11 January 2022

Unexpected Blessings

Did you get any unexpected blessings this Christmas? I sure did! One of my hometown friends posted part of the above image on my Facebook wall the week before Christmas. It featured the original cover of The Fruitcake Challenge which released over five years ago and was a Selah Award finalist. I looked at the picture that Terri placed on my wall and looked, and then squealed! One of my fave women's magazines, which I purchase at the check-out stand, had recommended my story! (You can subscribe to Woman's World magazine like I did, at this link:**HMBW)

The Fruitcake Challenge just released in audiobook last year. 

The ebook is now available for FREE read through Kindle Unlimited on Amazon if you have KU membership!

This story was originally part of the Christmas Traditions series. A blessing there, a few years back, was that the entire collection was a #1 Christmas book beating out one of my fave authors, Debbie Maccomber, for that spot for a while, and remained one of the top bestsellers that fall!

The Fruitcake Challenge got repackaged into the Christy Lumber Camp series: 

The Fruitcake Challenge (Book 1)

The Lumberjacks' Balls (Book 2)

 and Lilacs for Juliana (Book3)

I'm thrilled to announce that later in 2022 the three books will be under one new beautiful cover as a three-in-one book! 

Giveaway: Audiobook code for The Fruitcake Challenge, or any one of the Christy Lumber Camp series paperbacks or ebooks, or the three-in-one releasing in 2022! What do you think of the new three-in-one cover and which giveaway would you like to receive

13 December 2021

Tackling the Holidays By Leslie L. McKee & Giveaway of Hope Amid the Pain


Tackling the Holidays

By Leslie L. McKee

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us. It’s my favorite time of the year, and it may be yours as well, but if you are someone who, like me, lives with chronic pain and illness, this time of year presents a whole new set of challenges that others may not face.

Holidays can be busy and stressful for anyone. Our to-do lists are jam-packed with activities such as shopping, planning menus, and hosting get-togethers. It’s a time for families and friends to celebrate. However, the holidays can also be a time for anxiety and increased pain to take over if we’re not careful.

I’d like to share a few tips to help you this holiday season. And while they are extremely important for people living with chronic pain and illness, these reminders can be beneficial to those without chronic pain and illness, too!

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that you can’t do it all by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help.

Here are three keys to remember: pace, prioritize, and delegate. This is a list of some ways to help you do just that.

· Create a schedule. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and planning a holiday celebration shouldn’t be either. And when you’re working on your schedule, be sure to build in a recovery day after the holiday, as well. Your body will need time to recuperate.

· Set realistic goals. Determine what truly needs to be done, keeping in mind that “less is more.” Then choose those items that only you can do and prioritize them. Slowly work on the things that you need to do, and delegate the rest to trusted friends or family members. In doing so, you may find that there are some things that aren’t truly essential and can be removed from your to-do list all together.

· Let go of the need for perfection. We all like things to go as smoothly as possible, but pushing ourselves to achieve an impossible quest isn’t helpful. In fact, it can increase your stress level and steal your joy, in general, not just during the holiday season.

· When possible, prep as much as you can in advance. Some items, such as cookies, can be made early and frozen, making things a lot easier than trying to do it all at the last minute.

· Order groceries and gifts online. This can save both time and money, as you’re less likely to grab those impulse buys.

· Use gift bags. You can find cute bags to fit each person on your shopping list, and you can save pain by not spending hours trying to get the wrapping paper on “just so.”

· Instead of hosting the event yourself, find a restaurant that is open for the holiday celebrations, and let them do the work for you.

· Set boundaries. Let others know when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. Your health comes first.

· Take rest breaks as needed. Trust me. Your body will thank you for it. Taking time to breathe will also allow you to enjoy the time with your loved ones vs. watching it fly by.

Book Blurb:

Why me? Is God punishing me? Is my faith not strong enough for God to heal me? How can I achieve my dreams? What’s my purpose?

If you’re someone living with a chronic illness or chronic pain, these are just a few of the questions you’ve likely asked on more than one occasion. You may feel overlooked or even resentful. You try to stay positive, but some days it’s hard. It’s natural to feel this way and grieve, but it’s still possible to have a hope-filled life. God has a purpose for the pain.

Christians aren’t immune from pain and illness, but we don’t have to go through it alone. Jesus promised that He would “never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

Millions of women suffering from chronic pain and illness want the reassurance they’re not alone. The devotions in HOPE Amid the Pain are written by a chronic pain warrior with over twenty-five years’ experience will point them to hope and encouragement. It’s possible to Hang On to Positive Expectations (HOPE) even amid the pain.

Purchase Links:

 Social Media Links:






Amazon author page:

 (@leslielmckee on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)

Leslie is an editor, author, and reviewer, but editing, writing, and reviewing are not merely jobs—they are her passions. Leslie is an avid reader with an eye for detail. Leslie has been a chronic pain warrior for more than twenty years, so she is familiar with the peaks and valleys associated with living with a chronic illness. She has felt God come alongside her through His Word and remind her that the battle is His and she’s not alone. Leslie is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and The Christian PEN. Her devotional journal (HOPE Amid The Pain: Hanging On to Positive Expectations When Battling Chronic Illness and Pain) was released on October 26, 2021, with Ambassador International. She has had devotionals published in Ellie Claire/Worthy Publishing compilation books, and she’s also published flash fiction stories. In her spare time, Leslie enjoys reading, playing piano, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle!), and rooting for the NY Giants. You can find Leslie at or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @leslielmckee.

CFP: THANK YOU Leslie for this wonderful and encouraging post and for readers for coming by to visit us at the OWG blog! This looks like an amazing book and is on my self-gift list!

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for a chance to enter for a copy of Leslie McKee's New Release -- Hope Amid Pain!

05 December 2021

Kimberly Russell Guest Post

Blog post character interview -- by Kimberly Russell


 I’d like to thank Carrie for the opportunity to share about my recent release, Journey to ChiYah, a Christian fantasy novel about a gal that goes on an unexpected trip filled with surprises.


Journey is my personal overcomer story and is a delicate balance of my life experiences, hybrid facts, and plain old fiction, where the main character, Jade Pepperdine, finds healing and freedom from her past. Let’s get to know her…


Kimberly: Thanks for joining me today.


Jade: You’re welcome, but I don’t get it. You already know all this stuff.


K: True, but I think the world needs to hear from you. How about we start with some background?


J: *disgruntled sigh* Fine. I’m 34 and live in small-town-nowhere-you’ve-ever-heard-of. I’m named after my great-aunt, Jade Edith Pepperdine. My mother likes to use this as her favorite ‘Momism’ and taunt me about being ‘Jaded.’ She can be sooo annoying.


K: Ah, yes, your mother. Care to elaborate?


J: Mom used to be a pretty sore subject for me, but things have changed. In me, anyway. She isn’t much different, still sharp tongued and critical, but we’re doing much better these days.


K: Why’s that?


J: *eye roll* You already know it’s because of ChiYah. 

K: Tell us about your journey.


J: I got stuck there and met this really weird guy who was the Mayor. All I wanted to do was go home, but he insinuated I had issues and needed to be fixed because I was broken.


K: Yikes. That must’ve been hard to take.


J: It really ticked me off at first, but he wasn’t wrong. I know I can be high maintenance, and I’d noticed that my life was crumbling.


K: How so?


J: A lot of it had to do with Mom—we just couldn’t seem to get along. Plus, I was having trouble at work with being temperamental and cranky. Contentious with co-workers. All kinds of stuff.


K: No, not you?


J: Very funny. I was dealing with a lot of fear, too, which brought out my inner-control freak in an attempt to avoid it, and then I’d get mad when it didn’t work. Anger became my default because my temper seemed to sit on the edge of explosion at all times. It was a big, vicious cycle I couldn’t seem to break out of, even though I knew things needed to change. I just didn’t know what to do.


K: Makes perfect sense. Facing ourselves is never easy. So, Mayor offered to help with all this?


J: He did—if I agreed to his quest thingy before I went home.


K: Whoa, that sounds like blackmail.


J: No, I had a choice, but he helped me see that it really was in my best interest. He’s really caring and stuff. Super kind.


K: You’re glad you went on the journey?


J: Very much so. Mayor helped me see… me. What was going on inside and how stuff that happened when I was little was affecting me today.


K: Wow. That’s profound.


J: Believe me, though, the quest was anything but easy. Especially since I wasn’t the most cooperative. It was a long and twisty road, but I wouldn’t change any of it.


K: I see. Tell me about now? Post-ChiYah?


J: Things are way better. Not perfect, but much improved. I don’t feel so alone, have more hope, and less fear. And Mom and I are coming along nicely. *smile* But people really need to read the whole story for themselves. Journey to ChiYah is at Amazon, right?


K: It is indeed, and thank you for the PSA.


J: You’re welcome. I’ll send you a bill. Hey, didn’t I hear that if readers sign up for your newsletter they get the first two chapters?


K: Sure can. They can go here or to my website.


J: Sweet.


K: Anything to add?


J: Just that I’m nothing more than a mess with a message. Nothing special. I hope that by sharing my story, others may decide to deal with their own junk. Trust me, it’s a journey worth going on. I dare you to check out my adventure, and who knows? Maybe, like me, you’ll find someone you never knew you lost… yourself.


 Kimberly Russell lives in a tiny house in southern lower Michigan with Toby, the Shih Tzu, who allows her to be his roommate.


Retired for four years, Kim’s day job was that of civil servant in the Michigan Department of Corrections at the local prison complex. She served as Warden’s Secretary under two female wardens in a three-prison complex of 2500 medium security inmates.


The highlight of Kimberly’s career was the role of Program Coordinator for the first inmate-dog training program in the MDOC. Since its inception in 2003, thousands of rescued greyhounds and “pound puppies” have been through the program, and it has expanded to many other facilities in the Michigan system. 


Kim began writing in 2009 after she joined an on-line writing community called FaithWriters and regularly participated in their weekly writing challenge. High-ranking finishes led to publication in the 2015 & 2017 FaithWriters anthologies.


Branching out to become a columnist for a local entertainment publication called Frank Talk was a challenge. The publisher allowed Kim to be a guest contributor in their “Critter Corner” but was hesitant to add a fictional component. After a trial run of The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife, Kim authored the column for over a year and enjoyed an enthusiastic readership.


Kim has also been published in Dog Life Magazine and has three full- length manuscripts from participation in the National Novel Writing Month challenge held in November each year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.) One of these-Photo Finish-is her next project—stay tuned!


When not hanging out in her favorite place on earth—the She Shed— and creating literary magic, Kim is a pickleball fiend, playing several times a week. She also loves to read, enjoys a somewhat mediocre golf game, and is a tech geek.



Purchase Journey to ChiYah at Amazon:

Sign up for Kim’s newsletter:

Amazon Author Page:


Web Site:




Carrie: Thank you Kimberly for stopping by the OWG blog and sharing with our readers your interview with Jade! Hey, Kimberly I was a prison guard in Michigan! Talk about small world!

Giveaway: A copy of Journey to ChiYah in winner's choice of paperback or ebook. Leave a comment for Kimberly (or Jade!) to enter!

17 November 2021

Behind Love's Wall -- New Release Month!

Behind Love's Wall is on sale right now through Amazon for under $11 which is a steal! 

I was delighted to have an interview on Liz Tolsma's podcast recently. You can listen to it here.

I have a Rafflecopter for Behind Love's Wall going this month with lots of fun giveaways like this beautiful journal! In Behind Love's Wall, modern day Willa, in this dual-timeline story, discovers a journal in one of the walls at Grand Hotel while she's remodeling a room.

I hope that you will follow my very fledgling YouTube channel and listen to my mini-narrations of portions of my newer releases! I have four short clips up so far.

Be on the watch for an upcoming Thanksgiving sale on Butterfly Cottage. It's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and I wrote this novel to honor my mother's dying wishes. She told me to tell anyone who would listen to "not get the Whipple procedure done." My heroine, Tamara, is struggling with a diagnosis she doesn't want to ruin her last summer with her family. She's trusting in God. 

Barbour Publishing has kindly partnered with Celebrate Lit for a Book Tour for Behind Love's Wall beginning November 18th and running through December 1st! Wow there are a lot of wonderful bloggers who are participating in that blog hop! Very grateful.

GIVEAWAY: I have some free audiobook codes for The Steeplechase! Leave a comment below (or email me if you have my email)  if you'd like to listen to and review my newest audiobook, which was a Holt Medallion finalist!! 
Bonus giveaway: For everyone who listens to and reviews The Steeplechase you get an entry for a chance to win a paperback or ebook (your choice) copy of Butterfly Cottage, Behind Love's Wall, or one of my other books such as Dogwood Plantation or even my spring 2022 release Love's Anchor (cover reveal coming soon!)
Thanks for reading my blog post and Happy Thanksgiving!

20 October 2021

Carrie Turansky's No Journey Too Far Audiobook Review & Box of Books Giveaway


No Journey Too Far

This audiobook was SO good!!! It is Book 2 in the McAlister family series set in Canada and the UK, with orphan children being sent off from Great Britain to Canada--and some kids who weren't orphans at all! Great narration to go with a great story!

Blurb: In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Although she’s fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for 10 years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth? 

After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon: his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart.

No Journey Too Far is available in MULTIPLE formats: paperback, ebook, audiobook download, hardcover, and CD audiobook!

Giveaway: A box of Christian fiction books to one commenter!

26 September 2021

Giveaway of New Release Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel


This is a really beautiful cover and even prettier in person! I'm mailing a paperback copy to one of my USA readers! This novel is also getting great reviews. 

Rachel Scott McDaniel is a newer author in Christian fiction and is winning awards and drawing in followers! You can check out her books on Amazon and elsewhere.

Undercurrent of Secrets is the 4th book in the Doors to the Past series from Barbour. You can visit the 

Doors to the Past Series website

On Rachel's page on the Doors to the Past website you can find some links to bonus content for her novel and also the links to purchase. 

Rachel will send our winner an autograph label to put in the book!

Answer this question to enter for the giveaway - Which of the Doors to the Past novels have you read so far? Extra entry point if you have read Carrie's Behind Love's Wall NetGalley copy (just include NG in your comment). 

08 September 2021

Deena Adams' Character Interview with Clayton from "Behind the Scenes"

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Carrie! 

 I’m excited to offer hope-filled fiction lovers a free download of my novelette, Behind the Scenes, when you subscribe to my Hope Collective newsletter. 


The novelette is set in the 1990’s and tells the story of a missionary couple serving the underprivileged in the Mississippi Delta area of Memphis, TN, and seven-year-old Clayton Jenkins. If you’re a fan of foster care and adoption themes laced with a message of faith, hope, and God’s sovereignty, you might like this one. 


Behind the Scenes is a prequel to the novel I’m hoping will be published in the near future. In the novel, Clayton loves his life as a behavioral psychologist and homeless shelter manager but, at twenty-eight, he longs to marry and have a family. When he collaborates on a foster care case with court-appointed special advocate Amanda Wright, a link between Amanda and a shelter resident sends the trio down a path of discovery none of them could have imagined.

When dreams disintegrate, is God really working behind the scenes for good?  

Mississippi Delta missionaries Camille and Raymond Richards are heartbroken over the impoverished people they encounter daily. Having grown up poor in South Alabama, they understand that lifestyle, which compels them to serve families struggling with perpetual poverty. 

At age seven, left to fend for himself, Clayton Jenkins longs to be part of a loving family. A family where his parents never leave him home alone. Where his Mama showers him with attention and his daddy plays with him. 

From the moment she meets Clayton, Camille envisions the waif as their son. But that was ridiculous. The boy had parents. And she was pregnant. Did compassion for the child skew her perspective? 

Or was God working behind the scenes, formulating a plan far greater than they could imagine? 


Get to know Clayton as a boy in Behind the Scenes in this short character interview. I hope you’ll love him as much as I do!


Q: What’s your favorite food, Clayton?


A: For breakfast, pancakes with lots of syrup. But I really like scrambled eggs and bacon too. For supper, probably spaghetti. No, make that pepperoni pizza. 


Q: What about your favorite movie?


A: I’ve never been to the theater but I saw “Homeward Bound” at Desmond’s house last month. He’s my best friend, and his daddy rented the movie from Blockbuster and let me watch it with them. I really like animals, so I guess that’s my favorite right now.


Q: How did you feel when your parents left you home alone for a week?


A: At first, I was scared, but after a couple days, I decided that didn’t help me none, so I kept telling myself to grow up. I was almost eight, so I wasn’t a baby anymore. And we lived on a dirt road with not many people around, so I reckon that helped. I figured most of the bad guys probably lived in Memphis.


Q: What about food? How did you eat?


A: I ate breakfast and lunch at school, and after the first time I had asked to spend the night with Desmond on a Saturday night and go to church with them on Sunday, his parents let me stay over every weekend. They were always happy when I went to church, and I was happy to eat dinner and supper there on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. The only time I was really hungry was night time. 


Q: How did you meet the missionary couple, Raymond and Camille Richards?


A: Every Saturday I played touch football with Des and some neighborhood boys in a field across the street from our house. The missionary people stopped one day giving out toy cars. I got a shiny red truck-looking one. It was sweet!


Q: What did you think about Raymond and Camille when you met them?


A: They were nice, and the lady was pretty and looked a little like my teacher. I got a somersault feeling in my belly being near her. It was weird, but I liked it.


Q: Did you see the couple anymore after that?


A: Yeah. They went to Desmond’s church so I saw them there once, and then again at the clinic down the road a piece. She’s a nurse and helped me when I forgot my inhaler. My life changed forever that day.


Q: How do you feel about the struggles in your life and how everything turned out?


A: It ain’t been easy, that’s for sure, but I’m happy now. Well, most of the time anyway. I don’t understand why things happened like they did, but I figure God must know what He’s doing. It’s like He had a plan all along or something.



I hope you’ve enjoyed a small peek into the characters in Behind the Scenes. If the story sounds interesting to you, please consider subscribing to my Hope Collective newsletter to get your free copy as a thank you!


If you’re interested in meeting hope-filled fiction authors and weekly chances to win novels, you can subscribe to my All Things Bookish blog.


Click here to subscribe to one or both.


For more information about me and my writing journey, check out my website.


Thanks again for hosting me, Carrie! I’d like to leave readers with my theme verse: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)



As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life. That’s why she’s passionate about inspiring others through writing hope-filled fiction and highlighting other Christian authors on her blog. 

Deena is an active member of ACFW and two Virginia writer groups, board member of ACFW Virginia, founder of the Marathon online writer’s group, 2019 Foundations contest finalist, 2019 First Impressions contest double finalist and winner, and 2021 Genesis contest finalist.

She lives with her husband near the coast in beautiful Virginia. When she’s not writing, reading, or serving in her church, you’ll find her hanging out with family and friends and doting on her seven grandchildren.

You can connect with Deena on social media on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodreads, and BookBub.



Overcoming with God visitors, thank you for welcoming Deena

Download your free copy when you subscribe to Deena Adams’s Hope Collective newsletter here:

Overcoming with God guests thank you for welcoming author Deena Adams and her character Clayton to the blog!


Giveaway: A $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble to one commenter on this blog post. You will receive an extra entry if you have also subscribed to her newsletter! 



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