27 July 2017

Of Rags and Riches -- Susanne Dietze's Novella "The Right Pitch" Reviewed



I have been reading this wonderful collection via a download from NetGalley via Barbour Publishing. I have been reading the novellas voluntarily and my opinions are my own. There are nine novellas in Of Rags to Riches and I've been reading and reviewing them this summer and we've had some of the authors do guests posts, which is a blessing. So check previous recent posts from June and July for more!

Blurb:
The Right Pitch by Susanne DietzePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, 1876
Guarded industrialist Beck Emerson agrees to sponsor his sister’s all-female baseball team. But when pretty pitcher Winnie Myles throws a curveball that makes him team manager, it challenges his plan to play it safe in life and love.

Susanne Dietze's ladies baseball story was adorable! I'm a Susie Dietze fangirl and I don't like to miss any of her stories! This was such a fun read. I love Susie Dietze's "voice" and that's something that can't be taught -- the way she sees things, the words she chooses, the way she writes a scene -- I just love it all!!!

In this novella, Winnie was quite the spitfire! Beck was a compelling hero with a few issues he needed to deal with. Don't we all? I enjoyed the secondary romance between Beck's young sister and her boyfriend, too, that enriched the story! Loved the cool historical details about how women's baseball was conducted back in the day! Susie includes that information in Author's notes. There's some tension and a fear that this couple just might not make it. You'll have to read to find out if they can overcome the obstacles they face!

Giveaway: Winner's choice -- Of Rags and Riches in paperback or kindle copy.  Answer this question: Have you ever seen a vintage baseball game? If we don't know your email address please leave it but format it to avoid spammers (e.g., me (at) greenmail dot com).  

23 July 2017

Alexis A. Goring -- Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Author Alexis A. Goring

Alexis, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers! It's an especially timely topic during summer. Thanks for sharing!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
One of the most difficult things in my life that I had to overcome was my addiction to refined sugar. I used to crave it morning, noon and night. The cravings would not subside until I feed it with something sweet. Some people can simply sleep off the cravings but I’m a natural night owl so I couldn’t resolve it with a good night’s sleep and that’s when the cravings would hit me the hardest.
Sugar --image from Pixabay

Thankfully, through prayer and fasting, God helped me to overcome my cravings for refined sugar. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. When the sugar cravings hit, I coped by eating oatmeal and fresh fruit. I did this fast a few summers ago when nectarines were in season and that was my substitute for refined sugar. As the days and weeks continued without me giving into my cravings, the nectarines started to taste sweeter and my appetite grew to be satisfied without consuming sugar. By the 41st day, I felt free. No longer do I experience midnight cravings for sugar that won’t let up until I give in. Years later, I still don’t crave it like crazy and I am so grateful that God honored my fast and set me free from the stronghold of sugar.
I know that my prayers coupled with the prayers of my prayer warrior friend really helped me to reach the point where I no longer craved sugar. I am forever grateful to that friend and to God for working together to set me free.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
Philippians 4:13 was a very helpful Bible verse to me during that time because it taught me that I can do ALL things through Jesus Christ who, in this case, can strengthen me to overcome my sugar addiction.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Prayer support from a prayer warrior friend and a few pastors who I talked to about my sugar addiction. My own prayers to God coupled with fasting helped me to cope with this difficulty.

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? 
No, neither of my books are available in audio format or in large print. Sorry.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
No, I don’t. Sorry.

BIO: Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.
Alexis A. Goring’s Links:
“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com 

Book Links for A Second Chance:

Giveaway: Leave an answer to Alexis's question to enter for the giveaway of Alexis's romance! Question:Have you ever needed a second chance? If so, share your story.

16 July 2017

Carolyn Miller Interview - Praising God Through Trials


Author Carolyn Miller

Carolyn, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thanks for having me - greetings from Australia!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
In 2001, after several years of marriage, my husband and I were thrilled to learn I was pregnant. I remember waking before dawn a few weeks later, knowing something was wrong. In those cold, dark hours as I watched a precious life ebb away, I felt challenged: I’d praised God in church only the day before—could I still praise God when my hopes crumbled?
I was struggling—wasn’t God supposed to work things out for good? This certainly didn’t seem good. And what if it meant I could never have children?
I felt this moment to be a crucial one in my relationship with God: would I somehow trust Him, despite my circumstances, or would I blame Him for not giving me my heart’s desire?
Despite everything, I chose to sing, and praise God anyway, with a broken heart, a voice that cracked, and a faith under siege. For me it was putting into practice what’s described in Isaiah 61 as “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.” So I sang, amidst muffled sobs, in my lounge room, and praised God for His goodness, for His love, and for His promises. I knew this garment of praise was one that had to be ‘put on’ – it was a choice, requiring action, so opposite to what we naturally want to do. I was still desperately sad, but I believe that by praising God in that moment of heartbreak—and during those subsequent weeks and months—the depths of sorrow were eased by this decision to sing by faith.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
I’ve always loved Romans chapter 8, where we’re reminded about God’s love in the midst of suffering: “Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, no any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.35, 37-39)

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Remembering God’s love, recalling His faithfulness, was crucial in this time. I’ve always loved singing, so I found praising God in the midst of pain strangely therapeutic, like singing in defiance of my circumstances. I also wrote a number of songs that we sang in my church (and in other churches around Australia), that reaffirmed God’s love for us—singing out the promises of God always seems to help make them ‘stick’ a little better, and helps combat negative, fear-driven thoughts. Later, I found talking with other women who had undergone miscarriage very helpful. I’ve since found my experience of loss really beneficial in helping counsel others who are facing difficulties, as I can relate a little more deeply now, and offer encouragement that comes from God and His word.
Footnote: later that year my husband and I attended a conference where the pastor prayed for couples having trouble with pregnancy. We were prayed for, and he told us to come back next year and show him our baby. Twelve months later we did! (She’s now nearly 15, and has a sister and two brothers. God is good!)


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?
My first novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, will be available in a large print edition later in the year, and I’m hopeful for the same for The Captivating Lady Charlotte. And I’d love to see them in audiobook format—we’ll have to wait and see J
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  

Question you’d like to ask readers:
Have you ever experienced or tried to help others with miscarriage? What did you find helpful, useful? What was not helpful?

BIO:
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has co-pastored a church for ten years, written songs and headed music ministry, and worked as a high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.
Carolyn is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Australasian Christian Writers and Omega Christian Writers and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. Her latest Regency novel The Captivating Lady Charlotte released June 27, 2017, and follows her February debut release The Elusive Miss Ellison, both from Kregel Publications.

Carolyn’s Links: Connect with her at www.carolynmillerauthor.com and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and follow via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Giveaway: We're giving away a paperback copy this week and Carolyn is offering an ebook copy.

14 July 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island Blog Hop Tour


My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island Tour

Tour Schedule



With 10+ unique commenters on a blog post, a copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring will be given away!

Enter for the Rafflecopter giveaway, too, with a Kindle Fire, a beautiful Mackinac Island Mug, and other goodies (plus this novel or one of my other books!)

11 July 2017

Karen Witemeyer's "Heart on the Line" Audiobook



Karen Witemeyer's "Heart on the Line" Audiobook (Recorded Books, June 2017)
Ladies of Harper Station Series
Narrated by Stephanie Cozart


Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Purchased through audible.com. I have a monthly membership.

So Much to Love!

4 1/2 Stars
I took off 1/2 star because of the violence.

Spoiler alert: there is torture of the heroine in the story and although edgier readers might not mind this really bothered me.

This was a fantastic story save for the torture. I don't think it was necessary to the story. Also, someone was killed in the story who would then never have a chance at redemption. In CBA market, I've been advised that killing off a "bad guy" when it means they are going to hell (yes it is just a character but if you are in story world then that person seems real) and then there is no chance of salvation.  Granted, in real life, some people consistently refuse God even when they are given one last chance. But I've heard so many stories of last moment conversions that I always hope someone will repent.

The plucky heroine and her sweet beau, both telegraph operators were really fun. I enjoyed this listen a lot. There is so much to recommend this well-written story!

If you're like me and don't want torture and a lot of violence in your stories, get the paperback or ebook version and skip over the bad parts. It is hard to find a good Christian audiobook of historical romance so don't pass this one by if that is what you need for your reading enjoyment -- just set the speed on 3X and have it rush through some portions!

There is a way for me to share this title with a reader IF you haven't received a free audiobook through Audible.com before. Please indicate if you have or have not tried this service!


09 July 2017

Overcoming Fear by Leslie L. McKee

Leslie L. McKee, Author & Editor
Overcoming Fear
Guest Post by Leslie L. McKee

Thanks so much for the invite, Carrie. I’m happy to be here.

In January 2016, I toyed with the idea of writing some devotionals about something I’m quite familiar with: worry — and learning to let go and let God. I chose some verses, but that was as far as it went … until September.
I received an email which I knew was God sent: the opportunity to be part of a devotional book on topics near and dear to my heart: stress, fear, worry … and letting go of them. I knew I needed to be a part of this, especially as the title was the same title I toyed with back in January. The problem was I had never written a devotional in my life. Sure, I have read many of them. I’ve written poetry since I was a child and book reviews for more years than I can count. I’m also an editor. This project, while exciting to consider, was totally outside of my comfort zone. However, I felt God telling me to take the leap of faith and just start writing. After all, I had a lifetime of experience to choose from, and I had numerous meaningful verses already chosen.

Since the focus of your blog is on overcoming with God, I decided to discuss the devotion I wrote based on a situation which really put my faith to the test. It was one of the scariest times I’ve ever faced in my life.

In February 2016, my husband underwent a major surgery. The procedure itself went well, but there were complications. His hospital stay grew from a proposed three days to ten. Our family does not live nearby, so I had to rely on virtual support. I’ve been a Christ follower for years, so I knew God was with us in that hospital, too. He showed up in many ways — phone calls, text messages, songs, the hospital staff, and even the birds in the hospital aviary. All of these things provided me with reminders that I didn’t need to stress or worry because God was watching over us.

Despite the events occurring around me, I could feel an unexpected sense of peace. In that hospital, I was able to follow the words of Lamentations 3:57, which states, “You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, ‘Do not fear!’” I made the choice to choose faith over fear and overcome with God’s help. Did it automatically stop all my worries and “what if” thoughts? No. But I was no longer succumbing to my fears.

Revelation 3:21 states, “…to him who overcomes…” The phrasing here comes from the Greek word nikao. God wants us to be — in fact, He calls us to be —hupernikaos, which means “more than overcomers.” The great news is that, no matter the circumstance, it is possible to overcome with God’s help.

I’m so honored to have my devotions included in Just Breathe 

Bio: Leslie L. McKee is a professional editor and proofreader. Her editing career began as a reviewer for RT Bookreviews Magazine, where she still reviews books of various genres. She also reviews for Publishers Weekly. Books have always been a significant part of her life. She has been professionally editing and proofreading manuscripts for authors and publishing houses since 2012. Leslie’s lifelong love of reading and learning, in addition to reviewing and teaching, led her into the publishing industry. Editing and reviewing are not merely jobs. They are her passions. Leslie is an avid reader with an eye for detail, making her a perfect match for this career. 

Leslie is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and has served as a judge for their First Impression, Carol Awards, and Genesis contests. She is also a member of The Christian PEN.  Some of her devotionals were recently accepted by Ellie Claire to be part of a compilation which will be released in July 2017.

In her spare time, Leslie enjoys reading, playing piano, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle!), and rooting for the NY Giants. 

You can find out more about her editorial and proofreading services on her website: (www.lmckeeediting.wixsite.com/lmckeeediting ). You can also find her on her blog (www.lmckeeediting.blogspot.com ) or on Twitter (@lmckeeediting).

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Just Breathe to a reader who is willing to read and review this new devotional book (USA only.) If you don't have a blog but would like to share your review with the OWG blog, please indicate that as well. 



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