29 July 2011

Book Review of The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Colonel’s Lady

By Laura Frantz 

Revell  (August, 2011)

Five Stars *****

Laura Frantz

Roxanna, at almost nine and twenty, is a full grown woman and the oldest of Laura’s heroines thus far. She sees through a woman’s eyes and as someone who has experienced loss but can still reach out to love others, included a little girl who has lost her voice. This mute child, similar to the daughter in the movie “The Patriot” is believably continually mute for she experiences one horror after another.

Roxanna’s father was a scrivener for the colonel but she must take his place after he is killed.  Laura does a nice job of incorporating her work into the storyline and of explaining what is involved without fussing over it (no easy feat).

While Christian readers who do not partake of alcohol may be surprised at finding this included in The Colonel’s Lady, this was a very real problem in Kentucky, especially, through the 19th century. I cannot address beyond that as I have not read, but quite likely given the history of turning to spirits for many reasons including difficulty at times with ensuring drinkable water.  And imbibing is not glamorized nor sugar coated in this book.  Similarly, Ms. Frantz introduces some of the more tragic ladies of the time, many of whom experience devastating outcomes for their immoral behavior. And while it is not “on the page”, some of the severe punishments given to soldiers are also mentioned. So, gentle reader be advised that this is not a “glossification” (my word) of the times nor does TCL whack you over the head with the gory details such as some recent Christian fictions I have read. 

Biggest complaint: Must wait another year for another Laura Frantz book!!!  Second biggest complaint: Not available on audio and if it was I would listen to this and her other books over and over again!!

This review by Carrie Fancett Pagels was initially posted on Colonial Quills (  I received a copy of The Colonel’s Lady from the publisher however I have already pre-ordered a half dozen copies for giveaways.  My opinions are my own. 

Giveaway:  Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of TCL!

27 July 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review by Diana Flowers - The Colonel's Lady

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

5 stars~

Fabulous Frontier Fiction by Frantz!!

Once again, Laura Frantz magnificently sweeps us away to the beautiful Kentucky frontier in the 1770s, but it is also a tumultuous, untamed land, fraught with dangers, hardships, and hidden passions!  Roxanna Rowan leaves her home in Virginia to travel to a remote Kentucky fort, hoping to be reunited with her beloved father, who is serving under Colonel Cassius McLinn. Upon arriving at the fort, Roxanna is devastated to find her father has been killed on a campaign, and she must remain there, for she is penniless, and it is much too dangerous for her to leave the fort.

There she meets Colonel Mclinn, a man who is awed and respected by both the Indians and the men who serve under him. The colonel is a complicated man; seemingly hard and unfeeling, yet tender and compassionate at the same time. Having made a promise to Roxanna's dying father to watch over her, Cassius hires her to take her father's place as his scrivener. The colonel is devastatingly handsome, but Roxanna tries to keep her distance, having heard he already has a lady-love that he left behind in his Irish homeland. And what terrible secret causes the Colonel Cassius Mclinn to try and stay an arm's length away from Roxanna?... though the chemistry between them is so thick, at times I felt my heart skip a beat...or two!

Learning there is a spy amongst them in the fort, and thousands of Redcoats and Indians outside the fort, is there a chance for any of them to survive? And can Roxanna and the colonel continue to keep their burning love and passion for one another hidden inside? And what goodwill gift does an Indian chief bestow upon Cassius, that causes a heartbroken Roxanna to run away to a nearby fort, never wanting to see him again? And what significance does her locket hold between the two of them?

Laura Frantz has done it again! The Colonel's Lady intrigued me from beginning to end...the history-rich and powerful, the romance-unbelievably breathtaking and exciting, the storyline-realistic and totally fascinating!

Fantastic writing, Laura Frantz!!

This book is available for purchase from CBD and Amazon and other retailers. 

Giveaway: Leave a comment on this review or on Carrie Fancett Pagels' review on Wednesday for a chance to win a copy of TCL.  Drawing will be done next Sunday.  

25 July 2011

Interview and reviews of "Night of the Cossack" with Tom Blubaugh

Tom Blubaugh is the author of Night of the Cossack and a co-author of The Great Outdoors.

Tom, 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?

The most difficult thing I had to overcome was being homeless in 1998. I have a website, that came from that period in my life. I am very transparent.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Proverbs 16:9 and 19:21.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out God’s will for my life by reading books and listening to tapes. These two verses simplified my life.

Disability friendliness:
My book is available for Kindle/PC Kindle on and for Nook on At this time it is not available on audio or in large print.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
Several things, but the two most important are: That the reader connects with Jesus Christ and readers will make a strong connection with their ancestors, especially those still living and find out as much about them as they can so there is a strong legacy to pass down.  It’s sad that I don’t have any more information than I have about mine. I know the name of my grandfather and his brother and that’s it. I don’t even know the name of my great grandfather or grandmother. I’m finding this is common among Jewish families due to the fears of those who immigrated. My grandparents spoke nine languages between them.  Whenever they spoke of the old country they didn’t speak in English so my mother, aunts, and uncles knew very little. They wanted their children to be Americans. They didn’t realize they were taking our heritage away from us.

 As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
Definitely—the plight of the Jewish people in Russia and Europe in the early 1900s.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
I don’t want to give away the story line, but one can read the first couple of chapters on It’s an intense book filled with drama, fear, emotions, action, faith, betrayal, moral decisions and much more. Readers from 8 to 80 have read it and the feedback is very good.

Book review by 
Dr. Michael Murrell

Tom Blubaugh has brought to life a piece of history that is remote in several aspects. I was vaguely aware of the Russian-Japanese War of 1905 and very much aware of the repression of the Russian Empire under communism but I did not realize the extent of Anti-Semitism that was prominent before the Bulshovek Revolution. I remember that the theme from "Fiddler on the Roof" was Anti-Semitic and that this was under the Russian czar; what the author did was weave together a fascinating, but often cruel, series of dramatic moments in the life of a young man to demonstrate the turbulent history of that time and place. It is fascinating reading and obviously well researched. I enjoyed the historical perspective as well as the action and adventure of the main character.

Book Review
by Mary Ann Lengyel
The title caught my attention and I had to buy this book! Russian heritage is near to my heart. My father in law has told many stories of his early childhood and how his parents lived in the 'old' country. I was quickly enthralled with the main character, Nathan Hertzfield, as he stuggles with an abrupt change in his life after being kidnapped at the hands of a Cossack soldier. And that's just the first few pages! I was intriqued with the connection between Nathan Hertzfield and Tom Blubaugh. I hope there is a sequel!  

Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack--Read the first chapter get a signed copy by ordering here. FREE shipping. Published by Bound by Faith Publishers. Ebook for Kindle available at Be sure to like my page and do a review when you finish, if you like my book.
Ebook for Nook available at Barnes & Noble
Night of the Cossack Facebook page. Be sure to like my page while you're there please.
Visit My Blog. Be sure to sign up as a follower. Co-author of The Great Adventure published by Barbour Publishing. (out of print). Genesis Project
Jericho Commission, Inc.

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

20 July 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review by Diana Flowers

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico 

Summerside Press, 2010

by Lena Nelson Dooley 

4 1/2 stars

Truly A Delightful Read!

In Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, Lena takes us off on a romantic, historic, and spiritual journey between several people. It is the 1890s, and Philip Smith an elderly, sick, quite well-to-do miner instructs his young friend, Jeremiah Dennison, to put an ad in the newspaper for a bride. Philip has loved Jeremiah like his own son, and so he feels obliged to fulfill the old man's wishes, much to his dismay. Why does Philip need a young, gold-digging wife to take care of him, when Jeremiah can meet all of his needs?

Madeline Mercer of Boston, a fine, young Christian woman, finds herself in a terrible dilemma when a business partner of her recently deceased father, announces that she is penniless, and must marry him. Also a friend of Maddy's dies in childbirth and insists Maddy take care of her baby, Pearl, before she passes away. Desperate to escape the horrible Horace and have a means to take care of Pearl, Madeline answers Philip's ad and flees to New Mexico. Upon meeting him, she is shocked to see that he is so old, but soon grows fond of this kind, Godly man, who has offered to take care of her and the babe.

Jeremiah is very suspicious of the lovely Madeline, but finds himself irresistibly drawn to her as a moth to a flame, his best friend's intended. Jeremiah also believes that even though he is not a Christian, he is a good man, and doesn't need God. Soon Madeline's past and Horace's lies and accusations catch up with Maddy. Will she be able to stay in Golden, where her precious baby and Philip have grown to love one another so. And what exactly are the old miner's plans for her and Pearl? Does Jeremiah give in and let God take control of his life? And what horrible things does Horace do, all for the love of money? Has he gone too far for God's mercy and redemption?

This was a beautiful story of forgiveness, love, and redemption as only Lena Nelson Dooley can tell it! I found myself more than once with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes... what a wonderful read with a surprise twist near the end!

Giveaway:  Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of this award winning book!  

18 July 2011

Interview Lena Nelson Dooley

The Will Rogers Medallion was recently awarded to Lena Nelson Dooley who has over 650,000 books in print, too!  Congrats, Lena!!!
Read more about this at:

Lena is the author of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, and of the upcoming new release Maggie’s Journey, book one in the McKenna’s Daughters series. Lena has published many other books, as well, some reviewed here on OTT.

I met Lena through ACFW, participating in some of the same online classes with her.  When I saw the opportunity to have her critique my manuscript at the conference in Indianapolis last year, I was thrilled and jumped right on it.  Lena is just as warm, encouraging, and witty in person as she is online.  She has been a Mentor of the Year through ACFW for good reason and has been the President of the Dallas Fort Worth Ready Writers group for some time. 

Lena, thank you for this interview and 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? 

My mother died when I was seven years old. That affected me for many, many years. I had a hard time understanding why a loving God could take a woman who was so loved by everyone and who had small children who needed her. I was in my thirties before I came to understand that God really does love, no matter what happened in my life that I didn’t understand at the time.

How has this affected your writing?
Two of the stronger themes that runs through many of my novels is forgiveness of others and of God and learning to trust God in everything.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Philippians 3:10
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Disability friendliness:
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)?
Yes, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, is available in Kindle format with audio capability. So will the McKenna’s Daughters series be.
The only other book I have in audio format is Pirate’s Prize.

How many of your books are out in large print?  (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)

I have had three books release in Large Print:
A Daughter’s Quest, Can You Help Me? And Caught Red Handed, The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
Bad things happen, but God is good.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I become fully immersed in the time periods and the characters. I’ve run into many interesting things in my forays into research. In Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, I found many interesting things in the town that thrived in 1890, but is a ghost town today. One of the buildings from 1836 is still standing and restored.

Thank you Lena for agreeing to answer these questions.  And readers, Lena shared with me that she had a wonderful stepmother!  God is so good. 

Thank you, Carrie. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your blog readers.

Giveaway: Readers - leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico.  We will have a review up on Wednesday, too, by Diana Flowers and there will be a second entry chance.  Drawing will be done next weekend!

15 July 2011

Friend on Friday - Review of The Newcomer by Laurie Alice Eakes

Review by: Katie McCurdy

The Newcomer - 4 Stars

Only a few pages into The Newcomer and I knew that Laurie Eakes had crafted together another one of her unique and wonderful stories. The last in her little New Jersey series, The Newcomer is a nice conclusion from these fun characters. Though I admit it wasn’t my favorite in the series, it was still a very enjoyable read.

All of the characters, including the main characters Gordon and Marigold, were fairly well developed. The love story between them seemed a bit rushed. I didn’t feel like I really knew them very well by the time the book came to a close. But taking into consideration that it is a small book, I can understand that.

I loved watching Marigold deal with the two girls, Beryl and Ruby. Both of the girls lost parents dear to them, and both had very different ways of showing their sorrow. As the reader, my heart went out to these orphan girls who suddenly found their lives entrusted to an Uncle that they had never met and didn’t even 
come to them until months after their parent’s death.

The tension between Marigold and Gordon was great and I enjoyed watching them work through their differences—especially where the children were concerned. All in all, I’ve enjoyed yet another of Laurie Alice Eakes' works and look forward to reading many more of her books in the future!

CFP Note: This book comes out in large print in September, 2011, also.

Here is a link to the Heartsong website that also includes a blurb of the book and a sample scene:  

13 July 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review by Diana Flowers

Shadowed In Silk 

by Christine Lindsay
5 stars~

Intrigue In India!

Christine Lindsay takes us away to exotic, far away India in the early 1900s, a land of turban's and sari's, spicy food, fragrant flowers, and silk! However, it is also a land of great political and religious unrest under the British Raj. Abby Fraser has not seen her husband, Lieutenant Nick Fraser in four years, and 
she excitedly returns to India to be reunited with him, along with their little son, Cam, whom Nick has never seen. Abby is surprised as she descends from the ship to find that Nick isn't even there, and she must travel 3 days by train to her new home alone, if not for the kindness of Major Geoff Richards, a man she met on board ship.
Geoff Richards still suffers the horrors of war and the loss of not only many of his comrades, but his lovely wife and child as well. Feeling sympathy for Abby and a great affection towards Cam, he escorts them to their new home and promises the boy he will return to see him. However, something is terribly amiss when Abby arrives and the servant puts her bags in a guestroom and she smells a jasmine scent coming from Nick's room. Who is the lovely young, Tikah, who mysteriously flits about the house and why does she seem to hate Abby? As time goes on, Abby realizes that Nick is very abusive and has no use for her, but still does her best to salvage the marriage.
Soon bedlam breaks out and many are killed and wounded, and in her loneliness and feelings of rejection, Abby does something very foolish to endanger her child's life. Will the God that Geoff believes in hear her prayers and save Cam before it's too late? Will Geoff continue to be able to stifle his feelings towards Abby; an abused, but married woman, and also find healing for his own troubled soul? And who is the traitor among them who is a wolf in sheep's clothing?
I was hooked from page one and I literally burned the midnight oil reading this one, something I haven't done in a long while! This novel was filled with excitement, romance, and non-stop action! 

Fabulous job, Christine Lindsay!

Giveaway:  E-book version available now or wait on the paper version coming out later this fall!  

11 July 2011

Interview with Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay is the author of "Shadowed in Silk", published by WhiteFire, 2011.  This book was the winning entry for the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical.

I met Christine through HisWriters (a Yahoo group for writers who have either published or have works in progress with European settings.)

Christine 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?

A personal hardship affects so much of my writing. The hardest thing I ever had to overcome was the loss of my first child when I relinquished her to adoption when she was 3 days old. I wasn’t married when I gave birth to my daughter, Sarah, and for her sake, felt that the she deserved a loving dad as well as a loving mom (me). The only way I could provide that was to give her up to a couple who were happily married and both of them loving the Lord.
I’d grown up with only one parent, as my dad is an abusive alcoholic. So I made the hard choice for my little girl. God was good though, and we were reunited 20 years later. But in meeting this beautiful young woman, and recognizing her as my child, and yet not my child, I felt the loss of her all over again. Much of my difficult childhood, and relinquishing my first child, colors my writing. I don’t give my characters easy lives, but always show the redemptive and healing love of God in my stories.

What is your favorite bible verse and why? 

Isaiah 49:15, 16a “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.”

I know firsthand that a woman cannot forget her child, and also what it feels like to wait 20 years to see that child again. Based on the intensity of my love for the daughter I had to give up, when I compare it to God’s love for me, I’m amazed at the depth of His love.
But a person can never out-give God. He not only blessed me by reunited Sarah and I years later, but she became my muse for writing. And then God arranged for Sarah to be the model on the front cover of Shadowed in Silk, my debut novel. Only a tender-hearted God can do that.

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format?

Wow—I never thought of that!!! But I checked it out, and Kindle does offer a ‘read-to-me’ version for the visually impaired.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your reading your books and why?
To understand that no matter how small or insignificant you feel, God sees you and hears you when you cry out in whatever desert your pain has taken you to. My character, Abby, learns that while she felt invisible to those who should have loved her but didn’t, that God does. She also learns that only through Christ the veil of sin can be lifted from her. But after that, He can see her face-to-face.

As you researched your book, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
My appreciation for the Indian culture grew into one of love. I had started out with a pet interest in India because the exotic setting in some of my books. But I grew to love the real country and the real people so much, that when the opportunity came to visit India on a writing missions trip, I went. It was a highlight in my life. I dedicated Shadowed in Silk to the children in India, and to that mission, Children’s Camps International, with the hope that I can promote their ministry—that of running day camps where Indian children learn about Christ through play, and song and stories.

Thank you Christine for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day,keep on writing, and may your relationship with your daughter continue to grow stronger with each day!!

Giveaway:  We have a review of Christine's book up on Wednesday. Leave a comment on this interview or on Wednesday's review by Diana Flowers for a chance to either win an e-book now OR  a paper copy later in the fall.  Your choice!  Makes sure to leave your email address!

07 July 2011

Review of Springtime for Susannah by Catherine Richmond by Diana Flowers

Springtime for Susannah by Cathy Richmond

Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond
4 stars~ ****

Superb Debut Novel!

It is Michigan in the 1870s and shy, awkward 30-year-old Susannah Underhill, has lost both of her parents, and has no prospects of marriage. Feeling she is plain and skinny, Susannah lacks the self-confidence to even talk to the battle scarred soldiers coming back from the war. She agrees to her only available option, becoming a mail-order bride to her pastor's brother in the untamed territory of Dakota. Upon arriving, Susannah sees nothing but an untamed wilderness land, a sod house to live in, a couple of Norwegian neighbors who barely speak English...and Jesse!

Jesse, a funny, wonderfully kind man, who does his best to draw Susannah out of her shell, sees a smart, pretty woman, with special strengths and abilities that Susannah doesn't even know she possesses. Soon Jesse's dreams and hers become make Dakota become a land for other homesteaders; a land of opportunity. When grasshoppers destroy all their hopes and dreams in one sweep, Susannah suffers a miscarriage in the brutal Dakota winter, and Jesse disappears for months, leaving Susannah to believe he is dead, she undergoes a transformation. She metamorphoses from a shy and timid woman who feels inferior, to a strong independent woman who will fight for the man and the land she has come to love.  

This was not your typical mail-order bride novel, which I normally don't care for, but an exciting, realistic look at our first pioneers, our ancestors who fought, sacrificed, and died for the freedoms we all now enjoy. The reason I did not give this novel 5 stars is that there were was some sexual innuendos, which are appropriate between married couples, but not for alot of Christian fiction readers. I feel like most of it should have been left unsaid, especially the doctor plainly discussing birth control methods in the manner in which he did. Otherwise, I am impressed with Ms. Richmond's debut novel and have a hard time believing this was her first published book! 

We've got alot to look forward to from this author!

Giveaway: Diana has a copy to give to one reader who leaves a comment on this blog by Sunday morning.  Leave your email addy so we can contact you!  Blessings!

05 July 2011

Interview with Roger Bruner


Roger Bruner is the author, along with his daughter Kristi Rae Bruner, of "Found in Translation" and its sequel, "Lost in Dreams." Both books were published by Barbour in 2011!

I met Roger  through some online groups, including  ACFW. He is a member of our MidAtlantic Zone. 

Roger, 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?

If you’ll forgive me, I want to share three of the most difficult things in my life—from my teen years, my thirties, and my fifties. When I was in the 8th grade, I had acute viral encephalitis. I was in a coma for several days, and the doctors said that—if I survived—I might very well end up a vegetable. As you can see, I make a pretty poor vegetable. I attribute my complete recovery to the prayers of many people.
Probably the most difficult thing in my younger adult life  was the death of a baby when she was three days old. Beth’s heart was not properly formed. She should have died at birth, but for some miraculous reason survived those three days. Anyone wanting to know more about that might want to read the article at

Roger E. Bruner
The most difficult thing in my more recent life was downsizing from my job in IT about nine years ago. I wasn’t old enough to retire, but too worn down to keep up with the changes in computer technology. So I actually ended up on the register at a Target Store for several years. I retired at sixty-two to write full-time.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
It’s a toss up. One verse is Isaiah 40:31. “All those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed. . .” It was a very important Scripture at the time of Beth’s death and many times since.  Romans 8:28 is another one. “God causes all things to work together  for good. . .” I don’t see how anyone can survive day-to-day trials without taking comfort in that.. Finally,  there’s Philippians 4:6 . “. . .with thanksgiving let your wants be made known unto God.”  That verse has helped to make my prayers times of gratitude. Incidentally, I’ve written songs based on the Isaiah and Philippians passages. And Romans 8:28 could be the theme verse for Found in Translation.

Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Neither book is available on audio as such, although the Kindle version of Found in Translation is text-to-audio enabled, and I assume that will be true of Lost in Dreams as well.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I want my readers to get a sense of their need for God’s leadership in their lives. One thing my wife and I discuss frequently is how non-believers survive the stresses of modern life. Another important thing for my readers to get is the importance of forgiveness—forgiving others and learning to accept God’s forgiveness themselves.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I don’t do much research for my books. I like to use my imagination to the max. However, I’ve written a prequel to the Altered Hearts series, which required me to research spina bifida pretty thoroughly. I’m thankful to have a real appreciation for that problem.

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

One topic that is common to both of the Altered Hearts books is learning to forgive oneself.

Roger's books are available for purchase through CBD.  Link:

Thank you , Roger, your answers once again reinforce why I do this.  So many people have been enable by God to overcome through time.  This blog is a testimony to that.  I switched to this format of interview several months ago when God touched my heart about doing that. I am sorry for your losses and I give praise for how God brought you through your difficulties, and love that God knows best, not the doctors predicting you would be incapacitated.  Blessings! 

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email for a chance to win a copy of "Lost in Translation".

03 July 2011


Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Come one come all!  Come join us!  I will be there, in character.

GIVEAWAYS: The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz, and other colonial goodies, to several readers who attend the party!

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