18 December 2014

Happy Birthday Diana!!!

Wishing a VERY happy birthday to our beloved Angel, Diana!!!


Giveaway: $10 Starbucks card so you can raise a  cappuccino, mocha, coffee or tea to toast Diana's birthday! Leave a happy birthday message for our senior reviewer for the OWG blog!

16 December 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews PETTICOAT DETECTIVE by Margaret Brownley

Petticoat Detective

Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies - Book One)
by Margaret Brownley
Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (December 1, 2014)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Undercover and Overexposed – The job just became a whole lot more challenging!

Can Amy Gardner aka Jennifer Layne be any more of a contradiction? A Bible-believing, petticoat-wearing Pinkerton detective working as a woman in a bordello? Amy is struggling to hold these mismatched elements of her present life together. Set in the year 1883 in Goodman, Kansas, this intriguing and entertaining whodunit holds you hostage with loads of laughs, love, and secrets until the unforeseen conclusion.

On an undercover mission to track the infamous Gunnysack Bandit, Amy is sent by Mr. Pinkerton to Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Fine Boots to chase a lead. When Amy finds herself working covertly as one of the girls, it proves to be the toughest and most humiliating assignment she has ever worked on. Seeing behind the painted faces of the girls to their fractured souls, and encountering the harsh judgments of society, is not something Amy ever thought she’d experience.

Tom Colton, former Texas Ranger, arrives in Goodman determined to clear his brother’s name. His only clue leads him to one of the girls working for Miss Lillian. As he tries to unearth the truth, he enlists Amy to work undercover for him. What an amusing and interesting mishmash of circumstances and conversations this leads to! There is something that pulls Tom to this beautiful enigma of a girl, but her profession leaves too bad a taste. Can they get past their disapproval and distrust of each other? And will Tom and Amy prove his brother innocent?

For all the laughs and smiles that tremendously witty author Margaret Brownley prompts, there are just as many poignant and inspiring moments within this story. The colorful secondary characters, including the penny-pinching, Jack-of-all-trades Miss Lillian, add extra depth and significance to this story, while covering issues of denial, fragmented families and judgment of others. And there is also the indispensable message of seeing past the exterior to the person who you were meant to be.

Wow, I honestly could read Margaret Brownley novels back to back endlessly! ‘The Petticoat Detective’ shoots with a heartrending reality that’s peppered with humor, complimenting a creative plot that keeps you guessing until the very end! As a bonus, you’re treated to fascinating nuggets of information on Pinkerton Agency operations threaded throughout. Highly recommended!!

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You can find this book at these places: Amazon; CBD; BAM; Barnes & Noble; Book Depository

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GIVEAWAY: Margaret Brownley will be giving away a copy of 'Petticoat Detective' in your choice of format to someone who leaves a comment!

*As a bonus GIVEAWAY to celebrate Christmas, OWG will also be giving away a Kindle copy of Margaret's Christmas novella 'The Nutcracker Bride' to a second winner (who leaves a comment)! Click on the title of this book to read about it on Amazon!

14 December 2014


Bonnie Roof, Our Newest Contributor to the Overcoming With God blog!

Welcome to our newest Angel, Bonnie Roof, who is sharing her first post of encouragement with us on the OWG blog!

The holidays are upon us again. For many people, they are some of the most joyous days of the year - for others, they bring added stress that complicates chronic health issues. Here are some tips that might alleviate some of the stress:

(1) Engage in 30 minutes of walking or related activities and 8 hours solid sleep daily.

(2) Make a list of the most important things and make them your priorities.

(3) Take care of your own needs first as it is easy to become overwhelmed with expectations and 
      demands, otherwise.

(4) Make time to take care of yourself.

(5) Unrealistic expectations add stress - as demands on your time increase, do more for yourself 
      instead of less.

(6) Conserve your energy and focus on your health, the most important thing.

(7) What special gifts and skills can you share with others? Do you paint, knit, bake, play/sing music, craft, write? Often, little is needed to create the perfect gift - many times, it truly is the thought that counts. Perhaps there is a home-bound friend for whom a visit and word of encouragement would be the perfect gift. 

(8) Make both verbalizing to God and writing down thoughts of gratefulness - a daily occurrence - 
      for blessings both large and small. There are blessings to be found even in the midst of 
      chronic pain - you may be surprised at the number when you make it a habit to daily list new blessings a gratefulness journal is good for this. Expressions of gratefulness promote good 
      feelings which can help take one's mind off his/her pain and feelings of despair and 

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble". Psalm 46:1 (ESV)

The holidays are about giving thanks, sharing with family and friends, spreading joy to others and finding peace and God's gift of love to us and sharing them with others!!

What tips have you found to ease the stress and amplify the holiday enjoyment for one who struggles with a chronic illness - whether it be yourself or a friend or family member? 

Giveaway: Box of several recent release books by best selling authors!!!        

11 December 2014

Giveaway and Review of Regina Jennings's New Release - A Most Inconvenient Marriage

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Set aside a chunk of uninterrupted time for this novel--because you won't want to put it down once you start reading!  Regina Jennings has really come into her own with this book. Abigail, a nurse for the Union, promises "Jeremiah Calhoun", that she will marry him and go and care for his sister, an invalid with Rheumatic Fever, and his mother, and his farm. Abigail has no one to turn to as the Civil War comes to a close and accepts the dying man's offer. Except that the real Jeremiah is alive and has been waiting four long years to be reunited with his fiancee Laurel. Set in the Ozark mountains and faced with criminals who are stealing horses and killing people, the tension in the story will keep you turning page after page.

Laurel Wallace, in Jeremiah's absence, and having heard that Abigail had married "Jeremiah", who was pronounced as dead has become romantically attached to the local doctor. When the real Jeremiah arrives home and goes looking for his fiancee, he's not about to give up so easily despite the doctor's maneuvering to keep him at bay.

bibliotherapy: Jeremiah has suffered a mini ball injury through his thigh and initially his one leg is not even able to tough the ground because of muscle contractions. Abigail Stuart is a nurse and has leaned some new techniques to help recover muscle usage.

Jeremiah's sister, Rachel, suffers greatly with recurring Rheumatic Fever which has damaged her heart. I could really feel for Rachel, because I have rheumatoid arthritis and I know how those hot and swollen joints can pain you. But Rachel's issue is really more to do with unforgiveness.

A powerful romance! Highly recommend.

Giveaway: Winner's choice of paperback or ebook. USA only unless ebook or available through Book Depository.

09 December 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews A MOST INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE by Regina Jennings

A Most Inconvenient Marriage

A Most Inconvenient Marriage
Bethany House Publishers (December 2, 2014)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

 Regina Jennings’ books never disappoint, but this one just blew me away! Unique as always; intriguing as ever; but it was also beyond riveting, thereby making it impossible to put down. So my advice is not to plan on doing much once you begin reading! There were smiles, tears, and an incredibly satisfying feeling upon finishing that you’ve just read a great book.

It seemed simple at the time. Grant a dying soldier’s wish by marrying him so as to inherit his family’s property. She finally had somewhere to go, somewhere where she’d be wanted. And all Abigail Stuart had to do was to help the soldier’s mother and severely-afflicted sister on their farm. However, what was supposed to be a convenient marriage, turned out to be anything but.

The Civil War had recently come to an end and Jeremiah Calhoun finally returns home, injured, but yearning to see his mother, sister, and his sweetheart Laurel. Instead he arrives home to find an unfamiliar willowy blonde ludicrously claiming that he is an imposter since she’d married ‘Jeremiah Calhoun’ in a prison hospital shortly before he died. Should he send this scheming beauty on her way or avail himself of her assistance for the sake of his family until he’s more able-bodied?

Abigail doesn’t want to leave after feeling like she has finally found a home on the Calhoun’s farm in the rugged Ozark Mountains of Missouri. However, she knows it’s only a matter of time before Jeremiah sends her away and becomes engaged to his beloved Laurel. Can she persuade him to allow her to stay? Will she even want to after he unwittingly creeps into her heart but not her life? Furthermore, who was that dying soldier claiming to be Jeremiah, to whom she'd married?

There’s a captivating web of intrigue that weaves throughout the story in this tale of memorable characters and genuine heart. Tension abounds with treacherous marauders lurking about the mountain. A heart-pulsing romance slowly develops. And inspiration is embedded in this novel with words of wisdom on seeking God’s will instead of striving on your own, and the freedom and peace that forgiveness brings. A well-rounded story that is highly recommended!! 

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You can find this book at Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; BAM; and other good bookstores!

GIVEAWAY: USA - Winner's choice of paperback or e-book! International - Ebook only unless available through Book Despository.

07 December 2014

Regina Jennings: Is God Asking Too Much?

Is God Asking Too Much?

Do you ever feel like God has placed two conflicting callings on your life?

Okay, God, I think You want me to teach Sunday school, but have You noticed how busy we are helping my parents? There’s no way I can fit that into my schedule.

Lord, I’d really like to invite that family over for dinner, but unless You’re sending a maid to volunteer at my house this week, it just isn’t going to happen.
"Tent city" at the Jennings' home!

That’s how I felt when God called me to begin writing. For years I’d set aside my dreams because I knew that I was supposed to homeschool our children. It seemed that the demands of the individual lessons, sports practices and co-ops left no room for anything else. I was at full capacity, doing what God had instructed us to do. Maybe someday I could try the writing thing, but not until my children had graduated.

But then a funny thing happened. I became convinced that this was a test of faith. The question wasn’t whether I’d get published or not—that didn’t seem like a possibility at all. The question was whether I had the faith to try. If God wanted me to homeschool and write, then He would show me how.

Do you know what I found out? I learned that God will not contradict Himself. He will not call you to do the impossible. How do I know that? Because All Things are Possible with Him. You can’t imagine how you’ll find the time, but God knows.

It might mean dropping some activities that aren’t in His plan for you. It might mean letting go of some routines or traditions, but don’t feel overwhelmed. He will provide. Every morning you can look in the mirror with confidence and say: “God has given me enough time to do everything He wants me to do today.”

CFP: AMEN SISTER!!! Regina, I remember being at ACFW conference when you pitched your first book to Bethany as a newbie. That had to have been a shock to you when they picked it up right away, especially given what you said in your post above. How wonderful that God has blessed your faithfulness in reaching out to do what He has called you to do!

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Regina's wonderful new novel this week. AND Regina is kindly giving away a signed copy! (Thank you, Regina!!!)  Question: Do you struggle to believe God will enable you to do what He's called you to do?

04 December 2014

Debbie Lynne Costello's Story for A Cup of Christmas Cheer (2014) Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A Cup of Christmas Cheer, 2014, Volume 3, Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Past

"The Letter" by Debbie Lynne Costello in Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer Collection 2014

Volume 3, Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Past

Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

This beautiful short story is set in 1945, after WWII has ended. Savannah residents Benjamin and Sharon Davis have lost their son, Richard, in the war. And their relationship with their daughter-in-law has suffered. They've rarely seen Jennifer and their grandchildren. (I love that one of the children is "Cassie" as I have my own Cassie, now grown!) When Jennifer receives a letter inviting her to visit, she decides to take little Richie and Cassie to see their grandparents, despite the fact that her mother-in-law has always been so cold toward her.

Debbie Lynne is masterful at the subtle nuances in emotion and also in conveying the concerns of both women in this powerful story. It was mentioned that this would make a great Hallmark movie, and I thought the same thing! The Davises seem almost clueless as to the situation their daughter-in-law, a single parent working to support her children, at a foundry.

Sharon, a society matron, looks down her nose at Jennifer and she feels it keenly. But for the sake of the children, she's tried to set those concerns aside for the sake of her children and because of the letter she received. Debbie Lynne does a deft job of helping the reader see inside the head of the mother-in-law and make her objectionable behavior be understandable given her background. Forgiveness is a big theme and trying to understand others.

A very smooth read and one you'll enjoy re-reading in years to come! Kudos to Debbie Lynne!

Purchase your own copy of the Guideposts collection here: http://www.shopguideposts.org/catalog/product/view/id/2084

Giveaway: A copy of the 2014 collection of A Cup of Christmas Cheer.

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