31 March 2015

Teresa Mathews Reviews Lori Benton's THE WOOD'S EDGE

The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton
Waterbrook Press

Have you ever picked up a book and before you know what has happened you find yourself so enthralled that you don't want to put it down? This magnificent tale by Lori Benton is one of those stories.

Ms. Benton takes us back in time to the 1757 New York frontier, where life at the British Fort "William Henry" is about to come to an abrupt end by the hands of blood-thirsty, marauding Indians.  What takes place during this horrific time will forever change the lives of two families.  

Amidst the fighting Major Reginald Aubrey watched his fragile wife give birth to a son, then moments later while she slept, he realizes the boy has died. Deciding to take him away for burial before Heledd awakens, Reginald heads outside. On the way he sees a young woman that was taken from the Oneida Indians who has given birth to twins, one as fair as she is and the other as dark as his Indian father. Barely thinking twice, the grieving father makes a decision that will haunt him for years to come; he switches the babies.

Barely escaping with their lives, Reginald with Heledd and baby William head for safety, on the way they come upon a family that was all slaughtered by the Indians, except for a little girl, who appears less than a year old. Knowing he cannot leave her, Anna becomes a part of their family.

Years later Heledd takes William to Wales where he furthers his education, leaving behind Reginald and a heart broken Anna. Mourning for her brother, Anna visits their favorite childhood spot near the edge of the woods and there she meets a young Indian brave by the name of Two Hawks, who oddly reminds her of William. They form a fast bond and what develops after that encounter will bring about the healing of two families.

Lori Benton is an absolute master storyteller; with her descriptive wording she paints a picture that you will forever want to hold in your heart. This story takes you to the deepest depths of despair and then to the highest heights of redemption and forgiveness. The storyline is both captivating and emotional; there are scenes that were so moving I was brought to tears. The ending was different than what I thought it would be but it was both rewarding and satisfying and I can barely wait to see where this story leads as it will be continued in the next book in this series.

*Thanks to Waterbrook Press for supplying a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.* 

You may pre-order this and other books by Lori at AmazonCBDBAM and Barnes and Noble

GIVEAWAY: Two copies of The Wood's Edge will be given away to two blessed commenters on any of the posts this week! E-book only to International winner!

29 March 2015


By Bonnie Roof

God wants to fellowship and communicate with us, however, it must be a 2-way communication: He talks, we listen - we talk, He listens. How do we get to know a person?? By communicating with them, talking and listening: John 10:27. God sent Jesus to take our place and die for us- because He loves us that much and wanted us to have fellowship with Him again.

There are other voices whispering in our ears as well - the voice of satan, and the voice of our own fleshly desires. However, in John 10:4b, 5, we are told: "and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call", (Amplified).It takes time to learn to discern God's voice, it also takes a humble heart: Jeremiah 29:12-13. Hebrews 5:14 tells us we can train our ear, by practicing, to recognize the voice of God above the other voices. We can have confidence that we will hear His voice through His Spirit: Romans 8:14, and we can hear His voice, but we must be careful - especially when a young Christian - that we confirm we're following the Holy Spirit, and not another voice. Satan is the great deceiver, and our own flesh can mislead (especially when we are under pressure or want something badly).

Life is full of choices, how do we know we are making the right decisions?? Proverbs 16:3 describes the way our intentions and thoughts lineup with God's will when we submit ourselves fully to the Lord. How can we know whether we're hearing the voice of God?? As we humbly seek Him, He leads us: Proverbs 3:5-6. The Bible gives 7 points on which each possible leading should be based - we are to examine the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, and the words of godly people who influence us by their words and actions; through the use of these 7 points:
(1) The Holy Spirit speaking to our heart: Hebrews 8:10-11
(2) Godly counsel: Proverbs 11:14
(3) Circumstances/Timing: Acts 18:1-3
(4) Confirmation: Matthew 18:16
(5) Scripture: 11 Timothy 3:16-17
(6) The Peace of God: Colossians 3:15
(7) The Prophetic (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy): 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Many times, the Lord will confirm His direction to us through more than one of these points, especially when we are in the process of making important, life-changing decisions. As we humble ourselves before God, seek His guidance, He will be faithful to lead us, "in paths of righteousness for His name's sake", Psalm 23:3.

Please share your testimony of how you have grown to know the voice of God, or leave another comment - for your opportunity to win this week's giveaway!! 

26 March 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE by Maggie Brendan

The Trouble with Patience (Virtues and Vices of the Old West, Book 1)
Revell (February 17, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The cocky, rough and tough sheriff Jedediah Jones can capture the lawless but can he capture the heart of a godly woman who loves to write devotionals?

Western justice and vigilantes once ruled the dusty main street and rugged territory of Montana. The most famous of them all, Vigilante X, now resides in the small frontier town of Nevada City as Sheriff Jedediah. Weighed down with guilt about his past, Jedediah aims to stay true to his badge and handle things the lawful way. However, his memories refuse to stay buried, and now it seems they just might just catch up in his life as well.

Patience Cavanaugh runs the neglected boarding-house ‘Creekside Inn’ that was inherited from her grandmother. She agrees to a mutually benefiting deal with the arrogant, albeit tall and rather ruggedly handsome sheriff, that has him promising to improve her run-down accommodation. When a mysterious man arrives in town and stays at the boarding-house, he begins helping Patience with the repairs himself, which doesn't impress Jedediah one bit. Who is this stranger and can he be trusted?

When cattle disappear, jewelry vanishes, and a rancher is murdered, Jedediah needs to figure out who are his friends and who are his enemies, while dealing with a past that’s returned and a woman that drives him to distraction!

This is a sweet western romance with wagon loads of charm, mystery, and smiles. Historical detail is dispersed throughout, and there is wonderful inspiration in the themes of our self worth, faith, forgiveness, and trust in God. Get comfortable in your saddle or wagon because you won’t be wanting to pull up until you reach the end of the trail, er rather, book! 

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* Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and Book Depository!

GIVEAWAY: Maggie Brendan is generously offering a paperback copy of 'The Trouble With Patience' to one blessed commenter! US entrants only on this particular giveaway.

24 March 2015

Diana Reviews THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE By Maggie Brendan

Revell, 2015
Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars*****
(No Spoilers!) 
Patience Is A Virtue! 
In The Trouble with Patience, author Maggie Brendan sweeps the reader away to a Montana gold rush boomtown; where cattle ranches, thieving rustlers, and handsome cowboys abound...and succulent fried chicken and biscuits are served up daily!
Patience Cavanaugh has lost her fiancé to death and her dreams along with him. Only desiring solitude and time away from her domineering, cold mother, she decides to restore a dilapidated boardinghouse. Thinking herself overweight and unattractive, she resigns herself to remaining single and supporting herself with the money she makes from boarders. Her plans, however, go somewhat awry as two eye-catching men begin to vie for her hand; Cody, a charming ranch hand, and the local marshal, Jedediah, who is too handsome for his own good! However, both men are shrouded in deadly secrets from the past and present, which could destroy their tenuous, budding relationships with Patience forever.
Maggie Brendan has written an engaging, heartwarming story with a little bit of something for everyone! Romance (including one involving an older couple -- which was delightful!), suspense, betrayal, and handsome cowpokes...all gathered together underneath a beautiful Montana sky! Patience was the epitome of graciousness and beauty, but went through a struggle many of us ladies wrestle with quite often. She compared herself with other women, and in spite of her many talents and inward beauty, her self image always came up lacking. I'm especially glad the author delved into this issue which is so prevalent in our society today. The romantic tension was so palatable one could cut it with a knife and the plot totally enthralling! I love historical fiction, but am not a great fan of westerns; however this one kept me coming back for more! Great job, Maggie Brendan!

 Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
 This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, and your local bookstores.
GIVEAWAY: Maggie Brendan is generously offering a paperback copy of The Trouble With Patience to one blessed commenter! US entrants only in this particular giveaway.

19 March 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews ANNA'S CROSSING by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna's Crossing

Anna’s Crossing: An Amish Beginnings Novel
Revell (March 3, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow

5 Stars *****

A beautiful story on moving forward.. 

Setting sail from Germany to the New World, a close-knit Amish community crosses wild and unpredictable oceans in their quest for freedom from oppression. The faith and character of these early Amish is profoundly tested as they confront the most deplorable living conditions, ferocious seas, and a variety of unscrupulous men. I felt privileged to accompany Anna König and the other believers on this fascinating historical journey, especially in being able to observe their responses to a harsh confinement upon a ship with ‘outsiders.’

Aboard ‘The Charming Nancy,’ a hardy, albeit old and creaky ship, the lovely Anna serves as the translator for her group. Bairn, the crew’s tall, commanding, top boatswain, is reluctantly but helplessly drawn to Anna. Mutual admiration soon blossoms into forbidden, if not impossible, love. Bairn’s grand ambitions of wealth, his lack of faith, and haunted past conflicts with the thoughtful and serene Anna’s deep, abiding faith, causing an insurmountable chasm between them. When Anna’s convictions threaten her very life, will it be enough to soften Bairn’s hardened sailor’s heart and can it be possible for their two vastly different worlds to collide?

Whether you typically read Amish or not, you will love this engaging story and find it impossible to put down! The exceptionally descriptive imagery ignites all the senses and will have you living inside the pages. The characters are brilliantly crafted, their personalities unfolding in depth and layers. Aside from the charismatic heroes of the story, the young, red-haired Amish boy, Felix, completely captured my heart with his inquisitive and mischievous, yet charming nature. Each page throughout this intriguing voyage is a treat with surprising revelations, suspense, and romance. And the takeaway theme of trusting in God no matter the circumstances creates an altogether ‘not-to-be-missed’ read! Highly recommended!!  

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This book may be purchased from Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: A copy of 'Anna's Crossing' - your choice of format, to one blessed commenter! (International winners - ebook only)

18 March 2015

Diana Reviews ANNA'S CROSSING By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Revell, 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 Stars*****
Absolutely Riveting!
Suzanne Woods Fisher has penned a powerfully moving, emotive tale -- that takes the reader from the peaceful, sheep grazing hills and valleys of Germany, to a dank, foul-smelling merchant ship traversing the Atlantic Ocean.
It is the year 1737 and lovely Anna Konig reluctantly sets sail on the Charming Nancy with her fellow Amish believers to the New World. Nothing could prepare her for the hardships she and the others have to endure during the long, arduous journey. Overcrowded, malodorous quarters, illness, and lack of good food and water test Anna's faith to the limit. Only the ship's carpenter, Bairn, makes the journey bearable for Anna, in spite of the fact that Bairn disdains her God and her people's way of life. Bairn is drawn to Anna's pure beauty, gentleness, and wisdom beyond her years, but knows he can never have her for his own. Will Bairn's shocking, secret discovery change everything...even the course of his well mapped out life? 
Suzanne Woods Fisher has truly established herself as an award winning author with this new fiction-based-on-fact release! I am amazed at the amount of historical research that went into writing this book...and how well the author transferred that research into a fiction story that will leave readers mesmerized! The addition of a tender, slowly simmering romance, and an ornery, mischievous secondary character, prevents the story from becoming too dark and depressing. Not only is this little guy a charmer, but he's bound to elicit a chuckle or two from you as well, I promise! Anna's Crossing is an awesome story of faith, hope, and redemption. Be sure to order your copy today!

This book may be purchased through CBD, Amazon, and your local book stores.
 GIVEAWAY: A copy of Anna's Crossing (choice of format) to one blessed commenter! (International winners ebook only.)

17 March 2015

COVER REVEAL!!! The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cover by Cynthia Hickey

The Lumberjacks' Ball Cover Reveal!!!
This is my brand new cover designed by Cynthia Hickey!!! And that's Rebecca Jane Daggenhart, the daughter of Lower Michigan store proprietors. Called "Janie" as a child, she was a pretty little blonde whose parents dressed her to the "T" to show off children's goods to their customers. But after surviving a brutal attack, Janie determines to avoid having attention called to herself. You'll notice there's no fancy gown for Rebecca Jane in this picture. She calls herself Rebecca Hart and has just begun running her own mercantile in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

It's 1891 in St. Ignace, Michigan, which is becoming a popular tourist destination and also has plenty of business to keep residents occupied. But will it also draw the wrong sort of clientele?

The Lumberjacks’ Ball Blurb
A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter seeks to begin her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave his lumberjack life and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she sought to suppress, she must learn to overcome her demons. Can affection grow between the cabinetmaker and the proprietress of St. Ignace’s newest business? And will they survive to attend The Lumberjacks’ Ball? 

Blog Hop & Giveaways!!!

Stop by the SEVEN blogs and leave a comment for a chance to win the grand prize of a basket of surprise goodies!!! Giveaways of Carrie’s books at every blog stop, so leave a comment on each one!!!

Nancee Marchinowski  - Perspectives by Nancee  

Anne Payne - Stuff & Nonsense  

Britney Adams - Buzzing About Books

Kathleen E. Belongia - Lane Hill House  

Debbie Lynne Costello - Sword and Spirit

GIVEAWAY: One copy, winner's choice, to a commenter here to be chosen at random one week from today's posting. CHOOSE from:

1) The Fruitcake Challenge, released September, 2014. This story is Book #1 in The Christy Lumber Camp Series and will soon be having a new cover. It is also part of the Christmas Traditions Series. Endorsements from Serena Miller, Lisa Norato, MaryLu Tyndall, Julie Lessman, and a new one from Jen Turano! On the long list for Book of the Year at Family Fiction! Hit the #1 Spot in Christian Historical Romance in December on Amazon.

2) The Lumberjacks' Ball, pictured above, releasing April, 2015. Book #2 in The Christy Lumber Camp Series.
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance

3) Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance 

God's Provision in Tough Times

4)God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy, chapter contributed by Carrie. 

5) Watch for an upcoming Cover reveal for my upcoming release Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter from White Rose/Pelican (2015)!

Ebook or paperback copy choice for books 1-5.

6) A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guidepost Books, hardcover only


7) Family Fiction Anthology of The Story 2014 which includes my award-winning short story “The Quilt Contest”, paperback only.  

International Winners - ebook only of one of books 1-5.

Leave a comment on EACH blog to win a giveaway on that blog. ONE Grand Prize winner will receive a basket of goodies from Carrie. That person needs to leave a comment on EACH one of the Blog Hop stops!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is an award-winning Amazon bestselling author of Christian historical romance. She served as a psychologist for twenty-five years. Carrie lives in the Tidewater Virginia area with her family. When not writing, researching, blogging and enjoying tea, Carrie beads and reads—not necessarily in that order! And she's the administrator of Colonial Quills and Overcoming with God blogs.

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