02 December 2016

Teresa Mathews' Five Year Anniversary on OWG Blog!

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Diana L. Flowers, Teresa S. Mathews

I can't believe it has been FIVE years since Teresa S. Mathews joined us here on the Overcoming with God blog!!! Diana Flowers, who sadly will be leaving us soon, introduced me to Teresa. Later I was blessed to be able to meet Teresa in person and we've gotten together again when I go to South Carolina (like in this picture)! Teresa has become a lovely special friend. 

Teresa has been through a lot in the past couple of years. She's lost her beloved husband, Carlton, and she is valiantly battling breast cancer and about to begin radiation treatment. I think she'll need some real flowers later, but here are some virtual ones for now!

Teresa is our poetess and writes fabulous God-inspired poetry in addition to beautiful reviews. In the new year, Teresa will continue to periodically write poems and reviews books here on OWG blog.

Some may not know this but Teresa and Carlton were music ministers. Teresa is a talented singer and pianist. Here's a link to Teresa's YouTube channel: click here


Giveaway: Leave a word of encouragement or a prayer for Teresa to be entered to win a secret Barbour book collection (paperback -- USA only)!

01 December 2016

Noela's OWG Farewell

You’re invited to join us here for an Aussie Barbie (BBQ) to celebrate my four years here on the Overcoming With God blog and to say farewell!


As 2016 draws to a close, so will my time as a reviewer on the wonderful OWG blog. I had been receiving nudges about this from the Lord for over a month and finally He told me to stop procrastinating! He reminded me that good intentions don’t bring us into God’s blessings—only obedience does. The foremost reason I’m leaving my beloved OWG blog is to spend more time with the Lord and in His Word. Health issues have always taken much of my spare time leaving very little after other activities and reading/reviewing, in seeking God. God willing, in the future I hope to share in writing a devotional book or two as that has long been a desire of mine. Perhaps you’ll see me back on OWG as a guest! My last review post will be at the end of the year with my Favorites List of 2016.

I’d like to thank all authors and readers for allowing me to be a part of your lives and for the innumerable blessings you’ve given me by your friendship, kindness, and encouragement! Please find me on Facebook if you’re not already a friend there. A huge thank you also goes to my blog partners, Diane Flowers, Teresa Mathews, Marian Baay, and Bonnie Roof. You girls have become forever friends and have brought so much love and joy into my life. Last but not least, I can’t even begin to fully express my gratitude and thanks to the amazing Carrie Fancett Pagels for listening to God and believing in me those four years ago when she invited me to join her at Overcoming with God. Thank you Carrie for the smiles, friendship, guidance, and prayers!

Aussie Barbie
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And now, let’s have some fun at this AUSSIE BBQ! Grab a plate to fill with some snags (sausages), lamb chops, a juicy steak, and don’t forget the charcoaled onion that always gets burnt! Be generous with the tomato sauce (ketchup). Then add your salad from a variety on the table nearby where there’s bound to be a potato salad. Find somewhere to sit and enjoy, and share some memories you have below of my time here, or maybe something you love about Australia!  
       

Kookaburra snagging a snag!

There's bound to be more ants or mozzies than Kookaburra's visiting at the bbq! And these are such beautiful birds, I'm sure we'd allow them to get away with it. :) 




Backyard Cricket
Backyard cricket is great fun when you have a few friends over for a barbie! The rules can be lenient but the most important one is that if you hit the ball over the fence, you're out! Here's a pic of Allen taken on Australia Day earlier this year. And no, that's not our national headwear, haha! Have you ever played or watched a game of Cricket?

I hope you've enjoyed this little taste of Australia! God bless!!
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THANK YOU GIVEAWAY: I have a little giveaway (pictured above) for someone who leaves a comment below. I put this together as a special Aussie thank-you for your support and friendship over the years. Know that you are appreciated! I hope I have led many to read some pretty incredible books that have blessed and encouraged you as much as they have me! 

CFP: We also have another giveaway! One reader will receive a copy of one of the many books Noela has reviewed over the year (USA only unless the book is available on Book Depository internationally)!


29 November 2016

Diana's Review Of 'Such A Hope' By Sondra Kraak

Such A Hope by Sondra Kraak

Such A Hope By Sondra Kraak
Trail House Publishers, Oct. 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~
(No spoilers!)
A Compelling Must Read!

Seattle, Washington Territory - 1871

In Such a Hope, author Sondra Kraak has spun a powerfully emotive tale of a young woman's quest to find a sense of belongingset against the backdrop of the tree blanketed landscape and grandeur of the Cascade Mountains.

Spending her entire life growing up on the seat of a wagon and assisting her father's successful freighting business, Anna finally returns home to their cabin in Seattle. Her father's death has devastated her, and she longs to find camaraderie in her community and a chance to fulfill the calling God has placed on her life...the desire to pray for the sick. Two stalwart, handsome men enter Anna's lifeone the passionate, zealous Michael, who encourages Anna to use her miraculous gift in his revival meetings—the other, Tristan, an enigmatic and intimidating farmer her father had befriended. But praying for healing comes with a high price and ugly rumors begin to surface about Anna's spiritual gift and her property. Both men must learn to surrender their plans for the future in different ways—a sacrifice neither is sure he is willing to make. 

I accidentally "stumbled" upon Sondra Kraak online and she was one of the best discoveries I have ever made. I was entranced by the cover of her new book, Such a Hope, and the blurb intrigued me as well! Tackling the subject of laying on of hands and miraculous healing took alot of courage and Ms. Kraak did so with finesse and wisdom...addressing the question as to why some people get healed and others do not. The multifaceted main characters were admittedly admirable, but not infallible. And ooh, the romantic tension almost stole my breath away! 😯Sondra Kraak is an amazingly talented author, and I anxiously await the next book in the Paths of Grace series! Be sure to order your copy of this emotionally stirring story of passion, forgiveness, and redemption today!

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This book may be purchased through AmazonB&N, and BAM.

GIVEAWAY: Sondra Kraak has generously offered a paperback copy to one blessed commenter (US entrants only!) For contact purposes should your name be drawn, please be sure to leave your email addy written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.


27 November 2016

Interview with Lucette "Lucy" Nel

Author Lucette "Lucy" Nel

CFP: Please welcome Lucette "Lucy" Nel!  Lucy is a fellow Pelican Book Group author (White Rose imprint) who lives in South Africa. She has a Christmas release, The Widow's Captive, with Pelican's Christmas Extravaganza, which has become an annual event with brand new Christmas romances in ebook form. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Thanks so much to Overcoming with God for asking me aboard!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
I’m an introvert. In all honesty, doing this interview has me all jittery. It’s like that meme I saw on Pinterest: 

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“What is the worst sentence in the history for an introvert?

 -- Tell me a little about yourself.” 

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LOL.
But because I want to be a writer, that’s something I need to work ‘against’. 

As a writer, I need people, and I need to connect with people. That is one of my biggest struggles, and if not for God, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. For me, it IS an endless battle, a constant reminder that I need the Lord.  And coffee!

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
Philippians 4:13 For I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (NLT)

How has prayer helped you to overcome?
It is a million little things. Knowing that God understands my babble, my flawed prayers, and even the ones I can’t utter aloud, make it easier to face people, even when it’s only on social media.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
I don’t know if it’s something I will get through. I don’t think it’s like you wake up one morning and decide you’re not an introvert anymore. So I cope with it by sharing what’s going on in my head and heart with the Lord and to those people closest to me.

Disability friendliness: Is this 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? 
The Christmas Extravaganza series are only available as an eBook. ☺


In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
My hero and heroine struggles with guilt and shame. My hero, Jonah Hale wrestles with the need to prove himself worthy to the town’s residents. He put his own life in danger in order to gain other peoples approval.



MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR WRITING!!!
Thanks, Carrie!



Lucy's Social Media Links:

Bio: Lucette "Lucy" Nel is a coffee addicted work-in-progress daughter of the Lord Almighty. She's a mommy to a rambunctious toddler and wife to her best friend and real-life hero. Along with three spoiled Pugs, they make their home in Gauteng, the smallest of nine provinces in South Africa.

During the day, she's a bookkeeper. At night when the world sleeps, she delves into her passion, creating interesting characters in historical settings.

She's a member of American Christian Fiction and her dream came true when she recently signed a contract with Pelican Book Group for her Christmas themed novella, The Widow's Captive.

One of her favorite quotes about writing is by C.S. Lewis: You can make anything by writing.


Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Giveaway: We're giving away an ebook copy to one of our readers! Answer this Question to enter:
As a newbie author I’d like to know what persuades you as a reader to pick up a story by a new and unknown author.

24 November 2016

BE THANKFUL by Teresa S. Mathews

For all our followers who may not know, I have had a pretty tough year, of course losing my sweet husband Carlton to cancer in May 2015 and then I had to have surgery this past July. Surgery went well except I had complications and was back in the hospital twice in less than 6 weeks after the surgery. With all that was going on, I had put off having my mammogram done for about 2 years, thankfully I didn't put it off this year. 

I went in October and a couple days later I received a call-back that they had found an area that required a closer look. I went back in and after another mammogram the Radiologist came out to tell me what he saw was going to require a biopsy. On Oct. 13th I had the biopsy and on the 14th I received a call telling me I had DCIS; Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. Some doctors call it a cancer contained in the duct or ducts, others consider it pre-cancerous. Either way it requires a lumpectomy and afterward it requires radiation treatments and an estrogen blocking medicine to be taken for approximately 5 years, perhaps longer.  

On October 21st, when the surgeon took out the DCIS and he also took out a small margin around it to make sure there was no invasion cancer. This was sent to the pathologist and when he looked at it under the microscope he saw a very small (1.3mm) area that was found to be HER2 a very aggressive and fast growing cancer. 

Fast forward to the Oncologist visit, she said I had not one but two very different cancers that needed to be addressed. Since HER2 was the more aggressive type she addressed it first. She told me she had NEVER seen this type cancer found so tiny before.  All I could say was Praise God! She wanted to take a few days to decide if we needed to go the traditional route of aggressive chemo with an added medicine called Herceptin. She held my hands and prayed with me before she left the room for GOD to give us wisdom and if there was anything we couldn't see in my body for GOD to put it under the Blood of Jesus. What a wonderful blessing to have a Christian doctor that first and foremost consults with the Great Physician.

After a couple days she called me back and asked if I would be agreeable to her saying no to the chemo but yes to the radiation. I told her I was at peace with her decision because of how she took the time to consider if the risks outweighed the benefits with the chemo. So I will be starting radiation treatments sometime in the next couple weeks. 

Right in the middle of the cancer scare, I got the call that my mom had passed away.  It was a shock but I am at peace knowing she is now enjoying the splendors of Heaven. All of this has made me think about a lot of things but most of all I have thought of the goodness of GOD and how all of this could have been a lot worse. I try everyday to thank Him for all He has done for me and my family. Below is a poem I wrote as a reminder to myself to always be THANKFUL!!

BE THANKFUL

When there comes a time that life gets hard, 
Or troubles come your way.                                                                                  
When everything seems to close in on you                                                                  
And you don’t know what to say.

BE THANKFUL

When the doctor gives you that dreaded news,                                           
You never want to hear.                                                                                    
No matter that it makes you afraid,                                                               
And you shed many a tear.

BE THANKFUL
                                                                                                                        
When life gets hard and things go wrong                                                                 
And you don’t know what to say.                                                                               
Hold your head up high, take a breath,                                                                     
And tell Him “Lord, I thank you for this day.”
                                                             
BE THANKFUL

Thankful His love, Thankful for His Son,                                                          
Thankful for His kindness to each and every one.

Thankful for His Blessings that come every day.                                                 
Thankful for the things that come to brighten up our way.

Even be thankful for the things that you don’t understand,                                   
Those are the things that make you hold more tightly to His Hand.

©Teresa S. Mathews 2016


In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE
OVERCOMING WITH GOD
BLOGGERS!

20 November 2016

Thankful for our Bloggers!



Thanksgiving will soon arrive! I have so much to be thankful for. I've been blessed with a good husband and two amazing kids (not to mention my sweet Grand Dog!) I am walking again, Praise the Lord!!! We have had safe travels on the road trips we've taken. This past year I've had an abundance of book contracts with one of my favorite publishers -- Barbour Publishing and with some of my favorite authors!!! One of my upcoming releases is a novel, that is a book of my heart, set in one of my favorite places on earth -- Mackinac Island! And for many years now I've been so blessed to have Diana Flowers and Noela Nancarrow blogging with me here on Overcoming With God blog! 

We're about to start our "Barbour-Palooza" month on Overcoming With God blog, where I will have Barbour backlist books, and some new ones, as giveaways over the next six weeks. Vickie McDonough and Erica Vetsch will be sharing with us and we were blessed to have Susan Page Davis also visit us recently on the blog!
Noela Nancarrow, International Contributor 
Sadly, we'll be saying goodby to our Aussie Angel, Noela Nancarrow, and in the new year to our Senior Reviewer, Diana Flowers.  But I have been very thankful and grateful to both of these amazing reviewers! 

We'll be celebrating with them, before they leave the blog. We're praying for the very best for both of them both in physical and spiritual health!




What are you grateful for this year? What changes do you have ahead in your life?

17 November 2016

Diana's Review Of 'Finding Margo' By Jen Turano

Finding Margo By Jen Turano
Finding Margo By Jen Turano
Gilead Publishing, November 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~4.5 stars~
(No Spoilers!)


From Guccis To Amish?

Jen Turano pens a rollicking, but suspenseful tale of a pop star's journey from the glitz and glamour of California, Gucci handbags, Dolce & Gabbana jeans, and bodyguards—to the quaint, but secretive Amish town of Millersburg, with its pretty flower boxes in the windows, gleaming white farmhouses with wraparound porches, red barns, and ducks?...yes, ducks! 😏

International pop star, Margo Hartman, has had it. She needs a break from grueling tours, paparazzi, her controlling mother, and literally runs away. A nasty encounter with a duck (yes, you read correctly) necessitates a trip to the vet in the Amish town of Millersburg, where she meets Dr. Ian St. James and his brother-in-lawthe hunky Sheriff's deputy, Brock Moore. Brock is working undercover on a case for Ian and realizes that Margo is not who she appears to be either...as she continues to try to hide her superstar identity. She bears an uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman and her crazy periods of deja vu raises all kinds of questions, as sights and scents make her feel as though she has been to this small town before. But why does this make her a target for a killer? As Margo and Brock begin to draw closer, he is determined to find answers—for both their sakes.

I have heard that Jen Turano is known for her quirky characters and unusual storylines and now I have the facts. It's all true! πŸ˜› What a delightfully unique tale with Gabby, the waddling duck, a feisty heroine who frequently shares witty quips with the hero, and a wacky mother who would drive me bonkers...interweaved with a heartrending Amish theme. However, the story lacked the romantic tension that I so love, and the only real attraction I saw towards Brock from Margo was a little bit of heart-racing, comforting hand holding, and the way his muscles rippled when he moved. I liked them, too, but...πŸ˜‰ Nevertheless, the conclusion was satisfactorily passionate and I especially loved that mysterious last sentence leading me to excitedly believe there's a sequel cominghopefully Ian St. James's story! A delightful, amusing, mysterious, tender, heartbreaking must read!

I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in the hopes that I might write a review, but was not required to do so. I received no monetary compensation for this review.


This book may be purchased from Amazon, CBD, BAM, B&N, and your local Christian bookstore.

GIVEAWAY: Jen Turano has generously offered to give away an autographed copy of Finding Margo to one blessed commenter! (US entrants only.) For contact purposes be sure to leave your email address written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.

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