31 March 2013

Interview with Carrie Fancett Pagels

Carrie Fancett Pagels

Carrie has interviewed many authors on this blog. Now we wanted to turn things around and let Carrie tell us about herself. We’re looking forward to getting to know you a bit better, Carrie!

Carrie, please tell us about your upcoming releases.
I am a contributor to a Civil War anthology spearheaded by Murray Pura, with a focus on the year 1863. My story is set at Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia and begins in the year 1862 and ends in early 1863. There are about a dozen contributors to the anthology, each section releasing as an ebook. The ebooks are supposed to also be put into an audiobook format. All of the stories will be bundled into a paperback for Christmas release. 

I am also a contributor to a nonfiction book compiled by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy that releases May 1st through Lighthouse of the Carolinas entitled "God's Provision in Tough Times." 
We’d like to know more about your writing career. Tell us about the first time you realized you wanted to be a writer.
I was a child. I believe God called me to be a writer and kept trying to get my attention. Instead I became a psychologist but I believe God has used that experience to help my writing.

Who is your greatest literary inspiration?
Lucy Maude Montgomery and Margaret Mitchell. Although these two authors may have very different heroines (Anne of Green Gables, Scarlet O’Hara) their ability to capture a time and place as well as do fabulous characterization is admirable.

We know you love the Colonial era. What makes this time period so special for you?
I live in the historic triangle of Virginia. This time period riveted my attention when we moved here and about that time I discovered my family roots in Virginia, unknown to me prior to that time. As I researched one of my ancestors, Johan Adam Rousch, I was deeply touched by the accounts I read while researching—from testimony by American Revolutionary war soldiers and from colonial frontiers people as recorded in volumes I read at the University of Virginia in their rare book stacks. Their voices came alive, as did the people, when I read their accounts. Because I have a vivid imagination, their words nagged at me to tell their stories.

However, I do love many different times in history, hence my tagline "Overcoming Through Time." And I am happy about my inclusion in the Civil War anthology. I have other manuscripts set outside the 19th century but I prefer earlier times in America.

What is an experience God has brought you through where you’ve learned something invaluable?
Two years ago I was so ill I believed I might not get another year to live. I gave my entire will, my life, over to the Lord to the point of preparing for Him to take me home. I was in bed twelve weeks between 2009-2010 due to complications from a biologic I was on and illnesses from a suppressed immune system. I learned to trust Him to the point of death and to trust His will for my life.

Can you tell us a little about your salvation experience?
I gave my life to the Lord as a young person but I turned my back on God for a long time. I returned to Christ as an adult. At that time I asked Him to be Lord of my life. That is a key difference. When He is Lord of our lives we not only believe in Christ and all His promises but we want to obey Him and to please Him by giving our will over to Him. 

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
The 23rd Psalm, which is not a verse, but the first verse in particular, is a favorite, among many. I was led to speak particularly on the 23rd Psalm to residents of a local nursing home the Sunday before 9-11 happened. I believe God was preparing me. A friend, also, was convicted that she should immerse herself in this psalm during that same time. I was pregnant, at home alone, when the attack occurred and watched it happen on TV. I kept praying that if there was anyone still up there in those skies that God would give them bravery to deal with the situation. And some did. Some that gave their lives were saying the 23rd Psalm before they made their move to disarm the attackers and bring the plane down. This psalm affirms that no matter what, even in the shadow of death, He holds us in His very palm and we should trust Him.

How do you tackle and overcome life’s stresses?
I find time in the Word and in prayer helps best. Also seeking out godly advice. And sharing with the OWG contributors!

What makes you smile?
Hugging my soon to be eleven-year-old son (birthday this week!) or my husband or my adult daughter!  I am a big hugger!!!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
God has blessed me so much. I am grateful for all He’s done for me. I pray that I am a blessing to others, too! I also have a contribution to a nonfiction book that will release in May. 

You are a true blessing to all of us on OWG!! Thanks, Marian!  I am the one blessed by my OWG "angels."

Carrie, thank you for answering these questions. We wish you all the best in your writing career, and we hope and pray to see your novels published soon!
Thanks, Marian, Diana, Teresa, and Noela!!!  God gave me SO much assistance with the novel I wrote in 2011-2012, that I believe He has a home for it. It is His and He will put it where He wants!  

GIVEAWAY: A surprise basket of pink goodies and perchance a Kindle copy of Carrie's, Return to Shirley Plantation! 

TO ENTER: ‘like’ Carrie’s author page on Facebook—put CFP in your comment when you have done so. Extra entry for liking Cry of Freedom page and another for liking the Helping Hands page.  

30 March 2013

The Real Meaning of Easter by Teresa Mathews

The Real Meaning of Easter

Easter Bunnies, cute and white, 
aren't they such a precious sight?

Pretty eggs and yummy candy, 
makes your Easter great and dandy

Beautiful flowers, in bouquets bright, 
all this makes your heart delight.

But wait you say… something’s just not right. 
Why must we drag an old rugged cross in sight?

Do we have to talk about a man beaten black and blue?  
Are you sure he died for me? For you?

It’s not so cute and it’s sure not sweet, 
to talk about the nails in His hands and feet.

The Son of God with thorns for a crown, 
His precious blood flowing on the ground

He gave His life for all our sins? 
Come now, don’t repeat THAT again!

If this old story were really true, 
if God gave His son for me and you,

Things on this earth would never be the same.
People everywhere would be filled with shame.

Running to the cross, laying down their sin, 
asking for His forgiveness, asking Him to come in.

Isn't that the real reason for this beautiful day?
Remembering a Risen Savior who washed our sins away?

 © Teresa S Mathews 04/14/12

He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6

*Image courtesy of chainat at
**Image courtesy of bela_kiefer at

29 March 2013

Carrie Fancett Pagels' Debut Novella Released

Return to Shirley Plantation

We are happy to announce our very own Carrie Fancett Pagels’ debut of her historical novella Return to Shirley Plantation!!

In honor of Carrie and to celebrate her new release, we have turned the Overcoming With God blog PINK! Next week we will also have a PINK PARTY!

Congratulations, CARRIE!!

GIVEAWAY: we are giving away two Kindle copies of Return to Shirley Plantation to two commenters who leave a message of encouragement to Carrie.

28 March 2013

Whispers of a New Dawn by Murray Pura Reviewed by Marian Baay

Whispers of a New Dawn

Reviewed by Marian Baay
5 stars~*****

In Whisper of a New Dawn Murray Pura has penned a powerful story of healing and letting go of the past.

The story is set in 1941 shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
It is great to see several of the characters we have seen before in The Wings of Morning once again. Together with Jude, Lyyndaya, Becky, and her brother Nate, we visit their Amish family in Paradise, Pennsylvania before they leave for Oahu, Hawaii.

Becky has just suffered a great loss and has vowed to never love a man again. But that proves to be impossible when she meets the handsome army pilot Christian Raven.
Just like her parents, Becky is a flight instructor. She got the assignment to teach Raven stunt flying, but Becky finds him annoying and wants nothing more than to quit with his lessons.
Aunt Ruth—always being there for Becky with a listening ear—encourages her to tell Raven what is bothering her. After Becky has told him about her loss, he also shares his story. Both need healing and must learn to let go. Soon a friendship develops that grows into something more.
Then the bombing of Pearl Harbor takes place and their lives are turned upside down. It is a time of uncertainty, devastation, and loss…

Mr. Pura has proved himself to be a gifted writer. Every time I’m reading one of his books I’m amazed at how his stories touch my heart. Pura’s stories are refreshing, passionate, and smoothly written. Whispers of a New Dawn is no exception. This book is not only a story of healing but also a tender romance that will satisfy the romantic reader. And as usual the richly detailed historical descriptions are a delight to read. This is a moving story with a good Christian message, that will keep the reader turning the pages. Highly recommended!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley.*

Murray's books can be purchased through Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: A book by Murray Pura - winner's choice. Answer the question to be entered in the contest. And leave your email address if we don't know you.

QUESTION: Have you ever needed God to heal a hurt from your past? Can you tell a bit about it?

26 March 2013

A Quilt for Jenna by Patrick E. Craig Reviewed by Marian Baay

A Quilt for Jenna

Reviewed by Marian Baay

Jerusha Springer is known for her excellent quilting skills in her Amish community. Her grandmother taught her how to quilt and often reminded her not to be proud of her work. 
About a year ago Jerusha has lost her little girl, Jenna. Shortly after that her husband, Reuben, disappeared and nobody knows where he went. She became bitter and is drowned in hate towards God. She decides to make a beautiful silk quilt, with which she hopes to win the first prize at a fairand that would be her way out of the Amish community. A local Englisher, Henry, is going to drive her to the fair, but they end up in a horrible blizzard. The car hits a stray cow, gets into a ditch, and can’t get out. Henry leaves Jerusha in the car and goes out for help, but something happens to Henry and help doesn’t come…

While Jerusha is waiting in the car she’s thinking back to conversations she had with her grandmother when she was growing uphow she promised to never leave the Amish faith. This is the beginning of a spiritual battle.
When help doesn’t come and Jerusha is ready to give up, she finds someone who gives her determination to carry on. They must get out of the terrible weather before hypothermia sets in. Will she find a warm shelter in time?

This book also tells the story of Jerusha’s husband Reubenfrom his best friend Bobby’s point of view. Reuben left Jerusha after their daughter died. Now that Jerusha is missing, Bobby feels that he must find her. While searching for her, he has also a lot of time to think. He remembers how he became friends with Reuben – how Reuben wasn’t sure about the Amish faith – how they served as Marines and fought against the Japanese in 1942 – how much Reuben was changed after the war – and what made him decide to leave Jerusha.

The author really surprised me with this book! It was so different from what I had expected it to beand that is meant as a compliment!

After reading the blurb I had no idea the story would go into this direction and I was pleasantly surprised! This is an emotional story of loss and redemption. Be sure to have the tissues ready! Nicely done, Patrick!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC through NetGalley.*

You can find Patrick's books at Amazon, CBD and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY: Patrick has graciously offered to give away two copies of A Quilt for Jenna. To enter the giveaway answer the question. This week, we are also giving away a copy of winner's choice of any of his books in choice of format.

QUESTION: Have you ever made a quilt, or would you like to do so? What is your favorite quilt pattern?

25 March 2013

Carrie Fancett Pagels on Blog Talk Radio TUESDAY March 26th!!!!

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance by Carrie Fancett Pagels

We interrupt this normal programming to announce that Carrie Fancett Pagels will be interviewed on Giovanni Gelatti's Blog Talk Radio, Tuesday, March 26th, at 12:00 NOON, EST. 

Julian Charity, Historian from Shirley Plantation, will also be answering questions along with Murray Pura, Editor for the anthology "Cry of Freedom."
Link to the show:

Call in number at noon on March 26th for Blog Talk Radio is: 

If you call in, come back and leave a comment here.  If you attempt but can't get through, send me a FB message or an email and I'll still count you as having called in.  (I think sometimes the lines get overloaded or something.)

Giveaway: Three callers will win a copy of Carrie's upcoming novella release "Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance."  One person will receive a gift basket with goodies from Shirley Plantation, including note cards, jam, chocolate and a copy of Julian Charity's book. 

Hope to hear from you!!! 

24 March 2013

Interview with Patrick E. Craig

Patrick E. Craig

Patrick E. Craig is the author of A Quilt For Jenna and The Road Home and four other books.

Patrick, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
When I first came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, I was in the music business.  I had been playing in Rock and & Roll bands for more than 25 years.  Along the way I had picked up many destructive habits and even addictions. On the day I was saved I was delivered completely from every one by the healing power of God.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I Corinthians 15:1-4 because it lays out the simple gospel of grace by which we are saved.  As Paul says "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

I love this because it is the heart of my faith and as Paul also says, "It is the power of God unto salvation."

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
The first book in the Apple Creek Dreams series was released February 1, so I don't think Harvest House has gotten so far as to put it into audio format.
A Quilt for Jenna

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
In "A Quilt For Jenna," Jerusha has become proud and bitter because of what has happened to her little girl, and this has driven her far from God.  It is my hope that the reader will identify with Jerusha's journey back to forgiveness and redemption and see that in spite of the circumstances, God is always there to take us back when we have strayed.

Reuben, Jerusha's husband, has become a strict legalist because of his experiences in World War II.  He believes that he is saved by the Amish faith and its ordnung and he has never discovered that only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will save you.  I believe that there are many Christians out there who need to learn this same lesson.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
One thing I did not know before I started "A Quilt For Jenna" is that Amish fiction has been the best-selling Christian genre for a long time.  I wondered why this was so and as I looked into it, I discovered that people who read Amish fiction are looking for a simpler, purer way of life.  We are all so caught up in the technological age that I believe our hearts long to live a live that would free us from the rush, the clatter, the I-phones and computers, television and the violent and perverted fare we see there so much.  Studying the Amish has definitely set my heart longing for a simpler life.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In the back of the book is a study guide with several questions for the reader.  One of the questions concerns dealing with loss.
I. Dealing with Loss
In Chapter One Jerusha has experienced a deep personal tragedy in the death of her daughter, Jenna, and the disappearance of her husband, Reuben. She deals with it by letting a root of bitterness into her life that results in hatred toward God.
1.     Have you ever had a similar loss in your life? A similar situation?
2.     How did you deal with it?
3.     What was the outcome? Positive or negative?
Scripture References:  Philippians 3:8, Hebrews 12:12-15

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

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in northern California and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

GIVEAWAY: Patrick has graciously offered to give away two copies of A Quilt for Jenna. To enter the giveaway answer the question. This week, we are also giving away a copy of winner's choice of any of his books in choice of format.

QUESTION: Did you ever suffer a loss in your life that made you bitter toward God? How did you deal with it?

23 March 2013

Roseanna White's New Release Ring of Secrets Reviewed by Marian Baay

Ring of Secrets

Ring of Secrets

Reviewed by Marian Baay
5 stars~*****

Roseanna White pens an intriguing story set in the Revolutionary War, where we meet Winter Reeves—a young lady who lives with her wealthy grandparents in New York. Winter’s mother died and her father is serving in the Patriot army. Winter also believes in the cause her father is fighting for, but she must keep her convictions secret. Her best friend in New York is an agent in the Culper Ring and he asked for her help.

Winter is acting like an unintelligent girl, so that people will easily share secret information with her. People are convinced she’s stupid—a perfect cover to get important information. Colonel Fairchild of the British army is courting Winter. He likes how she is and he thinks it is harmless to share information about the British army with her…of course he has no idea that she actually is a Patriot spy.

Bennet Lane comes back to his childhood home in New York to search for the Patriot spy among the elite. He needs a cover to attend balls and parties and therefore starts courting Winter. He finds out that she is smarter than she let on. He finds her intriguing and mysterious. So he tries to find out what secret she hides. Will he be able to unravel the secrets about Winter?

Now Winter has two men courting her. Winter starts to like Bennet more than Fairchild…but she needs Fairchild for her spying activities. She knows very well that when she’d choose for Bennet then she must tell him where her loyalties lay, and then she’d probably loose him for good. So she decides it’s best to keep her feelings under control.

Can Winter keep her spying activities secret? And what choice will she make when her grandparents give her an ultimatum to get married within 6 months time, or else she must leave their house?

I really enjoyed this first book in the Culper Ring Series. I liked the clever plot, the enjoyable writing style, the suspense, romance, and historical detail. I actually learned a thing or two about American history. Good job, Roseanna!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy through NetGalley.*

You can find Roseanna's books on Amazon, CBD, B&N, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: "Ring of Secrets" by Roseanna White,  winner's choice of format.

TO DO: like Roseanna's author page on Facebook to enter the contest. Put RW in your comment and don't forget to leave your email address if you haven't won on our blog before.

22 March 2013

Noela Nancarrow Reviews A Long Way Home by Margaret Brownley

A Long Way Home

Reviewed by by Noela Nancarrow
~5 stars 

A Long Way Home has become one of my all-time favourite books! It is one of the most delightfully heartwarming, charmingly romantic, and yet incredibly humorous tales that you’ll ever have the pleasure to read!

Set in a small gold mining town named Deadman’s Gulch with a group of rough and tough men, their one room shacks, two tent saloons and not a great deal else, it was hardly the place for a young woman who is pregnant and recently widowed to end up in. But that is exactly what happens to Libby Summerfield! On her way to Centrefield, Libby is dropped off by the rider of a horse-drawn wagon a mile outside of Deadman’s Gulch, as he was fearful of going any closer lest he get shot. After having fallen into icy water, Libby is freezing and fearing for the life of her baby, she presses on toward the town. Having reached the town completely exhausted, Libby is then shot by a stray bullet. She collapses on the porch of the nearest shack which just happens to be Logan St. John’s.

Mountain man Logan, is stunned to discover a woman in Deadman’s Gulch and on his porch no less. He sweeps her up and carries her inside to revive her and nurse her back to health. Little did he know that by this one caring act, just how much his life would turn upside-down.
Logan is one of those unique and engaging characters that is as imposing as he is vulnerable. His powerful presence in this story will undoubtedly leave an indelible impression upon your heart, as will his charming and distinctive manner and his endearing expression of “Well now.”   

Libby is a stubborn, strong, and talkative woman, and once she overcomes her initial fear of Logan, she brings a force into his life he didn’t think possible, especially from a pregnant woman! She riles and infuriates him, is overly emotional at times and talks incessantly whenever she’s angry or fearful. But then Logan is an enigma himself mystifying her with his friendliness one moment and brusqueness the next.

Their relationship grows and develops without them realizing it, but both are unprepared for what’s happening to them and are unable to see how things could possibly ever work out. Witnessing each of their personal struggles unfold is believable, stirring, and heartbreaking, but the exquisitely touching moments of both tenderness and mirth between Logan and Libby is not only immensely intriguing with these two characters but also deeply compelling.

Most of the unrefined and crude miners that make up the town also have big hearts, and watching them all interact provides some classic moments especially when Libby’s giving birth. But when the township decides that things have to change for the better, can this boorish and rowdy assortment of men possibly change from their ungodly ways of shooting, swearing, and gambling? And with Libby determined to go home to Boston for her baby’s sake, what will become of her? With someone out for revenge and wild animals roaming the surrounding areas, there is never a dull moment in this story!

This is one book you don’t want to miss. I absolutely loved this vividly written and gripping story that was a perfect balance of adventure, suspense, romance, humour, and faith.  Highly recommended!

Buy Margaret's books at AmazonCBD, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAYS: Margaret is generously giving away a copy of “Grieving God’s Way.” She is also giving away a copy of  “Waiting for Morning.” 
We are also giving away the choice of any of Margaret’s books this week, choice of format, to one of our commenters.

QUESTION: As all women will attest to, giving birth is anything but funny. But nevertheless, inevitably there are always amusing situations that happen at some births. Did you have or do you know of a humorous story surrounding a birth?

21 March 2013

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow

Dawn Comes Early

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 stars~

Strap on your spurs for this wild ride into the desert of Arizona, and keep a look out for wild boars, deadly rattlesnakes, prickly cactus, a wannabe infamous outlaw, and the most intriguing array of characters… because you’ll meet them all and more at the Last Chance Ranch in Cactus Patch in the Cochise County of Arizona.  And try hard to stay seated in your saddle with the Laugh-Out-Loud humour that Margaret Brownley frequently and flawlessly weaves into this entertaining, yet heartwarming historical romance.

It’s 1895 and Kate Tenney a frustrated romance writer from Boston whose latest work was banned, reads an advertisement for a professional woman to be heiress to a cattle ranch. Desperate for work but mostly for the respectability and security that comes from owning land, she applies for the position. The no-nonsense owner of the ranch, widowed Eleanor Walker, is seeking an heir with a love for the land and similar hard-working ethics to her own.

Eleanor gives Kate four months to prove herself. If Kate then accepts the position, she will have to sign an agreement never to get married so that she may devote her life solely to the ranch. This is something that Kate has no problem with as she is very disillusioned with having had very poor examples of parents and having seen too many bad marriages. 

But can this educated lady from Boston even survive the extremely rigorous demands of ranch life? She will be sorely tested, but Kate is resolutely determined to succeed, even when Luke Adams the handsome blacksmith distracts her goals by threatening to dispel her beliefs that all men cannot be trusted.
Luke’s not as educated as Kate nor is he great with words, but that was part of his undeniable charm for me, as was his relationship with his loyal wolf dog, Homer.

On your venture into the West, you’ll also encounter the wonderfully memorable and unique characters of Cactus Patch, including Luke’s comical aunts, Bessie and Lula-Belle; the local bandit Cactus Joe, whose chief aim is to be revered as a serious outlaw such as Jesse James; and the sheriff Marshall Morris who relishes the idea of fame much more than unrecognized law work. The men at the Ranch were a fascinating bunch also, each with his own ‘barn name’ suiting his predominant characteristic.

This undertaking of Kate’s and her experiences with the Wild West, pushed her to her limits. Although often when that occurred and she had trouble coping, Kate resorted to her fictional character and imagined what the character would do. It put a great spin on the story and you’re rewarded at the beginning of each chapter with a few lines of the novel Kate’s writing which also had a relevant reference to her own life.

In this western romance novel, Margaret Brownley gives you the opportunity to gaze into the life and times of the late 1800’s in a small Arizona desert town and cattle ranch, while creating an authentic ambience of the era. There is also a great message on the effects of a terrible upbringing and how it is possible to learn to trust and have faith in people and in God again.

This really was a very rewarding and enjoyable story and I heartily recommend this book and series to everyone!

Buy Margaret's books at AmazonCBD, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAYS: Margaret is generously giving away a copy of “Grieving God’s Way.” She is also giving away a copy of  “Waiting for Morning.” 
We are also giving away the choice of any of Margaret’s books this week, choice of format, to one of our commenters.

QUESTION: If you were to write a fiction story, in what part of the world would you like your setting to be? And what message would you wish to share or encourage your readers with? 

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