as I wanted to. I couldn't seem to connect with him although he was one great guy!! However, so was Benjamin! I adore love triangles with two hunky heroes, so I can pick which one I want to win the heroine's heart. Lol Exquisite writing with plenty of unpredictable romantic tension and a wonderful storyline....what's not to like? Order your copy today!

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Thanks to Revell for a copy of this amazing book in exchange for my honest opinion.
 
 This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and your local bookstores.
 
 
GIVEAWAY: A paperback copy of To Capture Her Heart to one lucky viewer who posts a comment on my review! Even you already posted one on Bonnie's review, here's a chance for an EXTRA entry to win!




07 July 2015

Bonnie Roof Reviews 'To Capture Her Heart' By Rebecca DeMarino

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino
Revell 2015

Set in 1653, "To Capture Her Heart", is book 2 of the Southold Chronicles—a series inspired by the author, Rebecca DeMarino's, ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. Rebecca transports the reader, with adventure and suspense, to the wild land that eventually becomes Long Island, New York. 

The conflict between its people - Dutch and English settlements, as well as tribes of the Montaukett and Narragansett - play an important part in the development of the story. There is much doubt and unrest as to where one's loyalties should lie - word traveling slowly from the court in New Haven, Connecticut, and the English uncertain as to whether they are at war with the Dutch, who are giving the Indians firearms. The English are concerned their interests will be compromised if the natives interfere. Having suffered much in their homeland, they want the peace of worshiping in their own way, without interference from others. They hold a strong belief they must keep those who profess a different faith-out of Southold.

Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, and her groom, Keme, are celebrating their wedding feast when the village is attacked by the rival Narragansett tribe - murdering Keme and others, as well as kidnapping Heather Flower and thirteen other women of her tribe. Even though her ransom is paid by Englishman, Lion Gardner, Heather Flower is bound by her captors and left to die.  

There is an attraction on the part of both, when Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren is chosen to lead a militia to rescue her. Still grieving from the loss of Keme, and not yet ready to return home to the scene of the massacre, she stays with her aunt Winnie at the Corchaug village in Southold, near the home of English friends Barnabas and Mary Horton and family. As she heals, Heather Flower finds herself torn between her affection for Dirk and her long-time friendship with Ben Horton, son of Barnabas. At the same time, she worries she will lose a part of herself by living in the white man's world; her mother is much more concerned with their race being obliterated through intermarriage than about Heather Flower's heart and love.  

I became thoroughly engrossed in the characters of "To Capture Her Heart", and enjoyed learning more of the history, customs, and people of that era and area. Rebecca DeMarino paints a story rich with heart-warming family scenes, realistic characters, and vivid descriptions that capture the reader's heart and imagination - there is inspiration from the strong element of faith in trusting God to provide. It is a beautiful story of romance - a woman torn between her heart's desire, uncertainty, and feelings of obligation. A shocking twist in the final pages provides a heart-warming conclusion - "To Capture Her Heart" definitely whetted my appetite and desire for reading books 1 ("A Place in His Heart") and 3 of the series, also!

You can find this treasure at AmazonCBD, and BAM.

Giveaway: We're giving away a paperback copy this week on OWG blog. You'll have two opportunities to enter the drawing. So leave a comment on this blog and on Diana's review on Thursday to get two entries for winning the book!




05 July 2015

Happy Birthday Noela!

Happy Birthday To Our Sweet Aussie,
Noela Nancarrow.
Noela has been a wonderful blessing to Overcoming With God; 
we all love her fantastic reviews!
Please join with us today in wishing Noela the happiest of birthdays!


Noela, Teresa made you a Blueberry Cream Cake,
she even picked the blueberries. :-)



Since Noela's last birthday, her family 
has expanded to include a beautiful granddaughter,
Shekinah Zoe 




NOELA

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card to one blessed commenter.  


02 July 2015

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears - Reviewed by Bonnie Roof

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jaguars (Barbour,  2015)
A Bride at Last by Melissa Jaguars (Bethany House, 2015)

Set in 1885, A Bride at Last (Bethany House, 2015) is a touching, emotional story of Kate Dawson and Silas Jonesey - their connection with 9-year-old Anthony Riverton, and the struggle of each to overcome his/her personal issues and develop trust in a relationship that will bring love and fulfillment to  life.

After being orphaned at the age of 12, and enduring years of beatings from her brother-in-law, as well as having a sister who is emotionally cold (both having alcohol issues) - Kate seeks escape through her fiancé Aiden McGuiness. Finding Aiden has his own issues, and is much more concerned with his banking career than with having a family, Kate instead accepts the offer of mail-order bride to Jasper Goldwater. Upon her arrival in Breton, Missouri, Kate finds Jasper is the town drunk and it is his brother who submitted the ad, feeling it his only opportunity to secure a wife for his brother. Running from this offer, also, she accepts a teaching position at the local school and develops a bond with her student, Anthony - paying for housing, etc. for he and his mother, Lucinda, who has been unable to work for 2 years, due to her battle with consumption.

The book begins with Lucinda's death and the appearance of two men. Richard Fitzgerald is a married man with whom she had a relationship, Silas is Lucinda’s husband whom she left ten years prior without leaving info as to her whereabouts. Born wealthy, Lucinda had been unable to cope with Silas' alcohol addiction and the hard work involved in the care of his Kansas farm. Abandoned by his mother at the age of five, feeling guilt over his failings as a husband and a need to seek forgiveness from Lucinda, Silas responded to her plea of financial help by coming out to where she now boarded. He quickly realizes that although Lucinda had never mentioned it, Anthony must be his son. Unfortunately, Richard Fitzgerald, a gambler continually in debt, wants to claim Anthony as his own son - and avail himself of Anthony's pick-pocketing skills. A battle ensues between the two men in an attempt to prove Anthony's parentage - which results in Anthony's running away, a near kidnapping, and a developing romantic relationship between Silas and Kate that causes much wavering indecision, fear, and reflection on the part of each.


This all within the first portion of the book, and so much more to follow - including the humor of Kate's feistiness, and numerous scenes that warm the reader's heart or bring a tear. Melissa Jagears expertly deals with the issues of addictions, abandonment, fear of failure, forgiveness, trust, acceptance, and one's need to overcome past issues and failures by trusting God to control one's future. I loved the multi-layered characters. A Bride At Last is a book that will speak to, and inspire, many people.  



GIVEAWAY: This week on OWG we're giving away a paperback copy of A Bride at Last and a second giveaway of Winner's choice of either this novel OR The Convenient Bride Collection. Two chances to win this week--leave a comment on any of the three posts from this week to enter. You can comment on each one for more entries--three different posts with three comments counts as three entries.  VOID where prohibited by law. Ebook only for international winners unless book is available through the Book Depository.  BOTH books are available on BD for international readers who are within their delivery range.

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