29 January 2012

Interview with Rita Gerlach

Author Rita Gerlach

RitaGerlach is the author of new release "Before the Scarlet Dawn" published by Abingdon Press.

I met Rita Gerlach through ACFW and when I was searching for colonial era books several years ago.  She was kind enough to send me copies of her works during a time when I was very ill and I was so touched by her generosity.  We are also both members of HisWriters, those who have either published or planned works with European characters. Rita is also a member of Colonial American Christian Writers and a contributor to the Colonial Quills group blog.

Rita, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help. 
Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your characters has had to get past?
I don’t want to give away critical moments in my newest release, Before the Scarlet Dawn, but Eliza is perhaps the one character that has faced the most tragic moments of any of my characters in the series (Daughters of the Potomac.) That is not to say that Darcy and Sarah face horrific events, but Eliza is the springboard to the series. Life was good for her after she married Hayward, but from the time he is called away to fight in the Revolution tragedy plagues her life. Like a snowball rolling downhill each builds on the other. Soon she faces the fact that the only source of getting through them is God. In order to ‘overcome’ them, she has to trust that He will take care of her and those she loves, no matter how dire the situation.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Why? As I watched my dear father suffer over a year’s period from Alzheimer’s, his decline and passing caused me to press into my Savior for comfort and reflect on the briefly of life. This verse sums it all up. What we will be given in the end, when He finally establishes His Kingdom, is everlasting peace and joy. The loss of our loved ones is but a temporary separation. What happiness we will have when the last enemy to be destroyed is death, and that there will be no more sorrow or crying or pain. He will make all things new.

Disability Friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?
Sadly it is not. I look forward to the day when audio books will become a normal part of the publishing process. For now it is expensive for publishers to put books in audio, and they have to be extremely selective. (CFP: I believe the Kindle version will have audio capability because the PDF converted document has this function.)
Surrender the Wind cover

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That when everything is said and done, in the end it all turns out all right. Love is the cohesive bond that helps us face adversity. For example, the message in my novel Surrender the Wind is wrapped up in fidelity and forgiveness, and the surrendering to our Creator those winds that shove and batter us. In the Daughters of the Potomac Series my hope is readers will see circumstances that relate to their own lives.

As author Marylu Tyndall put it in her review of Before the Scarlet Dawn:
 It is about a woman who so desperately wants her husband to love her that she goes to great lengths to please him. Perhaps many women out there can relate. The story brings many questions to one's mind about marriage and commitment.  .  .

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
This question brings me back to the new series. Most of my research I do as I am writing the novels. But before I began I read a book called ‘White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America’ by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, that touched me deeply about the horrific white slave trade that took place in the 18th century, where men, women, and children were kidnapped in England and sold into indentured servitude in the Colonies.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
This is an interesting question. I’ve always believed good storytelling can have a healing effect. I see this mainly in Christian and inspirational fiction. The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite from the hectic world we live in. Sometimes immersing in a good book helps us escape the troubles we are facing and easy our anxiety.

Thank you Rita for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you, Carrie, for the privilege of this interview!

GIVEAWAY: A copy of one of Rita's books - your choice!

28 January 2012

Christians Recovering from Trauma

We have wrapped up our Susan May Warren week. In her interview, Susan shared how she and her family survived assault and robbery while serving the Lord in Russia. Why does this traumatic stuff happen? I don't know. We can only trust God and let Him work it out for us. But what can we do to cooperate with that process? As Christians we need to turn to God, pray, search His word, and follow His directions. One of my favorite resources is Blackaby's book - Experiencing God. Christian Book Distributors list of Henry Blackaby resources also includes other great titles.

Recovering from trauma is much like dealing with death. There are many stages you have to go through to get to a healing point or even a "living with it" point. I highly recommend that people find a Christian psychologist to help them talk about their experiences. Be sure whatever therapist you see has a background treating survivors. While God can certainly use anybody to deliver a message, we do well to to seek out a fellow believer for counseling. 

A newer and promising treatment, particularly with our wounded warrior veterans, is the use of neurobiofeedback or neurotherapy.  EEGInfo is a great online resource that explains about neurobiofeedback and also has links to providers.

Psychiatrists can also prescribe medications to help deal with the initial severe emotional reactions such as depression and anxiety.  The need for medications for reaction to trauma typically is short term.  There are antidepressants, for instance, that are more suited to briefer periods of use (such as bereavement). 

Mindfulness - being aware of what situations triggers PTSD reactions is important. God can heal the broken-hearted and He can make these hurtful memories and images lessen. For some it is almost instantaneous but for most it takes time. Hypervigilance is another issue that resolves with God's help, in time.

Bibliotherapy - Look for Christian books that have a hero or heroine who are addressing their recovery from trauma.  This is one reason I include this element in my reviews.  

We will be discussing PTSD again in future posts. 

Our winner this week will be announced later this evening.

What about you? Have you survived trauma and how has God pulled you through?

Carrie Fancett Pagels' Reviews "The Great Christmas Bowl" by Susan May Warren

The Great Christmas Bowl
The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren

(Tyndale House, 2009)
Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

This is the review I posted on CBD:
I would strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of this book and hide somewhere and read it without interruption. A great read! This will get you into the Christmas spirit and help you focus on the real reason for the season. Ms. Warren has a great author's voice and a wonderful style. A good example of why she is an award-winning author. I was trying to stay away from the CBD box where this book was waiting but I grabbed it and stayed up late and read this book all the way through. Order it now!

I loved this book and would re-read it.  The setting is great because it is in what I call the “frozen tundra” of northern Minnesota.  A place where football is almost a religion. No, that would be hockey, sorry!  Susan May Warren is an unabashed football freak with an almost empty nest.  This wonderful and funny book makes me wonder if it is somewhat autobiographical.  

I loved loved loved the trout costume that the heroine, a mother whose family seems to have left her hanging in the wind, ends up wearing when the gentleman who is the mascot is unable to continue his duties.  Susie totally captures the fanaticism for sports and the “feel” of living up north.  I felt like I had gone home for Christmas when I read this (instead of being in bed very ill unable to go to the grocery store much less travel anywhere.)   And if you are dealing with “church ladies” who overstep their bounds and the staff who interprets your “maybe” as “YES!!!! I WILL DO IT ALL!!!” then you will recognize some of the characters in this book.  I ended up mailing this to a bunch of people I enjoyed it so much.

The Great Christmas Bowl is available through Amazon, CBD, and other vendors.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment for a chance to win any one of Susan's books this week.

27 January 2012

Guest Review of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Susan May Warren

Baby, It's Cold Outside cover, Summerside Press

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" 
By: Susan May Warren 
Summerside Press, 2011

Reviewed by: Julie Lippo 

I had never read a book by Susan May Warren before.  I read it on Nook color. Before I received the book I had attended a chat party hosted by Author Susan May Warren and was intrigued by the storyline. 

Susan May Warren's book "Baby It's Cold Outside", is a book that I really can relate to. I grew up in Northern Minnesota where blizzards are very common. In the book it talks about having a storm shelter, which I had never heard of. We did have something similar in the 1970's - we would put a "helping hand" poster/picture on our window letting children know that this was a safe house if they needed help just the same as having a Storm Shelter. Children walking to and from school could find shelter if there was a blizzard or other people if the temperatures were extremely cold and needed to come in out of the dangerous weather.

In this story Dottie's home becomes the Shelter from The Storm where four others have managed to come in out of the blizzard. Will Dottie believe in Christmas again, will she learn to let go of the past? Will Violet learn the true meaning of why Jake is really there to see her? Will Gordon who is Dottie's neighbor finally tell her the truth? And Arnie, the little boy who comes in from the storm, learns something as well. Will all of them learn to believe in miracles, love, and to learn to let go of the past? Will these broken hearted strangers learn to trust and love again and to believe in the spirt of Christmas?  Find out in Baby It's Cold Outside!! 

Susan has written a story that is so vivid I felt like I was in Dottie's home with all of them and feeling God's love all around me from His loving arms and with Jake, Gordon, Violet, Arnie as well as Dottie herself. Susan truly has a gift from God to bring us such a heartwarming story!! This is an author that you will not want to miss reading. I am so glad that I found her.

Thanks for the guest post, Julie!  This book is available as a paperback or Kindle through Amazon and paperback through Christian Book Distributors as well as other vendors. 

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a copy of one of Susan's books this week. Leave a comment to enter in the drawing. 

25 January 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren

The Shadow of Your Smile, by Susan May Warren

The Shadow of Your Smile
Review by Teresa Mathews

4Stars~ ****

This book introduces us to Noelle and Eli Hueston, married couple of 25 years, parents to three children. It seems that Noelle and Eli have grown apart because of a tragic event that forever changed their lives. I would go into detail but since it is the reason behind all of the pain each character has endured I won’t.

Noelle, a 46 year old wife and mother that has finally come to the end of her rope with life, has decided to make a life changing decision but before she can act on it another tragedy or maybe not a tragedy at all, strikes. On a road trip she stops at a coffee shop and while in the restroom a robbery takes place. Hoping she can get out of the store without getting hurt she makes a run for it and takes a nasty fall and as a result she loses her memory. Noelle not only forgets her name, she forgets everything from the last 25 years. She wakes up from a coma and thinks she is still a young beautiful college co-ed. She is SHOCKED to find she has the body of a 46 year old. I have to say this part had me laughing out loud. Noelle is even more shocked to find out she is “supposedly” married to a totally “grumpy old man” who is trying to convince her that she is also a mother. The two young men in her room seem very nice and they are handsome but she cannot remember anything about them. Will Noelle get her memory back? Will she ever remember the good times she had with Eli before her world fell apart?

Eli, the former sheriff of Deep Haven, a beautiful snow covered town in Minnesota, has pretty much given up on his marriage. After “the event” happened, he has lived in guilt for what he thinks was his fault, after all he was the sheriff and it was his job to protect. Eli has tried to find solace in a lot of different things to ease the pain but nothing except the friendship he has with another woman has seemed to work. He knows this is not what he should be doing but again out of guilt of what happened he has taken their friendship further than he should. When Eli gets the call that Noelle was in a town several hours away from home and has had an accident, he rushes to the hospital to be with her. To say he is shocked when Noelle doesn’t remember him would be putting it mildly, but for her not to remember her children was almost more than he could take. Will Eli finally realize the solace his heart has been looking has been right here with his wife the whole time?

There are several secondary characters that Susan does a good job telling their story and how their lives play out. Especially Noelle and Eli’s children, in fact I would love for there to be a sequel based on their oldest son’s story. (Hint Hint)

This is a story that will make you think about “what if”. I’m sure we have all had those moments, especially if something tragic has happened to us, a loved one or a friend. “What if” we could turn back the clock to another time? Would our lives really be better? Shouldn’t we just be grateful for what the Lord has given us? Yes! “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Susan May Warren did an excellent job of making you think while reading this book. Thank you Susan for making me stop to remember how thankful I am for my wonderful husband of almost 25 years (April 11) and my family. I can’t wait to read your next book!

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment for a drawing later in the week!

24 January 2012

Heiress by Susan Mary Warren

Product Details

Heiress (Daughters of Fortune)
 41/2 stars~

Review by Diana L. Flowers

Powerfully Moving Story!

Susan May Warren pens a powerfully moving story that takes place during the Gilded Age of America, a time of the elite set; of riches and glamorous cotillions, motorcars and yachts, and forbidden passions and discontentment. It is the story of two sisters, Esme and Jinx Price, daughters of the wealthy newpapaper magnate, August Price, who are as different as night and day. Esme wishes only to follow in her father's footsteps, to become a famous female journalist, whereas her younger sister, Jinx, wants only to be a member of the elite society, possessing great riches and status, to the point of wanting her own sister's fiance, the wealthy Foster Worth. 

Broken-hearted Esme's journey takes her to Montana, a far cry from what she was use to in New York; a mining town with vigilantes, gamblers, and a saloon-turned-headquarters for her newspaper. She has no desire to ever marry, but meets the handsome Daughtry Hoyt, wealthy son of the owner of Silverthread Mines. Will she find love again and what terrible tragedy draws her back to her opulent home in New York City?  Does she learn to commit her ways to the Lord and finally find peace?

Jinx seems to have everything her heart could ever desire; a wealthy husband, jewels, the best parties, but her life is just a facade. One foolish night threatens to ruin her life forever, and her best laid plans for her future come crumbling in on her. Is there something deeper that money can't buy, and does Jinx find it? Will love's elusive dream ever find her again?

This is the second series I have read by Susan May Warren, and all I can say is NOW I see why she wins so many awards for her writing. I was a little nervous starting into this book, because Ms. Warren does not sugarcoat her characters or her storyline at all. Her characters are human and sinful, and not knowing God they do some pretty awful things, but you find yourself loving them anyway. The storyline drew me in, and I found myself not being able to put this book down after I got into it, except out of necessity. This novel was heartbreakingly realistic....edgy to be sure, but oh, what a satisfying conclusion! 

Susan May Warren, you are one master storyteller! 

GIVEAWAY:  We are giving away a copy of one of Susan's books this week - your choice of book and format (ebook, paperback)! This book is also available for purchase through other outlets such as Christian Book Distributors (See all Susan May Warren's books on CBD).

22 January 2012

Interview with Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is the author of "The Shadow of your Smile" and of best-selling, award-winning novels like "Sons of Thunder", "The Great Christmas Bowl" and "Finding Stephanie". Amazon has a complete selection of Susan May Warren's books.  Christian Book Distributors also carries Susan May Warren's novels.

I met Susan May Warren through ACFW several years ago and got to hear her speak at the Philly conference that Marlene Bagnall runs every year (Write His Answer Philadelphia Conference). Rachel Hauck, her sidekick, encouraged me to join the My Book Therapy ningsite right when that first got started up. I have been a Voice’s MyBookTherapy Ezine columnist for the past two years.  I have enjoyed getting to know Susie better at the ACFW conferences.  She is a generous and bubbly person.

Susan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  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?
In this story, my heroine, Noelle, has to overcome the grief of losing her only daughter.  Besieged by grief, she has withdrawn into herself and her marriage has crumbled.  As the story opens, she’s trying to find her way back when she falls and her memory of the last twenty years is erased.   As she starts her journey of recovery, her loved ones are besieged by the question: do they help her remember the past, if it plunges her back into darkness?  Or is remembering the happy times worth the grief it will bring?
I wrote this story during the year my daughter left for college.  Although a struggle for me, it wasn’t the grief that this story portrays.  So I had to tap into other  memories I wanted to erase to get into the mind of my character.  Namely, the home invasion we lived through while serving as missionaries in Russia.  A terrifying day where three masked men broke into our home, beat us, and robbed us.  Only a divine intervention (and we believe angels) saved our lives. 

Ten years later, the event, the memory can still find me, wake me in the middle of the night, creep up on me in a quiet house, or even while I’m sitting in the car.  I’ve long wished to erase it. Or not.  Because as distance has allowed me perspective, I’m ever aware of my gratefulness for the lessons it taught me.  Faith. Hope in a God who protects, and heals. 
One interesting phenomena when a person goes through an attack such as this is that your brain actually blots out the most traumatic things until you are ready to see them.  I think this is God’s way of protecting us yet again. 
Do I want to forget that attack? I wouldn’t mind never having to wake from a nightmare again, in a cold sweat.  But I want the reminder that God is always there.  This is the lesson that Noelle takes away – that God hasn’t left her in her grief, or amnesia, but His constant presence had held her together…and will heal her back to love.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Romans 15:13
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.
I love the simplicity of this verse. God is Hope.  He fills us with Joy and Peace…and all we have to do is trust in Him.  And when we do…our hope overflows. 

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Yes, quite a few of my books are in large print, as well as on audio.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
My life theme is grace – God gives me grace, I try to overflow that to others.  But I hope that readers see God in a new way, touching their lives with His grace as they read my stories.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I am always amazed that, at some point in every story, I’m in over my head and have to hit my knees and ask God for divine help.  He always shows up with answers.  For me, that’s the joy of the journey – the faith building experience of writing a novel.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
My heroine spends a lot of time watercolor painting as a way to recover from her grief. I think reaching inside in a creative way allows us to express ourselves that we might not be able to otherwise. And I think God shows up in these moments, too.

Thank you Susan May for agreeing to answer these questions and for sharing what God has helped you get through. Our theme this week will address PTSD and overcoming the trauma of assault, with God's help. Your testimony is an inspiration to all of us!

GIVEAWAY:  We are giving away a copy of one of Susan's books this week in your choice of format.

21 January 2012

Ovecoming Abandonment and Alcoholism with God's Help

MaryLu Tyndall posts at Colonial Quills group blog and on MaryLu's website.  
This past week we have interviewed ML and had reviews of her pirate trilogy which recently re-released!  

MaryLu shared about abandonment as an issue for herself and as faced by her heroine, Charlisse, in these books.  

Here is a really deep post on abandonment: link

My thoughts -
God will never abandon nor leave you.  He will never forsake you. Once a Christian gets that in their head a lot of those issues of feeling alone vanish. And I don't trust "Feelings" nor should you as Joyce Meyer reminds us. When you rely upon the Word you can say to the feeling - "I KNOW what God's Word says, and I am never abandoned by my Father for His Word proclaims that truth."

But we live on earth. We want examples of a godly father. For a married person that, truthfully, often translates into who your husband becomes as a father. Therefor a woman needs to choose her Christian husband carefully, as God directs her path, so she can see in her own life, in her own home, what a good father looks like. That isn't to say that her choice will be perfect.  We all have free will and who knows what that Christian husband might choose to do.  A spouse with abandonment issues needs to be careful not to react when their husband or wife needs extra emotional space, though. Be mindful of your own history so you can deal with it and not dump it on your partner.

There is a void left in your heart, as a child or teen, when a parent leaves, whether through death, abandonment, or for some other reason such as long-term illness or military. The Enemy will tell you that something is needed to fill that void.  Yes, that would be God.  But Satan will offer up many other alternatives that are meant to destroy not build you up as your Father would.  Alcoholism, as addressed in MaryLu's books, is a common example.  There are many recovery groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, all over the country, willing to help people turn from a bottle of alcohol as their god to the their higher power, or God for we Christians.

What about you today?  Who can you guide toward God and away from the earthly thing they have been using to salve their wounds? 

19 January 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews MaryLu Tyndall's The Restitution

The Restitution
Legacy of the Kings Pirates Book 3
Review by Teresa Mathews

Five Stars~ *****

The story of Lady Isabel Ashton and Captain Kent Carlton continues in this third and last book of Legacy of the King’s Pirates. In ‘The Reliance” book two in the series we were introduced to Lady Ashton who was taken captive and ravished by Captain Carlton as a young innocent girl during one of his drunken moments. Captain Carlton kept her for months on his ship and this is where she meets Lady Charlisse, wife of Captain Merrick. Lady Ashton did not want her terrible secret known but Lady Charlisse has guessed she is with child. After being rescued by Captain Merrick and left with a loving minister, Rev. Thomas in the town of Port Royal, Jamaica, Lady Ashton has her son, Frederick.

As the story unfolds we find Lady Ashton is still in Port Royal, she wants badly to go home to be with her parents, but she has been told under no circumstances would her son be welcomed. Terribly distressed by this news, she longs to be home restored to her place as a true lady but she knows she could never live without her son. Isabel is having a hard time adjusting to the chores that the minister has asked her to do; she sees these things as beneath her station. Little does she know that the things that are coming will be much worse than she has ever imagined and soon she will not be worrying about trivial chores.

Lady Ashton has been having nightmares about something happening to Frederick; Rev. Thomas tries to sooth her fears with prayer and scripture. Will these dreams come true? Is there really an enemy ready to pounce on her and steal her son away and forever change the course of her life? Will she ever be able to forgive Captain Carlton for what he did to her and trust him to help her find their son?

Captain Kent Carlton is a miserable man, as the months go by he feels as though his life will never be the same, he doesn’t know if he can go on without Lady Ashton. He spent weeks searching for her after she was taken from him. He knows what he did to Isabel was wrong and he would give anything to go back and change things. When a man Kent cannot bear to be near shows up and tells him about Lady Ashton having his son and that Frederick has been taken captive by a feared pirate, he is shocked. Kent then hopes that if he finds the babe and brings him back to Isabel this will be a way to make up for his past sins. Is he walking into a trap laid by people who want to see him destroyed? Or will he be able to make Restitution to Isabel for what he did to her. Will she find it in her heart to forgive him? Will he come to know the God that Captain Merrick told him about and Isabel serves?

I had read the previous two books in this series so I knew that this one was going to be amazing. This was a wonderfully exciting story and all the way through I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. It’s spellbinding and it’s action-packed until the end and you will not want to put it down. There are twists and turns that you won’t expect, and you will love every one of them. You will finish it with a smile on your face and the love for a Pirate in your heart! Well done MaryLu.    

Christian Book Distributors link for this book.      

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for a chance to win one of ML's books this week!                                                                                                      

18 January 2012

Review by Teresa Mathews of The Reliance by MaryLu Tyndall

The Reliance

Legacy of the Kings Pirates, Book 2

Review by Teresa Mathews
Five Stars~ *****

The story of Captain Edmond Merrick and his beautiful wife, Lady Charlisse Hyde continues in this second book in the Legacy of the King’s Pirates. They have had their share of problems and separations but as the story opens they are enjoying some beautiful and peaceful time together and are looking forward to the birth of their first child. They are visiting friends in the Caribbean, when the town is attacked by a band of pirates being led by an evil monster from their past. He is set on destroying their lives.

While trying to get Charlisse back to his ship and away from the horrors of the attack, Capt. Merrick leaves her in the safety of a church, only seconds later to witness an explosion that wipes out the church and all of his hopes for a future with his wife.

After witnessing what he thinks is the death of his lovely wife, Merrick turns his back on the God that could have stopped this from happening, and returns to the life of the evil pirate he once was. When Charlisse is taken captive by the man she fears most, her faith in God wavers also, especially when she thinks she has been abandoned by her husband, and the life of her unborn child is threatened. During this ordeal she comes to realize she must rely on God to be her strength and protection.

Aboard ship Charlisse meets a young woman, Lady Isabel Ashton, that has also been taken captive, and because of her, Charlisse has some protection from the lustful captain who has kidnapped her. When they finally come into port, Charlisse sees Merrick’s ship and hope rises that he will rescue her. With help from an unlikely source, Charlisse and Isabel escape from their captor, only to find out that Merrick is not with his ship but has taken up with another pirate in search of whom he thinks is the main cause of Charlisse’s death.

Will Merrick see the error of his ways…will he listen to that still small voice that he hears speaking to him, or will he keep drowning his sorrows in rum and forget God? How long will it take for Charlisse to find Merrick and when she does, will her love for him be able to survive what her eyes see and her heart cannot believe? Will they realize their only hope for survival is their full reliance on God to see them through?

WOW! What a wonderfully written book. If you like excitement, romance, and a dashing pirate thrown in, then this series is for you. MaryLu Tyndall is a talented writer, from the first page to the very last word printed, she had my full attention. She beautifully weaves a story that will pull you in so that you can almost feel the wind blowing on your face and smell the sea air. But what I really loved was the way she balanced the vileness of the pirates with the marvelous wonder of an awesome, powerful God. This is definite must read, I promise you won’t be disappointed matey!

Purchase The Reliance at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian

17 January 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Reviews The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall

The Redemption
The Legacy of the King's Pirates (Book 1)
By MaryLu Tyndall
(This originally released in 2006 by Barbour, re-released in 2011by Mission Books)

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

This was a Christy award nominee!

One of the reasons that I bought my Kindle (click here to purchase Kindle copy!) was so that I could read MaryLu Tyndall's books!  This was her debut novel, as I understand it, and the freelance editor who was helping me with my manuscript, Susan Lohrer, had worked with MaryLu on this book. So I was anxious to read it, knowing that history on it.

This was a tension-filled book right from the get go and didn't let up until the end.  Lots of layers of plots and subplots and excellent characterization.  The heroine had to go through a lot (and more than I like to put mine through!) but even the icky stuff seemed central to the plot line.  

Charlisse is a feisty heroine who doesn’t give up.  Her father, a dissipated wreck of a man is a nasty pirate but Charlisse does not know that when she sets out to find him, leaving the abusive care of her uncle in England.  One of her father’s crew is just as conniving as he is and has designs upon Charlisse (actually most of the men in the book are lecherous but this one is the worst!)  MaryLu upped the nasty factor on this one (SPOILER ALERT) by the attractive but lecherous man being her own cousin (which served as no deterrent to him!)  The hero, Edmund Merrick is a Christian and a privateer.  He is put in danger and risks all to save Charlisse. 

Set in the 17th century Caribbean, there are enough pirates, ships, danger, and romance to entertain many types of readers!

Bibliotherapy elements: Abuse, abandonment, betrayal, perseverance, grace, and redemption.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing this week.

15 January 2012

Interview with MaryLu Tyndall

MaryLu Tyndall is the author of The Legacy of the King’s Pirates trilogy. This trilogy has recently rereleased. She is also the author of seven other novels. 

I met MaryLu through HisWriters, a group for writers who have either published or planned works with European characters. I have gotten to know her better since she joined Colonial American Christian Writers and is now a contributor to Colonial Quills our group blog.

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.

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? 
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?
Now, I know this sounds strange, but I learned that not all pirates were evil.  Many of them were forced into piracy by a cruel navy who abandoned them at some port after the war ended, penniless and without any prospects. Some escaped the Royal Navy due to the cruel treatment of its sailors and joined pirate crews to get revenge. Others were forced into piracy when pirates attacked their ships and gave them a choice between joining the crew or walking the plank!  Still others were indentured servants sent to the New World to serve out an often unfair and brutal sentence. Then, of course there were the privateers, who served God and King, and whose acts were no more unjust than any regular naval ship.  So, before you go judging any pirate you meet, look beyond the head scarf, colorful clothing, and cutlass to see the wounded man inside. LOL.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In all three books in the series, the following issues are addressed in the lives of both hero and heroine:

·         Abandonment and abuse by parents and the horrific consequences of that in a person’s life and outlook on life.
·         Alcoholism
·         Rejection by a loved one

Other issues addressed: Trust, Faith, Forgiveness, and Fear

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

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win any of MaryLu's books in your choice of format.

14 January 2012

Weekly Review: The Conundrum of Shame

Sarah Sundin's latest release Blue Skies Tomorrow (Revell, 2011) is available in hard cover large print, paperback and kindle through Amazon and through Christian Book Distributors and others such as Barnes and Noble. 

Sarah Sundin's interview earlier in the week touched on shame and its consequences.  While the spirit may convict us of wrong doing we know from God's Word that once we have confessed our sins He forgives us. It is the enemy who comes after us with taunts and accusations - him and his minions.  When someone waves a forgiven offense in front of your face, turn to your Father and He'll help remove the stench.  Recollection or memory of wrong doing is not the same as not forgiving ones' self. When we remember we can might be more aware of stepping into that temptation or situation again.

Here is a link to an article about overcoming shame that is written for Christians:'s_Guide_to_Overcoming_Shame.htm

I like the title of Sarah's latest book.  God can give us Blue Skis Tomorrow and we don't need to bring our rain and clouds from yesterdays with us. He gives us a clean slate as far as the east is from the west - we are forgiven.  The enemy will bring his own darts of lightening to throw at us. Let us NOT add to the problem by raining down shame on ourselves! His grace really is sufficient.

How about you?  What have you done to turn your own unforgiveness of yourself over to God? 

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for a chance to win this newest release or another of Sarah's books including her upcoming 2012 publication "With Every Letter" now available for pre-order through CBD!

May God bless and heal the hearts and minds of our visitors today!

12 January 2012

Review by Marian Baay of A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin
5 stars *****
(Revell, 2010)

Review by Marian Baay

This is book two in the Wings of Glory series about the Novak brothers who serve as bomber pilots in WWII (available for purchase through CBD and others.) Most of this story takes place in England.

In this second book we meet Major Jack Novak, pilot on a B-17 bomber plane.When Jack gets injured and lands in the hospital, he meets Army Nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. Jack is determined to win Ruth’s heart. But Ruth is not interested in men. Eventually they become friends, but Ruth cannot give more of herself to Jack, because of something awful that happened to her 8 years ago.
Jack also has fears from his past. Both Jack and Ruth let their fears control their actions and it drives them apart. 

Can they let go of their fears and give it all in God’s hands? Or will their own need to be in control keep them separated?

Sarah writes so beautifully that I imagined myself in the B-17 together with Jack and his crew. I also went trough the training for Flying Nurse with Ruth. That was tough, I think I never would have made it!

Although the subjects in this book were pretty tough, there was much to learn from Jack and Ruth about love, faith, and forgiveness.

Format: Large print, Kindle and paperback available through Amazon

Ruth was raped 8 years ago. And when she comes to work with a male collegue she faces some pretty tough situations.

Bibliotherapy: Rape, death of parents, pride, and trust.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of any of Sarah's books including her upcoming release. Winner drawn on Saturday afternoon.  

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