30 September 2012

Honoring our Aging Parents by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz

Aging Gracefully

When I was a little girl, I memorized the Scriptures that told children to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1: Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.) Now I think more often of the 5th commandment in Deuteronomy: Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. The emphasis for younger children is to “obey” their parents while the focus for adult children is to “honor” their parents.

Recently my mom and step-dad decided to move from Kentucky to Washington State to be closer to me and my family. Since leaving their Kentucky home, several things have happened which have made it hard for them to adjust to a long-distance move. My step-dad was diagnosed with dementia soon after they arrived as well as having a history of heart disease, the latter which has required numerous surgeries and hospitalizations the last 20 years. And my mom, though more able-bodied, is aging quickly and struggling with arthritis and fulltime care-giving.

Now that I live so much more closely to them, I’m struck by the things that makes aging challenging. Roles are often reversed as adult children become the caretakers and fixers and helpers and comforters of parents. People often become more childlike as they grow older. They need help with basic needs, they lose and break things, are unable to do things and require help. They can be fearful and emotional like children. Impulse control lessens and they can strike out like children and say things they wouldn’t otherwise. Challenging, yes!

The Lord knew all this would happen as we are His creation. That’s where the concept of “honoring your parents” becomes so interesting to me. What does this look like? For me, it involves praying daily for wisdom and finding ways to honor them and make them feel loved and respected. It means never belittling their concerns or making light of their struggles. It means responding with patience when I’m interrupted or have to repeat myself or try to hunt for that lost item again or repeat a task with them that has been done many times before. It means loving them no matter what with a Christ-like love, much as they did for me when I was little and needed them.

I love what Charles Wesley said about honoring parents below:

Honor thy father and mother - Hast thou not been irreverent or undutiful to either? Hast thou not slighted their advice? Hast thou cheerfully obeyed all their lawful commands? Hast thou loved and honored their persons? Supplied their wants, and concealed their infirmities? Hast thou wrestled for them with God in prayer?



THREE GIVEAWAYS This week!!!:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Laura’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.

Are you caring for aging parents? Have you in the past? Can you share how you handled this very special season?




29 September 2012

The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities


The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conqured Learning Disabilities


By Molly Noble Bull, Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Jane Myers Perrine, and Ruth Scofield
(Westbow Press, 2011)

This book shares first person perspectives on coping with having a learning disability.  Our featured author this week, who has also been a teacher of special needs students, shares her own journey. 
I recommend this book for parents of children with learning disabilities, persons diagnosed with learning disabilities, and for teachers.   It is a great resource for what it is like to experience these difficulties first hand and to overcome them, with God’s help.

My own husband and my son both had problems with reading and both received vision therapy and special education services. I thank God that our son, now 10, who didn't read two years ago by himself, now is reading at the 11th grade level. And my husband is a successful marine engineer despite his early difficulties. Margaret’s comments paralleled much of what my husband has said to me over the years. I really appreciate her sharing her experience with others.

Thank you, contributors to “The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities” and keep getting your message out there!
 
Giveaways: In addition to Margaret’s giveaway and our OTT-WGH giveaway of one of Margaret’s fiction books (choice of book and format) we will be giving away a copy of The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities to a reader who would be one of the people I recommend this book to in particular.  

28 September 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews Saving hope by Margaret Daley



Saving Hope by Margaret Daley
The Men of the Texas Rangers #1
Abingdon Press, 2012


Reviewed by Teresa Mathews
5 Stars *****

Saving Hope is the first book in Margaret Daley’s The Men of the Texas Rangers series. In this book Margaret delves into the horrors of human trafficking and child prostitution.

Kate Winslow is the Director of Beacon of Hope, a home for young girls who have been forced to sell their bodies. These girls usually have nowhere to go or no one that cares about them. After witnessing a childhood friend that was sold into prostitution and wanting to help her but couldn’t, Kate decided to spend the rest of her life helping young girls in similar situations.

Wyatt Sheridan, Texas Ranger, member of the Child Rescue Task Force, has seen horrors that no person should go through, much less children that are as young as thirteen.  Wyatt is the single father of a beautiful fourteen year old daughter, Maddie, whom he is trying to keep close and safe since his wife was murdered when Maddie was a small child.

When one of the girls comes up missing along with one of the home’s vans, Kate doesn’t want to report it stolen because she knows that Rose must have had a good reason for taking it. Rose was doing so good, she was happy and content at Beacon of Hope, and she had no reason to want to go back to her old life. Will Kate be able to find Rose and help her before it’s too late?

When Wyatt Sheridan is called out to the scene of the murder of a young girl, he is determined to catch the animal that killed this little girl, who is about the same age as Maddie. Since a van from Beacon of Hope is found at the spot where the young girl was left, he starts his investigation there. Wyatt is very impressed with Kate Winslow, and he can see that her concern for these girls is real. There is something about her that makes him want to help her. In the years since his wife was killed he has never even thought about another woman. What is it about Kate that tugs at his heart? Will Wyatt be able to keep Kate and Maddie safe from the people that want to stop him at any cost?

This is a very disturbing subject, children being used for horrible things, and it’s very heartbreaking to think about, but Margaret did a wonderful job with it.  This was definitely a story that held you spellbound until the end because you wanted to see the criminals brought to justice. There are some twists that will surprise you. I can’t wait to read Shattered Silence, the second book in this new series. Thanks Margaret!

*Thanks to Abingdon Press for giving me a copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Margaret's books can be purchased at AmazonCBD and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Margaret's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.



27 September 2012

Margaret Daley's Saving Hope reviewed by Marian Baay


Saving Hope
Saving Hope by Margaret Daley
The Men of the Texas Rangers #1
Abingdon Press, 2012

Reviewed by Marian Baay
4½ ****

Kate Winslow is running a home for girls who used to work as prostitutes, called Beacon of Hope. She’s giving the girls a place to live and heal. Wyatt Sheridan has been working on a team to expose a child prostitution ring. When Wyatt and Kate meet they discover that they have the same goal: to help the girls.

Rose is one of the girls that lives in Beacon of Hope. On a night she gets a phone call from Lilly - a girl who is still working as a prostitute. She needs help and Rose is taking Kate’s van to go to try to free Lilly. But things don’t go like she hoped and soon Rose is captured.

Wyatt comes to work on the case to find Rose. Kate and Wyatt often meet to talk things through. Wyatt didn’t expect to start feeling something for Kate. His wife was murdered 9 years ago and he never thought about searching for a new love in his life. His mother lives with him to take care of his 14 year old daughter Maddie. Maddie is trying to find her own way in life and gets into trouble. Wyatt’s mother is widowed and seeing a new boyfriend. Can the man be trusted?

Join Wyatt and Kate in their search for Rose. Will they find her again? And can they expose the prostitution ring?

Margaret Daley writes a story that is worth reading! She keeps the suspense high and the plot is well done.

*Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing me a free eBook for review.*

Margaret's books can be purchased at AmazonCBD and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Margaret's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

26 September 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews Margaret Daley's Shattered Silence

Shattered Silence

Shattered Silence
by Margaret Daley
Abingdon Press, 2012

Reviewed by Teresa Mathews
5 Stars*****


In this second book in Margaret’s series “The Men of the Texas Rangers”, she deals with a person that is murdering illegal aliens.

Liliana Rodriguez is a smart and beautiful detective with the Durango Police Department, who is a little leery of men because of things that happened in her childhood. When she has to partner with the new handsome Texas Ranger Cody Jackson, she is not excited about it. But it seems she has no choice since her partner is on vacation and there is a killer on the loose in Durango. Liliana has more to deal with besides finding the killer who seems to be targeting illegal aliens, her own sister is in harm’s way and it seems there is nothing Liliana can do to help her. Will Cody be a help or hindrance to her, will he be the one man she can trust to help break down the barriers of fear?

Texas Ranger Cody Jackson has moved to Durango for two reasons, first to get his teenage son Kyle away from his step-father who may be involved in some disturbing goings on. Second is to help find the person responsible for shooting the last Texas Ranger in Durango, Ranger Al Garcia and forcing him into retirement. Cody is pleasantly surprised to find out Liliana is to be his partner while they are searching to find the killer of the beautiful Jane Doe. Will he be able to keep his mind on his work and not Liliana? As they are searching for the killer and more bodies start to stack up will Cody be able to protect Kyle from danger and help beautiful Liliana keep her family safe? Will he be able to survive an assassin’s attack?

Margaret has done a superb job of weaving a tale of murder, suspense, and best of all love. She also deals with physical abuse and racial prejudice. This has a storyline that goes beyond your simple murder mystery, you will find yourself drawn into the lives of the characters and it will have you steadily flipping the pages to find out what is going to happen. Thank you Margaret for this exciting read.

I was given an ARC by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
You can buy Margaret's books at CBD, Amazon and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Margaret's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.


25 September 2012

Margaret Daley's Shattered Silence Reviewed by Marian Baay


Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley
Shattered Silence 
by Margaret Daley
The Men of the Texas Rangers #2
Abingdon Press, 2012

Reviewed by Marian Baay
5 stars~*****

Durango is a nice town in Texas. Police Detective Liliana Rodriguez has lived in Durango all her life and she knows most of the residents. She loves her job and her family. There's not much time for other things in her life--surely no place for a love life.
Liliana's partner is going on vacation when the new Texas Ranger arrives in Durango. 

Texas Ranger Cody Jackson has just moved to Durango, Texas. Soon after he arrived, a pregnant woman was murdered. In the week that follows more people were murdered. 
Cody and Liliana are going to work together to solve the case. While doing that they come across a gun smuggling ring. Are the smugglers responsible for the murders, or is there another killer out there?

After an abusive childhood, Liliana has built a wall around her heart. There's no place for a man in her life. Her father was an abuser and her sister is also living with an abusive husband. When she gets to know Cody better, she finds out he is different. Can she let a man into her heart and busy life?

Cody's ex-wife died a couple of months ago. His son Kyle lived with his mom and now comes to live with Cody. He's trying to be the father Kyle needs, but Kyle doesn't like to live with his father and to live in Durango. Soon Kyle will make new friends and he will have to make an important choice in making friends.

Shattered Silence is book 2 in Men of the Texas Rangers series. Although it is the second in a series the book can be read as stand-alone. 

I think Margaret Daley has written an enjoyable and exciting story full twists and turns. I kept guessing how the story would end. It was just near the end that I began to suspect the bad guy.
Nicely done, Margaret!

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.*

You can buy Margaret's books at CBD, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, some on Lifeway, and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Margaret's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

Second giveaway this week: Margaret is giving away a copy of Shattered Silence to one of our blog readers this week, also!


23 September 2012

Interview with Margaret Daley

Margaret Daley

Margaret Daley is the author of Shattered Silence (Abingdon Press, October 2012) and Saving Hope, the first two books in the Men of the Texas Rangers Series (and of many other books!) She just had a Love Inspired release September, 2012--A Mom's New Start. I met Margaret through ACFW where she is president of the organization. In fact, she should be in the midst of wrapping up at the conference and heading back home, so I hope she'll be able to pop by a little, but I imagine she'll be spending a lot of time in airports today and unpacking tomorrow!

Margaret, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.  Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your characters has had to get past?
I have a learning disability (auditory processing disorder) and struggled to learn to read. I don't hear sounds like others do. Nothing is wrong with my hearing. It has to do with how my brain processes what I hear. I could never learn to speak a foreign language even though I love to travel. I still have problems with my auditory processing and have to compensate for it.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
That is hard because there are so many verses I love. "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
I write romantic suspense and this verse is about how important love is in this world. To me God is love. He is the best example of what love means.
Shattered Silence

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?  All of my books are available in large print. I'm not sure about ebooks that have audio capability.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
Hope. Through the Lord there is always hope. Along with that goes trust in the Lord. When you trust in Him, you can let go of worry. When you don't worry, hope has a tendency to grow.
A Mom's New Start

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
The plight of these children who are taken by human traffickers--the life they endure touched my heart, and I needed to let others know about their situation. Our children are our future, and we need to protect them.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
In my Overcomers (a non-fiction book with other Christian authors) I discuss what I went through as a child with a learning disability (at the time that wasn't addressed in school). I talk about compensating skills I developed and still use today. I also talk about what I tried to teach my students with learning disabilities to help them compensate in school. I not only had a learning disability, but I taught high school students with learning disabilities.

Thank you Margaret for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!


GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Margaret’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.  

Second giveaway this week: Margaret is giving away a paperback copy of Shattered Silence, her October release!

22 September 2012

Marian's Testimony


“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

As a six year old girl I expected to see the Lord Jesus return at any moment. Every morning I woke up and looked out of my window to see if He had come yet. He didn’t come and somewhere along the years my expectation died. Then as a teenager I was hanging out with the wrong friends and I didn’t care about God anymore. In that time I did many things I would regret later, but when I look back now I can see God was at work in my life – even in that period of time where I didn’t want anything to do with Him. He surely has protected me from many more and worse things then what I already did.

About six months before I would meet my future husband I started to cry out to God. I was living in great fear. I was convinced that I would go to hell when I died. I was afraid to go to sleep and never wake up again. This period was the most fearfull time of my life.
Then I met my future husband. He just got saved and told me how important it is to believe God. They were not magical words, but for me they were! I could not forget those words. Shortly after that I took a shower and was able to lay all my fear and sin at the foot of the Cross. After the shower I was born again and I felt clean—inside and out.

Letting go of all the things I had done was not easy. I am grateful to God that after about 4 years of marriage, He arranged for us to meet our present pastor. The Lord used him to show me how much He loved me, how much He wanted me not to worry and just enjoy my life with Him. I had to let go of my worries and learn to trust God. I found out that it was easier said than done. How often did I give my problems to God and after I said ‘amen’ I took them all back again. The issue was that I didn’t trust God with my problems. I still thought I had to solve them by myself – perhaps even thought I could do it better.

As some of you might know I suffer from a joint ailment—I have a lot of pain in my joints and muscles. I have seen many physical therapists and tried tons of orthotics. Nothing solved the problem.
James 5 verse 14 & 15 tells us: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. ” 
So we asked our pastor to anoint me. It was a very special experience – I really felt the touch of God. I finally surrendered myself to God and expected Him to guide my life. The next day I had to put my beloved rabbit to sleep. It was a sad day, but the day after that I felt blessed and was delighted in the Lord. I felt so loved that at times I thought I could take no more. I had a constant smile on my face that I couldn’t hide  even if I wanted to. My husband found it difficult to handle this, because I was so different. This period lasted over a month. It was the most glorious experience I had with God. I have had times of great delight in the Lord after that, but they didn’t last that long. Most of the time they happened after a time of great oppression. God gives us these moments when we need it—to encourage us. I can rest and be assured that He loves me and He will never leave me nor forsake me. I might not have received physical healing – but God knows what is good for His child and I trust Him to know what He is doing. The spiritual blessing was more than I could ever hope for and it’s more precious to me than a physical healing without His blessing.

Surrendering your life to God sounds easy, but bringing it into practice is not as easy as it may sound. You really have to let go of everything and place it in Gods hands. It is a process and it’s something that will come back again and again. But a life surrendered to God is a life of peace and rest. That doesn’t mean you won’t run into difficulties again. Those things happen to educate us and let us grow in faith. Just put it all in Gods hands and let Him handle it.

So glad to know that I stand redeemed before God!
I Stand Redeemed by Legacy Five

20 September 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Short Straw Bride
Short Straw Bride
By Karen Witemeyer
(Bethany House, 2012)                           
5 stars*****

Entertaining Historical Fiction!

In Short Straw Bride, Karen Witemeyer has spun a delightful yarn that takes us away to 1870s Texas, where loyalty and the love of the land runs deep, and so does romance!

When Meredith Hayes is ten years old she is forced to step where no one steps--on Archer land. Crossing over to retrieve her lunch pail that had been tossed over by a school bully, Meri is injured by an animal trap and is rescued and carried to safety by none other than the owner of the forbidden land himself--Travis Archer.

Travis has carried a tremendous burden of guilt on his shoulders for years, feeling he was somehow responsible for his father's death as a young boy, and only one thing is important to him...guarding Archer land and his brothers.

When Meredith returns the favor and once again finds herself on Archer territory to warn them of impending danger, she finds her reputation compromised and the brothers come up with a brilliant plan...to draw straws for her hand. Which brother chooses the short straw, and will Meredith accept his proposal? Or will a former suitor come to claim her for his own?

Karen Witemeyer has proven herself to be quite a writer! Her books have a little something for everyone...humor, suspense, lovable characters (loved those Archer brothers!), a solid storyline, and let's not leave out the breathtaking romance! I read this book very quickly; it was a relaxing, enjoyable read, and definitely one to put at the top of your wishlist! 

Nicely done, Karen--my favorite of all your books thus far!


Karen Witemeyer's books can be purchased at AmazonCBDB & NLifeway and other Christian book stores. 



GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Karen's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a  paperback.

Additional giveaway: Karen has a signed copy of Short-Straw Bride for an American winner.

19 September 2012

Audiobook Review of Karen Witemeyer's Short Straw Bride by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Short Straw Bride

Short Straw Bride
By Karen Witemeyer
(Bethany House, 2012)                           
5 stars*****



I listened to Short Straw Bride as an audible.com download.  A great listen!  



Karen Witemeyer's Short Straw Bride reflects themes of parental death, responsibility for family, and isolation from other as a means of protection.  Set in post-Civil War Texas, a young girl, Meredith Hayes, crosses the line onto Archer land. The young men, orphans, have as their family head Travis Archer, the oldest boy.

Travis blames himself for his father's death. His guilt and a commitment he made to his father imprisons him and his brothers on their land.

A decade later, Meredith overhears something that sends her back to the Archers.  All these years, she has harbored feelings for Travis.  An adult orphan now, her aunt and uncle are pushing her into an unsuitable marriage. 

I love the "Short Straw Bride" title and the theme in the book, which was very clever.  And Meredith has a physical issue that Karen well incorporates into the storyline.

I don't want to spoil the story, but I will say this book had it all--voice that was great for the characters (and a narrator for this audiobook who was very good), tight storyline, and great characterization and romance.  

Don't miss out on this!  And if you enjoy audiobooks, I highly recommend this latest release by Karen Witemeyer!


Karen Witemeyer's books can be purchased at AmazonCBDB & NLifeway and other Christian book stores. 



Giveaway:  Karen is giving away a signed copy of SSB this week and we are offering a choice of any of Karen's books, choice of format (international winners ebook only.)  

18 September 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Short-Straw Bride
Short-Straw Bride
by Karen Witemeyer
(Bethany House 2012)


Reviewed by Teresa Mathews
5 stars~*****

In this heart-warming tale, Karen Witemeyer weaves a beautiful story of love and trust. Since the death of their Pa fourteen years ago, as per his dying request, not one of the Archer brothers have set foot off their land. Except for the day Travis rescues a sweet little blonde that had become ensnared in one of his coyote traps. The pretty ten year old with the vivid beautiful blue eyes was very brave, hardly whimpering at all, while Travis freed her leg.



Since that day twelve years ago Meredith has never forgotten the sight of Travis Archer and how tender he treated her when she had gotten her leg caught in a trap on his land. Travis was always the hero of her thoughts and dreams as a child and even now that she is a grown woman she still finds no one seems to measure up to him. Not even Roy Mitchell, the man whom her aunt and uncle wish her to marry, the man she is sure is only wanting to marry her for the land her Pa left her when he passed away.

Spoiler alert:
After praying that the Lord would show her what she should do about marrying Roy, she gets her answer when she overhears him talking to one of his hired hands and she hears him call her a “cripple”. But worst than that she hears him sanction a plot that will burn the Archers barn that night so they will finally give up and sell him their land.

Meredith Hayes once again displays her bravery when she shows up on Archer land uninvited, and ends up at the wrong end of a rifle. Meredith is greeted by all four brothers and she has a hard time making them believe she is telling the truth about who she is and about Roy’s plot. When she finally raises her skirt a tad and shows Travis her leg, and he sees where the trap left a permanent mark on Meredith’s leg and he sees the limp that she is left with, he remembers the beautiful brave ten year old. Even after being told to stay in the house, Meredith jumps in to help prepare for the coming attack even at the risk of her own safety. When someone cuts the fence and slips in to set fire to the barn, Meredith find she is all alone, since all the Archer men are at different places guarding the land. So Meredith jumps in to put out the fire and is hurt in the process.

When Meredith’s uncle shows up to check on her, the only thing he is worried about is that she has been alone in the company of four men, so he demands that one of them marry her. Will Meredith really get her heart’s desire? Or will the Archer brothers leave her fate to chance by drawing straws? Will Travis really leave it to chance or does he already know he will be the one to take responsibility for Meredith, just like he has done with his brothers and their land?

Summary:
I have read three other books by Karen and thoroughly enjoyed all of them and this one was no different. It was such a sweet read I didn’t want to put it down. I promise this one should be placed at the top of that TBR list, you won’t want to miss it!

Thanks Karen, great job!


Karen Witemeyer's books can be purchased at AmazonCBDB & NLifeway and other Christian book stores. 


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Karen's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

Additional giveaway: Karen has a signed copy of Short-Straw Bride for an American winner.

16 September 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer is the author of Short-Straw Bride and three other award-winning, inspirational historical romance novels.

Karen, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
If I had to point to one event or circumstance, I would have to say that losing my father when I was sixteen was the most difficult thing I've ever had to overcome. My daddy was my hero. He taught me to drive, to calculate algebraic equations, to give my best to whatever task I was called to complete. He was my spiritual mentor and the man I used to sing hymns with on Sunday mornings as we got ready for church. He teased me, tickled me, and could reduce me to tears simply by raising a single, censorious eyebrow. It is because of his influence that I am person I am.

In 1987, my daddy contracted a rare virus that attacked his heart. In two weeks, he was gone. His loss devastated our family. My mother sank into grief and depression. My younger brother began acting out. And me? Well, as the oldest, I tried to fill my daddy's shoes. An impossible task. However, my young faith solidified during this time of trial. I had prayed fervently for the Lord to make my father well, but when he didn't grant my request, I learned that a God who says no can still love fiercely and strengthen those who lean on him in their times of sorrow and pain. I didn't experience the same level of grief that others in my family did. I became the family's anchor, instead. The Lord held my heart together, not allowing it to break, so that I could be the glue that held the rest of the family together.

I still miss my daddy, and still rely on God's daily provision to keep grief at bay. My father wasn't there for my high school and college graduations. He wasn't there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding or to hold each of his precious three grandchildren when they were born. He will never hold one of my novels, and I'll never again get to hear him say that he is proud of me. But just as his influence in my youth shaped my personality and values, his loss and the Lord's subsequent faithfulness shaped my faith and gave me the power to endure.
Head in the Clouds

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I have two that keep me going through the writing life.
The one that keeps me going in the middle of a project is: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6

The one I keep on my desk to remind me that writing is a ministry and not about the prestige or praise is: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. ~Psalm 115:1
To Win Her Heart

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 four of my books are available in audio format. My older titles are available in large print editions, and Short-Straw Bride should be available in that format as well in the near future.

A Tailor-Made Bride


What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I want my readers to be entertained, to get lost in the pages of a great story, but that isn't my highest goal. The most important thing to me is that they find nuggets of God's truth embedded in the stories—truth that resonates with their souls and help them mature as believers. This is why my characters tend to be mature believers themselves. Mature, yet like the rest of us, still flawed and still with much room to grow. My wish is that my readers will be able to see themselves in these characters and grow along with them.
Short-Straw Bride

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
One of the overarching themes in Short-Straw Bride, is that there is power in community. When we've been hurt emotionally or physically, it is easy to withdraw, to protect ourselves from further hurt by walling ourselves away from others. However, when we do this, we also wall ourselves away from the encouragement and joy that can be found in fellowship.
In my story, Travis Archer must learn to tear down his physical barriers as well as his emotional ones. He must surrender his control to God and trust others with burdens he's never allowed anyone but himself to carry. It is a grueling journey requiring vulnerability and trust, but in the end, the rewards of love and fellowship far outweigh the hardship of the struggle.


Thank you, Karen for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Karen Witemeyer's books can be purchased at AmazonCBDB & N, Lifeway and other Christian book stores. 

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of any of Karen's books, choice of format*. 

Additional giveaways:  Karen has a signed paperback copy of Short Straw Bride for an American winner.  Carrie has an ebook* or paperback copy of any of Karen's books for our 200th Follower on OTT-WGH! *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback. Void where prohibited by law. 


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