28 June 2016

Noela reviews SMOKE AND MIRRORS: A Romantic Suspense Collection

Smoke and Mirrors


Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The enthralling ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ collection masterfully combines fast-paced, breath-stealing suspense with delicious, sigh-worthy romances, and enriching spiritual reflections. All eight novellas are exhilarating reads, but I hope the couple I’ve reviewed below will provide a titillating glance!

THE LONG VIEW by Connie Almony

Destiny Long finds herself thrust into the middle of a suspected terrorist plot that’s right in the middle of her backyard, so to speak. Daughter of an FBI supervisor, she knows a few things but is completely inexperienced, placing her in grave danger as she tries her hand at sleuthing. Two men hold affection for Destiny—Damien, a close Muslim friend and owner of a gym at the shopping centre she works at, and the man J.T with whom she’d once shared a mind-altering kiss with, but then walked out of her life. Discovering J.T head-down praying upon a rug makes her wonder who she can trust. Who will betray her and will Destiny and those fighting the war on terror prevail before numerable lives are lost?

I’m a huge fan of Connie Almony’s exceptional stories on important, present-day concerns and topics. I think we need more novels like this that give our spirit food and not just milk. But hold on to your seats, this novella is also chock-full of surprises, mystery, and page-turning suspense—together with a romance that is just as thrilling!

ON THE ROPES by Hallee Bridgeman

Mara Harrison is in hiding and using a new identification. Witness in a federal case against a ruthless Russian mafia boss after seeing a triple murder, she has been keeping low until the trial. Working with the kindly Pastor Ben to restore his dilapidated church, Mara feels safe and treasured.  Formerly a doctor, Mara helps save a boy from a deadly rattler bite but her picture turns up online just one week out from the trial. She barely has time to even pack before the mob leader’s son turns up on the doorstep! Will Victor Kovalev with whom she was once planning to marry try to stop her from attending his father’s court case, or does he have other plans?

Thrilling, heart-stopping, hopeless but hopeful—‘On the Ropes’ is written in the past and the present until the time-frames dramatically collide. This edgy romantic suspense was so powerful; it took me a while before I could read anything afterwards. Hallee Bridgeman is a new-to-me author and I can hardly wait to read more from her!

* ~ * ~ *  ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

You may purchase SMOKE AND MIRRORS for a bargain price from here: AMAZON

GIVEAWAY: Connie Almony is generously giving away 3 E-BOOKS of 'Smoke and Mirrors'! For your chance to WIN one of these, leave a comment below and be sure to include your email address! Write (at) and (dot), to protect against spammers. 

26 June 2016

7 Ideas for Coping with Travel Packing by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Summer is supposed to be a time of fun, right? And of trips and fun travels, correct?  But for those of us with chronic pain or other chronic conditions, planning for a trip  or even thinking about the trip can be stressful!

Lists are the friends of travelers, but for those with autoimmune issues, there is often an extra layer of lists just for medications and for over-the-counter medical stuff and supplements. There may be the five ice packs you bring along for your own inflamed joints and another family member's.  We're currently packing for a combo Camp JRA trip for our son and then later we'll have packing for our trip to Michigan where I have book signings and two library presentations. One thing I love about Pennsylvania's Camp JRA program is 1) they give you a complete list of  often-needed things for kids with juvenile arthritis and 2) your child is not the only one hauling all this stuff.

Deciding to even take a trip requires a lot of prayer. God, do you really want me doing this? Even knowing that I could have a flare up, or another family member could? What if I forget my medications? What if I need health care in a remote location? When you're out of state your insurance works a little differently, too.

For those of us already barely managing to do our daily activities of laundry, cooking, keeping up with bills, and some cleaning -- planning a trip adds an entire extra layer of requirements. There is usually some shopping to do. I mainly shop for groceries, every couple of weeks and that is pretty much it. So today, adding some shopping for cargo shorts added a little extra to our Sunday and, although I hate to admit it, taxed my already low stamina.  If you've never read about the spoons theory and autoimmune disease, here's a link (click here.)

Here are just a few tips I have besides first committing your travel to prayer and to the Lord:
1) Figure out your usual schedule and how often you are "down" from your ailment, on average. Take the "good" days or your best days and count those up and divide by the number of weeks. Let's say you find out you really only have 2 days a week that are "ok" days where you get your list done (for me it is a)laundry, b) meals, c) bills, and d) some kind of cleaning) then estimate how long it will take you to prepare for the trip. Take that time and divide it up over those good days.  You may find out it takes you over a month to have stamina to prepare for a one week trip.
2) IF possible, delegate and also enlist the help of others to help with the work.Sometimes just discussing the list with another adult can help. Be sure that person understands where you are going. For instance, in some rural areas of Michigan, where we often travel, there isn't going to be a Walmart to run to! And even if there is, they may be out of stuff that you didn't bring.
3) Be careful not to add too many activities to that period of time leading up to the travel. IF you do that, then you need to add more weeks to your expected packing time.
4) Personally, I've found it easiest to keep a travel bag of sample sizes ready for personal items. That normally takes me a ton of time to pack, so keeping a personal bag all stocked up saves me a lot of time.
5) If you're going someplace where you're wearing your normal everyday clothes, as you get closer to departure consider packing right from the dryer, instead of putting clothes away. Ask kids and spouse to use some of their less-worn items in the interim before the trip.
6) Don't compare yourself to others. You may need an entire suitcase filled with cold packs, special pillows, TENS unit, etc. and a special pillow.
7) The stuff you use at home to manage your illness often becomes taken for granted. As you get closer to the trip really pay attention to the stuff you use on a daily or even weekly basis.  For instance, I use a memory foam pillow when I sit for very long, so that has to come with me. Also, don't forget to pack medications that are only for your "worst" days, just in case.

GIVEAWAY: What about you? What do you need to pack for your vacation that you can't do without?

I'm VERY excited about the paperbacks of my new release Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter coming out on July 1st and I'll be packing a box to take up to my book signings!!! Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy!

23 June 2016

Giveaway and Audiobook Review of The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

Premise: A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.
Will History Repeat Itself?
Rachel Hauck has really hit her stride with this lovely audiobook. The narrator wasn't quite right, she failed on the British accents, but the story overcame those issues! 
At the center of this story is a sixty year old wedding chapel, hidden on an elderly former coach's property.  While I loved the dual stories (I am not a contemporary fiction fan but I love Rachel's stories) with a romance from sixty years earlier between an English immigrant, Collette, and a football player, Jimmy, plus a modern day photographer, Taylor,  impulsively married to a rising star adman, Jack, with heavy childhood baggage he's failed to overcome. We are also treated to the historical heroine's romance moving to modern times, when she is in her early 80s and newly retired from her famous career as a soap opera star. Rachel Hauck does a great job of painting out Collette Greer's toxic (super toxic!) sister in gradual strokes. 
When all the players end up back in Heart’s Bend, all the secrets come barreling out! You have to wait through the story and one I had guessed but the other not, so that was an interesting twist.  I have to say, with twenty-five years as a psychologist, that without God, the outcome for the young couple would not have occurred.  
A super satisfying ending, which all readers want, will give the reader double enjoyment!!! Highly recommend!

A deep and multi-layered plot!

Bibliotherapy elements: Deception, toxic relationships, lost love, second chances, marital issues, abused/abandoned child and impact on life, adoption, and so many more! This is a bibliotherapy delight with lots of emotional impact!

The Wedding Chapel can be purchased on Amazon 

Barnes and Noble
and more!

Giveaway: We're giving away a paperback copy this week to one of the responders to our Rachel Hauch posts! 

21 June 2016

Rachel Hauck Interview -- Overcoming Anxiety

Author Rachel Hauck
Rachel, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thanks for having me.

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?   
When I first moved to central Florida after college for my first “career” job, a doctor prescribed hormones to correct an issue I was having. Oh boy… I thought I was going crazy. I was hit with anxiety and panic, fear, and once I quit taking the prescription, I still battled the emotions. I had to travel for my job and getting on a plane was a fight sometimes. I felt claustrophobic and all kinds of not-so-fun emotions. But, I got on the plane anyway. I knew giving in would only strengthen “the enemy.” It was a difficult at times but also a season of drawing near to the Lord, changing, growing, excelling in my faith and in my relationship with Jesus. I KNOW prayer works. I KNOW the Word is living and active.

The good news is His peace and confidence replaced all the negative emotions. 

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?

Many verses guided me through this times. 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.”
1 John 4:18 - “Perfect love cast out all fear.”
1 Peter 5:6 - “Cast your cares up on Him because He cares for you.”
Phil 4:6-8 “Be anxious for nothing….”
And probably almost ever Psalm. The Bible is RICH with power and words for our deepest fears and emotions. 

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Prayer. Really. It was a season of prayer and worship, of being in fellowship with people who loved Jesus.

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? 
Yes, all of my latest releases are available in audio as well as large print!

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation? 
?? Not sure what this means exactly. ;) 
CFP: See my review on Thursday and also look up top for our definition of bibliotherapy.

Question you’d like to ask readers:
I love to hear from readers! What makes you stick with an author for every book?

RH: Thank you for having me. God bless you all!!

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away a paperback copy, this week, of Rachel Hauck's wonderful novel, "The Wedding Chapel." Answer this question -- what helps you cope when you get fearful?

19 June 2016



 Happy Father's Day Dad

You worked hard to keep us clothed and fed
You taught us the right way by the life you led.

You read your Bible and soaked up every word
You listened to the Pastor and believed what you heard.

You shaped me into what I am today,
Because of your willingness to fast and pray.

You truly were a man of God in doing what was right,
Your life was like a beacon shining out God's light.

I can still hear your voice singing slightly off key,
"You Are My Sunshine" to the other kids and me.

I still can hear your laughter as you would tell a joke
I still hold dear the poems that you wrote.

You were the greatest dad there could ever be,
And I am forever grateful that you were there for me.

©Teresa S. Mathews 06/15/2013

My dad was a wonderful man of God. When we were kids if any of us got sick, he would come and pray for us and before he could say amen, we were feeling 100% better. 

When he read his Bible he believed every word. Some of his favorite scriptures were found in the third chapter of Malachi starting with verse 8; Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Daddy loved to quote this scripture and then add his interpretation; "If you shovel it out, God will shovel it in and His shovel is a whole lot bigger than ours." It was very simple to him, if God said it, that was the end of the discussion.  What a mighty man of God, what a heritage our family has.
Thank you daddy for showing me by example how to live for the Lord. 
Happy Father's Day in Heaven. 

Baby Julian

Dad and his dog, Rusty
Dad, Mom and myself.
I was probably 9.

Father's Day 1988
Gotta love that grin. 

The Sharpe Family, Christmas 2006
Since this picture was taken there have been
four more great-grandchildren born.
Sadly my daddy passed away in April 1996,
so he only got to see his first great-grand child. 

16 June 2016

Noela reviews LONE STAR LOVE COLLECTION by 5 talented Authors!

Lone Star Love
LONE STAR LOVE - 5 Historical Romances set in the Lone Star State
May 18, 2016

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow 
5 Stars~ *****

Allow me to introduce you to 5 stories set deep in the heart of the Lone Star State, Texas. Each tale is a unique Texas treat on its own, highlighting the great state and bringing you adventure in spades as history comes to life. Meet up with some rugged cowboys, the local sheriff and the famed Rangers, loads of friendly folk and some downright inhospitable ones. Enjoy endearing romances, splashes of suspense, and the message of God’s immeasurable love weaved throughout as these talented authors share their outstanding stories!

SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIGHTED by Crystal Barnes (Prequel Novella - Marriage & Mayhem)
 Joe (Joseph Mathews) might be honoring Sarah’s father’s dying request by marrying her in order to protect and care for her, but Sarah knows from her friends’ experience that husbands don’t always remain honorable.  So she simply has Joe sign away his husbandly rights before the vows are exchanged. Joe thinks he can do this…until he develops feeling for Sarah! This engaging story was an absolute joy to read, and reminds us that God is much bigger than our circumstances. A delightful new-to-me author that I’m extremely eager to read more from!

DIAMOND DUO by Marcia Gruver (Novel - August 15, 2009)
Wooded landscapes with wagon-rutted roads throughout the small community of Jefferson, along with the chilled waters of the murky bayou fringed by groves and towering oaks—combine to create a delightfully atmospheric setting for a captivating tale of drama, suspense, and romance!

The lives of a vibrant assortment of endearing characters entwine as they forge new friendships and deepen old. Bertha Biddie is sure Thad (Thaddeus Bloom) shares an unspoken love for her, leaving Bertha frustrated and impulsive enough to seek the advice of a beautiful but mysterious newcomer to the town. When she gets acquainted with this tormented visitor, it just might be that Bertha can offer the most help. Yet, it may come at a steep price for Bertha. As for Thad, he is torn between his father’s life-long college expectations and his love for the bare-foot loving Bertha. How can he possibly choose? Their friends Henry and Sarah, struggle with terrifying bigotry and the perilous price of pride. Together, these and other wonderful and unique characters, all experience a barrel of happiness, heartbreak, and healing, on the bumpy Texas roads of personal and spiritual growth.

Marcia Gruver’s articulate use of period appropriate dialogue and expressions, combined with vivid scenes flawlessly painted with words, and extensive historical research—delivers a memorable and realistic journey back to 1877. An outstanding story!

UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS by Vicki McDonough (2006 Novella - Lone Star Christmas Collection)
This is an enchanting small-town tale that reflects on how the changes in our lives can be massive when we challenge our pre-conceived ideas and beliefs in the face of reality and God’s truth.

Nanny to young Mark and Molly for the past couple years, Anna Campbell has come to love them as her own. But when they tragically lose their parents, Anna has to deliver them to their Uncle Erik in the small town of Cut Corners, Texas. What is Anna to do when Erik refuses the children, claiming his brother died eight years ago? Erik is charmed by Anna and the children but he refuses to be swindled. They’re at a standstill and Anna’s life is falling apart in the meantime!

Reading this story was an ‘unexpected blessing’ for me, for I was reminded that God’s own purposes in His perfect timing—can sometimes happen when our plans don’t pan out as expected. Anna’s story is a charming and heart-warming tale that demonstrates just that. A beautiful story!

LAST GROOM IN TOWN by Janice Thompson – (2015 Novel - Deep in the Heart of Texas, Book 3)
Set within the magnificent Texas Panhandle with its glorious wide-open spaces, grazing cattle, kaleidoscopic sunsets, and stars that seem within reach—is a cozy, romantic comedy that roped me in from the beginning and warmed me like the Texas sun.

Having recently lost both parents, Anne must secure a future for herself and her two young sisters. On the way to Dallas to live with a well-off but crotchety Uncle, a broken rail-road track has Anne, Emily and Kate, making an unexpected detour into Groom, Texas. Has this interruption derailed her plans, or could it be God’s detour? It seems too much to bear for the threesome when they fall in love with family of O’Farrell’s Honor ranch but will soon be back on board the train. Is there a way for them to stay in the place of their dreams?

Janice Thompson has surely written some of the most splendid characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to befriend. The benevolent and effervescent Maggie was a treat, but the highlight was pint-sized Emily, the little author in the making who had me in stitches with her wild imagination which knew neither bounds, nor boundaries. The sweet romance between Anna and Jake O’Farrell gave me plenty of sighs and smiles also. But with the lightness, there are moments of depth which include struggles with grief, overall providing a beautiful balance to this wonderfully entertaining tale. 

THE MARRYING KIND by Kathleen Y’Barbo (2006 Novella - Lone Star Christmas Collection)
 Too bad he wasn’t the marrying kind. Sheriff Rafe Wilson thinks only about leaving his boring no-crime town and joining the rangers. His dad however, a former ranger himself, made a secret promise to his dying wife that their son would never be a Texas Ranger. Eb Wilson and his meddling retired Ranger buddies come up with some crazy schemes to keep Rafe in Cut Creek, but it just may be the exasperating new feisty dressmaker that sews up Rafe’s destiny! I loved the characters in ‘The Marrying Kind’; they were so endearing and had a wonderful camaraderie. A very enjoyable read! 

~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ 

You can find this BARGAIN-PRICED book here: AMAZON

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the generous authors of this collection we have 
The prizes are: 2 e-books of the 'Lone Star Love' collection; an e-book of 'Last Groom in Town' by Janice Thompson; an e-book of 'Signed, Sealed, and Delighted' by Crystal Barnes; AND one print copy of the novel 'Diamond Duo' by Marcia Gruver!! 

Please leave a comment to enter, and remember to leave your email for contact purposes should you win, using (at) and (dot) to protect against spammers!

14 June 2016

Multiple Giveaways for Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter!!!

Jefferson Hotel Reception Room, Richmond, Virginia

Visit at my friend Debbie Lynne Costello's blog (click here) where she is hosting me today for a guest post! I'm talking about CELEBRATING!!! And there is a giveaway (winner's choice of format) of an ebook or paperback copy of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter! Check out the pictures from my recent Tea with my daughter and best friend!
On Wednesday, June 22nd, Colonial Quills is having a Facebook Party (click here) as well as a Tea Party on the blog (click here), so mark your calendars!  Releases from Roseanna M. White, Angela Couch, myself, Elaine Marie Cooper, and Denise Weimer! We have giveaways both at the party and on the blog!

On Thursday, June 30th, June 30th, SIX Christian Fiction authors with European settings for their novels are celebrating together.  I will be giving away a KINDLE FIRE at this event and we have other prizes such as books from authors: Roseanna M. White, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Sarah Sundin, Debbie Lynne Costello, Melanie Dickerson and myself.

Giveaway: Which event(s) will you be attending? I'm giving away THREE ebook copies available now from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and CBD as well as ONE paperback copy (available in July!) If you are a FOLLOWER on this blog put OWG and get TWO entries!  If you went by Debbie Lynne's blog and left a comment put DL for another entry!

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