04 August 2016

Bonnie reviews The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart
by Joanne Bischof
Mason Jar Books (July 26, 2016)

Reviewed by Bonnie Roof
5 Stars *****


"Permanent may be the scars that we bear, but there is a love that makes all things new".


Roanoke, Virginia - Spring 1890

Lugging an armload of linens up the stairs, Ella Beckley hears violent footsteps from behind before a bear of a man rushes past with a baby in his arms, nearly crashing into her and scattering the linens. Ella, a woman with little schooling and self-taught nursing skills, works in the scullery of Dr. Penske's private practice - which caters to Roanoke's upper crust. Thus begins her relationship with Charlie Lionheart, a Romani Gypsy descendant and lion tamer with Graven Brothers Circus - which has been stranded and detained in the town by unexpected snow.

Assisting with patients only when necessary, Ella has never treated a patient herself. Too quickly diagnosing the baby as having a simple fever, the doctor assigns Ella to her care. With gentle but intensive protectiveness, Charlie remains by the baby's bed overnight - soothing her hot body with cold cloths and chips of ice, whispering words from a hymn. Returning to work the following morning, Ella is greeted by shouts from Charlie's terrorizing the hospital as the feverish baby is being dismissed and sent home. Charlie, having only a handful of coins with him and the doctor suspicious of Charlie, feeling his hand tattoo an indication of a felon. Feeling the baby could have rheumatic fever and recalling the pain of the death of her own infant several years prior, Ella risks her job by leaving work, unauthorized, and follows Charlie back to his tent/wagon home at the circus, bringing her bag of herbs, roots, and medicines to treat baby Holland. Charlie also breaking the rules by bringing a "rube" (outsider) into the privacy of his circus life.

Scarred from her pregnancy by a stranger, the birthing of her son at the age of barely 15 years, the baby's  death after living only a couple of hours, and being branded a harlot by her community - Ella had fled her home and arrived in Roanoke several years prior, in search of a better life. Charlie has hidden secrets also, enduring untold pain to free an orphaned infant from a permanent life in the circus.

Joanne Bischof has written a mesmerizing and unforgettable story of life in a circus and a tender, touching romance between a woman who has turned her back on her faith and a courageous, gentle, man who embraces his faith in his determination to protect those he loves. The depth of the characters and their emotions and struggles, the realism of life in a circus - it's animals and performers, Charlie's love and brotherly care for his three lions - Han, Kristov, and Axel, kept me engrossed in a story that warmed my heart, elicited tears, and inspired me with it's elements of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. It's a 5+ star novel and re-telling of Beauty and the Beast - whose characters remain with me, it's depth of beauty truly adequately indescribable!


*I was provided a PDF of 'The Lady and the Lionheart' by it's author for my honest opinion - which I have given. 
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You may purchase this book from these and other places: AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE

GIVEAWAY: 1 e-book of 'The Lady and the Lionheart'! Please leave a comment and your email address to enter, using (at) and (dot) to protect from spammers. 


96 comments:

  1. Bonnie, my sweet cohort, thank you so much for the beautiful, mouthwatering review!! This one is next on my radar as once again I try to read with this dizzy head. This will be a totally different setting for me and as I love Joanne's writing so much I can't wait to get started!!

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    1. Diana - Isn't Bonnie such a delight?! It's always a joy to get to visit you ladies here at OCWG. Thanks for having me and The Lady and the Lionheart. Hoping you find lots of chances to rest easy and are feeling better soon!

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  2. I want to read this SO bad!!! Even more so after reading your review, Bonnie!! Joanne's books always rip at my heart so I'm expecting tears and will plan to have the tissues handy lol. I love that Joanne's story revolves around a circus too.. It'll be fascinating to read about a circus from the late 1800's.

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    1. Thanks for reminding me, NOELA! LOL! I had best pick up another box of tissues at the store today. Joanne's books are definitely tearjerkers. But I love them! Sorry, Bonnie -- just had to put my 2 cents worth in. :)

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    2. "Rip at my heart" is certainly an accurate assessment of Joanne's writing, Noela. The "in's and out's" of an 1800's circus and the public's beliefs/superstitions in that era was quite fascinating to read about, you'll quickly understand why this novel, released only 3 days ago - already has a 5-star rating and is winning raves from readers. Yes, I advise tissues while reading this touching story!! Thank you so much, Noela!!

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    3. Lol, amen - and no problem, Diana. I apologize to readers for the out-of-order comments. It appears we were posting comments at the same time. Of course, the excitement over this beautiful book may have had a little to do with it also, lol!!

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    4. Noela - your comment gave me such a smile. I really hope you enjoy seeing the early circus through Charlie and Ella's perspectives. This one might have a few tissues required, particularly toward the end, but they're happy tears. <3

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  3. Thank you for your sweet comments, Diana!! The circus was a totally different book setting for me also, however, Joanne's descriptions of it's atmosphere, performers and animals made it visually come alive in my mind. The characters, their struggles, emotion, courage, and sensitivities - captured a place deep in my heart. Joanne certainly "has a way with words" - to say the least, her writing has been a fave of mine beginning with her first book!!

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    1. Bonnie - That means so much. To think of the descriptions, and circus setting finding it's way from the page to your heart is a huge encouragement. Right from day one, you've been a bright spot in my writing life and I'm so grateful for you. Thank you for reading and so beautifully reviewing this story. And for all of your love and kindness through the years. I'm so excited to think of all the fun that is to come for you and dear reader friends at the upcoming retreat. I hope you ladies have the most fun and rewarding time together!

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    2. Joanne, thank you - you are so sweet, and always humble about your writing!! I know the circus setting and your descriptions will find their way into many reader hearts. It's always such a joy to read/review your work, however, as I commented on Facebook - I always fear my reviews won't do your work justice. I'm so thankful for your beautiful, touching, inspiring writing- and your friendship!! Thank you for the honor of reading/reviewing your work - and thank you for your comments on OWG and your support!!

      Yes, all (organizers, readers, and authors, alike) appear very excited about CFRR!! I'd dearly love for you to be there - and the opportunity to meet you!! It's sure to be an inspiring, fun-filled, unforgettable, time of fellowship between authors and readers - Nashville may not be able to handle the joy and excitement of attendees, lol!! I'll be at the Omni Hotel during the ACFW conference, God-willing - should you find you will be there, please let me know.

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  4. I loved Joanne Bischof's Cadence of Grace series, and everything I've read about Lionheart says it's stunning. Thanks for the giveaway! rachaeldalquist AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. "Stunning" - absolutely!! My review is but a tiny preview of the magnificence that awaits you in 'The Lady and the Lionheart', Rachael!! Please savor when you read it - thanks for your wonderful comments.

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    2. Rachael - so touched to know that you enjoyed the series. I hope you enjoy Lionheart just as much and I'm so glad you're entered in for the giveaway!

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  5. 5+ stars! yes! beautiful review my friend :) (Don't enter me - I have hoarded multiple copies of this stunning book already lol)

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comments, dear Carrie!! "Hoard" - lol, yes each of Joanne's novels/novellas occupies a place on my "hoard (fave)" shelves also!!

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    2. Carrie - you are such gem! And the most darling book hoarder there is!

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  6. BONNIE, this an exquisite review! I love this statement: "Permanent may be the scars that we bear, but there is a love that makes all things new". I'm teary-eyed reading this review!

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Aww, Caryl - your sweet comments make me teary-eyed too, as does Charlie and Ella's story when it comes to mind!! Thank you!! Isn't that epigraph beautiful!!

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    2. Hello Caryl! Isn't Bonnie's review lovely. So glad you enjoyed it and that line! Best wishes to you!

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  7. Thank you for that heart-felt review. The book sounds outstanding :-) cmcfaithingod(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. "Outstanding" - it certainly is, Christine - and "one of a kind"!! It's beautiful, and yes, it touched and warmed my heart!! Good luck - thanks for your comments!!

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    2. Christine ~ Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  8. Wonderful review Bonnie!
    The books sounds very interesting and I love that it is set in Roanoke, VA where I was born! I love reading about nursing/healing practices of the 1800's.
    I so enjoy Joanne Bischof's books.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. Thank you, Tina!! Hailing from Roanoke and being a nurse, you should feel a special connection to 'The Lady and the Lionheart'. Joanne's writing is some of the best, isn't it??

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    2. Mrs. Tina - It's so special to meet you and hear about your Roanoke roots. Biggest thanks for reading my books and I hope you enjoy The Lady and the Lionheart in that same way.

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  10. Fabulous review, Bonnie! You know you caught my attention with the quote. :)
    I hopped over to FB to ask you about it before I even read the review. So glad to have been introduced to Joanne and look forward to reading her books! Hope you have a blessed day!!!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comments, Anne!! It's always my prayer my reviews entice more readers to read and be inspired by the work of the authors I share. You have a treat in store with Joanne's writing - she has such a special gift of making her characters so realistic that your heart aches for them!! Blessings to you too!!

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    2. Anne, I'm so thankful for your and Bonnie's thoughts on that quote. It's heading back in! ;) Blessings to you and thanks for your kind words about my books!

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  11. I have never read any of Joanne's books, but have heard good things about them. My mom read her first serious and really enjoyed it.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Patty - you must read this one then, it's beautiful!! However, a warning- you may become addicted to her writing and be compelled to read all the others, LOL (at least, I hope so)!! Good luck - thank for your comments!!

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    2. Thank you kindly, Patty! Warmest wishes to you. :)

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  12. I have read SO many good thing about this book. I would love to win a copy. rmaney(at)firstarpchurch(dot) org.

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    1. Rebecca - they're all true, 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is a winner and more than lives up to all the hype about it, 5-star ratings before it was even released!! Enjoy it and thanks for your comments!!

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    2. Hi Rebecca! Waving to you! :)

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  13. This story sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it. Thanks for your thoughtful review!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Heidi!! It truly is an amazing story I feel you will immensely enjoy. Please do read it and find out why readers are so excited about it. Thanks for your comments!!

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    2. Heidi - thank you SO much! Thrilled that you stopped by for Bonnie's review. :)

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  14. Putting this one on my wanted list!!
    dkstevensneAToutlook DotCoM

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    1. A winner in so many ways, Deanna - enjoy, and thanks for your comment!!

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  15. I just love stories from the late 1800's. This one sounds so good. l dot bergh at sbcglobal dot net

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    1. Me too, Laurie!! I feel you will especially enjoy 'The Lady and the Lionheart'!! Good luck!!

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    2. Greetings, Laurie! And thank you! :)

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  16. Oh this sounds so touching ! Now I'm going to have to read this !
    faithfulacresbodysoulspirit@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Linda!! 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is definitely a "touching" story, as are all of Joanne's. And yes, it surely is one you will HAVE to read, trust me!! Thanks for your comments!!

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    2. Linda, That would be my greatest hope for this story. Thank you!

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  17. Wonderful review, Bonnie! I am adding this to my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway - I would love to win.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Betti!! 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is a beautiful, not-to-be-missed novel that deserves a place at the top, for sure!! Thanks for your comments and your support, Betti!!

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    2. Hi Betti! So glad you are entered. :)

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  18. Wow, wow, wow! What an enticing review. Bonnie I am so glad that I've discovered you. I want to read this book extremely badly. I'm currently reading a lovely YA Fantasy fiction book. It's really good but taking me a while as the print is so small. I shall preserve as I've been given this beautiful book baby and promised a review. I just wish there was an eBook copy so I could enlarge the font. Anyway, Jo'Anne Bischop's book has just been added to my TBR list. Thank you for such a beautiful review. I'm going to have to stock up on tissues.
    God bless.
    Best wishes,
    Jo'Anne Griffiths xo

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  19. Wow, wow, wow! What an enticing review. Bonnie I am so glad that I've discovered you. I want to read this book extremely badly. I'm currently reading a lovely YA Fantasy fiction book. It's really good but taking me a while as the print is so small. I shall preserve as I've been given this beautiful book baby and promised a review. I just wish there was an eBook copy so I could enlarge the font. Anyway, Jo'Anne Bischop's book has just been added to my TBR list. Thank you for such a beautiful review. I'm going to have to stock up on tissues.
    God bless.
    Best wishes,
    Jo'Anne Griffiths xo

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    1. Hi, Jo'Anne - so glad you stopped by the Overcoming With God blog!! Perhaps you could contact the author of the book you're reading and have him/her send you a PDF of the book, or another form you could transfer to your e-book reader??

      Thank you for your wonderful comments, Joanne is such a gifted author - I would love for you to read the beautiful 'The Lady and the Lionheart', and hope you will enjoy her other books also.

      Please leave your contact info - in case you should be our giveaway winner. And - please stop by the OWG blog again very soon, we have beautiful book giveaways on a regular basis, as well as inspiring author interview/testimonies. Blessings and best wishes to you also!!

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    2. Oh silly me. I don't usually win things so it didn't occur to me. But just in case, my email address is:
      JosephineAnneGriffiths@gmail.com
      I shall definitely be visiting this beautiful blog frequently. Thanks again 😊🐞🌻😘

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    3. Thank you so much, Jo'Anne!!

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    4. Hello, Josephine! And I love that nickname - Jo'Anne! :) Isn't Bonnie a delight? I'm so glad you found her review here. Thanks for adding L&L to your TBR. I hope it will be a meaningful read for you!

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  20. This sounds like such a unique and fabulous read.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Mary - 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is both "unique, fabulous", and so much more!! Enjoy it - good luck!! Thanks for your comment!!

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    2. Appreciate that so much, Mary.

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  21. I've heard so many wonderful things about this book, I can't wait to read it for myself!!

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    1. Abby, I'm excited that YOU'RE excited about reading 'The Lady and the Lionheart'!! Such a beautiful story of hope, forgiveness, redemption, love, and faith!! Thanks for your comments - good luck!!

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    2. Such a delight to hear, Abby, thank you!

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  22. Bonnie,

    I have never read any of Joanne's books, but have heard good things about them. I'm definitely interested after reading the reviews.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Amy

    Tyner.amy(at)gmail (dot)com

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    1. Oh, I feel you're in for a real reading treat then, Amy!! Reading one will probably entice you to read others, also - she has such a beautiful way of making her characters endearing to readers!! Thanks for your wonderful comments!!

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  23. Sounds like a great book. Intriguing! ltlwhtbusatyahoodotcom LariProcunier

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    1. Hi, Lari!! "Intriguing" is certainly one of many wonderful adjectives to describe 'The Lady and the Lionheart' - I hope you put it at the top of your reading list. Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for your comments, please visit the blog again soon - for more wonderful books and giveaways!!

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  24. I've heard wonderful things about this book! I can not wait to read it! I'd love to have a copy! Thanks Bonnie! Nancycooks4u(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Greetings, Nancy. So wonderful to hear that you've heard such nice things. :) Thank you!

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    2. Hi, Nancy!! 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is one novel you will definitely want to keep in your reading library. All the wonderful things you've heard about it are true - it's pure joy, inspiration, and a touch of the heart-strings to read!! Thanks for your comments!!

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  25. I want to win a copy of this book! I still will be buying a paper copy as soon as I can even if I win. My favorites I have to have in paperback. Thanks for the opportunity!
    grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Brenda, that's so kind of you! And as an author, incredibly touching. Thanks for that! I hope this story is a blessing to you!!

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    2. Brenda, paperback has always been my fave reading format - it just seems more personal. I love looking at the beautiful covers and having the books personalized (even though I continually run out of space to shelve them and have to come up with some innovative ideas, LOL). However, like you - I must also have my fave books on Kindle so I can have them with me at all times, never know when a spare moment to read will come up, LOL. And yes, 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is a beautiful book you will probably want in both formats. Thanks for your wonderful comments!!

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    3. Yes'Mam. I love my books. I have 2 bedrooms I made into my libraries once my girls got married.
      All my family knows how much I love to read.

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    4. You're welcome Joanne. I'm sure I will enyoy.
      Oh by the way my sister's name is Joanne too.

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    5. WOW!! What a joy - wish I had 2 more bedrooms to fill with books!! I'm sure you enjoy them, Brenda!!

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  26. The reviews are great. I want to read this book!

    Gpk1946(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Yes, they are, Phyllis - 100% 5-star on Amazon, last I checked, as well as others on some highly respected review sites. 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is more than deserving of each one - please make it a point to read this beautiful book. Thanks for your comments, good luck in the drawing, and please stop by the blog for more wonderful books and giveaways - very soon!!

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    1. Hi, Kim - previous readers certainly agree!! I hope you will enjoy the beauty of 'The Lady and the Lionheart'. Thanks for commenting!!

      Please leave your contact info so we can reach you, should you be the winner of the ebook.

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  28. I have heard nothing but good things about this book! Congrats to Joanne on the release of the book! Love the cover too!

    Thanks Bonnie!

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    1. It's a beautiful cover, isn't it - Melony?? The story within is even more beautiful!! Thanks for your wonderful comments!!

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  29. Sounds like a truly amazing book! I already heard great thing about this book and wanted to know more. Thank you for a great review!

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  30. Alexa, the characters are "real", the descriptions beautiful, and the story inspiring. I hope you have the opportunity to read it very soon - it's a winner!! Thanks for your comments and your support!!

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  31. This book sound amazing!

    Ember99 at Hotmail dot Com

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    1. Amazing, it is - Marsha!! I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it very soon - thanks for commenting an good luck!!

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  32. Sounds like an amazing book,Thank you for the interview.would love to
    Win a copy of this book.don't have a Kindle but will see if my library has it.
    Elmamc56atyahoodotcom

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    1. Hi, Elma!! I hope you find 'The Lady and the Lionheart' at your library - however, if not, most libraries will order books it's readers request. Thanks for your wonderful comments, please stop by the blog again very soon - we feature wonderful books and giveaways on a regular basis.

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  33. Wonderful review for a book I've read such high praise on! This one is already on my must-read list!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. YAY!! I know you will enjoy it!! Thank you so much, Trixi!!

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  34. Such a wonderful review Bonnie! I've read so many wonderful reviews...I WANT this book SO MUCH! I am currently extra challenged in the $$$ department.

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    1. Thank you, Andrea!! 'The Lady and the Lionheart' is a beautiful book readers are loving - cross your fingers your name is the one pulled out for the giveaway. I'd love you to have the opportunity to read it!! Thanks for commenting, Andrea!!

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  35. This sounds like a very interesting novel. I'd like to put in for the chance to win it! Thanks much! :)

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  36. Oh my goodness, the love and encouraging words from everyone here is enough to garner any reader's attention. If I wasn't already aware of Joanne's work, I wouldn't be able to resist the charms of this review. :) Yet, since I am already a fan, I know all this love is unequivocally warranted. I'm just happy for Joanne that others are finding her work just as exceptional. I haven't read Lionheart, yet, but it has already weasled it's way to the top of my virtual tbr stack. I'd like to give a shout out to Joanne's book, To Get To You, as well. I enjoy so many genres with YA being one of them. I don't come across many YA Christian books that stay with me, but this one earned a place on my paperback keeper shelf. I'll stop fangirling now (if that's what you call a forty-something y.o. mom) and work on enjoying this next book. Congrats on the successful release, Joanne. tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  37. Thank you Bonnie for this wonderful review!You have a sense for what makes a beautiful story.Thanks also to Joanne for writing what sounds like a beautiful heartfelt book,looking forward to reading it! lynnefeuerstein(at)aol(dot)com

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