30 March 2014

Naomi Rawlings Shares About Thankfulness in the Midst of Trials--Lyme Disease

Author Naomi Rawlings

Thanks for having me back today. Last time I was here, I did an interview and talked about the isolated place in which my family and I live and how God had called my husband to pastor a small church in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I also talked about my debut book, Sanctuary for a Lady.
Now I’m back again, this time to tell you about the second book in the Belanger Family Saga, The Soldier’s Secrets, and to share some of the ways in which both my family and I have grown over the past two years.

Growth, by and large, is a rather ordinary word, and we usually tend to think of it in a pleasant way. Sometimes growth can be pleasant and fun, like riding a bike for the first time or getting your driver’s license. But growth isn’t always happy and easy. Sometimes skinned knees accompany learning to ride a bike, and accidents accompany getting your driver’s license.
For my family, the past two years have been full of growth, but it hasn’t been a happy, pleasant kind of experience. 2013 is one of those years I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Kind of like the people who lived through the Great Depression will always remember 1929 and the people who lived through WWII will always remember 1941 and 1945.
So what huge disaster happened this year? My son’s Lyme disease came back. And when I say came back, I mean the infectious disease literally flooded his body for a second time. It was supposed to be gone. We’d discovered the tick bite three years earlier, got the positive blood test, and treated him according to our pediatrician’s and the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations. And he did get better for three years.
Until he didn’t.

Lyme is a complicated disease, wrapped in a bunch of political and HMO crap, and then ignored by most doctors and insurance companies. I won’t go into the details here, though these articles on the Huffington Post (link to )  and New Yorker (link to ) will give you a hint.  (Severe cases can leave people bedridden and riddled with seizures, while therapy involves years of IV antibiotics.) Most people with Lyme disease are indefinitely poor because the disease is very hard and expensive to treat, and insurance companies won’t cover beyond a month’s worth of treatment. 
In short, Lyme disease is not something I would wish on anybody, ever.
But God allowed my son to contract it for some reason I still don’t truly understand. So what am I to do? I suppose I have two options: I could get bitter, or I could be thankful.

I choose to be thankful.
“For what?” You might ask. What do you have to be thankful for?
Well, I’m thankful for my family.
I don’t have my family right now, at least not in the healthy way I had them at this time two years ago. I also don’t have the thousands of dollars we’ve spent treating my son over the past twelve months. And I don’t have a dependable vehicle—my car is 13 years old and riddled with problems. I don’t have matching furniture in my bedroom (one of my dressers is pea green—who paints a dresser pea green???) I don’t have clean house at the moment. I don’t even have paint on the upstairs landing.
So how can I be thankful that my seven year old has an infectious disease that seems incurable?
By looking at my heart instead of my situation.

Do you remember those old MasterCard commercials and the things that they used to call “Priceless”? Those moments when our kids laugh. Those times when our spouses pull us close and kiss us until we’re dizzy and the kids are making gagging noises. Those instants when your child catches a frog he’s chased around the yard and his face lights up into a grin.

Laughter and kisses and frogs are not paid medical bills, debt-free houses, and functioning vehicles. But they matter. They’re important. They add up. And we can choose to be thankful for them.
That’s a novel thought, isn’t it? That we can CHOOSE to be thankful. That thankfulness doesn’t revolve around the number of things we own or the amount of money we’ve stashed in our savings, IRAs, and stocks. That thankfulness starts and ends in our hearts.
I don’t need a matching bedroom set and new car to be thankful. I don’t even need a healthy son to be thankful.
And neither do you.
Because laughter and kisses and frogs count for something, and instead of thinking about all the things I don’t have to be thankful for, I’m thinking about the things I DO have.

The Soldier's Secrets

Naomi Rawlings:
A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. To learn more about Naomi and her novels, visit her website at You can also find her on Facebook at

Giveaway: This week we will be giving away a copy of each of Naomi's two new releases (international winners ebook choice only.) "Like" Naomi's Facebook page and put FB in your comment and answer this question: What are you most thankful for? Leave your email address so we can contact you.

27 March 2014

The Prayer Box By Lisa Wingate Reviewed By Teresa Mathews

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
Tyndale House Publishers, 2014
Reviewed by Teresa S. Mathews
5 Stars*****

Tandi Jo Reese made the decision to come to Hatteras Island to get away from a past that holds horrible memories; she has come back to the one place that holds the few precious memories from her abusive childhood. Now she needs to find a job so she can buy food and pay the rent on the little cottage that her landlady, Iola Anne Poole, owns.

Tandi and her kids had been living in the cottage for six weeks when she decided to check on Iola. Tandi knew the moment she stepped on the porch that the one thing most everyone fears had come and taken the ninety one year old away. Finding the door unlocked Tandi hesitantly enters hoping beyond hope to find the tiny lady well, but it wasn't to be. When the minister of music from Fairhope Fellowship Church drops by and offers Tandi the job of cleaning out Iola's house in exchange for the rent on the cottage, she agrees never dreaming the treasures she would discover inside that beautiful old Victorian House.

Having heard a few vicious rumors about Iola, Tandi is anxious to learn more about her and she wishes she had taken the time to get to know her before she passed. When Tandi arrives to clean the house it seems as though something is drawing her back to the room where she found Iola, lying peacefully on the antique wedding quilt. What Tandi finds is a lifetime of memories enclosed in beautifully decorated boxes. There she is introduced to a little girl, who like herself had a troublesome childhood and there Tandi will find the love of a Father who has been waiting for her to come home.

What an enjoyable read this was; Tandi was a character with a lot of flaws but also one that tugged at your heart. It was so rewarding to see the turn her life took after realizing who Iola's true Father was. The winding path this book leads you on to the satisfying conclusion was quite surprising. This is the first book I have read by Lisa and I know it won't be the last; in fact I liked this one so much I look forward to reading it again. 

You may purchase this and many other of Lisa's outstanding books at AmazonCBD and Barnes and Noble and your local bookstore. 

GIVEAWAY: This week we are giving away winner's choice of any of Lisa's books and choice of format, International winner ebook only. Lisa has graciously added a signed copy of her paperback Firefly Island (USA winner only) to our giveaway this week. 


25 March 2014

Diana Flowers' Review Of 'Wildwood Creek' By Lisa Wingate

Bethany House Publishers, 2014

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
5 stars*****

A Totally Intriguing Read!

Award winning author, Lisa Wingate, takes the reader on a haunting, mesmerizing journey that vacillates between historical Wildwood Creek to present day, and of two women who bear a striking resemblance to one another and whose lives intertwine although centuries apart.

Allie Kirkland has landed the dream job of a lifetime…to portray Bonnie Rose, a young school teacher in 1861 Wildwood, in a reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement which is shrouded in secrets and mystery. When Allie sees a tintype of Bonnie Rose she is shocked to discover they could pass as twins and becomes obsessed in finding out all she can about this lovely, young woman and the inhabitants of Wildwood Creek, all of whom seemed to meet up with a tragic ending. On the film set in Wildwood, everyone seems to be hiding secrets—even the handsome Blake Fulton who has more than just a passing interest in Allie. But can she even be able to trust him as unsettling events begin to take place that could possibly cause history to repeat itself in Wildwood? And what was the fate of the mystifying Bonnie Rose…

I can certainly see why Lisa Wingate wins so many awards! This fascinating storyline written with such brilliance, expertise, and realistic characterization, has left me duly impressed! Being the historical fiction lover that I am, traveling to and fro from Bonnie Rose's point of view to Allie's, was especially enjoyable to me! Wildwood Creek is a totally suspenseful, unpredictable read with lots of twists, turns, and a surprise ending; guaranteed to mesmerize the reader! Nicely done, Lisa Wingate!

This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore.

Giveaway: This week we'll be giving away winner's choice of any of Lisa's books, including her new releases (choice of format, international winners--ebook only.) Lisa has graciously added a signed copy of her paperback Firefly Island (USA only) to our giveaway this week!! 

*Please remember to leave email addy for contact purposes should your name be drawn!*

23 March 2014

Interview With Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate at Book Signing

Lisa, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  
Well aside from dealing with empty nest -- I'll be the first to admit that it was just plain rude of these boys to grow up and actually want their own lives -- I think I struggle with something many women struggle with. It's hard to separate other peoples' judgement from God's judgement. We're supposed to shrug off the one and base our opinions and our self-evaluations on the other.

In life and in publishing, that's not an easy thing to do.

The publishing process doesn’t end up being only between you and God, and neither does life.  Every worldly concern enters, other people bring in their personalities and opinions, and it can be bruising.  

I struggle with all of that, quite honestly.  I’m a youngest kid in the family, and I had two older brothers picking on me all the time (I wouldn't trade them now, but I would have then).  I bruise easily.  Many writers do—that sensitivity is part of what makes you a writer.  I’ll ignore twenty-five good reviews and be hurt over one bad one.  That’s just human nature, for many of us, especially as women.

On the other hand, I know I’ll never write the perfect story, because everything I write comes from a point of imperfection,  from a vision through the dark glass.  But God is so capable of taking the imperfect things we create and using them in absolutely perfect ways.  A story is an endless possibility.  You never know when your story may hold the hand of someone else through a dark night of the soul.

Would you tell us about one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? (transparency appreciated!)
I think I've sort of combined Question 1 with Question 2. It's a lifelong struggle, really. I'm always working on it. I don't like it when people are mean -- does anybody? I struggle to let it go and trust God to be work on other people while I work on me.  My snap reaction is more toward wishing they'd get a dose of salmonella in their next hamburger. (Oh, did I say that out loud?)
Which, of course, only means I'm still working on me. It's also a good reminder that I need to put into the world what I want to take out of it. If I want kindness, I need to put in kindness. 
Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

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?  
Yes.  All of my books are available in audio (thought sometimes the audio release is a few months behind the book release) and in large print. We've also given approval for Library For the Blind to offer audio versions.
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation? 
Both The Prayer Box and Wildwood Creek deal with women, children, and families recovering from abuse.   Wildwood Creek is brand new, but The Prayer Box is already being used in bibliotherapy, as is the concept of prayer boxes, themselves. The act of taking time to write prayers on paper, put them in a prayer box, and close the lid is symbolic (and therapeutic) as a means of releasing those things to God.  Prayer boxes can go pretty much anywhere a greeting card can go. They're useful for bereavement, new marriages, and family communication, among other things, and can be life-changing.


Lisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women's fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


My website:

Thank you, Lisa, for agreeing to answer these questions! And congrats to Lisa for The Prayer Box being a finalist for ECPA Christian book awards!

Giveaway: This week we'll be giving away winners choice of any of Lisa's books, including her new releases (choice of format, international winners--ebook only.) Lisa has graciously added a signed copy of her paperback Firefly Island (USA only) to our giveaway this week! 
Are you sensitive?  How has God given you grace?

20 March 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall

The Ransom 
The Ransom (Legacy of the King’s Pirates)
Ransom Press (February 27, 2014)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Dare to take a heart-stopping, hair-raising, and breathtaking voyage with ‘The Ransom’ to a time and place where fierce and merciless pirates ruled the seas, capturing and plundering merchant ships, and spending their ill-gotten gains on women and spirits after anchoring their sailing vessels in the harbor.

Ruthless, scurrilous pirates and other depraved miscreants infest the town of Port Royal in Jamaica, causing it to go down in history as one of the most nefarious cities in Jamaica in the late 1600’s. With the copious seedy brothels and taverns littering the town near the wharves and feeding the sinful natures of those without God, this is not an area any unaccompanied woman should find themselves in when the sun begins to set, let alone a young lady of great beauty. But while searching for and helping a fallen friend, that’s exactly where the flaxen-haired Juliana Dutton finds herself on more than one occasion.

Feeling like God has abandoned her as she experiences one calamity after another, Juliana has never felt more alone or vulnerable. With an ailing father and drunken, gambling brother, it is up to Juliana to keep a roof over their heads by continuing to run the family’s shipping business. This charade is in dire danger of shattering should anyone find out it is a woman behind the helm. Juliana is particularly worried that a certain meddling and persistent suitor, could be just the one to discover her secret.

The dark-haired and charismatic Captain Alexander Hyde leads a secret double life... As the dangerously handsome, intimidating, and greatly-feared Pirate Earl, and also as the entertaining Lord Munthrope - an ostentatious and foppishly flamboyant man of society. Alex has loved Juliana from afar for some time, and so devises a plan when he realizes that Juliana is desiring to distance herself from her annoying and determined suitor. A plan that will also give him an opportunity to spend more time with her, albeit as high society's popular and pompous Lord Munthrope.

As Juliana comes to know the two separate identities of Alex, is she in danger of forming feelings for one or both of them? Will the Pirate Earl's greatest enemy finally capture him and have this elusive pirate hanged? And can Juliana continue to successfully run the family business without being exposed and lose the security she’s worked so tirelessly for?

As you read this artfully written tale where the words and phrases all bespoke of a much different time and place far removed from modern day, you’ll be captivated by this adrenalizing romantic adventure of the grandest swashbuckling type! From clashing sword fights and battles between ships, to earthquakes and fire, there is nary a dull moment leading up to the finale of this exhilarating story that will bring a lump to your throat, tears in your eyes, and praise for God in your heart. A story that is hugely unpredictable in its telling, yet completely predictable in the quality I've come to expect from MaryLu Tyndall. Fully trusting God even through the darkest valleys, and learning it isn't the sum of your charity and works that gains God's favor, are two lessons that are masterfully illuminated in ‘The Ransom’. Treasures that will long stay with you as they are buried in your spirit. I highly recommend this inspirational, pirate romance adventure!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
To err is human, to arr is pirate!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away TWO copies of this treasure this week!! One paperback copy of The Ransom, and one ebook copy. International winner ebook only.
Please remember to leave your EMAIL ADDRESS so we can contact you should you be one of the winners!

18 March 2014

Teresa Mathews Reviews The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall

The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall (Book 4 Legacy of the Kings Pirates)
Ransom Press Publishers
Reviewed by Teresa Mathews
5 Stars*****

When I heard MaryLu Tyndall was setting sail for the Caribbean again with another story from the Legacy of the Kings Pirates Series I knew I wanted to be onboard. I wanted to feel the wind in my face and to smell the salt laden air and enjoy a tale of the most revered Pirates that ever sailed. Alexander Hyde, son of the infamous Captain Edmund Merrick Hyde, is one of those pirates. Just hearing the name of The Pirate Earl spoken strikes fear in even the most depraved pirate; but things would be a lot different if they knew the secret life he leads when he's on land.

After the passing of her dear mother Juliana Dutton was left in the care of a father that has never had a kind word for her and a twin brother that only cares for himself. Some days it seems even God doesn't remember her so she works hard at doing good deeds such as visiting the children in the rundown orphanage and visiting a friend that has fallen from grace in the hopes God will bless her. It was during one of those visits to the Cat and Fiddle Tavern, ~gasp~ that Juliana encountered The Pirate Earl and had it not been for him she would not have survived the night!! The moment their eyes met Juliana knew she was in trouble, so fierce was her attraction to him. Her mind tells her she must not even think of him but her heart feels otherwise and despite telling him to leave her alone it seems the daunting Pirate Earl has decided he should be her protector.

When her father falls ill Juliana must secretly take over the family business and all seems to go as well as can be expected until a friend of her brother starts to pressure her into accepting his offer of marriage. Knowing she could never marry him, Juliana decides instead to enter into a feigned engagement to Lord Munthrope a lovable bozo that despite his silly antics seems to be truly devoted to Juliana.  Even though she has never seen his face sans the white face powder there seems to be something about him that Juliana finds endearing. Could following through with this engagement be the way she will finally rid her heart and mind of the infamous Pirate Earl? 

I have never read one of Ms. Tyndall's books and been disappointed. They are filled with adventure, excitement and a beautiful love story but at the center of all of that you will find a thread of the Gospel that is woven throughout that ties it all together. You will never put down one of her books without being reminded of God's love for us, his creation. The Ransom was beautifully written, delightfully engaging with awe inspiring descriptions, especially the one describing the Pirate Earl! I can't believe I survived that one without melting into a puddle! Reading this was like going on the adventure of a lifetime. If you like Pirates, (especially one with a heart of gold) and Swashbuckling Romance then this book is for you! Thank you MaryLu for another exciting voyage and I anxiously await your command to Hoist the Colors on your next adventure!!

You can find this treasure and others by MaryLu on AmazonBarnes and Noble, CBD and your local bookstore.

QUESTION: What is the first book you read by MaryLu Tyndall?

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away TWO copies of this treasure this week; one paperback copy of The Ransom and one ebook copy this week. International Winner E-Book only!! Please remember to leave your EMAIL ADDRESS so we can contact you should you be our winner!

16 March 2014

Run To Me by Teresa S Mathews

Run To Me

I see your tears, I feel your pain.
I hear you crying out in the night again.

Run To Me

When the cares of life have brought you low
and you feel you have nowhere else to go.

Run To Me

No one seems to care for you,
you're all alone. What can you do?

Run To Me

The mender of broken hearts, I AM,
The one that holds you in my hand.

The one that sees your fallen tears,
just speak my name you'll feel me near.

Anytime you feel despair,
reach out to me; I'll be right there.

When you feel you're at the end of your road.
Run to me, I will meet you there and carry your load.

My child, my precious beloved one,
before time begun my heart you had won.

I will always be there for you
because my love for you is true.

When your time is over, my face you will see,
and I will open my arms for you to 

Run To Me

Teresa S Mathews© 2014 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

13 March 2014

Teresa S Mathews Reviews No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

No One To Trust By Lynette Eason

Revell Publishers

Reviewed by Teresa S. Mathews

5 Stars *****

When you fall in love and marry the love of your life there is nothing like it until the day you wake up to find three menacing men in your bedroom threatening to kill you, telling you your husband is NOT the man you think he is. Welcome to Summer Abernathy’s worst nightmare.

Summer has had trust issues since childhood courtesy of her abusive parents, now these evil men are telling her a crazy story that Kyle is really David Hackett a man with ties to organized crime. If this is true, Summer will NEVER forgive him, whoever he is! If only she could find him to get the answers she needs!

Kyle Abernathy knows someone is following him and if they catch him he knows he will die but he can't let that happen, he has to get to Summer before they do or his beautiful wife could die also. Kyle has to explain why he did the one thing Summer told him she would never forgive; lying to her. Will Kyle live long enough to explain to Summer what is really going and to beg her forgiveness?

What an exciting story this is, Lynette surely knows how to get your heart pumping with the thrill of a deadly chase and the excitement of explosions and gunfights. All her books have a high level of suspense but this one has topped them all. From the very first page you are pulled into a fast paced, intriguing story that will have you wondering who the good guys are and if there is anyone left Summer and Kyle can trust. Thank you Lynette for an outstanding read!!

***Thanks to Net Galley and Revel Publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.***

You can find this great book by Lynette on AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble and your local bookstore.

GIVEAWAY: This week we are giving away ONE of the two reviewed suspense books. Enter on the review of the book you would like to win and we will pick one winner from all the comments on both reviews. For a chance to win NO ONE TO TRUST by Lynette Eason leave a comment and your email on THIS review. For a chance to win BEOWULF by Ronie Kendig you can enter on Marian's review from last Tuesday.

11 March 2014

Marian Baay reviews BEOWULF by Ronie Kendig

Reviewed by Marian Baay
~5 stars~

BEOWULF - My New Hero!

Timbrel Hogan is not the girl we thought she was. She has a secret past that will catch up with her in Ronie Kendig’s third and final book in the fabulous A Breed Apart Series—BEOWULF!
Timbrel’s brindle-coated bullmastiff, Beowulf, is a huge dog—some call him ugly and mean—but he is the only ‘man’ Timbrel wants in her life. He is faithful and will protect her with all his might. Beo’s sniffer is trained to find bombs, drugs, and WMDs, but could it be possible that the dog is mistaken when no one can find the source for his ‘hit’?

Tony VanAllen is part of a Special Forces team. He and Timbrel have worked together earlier in the previous books in this series—Trinity and Talon. In Beowulf they team up again and are sent on a dangerous mission to Afghanistan.

Tony really likes Timbrel and wants to be a part of her life, while she is trying to keep him at a distance. But if Timbrel is really honest with herself, she must admit she likes Tony’s attention.

Throughout this story—that is filled with action, intrigue, and suspense—we get to know the real reason why Timbrel is such a difficult character that keeps men on a distance. Inside she is fighting a personal battle and Tony doesn’t make it any easier for her when he doesn’t give up on trying to win her heart. While growing closer to each other, tragedy strikes that will change the course of their lives. Both must find their new paths in life and learn to give God control of everything and trust Him above all.

As always, Kendig writes a fantastic, fast-paced novel and honors the men and women in the military. She also creates awareness of how much soldiers give of themselves for the freedom and protection of their country.

I really loved the characters! Although I didn’t like Timbrel so much in the previous books, I truly have learned to love her in this one. Beowulf made me giggle—he added a cute twist to the story. And Tony is an admirable character that will surely steal the hearts of the female reader.
This was a great series—all books were worth five stars in my opinion, but I think Beowulf is my favorite of all.
Highly recommended!

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

You can find Ronie's books at Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: This week we are giving away ONE of the two reviewed suspense books. Enter on the review of the book you would like to win and we will pick one winner from all the comments on both reviews. For a chance to win BEOWULF by Ronie Kendig leave a comment and your email on this review. On Thursday you can enter for a chance to win another fabulous suspense book.

Google Analytics