30 March 2011

Interview with Joan M. Hochstetler

is the author of The American Patriot series, three books set in Revolutionary War-era America. She is also author of One Holy Night. Joan has several historical blogs, also, that she hosts ( is the one I post on the most frequently. The others are languishing!).
I met Joan through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a national group. I also got to know her better through Colonial American Christian Writers, an online group I founded last year for authors of colonial-era, and slightly beyond, American books or works-in-progress. The most fun I have had with her, however, was when I was invited to join a Dutch novella writing team with Joan, who wrote the first section. I am so happy she agreed to my interview.

Joan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you! I’m so pleased we met, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to work together on our novellas.

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 character’s has had to get past?
Going through a divorce, and then my parents’ death a few years later were both equally painful. My parents died within hours of each other after a very bad car wreck back in 2002. We buried them on the same day, which was incredibly difficult. But God’s grace was so evident through that whole experience, not only in holding me up through the days when they were in the hospital, and then their deaths and the funeral, but in reconciling me and my oldest and youngest daughters.Their father and I divorced in 1994, while they were still teenagers, and although my middle daughter chose to maintain a close and loving relationship with both me and her father, the other two rejected me completely. I didn’t believe I’d ever have a relationship with them again, and that completely broke my heart. But my parents’ death softened their hearts as they began to realize that they wouldn’t always have their parents with them.
As a result of my parents’ death, my daughters reestablished a relationship with me—in time for me to become a part of my youngest 2 grandchildren’s lives. Now whenever I go through painful situations, I’m reminded that God can use even the most difficult circumstances for a good purpose and for His glory.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
My life verse is Isaiah 6:8: Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
That verse struck me powerfully when I was a child and with the faith of a child, I committed to following wherever the Lord would lead. That decision has guided me all my life. I haven’t always been faithful, but it’s the goal I constantly strive toward. With God’s help I strive every day to live according to His calling.

Are any of your books available in audio format? Are any available as e-books with audio capability? Large print? (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)

My books are all available on both Kindle and Nook. I don’t have a Kindle, but I’ve been told they do have audio capabilities. I’d love to have my books available in audiobook format someday.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That our nation was founded on biblical values and principles. It’s become popular today to believe that our Founders were Deists or even unbelievers, but that couldn’t be more mistaken. The great majority of those involved in the Revolution were professing believers in Jesus Christ, including Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and they believed that no nation could long endure unless the citizens were taught and chose to uphold the great moral principles of Christianity.
I also want to convey a sense of how faithfully God leads his people through history. And I want readers to know about and value the great sacrifices those who have gone before us made to ensure our freedom. Our Founders were giants—men and women who acted heroically in spite of flaws and limitations. They weren’t perfect by any means, but they accomplished miracles. When I see the direction our country is going in today, I’m afraid the heritage they bequeathed to us is being lost, and I want to do everything I can to prevent that.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
In doing the research for book 4 of the American Patriot Series, the thing that has touched me the most is the incredible hardships and sacrifices our founding generation suffered to establish our great nation. Crucible of War starts off with the Battle of Trenton. What Washington and his army endured in crossing the Delaware through massive ice floes, and then riding miles to fight the Hessians through a brutal nor’easter, is almost beyond belief. Several men even froze to death on the way. The more I study this period, the more impressed I am by the conviction and fortitude of our founding generation, and the more committed I am to ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten.

Thank you,Joan, for agreeing to answer these questions. Leave it to a psychologist to ask such deeply personal questions. I cannot imagine how awful it must have been to lose your parents like that. And to have gone through divorce and mending your family again.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thanks so much, Carrie! I hope one of these days we’ll have a chance to meet face to face.
Native Son (American Patriot Series, Book 2)Leave a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of a (gently used!) book from J.M. Hochstetler.  Thank you Joan for sharing with us. Oh, and I believe Joan is very happily remarried as she has shared with me how happy she is when her husband gets back from being on the road!

25 March 2011

Book Review by Diana Flowers

Raider’s Heart, (Backwoods Brides)

Raider's Heart (Backwoods Buccaneers #1)

By Marcia Gruver
Barbour Books, 2011

Very Exciting Read!

I wasn't sure I would like a book about outlaws kidnapping a young woman, but this book was so much more than that. It's about love, forgiveness, and not judging others, when we have no idea what they have been through. Dawsey Wilkes is kidnapped by the McRae family, who you would classify more as "Robin Hood" type vigilantes than outlaws. Robin Hood robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, and "outlaw" or not, who doesn't like Robin? I didn't like these outlaws at first, and of course, neither does Dawsey. When Dawsey is brought to their home in the Carolina swamps she is met with a surprise that changes her whole life!

This book is filled with surprises, twists, and turns, that once I got into it, I found it hard to put down. I read it a lot more slowly than I do most books, however, because of the detail that the author goes into, and I didn't want to miss a thing. I unwillingly fell in love with this "outlaw" family, and so does Dawsey, and it leaves her to question her opulent lifestyle and what makes a person really happy. She had never experienced the warmth and love between family members such as displayed by the McRaes, who had so much less material wise. Both brothers fall for her, and my favorite aspect of this book was not knowing what was going to happen next or who Dawsey would end up with. This was a very exciting book with nonstop action! Like I said, I loved the element of surprise and am looking forward to the next book in the series!

One word of warning, there is some violence, but the author does not get too graphic. The epilogue brings forth another startling revelation... one that upset me (and caused me to judge this family again)...and really made me examine myself! Ouch! Loved it, Marcia, and am anxiously awaiting the next book from your publisher! Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.

Bio: Diana Flowers, an avid reader, lives in South Carolina. Diana especially likes to read historical Christian fiction, and like the owner of this blog, loves frontier fiction! An “influencer” for many Christian authors’ books (she reads their books and reviews and promotes those she especially enjoys), she picked up this book on her own and was pleased by the book, posting a review on CBD and allowing me to post it here. Thanks so much, Diana!

Giveaway You will receive one of the following:
**Not so mysterious giveaway - Sweet Marcia Gruver is giving away a copy of her book!!!  Thanks so much, Marcia.  If you have already ordered this book or are expecting a copy, you will be enterred to win the following:

***MYSTERY BOOK GIVEAWAY: Last week here in Virginia, we had a book signing at barnes & noble with three authors present: Christy Barritt, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Roger Bruner. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of their signed books.

15 March 2011

Laurie Alice Eakes New Release - Jersey Brides

Book Signing, Lady in the Mist

Saturday, March 19

Barnes & Noble

12170 Jefferson Avenue

Newport News, VA

2pm – 4pm



Friday, March 18

11am – 1pm

Riverwalk Restaurant

323 Water Street, Yorktown, VA

It’s All In Your Head

Writing from the Heart While Writing for the Market

How can you fit what’s in your heart with what’s in your market? How can you better understand your audience and what they want? These questions and more will be answered by Laurie Alice Eakes, award winning Christian author who procured fifteen publishing contracts within fifteen months.

Award-winning Christian author Laurie Alice Eakes wanted to be a writer since knowing what one was. Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007, and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Between December of 2008 and January of 2010, she sold thirteen books to Barbour Publishing, Avalon Books, and Baker/Revell, making her total sales fifteen. Recently, she added a novella to that collection, as well as having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and three of her books chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press. She has been a public speaker for as long as she can remember; thus, only suffers enough stage fright to keep her sharp. In 2002, while in graduate school for writing fiction, she began to teach fiction in person and online. She lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs, and too many cats even for her.

Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to win a copy of Laurie Alice's latest release, Jersey Brides, a three-in-one book that includes her Carol-nominated book, The Glassblower, also.

03 March 2011

Interview with MaryLu Tyndall - New release "Surrender the Night"

Welcome, MaryLu Tyndall!  MaryLu is the author of Surrender the Heart, a book I reviewed last week, and many other books, as well as Surrender the Night which RELEASED THIS WEEK!!! Congratulations, MaryLu on your new book! I have ordered a Kindle so that I can listen to this latest adventure on the high seas.

I met MaryLu through some online groups, including HisWriters, those who have either published or planned works with European characters.

MaryLu, 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 character’s has had to get past?

I would say the most difficult thing to overcome for me was not having a Dad. Well, I shouldn’t say not having a Dad. It was more like having a Dad who wanted nothing to do with me. You see, my Mom divorced him when I was a baby and he moved away. I saw him once on my 16th birthday and I suppose I didn’t make an impression on him because he never came back. For a young shy girl, this caused a huge gaping hole in my life. Consequently I grew up extremely insecure and searching for that unconditional love only a father can give. Which, of course, sent my life spiraling down a bottomless pit of despair filled with alcohol and broken relationships and heartache. And I would still be there, if not for the Lord reaching down in His mercy and pulling me out. Not only pulling me out, but cleaning me off, and filling my heart with the love I’d been searching for my entire life. In my very first book, The Redemption, I wrote about this struggle through the eyes of my heroine, Charlisse.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

I have so many. But one that always stands out to me is a familiar one to everyone. Romans 8:28.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

To me, this verse covers every struggle, every problem, heartache, joy, mountain and valley in life. No matter what we are going through, it all works out in the end. If we truly believe that, we should never worry or fear or be sad.
(I love this verse, too!)

Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? I believe many of your books are available as e-books with audio capability, is that correct (on Kindle)? Do you have any in large print? (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)

Yes, I believe all of my books are available in various e-book formats, including Kindle, which I know has audio capacity. Four of my books have been published in large print as well. Unfortunately, I have no control over the various types of publishing. It is all determined by my Publisher.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

That God is real and He loves them. That He is not found in a church or building or in a ritual, but that He can be approached at any time by a truly repentant heart. That He is powerful and active and will never leave them. And that their lives will be adventurous and fulfilling (Not always easy) if they give their all to Him.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?

Yes, what really stood out for me in this War of 1812 series was the overwhelming odds we Americans had to face against the world superpower at that time—Britain. We didn’t even have a fully functional army or navy! I realized that without the miraculous intervention of God, we would have never prevailed. And America would have been nothing but a brief memory in history.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?

In Surrender the Night, the heroine suffered a brutal rape in her past. Consequently, she suffers from a fear of being in public places where there are a lot of people around, especially men. In the book, with God’s help, she comes to grips with her fear by letting go of her bitterness and clinging to the sovereign hand of God in all things.

The hero suffers from a cold, neglected childhood beneath the hand of a stern father. He spends his life trying to become successful enough to win back the favor of his father, but ultimately his value in the love and grace of God

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

Thank you so much, Carrie, for having me! God Bless!

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Surrender the Night.  Contest entries end at midnight on Friday, March 10, 2011.  Blessings!

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