30 October 2016

Noela reviews THE BLUE RIBBON BRIDES COLLECTION

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection

THE BLUE RIBBON BRIDES COLLECTION: 9 Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair

Authors: Carrie Fancett Pagels; Angela Breidenbach; Darlene Franklin; Gina Welborn; Jennifer AlLee; Becca Whitham; Niki Turner; Tiffany Amber Stockton; Cynthia Hickey
Publisher: Barbour Books (November 1, 2016)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Nine historical romances give a fun and informative insight into early fairs and their competitions as women vie for blue ribbons and end up winning in love!


In Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Carrie weaves a delightfully captivating tale of a young woman’s hope in winning the coveted Blue Ribbon for her quilt at the Michigan State Fair. While at the fair, Sarah Richmond learns she has much more than just a fierce competitor to contend with. Sarah has no intentions of falling in love ever again after losing two fiancé’s. So will the handsome balloonist be able to tether her heart along with his balloon?

Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach, tells of a group of women from Montana with two goals— to win medals for their botanical displays and to find their favorite miner Luke Edwards, a wife. Luke first meets the lovely botanist Bettina Gilbert on the ship as they arrive at the World Fair in Chicago and an immediate connection is sown. Could this be the woman he might marry? It doesn’t seem likely when he discovers she despises the effects of mining. How will they get past this obstacle?

A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin, sees Grant Oscar return home from the Navy to discover his father’s allowed their farm to come close to financial ruin. He needs to make money from the meadow adjoining his neighbor’s property by ploughing the land. But it was this beautiful field that contained the log gums where bees produced honey. And his neighbour Edie Grace needed that honey to help her to win at the Rutland State Fair with her baking. This spunky gal had her own big dreams and Grant was going to plough right over them. Can they both come out winners? A sweet and alluring tale!

In Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn, country girl Reba Diehl wins big at the county fair with her millinery masterpieces, convincing her to follow her heart in leaving behind the country behind and moving to the city. Will Reba have what it takes in successfully running a millinery store in Sioux Falls? Levi Webber imagines a perfect life with his closest friend Reba, the girl who’s stolen his heart and can’t believe she’s moving away. Except Reba knows nothing about it as Levi forgot to tell her! Levi represents everything Reba is escaping from. Whose heart and life will be altered in this charming and enjoyable story?

In Better with Butter by Jennifer AlLee, the age-old hot debate between butter and margarine is only just spreading. Ella, who sculpts butter models of her cow every year for the fair, is desperate to win this year to promote interest in the struggling Daniel’s Dairy Farm. She didn’t count on Maxwell Sinclair, the handsome former employee of her father’s, to be at the fair endorsing the new spread, margarine. All is threatened when some unscrupulous acts unfold, and both begin to doubt each other. What happens when they’re locked in the icehouse together, and is it possible to find compromises and new direction? A delicious story, no matter your preferred flavour!

In Driven to Distraction by Becca Whitham, we travel to the Western Washington Fair where old Auto Polo rivals, the Montgomery Marauders and the Caplan Crusaders are set to battle again. After a terrible tragedy 17 months ago, Robert Montgomery fled to join the war. He’s returned and is determined to marry Jolene Caplan. She won’t agree to wed however, until there is peace between the families. Torn between them all, will she escape the heartache and take up another tempting offer? I loved the passion of Robert’s love for Jolene and the message of forgiveness and growth. Engaging!

First Comes Pie by Niki Turner has Emmet Dewey, an opportunist who buys and sells property, catching Lorelei Boyd after she falls out of an apple tree. Not realizing Emmet has bought the deceased Otto’s place at auction, she strikes a deal with him that she may continue to pick apples from the orchard. Lorelei hopes to create a contest winning pie in order to sell the recipe and save her parent’s farm. With spicy elements of danger and romance, Niki Turner has all the right ingredients for a scrumptious novella!

Front Page Love by Amber Stockton tells the tale of Paige Callahan, a supervisor for the Agricultural Hall at the Wyoming State Fair, and her discontent with the man who wants to marry her. ‘Conventional Charlie’ they call him. He’s trustworthy and hardworking but also terribly predictable, boring, and without passion. While Paige is bemoaning the lack of love in her life to best friend Millie, she soon discovers a handsome reporter standing nearby. Before long, her mundane life gets quite interesting. Will her heart follow along this exciting path or will she choose the safe route with Charlie? An intriguing and charming story!

In Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey, Annie Mae Thompkins enters her vibrant quilt in the Arkansas State Fair with high hopes in winning first place. Receiving the money prize could help her family during these tough times of the Great Depression. But when her childhood friend Jonathan Mercer’s pig entry escapes its pen and destroys her quilt, she is furious with him. Must he always cause her grief? Jonathan wonders how he can ever hope for a relationship with Annie Mae when he keeps ruining things. What will change Annie Mae’s mind about Jonathan? And how can she now help her parents? This is a heart-warming story of love, forgiveness, and learning to trust God rather than worry.


This book may be purchased from AMAZON; CBD; B&N; BAM. You may also find it at your local Christian bookstore and Walmart stores!

GIVEAWAY: Carrie Fancett Pagels is generously giving away a copy of 'The Blue Ribbon Brides' to one commenter! Please be sure to leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.



27 October 2016

Tearoom for Two by Susan Page Davis - Review & Giveaway

Tearoom for Two by Susan Page Davis from Guidepost Books
Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Susan Page Davis kicks off the Guidepost Books' Tearoom mystery collection

From the Guideposts' website: In Guideposts Books' new series, Tearoom Mysteries, you'll explore a quaint Maine village near picturesque Lake Chickadee and join in the fun of solving mysteries alongside a pair of cousins who frequently find themselves in situations that require perseverance and faith. The series begins with Tearoom for Two and continues with Tea Rose

Various authors continue the story of two fifty-something ladies who set up a tea shop in their home town. 

This is a lovely hardcover book. Guideposts always does their books up so beautifully!  Susan Page Davis is an established author and fan favorite. She pens a sweet but also sinister story set in Maine, where she was raised! I always love it when an author really knows the setting for a book and Susan knows Maine!  I could almost smell the cookies and muffins baking in the shop! This book will make you hungry!

I purchased my book through Guideposts, which is where others can obtain a copy. (click here.)

Giveaway: Very gently used copy of this lovely hardcover book. Leave a comment about your favorite mystery series and why you want to read Susan's story!



25 October 2016

Reviews & Giveaways of Ruth Logan Herne's Latest Books!


BONNIE REVIEWS 
'HER UNEXPECTED FAMILY' AND 'THE FIRST GIFT' 
BY RUTH LOGAN HERNE 

5 STARS EACH BOOK

'HER UNEXPECTED FAMILY'

When ex-beauty-queen Emily Gallagher is hired to plan a wedding for Grant McCarthy's deployed sister, Christa- losing her own heart isn't a part of her plans. An over-protective single parent of toddler twins, Timmy and Dolly, Grant struggles with his faith and holds bitterness towards the appearance-obsessed mother of his children and a father who deserted him when he was a child. Divorced from a rich, self-absorbed husband, Emily relies on her faith and past experiences to put her life back together.

'Her Unexpected Family' is a beautiful story of love, hope, forgiveness, redemption, second chances, and faith. Tim and Dolly stole my reader's heart while Emily and Grant's story gave  me inspiration!!



'THE FIRST GIFT'

The story of 5 year-old Cassie Carruthers, from a northern Appalachian community, who is verbally abused and neglected by an alcoholic and drug-addicted father, 'The First Gift' is also the story of 27 year-old Kerry McHenry, the kindergarten teacher and woman of faith who sees her own past in Cassie's present and is attracted to two men: self-absorbed doctor of oncology, Ryan O'Donnell and widowed Deputy Jake Slattery who hasn't forgiven God for the accident which claimed the life of his wife and left him with two small children to raise. When the lives of Kerry, Ryan, and Jake intersect in an effort to save the life of Cassie - Kerry is forced to make some life-altering personal decisions of her own.

Ruth Logan Herne is one of those gifted authors who borrows from her own past experiences in the writing of her stories - filling them with gut-wrenching emotional scenes, real-life situations, and endearing characters. 'The First Gift' includes heart-pounding suspense and addresses the subject of racial diversity. Through it we are also reminded of God's grace and love and the impact one person can have in the life of a child. A beautiful story that captured my heart from page one with it's characters - who remain there!!


Bio and Purchase links:


Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream of writing sweet books that make people smile and sigh and sometimes cry... but they're good tears! She loves stories of forgiveness and redemption with unforgettable characters from beginning to end. Friend her on facebook/Ruth Logan Herne where she loves to chat and pray with folks, and on Twitter she's @RuthLoganHerne... or visit her website at http:ruthloganherne.com or visit her at these fun blogs: www.ruthysplace.com, www.yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com or over in Seekerville at www.seekerville.blogspot.com

Giveaways: Ruthy will provide two copies of Her Unexpected Family and one copy of The First Gift as giveaways on Bonnie’s reviews! Thank you Ruthy! Winner's choice in all three if in the U.S., e-Book if international.

23 October 2016

Character Interview & Giveaway!!!


Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Character Sarah Richmond

CFP: Sarah, I am so excited your story, "Requilted with Love", has released in Barbour Publishing's new release -- The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection! It is out ahead of its November 1st release date! How do you feel about that?

Sarah: How thrilling to be out in society!!! I can't wait for readers to "meet" me. Ladies -- please watch out for those two fair workers, Grant and Lee, there is something just a little suspicious about them!

CFP: Speaking of Grant and Lee. How did they get their names?

Sarah: (Rolls eyes.) I am guessing Grant was named for the famous Union General and Lee for the Confederate general. As you can guess, they aren't from the same part of the country! 

CFP: Well what brings you to the fair, Miss Richmond?

Sarah: I have lost my two fiancés. And I'd made a wedding ring quilt that I had requilted with appliqués on top. I want to win the Blue Ribbon Prize and have the opportunity to tell folks how our hospitals in the Upper Peninsula need to be better supported by our state. 

CFP: That's certainly admirable, Sarah. Are you enjoying your time at the fair?

Sarah: The 1889 Michigan State Fair is a superb one. I'm so excited because this gorgeous fairgrounds in Lansing is meant to give the fair a permanent home. No more moving around from city to city! Everything is so new and beautiful. 

CFP: That sounds amazing, Sarah! I wish I could be there to see it! Is Grant as gorgeous as the grounds are?

Sarah: (Cheeks turn red.) The ladies at the fair seem to think so. I'm more impressed by the help he's given me, although I could do without him fussing at me about my choices. And his and Lee's hovering is interfering with me and Denise, my friend, being able to go freely about the grounds by ourselves. We are grown women, for goodness sake!

CFP: Hmmmm, sounds like Grant and Lee might be protective of you and Miss Drefs.

Sarah: Time will tell. I believe their jobs as groundskeepers has put them in our paths a great deal. But they sure don't speak or act like the other fair employees I've met.

CFP: Thank you, Sarah, for the interview!


You can purchase copies of The Blue Ribbon Brides collection at
Barnes & Noble
Christian Book Distributors
Kobo
Amazon
And at your local Christian bookstores and Walmarts.

Giveaway: Do you have a question to ask Sarah? One commenter will win an autographed copy of The Blue Ribbon Brides collection. 








20 October 2016

Diana's Review Of 'A Royal Christmas Wedding' By Rachel Hauck

A Royal Christmas Wedding

A Royal Christmas Wedding
By Rachel Hauck
Zondervan, October 18, 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~
(No spoilers!)
Simply Enchanting!

Rachel Hauck has crafted a magical Yuletide tale set in Brighton, England, an emerald isle steeped in traditionwhere the crisp scent of pine and cinnamon waft through the frosty airand snow-covered, beautifully lit fir trees, costumed carolers, and the sound of sleigh bells can be heard ringing throughout the town!

Avery Truitt, college volleyball star in St. Simons Island, Georgia, was rejected by the man of her dreams five long years ago, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom. After declaring their love for one another, Colin fails to show up for her prom and after texting her once, never speaks to her again. But the joy of her sister's pregnancy brings Avery to Brighton to visit her at the royal palace, just in time for the Cathedral City's enchanting Christmas season. Wishing to attend the many holiday festivities, dances, and charities, she knows she cannot possibly avoid seeing Colin again, but hopes for some kind of closure to finally relieve the pain of the past five years. 

A centuries old tradition in Brighton dictates that a young man smitten with love runs all the way up the one hundred and eighty-two steps to the Pembroke Bell Tower and rings the bell just after midnight of the Harvest Celebration to declare his undying devotion. Then he must woo the object of his affections and marry her by Christmas. Is it too late for Colin to fix things with Averyand will he follow his heart to ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell for her or his lady friend, Jordan Skye? Or will he ring the bell at all?...since the last young man to do so plummeted to his death. 

Rachel Hauck is a New York Times bestselling award winning author with many an amazing novel to her credit and this one is no exception! It seems as though all of us ladies still have that little girl in us who comes to the surface from time to timedreaming of  our Prince Charming and happily-ever-after. That young girl in me absolutely delighted in this enchanting Christmas novel of love lost, and of the handsome prince who must atone for his inconsiderate deeds to win back the lady he adores. But, ooh, the angsty romance quickly brought the woman in me (and the tissue box!) back out, and a twist near the end made my heart skip one too many beats! Ms. Hauck's descriptive prose intensified my senses with the scent of evergreen boughs, the sights of Christmas lights glistening underneath a layer of snow, and the sounds of Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas. A Royal Christmas Wedding is simply begging to be made into a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie and if so I'll grab a front row seat! Very beautifully written, Rachel Hauck!


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

GIVEAWAY: Rachel Hauck is generously giving away a paperback copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding to one commenter! (US entrants only!) Please be sure to leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers! 

18 October 2016

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck - Audiobook Review



How to Catch a Prince - Royal Wedding Series, Book 3
(Print book from Zondervan.)
by Rachel Hauck 
Oasis Audio
Audiobook Review

Five Stars *****

How to Catch a GREAT Listen!!! 

By Carrie Fancett Pagels

How I missed this audiobook when it released in 2015, I do not know! But I think it is because it came out right before I had major emergency surgery that put me in the hospital for a while. But, was I ever happy to discover that I had this title in my Audible.com library collection!!! I just listened to it this past weekend.

This is a Christian contemporary romance set initially in America and later abroad in the fictional kingdom of Brighton. I saw one person give a low rating online because the story was Christian. That's what I love about Rachel's books, besides them being so well written -- she doesn't shy away from rock solid faith.  

Spoiler alert: I want to say I love, love, loved two very "special" characters in this book who weren't actually of the earthly realm. Extremely well done use of these angelic characters in the storyline.

Bibliotherapy: Survivor's guilt, PTSD, keeping secrets, loss of a sibling, loss of a friend, parental grieving, and a few more!

Narrator: The narrator did an excellent job. There were a couple of times when I'm pretty sure she mispronounced words, i.e., I don't think those were the British pronunciations either. But she had an enthusiasm for the story that showed.

What a unique twist to have a prince be the survivor of a military attack on his unit. He blames himself for the deaths of his friends. His case of survivor guilt is pretty extreme, but it makes sense in this story. 

The heroine is a beautiful former Miss Georgia from an extremely wealthy family, but Rachel Hauck makes her very likable and relatable. 

Great writing, great story line, fabulous characters, beautiful voice, and nice narration -- all wrapped up in a great Christian fiction listen. What else can you ask for?



16 October 2016

Interview with Christine A. Henderson


Christine A. Henderson, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 


Would you tell us about one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God's help?

One of the most difficult times in my life was when both my husband and I lost our jobs and my
dad died suddenly. This all occurred within a three week period. For many people, that would be
enough to cause them to go into a deep depression. However, I found peace and comfort during
that time. Now I don’t want you to think I walked around with a halo on my head and was totally
serene. I did have my tears and grief, but I grew closer to God and had no doubt that he was with
me.

I’ve often heard from other committed Christians that they know he is very near in times of crisis. Our senior pastor is Max Lucado and one of his teaching series included learning this prayer… "I’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick, but God will use this mess for good. I won’t be foolish or naïve, but I won’t despair either. With God’s help, I will get through this."

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
For me, Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 are words of hope and strength.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
I like being immersed with Christian Praise music such as Mandisa’s “He is with you” or “Blessings” by Laura Story and “Fall Apart by Josh Wilson. Each of these songs shows me ways to refocus and connect with God.

In addition, we all need a good support group and that comes with having relationships with other Christians who can pray for us and guide us though our difficulties. I had that plus family to see me through tough times.


Question you’d like to ask readers:

How do you share the hope of God’s salvation with others who don’t know Christ as their
Savior?

13 October 2016

Diana's Review Of 'The Captive Heart' By Michelle Griep

The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart By Michelle Griep
Shiloh Run Press, October 1, 2016

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

In The Captive Heart, author Michelle Griep pens a spellbinding saga that sweeps the reader away to the heart of the strikingly beautiful, but perilous wilderness of South Carolinafraught on every hand with wild animals, savage Indians, harsh elements, and unscrupulous, evil men. 

After her brute of an employer makes unwanted advances towards her, elegant English governess, Eleanor Morgan, has little choice but to flee to the colonies. When the family she is to work for never shows up, Eleanor is forced to settle for the only option availablemarriage to a trapper and tracker who is determined to find a mother for his little girl, Grace.

Samuel Heath is looked upon by many as a murderer with a scarred face, hair as wild as a Gypsy's, and piercing, penetrating eyes. Eleanor finds him quite frightening and enigmatic, but in spite of his brawny, formidable persona, he treats her as one should a ladynever stepping beyond the bounds of proprietywhile continuing to protect her from dreadfully precarious situations. Just who is this mysterious man and why do the Cherokee Indians hold him in such high esteem, but not the gossiping townsfolk? And why does the prim governess's heart do a strange dance when he draws a bit too close for comfort?

I have heard so many marvelous things about this author that my curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to read her work. WOW! Talk about someone's heart doing a strange dance!? Mine was definitely racing out of control right along with Eleanor's during a wild animal attack, a terrible forest fire, and umm, well...definitely every time the the hunky hero showed up on the scene! lol Michelle Griep knows how to write an emotionally gripping novel that keeps the reader glued to every page...with complex, multi-faceted characters, descriptive prose, and suspense! Not to mention breathtaking romantic tension that left me weak in the knees. Oh my! I'm definitely a new fan and anxiously await her next book! If you don't read another novel again this year 
BE.SURE.NOT.TO.MISS.THIS.ONE!

This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, B&N, BAM, and your local bookstore. 

GIVEAWAY: Michelle Griep is generously offering a paperback copy of The Captive Heart to one blessed commenter! (US entrants only.) Please be sure to leave your email address for contact purposes should your name be drawn - written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers. 

11 October 2016

Noela reviews SARATOGA LETTERS by Elaine Marie Cooper

Saratoga Letters

SARATOGA LETTERS
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (October 4, 2016)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Enthralling, Edgy, Emotive - A Fascinating Historical Romance

Author Elaine Cooper has fashioned an enthralling novel around the historically significant Battle of Saratoga. Authentic and emotive, this story is creatively paralleled from two different eras—two hundred years apart. From the bloody battlefield of the Revolutionary War during 1777 to modern-day 1977 and the commemoration of the Battle of Saratoga, this two-part story is connected through the ages by not only ancestry and other interesting similarities, but also heartbreak, danger, and enchanting romances.

Flame-haired patriot Abigail Gillingham is forced by her abusive, loyalist uncle to tend to the wounded of the King’s army in their hospital marquee. Thrust into the middle of mayhem and anguish, Abigail has no choice but to help the enemy that has invaded her country whilst keeping her patriotism secret. Amongst the trauma and human misery, a wounded corporal with intense blue eyes and a sympathetic, gentle nature—becomes her anchor and stirs up feelings she shouldn’t have. Will Abigail’s deception be discovered? Will she find freedom from her situation, audacious admirers, and her uncle? And can love between a Corporal and patriot survive or be felled like so many of the soldiers?

Two-hundred years later, circumstances bring American Abby Carpenter and British constable Ian Thacker together for the bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Saratoga. As Abby and Ian unravel mysteries of the past, and deal with ominous threats in the present, will it help them to find a deeper connection? Or will the real battle be in their hearts?

Raw. Edgy. Realistic. Powerful. ‘Saratoga Letters’ tells of the reality of war, along with the hope and promise that faith and love carry. I had tears by the end of the third chapter but there were also plenty of smiles throughout—especially from the amusing moments arising from the modern-day couple’s culture differences and shared history. This was one of those captivating stories that will likely frustrate you when life gets in the way of reading! Highly recommended!


I received a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.


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

This novel may be purchased through AMAZON; BAM; B&N

TWO GIVEAWAYS: Elaine Marie Cooper is generously giving away a signed paperback copy of Saratoga Letters (US only) AND a Kindle copy! For your chance to WIN one of these, leave a comment below, making sure to leave your email written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers. 



09 October 2016

Carrie's Tea Shop Folly is November Celebration Box at Celebrate Lit


Our friends at Celebrate Lit have begun a fun new reader product -- boxes themed to recent Christian fiction releases! My novella, Tea Shop Folly, has its own wonderful assortment of tea-related and story related items to go with it!  Here's the link to the Tea Shop Folly Celebration Box.

Here's a description from Sandy Barella of Celebrate Lit: This celebration box is a unique, one of a kind box with goodies hand picked by the author just for you! These boxes are special because they are not sold anywhere else. There is a limited supply so be sure to get yours right away!
The November’s box features Carrie Fancett Pagel’s Tea Shop Folly. Sales for the November box will close on October 10 or while supplies last. The first 12 people to order will receive an ebook copy of the Maggie Award 2016 finalist, The Substitute Bride.

The basic box includes:
A minimum of 6 items handpicked by the author themed around the book.

A themed charm specifically chosen for this book.

One lucky box will contain a special teacup and saucer that no one else will receive.

The first 12 people to order will receive a bonus ebook copy of the Maggie Award 2016 finalist, The Substitute Bride.

Along with the basic box, you can purchase the ebook, paperback or an autographed paperback book.

Giveaway: One of our Followers here at Overcoming With God blog will win one of the boxes by leaving a comment on this post (there must be a minimum of twenty comments for a winner to be drawn). Tell us (and Sandy!) why these themed Celebration Boxes are a great idea!

06 October 2016

Bonnie reviews Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman



Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope Series, Book 2) 
By Julie Lessman, September 30, 2016


"I've learned the hard way that I need to see love in action as well as hear it." (Love Everlasting)

Isle of Hope, Georgia
Reviewed by Bonnie Roof
~5 stars~

Driving the inebriated Dr. Sam Cunningham home after a fancy fundraiser for Memorial Hospital - as a favor to her brother Jack, Sam's friend and co-worker - proves to be much more than Shannon O'Bryen bargained for. Sam is known as "love 'em and leave 'em" charismatic player, Dr. Love, at Memorial - after having her heart broken by someone very similar, Shannon is content with her single life as a school teacher and ghostwriter of romance books. 

Abandoned as a baby, Sam looks to professional success and an extravagant lifestyle as a way of proving himself worthy of love. After persuading Shannon to give him lessons in winning back his ex-girlfriend - nurse Jasmine Augustine, wealthy daughter of his boss - his eyes are opened to faith and the true definition of love. While slowly becoming attracted to his teacher and her purity, Sam finds she has a few heart-breaking secrets of her own. 

Love Everlasting is the second book in the Isle of Hope series by Julie Lessman - it was a joy revisiting members of the O'Bryen family and catching up with the romance between Ben and Tess. While not necessary to read the first book, Isle of Hope, and it's prequel, A Glimmer of Hope, to enjoy Love Everlasting - I feel new readers of the series will be mesmerized by the story and enticed to read the others, excited to enjoy more of the delightful O'Bryens. 

Julie's unique style and passion in writing romance and her gift of developing realistic characters and story lines - frequently drawing from experiences in her own life, have insured a "love everlasting" for her characters with me. Her bits of humor, exquisite descriptions, and heart-pounding twists in each book are exceeded only by the "happily ever after" ending through the redemption of her flawed characters by a loving God. 

I loved Shannon's story in Love Everlasting and look forward to the final book in the series - the story of Cat, Shannon's twin sister. The 'Isle of Hope' series - Julie's entry into the field of contemporary Christian fiction - contains all of the elements readers have come to love from her historical Christian fiction. Each of Julie's books, historical or contemporary, is a 5+ star book for me - I can't recommend them highly enough!   

This novel is available in ebook format on Amazon and will soon be available in paperback!

In honor of the release of Love Everlasting: the e-book of A Glimmer of Hope is FREE, the e-book of Isle of Hope is half-price at $3.99. All three books are available on Amazon. Julie also has a novella in the Cowboy Christmas Homecoming: Four Historical Novellas, through Gilead Publishing - releasing this month and available at Amazon, CBD, and Barnes & Noble. 


Giveaway: Julie is graciously gifting one blessed commenter NOW with his/her choice of an e-book of either Love Everlasting or Isle of Hope - OR - a paperback of Love Everlasting, available in November, 2016. (International winners ebook only.)


04 October 2016

Diana Reviews 'Love Everlasting' By Julie Lessman

Love Everlasting By Julie Lessman

Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope Series Book 2) 
By Julie Lessman, September 30, 2016

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

Another Gem By Julie!

Get ready to go on another a passionate, angst-filled journey as twisty and sinuous as a roller coaster ride to Hope Isle, Georgiaa lovely picture-perfect isle with Southern seaside beauty and charming cottages nestled next to lush plantationsbut wherein lay plenty of drama, secrets, and heartaches buried underneath the guise of tranquility! 



The sweet, demure Shannon O'Bryen is a faith-filled school teacher by day and a secret writer of romance by night. Writing love stories is the safest route for her to take as she has been terribly burned by love in the past. A lying player had completely broken her spirit and Shannon has totally sworn off men forever. Then how does she get mixed up with the world's biggest player, pediatrician Dr. Sam Cunningham? 



Too handsome for his own good, the wealthy, charismatic, and flirtatious, Sam, has left a string of broken hearts stretching all the way across Hope Isle. Sam was an orphan shuffled through the foster care system, and finds himself looking for love and affirmation in all the wrong places. Shannon cannot tolerate his type, but finds herself willing to help him woo back his ex-girlfriend. She does write romance after all, so no problem, right? But as they draw closer and become the best of friends, Shannon teaches Sam so much moreof faith and the true definition of love. But one of them is hiding a deep secret which could destroy their friendship forever. Will either of them ever be able to open their eyes and hearts...to a love everlasting?



Be still my fluttering, racing, pounding heart! Julie Lessman is truly la creme de la creme at writing romance with so many disquieting twists and turns, and ooh, the drama! I felt as though my heart had been run through the wringer by the time I finished this emotive, fast-paced novel. I so admired Shannon's willpower against Sam's beguiling ways because he stole my foolish heart from chapter one...after he sobered up that is. ;) If you read Isle of Hope (which I hope you did!) you will remember Shannon's motherthe bubbly and vivacious Tessand her troubled romance with Dr. Ben Carmichael, whose story continues in this book as well. So you get two sizzling, toe-curling romances for the price of one! No worries if you didn't read Isle of Hope because this novel stands quite well alone. Interspersed throughout is alot of the playful humor, quips and banter Ms. Lessman is so well known forand a wellspring of tears, hope, and the inspiring story of God's redemption and forgiveness.

Plantation in Hope Isle, Georgia



Beautiful Hope Isle, Georgia

This novel is available in ebook format on Amazon and will soon be available in paperback!

GIVEAWAY: Julie Lessman is generously offering winner's choice of e-book copy of either Isle of Hope or Love Everlasting now -- OR paperback copy of Love Everlasting when it releases in November! International entrants e-book only. Please be sure to leave your email addy written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.


02 October 2016

Cynthia Hickey -- Why I Write


Author Cynthia Hickey

WHY I BECAME A WRITER
Funny how this roller-coaster business can tug on someone until it’s either write or die. A bit dramatic, yes, but that’s how most writers feel. Writing is like breathing, or eating.

I started reading at the young age of five and became hooked on words and stories. Being a shy child, I would make up stories to act out, but it wasn’t until Junior High and an English teacher assigned a writing project that I realized how much I loved putting the story to paper. I began writing short stories in which my younger brother was featured as the hero or I’d write a romance featuring me and whatever boy I had a crush on at the time.

When I turned fifteen, I wrote my first “real story” about terrorists taking over a high school. Funny how I have now seen that very plot made into a movie. I couldn’t be stopped after that first “book”. I kept writing, keeping my stories in a notebook, which I unfortunately lost when I married and moved out of state. Then, life happened and I didn’t take up writing again until the age of forty when my children were older and I had time to devote to the art.

In 2007, I published my first cozy mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, with Barbour Publishing and haven’t slowed down since. Fifty plus books later, and several genres added to the mix, I have no intentions of stopping this crazy career any time soon. In May of 2013, I left behind the day job and became a full time writer. Scary, but worth every busy minute.

My husband and I now own a small press with over seventy authors on our roster. How do I do it is a question I’m asked over and over. Post it notes and lists! Add that to God’s grace and I can’t see myself slowing down any time soon. 

(CFP: One of the Forget Me Not Romance collections is O' Little Town of Christmas which Carrie Fancett Pagels' novella, The Substitute Bride is included as well as Cynthia's lovely Christmas Stamp is, and four other novellas by Debra E. Marvin, Becca Witham, Teresa Ives Lilly, and Linda Baten Johnson!) 



Watch for Poison Foliage, book three in the Shady Acres mystery series.


Bio: Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She had several historical romances release through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold over half a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. You can find her on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, three box turtles, and two Sulcata tortoises. She has seven grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

Giveaway: An ebook copy of O' Little Town of Christmas Collection. Leave a comment.

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