25 April 2018

Back in the Saddle Audiobook by Ruth Logan Herne

Publisher's Summary

Here comes a captivating western romance and family-centered drama with a heart of gold, featuring plenty of cowboys and family drama, from prolific author and networker Ruth Logan Herne. 
Colt Stafford's winner-take-all personality clashed with his father's similar temperament and led Colt to pursue his own success far from the Double S ranch. The opportunity came in private equities once he earned his way to a desk on Wall Street. But timing is everything and Colt's financial demise coincided with his father's illness. God's perfect timing doesn't always seem all that perfect, but Colt needed a job, the Double S needed Colt, and Sam sent his prodigal son a ticket, and Colt came home. He rediscovers his love for ranching, for Washington, and for the great outdoors. His father's change of heart seems surreal, and by the time Colt realizes he belongs with his family, he's lost his heart to a Latina cop whose gone undercover to protect her child and her mother. Through the accidents of timing, God has brought multiple facets together at the Double S, just in time for healing, hope, and home. 
©2016 Ruth Logan Herne (P)2016 Recorded Books
A Lovely Listen!
I listened to my copy of Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne via Audible.com. This is a Christian contemporary romance. I'm normally a historical romance reader but I loved Wishing Bridge, which I reviewed earlier on the blog, and I wanted to listen to another of Ruth Logan Herne's stories. And I wasn't disappointed!
This story, for this collection series (Double S Ranch) release over a year ago but I'm playing catch up with my listening. And what a lovely story to listen to on audiobook! Lovely narrator who is perfect for the heroine. Like the Publisher's summary says, this is a "Prodigal Son" story, so don't expect that you will immediately be charmed by Colt, the hero. He's got a pretty big character story arc in this novel. But you'll love the beautiful Latina heroine and her family, I guarantee it. And she can see Colt's potential. Maybe. Kind of. You'll have to listen to or read the story to find out!!! 
GIVEAWAY: This week I'm giving away a devotional. Leave a comment on this post or on my Sunday post for up to two entries for a chance to win.

22 April 2018

When Drug Addiction Steals a Loved One

My intelligent, funny, sweet, musically talented, loving nephew would have been 43 years old today. I was there when he was born in 1975 in South Carolina. Never would I have thought that he wouldn't be celebrating his 42nd birthday. He died shortly before his birthday last year. That's him pictured above between my parents, in Newberry, Michigan.

We have a national epidemic of drug abuse. It's so prevalent that even Guideposts Magazine has begun carrying a feature article in each issue. One year ago I lost my beloved nephew to this scourge. It still doesn't seem quite real, but I'm beginning to accept his loss. We'd already had him stolen many years earlier by the drugs. Who he was was slowly, inexorably, eaten away. The sweet boy he'd been (I had custody of him for two years and also spent a lot of his childhood spending time with him) had been taken over by a foul-mouthed self-absorbed drug addict who cared more for his "mistress" of drugs than in taking care of his wife and children.

What can we do about it? Praying for our loved ones who are drug or alcohol dependent is sometimes all we can do. And both they and we will need all those prayers to get us through. The first call about a loved one having overdosed (whether accidental or deliberately) is that first horrific wake up call that we might be facing a devastating loss.

If you have friends who have gone through this, don't judge or hand out platitudes -- they aren't helpful. Instead, lend a shoulder to cry on and listen. Sadly, there are many many people who have gone down this road before you. They understand.

Don't blame yourself or other people. That's also not only unhelpful but harmful. The addict, herself or himself, has made these decisions. Sometimes there is someone involved, such as in criminal cases where someone has done something to bring on the overdose -- I'm not talking about those times. I mean when someone has gone into rehab, gotten treatment, over and over again, etc., and hasn't followed through on the bottom line thing they need to do. We make choices. I believe that the devil is all over our nation's addiction crisis. Satan lies, deceives, and cheats.

As a nation we need to rise up and fight back and help those with addictions. Jail isn't the answer (although that was where my nephew could stay clean). But neither is a rehabilitation setting where the individual can leave voluntary. And keep loving those with an addiction. Love can conquer many things. But don't be a co-dependent, either. Get help for yourself if you're living in a co-dependent situation or have a loved one whose dependency is impacting your life.

Prayer: God, lift our nation up and deliver us from deadly addictions. Bind the enemy. Breathe your peace into homes affected by loss from drug and alcohol dependency. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

Giveaway: A devotional book to one of my commenters.

20 April 2018

Across Three Autumns by Denise Weimer in The Backcountry Brides Collection

Blurb: Across Three  Autumns by Denise Weimer in The Backcountry Brides Collection

Blurb: 1778-1780 (Georgia)
Fighting Loyalists and Indians, Jenny White settles for strength over love...until Scottish scout, Caylan McIntosh, leads her family on a harrowing exodus out of Georgia's Revolutionary "Hornet's Nest."

Endorsement by Regina Fujitani for
Denise Weimer's novella:

"I loved this story of Caylan and Jenny! A knot of heart pumping excitement with nail biting anticipation."

Bio: Regina Fujitani is a Christian book reviewer and Virtual Assistant and former church secretary. She resides with her husband and precious kitty, Molly, in Virginia.

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of The Backcountry Brides Collection this week. Leave a comment on this post and on Denise's interview (click here) for two chances to win!

17 April 2018

First Love Forever -- More Reviews from Andrea Stephens

First Love Forever Romance Collection By Susanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Erica Vetsch

I was very touched by each of the novellas in this 5 Star book. Each story tells of a couple separated by time for varying reasons, being reunited in unique circumstances.

-Weeping Willow by Marcia Gruver
Willow, Julian, and Hiram. Childhood friends and semi-rivals Julian and Hiram both love Willow. Willow's heart belongs only to Julian. The men go off to fight in the Civil War. Hiram returns wounded. Julian is not heard from for two years. Willow is pressured by her mother to marry Hiram. Can Willow put her grief and love for Julian aside?
I admired Willow's faith and seriously disliked her mother n this story of true love and faith.
I loved the authors' way of saying things. Example: “freckles so dense they looked blasted on with a scattergun”

-After The Ball by Martha Rogers
Chase and Susannah have loved each other since childhood summers spent together on his grandfather's ranch. Chase is unhappy working for his father, he longs to be on the ranch with his grandfather and Susannah. Chases mother wants him to marry a Dallas society woman. He takes Susannah to the ball honoring his father some women say she is not good enough for Dallas, but the truth was Chase wanted her and that's all that mattered. Being true to yourself and what you want for your life is the heart of this sweet story.

-Lighter Than Air by Lorna Seilstad
Ella and Titus. For school principal Ella Mason there is nothing like having her first love literally drop out of the sky onto the school property. A difference of minds separated them six years prior to the crash landing. Titus is injured and must stay at the school to recuperate much to Ella's dismay. Eventually, Titus is allowed to give some science lessons to the girls during his recuperation. One snooty mother does not think it is appropriate to have a man at a girls boarding school. She threatens Ella. Ella sees changes in Titus and his beliefs. This is an action-packed, second chance at first love story. After a fire and tornado, the balloon gets repaired, does the relationship?

-In Due Season by Connie Stevens
Leah and Gareth. There is so much hurt to overcome. Gareth left Leah the day before their wedding. Fifteen years later, he returns to sell his late father's property. Holding on to hurts from the past, Leah struggles to forgive Gareth after he tells her the truth of why he left, not what his father told her and the town. She still loves him, he's never stopped loving her. My heart hurts for these two as they go back and forth searching for the path to forgiveness. Gareth leaves town again to care for his recently found mother, she is dying in a hospital. Can Leah and Gareth overcome all that has passed between them?

-A Most Reluctant Bride by Cynthia Hickey
Maggie and Zach. Maggie fell in love with Zach when she was a teen, too young for him. After her father dies, her mother wants to marry her off to the highest bidder and move back east. Maggie only wants to save her father's ranch. Trapped in a storm overnight, they return only to find Maggie's mother insisting they marry to save her reputation. They enter into a marriage of convenience. Zach sees Maggie as a feisty woman now and has feelings for her. Maggie loves him even more after seeing him take control of the ranch. The playful, teasing banter between the two is sweet. After Maggie is put in a dangerous situation, their feelings get real. For me, the message is trust and truth.

-Heartfelt Echos by Jennifer Uhlarik
Travis and Millie fell in love at the school for the deaf. They are separated by time and circumstance. Victoria, Millie's mother is very ill and sends for Travis to get and break a horse for Millie's birthday, (I think she wants him to be the real present). This is a very suspenseful story! Millie's step-father is not so nice. There is beating, kidnapping, a fire and more. There are also many surprises. Restoration, reuniting, and true love.

-Prescription for Love by Erica Vetsch
Natalie and Phin. Oh my, this is such a tragic story! Nurse Natalie Morrison, the almost fiancee of Dr. Phinias Mackenzie, has just recovered from Yellow Fever and is assigned to be his nurse in New Orleans. Natalie feels she is supposed to return to missionary work in Panama because it was her father's deathbed wish. Phin is drawn to New Orleans with his new mobile doctor office to reach those people that would never go to the doctor.
There is a deadly Yellow fever outbreak in the city. Natalie and Phin work very closely together, while the love they had for each other in the past simmers beneath the surface. Phin's brother Michael, sees it as he is being treated for the fever. He tells each of them they need to talk things out. Can Phin forgive Natalie for leaving him without explanation? Will Natalie realize her own calling for her life? Is there a chance for a happy ending?

This is such a wonderful, love filled collection. I highly recommend it to everyone.

We also have a Rafflecopter giveaway going on through April. 

Be sure to enter to be one of the winners of the MANY great gifts we have!!!

Purchase links:

Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too! 

Giveaway: An autographed copy of First Love Forever. Leave a comment to enter. 

15 April 2018

Denise Weimer -- Creating an Atypical Heroine

Overcoming with God blog welcomes Denise Weimer and her heroine, Jenny White! Denise is sharing with us about how she created her unusual heroine in the Backcountry Brides Collection from Barbour Books (May, 2018). Welcome, Denise! And Jenny!

Across Three Autumns’ Atypical Heroine
By Denise Weimer

Jenny White, my protagonist in Across Three Autumns, represents the opposite of the sweet, delicate, feminine heroine populating many romance novels. Growing up on the Colonial Georgia frontier as the eldest, tallest, and strongest of four surviving children, Jenny can do most things her father can. But as valuable as her skills with farm implements and Brown Bess might be, she’s given up on finding a man to appreciate them.

“Jenny grit her teeth at the way Caylan’s eyes followed Hester’s softly rounded girlish form…
She was used to it. She was. The frontier had just made her forget a little. The frontier flipped things backwards, making a strong, tough girl desirable and a weak, delicate one a liability. But the presence of men always put things back in order.”

Jenny didn’t come out of thin air. A very real woman inspired her, Nancy Hart of Georgia Revolutionary War fame. Nancy moved from North Carolina to Georgia in the early 1770s. Unlike my Jenny, Nancy was a married mother of six sons and two daughters who held off Indians and Loyalists while her husband fought under Col. Elijah Clark. Beauty and grace passed six-foot-tall Nancy right on by. Pipe-smoking, crossed-eyed, and pock-marked, Nancy was a crack shot the Indians called “Wahatche” or “War Woman,” and named the nearby creek after her.

Refusing to leave the “Hornet’s Nest” when other civilians fled, Nancy became the stuff of legends. I borrowed some of her exploits for Across Three Autumns, including the time she threw lye soap into the eye of a Loyalist peeking through her cabin chinking, and the time she got six British soldiers drunk on corn liquor while passing their weapons through a crack in that same chinking. (I guess her cabin needed some repair!) Nancy held the soldiers captive while her daughter summoned help from the neighbors.
My story presents a somewhat softer heroine, but an imperfect one who struggles with self-image and a desire for love. It was because of this struggle and the unbalanced way we often see ourselves as women that I chose to write Across Three Autumns only from Jenny’s point of view, rather than switching back and forth with the hero’s.
Jenny has probably become the heroine of mine I love most. I hope you’ll love her, too.

Giveaway: We're giving away an author copy (they've arrived!) of The Backcountry Brides Collection! Leave a comment on this post and on our review post this week for a chance to win a copy. Watch for our upcoming Rafflecopter giveaway link for this collection!

Available for pre-order (some are already shipping!) from:

Also available in: Some local Christian bookstores, Walmart, and local bookstores.

10 April 2018

Giveaway -- Guest Review of Susanne Dietze's "First Things First" in First Love Forever Romance Collection

"First Things First"
novella by Susanne Dietze
Five Stars *****
A Sweet Reminder
Review by Andrea Stephens

"First Things First" is in First Love Forever Romance Collection (Barbour, April 2018) By Erica Vetsch, Susanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, and Jennifer Uhlarik

I was very touched by each of the novellas in this 5 Star book. Each story tells of a couple separated by time for varying reasons, being reunited in unique circumstances.

-First Things First by Susanne Dietze. Georgie and Ward grow up together and fall in love. Thinking he would never be good enough to marry her, Ward leaves town. He returns years later, a lawyer, hoping to better his family name and reputation.

As Georgie and Ward work together to clear her brother of bizarre charges, they realize the feelings they had for each other are still there but they decide to just be friends. I can't say exactly what happens without spoilers. I can say drama ensues, things of the past come to light.

There is a sweet message reminding us to let God take care of things and put Him first.

Giveaway: An autographed copy of First Love Forever.  

We also have a Rafflecopter giveaway going on all through April. 

Be sure to enter to be one of the winners of the MANY great gifts we have!!!

Purchase links:

Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too! 

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