28 January 2018

Trusting in God



My word for this year is TRUST -- as in Trust in God.  Life is full of hardship but also joy. Woes and blessings. But in it all, if our eyes aren't focused on Jesus, then we're trusting in something else that will fail us.

Right now, we're trusting that God will care for a loved one who is far from us, and is waiting on the Lord to bring her home. And we're trusting that God will help another loved one facing a rare disorder. I'm trusting that God will help me complete "Love's Beacon" a story set at the Round Island Lighthouse in the Straits of Mackinac, part of the Great Lake's Lighthouse Romances (November, 2018) which is due March 2018 to my editor -- prayers appreciated!
Round Island Lighthouse, Straits of Mackinac, Setting for "Love's Beacon" 


Question: How about you? What is your word for the year? Why?

Giveaway: Answer the question for a chance to win any one of my 2018 releases from Barbour in 2018: First Love Forever, The Backcountry Brides, Victorian Christmas Brides, and Great Lakes Lighthouse Romance collections. 

23 January 2018

Giveaway! Huge SALE of My Heart Belongs Kindle Books!

ALL of these My Heart Belongs novels are on SALE right now for only $1.99 each for Kindle! Check the price before purchasing, as I don't know how long the sales will last!
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho. Also available in paperback and hardcover!
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring Also available in paperback and hardcover!

 My Heart Belongs in the Shanandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma Also available in paperback and hardcover!
My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna's Choice Also available in paperback and hardcover!

GIVEAWAY: Which kindle book would you most want to win? We're giving away one this week! Also, watch for an upcoming Valentine's Day Week promotion from the My Heart Belongs authors from Barbour! 

18 January 2018

Giveaway & Review of "In Sheep's Clothing" by Pegg Thomas

"In Sheep's Clothing"
by Pegg Thomas
Connecticut, 1702

--a novella in A Bouquet of Brides Collection, Barbour Publishing, January 2018

Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A Beautiful Story!
Five Stars *****
What a charming and lovely story! You'll be swept right into Yarrow's story and won't want to stop reading until you reach the end of this well-told novella! One of my favorite things in the story was the baby lamb. Just so sweet. Since Pegg Thomas, the author, is a real-life expert in sheep and weaving, the story rings with an authenticity that brings the story setting to life. 

Set during colonial times (one of my favorite--check out www.colonialquills.org our group blog for the Colonial American Christian Writers which I helped found and which Pegg is a member of) this story brings 18th century America to life. I loved how Pegg dribbled in handsome Peter Maltby's backstory into the novella. 

Does the new man at the fulling mill really work for the Crown? And will he bring Yarrow's livelihood to an end?

 A Bouquet of Brides collection is available now on Barnes & NobleChristian Book Distributors, Amazon and in bookstores.

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of A Bouquet of Brides Collection to one of our readers this week. Leave a comment to enter!

14 January 2018

Pegg Thomas Character Interview with Yarrow Fenn


We welcome Pegg Thomas and her heroine Miss Yarrow Fenn. Yarrow is the heroine of "In Sheep's Clothing", one of the novellas in A Bouquet of Brides . Miss Fenn lives in the town of Milford in Connecticut Colony in 1702. She’s known for making the best cloth in the colony.

OWG:  Thank you for joining us, Miss Fenn.

YF:  I am honored, and please, call me Yarrow.

OWG:  Isn’t yarrow a plant?

YF:  Indeed. Yarrow is a flowering herb often used to dye yarn. It produces a golden-brown color, not unlike my hair and hazel eyes.

OWG:  That’s so interesting. Our blog is about overcoming hardships through faith in God. I understand you’ve had to overcome something recently.

YF:  Indeed, I have. I’m not proud of it. You see, when King William III signed the Wool Act, it created problems for those of us living in the colonies. We had to sell our wool to England and buy our cloth from England. But the wool was taxed twice and then the cloth was taxed twice. A person could hardly afford to dress their family. Being the unmarried sister, and having the skills to spin and weave, it fell to me to produce our cloth. My sisters had no extra coin to pay for my labors, and so I sold some of my cloth to the traveling peddler.

OWG:  Didn’t the Wool Act make selling cloth outside of your colony illegal?

YF:  Indeed it did. I sold the cloth to the traveling peddler, but I knew he was selling it in Massachusetts Colony.

OWG:  So you were skirting the law?

YF:  It shames me to admit it, but I was. Then I realized that I was putting my faith and trust in the coin I earned and not waiting on God to supply my needs. I finally had to admit that skirting man’s law was also sinning against God.

OWG:  Oh, ouch. That’s never an easy lesson to learn.

YF:  Twas not, but there is nothing so cleansing as confessing one’s sins to the One who can take them away.

OWG:  And did He?

YF:  Not that alone, He gave me what I had truly wanted all along.

OWG:  And what was that?

YF:  The whole story is told in A Bouquet of Brides collection titled In Sheep’s Clothing. It’s available now on Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon and in bookstores.


Pegg Thomas is giving away one of her signature shawls to celebrate the release of In Sheep’s Clothing. The Meadowsweet Shawl is named after the lamb in the story. Drawing will be the end of January. To enter, simply sign up for Pegg’s newsletter.

BioPegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble*years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.”

Pegg's links:
NovelPASTimes

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of A Bouquet of Brides to one of our OWG blog readers this week. Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy!


11 January 2018

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey -- by Amanda Barratt, Guest Review by Andrea Stephens


Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where...
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?


5 Stars *****
for Amanda Barratt's debut novel!
Guest Review by Andrea Stephens

I've read Amanda Barratt's novellas in various Barbour collections and was pretty sure I would like this book. I did more than just like it, I LOVED it! Full of twists, turns, good and not so good people. No spoilers but there were some things that just blew me away. So many surprises, I could not put my Kindle down!
I've never been to Niagara Falls in person. After reading this book, I feel like I visited there many years ago, seeing different views of the Falls through Drew's eyes and through Adele's eyes.

Andrea's Review
Drew Dawson. He's an honest, caring, trustworthy, hardworking, Godly man. “He believed what he'd said to Hope (his sister), that God would take care of them and everything would be all right. With every bone in his body, he meant it. Though truly, the task before him was one that could only be accomplished with the help of God Almighty.” How can I not love a hero who thinks like that?
Adele Linley is a heroine that tugged at my heart and upset me all at the same time. I found myself talking out loud to her more than once. My husband says I get “a little too involved in reading.” I couldn't help it, I had to tell her “for someone so smart and wanting to do the right thing you certainly are making a bad decision.” She didn't listen though.
I thoroughly enjoyed Amanda Barratt's writing style. One example is, “The memories not only haunted but tormented. Why couldn't she shake free of them? Why must every sensation remain so fresh, like the first second after a handprint is pressed onto clouded glass.”
This quote from the book is so very important to us all. (I can't say where it is or who says it without spoilers)“...it was a beautiful thing indeed to trust that, even if no earthly human remained to comfort, God's presence lingered.” I have tears in my eyes again while typing this. How good it is to know that God's presence lingers. He will hold us, if we let Him. I loved how this message was seamlessly woven into the story.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Not just historical Christian fiction readers. It is a very engaging story with many surprises.

Links: Check out all the novelsin the series on the My Heart Belongs series website                

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy on OWG blog of Amanda Barratt's new release this week. Leave a comment to enter. 

07 January 2018

Novelist Amanda Barratt -- Coping With Anxiety

Novelist Amanda Barratt

Amanda, welcome to Overcoming With God.
Thanks so much for having me today! 
Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
While I absolutely love the word ‘overcome,’ it often carries the connotation of “over and done with.” So often, while we remain pilgrims in this broken world, our struggles are not overcome, as in “shelved,” but overcome day by day, moment by moment, through the tender constancy of our loving Savior. Such is the case with the struggle I’m sharing with you today. Anxiety is something I’ve experienced since my middle school years, and it’s something I still deal with to this day. About six years ago, I went through a period where my anxiety was HUGE. We’d recently moved into a new home, and within a few months of moving, I began to experience health issues—along with an increase in anxiety. This continued for over a year, but it was through this year, more than at any point in my life, that I began to seek and find Jesus like never before. While I believe the Lord didn’t cause my anxiety, He did use it to bring me closer to Him, and though it wasn’t a pleasant thing to experience, I can now look back on that period and see God intended it for good (Gen. 50:20.) The closer I became to Him, the less I focused on my fears, and the greater my trust grew in His power to calm my anxious heart. I remember being on an airplane traveling out of state, clutching the pocket Bible I use while traveling and just reading the Psalms and letting their truths sink within me. To this day, I still have days and weeks where I battle anxiety, but they occur less frequently, and when they do, I can trust that “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times? Psalm 91 is so precious to me, and last year I memorized it, so I can recall it, even when I don’t have a Bible. Jeremiah 29:11 is another, as is Isaiah 40:31.
What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty? – Leaning close to God and spending time reading His Word. Also, being able to be raw and open during prayer, approaching His throne not as someone who has it all put together, but as a person who needs His help just to get through day to day. And realizing my limitations and not judging myself for them. People with anxiety always have things that trigger that emotion, and it’s helpful to put in place a coping process before actually being in a situation where you’re forced to confront a trigger. The support of my family was also an immeasurable blessing.
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?  My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, will release in large print hardcover format from Thorndike Press in 2018.
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  My characters struggle with trusting God, and what that looks like in difficult situations. Both my hero and heroine go through incredible challenges, but it’s only through those struggles that they are able to go deeper with God. (I’d add more, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.)


BIO: ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, finaled in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.
Social links:
The My Heart Belongs series website                


Question you’d like to ask readers: My novel is set in the beautiful locale of Niagara Falls. Have you ever visited there? If not, what vacation spot have you visited that you have fond memories of?

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of this brand new novel from Barbour this week! Leave a response to Amanda's question to enter.

05 January 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARRIE

     HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARRIE
Today our beautiful Carrie is another year older. I know that is super hard to believe, because she always looks so beautiful and ageless with her perfect porcelain skin.

My life has been enriched beyond words since meeting Carrie and joining OWG as a contributor. Carrie has been my rock through the most difficult times of my life these past four years. It always seemed on the worse days, I would answer my phone and hear “Hi Teresa, it’s Carrie, can you talk?” What a joy, what a blessing, what a ray of sunshine!  It always makes me smile to hear her voice and to know she thought of me and took the time out of her very busy schedule to call and check on me.

Now a confession; when I was first asked to join OWG, I was a little timid about the whole writing thing. English was not my favorite subject, oh, I loved the literature part but the whole sentence structure and diagrams were like reading a foreign language! (lol) I just knew that Carrie was taking a HUGE risk letting me join her amazing blog, funny, how things like that work themselves out. When GOD is leading you in a new direction it’s always best to listen and leave the problem solving to Him.

Carrie, thank you so much for listening to the Lord when He spoke to you about this crazy Southern girl. You have been and will continue to forever be my dear, sweet, amazing friend! Words cannot begin to express how much you mean to me and my sons, Daniel and Joshua and it’s not because of those decadent chocolate covered raisins you always send as a precious reminder of my beloved husband and their dad, Carlton. (lol)

Now that I have shared my feelings about our Angel Birthday Girl I would love for each and everyone of you to please share your most favorite “Carrie” story. Let’s make this birthday one for the record books!

Don’t be upset if our Birthday Girl isn’t up to responding to all your posts, most of you know she is going through a rough time with her broken ankle and taking care of her family. I ask that you please add her and her family to your daily prayers!

GIVEAWAY: In celebration of our Angel Carrie’s birthday, I’m giving away a $20 Amazon card, which could be used to purchase one of her many fabulous books!!


LOTS AND LOTS OF PRETTY PINK ROSES FOR CARRIE!!


WONDER WHO MADE THIS CAKE?!!
WHO IS THIS BEAUTY?!!


A SMART HUBBY KNOWS HIS
WIFE'S FAVORITE FLOWERS!!


MR. & MRS. PAGELS

SWEETIE GIRL and BOY
CASSANDRA and CLARK

HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAY’S CARRIE, WE LOVE YOU!!



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