31 March 2012

The Sensitive Child – Gifted? To Overcome or Not, By Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Sensitive Child – Gifted?

Linore shared in her interview earlier in the week that she was a sensitive child. She grew up in a large family.  More opportunities for sibling rivalry and teasing, too, I imagine! Sensitivity can stem from many different sources.  A common cause is from a dysfunctional home life where criticism, or worse, takes place.  There are also conditions, such as Asperger's (next week is Autism Awareness Week, by the way) which cause the child to be more sensitive yet at the same time the child may appear unaware or at times even nonreactive to social slights. But one source is from being highly gifted.

Among those who work with gifted children, it is commonly noticed that there is heightened sensitivity within this group. It is so common that among educators of the gifted, it is “expected” rather than seen as something unusual.  For someone like Linore, a gifted writer, who graduated with honors from the City University of New York, wouldn’t it be nice to have a time travel machine and go back and make those hurts from sensitivity go away?  That would be the temptation if there was such a device.  But God knows best.  The sensitive nature of a gifted writer would make them pay attention both to the internal thoughts and feelings of people, which translates into their characters being more fully developed.  And that heightened awareness of the things around oneself can’t help but bring vibrant details to a novelist’s writing.

Overcoming sensitivity – I’m not sure that would be such a good thing for the gifted writer!  What do you think? Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted SENG might see this as one characteristic of an extremely gifted child.

Linore writes: Carrie has posed an interesting question. If I could go back and temper my sensitivity with a bit of mature wisdom, it would certainly relieve a great deal of pain that I endured, much of which, I'm sure, stemmed from misunderstanding the cues of others. The sensitive child takes everything personally. In my case, I needed verbal reassurance, a lot of it, and this was utterly lacking in my busy, stressed-out family. My mother did tell me I was sensitive, but the message was that this was burdensome to her and at that time it told me nothing other than that. (I was burdensome.) NEVER imagined sensitivity was a gift.  My mom wasn't trying to be mean, but telling me I was sensitive and leaving it at that never translated to me into "Maybe I'm magnifying things." Or, "Maybe this person's anger has nothing to do with me." And so on.

As for overcoming sensitivity and writing: I never want to forget what it's like to be highly sensitive. I think, now, it is a gift. But I HAVE overcome the general "it's all about ME" baggage that comeswith that sensitivity (maybe not for everyone, but often this is the case). It's difficult for a super-sensitive person to see that sometimes their sensitivity is a form of selfishness! They have trouble letting go of their cherished illusions of intentional grievances, when in fact, people are much more often thoughtless and INsensitive without any real malice whatsoever.

I'm all for the healing of the hurting hearts that sensitivity can result in. But being empathetic is also sensitivity, and that's never a bad thing, be we writers, teachers, parents or friends. I do think it has strengthened my writing immeasurably. 

GIVEAWAY:  Our contest ends today.  Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of one of Linore's books, your choice of format.

29 March 2012

Diana Flowers Review-House In Grosvenor Square

The House In Grosvenor Square 
by Linore Rose Burkard
(Harvest House Publishers, 2009)

By Diana Flowers

5 stars~ *****
Riveting Regency Romance!

In this endearing sequel, The House In Grosvenor Square, Linore R. Burkard reintroduces all the delightful characters we so fell in love with in Before the Season Ends! Set in Regency London, it is a time of coming out balls, lords and ladies, magnificent gowns, beautifully architectured mansions with finely manicured grounds, and of course...romance in the air!

*Spoiler alert if one hasn't read Before the Season Ends* Our heroine, the lovely and compassionate, Miss Ariana Forsythe, has captured the heart of Mr. Phillip Mornay, the wealthiest and most sought after bachelor in town. In Ariana, Phillip finds an unpretentious young lady, as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out, and has fallen in love with her AND her God, quite in spite of himself.

In the two weeks before they are to be joined in holy matrimony, dastardly happenings begin to occur, putting a blight on the couple's newfound happiness. Expensive objects begin to disappear from Mr. Mornay's house, Grosvenor Square, and someone tries to abduct Ariana on her way home one evening. What insidious, sinister force has reared its ugly head against Ariana and her betrothed?...and why? Will they finally make it to the altar or will darkness prevail against them?

I was blessed to be able to read these two books back to back, and what a wonderful journey it was! Ms. Burkard's extensive knowledge of the regency era; the customs, architectural designs, the aristocrat's "lingo", clothing designs, etc., is astounding! With an exciting storyline full of twists and turns, and a beautiful, spiritual thread throughout, this novel is a must read! Very impressive, Linore Burkard!

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of  Linore Rose Burkard’s books, choice of format.

27 March 2012

Review of Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard

By Linore Rose Burkard
(Harvest House, 2008)

Review by Teresa Mathews
5 Stars*****

When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure if it was for me or not, since I’m not a huge lover of Regency books, I have to be in the mood for one. Well I am so glad I read this one! Linore Burkard    does a magnificent job describing this era, from the descriptions of the fashions, ladies’ and men‘s, to the architecture of the houses, it was all so clear it was like being transported back in time.

Miss Ariana Forsythe aged nineteen is a beautiful headstrong young lady who feels her calling in life is    to marry a man of the cloth. It seems the only one available is her current Rector, Mr. Thaddeus Admonicus Hathaway, so he must be the one God has intended for her. Ariana thinks it’s of no consequence that Mr. Hathaway is close to the age of 60. Her parents, Charles and Julia, think otherwise. So after the Rector and Ariana’s father come to blows on the church grounds, they decide to send Ariana to stay with her Aunt Agatha Bentley in London.

When Ariana arrives at her Aunt’s house, she realizes that it is in a very posh and exclusive part of Mayfield and she is excited to think a country girl as herself is about to be introduced to a London Season. She has never dreamed this could be possible. Ariana is shocked at the amount of money her aunt is spending on a new wardrobe for her, Dear Aunt Agatha wants to make sure Ariana meets someone special or maybe even engaged before the end of the season. She could not believe her luck when Ariana unknowingly catches the attention of the most eligible bachelor, Philip Mornay, at the picnic much of society has been invited to at Aspindon, one of Mr. Mornay’s estates.

Mr. Philip Mornay has a past that he wants to keep hidden and this makes him to seem aloof and ill-natured. He is known as the “Paragon” to society, not only is he handsome, he is always the epitome of fashion in his attire. But he is also known for his temper and his rudeness to any young lady that tries to attract his attention; it seems he will never be tempted to marry.

When Philip first meets Ariana you might say she almost knocks him over. Needless to say he was not very pleasant to her, and threatens to forcibly return her to her mother, or in her case, her aunt. What is it about Ariana that thaws his heart? Will she be the one to help him overcome his past? Will he be open to what she suggests to him in order for her to accept his offer of marriage?

This was a wonderfully written book; there were laugh out loud parts where poor Ariana’s better judgment was not in place. My favorite part was where Ariana explains to Philip the gift of Salvation and how important it is to her and how much she wants him to become a child of God. I will confess I might have been in need of a tissue while reading this part. I enjoyed this book immensely, and can’t wait to read the other books in this series by Ms. Burkard.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of  Linore Rose Burkard’s books, choice of format.

25 March 2012

Linore Rose Burkard

Linore Rose Burkard is the author of Coach and Four: Allisandra’s Tale and of Before the Season Ends,The House in Grosvenor Square, and The Country House Courtship

I met Linore through some online groups, including ACFW and HisWriters, those who have either published or planned works with European characters. Several years ago I met Linore when I attended her workshop at the FaithWriters' conference in Detroit.  We also got to hang out and share some laughs at American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference in Indianapolis.

Linore, 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 have had to overcome my penchant for drama in real life. As a child, I didn’t realize I had a way of magnifying things, or that I was highly sensitive. I always felt “different” from other people, but once I got a hold on the fact that a part of me needed drama, I was able to channel it into my fiction writing. It may not sound like much of a victory, but it made a huge difference in my life. I got free of so much angst, too. 

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
I have a few, but one of my top verses is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans for good and not for evil, for welfare and not for calamity; to give you a future and a hope.” There were times in my life when the future looked like a dark black curtain and to say I had little hope would be an understatement. The Lord made me really examine this verse, and I had to decide to believe it, or I’d be calling Him a liar.

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do you have any in large print? 

I’m happy to say that all my books are available as ebooks with audio capability.  Also, except for my short story Coach and Four, they are all in large print, too. Amazon usually shows the large print option on the print version pages. (Here’s an example of one. The House in Grosvenor Square (Thorndike Christian Fiction) )

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
One theme I always try to emphasize is that on one level, the gospel message is utterly simple. The Bible invites us to come, to receive the Lord, to repent, and that’s it, that’s all we need do to be saved. In the sense of taking the invitation at face-value, it’s really a simple message. God offers salvation to all who will accept the gift. Theologians can argue about free-will vs. sovereignty (I personally believe in sovereignty) but Jesus doesn’t ask us to figure that out in order to be saved. He says, “Come. Just as you are.” I love to have a character in each book who realizes this and takes God at His Word.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
During my research, I did a lot of reading about Jane Austen. It touched me that even though she was a longtime critic of evangelical Christianity, she was honest and open enough to change her thinking before she died, and to share that in one of her letters.

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

Thank you, Linore, for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you, Carrie, for having me!

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Linore Rose Burkard’s books, choice of format.

24 March 2012

Overcoming Childhood Sexual Abuse – With God’s Help, by Carrie Fancett Pagels

When Abuse in Within the Extended Family

In this post I am not going to address to the child who is sexually assaulted or molested by strangers or someone outside the extended family.  There are some differences in the dynamics. I am a believer that no amount of therapy is going to bring healing to a sexually abused child like God’s touch.  His gentle, loving ministrations to us, sometimes through others. And it is often hard for a child to trust others after being betrayed by someone who is supposed to love and care for them.

So at the heart of sexual abuse is a loss of trust. Relationships are often problematic. The child who has been abused may isolate, be quiet, or try to be perfectly.  Conversely, there are children who begin to sexually act out or be provocative in their relationships with others.  Almost always there are somatic symptoms.  Chronic stress can affect many facets of health. 

God loves us. I don’t know why He allows this travesty to occur. What we do know is that He promises us that He will never leave nor forsake us and that He can bring healing. 

Kim Vogel Sawyer’s ministry focuses on bringing beauty for ashes.  Her testimony is an example of how God can help those who have been abused, even for years and years, to be overcomers, through Christ. 

We have enjoyed having Kim on the blog this week.  I am listening to "Courting Miss Amsel" on audio right now and loving the story.  God has blessed Kim with a nine book contract recently!  And one of our readers is about to be blessed with a Kim book!

Thank you, Lord, that  You are sufficient and that You can heal ALL our hurts, including those so terrible that they may never be expressed aloud.  We give You thanks and praise, for your healing.  In Jesus’s precious name, Amen.

22 March 2012

A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Whisper of Peace
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
(Bethany House, 2011)
(Please note the hot links are in dark red for this post!)

Reviewed by Diana L. Flowers
5 stars~ *****
Adventure In Alaska!

In A Whisper of Peace, we are swept away to beautiful 1800s Alaska, "The Land of the Midnight Sun", a primitive land with it's lovely snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and salmon filled rivers; yet fraught with danger, uncivilized Indians, prejudice, and unforgiveness.

Our beautiful heroine, Lizzie, has been ostracized by her tribe, the Athabascans, because of her white father, and it is her dying mother's request for her to make peace with her Indian grandparents. Lizzie, also known as White Feather, has but one fulfill her mother's request, and leave her lonely little cabin in the wilderness and be reunited with her white father in California. She has no one for company except her dogs, until one day she meets Clay Selby and his sister, Vivian.

Clay is driven to build a mission and bring salvation to the natives in the very village Lizzie has been ostracized by; following in his father's footsteps. Vivian desires to accompany him in his ministry, hoping that by doing something good for others, it will erase the deep burden of guilt she still carries from her past. In exchange for Lizzie's help in culinary skills, Vivian seeks to help Lizzie learn how to become like the white woman, in order that she will be accepted in her father's world.

Clay is met by much opposition in the village, but is allowed to stay on the condition that he and Vivian separate company with Lizzie. Will they be able to do so, and will the stubborn Athabascans ever accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or will Clay's endeavors be fruitless? Will Vivian ever find the peace she so deeply craves and be able to forgive herself? And will Lizzie ever be accepted by her grandparents, and finally find a place to belong with them and her father? And what of her growing attraction to Clay?

Kim Vogel Sawyer's versatility as an author truly shines in this heartwarming novel! There is just not anything she seemingly can't write about, and her research into the history of Alaska, and its customs and people is remarkable; and truly captures the reader's interest as not many novels are set in that beautiful land. Her characters were realistic, and though strong, they lacked confidence as well because of their upbringings. Her secondary characters were endearing, and there was a very strong spiritual thread throughout. A true story of love and forgiveness not to be missed!

Kim Vogel Sawyer books are available through Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Kim’s books, choice of format.

20 March 2012

Teresa Mathews Reviews Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Song of My Heart
(Bethany House, 2012)
Review by Teresa Mathews

Sadie Wagner is a sweet girl with a beautiful singing voice who would do anything for her family. Especially now that her step-father, who is the only father Sadie has known, was hurt in an accident and cannot work Sadie knows someone has to get a job soon, so when she receives a letter from her favorite cousin Sid telling her he has a job for her in Goldtree, Kansas working as a clerk in Baxter’s Mercantile and also maybe as a singer in the local opera house; she sees this as a blessing from the Lord. After Sadie’s mama and papa pray about it they give her permission to go.

When Sadie arrives in Goldtree, she is greeted by Sid who is really excited to see her, for reasons Sadie will soon be shocked to find out. When Sadie is introduced to the tall, matronly identical twin sisters, Shelva and Melva, that own the mercantile, she is not sure she will be able to get used to their loud obnoxious ways but she knows she has to try.

Sadie feels so blest when Asa Baxter, short, soft spoken younger brother of Shelva and Melva, tells her she has the job singing in his unconventional “opera house”. She cannot believe the amount of money he is going to pay her for using her God given talent. When Asa asks Sadie to do things that go against her Christian upbringing, will she be able to resist?

The one bright spot in Sadie’s lonely life away from her family is Thaddeus “Thad” McKane the new Sheriff of Goldtree. Thad has been hired because there are rumors of bootleggers being in the area. Thad’s abuse by his father as a child because of alcoholism makes him more determined than most would be to find the person responsible for the bootlegging. Will Thad and Sadie’s friendship develop into something more or will Sadie be persuaded to do things that might destroy their love and worse yet land her in jail?!

This was a very enjoyable read by Kim Vogel Sawyer; she does a wonderful job weaving a story that holds your attention to the very end. I promise you will love every word of it, I know I did.

Kim Vogel Sawyer books are available through AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books, in paperback or ebook.

18 March 2012

9!!! New Books Contracted for Interviewee - Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of Song of My Heart and of twenty-two other titles, including My Heart Remembers and the Sommerfeld Trilogy.

I met Kim through ACFW. She was the registration desk coordinator and as the ACFW Mid-Atlantic Zone Director I asked our zone members to volunteer (many did, as I did, also!)  

Kim, 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 biggest challenge is one that is intensely personal. Because of something I faced as a child, I carried a tremendous burden of shame well into adulthood. When one views herself as tainted, that view can skew everything else. To “rise above” the ugliness, I tried to be “perfect.” Well, as we know, that isn’t a possible goal for any of us, so continual failures broke me down and severely affected my physical health. 

It’s very difficult to share the entire story in a short format, but in 2004, God led a wonderful woman named Ruth to take me by the hand, lead to me a prayer room, and ask her daughter Brandilyn to pray for me. I intended for them to pray for my physical health--I had six chronic illnesses that left me in constant pain and dependent on a cane. Instead, God revealed to Brandilyn the source of my illnesses: an emotional burden that was literally eating me alive from the inside-out. When she asked God to drive the shame from me, not only did my feelings of worthlessness lift, but all of my physical illnesses fled, as well. Now part of my ministry is reaching out to women with similar burdens, assuring them of their great value in God’s eyes and reminding them the shame is not theirs to carry.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why? 
Phil. 4:4-8 are my “life verses”--there’s so much wisdom for living in those scripture. My favorite of these is verse 8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” I believe if I follow that direction, I will fill myself with the thing of which God approves and have a better opportunity to reflect Him to those around me.

Disability friendliness: 
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? 
All of my historical novels are available on audio, Kindle, and also large-print editions through subsidiary publishers. Many of my contemporaries are being made available through Kindle and large-print, as well. 

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why? 
With every new manuscript, I begin with the same prayer: God, reveal Yourself and Your Son through the story. My hope is so strongly imbedded in who I am to Him (His child!) and who He is to me (my Savior! my Peace and Comforter and Friend!). My most fervent wish is that my stories will not only entertain but will edify and perhaps move the reader toward a closer walk in his or her relationship to God through Christ Jesus.
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart? 
In Song of My Heart, the heroine has the desire to be an opera singer, so I did a lot of research on popular songs of the era and on community programs. The thing that really pleased me is how many of these events included hymns--songs meant to show God’s sovereignty and power. At community events--not church-sponsored events! At events intended to entertain! In a way it made me sad, seeing how much opinion concerning “religious tones” have changed in the past 100 years; in another, it was refreshing to know how people enjoyed hearing God’s name praised through song.

Newest Releases: SONG OF MY HEART, Bethany House; A SEEKING HEART, Hendrickson
Coming Soon: WHEN HOPE BLOSSOMS, Bethany House; A HEART SURRENDERS, Hendrickson


Kim Vogel Sawyer books are available through AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format.

17 March 2012

New Christian Regency Blog - Laurie Alice Eakes' Week

Laurie Alice Eakes with her dog Nick at Frontier Culture Museum

Laurie Alice Eakes is one of the new editors of the Regency Reflections group blog. This is a group blog of Christian Regency authors and is brand new!  One of the members is Sarah E. Ladd. 

I want to give a big shout out to my critique partner, Sarah E. Ladd, who just landed a three book contract with Thomas Nelson publishing company. Laurie Alice and Sarah are both represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

With Laurie Alice and all the members of the new blog, I think Regency will be rocking the boat for some time to come!

Go over and check out the new blog!  Vanessa Riley's Christian Regency website hosts this new blog. Either use the hotlink in the first line of this post or use the hotlink for Vanessa and go over to the right upper side of the blog and click on the Regency Reflections blog.

Some of the other ladies who contribute to the blog are: Linore Rose Burhard, Ruth Axtell, Naomi Rawlings, and more (here is the link to the contributors' page.

GIVEAWAY:  The winners for this week's drawings will be posted Sunday afternoon.  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy of one of Laurie Alice's books from OTT-WGH and another winner will receive an ebook of Laurie Alice's The Glassblower.  

15 March 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes

Heart's Safe Passage 
by Laurie Alice Eakes
(Revell, 2012)

4.5 stars~
Romance On The High Seas!

In Heart's Safe Passage, Laurie Alice Eakes has weaved an exciting tale of intrigue, betrayal, vengeance, and romance on the high seas!
It is the year 1813, and our lovely heroine, Phoebe Lee wishes only to practice midwifery in Virginia, amidst the turmoil of the War of 1812. Her pregnant sister in law, Belinda, arranges for Phoebe to be kidnapped and thrust aboard a British privateer, in order to accompany her to rescue her husband from an English prison. The captain of the ship, Rafe Docherty, has agreed to do this for Belinda, in exchange for information from her husband, that he might exact revenge on the man who has destroyed his family.

Rafe has had but one thing on his mind in nine years, to find and kill the man who has perpetrated such horrific crimes on his wife, and parents. Although, not British nor American, he and his twelve year old child have sailed the wild seas in search of the elusive James Brock, the man responsible. 

Although fiercely attracted to the lovely Phoebe, Rafe will let nothing stand in the way of his quest for vengeance, but will he lose his own soul in the process? What horrendous secrets is he hiding, and can Phoebe break through the tremendous wall of bitterness he has built around himself? And what of Phoebe? What gut-wrenching secrets is she concealing, causing a canker of bitterness to grow deep within her as well, although she is a Christian? Can the two find peace with God and love again, or will their bitterness destroy them?

Laurie Alice Eakes is a brilliant author...face it, anyone that can make a story exciting with a ship as the setting throughout...has to be! Her characters are very realistic and endearing, her research and knowledge of ships is astounding, her storyline exceptional. With a strong spiritual thread of forgiveness and redemption throughout, and a satisfying conclusion, this is a must read! My reason for giving this book a 4.5 rating instead of a five is very small...I don't care for shipboard settings, but it didn't ruin the book for me. Nicely done, Ms. Eakes!

I was sent an ARC of this novel from Revell Publishing Co. and was not required to write a positive review.

Laurie Alice's books can be found on Amazon, as well as CBD, and other book stores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Laurie Alice's books, choice of format.

13 March 2012

Guest Review by Debbie Lynne Costello of Laurie Alice Eakes's A Necessary Deception

Review of Laurie Alice Eakes's
A Necessary Deception
(Revell, 2011)

By Debbie Lynne Costello

The year is 1812. England and France are at war. Lady Lydia Gale is a young confident widow of a military man. In order to honor her dead husband’s wishes, Lady Lydia arranges parole for a French prisoner. Believing she will never see the man again, she feels she has fulfilled her duty and heads to her family’s home to help her ailing mother with her youngest sister, Honore’s, entrée into London Society and her other sister Cassandra’s wedding.

Before she makes it to London she is interrupted walking her cat at night by a man of mystery who keeps his identity hidden other than a name. He claims she is a traitor and has freed a French Prisoner and he has proof. He blackmails her into playing a dangerous game.
As if Lydia’s troubles aren’t enough the French prisoner she helped obtain parole, Christien de Meuse, shows up in her home wanting entrance into society. Lady Lydia finds herself having to make hard decisions to keep her family safe from harm and ruin.

As Lady Lydia is pulled deeper into the intrigue of spies, her two younger sisters are forever causing her trouble. But they aren’t the only troubling things in her life, Christien de Meuse has worked his way into her heart, but the question is can she trust him?

I love Laurie Alice Eakes’ unique ability to sweep you away into another world. Every historical aspect of her stories read true to time. You can be sure she’s done all of her homework. As she takes you from Dartmoor Prison, to Society in London, to balls and masquerades you can taste a bit of England history.

 I love her characters. It doesn’t matter if it is the hero, heroine, parents, sisters or one of the much lesser characters in the story, you will always find them well thought out and developed. You won’t find a cardboard character in one of Laurie Alice books. When you finish the book you’ll feel you are saying good-bye to an old friend.

Her ability to start a story out and hook you from page one and continue to keep you glued to the pages as you flip them frantically to find out what happens next is a true art. I can’t wait to read her upcoming Regency, Flight of Fancy due out October of 2012 in which Cassandra pursues her interest in balloon flight, her fiancé gets entangled with the Luddites, and they both pay what might be too high a price for their intemperate behavior.

 Bio: Debbie Lynne Costello's tagline is Southern-Kissed Historical Romance. She is a member of ACFW and  HisWriters and writes Christian historical romance. She chairs the CROWN promotional group and is a member of HEWN which promotes Christian historical fiction in European settings. Debbie Lynne lives in South Carolina with her family. Debbie Lynne is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can learn more about her at her websites and  Debbie Lynne also is co-hostess of

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Laurie Alice Eakes’s books, choice of format.

11 March 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels' Review of Printed on My Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

We are deviating from our normal format this week - Laurie Alice Eakes week here on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.  A brief interview and commentary will be up next Saturday. We begin the week with a review of Laurie Alice's contribution to a wonderful four novella compendium that recently released.

Highland Crossings
By: Laurie Alice Eakes, Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Gina Welborn
(Barbour Publishing, 2012)

Highland Crossing is a four-novella collection of Scottish immigrants, centered around an heirloom brooch. 

1758 - Printed on My Heart, By Laurie Alice Eakes
Stacks of paper at Colonial Williamsburg

This is the second novella in the series.
Laurie Alice Eakes and Gina Welborn

The really fun part of reading this novella was that I took Laurie Alice around Colonial Williamsburg, with Gina Welborn, last year when she interviewed the printer there. 

Laurie Alice is blind but the reader would never know that reading her work. She gives great details.
Laurie Alice Eakes interviewing printer at Colonial Williamsburg

This novella is yet another example of this author’s ability to pack a shorter book (in this case a novella) with unbelievable details without sacrificing the integrity of the story. 
Colonial Williamsburg Printers' tool

And what a lovely romance! Laurie Alice has you loving poor Fiona and her hero Owain before you can say “I do”!!! 

Laurie Alice's books can be found on Amazon, as well as CBD, and other book stores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Laurie Alice Eakes' books, choice of format. 

10 March 2012

Carlton's Healing by Teresa Mathews - Overcoming Cancer

1999 is a year forever etched in our minds. In January I noticed a lump under my right jawbone that would pop out when I would chew. I went to visit my family doctor and was immediately sent for a scan. When the results came back I was sent to a Neurologist because they thought it was cancer that could have already invaded my skull.  She made me feel better because she told me it had not invaded my skull. Then she referred me to an ENT that specialized in facial cancer.

The ENT was a wonderful Christian doctor that assured me everything would be ok. He told me he did not think it was cancer and that it should not be a very invasive surgery. But he also explained that it was possible that he might have to cut through my jawbone and replace it with a steel plate. The surgery went fine and there was no cancer and he did not have to cut through my jawbone. We were so relieved and thankful that God had spared me from cancer.

About a month later my oldest son who had just turned five, was having constant sinus infections. The ENT he had been going to for about three years thought Daniel would benefit from a two part sinus surgery. He came through both of those with flying colors and once again all was well with the Mathews family. We never dreamed what would come next.

Fast forward to Father’s Day, June 20. My husband, Carlton, was the Worship Leader at the church we attended, and I played the piano. That morning after the choir had finished, Carlton was going to sing a song dedicated to our small sons. He had only sung a few bars when he suddenly stopped singing and knelt down. The pastor thought he was overcome with emotion but that was not the case. He was in a tremendous amount of pain and could not stand.

We rushed Carlton by ambulance to the local hospital and after blood tests and an ultrasound; an Urologist was called in that told us that Carlton either had an infection or a tumor. Let me say this as polite as possible, we were told he might have the type of cancer that the bicyclist Lance Armstrong had. The doctor was very direct and to the point, he certainly had lost his bedside manner somewhere before he got to us. He told us if Carlton was not better he would be having surgery on Friday morning.

It was a long week filled with a lot of prayer and a lot of fear. Friday morning came and I waited and prayed while Carlton was in surgery believing that God would take care of him. Monday we were back in the Urologist’s office hearing the words we never thought we would hear, Carlton had cancer. We were told they would refer us to an oncologist but we might have to wait a few weeks before they could get us in.

Thank God Carlton’s brother-in-law’s sister worked for one of the top oncologists in our area. We were in his office before the end of the week and had started his treatments the following Monday. Dr. Jones was so wonderful and upbeat and told us this was beatable and Carlton would only have to undergo one week of treatments once a month for three months. He told us the cancer was caught in the very earliest stage.

I would like to say going through this was the hardest thing we have ever had to do. It was very stressful especially having to travel to North Carolina to have a PET scan, but God went before us and everything turned out fine. It very stressful the day Carlton came out of the bathroom with his hands filled with hair that had fallen out. But through it all God took care of us and made the path easy for us. When we look back it seems like it happened to some else, God’s grace was so great in our lives.

When you hear the “C” word fear comes in like a flood, but as it says in Isaiah 59:19b “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” It has been thirteen years this year since it happened and Carlton is still cancer-free. He is still a Worship Leader and he is still praising God for healing him.

By Teresa Mathews - contributor on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.

CONGRATULATIONS Teresa and Carlton on your upcoming 25th wedding anniversary!  And thank you Jesus, for curing Carlton!

08 March 2012

Marian Baay Reviews The Master's Wall by Sandi Rog

The Master's Wall 
by Sandi Rog
(DeWard Publishing, 2010)

Reviewed by Marian Baay
4 stars ****

Sandi Rog writes an interesting and original story set in the first century. The two main characters are energetic young people who become close friends – one the master’s granddaughter, the other the master’s slave.

 Young David was sold as a slave at the age of 10. He’s the son of Hebrews who believed in Yahshua and because of their faith they were killed. In the first century Christians were awfully persecuted. David kept the faith of his parents and starts telling other slaves about his God and a church was planted between the master’s wall.

On David’s first day at the master’s villa he meets the master’s granddaughter. Alethea is 7 years old and just saw her father get killed by the hand of her grandfather, because her father was a Christian.

Alethea is a feisty little girl. She reminds David of his little sister. He decides then that he will protect her. A sweet friendships grows in the years that follow. They love to escape in the woods and have a secret place on top of the master’s wall.

David lives a hard life. He is trained to be a juggler and warrior. He learns that his master is a hard man. He gets undeserved whippings, because of the lies of the master’s family members. There are several opportunities for David to escape, but Alethea is the reason that he never runs away. She needs him to protect her from her selfish family.

At the age of 11 Alethea was betrothed to a man she didn’t love and didn’t desire to marry. She wants to marry David, but a marriage between a master’s granddaughter and a slave is impossible. She prays to David’s God for a way to marry David.
Is there a way then? Will God answer such a prayer?

The Master’s Wall is full of action and has plenty of twists and turns. I also learned a lot of historical facts. I didn’t like so much to read about the whippings and beatings, but those things really happened back then. It only added to the reliability. The more I read of this story the more I liked it. I’m looking forward to read more of Sandi’s books!

Bibliotherapy: death of parents, graphic whippings and beatings.

The Master's Wall is available through Amazon and other book stores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Sandi’s books, choice of format.

06 March 2012

Diana Reviews Walks Alone by Sandi Rog

Walks Alone 
by Sandi Rog
(WhiteFire Publishing, 2012)

Review by Diana L. Flowers

5 stars *****

A "Captivating" Read!

Sandi Rog has crafted an unforgettable, gripping tale of a young Dutch woman who comes to America to find her dream, and ends up in the savage wilderness abode of the Cheyenne Indians! Ten year old, Anna van Stralen has left her homeland of Holland, along with her beloved widowed father, to find their dream in Colorado Territory. Upon reaching America's shore, Anna's father passes away and she is left in her abusive uncle's care for six long, miserable years. Anna, however, never loses sight of her dream, and scrimps and saves every penny until she is able to catch a train to Denver, far away from her uncle. Because of her naivete, something goes terribly awry, and Anna finds herself on the back of a horse, held captive by the fearsome Cheyenne, and headed into the savage wilderness home of the Indians.

White Eagle is disturbingly handsome, with mesmerizing blue-green eyes, and speaks English better than Anna. In exchange for Anna's freedom and safe passage to Denver City, she agrees to a platonic marriage to White Eagle, a kindhearted and gentle man, with a haunting secret. As Anna learns to live alongside of these gentle, but strange people, she learns some valuable lifelong lessons about prejudice, the color of a person's skin, and the true beauty that lies within a man. 

Finally on her way by stagecoach to Denver, her coach is robbed by highwaymen, and before she is knocked unconscious she sees a pair of beautiful sea green eyes above the mask of her attacker. Who is this tenderhearted, but deceitful and fierce man she has married, called White Eagle, and will she ever make it to the place of her and her father's dreams? Is the answer to all of her dreams right inside of her carpetbag? Will she ever be able to let go of her bitterness towards God because of the abuse she has suffered? Will White Eagle find forgiveness in his heart towards the white man, and find peace with God?

Sandi Rog has written a beautiful story of forgiveness and forbidden love--heartrending, exciting, and heartwarming--it's all in there. White Eagle is based on a true character in our country's history, who Sandi Rog gleaned alot of the Cheyenne's cultural practices from, and lends to the authenticity of the storyline. With a deep spiritual thread throughout, alot of twists and turns, and a climactic, satisfying conclusion, this one will definitely have the reader burning the midnight oil! Very nicely done, Sandi Rog!

*I was sent an Advance Reader’s Copy by the publisher, WhiteFire, and was not required to write a positive review.

Walks Alone and Sandi's other books are available through Amazon and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Sandi’s books, choice of format.

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