31 December 2015

Noela's List of 2015 Favorite's!

2015 Favorite Books

Here are a few of my Favorite Books of 2015 in no particular order!
Those particular authors featured here who released more than one full-length book this year, I had to limit it to one though I loved ALL your books!

If you would like to purchase any of these amazing reads, please click on the titles!

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NOVELS

The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall
The Reckoning is a thrilling high seas adventure that ships the reader back in time to experience swashbuckling pirates in the Caribbean with all of its treachery and peril, a beguiling romance, and a faith that transcends time! Exhilarating, unpredictable, and brilliantly written!

Nila's Hope by Kathleen Friesen
In Nila's Hope, Nila emerges from a past of suffocating control and torment, but as she begins to breath again, she discovers her dangerous ex-boyfriend has acquired an early prison release. Can Nila ever hope for a life free to love, laugh, and live without fear? Kathleen Friesen has crafted a powerful and thrilling story that shimmers with love, forgiveness, and hope!

The Lost Heiress
In The Lost Heiress, Roseanna White delivers an exquisite tale of a spirited young woman who learns she is a long-lost Baroness from England. However, mysteries and deception surround the woman creating a story rife with suspense, danger, and intrigue. Along with an enchanting albeit heart-wrenching love story, this Edwardian-period tale enthralls from the beginning to the satisfying end!

Flee From Evil
‘Flee from Evil’ is a story of second beginnings from shameful pasts that pulsates with breath-taking suspense and heart-wrenching experiences. In other words, it’s a read that’ll knock your socks off! Can the woman who was once almost destroyed by the man who is now her pastor, trust him to use his underworld connections to help save her child? This is a gripping story of heartbreak, hope, and forgiveness.  

In Good Company
An unconventional nanny in need of a job after losing yet another position; a man of society needing a nanny for his three unruly wards. Can these factors meld together cohesively? Not really, but that's half the fun! If you enjoy clever humor and slapstick comedy along with mystery, romance, and an inspiring faith message, you're 'In Good Company' with Jen Turano's entertaining novel!

The Golden Braid
'The Golden Braid' delivers a sublimely executed retelling of the classic tale Rapunzel ~ flourishing with chivalrous and daring deeds, burgeoning faith, and a beautifully enchanting though conflicted romance. Taking place during the 15th century, we visit imposing castles and encounter heroic knights. This is an exquisite happy-ever-after novel!

Anna's Crossing
In their quest for freedom from oppression, a close-knit Amish community in 1737 sets sail from Germany to the New World in the wretched bowels of a ship. Journey along with Anna who serves as the groups interpreter as they experience terrible hardship and danger. Anna, an inspiring woman of courage and determination has a thing or two to teach the stalwart ship's carpenter. Memorable!!

Isle of Hope
Punchy, passionate, and powerful!! That’s the sort of writing Julie Lessman delivers. From characters with raw, penetrating emotions that tied me up in knots and tears, to the most compelling, God-given story-thread I’ve ever read on forgiveness. This is a novel that has the potential to change your life. Moreover, expect exquisite descriptive writing, two romances that squeeze your heart, and Julie’s trademark surprises! 

Undercover Bride
Pinkerton detective Maggie Cartwright has been assigned the daunting task of going undercover as a mail-order bride to the the man suspected of being the Whistle-Stop Bandit. Her mission is to dazzle this alleged thief and murderer while searching for evidence to be used against him. But Maggie has barely arrived in Arizona Territory when the wedding is moved up, so she is desperate to discover incriminating evidence before she finds herself married to a criminal! This is a baffling mystery incorporating phenomenal characters and a thoroughly entertaining story!

So True A Love
Doctor Nathaniel Smith is passionate and fiercely loyal in his stance as a patriot, working as a committee chairman for the cause. Nathaniel is torn when realizing he has deep affections for a Kitty, a Tory! Unable to reconcile the differences, he must fight against his disloyal heart. Seeing Kitty tortured through her secrets however, batters his feelings and tears at his resolve. Will Nathaniel and Kitty ever get beyond their barriers to find liberty in life and in love? Or will they be robbed of everything as the danger mounts and secrets are revealed? You'll be swept up in this tale!

Faking Grace
'Faking Grace' is an entertaining, heart-warming, and emotive tale, showcasing a young woman’s jarring journey into what being a real Christian is all about as she attempts to fake her way through. A master wordsmith—Tamara's skill at penning stories rife with wit and vibrant dialogue, is rarely unparalleled and always a pleasure to read! 


The Mistress of Tall Acre
In 'The Mistress of Tall Acre', General Ogilvy emerges from the horrific Revolutionary War with his family torn apart. Picking up the pieces, he forms a bond with Sophie his neighbor as she befriends his young daughter. As he and Sophie draw closer, a ghost from the past appears—promising more turmoil and pain than the war imparted upon him. Shrouded in intrigue, deception, and danger, this exquisite story is also adorned with a romance that touches your soul and spirit. 


SHORT NOVEL

Lilacs for Juliana

Set in 1891, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where enormous pines and scented lilacs dominate, 'Lilacs for Juliana' sees new boss Richard (Moose) Christy readying his first lumber camp. This gigantic lumberjack fell for the petite librarian Juliana much like the toppling of a towering pine, but with several obstacles between them, can Moose and Juliana cross the bridge to a happy ever after? This is a wonderfully enchanting, page-turning story! 


NOVELLA’S

With This Kiss
'With This Kiss' is an outstanding, original, and superbly-written collection of novellas from five of the finest Historical Romance authors! Giving you hours of unsurpassed reading pleasure, these novellas will easily generate luminous grins, hammering hearts, cascading tears, and spiritual uplifting! For such a low price, this enrapturing collection is amazing value!

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

Manila Marriage App
A missionary man in Manila who advertises for a bride. A young woman who sees this modern day mail-order bride experience only as an opportunity for a much-needed free holiday. What can go wrong? Or perhaps, right? The story… fun, witty, and completely engaging. The romance… sweet, delightful, and inspiring! You’ll love this! 

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GIVEAWAY:  One blessed commenter will win their choice of an E-book copy of one of the amazing books I have mentioned above! 

To be eligible for the drawing please leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers. 

29 December 2015

Diana's List Of 2015 Favorites!


Here are a few of my favorite book picks of 2015 in no particular order. *For those of my fave authors who wrote more than one full length book this year I had to limit it to one, but rest assured I loved them all!*

If you would like to purchase any of these awesome reads please click on to title!

The Matchmaker By Sarah Price, Feb. 2015
 Readers everywhere will love this unique blend of the Amish and Jane Austen's classic tale, Emmathe story of an opinionated young lady who must learn the hard way that best laid plans may sometimes go awry. 

 The Rising Darkness By Nancy Mehl, Oct. 2015
 Once again, author Nancy Mehl has crafted a suspenseful page-turner set against the peaceful backdrop of the quaint, small town of Sanctuary—a predominantly Mennonite community with only two churches, two charming cafes, cozy homes, and is as safe as its name suggests—or is it?

 Anna's Crossing By Suzanne Woods Fisher, Feb. 2015
Suzanne Woods Fisher has penned a powerfully moving, emotive talethat takes the reader from the peaceful, sheep grazing hills and valleys of Germany, to a dank, foul-smelling merchant ship traversing the Atlantic Ocean. Highly recommended!

 The Wood's Edge By Lori Benton, Apr. 2015
 In The Wood's Edge, author Lori Benton has penned a mesmerizing, emotionally charged colonial era novel of forbidden love and dark, long buried secrets that transpire between two diverse families of the Oneida tribe and British colonists—and of the beautiful, young white woman who finds herself caught between both worlds.

Mist Of Midnight By Sandra Byrd, Mar. 2015
In Mist of Midnight, author Sandra Byrd has written a haunting Gothic romance set in Victorian England—of a mansion mysteriously shrouded by shadowy mists, and secrets as entangled as the overgrown vines surrounding it.

 The Reckoning By MaryLu Tyndall, June 2015
With pen in hand, er quill rather, Marylu Tyndall has written a story of a love that transcends timeas a disheartened young woman from the 21st century suddenly finds herself on a mesmerizing shipboard journey through frothy, turquoise waters surrounded by a band of pillaging, filthy, swashbuckling pirates...300 years in the past!

 Irish Meadows By Susan Ann Mason, June 2015
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. 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!

Justified By Varina Denman, June 2015
From the gossipy small town of Trapp, Texas to the beauty of the Caprock Escarpment with its rolling plains hundreds of feet below, comes an enthralling story of a spoiled-little-rich-girl who has grown into a lovely, rebellious young woman in need—unwed and pregnant.

The Mistress Of Tall Acre By Laura Frantz, Sept. 2015

In The Mistress of Tall Acre, author Laura Frantz pens a sweeping epic tale set after the American Revolution–poignant and evocative–beset with betrayal and secrets as twisted as the fragrant wisteria and lovely roses twined about the gardens of Tall Acre.

After The Rain By Rita Gerlach, June 2015
 In After the Rain, author Rita Gerlach pens an unforgettable Edwardian era novel that sweeps the reader from the opulent busyness of Chevy Chase, Maryland—where past and future intertwine with the invention of motorcars and telephones—to the vast, quiet beauty of the small hamlet of Chestnut Creek, Virginia, where one can hear the whispers of the winds through the pines and the water tumbling over the rocks in the creek.

Isle Of Hope By Julie Lessman, Nov. 2015
 Isle of Hope is a masterpiece of a novel filled with hope and inspiration—raw, real life situations and characters, and of course, Julie's trademark twists and turns! Be sure to grab your copy today!

Lilacs For Juliana By Carrie Fancett Pagels, Aug. 2015 (short novel)
 The aroma of fresh cut pines, flapjacks, and lilacs permeate the readers' senses in this heartwarming tale of a young woman's sacrifices, hopes, and dreams—and an unpretentious hero who sets those dreams in motion! Be sure to grab your copy today!

The Painter's Daughter By Julie Klassen, Dec. 2015
In The Painter's Daughter, author Julie Klassen pens a Regency era novel permeated with an aura of mystery—sweeping the reader from the thatched cottages, cries of the seagulls, and dangerous slopes of the Devonshire coast—to the opulent beauty of Overtree Hall with its hidden rooms, secrets, and strange noises.

Carry Me Home By Dorothy Adamek
 In her debut novel Carry Me Home, Dorothy Adamek pens a poignant, heartrending novel of a young woman's quest for love—a journey that transports her to a land both fearsome and beauteous...Australia.

To Capture Her Heart By Rebecca DeMarino 
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!


 ~*NOVELLAS*~

The Substitute Bride By Carrie Fancett Pagels, Oct. 2015
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. A must read this Christmas season!

Grace Like Rain By Julie Lessman, Apr. 2015
Full of charm, wit, twists and turns, and of course, the sizzling romance that author Julie Lessman is so well known for, this is an absolute must read! Fans will love the opportunity to bid one last adieu to the McClare family whom we have all grown to know and love! 

One Enchanted Christmas By Melissa Tagg
A novella chock-full of the delight and enchantment of a small town Christmas—with the scent of evergreen wafting through the frosty air and a blanket of snow powdering the landscape—what a scenic setting for romance!




GIVEAWAY: One blessed commenter will win their choice of a paperback copy of one of the amazing books I have mentioned above! **International entrants e-book format only.** To be eligible for the drawing please leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers. 

27 December 2015

Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden - Audiobook Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden
Stellar Listen!

Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Sophie van Riijn is an unpaid volunteer, contributing data to the new national Weather Bureau. The problem is she's utilizing private property on a high area in her town by the Hudson River. And that is not okay! Especially when the owners return.  Also, she's been baking goodies which are sold to tourists who come to visit gorgeous Dierenpark (whose owners have been absent for decades), on the hilltop by the river/

Architect Quentin Vandermark believes he's destined to die soon from a recurring bone infection in her leg. He wants his anxious son to be protected and surrounds him with body guards. He's returned with his grandfather to Dierenpark destroy the fabulous property, which Mr. Vandermark believes is cursed.

Sophie's beautiful spirit and hope in Christ draw atheist Quentin toward the Lord. But of course, he will have to make his own choice for Christ.  Although initially at odds with one another, Sophie reaches Quentin and helps him see he may have a future.  When devastating secrets are revealed, will Sophie see Dierenpark destroyed, her haven, her place of beauty? 

This was an excellent listen and I highly recommend this book, which will be on my Best of 2015 Audiobooks! Elizabeth Camden's talent shines throughout this novel.


Author Bio

Elizabeth Camden is the author of seven books and a RITA and Christy Award winner. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website at www.elizabethcamden.com.

25 December 2015

Dealing with Loss During the Holidays by Teresa S. Mathews

Carlton posing with his "wise man" crown!
He loved having fun at Christmas.
Yes, it was made from a pie pan and yes,
he was very proud of it!! lol
As most of you know I lost the love of my life, my husband Carlton, on May 7th and as expected I have been dealing with overwhelming grief. There are days that I make it through without crying, then again there are days when all I do is cry. When you love someone and have been married to them for 28 years the loss is unbearable.

I have found out that the holidays are especially difficult. The first Mother’s Day we were at the funeral home for the wake; that was very tough for my sweet mother-in-law. Father’s Day was rough for the boys and Thanksgiving was extremely difficult because sweet Carlton loved eating lunch with his family and he was very thankful for turkey! J

Christmas was our very favorite holiday, as worship leaders we loved singing the beautiful Christmas carols. Every year at some point we would sing O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem and a newer one that he loved was I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is and we can’t forget Joy to the World. There is absolutely no better feeling in the world than losing yourself in the wonder of Christmas; the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!  Until you lose the love of your life; I have found everything has lost its appeal. I haven’t lost my love for Jesus, but the joyful celebration I once felt is just not there this year.

I know there are different ways to deal with the at times almost suffocating and over powering grief that sweeps across me, my favorite way is to just crawl up in my Father God’s lap and let Him hold me and soothe my pain.  Reading His Word and praying is a wonderful way to find the solace you need. I am going to share a few scriptures that the Lord brought to me, usually late into the night, when my sons are sleep and the house is way too quiet. I have been a Christian since I was five years old and at the age of ten I started reading the Bible through from cover to cover, and I am still amazed that no matter how many times you read it certain scriptures don’t register with you until the exact moment you need them. GOD is great like that!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. This is the one that He brought to mind when I was on the way to the hospital during the time Mom’s hip was broken in the nursing home. I was crying and telling Him I felt that I couldn’t take anymore, then this precious scripture came to mind. 

Joel 2:25-29 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. I came across this scripture on March 22; this wasn’t long before Carlton began to get worse. This proves that GOD is always looking out for us, sometimes we are forewarned when trouble is coming, but most times, GOD wants us to live in the confidence He provides His children: unwavering faith!

Jeremiah 31:25-26 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. 26 Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.  This was another of those restless night’s scriptures. I know when you are going through hard places there are times when you can’t rest or sleep but GOD has promised us it will come! Another scripture about this is Proverbs 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
There are so many more scriptures I could share that have been my saving grace during this time, but this one has been the most special to me; 
Isaiah 54:4-7 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. The day I found this scripture I felt like I was drowning and this was like a lifesaver being tossed to me. I won’t go into details but it was a particularly trying day and the Lord knew I needed to be reminded of His great love for me. 
When I married Carlton I had only worked a few years, and when the boys came along He wanted me to stay at home with them and we stepped out in faith believing GOD would supply our needs, (and of course HE DID).  So I basically went from my daddy’s provision to Carlton’s and when Carlton left for Heaven it was very scary for me, a woman with no college degree, to think about providing for myself and my sons. I do pride myself on the fact of being a quick study, so, when the Lord reminded me of this scripture I immediately realized the error of my thoughts. Just as HE the put the words, GOD’S GOT THIS, in my spirit the day Carlton was diagnosed with cancer for the second time; they are even more true to me now that HE is proving to me daily that HE does in fact have everything that I need, precisely at the moment I need it! GOD IS SO GOOD!!

Below you will find a poem I wrote a few days ago, I don’t mind you sharing it but please leave my name on it, as it was written especially with my dear, sweet Carlton in mind. 

CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN

Christmas was our favorite time of year,
The joy, the laughter, the spreading of cheer.

Loving the story how Jesus came down;
Singing the carols, oh, what a beautiful sound.

We loved the presents, receiving and giving.
The happiness of the season made life worth the living.

We thought we would celebrate this year just the same;
Until the day you heard Jesus calling your name.

This year Christmas for us will be lonely and blue; 
but I'm glad that's not the way things are for you.

I know that you are happy in Heaven above;
the beautiful place that is filled with GOD's love.

What joy you must feel to look on Jesus face,
and to say thank you for His saving grace.

Your first Christmas in Heaven must be glorious and grand,
and I can't wait for the day I join you in that land.


© Teresa S Mathews 2015


Yep, these were just a tad long for him! 
He was happy with every present but he did love chocolate!
Christmas 2014

Christmas 2011
Big, Squishy Hug Christmas 2010
Christmas 2012


Christmas 2013
Our last Christmas together 2014





Merry Christmas From the OWG Crew;

Carrie, Diana, Noela, Bonnie and Teresa!!




24 December 2015

Happy Birthday, Bonnie! One Year Anniversary!

Bonnie Roof in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Happy birthday and happy one year anniversary with us on Overcoming with God blog, Bonnie!!!

Bonnie is a Christmas baby. She's been one of our blog followers for a long time, and an active participant, and a year ago she began giving us posts to put up on OWG!  Thank you, Bonnie!

GIVEAWAY: Surprise box of Christian books to one of our readers!  Leave a comment for Bonnie wishing her a happy birthday! 

22 December 2015

Diana Reviews One Enchanted Christmas ~*~a novella~*~ By Melissa Tagg

One Enchanted Christmas By Melissa Tagg, Dec. 2015

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

                Simply Magical!

Melissa Tagg has penned a delightful, heartwarming small town romance simply brimming with Christmas galore—from the tinseled decorated lampposts and glistening snow atop craggy branches—to the twinkling lights wrapped around every tree trunk in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Mystery author, Maren Grant, has the most enchanting evening of her life when she goes on a date with Colin Renwycke, the dreamy model on the cover of her new book. An evening of dinner, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage on a lovely, crisp winter's night, and an open invitation to visit his family's farm in Maple Valley leaves her senses reeling. One year later—suffering from a bad case of writer's block and an inability to forget Colin—Maren impulsively decides to take him up on his offer. Once there she meets Colin's brother, Drew Renwycke, who has decided to renovate the family farm he inherited in the hopes of drawing his estranged family back together. What ensues is a magical holiday romance far exceeding Maren's wildest hopes and dreams. But which brother will win her heart at the Christmas Carnival?...for appearances can be deceiving and first impressions are not always lasting ones.



Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of novellas with the exception of a few authors' I have enjoyed reading. However, I do appreciate them during the busyness of the holiday season when it's difficult to read a full length book...especially Christmas novellas! And Melissa Tagg's is chock-full of the delight and enchantment of a small town Christmas—with the scent of evergreen wafting through the frosty air and a blanket of snow powdering the landscape—what a scenic setting for romance! Ms. Tagg is a wonderfully talented author who incorporates humor with serious issues as well, and she certainly packed a lot of story into a novella. And talk about the power of suggestion! I actually read this book with a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and it was 70 degrees outside! lol So take an evening off from all the Christmas rush, and with your feet propped up and a cup of hot cocoa in hand...enjoy the dazzling One Enchanted Christmas tonight!


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This novella may be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

GIVEAWAY: I would love to give away an ebook copy of One Enchanted Christmas to TWO of our OWG viewers for a Christmas gift! :) To be eligible, please leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

19 December 2015

Happy Birthday Diana!!!





Wishing our beautiful blonde Angel Girl Senior Reviewer, Diana Flowers, a blessed year ahead and a wonderful birthday!!!


Giveaway: A copy of any book that Diana has reviewed this past year goes to someone who has wished her a wonderful birthday on this post! So be sure to do so, below!!!

 

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