30 September 2011

Friend on Friday - Pegg Thomas reviews Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen

Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen
Valley Forge
Thomas Dunne Books (November 2010)
by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen

Book Review 
(Secular Historical Fiction) 
by Pegg Thomas

Another great story by the team of Gingrich and Forstchen, “Valley Forge” is the second in a series depicting George Washington's pivotal moments during the Revolutionary War.  Their first book was “To Try Men's Souls”. Albert Hanser was a contributing editor for both books.  All three historians hold Ph.D.'s and respect history for what it is, warts and all.  The stories are fiction, but the facts are history.

This story begins with the beaten and dejected Continental Army arriving at Valley Forge.  They arrive to find not a single provision ready for them.  They have no food, no shelter, and no tools to make what they need.  They are surrounded by settlers with no desire to be pulled into the war, or stripped bare by it.  Congress is in hiding, having deserted Philadelphia and run to York.  Even worse, those near and in Congress are actively plotting Washington's downfall.

Baron Friederich von Steuben, a German soldier who came to the colonies to fight in his last war, must fight his way through Congress before getting to the battle field.  With a clarity of vision beyond many colonials, von Steuben sees the potential and understands what the fledgling army needs.  He overcomes language and cultural differences to help forge a fighting force who can meet the British on the field and stand against them.

Von Steuben's and Washington's plans are tested on the battlefield at Monmouth.  History may record the Battle of Monmouth as a victory for the British, the most elite fighting force in the world in its day.  However, this story gives us another perspective on the battle and what it meant long-term for the war.

This book contains profanity and suggests immoral behaviors.  It balances that with the moral code of George Washington and his beliefs against both.  While not a Christian story, it does not shy away from how faith directed and impacted those involved in the founding of this country.  I recommend this book for adults who want to delve deeper into the history of our country and the people who carved it from the wilderness.

Thanks, Pegg for this review.  Pegg is a reader, writer and blogger who loves historical fiction, particularly Christian fiction. She has a farm in lower Michigan and is a fount of information on rural living, horses, and crop growing. So glad to have you with us today, Pegg! 

BTW: Laura Frantz has a great post up today on Valley Forge on the Colonial Quills blog, too. Check it out!

28 September 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review of Joab's Fire by Lynn Squire

Joab's Fire - 
A Distant Hope 

by Lynn Squire

5 stars *****

Powerful and Thought Provoking!

From the pen of Lynn Squire comes the powerfully moving tale that parallels the Biblical book of Job, Joab's Fire. 

Joab Black, a righteous man, in the eyes of God and his community, and his wife Sarah, establish a prosperous farm in Alberta, Canada, in the year 1903. Then in one sweep, Joab and Sarah lose everything except one another. In the midst of his intense pain, and tremendous loss, Joab regrets the day he was ever born, but refuses to lose his trust in the sovereignty of God. Although his wife urges him in her terrible state of grief to curse God and die, and his friends wonder what sin he has committed to bring this on himself, Joab never loses his faith in God.

Sergeant Dixon, a Mounted Police officer, is determined to get to the bottom of these horrendous events that have happened to his good friend Joab, feeling that a stranger's arrival in town has something to do with them. In his search he finds more than he bargains for...pride, stubborness, brokeness, and a bitterness in his heart against God. Who is this stranger and why does he excude such evil, but have the power to attract the townsfolk? What hold does he have over Dixon? In the midst of all the turmoil in Dixon's life and in the lives of his friends, will he find love with a Godly woman and peace for his soul?

In this powerfully moving, thought-provoking novel, Lynn Squire seeks to answer the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"   And why are God's children sometimes allowed to suffer? 

Lynn sheds new light on the book of Job and what it must have been like for his wife, who we are so quick to judge for her words that were spoken in the throes of grief. I was moved to tears at the restoration power and mercy of God at the conclusion of this book. 

This is not the type of book I normally read, as I'm into the whole historical fiction, romance novel thing, but I feel I'm a better person for having read this book. A more thankful person...a blessed person

Thank you, Lynn Squire, for this beautifully written, anointed book and for staying true to your calling.

Giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy of this new release!  

26 September 2011

Interview with Lynn Squire

Interview  by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Lynn Squire is the author of Joab’s Fire.

I met Lynn through American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy and have been privileged to have her as a critique partner through The Fellowship of Christian Writers. Lynn is also a member of Colonial American Christian Writers and is a contributor on Colonial Quills 

Lynn, 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 look over my life and see time and time again God’s help in difficult situation. He is indeed faithful and merciful. About two years ago my eldest daughter, Chenisse, had a severe asthma attack. She was not responding to treatments on the nebulizer at home. We went through the night with her on what we call the breathing machine (nebulizer) several times. About 3:00 AM I considered taking her to emergency, but decided against it. In the fog of my mind I couldn’t see how I would get the other two kids to school if I was with her in emergency (duh, my husband could have taken them). If she could just hold out, I thought to myself, I’ll call the doctor when his office opens.
And, I confess, I also didn’t want to incur the expense of a trip to emergency. We’ve done this before. The doctors did nothing more than what I was doing at home except to prescribe medicine. I could get that from the doctor’s office, I thought.

What a fool. My sweet girl was suffering because I was too cheap and too obtuse to act on her best interests.
When I took Chenisse to the doctor’s office, he looked at her, put her on oxygen and called the ambulance. The doctor’s office is only two football fields away from emergency. I rode in the ambulance with her, and held her hand while sending up a brief, “Please Lord, don’t let her die”. For the better part of the day the doctors worked to bring her oxygen level up and stabilizer her so that she could be moved to the Oakland Children’s Hospital for further treatment. That hospital is about thirty miles away. I knew the prayers of family and friends were bolding approaching the throne of grace.

By the time we settled into the ICU at the children’s hospital, my daughter was miserable. She couldn’t breathe, the medicine was making her sick to her stomach, and she was utterly exhausted. In time, Chenisse improved enough to be transported to the Asthma Center, resulting in yet another ambulance ride. A couple of days later she was released and we returned home.

At the follow up appointment I asked the doctor how serious she was when she came into his office. I know, a rather dumb question, but I wanted to know at what point I should have seen the signs indicating she required an emergency visit. He turned gray and replied that just months ago a boy died because his mother hadn’t taken him to emergency soon enough for the doctors to help him recover.

My stomach hit the floor like a cannonball. I knew she had been bad, but I didn’t know I’d put my daughter at such risk all because I was too cheap to go to emergency in the middle of the night. Yes, I could say I just didn’t know the signs, but bottom line, money should never have factored into that decision.

God’s grace and mercy, however, is bountiful. Throughout the ordeal I didn’t find myself wringing my hands or worrying in excess. I knew God had a purpose. I had no doubt in my mind Chenisse would pull through that emergency. I can say with all honesty that He kept me in perfect peace through the trial. When we were in the Asthma Center I even had opportunity to share my faith. God is indeed so very good, even though I can be so very moronic.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Can I say the whole Bible? Through my life I have found that God provides different verses or passages to which I can cling at that time. Recently my meditation focuses on Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Executing the Joab’s Fire marketing plan means exposing myself to the public like never before. Some of those encounters will include mean-spirited people or those who take offense to the message. Coping with such will require me remembering that God goes with me, and He will not fail me nor forsake me.

What formats is your book available in? 
Joab’s Fire is available as an e-book. As far as I know, every e-book reader allows a person to enlarge the print to a comfortable size for him. It is also available in paperback. Eventually, it will be available in audio format, as will Best of Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

 The most important thing would be acceptance of the Gospel message if a person is not saved, and for those who are, a deeper knowledge of God. I like how Paul puts it in Colossians 1:9b-11 “…that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
Those who have turned from their old beliefs, thoughts, and actions to believe in the death, burial and resurrection will encounter hardships. Generally hardships come as a result of sin, whether your own or someone else’s. At times in our life we suffer because of what we choose to believe.  I hope to direct my readers to God’s Word, where He tells us how to overcome every situation in which we find ourselves. Our faith, which is more precious than gold, will be tried and made more pure. Through trials we can gain a deeper understanding of God and His bountiful love and grace toward us.

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

In researching for Joab’s Fire, I marveled at how my ancestors overcame such great hardships. While reading my great grandfather’s memoirs I could not escape the fact of his faith. Because of his trust in God he endured much and found his hope in eternity.

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

Giveaway:  Leave your email address and a comment for a chance to win a copy of Joab's Fire.  Read Diana Flowers' Five Star review of Joab's Fire right here on Overcoming Through Time!!!

21 September 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review of The Betrayal by Diane Noble

The Betrayal by Diane Noble

The Betrayal by Diane Noble
5 stars~ *****

Review by Diana Flowers

Another Fascinating Read From the Pen of Diane Noble!

Once again in The Betrayal: Brides of Gabriel Series, Book Two, Diane Noble, has delved into the riveting, and heartbreaking world of polygamy as seen through the eyes of the women who were forced to endure it. In Book One, The Sister Wife,  Mary Rose marries the handsome and charming Gabriel, the man of her dreams, only to be told by the Church that he is to take another wife.  Bronwyn, recently widowed and beautiful, becomes the second wife to Gabe, but promises the heartbroken Mary Rose that the relationship will remain platonic.

Throughout the marriage, Bronwyn struggles with many difficult and heartwrenching emotions...feelings for Gabe that she doesn't understand, feelings of anguish over the betrayal of someone she has grown to love as a sister, and feelings of confusion over the edicts of Brigham Young, the leader of The Saints as they called themselves. Soon Gabe takes a third wife, and the age of the brides decreases, especially amongst the elderly men. When the blood atonement teaching comes into play, which decrees that the spilling of an enemy's blood be required for those who come against their ways, all three sister wives have a dangerous life or death decision to make.

Beautifully and realistically written, Diane Noble has tackled the taboo subject of polygamy, and totally mesmerizes the reader with plot twists and turns, and a very surprising and satisfying ending! Very well done, Diane Noble!

*This book was sent to me by the author for my opinion and I was not required to write a positive review.

Giveaway:  Please leave your comment and an email address for a chance to win a copy of this new release by Diane Noble!!

19 September 2011

Review of MaryLu Tyndall's Surrender the Dawn

Surrender the Dawn
Surrender to Destiny Series #3.
Published by Barbour Publishing

Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Five Stars *****

What a Pleasure!
Cassandra Channing has known affluence and comfort, both of which are rapidly slipping away. When she is refused the opportunity to invest in a privateer, and what she feels is her last chance to obtain a return on her money (and support for her widowed mother and her siblings) she turns to the town rake. Cassandra resists God’s pull at her heart, angry that she has been loaded with burdens that are not of her own making.

Luke Heaton struggles with a desire to prove himself worthy as he also tries to kick his reliance upon alcohol to solve his troubles.  He has provided for his younger brother and refuses to give God the credit for any of his successes. But an error in judgment endangers those he holds most dear.

Against the backdrop of the War of 1812, these two all-too-human characters find that they must surrender to God and His will for their lives before their love can be realized.

Luke is a very appealing hero.  I loved his dry wit. This may be MaryLu’s best hero yet (once he kicked his bad habits!) We had such fun in our Colonial Quills Tea Party  recently chatting about what a great heart-throb Luke was!

This is MaryLu's best book yet! It is a MUST READ!!

Disability Friendliness: I read Surrender the Dawn on Kindle. It is also available in paperback. No audio version.

Giveaway:  Leave your comments and email address for a chance to win a copy of MaryLu’s latest book, your choice of format.
And MaryLu is having a contest with Jamie Carie, too, stop by Talk Like A Pirate Day on her blog!  

18 September 2011

Winners of Julie Lessman Week and our Blog Award!!!

One Lovely Blog award was given to Overcoming Through Time by Sheri Salatin!  Thanks, Sheri!! 
So you have to share seven facts about yourself and pass on this award to five to fifteen people so here I go!

Seven Facts about myself:
I was a psychologist for 25 years but now write full time.
I am a "Yooper" born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but have lived in the South most of my adult life.  
I shot at an escaping prisoner when I was a prison guard in Michigan.
Baton twirling was my "life" from middle school through high school.
Am old enough to be my son's grandmother!
Married one month shy of turning 30.
Was engaged to two other men before finding the love of my life! Lovely blog by lovely lady Laura Frantz (it was fun writing that!!!)  Pat Iacuzzi's just lovely revamped blog site.  Lori Benton  Very pretty and restful. Rita Gerlach, Consistently lovely. Joan Hochstetler - lovely and informative to boot!

Kelly of VA was picked by as our Julie Lessman week winner!!! Congrats Kelly and check your email!!

ACFW Book Club Winner was Wyn!  Congrats Wyn, and you win a copy of A Passion Denied!  

16 September 2011

Friend on Friday - Katie McCurdy Reviews "A Passion Most Pure" by Julie Lessman

A Passion Most Pure (Revell)
by Julie Lessman

Review by 
5 Stars *****

What a roller coaster ride of emotions A Passion Most Pure takes the reader on! Not only are the romantic readers satisfied by the countless warm moments, but this book over bounds with lessons! Faith's personal relationship with the Lord was really sweet and watching her parents, Patrick and Marcy, relying on the Lord through every dark moment was inspiring. You can't read A Passion Most Pure and not learn something by the end!

This was Julie Lessman's debut novel, and I'm blown away by it. It was so well written and each character brought to such vivid life! Her writing was bold, but at the same time so soft and sweet! I can really understand now why Julie continues to rack up fans as she keeps turning out such powerful fiction!

I'd personally recommend this book to mature or adult readers. There are many sensual and passionate kisses between different characters throughout the book that, depending on the reader, might be okay or way too much. Collin and Mitch are both known to sleep around frequently with other women (but as the story progresses, I was excited to see them changing!). There's cheating on relationships (with painful consequences following) and once Charity thinks about her best features while undressing. Patrick and Marcy have a lot of tender moments and frequently "make love" to each other, though Julie doesn't go into explicit detail beyond heated kisses.

The tender moments between Patrick and Marcy were actually one of my favorite parts of the book. I love reading about couples that have been married for years, but still are madly in love  with each other! So sweet! When I reached the end of this book, I was elated at how Faith's story ends...but at the same time, I was dying to know what would happen to Mitch and if Charity would ever learn her lesson! Also, I was a little disappointed that Faith didn't ask Charity's forgiveness for the things she said and did before leaving. I was kind of hoping she'd make peace with her before it ended. Guess I'll just have to wait and see in A Passion Redeemed!

So, all in all, I enjoyed this read. Definitely a pretty edgy romance for me, with many passionate kisses, but the passion wasn't all about kissing, either--there was also the passion in Patrick and Marcy's marriage, the passion for the Lord in Faith, and a passion to find true healing, love, and acceptance in Collin. There were parts in A Passion Most Pure that had me smiling in joy, and other times that had me in a puddle of tears. No character in here is perfect, each one stumbles--as we all do in this life. With ups and downs constantly throughout this book, you just have to hold on for dear life!

A Passion Most Pure  Formats: (Available for purchase on Amazon in Hardcover, paperback and Kindle versions and on CBD in ebook and paperback.)

CFP: Thanks for your review, Katie, and for being our Friend on Friday!  

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away your choice of Julie's books in your choice of format.  Leave your email and comment. Thanks for stopping by!  

15 September 2011

Diana's Corner - Review- A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

Book Review by Diana Flowers

A Hope Undaunted -Winds of Change Series Book 1
by Julie Lessman
Published by Revell
5 stars~ *****

Romance Julie-Style!

I absolutely loved this book! The main character, Katie O'Connor is like so many of us when we start emerging into adulthood - self-centered, self sufficient, and thinks she has the best laid plans for herself! However, Katie has a vulnerable, self-conscious side that stems from her childhood and a certain young rascal named Luke McGee. She feels that the "perfect man" and the "perfect job" will fulfill her and bring her happiness in her life. However, Katie must find out the hard way, that true happiness comes from following God's plans for her life.

Her good looking boyfriend, Jack, has all the makings of a "perfect" husband...he's wealthy, successful, and most of all he adores Katie! Then she is forced to spend the summer with Luke McGee, the childhood "thorn in her side" whom she swore to despise forever. Will she?

I love the way Julie interwove the characters that we loved and missed so much from her previous Daughter's of Boston series. I laughed and I cried throughout this entire book (normally I reserve the tears 'til the very end.) 

Julie Lessman has done it again! I can't wait for the release of her next novel!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of Julie's books in your choice of format.

14 September 2011

Review of A Hope Undaunted

Julie Lessman
A Hope Undaunted (Revell, 2011)

By Julie Lessman

Book reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
I highly recommend this novel and gave it five stars!  *****

I read this on Kindle.  It is available through Amazon and Christian Book Distributors (paperback). As Julie mentioned in her interview, it is available as a free download through many sources.

This is my first Julie Lessman book that I have read.  I bought a paperback last year but found reading print on the page rather difficult at that time.  Which is a great thing about Kindle – I read this every night until I was done and it did not bother my eyes at all. 

Well, now I know why everyone loves Julie Lessman’s writing.  I was aware that her tagline is “Passion with a Purpose” and now I know why!  She packs realistic passion in a Christian context on the pages, and boy are there pages.  I wonder how many words her books have in them as I was told 110,000 was the limit and I cannot figure out how a 500 page or so book would have that few! 
A Hope Undaunted, Winds of Change Series #1
In this story we have a spoiled young woman, Katie, who was tormented when she was younger by a street urchin who had been taken into her brother’s home. Now a handsome attorney, he still annoys her, only in different ways. Luke, as he now calls himself, ends up becoming her boss when Katie’s father gives her a consequence for her constant disobedience, which usually had to do with running around with her serious (and also spoiled!) boyfriend.  Boy, oh boy, does Katie need to grow up.  And she does in this heart-warming novel that also has a sizzling romantic thread. 

Julie does a very nice job of including the storylines of the other couples that surround Katie and Luke, including Katie’s parents.  This serves to shed light on why Katie is such a strong willed and affectionate young woman and to lend sympathy to some of her behavior.  And it is nice that mom and dad are not on the page as a couple of old decrepit fogeys. There is also an entire thread about fidelity, faithfulness, trust, and death of a child with one of the couples.

Bibliotherapy: Loss, abandonment, marriage, health issues, forgiveness, finding a godly spouse, respect, and transitions in life.

Giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance this week to win a copy of any one of Julie's books in your choice of format.

12 September 2011

Interview with Julie Lessman

Interview with Julie Lessman

by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Julie Lessman is the author of The Daughters of Boston series (A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed and A Passion Denied) and The Winds of Change series (A Hope Undaunted—now available for free download on,, B& and Sony e-reader) and A Heart Revealed (just released Sept. 1st)).

I met Julie through a mutual good friend, Laura Frantz, who is also a Revell author like Julie.

Julie, 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 don’t know if this is the most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome, but it certainly ranks close to the top—the day I received a call from a urologist in my son’s college town, telling me he thought my son had cancer. Now if you know anything about me at all, you know I am a VERY wired individual. I like to joke that I am a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) because I am such an emotional person, my family used to call me “walking nervous breakdown” when I was little. BUT … God has calmed me down A LOT since I came to know Him, but I am still a pretty hyper person, so obviously this phone call about my son almost buckled me at the knees.

Fortunately, from the moment I became a born-again Christian at the age of 23, application of Scripture has been vitally important to me AND a key component in my books. Why? Because when we apply Scripture in our lives, dramatic things happen! We are blessed! We are transformed! We are changed from weak, downtrodden human beings to powerful kids of the King!

But I will admit that I didn’t “feel” very powerful when I received that call. My husband and I were devastated and immediately sought a second opinion. Extensive blood tests were run, but we had to wait an entire week for the results. Now, my mom always said I had an imagination like a runaway train, and whoa, baby, was it in overdrive that week! There I’d be, lying in my bed and desperately trying to sleep, when images of my son in a casket would bombard my mind. The only way I got through that week was by “being transformed by the renewing of my mind” (Romans 12:2).  As soon as a horrible image or thought would come to me, I would rebuke it in Jesus’ name (the same way Jesus rebuked the terrible storm when He and the apostles were in the boat—Matthew 8:26), and then I would replace it with God’s Word such as “No weapon formed against my son shall prosper; this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord” Isaiah 54:17, or “for You are the God who heals my son” Exodus 15:26. I said it OVER and OVER until it drove the fear away and filled me with God’s peace.

How did everything turn out? Well, I spent the week resting in God’s Word, as calm and placid as a mirror lake, while my usually laid-back husband was a basket case. I finally had to type up a whole page of healing scriptures, print it off, and tuck it in his wallet so that he, too, could be transformed from fear to peace. At the end of the week, God answered our prayers—no cancer! Thank you, Jesus! But that incident really brought it home to me the power that we have in God’s Word. So if anyone would like a listing of Scriptures that I put together for healing, hope and just general Scriptures for writers, here’s the link

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Gosh, I have so many, but one of my favorites (which I used to pray everyday) is the last paragraph in Psalm 139, verses 23-24. But a word of warning—don’t pray it unless you mean business, because God will definitely nail you to the wall on a few things! Here it is:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

However … since I have become an author, I find that the push and pull of success (vying for sales, awards, accolades) is deadly, taking me places I do NOT want to go. So since then, my favorite Scripture has been 2 Corinthians ll:3: Do not let my mind “be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

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)? Do you have any in large print?  (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)
Not audio format or large print, unfortunately, but yes, all are on e-book.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
Oh, that’s easy. The MOST important thing I pray readers take away from my books is the reality of how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. These books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. Believe me, I KNOW this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being (like my character, Charity O’Connor, in A Passion Redeemed) before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!” J He’s been the love of my life ever since.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. In A Passion Redeemed there is a scene at the end of the book where Charity O’Connor is coming home from Dublin to Boston. I wanted to get the setting of Boston Harbor just right, so I researched it and found out that during that time period, there was a Boston Floating Hospital for Children right there in the bay. It was begun by Reverend Rufus B. Tobey, a minister who wanted to help indigent women and their sick children. In the summer, you could actually see naked babies and toddlers playing on the sundeck, which was the prescribed therapy for Vitamin D deficiency. I thought that was very cool.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
Yes, I believe so. You see, A Heart Revealed deals with the after-effects of spousal abuse as it pertains to the heroine, Emma Malloy, a woman scarred on the inside and out when her husband pelted hot grease in her face during a drunken brawl. Emma has to learn how to let go of the hurt and pain of the past in this book and feel beautiful and loved in God’s eyes, if not her own.

Julie, Thanks so much for sharing. Wow!  I was really touched by your testimony of what happened with your son and how you stepped into the healing power of prayer to stand in the breach for him.  God is so good!  And thank you for the links to those prayers.  We are so glad to have you as our guest on Overcoming Through Time! 

JULIE LESSMAN WEEK Givaway:  Leave your comment and email address for a chance to win a Julie Lessman book (your choice, your format). 

08 September 2011

Diana's book review of The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedland

The Doctor's Lady 
by Jody Hedlund
(Bethany House, September, 2011)

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
 5 stars~ *****
Riveting Read!!
The Doctor's Lady takes us on an exciting, but arduous journey, as two couples begin a trek across country to minister to the Nez Perce Indians in Oregon in the early 1800s. Priscilla White, feels God has called her to minister to the people of India, never to be a wife or mother as the drs. have all pronounced her incapable of ever being able to bear a child. However, just as the missions board refuse her because she is single, Dr. Eli Ernest offers Priscilla an interesting become his business partner and travel with him to start a mission in Oregon for the Nez Perce tribe. However, they too must be married, and decide to do that, but in "name only".

Eli Ernest has no interest in taking a lady with him, for to do so would bring added danger and slow him down. His passion, however, is to start a mission and bring salvation to the Indians, and if he has to take a woman, so be it. Eli carries a heavy burden of guilt on his shoulders for not being able to protect his sisters and father as a child, so he is fiercely protective of Priscilla. As Priscilla finds herself falling in love with Eli, and is constantly rebuffed by him, the battle raging within her heart is as bad as the torrential river, that almost drowns her at it's crossing, the bone-tiring weariness of the journey, and the danger that lurks around every path.

After suffering from flea bites, a near rape, cholera, and constant Indian threats, Priscilla and Eli, and their partners, face their biggest obstacle yet....crossing the Blue Mountain Range to reach their final destination. Will they make it, or will their dreams end in in defeat or even death? The author's note at the end had some surprises and heartbreak that I wasn't aware of while reading this book, and only served to make me love this book even more!

I love alot of author's work, but I have my favorites narrowed down to ten...ten that I just have to read their new novels as they are released! After reading The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady, Jody Hedlund is now on my top FIVE favorite authors list. This book was utterly fantastic and a must read for all historical fiction lovers! Jody's writing style was impeccable and totally realistic...the romance was heart racing and exciting...the conclusion very satisfying. This book will surely win many awards! Outstanding job, Jody! 

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy!  Put your email addy on there.  

06 September 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review Waterfall

River of Time Series

Waterfall:The River of Time Series by Lisa Tawn Bergren
41/2 stars~

Reviewed by Diana Flowers

Exciting Dive Into Waterfall!

Lisa T. Bergren takes us on an exciting whimsical journey back in time, beginning in modern day Tuscany and ending up in 14th century Italy! Gabi and Lia Betarrini have spent every summer with their archaelogist parents amongst the ruins of medieval castles, ancient tombs, and dusty sites. However, on this particular summer day, something happens to change the course of both of these sisters' lives, when they place their hands atop a handprint in an ancient tomb, and find themselves in 14th century Italy.

Gabi instantly finds herself without Lia, in the midst of lords and ladies, warring knights and one handsome lord...Marcello Forelli! Gabi enlists Marcello and his friend, Luca, to help her find her sister, without divulging her secret that she has traveled back in time.

Difficulties arise when Marcello's fiance, Lady Rossi, starts to see an attraction develop between him and Gabi...and when she also finds herself caught between two opposing forces in many a life or death situation. Did God send her there to help change the course of history? Where is Lia and can they save her before it is too late, and how can Gabi allow herself to fall in love, knowing somehow she must return to the present and leave Marcello behind?

There is so much to this plot that I cannot say more without spoilers, but this is a delightful read for young adults everywhere! I have to admit I had a hard time putting it down myself and I'm certainly not in that age group! Lisa T. Bergren's writing style is impeccable, as is her research, and her characters were well developed and charming. I am looking forward to Cascade which is the next book in The River of Time Series, where Gabi's journey continues!  

Giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email addy for a chance to win!  

05 September 2011

Tea Party at Colonial Quills Today - Labor Day Celebration of New Releases!

Colonial Quills Tea Party
MaryLu Tyndall will be there discussing Surrender the Dawn!

And Laura Frantz will share about TCL!

And CJ Chase, with Redeeming the Rogue!


01 September 2011

Interview with Julie Klassen

by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Julie Klassen is the author of The Girl in the Gatehouse (Bethany House 2010), The Silent Governess, The Apothecary’s Daughter, Lady of Milkweed Manor, and coming in December, 2011: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall.

I met Julie through one of the online chapters of ACFW--HisWriters, for authors who have either published or planned works with European characters. 

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall  -     
        By: Julie Klassen
Julie, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.  

I am looking forward to your upcoming release (cover shown above!)

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 characters have hard far tougher lives than I have (thank God). Some have found themselves abandoned by loved ones, caring for ailing parents or friends and siblings with disabilities, having to run away for fear of their lives, and more.

In The Girl in the Gatehouse, Mariah Aubrey finds herself banished from her home and family after she is discovered in a compromising situation with a man. In those days, such a scandal would be the end of a woman’s life as she knew it. In writing this book, I was inspired by the character of Maria Bertram in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, who “destroyed her own character” and was sent away forever from her family. Period. Now, we do not admire vain and adulterous Maria Bertram and most readers likely feel she earned her just deserts. But I found myself wondering, “What if Maria were a character we actually cared about? Would we be content to leave her in her lonely exile?” As someone who has made her share of mistakes in life, I am thankful for second chances. And I enjoyed giving Mariah Aubrey hers as well.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

One of my favorites is Philippians 1:6: For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ 

I cling to it because I am far from perfect. I didn’t come to Christ until my twenties and still have a long way to go. This is likely the reason my books seem to deal with the redemption of past mistakes and God’s mercy. Something I’m very thankful for in my own life.

Disability friendliness:
Julie Klassen’s books are available in large print, e-book, and audio book.  (For which I am very grateful!!!) This week I have put my audio reviews of all of Julie's books up for the week, with one more coming - The Girl in the Gatehouse, which Julie described, above.  

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
While each book has its own particular theme (forgiveness, contentment, unconditional love, etc.) the main thing I would like to leave readers with, is that while we as people are imperfect and make mistakes, our perfect Heavenly Father offers us forgiveness and second chances though His son.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I used to think I had been born in the wrong time and longed for the romance of the Regency era. Now that I have learned more through research, I thank God I am living today! Yes, it could be a romantic time (if you had money) but it was also a difficult time. So many of the hardships I’ve learned about (the difficult fate of “fallen” women, foundlings, and people with disabilities) have touched me and ended up in some form or other in my books.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
The only disability (besides Mariah’s inability to accept forgiveness) I can think of in The Girl in the Gatehouse is a character named Martin who has lost a hand and wears a prosthetic hook. (My friend Mark, who has a prosthetic foot, claims that he inspired that character!) Still, I’ve heard from many readers who relate to Mariah’s struggle to accept God’s forgiveness for her past mistakes and to embrace the new life He offers.
The Apothecary's Daughter  -     
        By: Julie Klassen
But probably the strongest example I can give about one of my books providing a therapeutic influence would be in The Apothecary’s Daughter, in which the main character’s best friend suffers from “falling sickness” or what is now called epilepsy. Let me share an excerpt from a recent reader letter:
“I have just finished reading The Apothecary's Daughter.  I could not put it down until I finished it. I wanted to write to you regarding your character Mary Helen Mimpurse. She is now my favorite character in a book.  I have a seizure disorder that is now controlled with medication.  It is so easy for me to imagine what my life would have been like way back when and not expect to ever find a husband just because I have "fits" from time to time. Also to have such a short life span.

I wanted to thank you also for Mary's description for her seizures.  It is very difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have them, just what happens to yourself when they occur.  As I read Mary's description tears came to my eyes.
"Thank you for showing that seizures are not a mentally debilitating disease. I still run into people this day and age who believe that epilepsy or seizures make you defective. You showed Mary as such a wonderful and NORMAL woman with a disease that (at the time) was basically a death sentence. Thank you for a wonderful book.”

Thank you Julie for agreeing to answer these questions.  I love your books!  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy of one of Julie's books in your choice of format (including pre-release copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall). 

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