28 May 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews PERFECTING KATE by Tamara Leigh

Perfecting Kate

Perfecting Kate
2nd Edition release (March 12, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Perfectly Inspiring...

My life pretty much came to a full-stop when reading this thoroughly absorbing and lavishly entertaining novel! This seamless and non-formulaic story is narrated by and told from the character Kate Meadow’s perspective. Listening to Kate's heartfelt and humorous inner voice tell her story, the reader is given an amazing insight to the running feelings and thoughts of Kate. If you've ever experienced insecurities and self-condemnation, you’ll no doubt hear yourself in Kate’s thoughts. How amazing is it then, to be able to take a step back and look at ourselves afresh, and with such candor?

Kate Meadows, a successful San Francisco mural artist, has decided once again to throw in the towel on finding ‘Mr. Right’ and resolves to become content with being single. Well she had for all of about 5 minutes, until not one but two handsome eligible bachelors drop into her life! In one corner we have Dr Clive Alexander whose mere innocent touch delivers currents within her and is a Brad Pitt look-alike though maybe a little less tousled. Unfortunately he was heard agreeing with her friend Beau that she wasn't much to look at. And in the other corner, there’s Michael Palmier, a nationally known make-up artist who shows an increasing interest in the less than perfect Kate, rather than her physically perfect flatmate Maia. However, he continues to give Kate suggestions for self-improvement. Which of these men, if any, will give her what she really needs?

As much as the almost 30 year old Kate longs to fully embrace being single, she also desires a deeply loving marriage. As a result of Kate’s own insecurities and so much focus currently on her appearance, she decides it’s time to begin making improvements on herself. While focusing on the outward appearance however, Kate is neglecting her faith and overlooking God’s guidance. Will Kate’s misplaced focus on perfecting herself grant the outcome she craves? Or will her secrets, and distrust in love and God’s wisdom, be her undoing?

Author Tamara Leigh is a master at dialogue and storytelling. I was in awe reading Kate’s amusing and eloquent thoughts and reflections on love and faith, witnessing, her failures, and her dreams and hopes. And I was regaled with Kate’s hilarious take on people and situations. She was sassy and sweet, authentic, sometimes quirky, and her prayers at the end of each chapter were delightfully candid. I recommend everyone go on this life-changing journey with Kate and discover how true beauty is only found on the inside and that God loves us as we are! Highly recommended!

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You can purchase this e-book at Amazon for only $3.99! Also available at Barnes & Noble!


26 May 2015

The Story 2014 Anthology Available in Print!




http://www.salempublications.com/the-story-from-karen-kingsbury-and-family-fiction-magazine/

The Story 2014 Anthology Available in Print! Includes Carrie Fancett Pagels' Award Winning Story For Historical Fiction,  "The Quilting Contest," and many other wonderful fiction stories by well-known authors such as Carrie Turansky.  Newcomer Amy Green, the publicist from Bethany House, was the overall Grand Prize winner with her compelling story set during WWII!

The Salem Publications book also includes excerpts from one of Karen Kingsbury's books. All fifty stories from the contest are included in the book. So if you enjoy short stories and Christian fiction, don't miss out on this book!

You can read The Quilting Contest FREE online (click here.)

25 May 2015

The Lumberjacks' Ball FREE on Memorial Day


FREE on Kindle this Memorial Day, May 25,  2015


Comments are closed. 

May we all reflect this day on the sacrifices made for us by our countrymen!


23 May 2015

Diana Reviews Second Chances By Sarah Price



Second Chances by Sarah Price
Realms Publishing, June 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
5 stars~*****

A Totally Classic Tale!

In Second Chances, masterful storyteller Sarah Price pens a delightful retelling of the classic tale of Jane Austen's Persuasion harmoniously intermingled with the Amish! The Amish community in Ohio where lovely Anna Eicher resides is peaceful, and beautifully replete with rolling hills and white picket fences, grazing Guernsey cows, and red barns with lofty silos. But life also has its problems and heartaches as Anna knows all too well.  


It's been eight long years since Anna broke up with Freman Whittmore, the man of her dreams, and nary a night has gone by that she has not spilled tears on her pillow from the pain of their separation. She had allowed her father and a close family friend to persuade her to break it off with Freman on the grounds that he was not good enough for her. Freman moves to Indiana and becomes quite successful, and much to Anna's amazement returns after lo these many years to find a wife. Anna patiently looks after her complaining sister's children, still pleasing her family at the expense of her own happiness. Watching Freman and her close friend, Leah, flirting and spending time together just adds to her misery. Will Anna ever learn the valuable lesson of saying "no" to people and yes to God?...and will the God of second chances grant her just one more?


Readers everywhere will fall in love with the frustrating Anna, who in her inability to say "no" to others, brings much heartache upon her own self. At times I wanted to shake her and say, "Stop doing this!!", but realizing she couldn't brought a tear to my eye. An eloquent tale of family, forgiveness, second chances, and a surprise twist at the end -- this is one that will long be remembered even after the last sigh-worthy page is turned!
 

 "If a book is well written I always find it too short."
~Jane Austen~


This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, and any of your local bookstores.




21 May 2015

Most Eligible Bachelor Collection Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection

A WINNER!!!
WONDERFUL collection of nine Christian historic romance novellas! The earliest story is set in colonial times and the latests in the early 1900s.

I predict this will become a CBA Bestseller! This is one of the best collections from Barbour I have ever read. This will be on my Best of 2015 list on this blog!


*****
Love's Reward by Susanne Dietze
I absolutely loved this novella by debut author, Susie Dietze, who is also our featured author this week on OWG blog!!! 

When a rather mean-spirited "friend's" ad drives unmarried ladies to pursue talented architect, Daniel Blair, the San Franciscan's life takes a turn. I felt so badly for the young women who believed the advertisement was genuine. Life at the rooming house begins to sour as his landlady tires of the deliveries made by young women to her home. Meanwhile his longtime friend, a sweet and spunky young lady, finally seems to be realizing what a wonderful man Daniel is. Josie is definitely her own woman and a bit avant grade for the times. Her brother is a piece of work.

The scheming behind the scenes was especially well done. Even thought this was a novella, Susanne did a great job of working in the elements of a large architectural contest and also used that to show the competitive nature of various characters. Many characters, and their situations, aren't at all what you think they are. This is the kind of complex and layered novella that I love to read.

Lovely job of showing the whys and the why nots of Josie's and Daniel's relationship. I see Josie as rather adorable and ADHD and when... (never mind--I won't spoil that one scary scene for you!!!)

This was a darling story and Daniel was a sigh-worthy hero! Fantastic debut!

*****

The Highwayman by Shannon McNear
This lovely colonial story features a young wagon master who simply cannot get his tongue to work properly when he is around Long Tall Sally, the daughter of the main innkeeper on the Great Wagon Road in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  However, she's frustrated by his lack of communication, especially since she has known him for years. Her brothers constantly thrill over the adventures of "The Highwayman" a savior who swoops in and rescues people.  When Sally is rescued from a local miscreant, by the famed masked man, her heart thrills. But she doesn't know the wagon master is the one risking all for her. Shannon was a Rita nominee for her first colonial era novella and this new release is a great read!

Four Brides And A Bachelor by  Gabrielle Meyer
I love this story set in the 1800s in Minnesota. Being from upper Michigan myself, this particularly interested me.  In this novella, the your women teaching in a mission are told they MUST be married to continue in their jobs. One of the teachers was originally supposed to marry a minister from another mission. This eligible bachelor has been summoned forth but doesn't realize that NOW he has four young women to select from, which was decided by the directors of the mission as being most fair.  Very nicely done, especially with the little twist with the father at the end! 

Baker's Dozen by Gina Welborn
I had high expectations of this story, which were fulfilled. As per usual, Gina writes a compelling story which great characterization.  Set in the household of Duke, a wealthy widower whose daughter needs a mother, he has decided to bring in a bevy of young women to find a wife to be mother to his child.  Having grown up in the household,  Irie secretly was in love with Duke before she left for training school. Her mother is employed by his father. Duke's father asks her to help his son find the best woman to be his wife and mother to the granddaughter. This is one of the first stories I have read with a divorced heroine in it, so that was an interesting twist and far overdue. 

A Doctor's Agreement by Cynthia Hickey
I had the privilege of reading this excellent story as a Beta reader but then forgot I'd read it! Cynthia Hickey consistently writes great books and this is no exception. When the newspaper owner's daughter places an ad for a lottery to obtain a spouse for the single physician, she doesn't realize she'll be entered! 

The Final Baker Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo
Determined that she can prove herself capable of being self-sufficient, heiress Octavia doesn't realize there are many forces at work. She finds a "taxi cab driver" in New Orleans, Merritt Baker who may be the antidote to her marriage avoidance. Charming tale.

The Most Ineligible Bachelor In Town by  Connie Stevens
Turn of the century Kansas is the setting for an unappreciated postmaster's fine traits to finally be noticed. But first it will take a visit from his flashy cousin, supposedly a Pinkerton agent, to have the pastor's daughter finally be able to see who the best man in town is. But when danger comes to town, will they survive to finally express their affection to one another?

"A Bride For A Bargain" by Amanda Barratt
Fired from her lousy job,  Ada McClane calls out to God to help her figure out how to pay for her younger brother's treatment for his lung ailment (t.b.).  Meanwhile the richest bachelor in the city, Geoffrey Buchanan wonders how he can get his mother off his back. The society matron has set up yet another weekend at their posh country home in which she'll parade more single women from the proper "set" in front of him. Geoffrey contracts with Ada to act as his fiance for this event and offers her too much to refuse. But when the farce ends, will Geoffrey be able to leave Ada behind?

Archeologist's Find- by Erica Vetsch
This is the most unique of the stories which made it just a little jarring although it was good.  A wealthy young lady, Ally, is given an ultimatum by her mother to either find herself a husband within three weeks or agree to be courted by someone her parents approve of. Egyptologist and archeologist Max falls for the young art student who has so beautifully captured the essence of his collection. But when he discovers her true identity can their relationship survive?


Giveaway: We're giving away another copy of Most Eligible Bachelor Collection choice of paperback or ebook.

19 May 2015

Noela reviews The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection

The Most Eligible Bachelor

The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection
by Nine Various Authors
Barbour Publishing

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

 A Bride for a Bargain
by Amanda Barratt

The intriguing premise for this story sparked my interest, but the story itself easily held me captive! When excessively wealthy Geoffrey Buchanan finally finds the woman he is to marry, he is determined for it to be a union of love and not a society woman who is only after his money. So when his mother arranges yet another house party with the intent to marry him off to a suitable woman, Geoffrey decides to ask Miss Ada McClane whom he has only just met in Central Park to come along as his fiancĂ©e. Finding herself unemployed and with a sick brother to care for, Ada takes up Geoffrey’s offer with the more than generous remuneration. Will this poor working girl measure up to high society’s magnifying glass to pull this masquerade off? And can Geoffrey find the happiness he seeks that his wealth doesn't provide?

The Highwayman by Shannon McNear

Unique, compelling, and exhilarating! Along the Great Wagon Road of lower Shenandoah Valley, Pennsylvania, Samuel Wheeler earned a living as wagon master. The country was on the verge of the American Revolution, and there was much tyranny afoot from both the redcoats and those in their pockets. Sam had taken to donning a mask and masquerading himself as the Highwayman, cracking his whip with perfect precision and helping the cause of freedom. Little did the normally shy and tongue-tied Sam expect to one day be saving the girl of his dreams from some brigands. But in his costume, he found new confidence with Sally. What will happen when she falls in love with his fake persona and where will that leave Sam? What will happen if the authorities or the brigands catch up with this vigilante?

The Final Baker Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Although it was the last novella in this collection, it was by no means the least entertaining! The amusing and vibrant conversations and situations this enticing plot created throughout the story, was just as gratifying as the ending with its surprising twist. The wealthy Octavia Derby doesn’t want to marry and aims to prove to her father that she can take care of herself without his money. Determined to prove it, she accepts an opportunity to work as a typist for a month, although there is the little problem that her typing skills are non-existent. Octavia unknowingly meets her employer Merritt Baker upon arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana, and mistaking him for a taxi-cab driver; she situates herself in his buggy and proceeds to give him orders! The likewise wealthy Merritt Baker of Baker Shipping, is pressured from all sides to marry and is constantly fending off women who are after him only for his money. Can they both serve each other’s needs yet still meet their own?
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These, along with six other engaging novellas in this collection, tell the stories of some extremely eligible bachelors of yesteryear times. These stories by talented authors Erica Vetsch, Cynthia Hickey, Gabrielle Meyer, Connie Stevens, Susanne Dietze, and Gina Wellborn, are ALL thoroughly charming and entertaining! And all captivate the reader’s heart, as the women look for the true worth in these bachelors, and the men seek to marry for all the right reasons. 

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You can purchase 'The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection' at these places and others: Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; BAM 

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away several copies of 'The Most Eligible Bachelor - Romance Collection' this week!!! Leave a comment to enter, and your email if we don't know you. E-book outside of US unless available to you through Book Depository.


17 May 2015

Interview with Susanne Dietze by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Author Susanne Dietze

Susanne, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. It was nice meeting you at an ACFW conference a few years back!

Thank you for having me!
Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? Answer: 
I’ve struggled with anxiety off and on for several years, but the most recent experience coincided with writing the story that became my first sale. Signing a contract was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, but writing my story was not quite a fairy tale experience. I had a medical issue that turned out to be fine, but I was tested for autoimmune disease and cancer. I worked on Love’s Reward while waiting for those test results. “Love is love’s reward” (by Dryden) was already set as the theme of the story: the greatest prize of a relationship with God is Jesus Himself, and the reward of our relationship with another person is that relationship. Waiting for my test results was agonizing; however, I believe God was teaching me to trust Him with my unknowable future, to dwell close to Him on my journey without questioning where He takes me (because ultimately, my journey will take me to His arms!). While the particulars of my experience were far different than my characters’, I got to go through the process of trusting Jesus, right along with the characters.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
I’ve found comfort in times of anxiety Scriptures that remind me that my weaknesses and flaws are places where God can be glorified, and I must rely on His strength, not my own. I also return time and again to verses that remind me of God’s unending love.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9
Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 1 Cor. 15:43
One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love…” Psalm 62: 11-12

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
I do not have any information on that at this time.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In addition to the theme of trusting God, the characters struggle with forgiveness, feelings of inadequacy, and family dysfunction.

BIO:
Susanne Dietze is a pastor’s wife and mom who began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today she writes in the hope of encouraging and entertaining others. You can visit her on her website,www.susannedietze.com.
 
The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection
LINKS:
Twitter: @SusanneDietze
Blog:  Tea and a Good Book ~ www.susannedietze.blogspot.com

BOOK LINKS:



Question you’d like to ask readers:
The characters in the story are caught up in the bicycle craze of the 1890s. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away several copies of Most Eligible Bachelor this week. Respond to the Q to enter.

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