05 November 2015

Diana's Review Of THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE By Carrie Fancett Pagels


The Substitute Bride by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Substitute Bride By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Hearts Overcoming Press, October 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~

                                                          O' Little Town of Christmas

In The Substitute Bride, author Carrie Fancett Pagels has written an enchanting holiday story guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart in spite of the flurry of sparkling, crystalline snowflakes dusting the town of Shepherd, Michigan.

Sonja Hoeke is the substitute mail carrier for her injured father who continuously threatens to kick her out of his home—demanding she find a husband by Christmas. Sonja nervously opens a letter penned to her deceased friend, Cora, from a Mr. Penwell in South Dakota. Not knowing Cora has passed away, Louis Penwell extends a proposal to her—desperately needing a wife for his railroad promotion. Sonja impulsively responds to the letter offering to become a substitute bride, which Louis does not receive because he is en route to his new position in Michigan. Shepherd is the one place Louis had wished never to return, as his past there is filled with haunting memories. But will a strange woman's notes of Christmas past, present, and future...and meeting the lovely Sonja bring healing to his troubled soul?

As always, Carrie Fancett Pagels pens another delightful, heartwarming story of faith, hope, and healing—intertwining A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life!
With a compassionate hero and heroine—and endearing secondary characters who will cause your heart to melt despite the scenic white carpet of snow and frosted evergreen trees—the magical sights and scents of Christmas come alive in The Substitute Bride! Shepherd is a real town in Michigan where its townsfolk keep their history alive to this day, and Carrie Fancett Pagels gives us a sweet taste of what it may have been like...in Christmas past.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

This novella may be purchased through Amazon.

GIVEAWAY: A copy of The Substitute Bride to one blessed commenter (choice of ebook or paperback.) To be eligible for the drawing please leave your email address using (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.

72 comments:

  1. DIANA, thank you for the lovely review of The Substitute Bride. I enjoyed this wonderful story. CARRIE has written another winner. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed she has, CARYL!! Thank you for your kind words and support!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for being such a great supported, Caryl! Glad to have you in my corner! God has helped me and I pray He will continue to do so!

      Delete
  2. Ohh Diana, what a gorgeous review of this beautiful story of Carrie's!! Enchanting it must be, because I've used that same word in my review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, NOELA! Out of the mouth of two witnesses...so enchanting it is! :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Noela! God helped me or there would be no story, that is for sure! I give Him the praise on this! Hugs!

      Delete
  3. It sounds wonderful! cbalmony(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to see you, CONNIE! Precious Christmas story by Carrie!

      Delete
    2. God was wonderful to bless me and help me, Connie! I am so glad I have Him to rely on!

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a wonderful story. Love the review. Thank you for sharing.
    eppersonkatrina(at)yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, KATRINA! I hope you get a chance to read The Substitute Bride over the holidays. It goes wonderfully with a cuppa hot chocolate. :)

      Delete
    2. Katrina, Sometimes I am surprised when I really enjoy the stories God has bless me with, but I guess I shouldn't be, because when He is in it, then I will be blessed and I pray my readers will be, too!

      Delete
  5. I am very interested in seeing how they get together since he doesn't get her letter. It sounds like a really sweet story. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JAN, it really is! I know you'll really enjoy it!

      Delete
    2. That was really tricky, Jan. The original story was so different! My friend, writer Kimberly Dawn Taylor helped brainstorm but then I found some stuff in researching that totally changed the tone of the story, which had been very light hearted and fluffy. But I am very happy with the final result and grateful for the two emergency critique partners God sent my way - Niki Taylor and Patty Smith Hall!

      Delete
  6. Diana, what a WONDERFUL review!!! It's A Wonderful Life when you have friends like you!!! Thanks so much for the great and insightful review! And I did NOT PEEK!!! Really, I am so proud of myself! XOXOXO Angel Girl!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So proud of you, too, CARRIE! Did not want you peeking while I was tweaking! haha I had so much fun reading this novella and writing the review. Thank YOU for writing the story! <3 you back, Angel Mama!

      Delete
  7. Oh this sounds so good!! I can't wait to read it for myself!!

    alander87 at allcom dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abby! My wonderful editor lives only two blocks away from me now, can you believe that? God put us in the same neighborhood! Blessings!

      Delete
    2. Get your hot cocoa or egg nog ready, ABBY! You will enjoy this heartwarming Christmas tale!

      Delete
  8. Great review! I'd love to read this book! Carrie writes lovely books. Nancycooks4u (at)gmail ( dot ) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed she does, NANCY! Thank you and good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much Nancy! And Diana writes such lovely reviews!

      Delete
  9. What a lovely review! Sounds like a heart-warming story just in time for the Holidays. Gorgeous cover I must say.

    Lonewolfgirl7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOH, don't you just love snow globes, HALITA? I also love your name -- Halita is so pretty! Thank you for your kind words and hope you get the chance to read this - just in time for the holidays!

      Delete
    2. I love It's A Wonderful Life and Dickens' A Christmas Carol, both with heart-warming endings! Thanking God for this story!

      Delete
  10. I love the scene in the snow globes, it looks like I can pick it up and turn it upside down to start the snow. It sounds like a great book to start the Christmas season.
    karenskrayons(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, KAREN! I love snow globes and am thinking of collecting them. I only have 3 so far, but the problem is where I would put them! I have so many angels that have been gifted to me by friends that I love to display. I hope you get a copy ASAP!

      Delete
    2. The entire collection has snow globes on the covers! They weren't invented until after the time frame of my story but sure are pretty!

      Delete
  11. I do enjoy Carrie's books so I'm looking forward to reading this and such a pretty cover! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, WENDY! I love this cover, too! So perfectly Christmas and a nice switch from the traditional green and red. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for coming by Wendy! Best wishes!

      Delete
  12. Such a pretty cover & a wonderful review thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the cover and the lovely words inside, too, MARY! Thank you and God bless!

      Delete
  13. I love Christmas stories and this sounds like a great one. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, SUSAN! I love Christmas stories, too -- they always seem to have happy, magical endings!

      Delete
  14. A wonderful story it is! Just in time for Christmas. Love the cover the beautiful words Carrie wrote. I already have an e-copy, so no need to enter me into the contest. Just wanted to say it's a great story. Thank you for a lovely review. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your support of Carrie's book, JUST COMMONLY! And for your kind words! :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much! I am so glad you enjoyed my new novella!

      Delete
  15. Your review was wonderful. It really brought the book to life and I would love to win a copy so I can read it. spotts06 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, STELLA! I would love for you to get the chance to read The Substitute Bride!

      Delete
    2. Hi Stella, I met Diana through her wonderful reviewing and I am so thrilled when she enjoys my writing! God was so good bringing us together.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for believing in me, Carrie! God was good and when we met in person it was like we had always known one another, Stella!

      Delete
  16. Great review! Carrie, I'm looking forward to reading this!! I wanted to let you know I'm headed to St. Ignace and across the bridge next week and will be thinking about your books as I travel through that area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I forgot my address leanderson1954(at)yahoo(dot)com

      Delete
    2. Oh that is wonderful Linda! Try to imagine yourself back a hundred years ago! With all that forest up there it isn't too hard! Eat a pasty for me!

      Delete
    3. How cool is that?! Have a wonderful time and stay safe, LINDA!

      Delete
  17. A beautiful review, Diana - thank you!! 'The Substitute Bride' plot sounds like a wonderful emotional story, with some dysfunction and healing involved - my kind of story. A Christmas setting makes it even better - an 'enchanting' reading treat. Can't wait to read it, Carrie!! Congrats and hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, BONNIE! Yes, an emotive story with charming characters who have to work it all out with God's help! Thank you, Bonnie!

      Delete
    2. This is so fun to see so many of our readers commenting and our wonderful bloggers, too! Thanks, Bonnie! I appreciate it!

      Delete
  18. Diana, my friend, thank you for another enchanting review! This new one from Carrie sounds heart-warming. Carrie's Christmas story about Sonja and her delightful offer to become a substitute bride should be such a fun adventure. I am a huge fan of Carrie's and look forward to getting her new book for my Kindle Christmas collection! Joyce - Heart"wings" joyce1510(dot)jrg(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, JOYCE! I'm getting my Christmas collection together as well, which should now last through Jan and Feb. LOL! Thank you for your kind words.

      Delete
    2. Aw, Joyce, thanks so very much!!! I am so glad to hear you are a "huge fan" of mine, that warms my heart, because God keeps putting these books on my heart and I want to please Him! So it encourages me! Hugs!

      Delete
  19. Diana, thank you so much for your wonderful review!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are quite welcome, MELANIE! Good luck to you, my friend!

      Delete
  20. Thanks for your review! The Substitute Bride does sound intriguing. I love Christmas romances...and that you mention Carrie includes all the right details to experience the setting, this would be a fun story to read with a cup of cocoa as I enjoy the pre-Christmas festivities. Beautiful cover! sheridastewart AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotta have the hot cocoa or egg nog for sure, SHERIDA! You're welcome and I hope you get to read this one ASAP to help get you in the Christmas spirit -- Christmas future! *wink*

      Delete
    2. Sherida, I think hot apple cider, too, would be good with this story! This story was hard and then God just came right alongside me and smoothed the way. He is so good like that!!!

      Delete
  21. Got my copy today :) I really enjoyed this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, DEANNA! Carrie packs alot of story into a novella, doesn't she? Thank you for coming by and sharing with us!

      Delete
    2. Dee, so good to have you on the team and thanks for all your help! Many blessings to you!

      Delete
  22. Awesome review, the book looks and sounds interesting I would love the chance to read it!!! If I was to win I would choose the paperback!!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!
    sarahrichmond(dot)12(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best wishes to you, Sarah! I would love for you to win a copy!

      Delete
    2. Thank you!!! :) I think all your books look great!!!

      Delete
    3. Hi, SARAH! Thank you for commenting and hoping random number loves you as much as I do! lol

      Delete
  23. Wonderful review Diana!!!! I have not read any of her books, but she looks like a great author!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot my email simpleharvestreads(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
    2. She is terrific, SANDY, and really does her research. I have learned a lot about the early Michiganers. Is that the right word? lol Good luck, SANDY!

      Delete
  24. Congrats to Nancy M. who won a copy of The Substitute Bride per random number.org. Thanks to all of you for coming by!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a joyful story! I look forward to reading it!! Thank you for the review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, KVWRITER! Be sure to come back -- we have a lot more giveaways and joyful stories! :)

      Delete

Google Analytics