God and “Ships” in Lego Batman

people-3281583_1920If you haven’t seen The Lego Batman Movie, it’s certainly a movie worth your time. It’s so funny and gives all sorts of nostalgic/clever hints back to Batman movies from days-gone-by.

All of your Batman favorites come out to play – Joker, Harley Quinn, Alfred, Robin, Barbara Gordon and even Tom Cruise…. oh wait, he’s not a usual feature in Batman…but yep, he shows up.

Along with the typical silliness and humor that Lego movies have brought in the past, this one also adds an important storyline. The main story problem – well, Batman tells Joker within the first few minutes.

Batman 1.gif

Batman 2.gif

Batman 3.gif
GIF found on I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Batman works alone. He doesn’t ‘need’ anyone His focus and identity is in the fact that he can make it on his own, doesn’t have to share the glory of his successes, but more than any of those things, he doesn’t have to become vulnerable.

Throughout the movie, we get to watch circumstances force Batman into being…gasp…introspective. He begins to see (and fight against) the value of building relationships with a variety of people, including his comical nemesis, the Joker.

james-baldwin-276255-unsplash.jpgLiving in community with others makes his life complete.

Relationships are important in making Batman a better…Batman.

The Bible is a beautiful story of relationship.

First its God’s relationship within the trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, but from the Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells of story of God’s relationship with his people. Scene upon scene shows his pursuing, faithful design to mend a broken relationship between him and his people.

He totally does ‘ships’ – so much so, that he pursues people who are as indifferent to him as Batman is to little Robin in the movie.

Batman 4
GIF found at tenor

We’re probably even worse!

Yet, because of God’s love, the relationship that once was irrevocably severed has been restored through the faithfulness and obedience of Jesus Christ.

The only way for true relationship is in Christ.

He completes us.

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen   Hebrews 13:20-21

pepper (1)

Timeless Love – Release Day

It’s Release Day!!!

I am so excited that I got to be a part of this fabulous collection of books! And it is now available to you, dear readers. This is the first place you will be able to purchase my WWII novella, Facade! Purchase your copy on Amazon today.

All proceeds from the sale of this collection will be donated to the LiveStrong Foundation.

Enjoy seven romances through the ages in this Timeless Love limited time ebook. An open invitation to fall in love with the writing styles of a few new-to-you multi-published authors of your favorite Christian romance eras.

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Books

Give Me Thine Heart 1812 ~ Andrea Boeshaar

Moira loathes the man her uncle, Baron Tyrus Kinsley, wishes her to marry. But when she meets Sam Stryker, she soon guesses he’s from the American Colonies. After she stumbles onto a deep secret, Sam must make an impossible decision. Ultimately, he whisks Moira from England. However, it’s the on the 6-weeks long voyage to the U.S. that Moira learns about herself, her family…and the man who is both her kidnapper and rescuer. 

This Freedom Journey 1833 ~ Misty M. Beller

Adrien Lockman left France to finally live life on his own terms, but when he discovers a half-starved and half-frozen woman in the treacherous Canadian mountains, the truth soon becomes clear—the only way they’ll survive is together. 

The Heart of Home~ 1865 ~ Stephenia H. McGee

Opal Martin aspires to scrub the remnants of the War Between the States from her tattered life. When a nearly drowned soldier appears and asks if he can die on her porch, she must guard against the sudden revival of her heart’s hope for love. Tristan Stuart wants to escape the pain of war. He wakes up at a house that’s too much like home, with a woman determined to mend him he may discover a life worth fighting for. To save the last of what Opal holds dear, will he become the man she needs or let the troubled waters carry him away?

Enchanting Nicholette 1893 ~ Dawn Crandall

Young, widowed, and newly out of mourning, Nicholette Everstone is an heiress yearning to be loved. Her parents had arranged for her to marry her loving late husband, but the marriage ended tragically on her wedding day. Returning to Boston after being away, she finds there’s someone new to her set of friends and family she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices this man takes on, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears at bay?

Teach Me To Love 1899 ~ Kari Trumbo

Izzy Lawson has taken her last abuse. When her husband dies, she rushes to Belle Fourche to stay with the only friend she has. The wall she’s worked so hard to build crumbles in the arms of a man so different from her husband. Conrad Oleson can’t read and it’s shamed him for longer than he can remember. As Izzy reveals her painful past, he can’t stay away. He’ll do about anything, to get closer. Including, teach her how to love.

Façade 1942 ~ Pepper D. Basham

Olivia Rakes has excellent observations skills for facts and details, but stumbles through matters of the heart. When her brother goes missing in German-occupied France, Livy enlists her services with a group of search-and-rescue spies, who not only thrust her toward espionage, but…romance. Agent Christopher Dawson has avoided Livy since she broke his heart. When the search for his best friend brings them together, the heart takes on a mind of its own. In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can they work together to complete their rescue mission before the enemy catches them?


Bookishly Ever After 2018 ~ Sarah Monzon

It all started with a bet and a book.

Emory Blake would take curling up with a novel over a night on the town any day. But then her best friend, Tate Woodby, accuses her of living between the pages of her paperbacks instead of the real world, and he makes a bet that will force her to experience the adventures of her fictional friends. Emory must confront the pain of the past. But is it also her perfect opportunity to her own happily ever after?

About the Authors

Learn more about each author on their websites listed below!

 Timeless Square

Beyond the Door

books-1141911_1920.jpgI’m a big C.S. Lewis fan, whether his fiction or his nonfiction. He had an amazing way of taking deep concepts and sprinkling them with imagination. From the world of Narnia to the wit of The Screwtape Letters to the poignant wording of deep truths in Mere Christianity, he had a way of squeezing creativity out of almost every ink dot.

Anyway, I read a beautiful quote from him yesterday, from his book, The Weight of Glory:

“At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get in.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Can’t you see it? Hear it? The anticipation peeling into the present, into our hearts, for something just beyond what our eyes can see. It’s kind of like my perception when I first wake up in the morning before I put on my glasses or contacts. A blurry view of familiar surroundings. Things I can recognize, but not clearly. A certain item of clothing I think I’ve chosen, upon closer examination isn’t what I thought. Almost…but not quite.


We live just outside the door of eternity. We can hear echoes of it in creation – through birdsong, a ba

by’s laughter, a thunderstorm, and myriad other experiences, but our vision cannot take it in on this side of the world.

We’re longing for the perfect peace. Aslan’s country. Heaven.

And all creation eagerly waiting along with us.

Like a magical looking glass or an ancient wardrobe, our hearts wait with an anticipation we can’t always define, sometimes forget, but something our souls long for.

We know there’s something better just “beyond” us.

34725844_10216495433079043_900262232284200960_nAn untainted rightness, a pure goodness, an unblemished beauty, a generous richness, an unbridled future – and we know, this ‘other place’ will answer the wordless longings. At our cores, we try to satisfy ourselves with this world and these broken pieces of eternity as best we can, but God has promised something greater…something that satisfies to the soul.

An inexhaustible hope and a magnificent answer to every longing.

The view through these “heavenward glasses” is how we push through when life is difficult. It’s how we find out focus and purpose. It’s what grounds our earthly choices because our perspective isn’t finite, or spoiled, or fixed on our empty hands.  

It’s focused on the One who has the power to get us through the door.

The One who holds our hearts, dreams, and eternal lives, waits to usher us into a kingdom where all the broken pieces will be mended, the blurry scene made clear, and the upside-down perspectives set right.

pepper (1)


Swoony Saturday – Klaus

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high-quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Swoony Saturday - Klaus.png

There are just some heroes who dig deep and leave a meaningful mark on the reader. The slow burn of interest and understanding may take a little while to soak into swooniness, but there’s some massive swooniness to encounter if one just takes the time to stay at the coffee table and have a conversation.

Today, we’re swooning over Rachel McMillan’s hero, Klaus Bauner, from Love in Three Quarter Time, and let me just say…bring it on!

Who? Klaus Bauner

Where can we find this dreamboat?Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

Personality summary: Klaus Bauner isn’t a young pup whose ready to pounce on the unsuspecting Evelyn Watt. Oh no, he’s a seasoned heart, who has lived through wounds and has a good knowledge of himself. Cautious, yes, but not afraid by opportunities or put off by change. Our first impression might be of a disgruntled introvert who would rather enjoy a good book than a good conversation, but as the coffee flows and excellent pastries follow, we discover that Klaus is as much a part of the romance of Vienna as the coffee and pastries. He melts into Evelyn’s life, inspiring her to think and grow in ways she’d never attempted, and in the process, he helps her to uncover the true definition of romance.


What makes us swoon? A HUGE thank you to my Dream Team for sharing what YOU love about Klaus!

Here are a few of my initial thoughts:

He comes off as endearingly disgruntled.

He’s intense yet gentle? How did Rachel pull that off so well 😊

He’s smart. (I love a smart, well-read man. SWOONY!)

He’s honest and incredibly perceptive – and this is a perception in a sweet way where he’s trying to leave the heroine to a deeper understanding of herself.

He knows how to treat a lady.

He LISTENS (I mean, seriously ladies, what can be more romantic to a woman than a man who really listens!!)

There are SO many good things to say about this amazing man, so I had to limit the responses I shared.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Eli Olmedo said: I love that he’s grounded and confident in himself. He doesn’t demand/fight for attention. Even when Evelyn is being dumb chasing after a guy that’s not worth it, Klaus doesn’t freak out, feel like he has to compete, or show E. what he has to offer and that he’s a better option than Rudy. He is simply himself. He knows who is and is confident enough to wait for Evelyn to figure out his worth on her own.

Courtney Clark added: Klaus’ photo would be by the definition of “gentleman” in the dictionary. From his adorable nerdiness (glasses and eye crinkles) to his tenderness (handkerchiefs! and waltzes), he has many great qualities. Like you said, Pepper, if one takes the time to get to know him! I also love how he encourages and helps Evelyn to grow and be the best version of herself.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Kissing LevelsKissing level of such swooniness:  I “had” to go back and reread the kisses to ensure I rated this appropriately 😊

I rate Klaus as a total 5. TOTAL! Rachel builds to the moment with SUCH anticipation, my breath actually stopped to experience the scene with Evelyn. As is part of Klaus’ personality, he was gentle, thoughtful, sexy (heavens), and saw HER more than seeing a need to kiss her. She may have started the kiss, but he finished it with panache and enough swooniness to leave the reader feeling it to her toes. Yep!

Hero Types

Basic hero type: So, the ladies and I were having a chat about this hero type and he’s a tough one. He starts off as a kind of Wentworth, but…for me blended into a Henley!   A combo of Henry and Mr. Knightley. His genuineness, friendship, and humor fit both of them, he’s also incredibly inciteful– and, as you get to know him, he’s not broody as much as thoughtful.

I LOVE how Eli (from my Dream Team) added this bit of info about our handsome hero:

I was almost thinking Mr. Tilney. Both men like/love the heroine, are somewhat amused by their naivety, and neither one pushes when the heroines act foolishly regarding men who are nowhere near the calibre of the heroes.

What does the author have to say about her hero?

Klaus is the quintessential gentleman inspired by the book characters I first crushed on as a kid: namely Paul Emanuel from Villette by Charlotte Bronte and Prof. Bhaer from Little Women. I love him because he hopefully inspires women to look at the men in their life carefully. Are they treated the way Rudy treats Evelyn or the way Klaus treats her: as an equal with respect? Every woman deserves a Klaus and fashioning him with some traditional characteristics hopefully recaptures some gentlemanly trails long lost.

How can I meet this swoony mister?

Love in Three Quarter TimeYou can find my review for Love in Three Quater Time Here. And don’t miss my Book Journeys post about Vienna! 

Amazon | Goodreads

pepper (1).png

Book Journeys – Arabia



What do you think of?


Before reading The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon, I could only pull images from movies I’d seen (Hildago being one of my favorites).  Sarah’s beautiful novel reintroduces me to a world and culture quite different than my own, so let’s learn a little more about this landscape, beautiful in its own way.

Sarah used Arabia as her canvas for painting her beautiful story about Karim and Hannah, two people from two cultures and faiths, who allow love to, not only save Karim’s people, but also bind their two hearts together.

Middle East map 2% (Middle Eastern Jew,Persian,Caucasus,Turkish,Saudi Arabian,Egyptian,Greek, southern Italian)

Arabia is a peninsula which is framed in by the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. So…three sides of it meet water, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s like Hawaii. Arabia is known for it’s dry, dessert climate, but usually boasts a pleasant spring and autumn (my two favorite seasons). Mountain ranges run throughout it with an elevation as high as 9000 feet in some places. The combination of the rugged terrain and climate make for a perfect setting for the nomadic life Sarah’s describes.

Photo by Adria Berrocal Forcada on Unsplash

In so many of the photos, the sands appear almost like ocean waves on a vast golden horizon. The wind shifts the sands, changing the scenery with a sky that modulates from amethyst mountains, copper skies, jagged peaks, golden sands, and aqua seas. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Though, from what I understand, it’s not for the faint of heart or the lover-of-cold-weather or rain 😉


Sarah recreates this unpredictable and vast landscape for us through her novel The Esther Paradigm. The danger, beauty, heat, and nomadic life are portrayed to the point where I could almost feel the wind whipping around the tents. You can read my full review HERE.

Have you ever watched a movie that featured Arabia? What would you like to see if you could go to such a place?

Swoony Saturdays – Josh Tyler

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Josh Tyler.pngWho? Josh Tyler

Where can we find this dreamboat?  Then There Was You by Kara Isaac (Bellbird Press, June 2017) You can read my review HERE.

Hugh is relaxing before bed.   (Gretchen?  Have we arrived yet?   We've been a little preoccupied....)
Ok…Ok…I know this is not Josh Tyler…But it’s Hugh Jackman. And he is Australian and look at that smile!

Personality summary: Josh Tyler is a man whose past has brought gravity to her personality but depth to his faith. As a musician in a band that performs all over the world, he’s used to being in the limelight but has also learned, due to painful circumstances, to guard his privacy. He wears a smile more readily than a frown…unless the heroine, Paige, is involved, but don’t worry – her proclivity for being unintentionally ridiculous turns Josh’s frown around. With a desire to do what is right, a love for family, music, and Jesus, he oozes a confidence which is seen best in his compassion with others.

What makes us swoon?

Blue Mountains, australia.
Blue Mountains – Australia

AUSTRALIAN!! (Everyone agrees that this is the top swoony feature 😉)

He’s a musician (guitar)

He can sing

He loves his family.

Loves people


Great smile (this is a very swoony one for me. Smiles!! Sigh)

He’s gentle when it’s needed most.

Seriously, this guy is pretty adorable. Funny, confident, flirty…AND he loves Jesus!!!!!!

http://31.media.tumblr.com/b0b9f5ce3324af26cf989159f9d26437/tumblr_mstjqknK6a1rub0hvo1_500.pngStop by the best outdoor bar in #SWFL! The Center Bar in Bonita Springs has great drinks and a great atmosphere! thecenterbar.com/Kissing level of such swooniness: Okay, we don’t get a whole lot of kisses from Josh, but there’s a FANTASTICALLY notable one that happens in a certain ‘tunnel/hallway’. Unforgettable! Up there in the swoony charts. A solid 4.

Basic hero type: Josh can brood with the best of them but underneath is a very caring heart. I think brooding might not be his typical trait, so I’m placing him in the Wentworth (for grudge holding) with a dash of Knightly underneath. What do you think?

How can I meet this swoony mister?Then There Was You

You can find Josh Tyler in all his swoon worthy handsomeness in Kara Isaac’s most recent release, Then There Was You. You can check out my review HERE. And don’t miss out on the Book Journeys post featuring this beautiful country!

Amazon| Goodreads

About the Author

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

More Books by Kara Isaac 


Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Book Journeys – Australia


The first things that come to mind for me are:

Adidas profits from bloody slaughter of kangaroos.  The bodies of slaughtered baby kangaroos - torn from their mother's pouches and too small to be of any commercial use - will lie for the eagles to peck at, while their slaughtered mothers are made into football boots for the sportswear giant.   Adidas has been accused of fuelling ♥Hugh Jackman ♥ Photshoot - Hugh Jackman Photo (26818914) - Fanpop


Hugh Jackman

Sandy shores

Nicole Kidman

Opera house


Thor is no longer arrogant; he's been humbled.  He's grown much since his last movie.  The Thunderer doesn't appear foolhardy in this picture.  Calm, confident, and prepared; but no longer looking for a fight.

Tony Atwood

And Thor (I know. Weird)

Plus, a whole slew of amazing people I’ve gotten to know through the writing process, like Karen Schravemade, Ian Acheson, Katie Donovan, Lucy Nel, Timmy Cleary, and Rel Mollet…plus my new acquaintance Jessica Kate. (If I missed some of my down under cyber-friends, I’m so sorry!!!)

Sydney.pngI just finished Kara Isaac’s novel, Then There Was You. You can find my review HERE. This book takes place almost completely in Australia, particularly in the Sydney area. So today we’re featuring a few lovely sites from that city 😊

  1. The ACCENTS!!! I know, I know. I can rent a movie or hang out on Youtube to get this fix, but live and in-person is so much better. Plus, you get to see the culture, which is another one of my favorite things to explore!! Come on, doesn’t everyone swoon just a wee bit when an Aussie starts talking? Or is that just me? Actually, I probably swoon over English, Irish, and…especially Scottish too, but, my oh my, there’s just something golden about an Australian accent.
  1. The Sydney Opera House – Wow! This magnificent edifice of modern architecture and an internationally recognizable feature associated with Sydney. (I even recognized it in Finding Nemo) The Opera House hosts over forty performances each week.
  1. Tamarama, Bondi, or Bronte beaches are nearby on the eastside and offer beautiful views and excellent spots for romantic beach walks or charming picnics. There are even walking trails connecting some of the beaches, so you can take a lovely stroll from one picturesque view to the next. Or take a half-hour ferry ride to manly for some surfing, snorkeling, and other sea adventures.
    Tamarama Beach via Beautifully, Suddenly
  1. Did you know that Australia has a mountain range known as the BLUE MOUNTAINS!!! (see, I was MEANT to visit there!!) Look at these beautiful mountains! I’d feel right at home (except there’s also a really cool beach nearby and we have to drive a ways to find a beach) http://www.australia.com/en-us/places/blue-mountains.htmlThree Sisters Sunset Blue Mountains New South Wales

The Blue Mountains feature bushland, waterfalls, hiking trails, forests, and… CLIFFS! Okay, okay, I just get nostalgic about cliffs. It’s a weird romantic thing in my head. Plus, they have something called Wentworth Falls???? Really? Engage daydream mode NOW.

Wentworth Rainbow, Wentworth Falls, Australia,  by Toma Iakopo,Tomojo Photography

    1. If you want to take in a great view of Sydney, take a Bridge Climb up Sydney Harbor Bridge. From the photos, the views look spectacular. However, I’m more of a country girl than a city girl, so if you’re looking for me, you’ll probably find me at one of the beaches or…the Blue Mountains 😊

I really hope some of my Aussie friends will chime in to share some great places to visit in Australia!! Have you visited? What did you love about the lovely land Down Under?


Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

When Rebecca Maney told me I HAD to read Kara Isaac’s newest release, Then There Was You, two things happened:

  1. I knew I needed to listen because I ALWAYS listen to Rebecca Maney 😉
  2. Kara has been on my TBR list for a whole year because I’d heard her writing style was similar to mine (which I take as a BIG compliment), so I looked forward to finding out if that was true.

So, on a recent flight from Texas, I pulled out my purchased copy of Then There Was You and spent the entire flight time reading…and finishing…this fun, poignant, and sweet romance.

A little about the book:

Then There Was You.jpg

Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years.

Things need to change.

A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son. Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He’s determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

My take:

I love to travel, but with a big family and two middle-class salaries, travel isn’t always an option. Thankfully, Kara provides a wonderful journey to a place I’d LOVE to see some day. Australia. (Which we will be visiting on Thursday on our Book Journeys.)

I’ve seen the movie, Australia, but the place? Not yet. There are loads of people I’d love to visit over there. 😊

But – back to the book!

Kara Isaac writes my kind of story!!!

Then there was you.pngHer characters are such fun. They remind me of the novels I love to write, so, of course, I love to READ them!! Paige is completely adorkable – in her clumsy, bumbling, victory-dancing sort of way, she stumbles right into musician, Josh Tyler’s life. Their personalities are opposite in some ways, but perfectly fitted where it matters most. Kara keeps the faith theme organic, but a strong thread in the midst of two people trying to understanding how to move forward when deep, life-altering wounds redirect their futures.

Kara does a beautiful thing we don’t always see in contemporary fiction. She tricks us! By setting this book in a light-hearted tone, she sneaks in some deep-set spiritual truths in a beautifully, digestible way (kind of like trying to feed kids something they don’t’ like by sneaking it into something they do 😉)


And we learn. And grieve. And celebrate along with the characters.

Then There Was You 3.pngFilled with heart, humor, hope, and swoony romance, we join in an adventure of love, loss, and second chances. Josh and Paige are two people who’ve been impacted by some deep traumas, both inside the church and out. By placing them together on the page, Kara forces both of them to confront their own hearts and the desires they each hope to find in the other.

Plus…it all takes place in AUSTRALIA! (Wait, did I say that already?)

And both Josh and Paige are muscicians!!!

My music-loving, travel-happy, romance-saturated heart is SOOOOO happy.

If you’re looking for a funny, sweet story with a perfectly-fitted ending (oh my goodness! too much FUN!), then this book is for you!

Amazon| Goodreads

About the Author

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

More Books by Kara Isaac 


Swoony Saturdays – Charlie Lionheart

Welcome! Welcome!

Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Charlie Lionheart

In May, my lovely assistant, Rachel Dixon, posted a Swoony Saturday about Charlie Lionheart, because she LOVED him and because…well…I hadn’t read Joanne Bischof’s book, The Lady and the Lionheart, yet.

Now, with the story fresh in my mind since I finished the book last weekend (much to Rachel Dixon and Carrie Schmidt’s ‘finally’ stares), I’m going to SWOON over Charlie afresh with you guys today 😊

Joanne’s novel has garnered RAVE reviews, awards, and excited fandom-status, including a line of women who often use the hashtag – #mycharlie (you know who you are).  Rt Reviews even named it “Inspirational Romance of 2016”.

From here on out, my comments will be in italics 😉

So….Let’s talk about this tamer of lions and soother of hearts.

Charlie Lionheart: Who? Charlie Lionheart

Where can we find this dreamboat? The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Personality summary:

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. (From the back of the book.)

Charlie is a protector – as fierce as his brotherhood of lions. Yet, amidst the world of the demands, unpredictability, and sometimes horrors of circus life, he breathes a gentleness and uncertainty which is endearing. A bit quirky (in the most adorable of ways), first necessity and then curiosity draw him toward the heroine in a timid dance of two worlds drawing back the curtains on each other. As his protectiveness merges with a sweet love for Ella, a most exquisite and tender romance blooms to outshine any show on the Big Top

LATL 4 : What makes us swoon?

He TAMES LIONS (of course, this would be considered swoony. Seriously??? How many heroes do you know who tame lions??)

He’s a tender daddy
His sacrificial love/Self sacrifice

Strength (works with lions!)I’d add here – his reigned in strength. It’s one thing to be strong (which is swoony, but it’s even more beautiful to curb the power into fierce tenderness and loyalty. That adds a depth that is breathtaking.

His bravery (Not just regarding the lions)
His love for those he cares about is not just something to admire, but to learn from.

Another aspect of Charlie that is wonderful is his ability to look beyond external and take a person at face value.

I love his innocence.

And he’s quirky!! Bring on the ADORKABLE!!!

Kissing level of such swooniness: Charlie is definitely a 5 on this scale. I was left in an incoherent puddle for DAYS after reading this book. Make sure you read close to the kitchen, you WILL need your freezer!

THIS IS A KISSING BOOK, if nothing else for ONE kiss alone. Great googley moogley!

The Lady and the LionheartBasic hero type: Charlie is a Darcy. His brooding disposition and assumptions made about the heroine make him out to be harsh and cold. But he is a softy underneath.

Agreed, an unlearned observer might see him as fierce (much like the lions he tames), but closer observation reveals a loyalty, strength of character, and gentleness to remove any doubt of the dedication and swooniness of his character.

How can I meet this swoony mister? 

The Lady and the Lionheart can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.Christian Book Distributors. Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads!

You can find my review HERE.

About the Author

A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, 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. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Website

Kissing Levels & Hero Types


Swoony Saturdays – Adrien Delaporte

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Earlier this week I posted a review for one of my favorite books, Kissing Adrien (you can find my review HERE). Next we travelled to Paris with Book Journeys (travel with us HERE). And today, we are swooning over the hero…Adrien.


Who? Adrien Delaporte

Where can we find this dreamboat? Kissing Adrien by Siri Mitchell (Harvest House, 2005)

Personality summary: Confidante, funny, compassionate, and flirty, Adrien Delaporte is the quintessential French good guy. Since Kissing Adrien is first person from Claire le Noyer’s point of view, we don’t get firsthand ideas of what Adrien is feeling, but boy, oh boy, Siri describes this gorgeous specimen of European manhood’s emotions so well as seen through Claire’s eyes.

Adrien has been Claire’s childhood friend – now 10 years after their last meeting, they’re brought together again in the City of Love and Light to settle the estate of a mysterious aunt of Claire’s. The mystery of this aunt continues to keep Adrien and Claire in close proximity, and despite Claire fighting tooth-and-nail against how Adrien tries to get Claire to think outside the box, eventually the truth of her being loved and beautiful transforms this insecure workaholic into someone much more like she was created to be. Love does that, you know 😊

Kissing Adrien.pngWhat makes us swoon?

Seriously, this guy is pretty adorable. Funny, confident, flirty…AND he loves Jesus!!!!!!

He’s clever

He’s sexy

He’s French

Author Dawn Crandall had this to say: “his mysteriousness, his intensity, his charm, and his amazing enigmatic draw. His tantalizing conversation. The man oozes sexiness in the most casual way.”

He sees all the beauty in the heroine and wants her to see it too.


He knows the heroine and takes special care to show her he’s interested in her.

The man is intense and a wee bit stubborn in the most delightful of ways.

His BLUE eyes

Smells like lime

This is Adrien’s “official” description from the book: “The interesting thing about Adrien was the synergy of all his parts. He was tall and lanky. Lithe and energetic. He had dark hair, bright blue eyes, and a perpetual tan. A largish nose and nice white teeth. But what pulled it all together was his personality – part clown, part diplomat – and the strange desire he created in those he talked with to make him laugh.”

He apparently has very nice ears as well, because our heroine Claire says this: “They were very nice. And clean. You can’t say that about everyone’s ears.”


Kissing level of such swooniness: Okay, Adrien’s all around swooniness ups this rating even though there’s just one daggone kiss in the ENTIRE BOOK because when he does kiss…well, he’s as intense in his focus of that kiss as he is in the rest of the story. It’s a definite 4…if she’d written further kisses, I feel certain they would have been 5s…or higher.

Basic hero type: I’m saying he’s a Knightley with swagger (maybe with the intensity of Darcy sprinkled in for an additional swoon-factor)…what do you say? He’s the heroine’s friend, but he holds her to the fire on several issues to draw her out of her complacency and unhealthy thinking patterns. . When he realizes his own feelings, he’s intense in his pursuit, but still respects her uncertainty enough to gently ‘find’ her…at her heart.

How can I meet this swoony mister? Find on  Amazon

About the Author

Image may contain: 1 person, glasses and close-up
Photo by Tim Coburn

Siri graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

She is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder. Visit her website to learn more.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types