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The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Synopsis:

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

  The Lady and the Lionheart

My Thoughts:

No question about it, this book deserves all the stars! I didn’t just read this story, I lived it. Joanne Bischof created a vivid masterpiece, a world that I didn’t want to leave. This story lingered in my imagination and heart days after I finished the last page.

I fell in love with the characters. Even the secondary characters, and yes, even the lions! Each had a special role and each held a piece of my heart. You couldn’t convince me that it wasn’t real, so don’t even try, my heart wouldn’t believe you!

If you haven’t yet picked up this book, you need to run to your nearest library or bookstore and settle in for a delightful story that will hold you captive long past the final chapter! If you fall into the category of “I read it a year or so ago” then it may be time to dust it off and read it again! You can be sure that this story holds a place of honor on my keeper shelf and will be pulled out again for future enjoyment.

(I purchased a copy of this book for my own collection. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Joanne-BischofA Christy and Carol Award-winning author, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. To Get to You, her 2015 release, was the second. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Book Reviews among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children and is currently working on a new 2-book series for Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian (releasing 2018).

Webpage // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

  The Lady and the Lionheart

 

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Synopsis:

When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

  All Manner of Things

My Thoughts:

Wow! This story and its characters wove themselves around my heart. I laughed, I held my breath, I cried. This story welcomed me into an intimate, heartfelt journey with these characters. The characters felt so real that I felt like I became part of their family.

My parents were born in 1956. I have seen pictures and listened to the music they grew up listening to. I’ve enjoyed listening to the stories they have shared of memories they have of this time period. Reading this story, was even better than listening to their stories (sorry mom & dad) because I felt like I lived the story with the characters.

Susie Finkbeiner tackles difficult topics and through the characters, we are reminded of the importance of forgiveness as well as given a gentle reminder that even in our darkest moments, God is still with us. I highly recommend this story!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

 

About the Author:

SusieFinkbeiner  Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home

Her most recent novel, All Manner of Things, releases in June, 2019 with Revell.

She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the state. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads //

  All Manner of Things

 

 

Risking Love (Maple Run #4) by Toni Shiloh

Synopsis:

Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even the sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman?
Read Risking Love today and see what happens when you risk your heart to the care of a good man.

  Risking Love (Maple Run #4)

My Thoughts:

When it comes to a book written by Toni Shiloh, I don’t even need to read the back-cover copy. It’s a must buy! I know that I am in for a delightful story, one that I will live alongside the characters. A story that will not only linger in my memory but one that I will grow from as well. Risking Love checks all the boxes. I enjoyed my time with these friends and didn’t want it to end.

A trip to Maple Run with Toni Shiloh is always a delight! The characters in Toni Shiloh’s books are real, honest, people. They make mistakes, they have baggage that weighs them down. But regardless of past hurts and past mistakes, they learn and grow and they lean on God and press together with a community of God-fearing friends.

Risking Love can be read as a stand-alone, however, there are appearances from friends we have met in earlier books. Honestly, all of the stories are fantastic, so you might as well get them because you don’t want to miss out on knowing this delightful community of characters!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

SONY DSC Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

  Risking Love (Maple Run #4)

Other books in this collection:

  Enduring Love (Maple Run #3)

  Finding Love (Maple Run #2)

  Buying Love (Maple Run #1)

 

First Line Friday: No Ocean Too Wide

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky.  If you enjoy reading stories that are richly detailed with vivid characters that stay with you and a story that both breaks your heart and has you cheering for the successes of characters you’ve come to love. You won’t want to miss out on this newest story from Carrie Turansky. CLICK HERE to see my full review!

NoOceanTooWide

London 1909

          Katie McAlister’s heart pounded out a frantic beat as she gripped the rickety railing and rushed down the back stairs.

 

Check out the Book Trailer:

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

His Encouragement: #24

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

The Lord will fight for you,
and you shall hold your peace.

Exodus 14:14

 

Another version says “…and be still”
Oh, dear friends, how very often we rush ahead and try to do things on our own. I know I’m guilty of this. Another way to look at it is being wise in our own eyes. Thinking we know the best, and forging on. When God just wants us to wait. Let Him work. Let Him clear the path.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home

The Princess by Lori Wick

Synopsis:

In the Land of Pendaran, Shelby Parker lives a humble but good life. Her special qualities are eventually noticed by the king and queen of the House of Markham, who seek a new wife for their widowed son, Prince Nikolai.

To uphold the tradition of their country, Shelby and Nikolai agree to an arranged marriage. But while Nikolai is a perfect gentleman in public, he remains distant at home, leaving Shelby to wonder what is in his heart. Will the prince ever love her as he did his first wife? Can the faith they share overcome the barriers between them?

Twenty years after its initial release comes this exquisite deluxe edition of Lori Wick’s bestselling classic, The Princess (over 275,000 copies sold worldwide).

Relive the magic of Shelby and Nikolai’s love story with this beautifully designed keepsake version of one of the most beloved Christian romance novels of all time.

My Thoughts:

I first read Lori Wick’s, The Princess shortly after it first came out in 1999. I still have that print copy on my bookshelf, tucked in nicely with other favorites from Lori Wick. I’ve read LOTS of books in the 20 years since and didn’t remember much about the story other than the fact that I enjoyed it when I read it the first time. Fast forward to 2019 and I entered a giveaway for the audiobook version and much to my delight my name was chosen to win a copy!

I found myself easily immersed in the story, and walking the halls of the palace with Shelby. This story of a marriage of convenience is deeply moving and at times painful. The reader is reminded of the importance of being honest, even when it isn’t easy. Woven into the story are gentle reminders of faith in God and trusting in His plan.

(I received a copy of this book in a giveaway from the publisher. I am not required to write reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

  The Princess

About the Author:

Lori Wick  FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Lori Wick is known as one of the most versatile Christian fiction writers on the market today. From pioneer fiction to a series set in Victorian England to a contemporary novel, Lori’s books (over 5 million in print) continue to delight readers and top the Christian bestselling fiction list. Lori and her husband, Bob, live in Wisconsin with “the three coolest kids in the world.”

Website // Goodreads // Amazon //

 

Author Interview & Giveaway with Angie Dicken – The Yellow Lantern

I’m super excited to have Angie Dicken here visiting with us today chatting about her new book, “The Yellow Lantern” set to release in August. Be sure to stay with us till the end and enter the #Giveaway!

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of reading any of Angie’s books, allow me to introduce you…

AngieDicken  Angie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest //

About the Book:

TheYellowLanternIn Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck–Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission–posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Terrance. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

The Yellow Lantern (August 1, 2019)

 

Trisha:  Welcome Angie, I’m so glad you can visit with us today to talk about your upcoming book The Yellow Lantern. Let’s jump right into the questions!

mushroom-3014641_1920Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Angie:  I’d have to say Fall since I moved to the Midwest (ten years ago). Changing color, apple orchards, sweater weather…love!

Trisha:  Fall is a beautiful season!

 

tree-1409101_640Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Angie:  I really enjoy getting up early before everyone else. I love my coffee on the deck with the birds chirping, reading and writing in peace. J

Trisha:  I too enjoy the quiet peace of mornings.

 

books-315677_640Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Angie:  One of my first Christian Fiction reads ever was Liz Curtis Higgs Thorn in My Heart. And…Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!

Trisha:  You’ve listed two of my long-time favorites!!

 

mobile-616012_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Angie:  Actually, you would find the Pandora station, Native American World Drums. I am writing a novella set on the frontier, and I love this music! The instruments are soulful.

Trisha:  Ohhh, I love a good Native American story! I can’t wait!!

 

book-863418_640Q:  What do you love about this story?

Angie:  I loved weaving suspense throughout it. I’ve never written suspense before, and it tapped into some new creative juices for me.

Trisha:  It sure is suspenseful, with a handful of surprises tossed in for good measure! I’m sure it will be well received!

 

guy-2609361_640Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Angie:  The main grave robber, Alvin! I can’t say much, but all I can say is, secondary characters can do some crazy things. 😉

Trisha:  Alvin took me by surprise too. I thought I had him pegged down. I won’t spoil it for our friends and say more.

 

coffee-1629158_640Q:  What is something you hope readers will tell others about this story?

Angie:  That they didn’t know how it would turn out until the last page. I love that comment!

Trisha:  It’s sooo true! The ending could have gone several directions, and will keep the reader guessing!

 

correcting-1870721_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Angie:  One of the first scenes ever written showed Josie discovering her younger sister on the doctor’s table after being buried alive. I like how it turned out—the heroine having the experience instead.

Trisha:  Oh, wow! That would be awful to see your younger sister on the doctor’s table. Thank you, Angie, for chatting with us today about The Yellow Lantern!

Friends, be sure to check out the bonus content and enter the giveaway!

 

CLICK HERE for Bonus Content!

More info on The Yellow Lantern: angiedicken.com/tyl-summer-series

 

Giveaway

junegiveaway.png

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1) by Carrie Turansky

Synopsis:

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

My Thoughts:

History comes to life within the pages of this latest novel from Carrie Turansky. Prior to picking up this book, I was not aware of the painful, heart-wrenching history of the English Home Children. Before I started reading this book I took a little time to familiarize myself with some of this history. I saw the faces of some of the real-life children that lived through this reality.  However, picking up this book bought it all vividly to life.

I appreciated the character growth throughout the story. We witness first hand how Laura McAlister takes matters into her own hands and watches as her choices to rush ahead of God instead of taking time to pray to lead her down a few difficult paths that could have been avoided. This is something that I feel we all could learn from. It’s so easy to think that we know the right answer and to rush ahead.

Andrew Fraser has a big heart and desires to help others less fortunate. However, because of his affluent upbringing, he often sees things a little more rose-colored than they are. As time progresses, he begins to gain a clearer picture.  Through it all His big heart shines through. He has a strong faith, and while he’s not perfect and makes mistakes, he shares his faith with others and helps bolster them along the journey.

It is easy to read this story and feel heartbroken for the children and what they went through in this story and yet have a measure of disconnect because it is all the past. The sad reality is that children are still being mistreated and hurt today. It is just as important today that we watch out for children as it was 100 years ago!

While this is a heavy topic, there are moments of laughter and sweet moments of new love. Within the pages, you are invited to an intimate look at both the worst and the best of humanity. I do have to say that I was not satisfied with the ending, as I was hoping for a little more closure.  I’m really glad that there will be more stories to come, and you can be sure that I’ll be first in line to see what happens next!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)

Favorite Quote:

 

About the Author:

174914 Carrie Turanksy has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and three grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends.

  Web Page / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Grab your copy today:

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)

 

First Line Friday: Ever Faithful

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett. This fun and engaging story has something for everyone. The perfect book for your dream vacation or even your stay-cation! CLICK HERE to read my full review.

EverFaithful

April 1933
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

          Elsie closed her eyes for a moment and breathed in the steamy air, imagining she stood beside Grand Prismatic Spring instead of the massive laundry boiler in the back of the Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge.

 

  Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

His Encouragement: #23

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
And walk in love, as Christ has loved us and given Himself for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Ephesians 5: 1 & 2

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes