06 August 2015

Bonnie reviews WITH THIS SPARK - CHRISTIAN HISTORICAL ROMANCE by Four award-winning authors!

With This Spark

'CASTAWAY WITH THE COWBOY', author PAM HILLMAN - 5 stars

Pam Hillman whisks the reader away to a 1876 deserted Caribbean island in her adventurous romance, 'Castaway With the Cowboy'. Level-headed Montana horse wrangler/cowboy Zach Holifield is hired to deliver Jessup Grantham's prized stallion safely, by ship, to Costa Rica. When in an attempt to outrun a storm, the boiler blows a hole in the side of the ship, causing it to fill with water and catch on fire - Zach finds himself in a small rowboat along with passengers nanny Abby Lindstrom and her charges Meggie and J.J. (children of Jessup Grantham), cabin boy Toby, and middle-aged missionary couple Milton and Paulette Manning. After fighting choppy water to land on the beach of a deserted island with a steep, rugged terrain, steamy humidity, and bugs attacking from every direction - they are forced to work together for survival.

This beautiful story is full of adventure from beginning to end, vivid descriptions, romance, realistic characters, and wonderful elements of faith. I was mesmerized by the characters survival techniques, which kept me swiftly turning pages for the outcome, involving a surprising unexpected twist near the end. I found 'Castaway with the Cowboy' enthralling, the only downside was that it just wasn't long enough - I didn't want it to end!

Don't miss Pam Hillman's wonderful 'Stealing Jake' - just released in paperback, and new novella The Lumberjack's Bride, included in 'The 12 Brides of Summer' (Novella Collection #3) on eBook.

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'LIFETIME INVESTMENT', author MYRA JOHNSON - 5 stars

It is July 1929, newly-weds Lily and Adam Longmont are beseeched to move from Hot Springs, Arkansas to Agua Viva, Texas - after the death of Adam's uncle Richard. His aunt Stella is in danger of losing her working cattle ranch, supposedly from poor financial management, it is felt Adam can turn things around in a matter of months. Adam, who has lived his entire life in the city, and Lily, a college graduate with a shiny black Ford Runabout, milky complexion and delicate hands - are in for a rude awakening when they arrive, by train, in this desolate area just miles from the U.S./Mexico border. They are met by a brusque, cynical, gaunt aunt and driven in a buckboard to a ranch house without electricity, phone, or indoor toilet - and no car. Lily handles household duties, in order to free aunt Stella and Adam to handle ranch business; both Lily and Adam find themselves faced with continuous exhaustion and their marriage being torn apart from the strain.

The 1929 stock market crash and resulting Great Depression only add to the problems of disappearing cattle and other serious tragedies. Opinionated, stubborn Lily - and Adam, with his feelings of obligation to family, must learn to survive difficult circumstances through trust, cooperation, and communication - not only with each other, but through prayer and faith in God. 'Life Investment' is a touching, heart-warming romance which offers insight to a difficult era and setting. I loved this wonderful story by Myra Johnson, and highly recommend it!

Myra Johnson's 'The Sweetest Rain', Flowers of Eden - Book 1 (Franciscan Media) releases Sept. 18th; her (Love Inspired) 'Rancher for the Holidays' releases Oct. 20th.

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You can find WITH THIS SPARK - Christian Historical Romance for purchase at Amazon!


GIVEAWAY: OWG wishes to thank Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson, Ruth LoganHerne, and Mary Connealy for their generous contribution of 1 copy, each, of the 'With This Spark' eBook as giveaways for FOUR blessed commentators! Please leave a comment on Bonnie's reviews, as well as on Noela's - and you'll gain 2 entries in the drawing! (Please leave your e-mail if we don't know you.) 


107 comments:

  1. Awesome reviews there, Bonnie!! This is really an exceptional collection, with all of these four stories taking you in very different directions but all alike in delivering a packed story of adventure, romance, and faith! Pam... Castaway with the Cowboy was intriguing enough with just the title lol, but wow, what an adventure!! Absolutely loved it! And Myra, that was an amazing journey of faith and growth you took me on with Lily and Adam! Thanks! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Noela! I had a blast (pun intended!) writing Castaway. The entire story just makes me grin. I'll have to read it again sometime. :)

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    2. Thanks so much for reviewing our collection, Noela! I'm so glad you were inspired by Lily and Adam's story!

      BTW, I didn't want Pam's novella to end either--what a fun and exciting adventure!

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    3. Thank you so much, Noela!! We had a "ball" reading/reviewing 'With This Spark', didn't we?? 4 wonderful stories by 4 masterful authors - such a treat!!

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  2. I can't wait to read these! I sent them to my Kindle! Now for some quiet time to read them! Like at the beach. That would be good. These sound so good, BONNIE, I appreciate your review. Thank you to MYRA and PAM for the giveaways!

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    1. Carrie, you and me both. Of course, I'm one up on you since I've had the chance to read Castaway...several times, in fact! lol Reading Ruthy, Mary, and Myra's stories will be my reward when I turn in my latest ms. :)

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    2. Good luck finding Quiet Time, Carrie. :) It seems to be rare!!!! At least for me.

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    3. We really appreciate this opportunity to have the collection featured on your blog, Carrie!

      Hmmm, a trip to the beach sounds really nice right about now. Or any time!

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    4. Thank you, Carrie!! Sure hope you have the opportunity to read 'With This Spark' while at the beach next week - 2 of my very fave things: books and the beach. It doesn't get much better - especially with stories written by such accomplished authors as these. You'll love these stories!!

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  3. BONNIE, awesome reviews of this collection! Sounds delightful!

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    1. OWG has been so sweet to showcase this collection this week. It's quite fun to ride around on Ruthy, Mary & Myra's coattails, if I do say so myself. :)

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    2. And we thought we were riding around on YOUR coattails, Pam! ;) You've had a super-duper month with the print release of STEALING JAKE.

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    3. Thank you, Diana - 'With This Spark' IS delightful!! I love sharing info on such wonderful stories with our reader friends - I want as many as possible to have the opportunity to read this wonderful collection.

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  4. I wish I could have the gift of words. What a great review Bonnie! What great stories ladies!
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Jennifer! Bonnie nailed each story, didn't she? I'm sitting here thinking, "How does she DO that?!?!?" lol

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    2. Jennifer, we LOVE Readers!!! Don't ever think WRITING is the only part of this book world. Readers are the main event!!!! :)

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    3. No kidding! Without readers, where would authors be? You complete the story!

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    4. Ahhh, "You complete me." lol I am in a movie-quoting-mood today. lol

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    5. Thank you ladies so much! You are all so sweet! When I read a book I can only hope I write a good enough review that will do the book and the author justice. I truly appreciate all the hard work that all of you do and I so enjoy when you all converse with me on any social media. One very grateful reader, Jenny

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    6. Thank you for your sweet comments, Jennifer, and Pam!! It's fun to write reviews on such entertaining and inspiring stories - when a reader enjoys what she/he reads, the natural inclination is to share that enjoyment and inspiration with others.

      My prayer with each review I write is just as you stated, Jennifer - to do justice to the author and the book. Writing (and all that it involves) truly does require a lot of hard work, patience, time, discipline, etc.; we, the readers, are blessed to have so many gifted Christian Fiction authors.

      I so appreciate Pam, Myra, Ruthy, and Mary each gifting a commentator with a copy of 'With This Spark', and especially for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit with us on OWG!!

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  5. Lovin' the cover and some of my favorite authors included in this book, can't go wrong with that! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. We had fun collaborating on choosing a cover design, Wendy. Hope you enjoy the novellas!

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    2. I agree, Wendy. The cover was spot-on for a July release. :)

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  6. I have 'With This Spark' on my amazon wish list. Reading all these great review makes me want it even more!

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    1. Andrea, I'm cheering on your wish list. I like the sound of that!

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    2. Amazon wish lists--oh my! Mine just keeps getting longer and longer! So many good books, so little time . . .

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  7. Such great reviews! This makes me really want to read them! Putting on my wish list as well. Thank you for the chance to win!

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    1. Cool, Lori! And Noela reviewed Ruthy and Mary's novellas from With this Spark on Tuesday, so if you didn't get a chance, go check 'em out.

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    2. Seconding Pam's recommendation! I finished reading the other stories in the collection earlier this week. What fun!

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    3. Thank you so much, Lori!! I'm so happy my reviews 'whet your appetite' for these beautiful stories, Noela's awesome reviews of the other 2 novellas in the collection will only increase the desire. Good luck in the drawing, if you don't win - please purchase this amazing collection, the price is such a bargain for 4 wonderful stories written by award-winning and best-selling authors!!

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  8. Sounds like two great stories, especially Lily & Adam moving to a ranch after city life!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty, I agree! It does sound like a fun read. I'm going to carve out time to read Myra's story soon.

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    2. Yes, Patty, they have quite a time of it. But they're quick learners--LOL!

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  9. Thumbs up on this one....sounds great!!!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks from all of us, Melanie! We hope you enjoy the stories and much as we enjoyed writing them.

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    2. Hope you enjoy, Melanie! As Pam said, we Seekers have a fantastic time putting the stories together!

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  10. Did someone mention COWBOY?! Count me in. Bonnie, thanks for the great review.

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    1. Ain't that the truth, Caryl? Looks like all four of these have some type of cowboy. I am so there! :)

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    2. Who doesn't love a cowboy story? Fun to read, fun to write!

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    3. Thanks, Caryl - so glad you enjoyed them, just a tiny sample of the enjoyment you'll receive from the beautiful stories in 'With This Spark'!! Yes, these are some pretty awesome cowboys in this collection.

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  11. I've enjoyed all four reviews. Thanks for featuring the boxed set!

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    1. Hey, Missy! Missy is a Seeker sister who's part of the Coffee Shop Romances Collection, the contemporary that came out at the same time as With this Spark. So, if you love contemporaries, and Seekers, check out the Coffee Shop Collection! :)

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    2. Yes, and I hope to start reading that collection soon! It's waiting in my Kindle!

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    3. Missy, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting - Noela and I, along with the rest of the OWG team, appreciate it!!

      As Pam commented, the Seeker authors also have a new contemporary collection of 4 novellas, 'Coffee Shop Romances'. $2.99 for a beautiful collection of 4 novellas written by 4 award-winning and best-selling authors: Missy Tippens, Tina Radcliffe, Debby Guisti, and Mary Connealy. You can find more info on all the Seeker authors and their books at seekerville.blogspot.com. More new novella collections will be released in Oct. - I love the Seeker authors, all truly amazing authors!!

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  12. I've read several of Mary Connealy's books - love them! (And had privilege of meeting her last week! She and her "cowboy" are such sweethearts!) Thank you, Bonnie, for providing this blog!

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  13. Great reviews.. I am wanting to read these :):
    dkstevensneAToutlookDo TCoM

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    1. Deanna, your enthusiasm makes me smile!!! :)

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  14. Pam Hillman's new book sounds fantastic (especially as it has horses in).
    The cover looks AMAZING!!
    Thank you for the giveaway,

    lientjiehuman(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au

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    1. Lientjie... another fan of horses and cowboys. We are SO simpatico. Isn't that the most amazing cover? We all love, love, love it. So glad you stopped by.

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    2. I loved Pam's story--so fun! I was wondering how she'd get that cowboy AND horses AND romance to a deserted island!

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    3. Myra, getting them there was the easy part. Getting them off took a little more thought! But I love how it turned out. Just love it. And I hope readers do, too. It's one of my favorite stories to date. :)

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  15. Wonderful review, Bonnie. I would love to win this giveaway!!

    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Betti, didn't Bonnie do a great job? She's got me hooked, that's for sure!

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    2. So grateful for Bonnie's review and for featuring our collection here!

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    3. And I'm grateful for your comments - Betti, Pam, and Myra!! Thank you so much.

      It's been so much fun having Pam, Myra, Ruthy and Mary on OWG this week - would love to do it again!! Cross your fingers for a win, Betti - however, those who don't win a copy will be blessed with a lot of beautiful reading for one very affordable purchase price.

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  16. Noela, Bonnie, Carrie, and Diana (and if I missed anybody, forgive me!), it has been a pleasure to visit with you and your amazing guests here on OWG earlier in the week and today. Y'all have taken such good care of Ruthy, Mary, Myra and me.

    Thank you for your generous hospitality and sharing your friendly guests with us. We are forever grateful!

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    1. You are more than welcome PAM, and thank you so much for all your comments to our wonderful guests, you've made everyone feel so welcome and blessed!! It's been an absolute pleasure to have you and your cohorts - Ruthy, Mary, and Myra with us this week!! Just by the way, I've just read another novella of yours from The 12 Brides of Summer, and LOVED it!! :) Hope to do the review today! God bless!

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    2. Well, that is just TOO fun! :) It's certainly been a busy year for me and all my imaginary friends. lol

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    3. Seconding Pam's remarks! You have a great blog here, ladies, and a really fun place to visit! Thanks again for sharing these reviews!

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    4. Pam, it's been such a pleasure, and so much fun - to have you, Myra, Ruthy, and Mary visit with us this week!! Each of you has been such a blessing to our guests and each of us at OWG - with your generous sharing of your time and your books, my thanks to each of you for your beautiful comments.

      Noella, "great minds think alike", lol!! I read Pam's novella from 'The 12 Brides of Summer' collection - this week and loved it, also. Yes, this has truly been a busy writing year for her, and we will be blessed with several more wonderful releases from her before year end.

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  17. Bonnie, what a great review. Sure makes ME want to read these novellas! I absolutely love the book covers and would love to win a copy of these. I've been a bookworm since I was a child. Nothing like losing yourself in a great story!

    glendadavis828@charter.net

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    1. Glenda, so glad to see you here! I just popped in one more time before heading out for the night.

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    2. I agree, Glenda! I can't resist a good story. And we had fun giving input on a "sparkling" cover design!

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    3. Hi, Glenda - thanks for your beautiful comments!! That cover on the 'With This Spark' collection IS gorgeous, isn't it?? I'm so glad my reviews have enticed you to read these beautiful stories, my only reason for writing them is to make readers more aware of the many wonderful authors and books available in Christian Fiction. Novella collections are a wonderful way to introduce readers to more than one author and story at a time - at an affordable price. Good luck!!

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  18. I love the settings... an island and the Depression era, sounds like a great collection!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. lol, Merry. Texas and the Caribbean, 1876 to the Depression. We definitely broadened our horizons, didn't we? :)

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    2. Amazing what four different authors will come up with for story ideas on similar themes, isn't it? We sure had a blast!

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  19. This sounds like a great collection of stories. I always like reading Mary's books but I'm not as familiar with the other authors.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. And, now we get the chance to broaden PAM's horizons! lol

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    2. YES! Pam K, we hope you'll enjoy this collection so much that you'll check out some of our other novels!

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    3. Mary is a gifted author, Pam K. - and so are each of the other authors of this collection!! I hope you're one of the blessed commentators who wins a copy, but if not - it's a very affordable purchase. Enjoy each of the 4 novellas. Thanks for your comments.

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  20. I THOUGHT I had commented on here but I must be thinking of some other post...lol!! Hard to keep all my blogs I follow straight :-) "With this Spark" sounds like a great 4 novella set that I would enjoy reading. I do love sets like these because it introduces you to some new authors or makes you fall in love more with the authors you already know! Thanks for the chance to win this one!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Trixi, isn't it fun to find new authors? All the "With this Spark" authors hope you fall in love with our novella collection. Blessings! :)

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    2. Trixi, that makes perfect sense. Novella collections can be a great way to get introduced to new authors without investing a lot of time in a single story. We hope you'll come back for more from each of us!

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    1. We hope you'll check out the collection, Mary! Thanks for stopping in!

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    2. Hello, Mary! So good to see you here. Have you read any of the authors in this collection? Mary Conneally, Ruth Logan Herne, Myra Johnson, or me (Pam)? If not, there's a wide range of styles here, from romantic comedy with cowboys to a bit more serious and angst-filled stuff. Not that Mary's books aren't angst-filled--she does shoot people in her books!-- but somehow she brings it all back to a comedy of errors. :)

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  22. Thank you for the interview and giveaway. The

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    1. Ann, we hope you'll enjoy our stories! Good look in the giveaway!

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  23. Nice reviews. I have read some of Mary's books but now need to add the other 3 ladies to my to read list.

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    1. We hope you will, Kim! I may be a teensy bit biased, but I think ALL the Seekers are excellent writers!

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    2. Awesome, Kim! We love readers and are more than happy to call you one of "ours"! :)

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    3. Thank you, Kim!!

      I so agree with Myra - each of the Seekers is a masterful writer, I feel sure you will enjoy the writing from each one!!

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  24. I love historical stories. Thank you for a wonderful chance.
    Myrtle1961@gmail.com

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    1. Myrtle, there's just something about a good historical, isn't there? I love it when somebody like Myra writes about the depression era. That's not my niche, so I enjoy learning more about the time period, the descriptions of the clothes, what the characters say. I can just SEE her characters.

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    2. I love historical romances, too, Myrtle, as do most of the reviewers on the OWG blog! We have a lot of reviews of historical romance! Thanks for coming by!

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    3. Myrtle, I love historical novels because I can be entertained while also learning a little about another era. Even more so when I'm the one doing the research to write the story--LOL! And it's a lot more fun than high school history class ever was!

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  25. Bonnie! You did such a great job with these reviews, and your love and respect for fellow authors is just plain wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    I love you guys.

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    1. Thank you, Ruthy - I appreciate your comments so very much!! Christian Fiction is such a blessing and inspiration to me, it truly was a God moment when I received that "nudge" to encourage, pray for, and promote Christian Fiction authors and their books abut 3 years ago. We love you here at OWG, also - you are always such a "ray of sunshine" and an inspiration!!

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    2. Bonnie, that is about the sweetest thing I've heard. No reflection on our friend Ruthy :), but YOU are a "ray of sunshine" to US!

      Okay, {{{{{GROUP HUG}}}}}!!!!!! :)

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    3. I'm blushing now, Pam - thank you for your sweet comments!! I never get weary of promoting Christian Fiction and it's many wonderful authors - it can inspire, entertain, educate, open the readers eyes to understand, heed, and reach out to the needs of others, and pave the way to a closer relationship with God. I'm thrilled to have even a tiny part in making readers aware of the blessings obtained from reading Christian Fiction and the work involved in it's writing. I firmly believe that to each Christian Fiction author following His plan - God gives specific words in each book the author writes, to reach specific people.

      I've met numerous loving, caring, giving, humble Christian Fiction authors in the last few years and look forward to meeting many more. Yes, one of the things at the top of my list is group hugs with more of the Seeker authors.

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    4. Group hugs--YAY!!! Thanks again so much for being such a strong advocate of Christian fiction, Bonnie!

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    5. My pleasure, Myra - I'm the one receiving the blessing, truly!!

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  26. BONNIE!!! I already couldn't wait to be able to dive into With This Spark, but now I'm in pain after reading your wonderful reviews because I'm DYING to jump in, which I can't do till I finish a couple of book obligations.

    Pammy, I have to say that your plot is one of the MOST unique plots I've seen, so I am realllly anxious to read it. And, Myra, you already know how much I love writing/reading about the Depression era, because it's so fascinating to see how it affected people's lives unlike any other era, except for war eras, of course.

    Great reviews, Bonnie, as always!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. You always bless me with your comments, Julie - thank you!! I'm thrilled to "see" you, and so appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by and leave a comment. Each of the Seeker collections has been wonderful, and yes, I think you will be mesmerized with the uniqueness of "Castaway With The Cowboy" - as I was - and enjoy the eye-opening info in Myra's novella, as well. I can't wait for the next novella collection release and a new novella from you, including some of my fave literary characters. Love you, my sweet friend, and love your writing!!

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    2. Yep, it is a bit unique. Got a few unexpected twists and turns. I consulted Captain Jack since he's an expert on the Caribbean. :)

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  27. These books sound wonderful. So want to read them.
    Cheryl Baranski

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    1. Hi, Cheryl!! As the saying goes, "there's not a bad one in the bunch", lol. I think you will love them, hope you're a winner - but if not, please purchase the collection. I don't know of a better entertainment bargain anywhere. Thanks for your comments!!

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    2. Cheryl, thanks for visiting! We hope you'll get a chance to read our novellas very soon!

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  28. Bonnie, I really enjoyed your review. The book cover is beautiful.
    I love reading Christian Historical stories and this collection sounds wonderful.
    Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comments, Tina, and thanks for sharing my posts so often!! I so appreciate it.

      Yes, that cover on "With This Spark" is beautiful, isn't it (as are the novellas inside)?? I love beautiful covers!!
      Good luck, and blessings to you - as well!!

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    2. Tina, it was really fun searching out "spark-y" images for our cover, something just right for a summer collection. We hope you enjoy the stories!

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  29. Wow ! good review. I can't wait to read this collection. All the stories look wonderful.
    Thank you for the giveaway
    mcnuttjem0(AT)gmail(dot)com

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Jackie - I appreciate your comments. Thank you!! Enjoy the "With This Spark" collection, whether you purchase, or win, it. 4 beautiful stories by 4 best-selling and award-winning authors, at a very affordable price.

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    2. Jackie, glad you could stop in! Good look in the drawing, and we hope you'll check out other books we've written!

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    3. Chiming in to say hello to Jackie. Hoping we've lit a spark of interest in you, girl! :)

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