29 March 2018

Five Year Anniversary of Carrie Fancett Pagels' Debut in Christian Fiction!!!


Today I'm celebrating my FIVE year ANNIVERSARY in Christian Fiction!!! Come by my Author Page on Facebook to my Event, which runs between 1:00 and 7:00 PM Eastern Time. Lots of giveaways! Come share your memories with me and watch my first real "Live" attempt for posting! Pop in as you are able, simply leave a comment for the giveaways, which will be announced hourly.

My first release in Christian fiction was in a series that Murray Pura put together with a small publisher five years ago. How exciting that was to be getting my first story published! Shirley Plantation gave me permission to use the picture on the cover, which truly was taken through the front door at the Great House! This novella remained in the Top 100 in Civil War fiction on Amazon for eight months and was in the top three consistently! That was a real blessing to this debut author!
When I got my rights back to this novella,  Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, a couple of years back, Roseanna White made a beautiful new cover for me! I continue to sell copies of this book every month through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And in 2018 there will be an AUDIOBOOK coming out, PTL!!! There is a contract with a narrator and we're going forward with this project!

If you want to see all my book babies since Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, run over to my beautiful website at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com

Come by the Facebook party today, March 29, 2018, between 1-7 PM! (Click here)

27 March 2018

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden -- Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden, Narrated by Morgan Hallett, Audible.com
A Dangerous Legacy
by Elizabeth Camden
Narrated by Morgan Hallett
Audible.com download

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Please note: This title is available in multiple formats.

Five Stars for Story, Narration, and Overall *****

Fantastic Listen!!! Dangerous, Indeed!
Some books are like a box full of wonderful artisan chocolates. This audible listen was like that. I savored each segment of listening that I did over the course of about two weeks. As I got to the end, though, I ended up binging a little, like you do when you know you're at the end and about to run out of those fantastic hand-made chocolates!

The narrator, Morgan Hallett, couldn't be more perfect for the voice of Lucy Drake, a telegraph operator in New York City. Lucy and her brother have been waging a legal battle with their uncle for a long time, and both are worn out from it. Sir Colin Beckwith, a Reuters News Agency, is in New York to find himself a wealthy heiress to bolster his impoverished estate in England. 

Lucy has a heart of gold and I immediately loved her. Colin has a a battered and tarnished silver heart of his own that Lucy helps polish and God pushes to heal. They are dealing with very dangerous people who will stop at nothing. At one point I was afraid to keep listening! But I kept on and was rewarded!

As usual, Elizabeth Camden's attention to research detail pulls you into the story and keeps you a century in the past. Her ability to put you in the setting is breath-taking. I was especially interested in the psychiatric asylum aspect. Having been a psychologist for twenty-five years, I was somewhat surprised by the very negative portrayal, but after all there is a reason. And it is true that many of the "treatments" used at the turn-of-the-century were little more than torture. However, a couple of the techniques discussed in the novel are still used today and aren't the horror they are portrayed as here, e.g., systematic desensitization, and the use of projective imagery to get at core issues. But these are used to pull the story forward.

Highly Recommend!!!

25 March 2018

Author Katie Clark - Losing a Child to Cancer


Author Katie Clark

Katie, welcome to Overcoming With God blog.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thanks so much for having me! I’m glad to be here.

Would you tell us about one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? 
That is extremely easy to identify yet extremely hard to write 😊. The hardest thing I have ever faced is the death of my daughter, who went to heaven a year and nine months ago, at the ripe old age of 10. She had cancer twice in her short life, first diagnosed at 3, and later at 9.

(CFP: Katie, we are so sorry you had to suffer this tragic loss.)

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
John 14 tells us to not let our hearts be troubled…this has been an immensely comforting passage to me since the moment of Emma’s earthly death (I say earthly, because of course I know she is ALIVE, she’s only moved residence!)

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
Clinging wholly to God’s promises of salvation, heaven, and hope. That is the long and short of it. I realized early on that either I believed this “God thing” was real, or I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong—I have gone to church my entire life. I have been saved since childhood. I know God is real, and my faith has never wavered. But in the midst of such heartache, I had to buckle down and decide whether I REALLY believed it. Because if I did, I had hope. And I had to act like it. (Sometimes easier said than done!)

(CFP: Clinging wholly to God is what has gotten me through, too, in difficult times. He is our Hope.)

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? 
Unfortunately, no on the audio part as well as the large print part. However, if the book is purchased through Pelican Book Group, my publisher, it can be bought as a PDF. In this case, it can be read out loud by Adobe Reader on the computer. Also, I believe certain types of Kindles can read aloud (though either of these options would be the plain, robotic voice rather than a voice actor).

BIO:
KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes inspirational romance for adults as well as young adult speculative fiction, including her upcoming YA romantic fantasy The Rejected Princess. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

The Rejected Princess by Katie Clark
Giveaway: An ebook copy of The Rejected Princess will go to one of our readers! Answer Katie's Question for our readers: What’s your favorite Scripture passage, and why?

22 March 2018

Giveaway & Guest Review of My Heart Belongs in San Francisco by Janice Thompson



Guest Review
Andrea's Thoughts
Overall, I enjoyed reading this story. My initial impression of Abby Effingham was that she was a selfish, spoiled socialite, thinking only of herself, dragging poor Nigel (the family butler) across the country with her. Though, he is there for chaperoning he also helps keep Abby from getting into trouble. I felt bad for Nigel, he is doing his best to be content wherever he is ( according to the Bible) even if it's in California.

When Abby's finances run low she decides to get a job rather than just wire her father for more money. Sam is there not only offering her a job and a place to stay but protection from the less than savory citizens of San Francisco. Abby is a bit naive when it comes to what kind of jobs are available for young ladies in a gold rush town.

Sam Harris, a young man running The Gold Rush Inn that is owned by his father but really wants to return to Missouri where there were regular people that didn't brawl in the streets or shoot at each other. But he stays, for his father. Since his mother's death, life has not been the same.

Cookie is probably my favorite person in the book. She has a Bible verse memorized for every situation. She doesn't flinch when the bullets fly saying “they know better than to shoot who feeds them.” Cookie has been with the Harris family for most of Sam's life and is the cook for The Gold Rush Inn. She is without a doubt the best cook around.

As Abby begins her job as helper and waitress at the Gold Rush, Cookie is very patient, teaching her the basics of kitchen work. Some things like plucking a chicken, take longer than others. Nigel is also put to work. He doesn't mind plucking.

Abby overcomes many of the obstacles placed in front of her but still refuses to believe some of the things she is warned about even though the truth is right in front of her. It is a hard lesson for her to learn.

Sam has to come to terms with himself and accept that he is “reliable old Sam.”
Abby's mother has “wanderlust” never wanting to stay in one place for too long. She is surprised to find Abby so grown up when she arrives in San Francisco from Oregon.
When Abby's father arrives in San Francisco, he finds Abby doing dishes. Abby is finally strong enough to tell him “...I'm learning to earn my keep, this is what I look like while doing that.” 

Sam and Mr. Effingham have a serious discussion. Mr. Effingham afterward, he knows what he must do. No spoilers from me, you need to read that for yourself. It is one of the best parts of the book!

In trying to fix her parents, Abby talks to Cookie about how she's prayed for them. Cookie gives Abby some excellent words of wisdom. “What if you just prayed, “Thy will be done”...That might free up the Lord to do things His way. And it might relieve you of the burden of telling Him how to do it.”
That is one of the best things I've ever read. I know I've been guilty of praying what I wanted to have happen.

This book full of interesting, diverse, and even a few eccentric characters, you will be drawn into the rough and tumble gold rush time of early San Francisco. Even though I had a difficult time warming up to Abby, I'm glad to have read this book. With all Cookie's biblical lessons, I'm sure there is something here for everyone. Plus, there's pie. As Cookie says, “Honey, a slice of pie is always the answer, at least if it's one of my pies.”

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 
CFP: Check out ALL the My Heart Belongs books from Barbour Books at the series website (click here). Andrea has graciously reviewed all of the novels so far including Amanda Barratt's and my novels pictured above and below! Didn't Barbour do a great job on Janice's covers and on ours?

Giveaway: A copy of Janice's book, My Heart Belongs in San Francisco goes to one of our commenters.

18 March 2018

Spring-ing Forward! By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Flowering Almond, in bud, by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Spring-ing Forward
Change is inevitable, isn't it? Nothing marks that more than springtime and Daylight Savings Time. Kids must adjust to the the change in school time as do teachers and other making their way to work an hour earlier than normal. But eventually we get adjusted to the time change.

About a week ago, my Flowering Almond was budding (see photo above) and now it is blooming (see below.) I can't stop that change and I enjoy seeing the pink buds become full blooms. This is my favorite season of the year. And, of course, pink is my favorite color!


But even good changes can be stressful. There's even a word for good stress -- eustress!  I have a new release, and am so delighted! Sadie Duvall's story is a sequel to My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. She's Maude's best friend. Sadie's novella, "Love's Anchor" is in the First Love Forever Collection from Barbour, releasing April 1st! I just receive my author copies and are getting those out in the mail (that's a little stressful because I'm pretty slow in packing things up due to my arthritis.)
First Love Forever Romance Collection from Barbour Books
What beautiful covers and the green was very appropriate as they arrived right before St. Patrick's Day! A good change for me is that my broken ankle is healed and I am now dancing again, praise the Lord! My husband and I visited friends for their St. Patrick's Day party and then went out dancing afterwards and we celebrated my book's release with a family dinner out, too. Lots to celebrate! Speaking of which, my Five Year Celebration in Christian Fiction Party is coming up soon! And you're invited!  (Click here)

It's been FIVE years since Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance released! I can't believe it! I'll be celebrating on my Facebook Author page with lots of giveaways and I'll even try my first "Live" appearance on my FB page! After all, change is inevitable! And it's time I tried it. Could be fun!

Giveaway: A Copy of First Love Forever Romance Collection (or one of Carrie's other books). Answer this question: What about springtime do you find most stressful and what is most delightful?

11 March 2018

When You Can't -- God Can! By Carrie Fancett Pagels


Spring is coming! Daylight Savings Time adjustments are made today! Time moves on.  Forsythias and daffodils bloom and cherry trees blossom!

Just as those good things happen and unfold, sometimes bad things do, too. Friends ill with serious diseases worsen. Some may go on to heaven this next year. My own struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis has worsened to the point that I'm about to try another Biologic after eight years since the last one almost killed me.

The beauty of Spring, the beauty of trusting in God, is the promise of an unfolding of His will. Regardless of what we do, Spring will come and progress. I have a friend who, like myself, has been restricted in her activities to the point of spending most of her days in a recliner. She's waiting on heaven. I'm waiting on improved health. Regardless, we're trusting God with our lives. I was given an extra eight years so far. None of us knows what God can do with our situations but we know He can do it! He can perform miracles. He can raise up dry bones.

Prayer: God bless those today too weak, ill, or discouraged to leave their homes. Give energy to those who need it to do Your will. Help us trust that when we can't, You can! In Jesus's precious name, Amen.

04 March 2018

Linda Brooks Davis -- Overcoming Family Difficulties

Author Linda Brooks Davis

Linda Brooks Davis, welcome to Overcoming With God. I truly enjoyed meeting you at the ACFW in Nashville in 2016! What a sweet lady you are! Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?

The greatest trial of my 71 years is one our family is experiencing now. Minor children are involved, and the terrible case is still in the courts, so I’m not free to share details.However, I can “sew around the edges” a bit by sharing some ways in which the Lord has dealt with me. 

Once upon a time I believed I lived in a country blessed by the inalienable right of freedom of religion. I thought rearing children according to parents’ Christian principles wasn’t simply duty but a U.S. Constitution-guaranteed right. Naively, I believed Christian rearing was sacrosanct within the walls of a Christian home. Tragically, this isn’t necessarily so. Furthermore, I’ve learned godlessness has so invaded our institutions of government--even in a “conservative” state--that the agency and its arms tasked to protect children can become a Christian family’s worst nightmare.

I’ve learned the world’s ungodliness has so invaded this agency and the courts that right is labeled wrong and wrong is labeled right. I’ve learned testimonies of those who curse the name of Jesus are accepted as truth. And the testimonies of Christian parents--the father, a godly pastor/counselor--is not only suspect but declared a lie and the home’s teaching about the difference between “law and grace” labeled “abuse.”

   
And God has taught me some things about myself. I come from a long line of hard-charging women who wait for no one to act for them, double down when the way grows tough, and fight every ol’ demon in Hell for their children, as my mother said.

Recently, the Lord has shown me pride lurking in the shadows of self-sufficiency; bitterness and anger--better yet, rage--boiling in the teapot of my heart; and idolatry as I’ve gazed upon certain loved ones and grasped their hands before His.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?

I’m reminded in Zechariah 2:13 (AMP) that the Lord is roused in my behalf, so I’d best settle down: “Be still before the LORD, all mankind; for He is roused from His holy habitation [in response to His persecuted people].”

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?

As the Lord would have it, the theme verse for The Calling of Ella McFarland, 2 Corinthians 12:9, has become my life’s theme through this ordeal “… ‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough--always available--regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.” (Amplified Version)

Pride and self-sufficiency have no place in the weakness in which Christ’s power is manifest; anger and bitterness exclude trust in God; and only open, empty hands can be filled with His.

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 novel, TheCalling of Ella McFarland, and novella collection, A Rock Creek ChristmasCollection (A Christmas to Remember and A Christmas Measure of Love), will be available in audible form in the next few months.

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

I’ve just completed my second full-length novel. The working title, Where Healing Waters Flow, provides a clue to its theme. It picks up with Lily, one of the secondary characters in The Calling of Ella McFarland. The year is 1914, and this young woman who was horribly abused as a child finds a type of healing she hasn’t expected.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 3:3 (KJV): “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” It’s the perfect theme verse for Lily’s story.



1905 brings hope of Oklahoma statehood and the woman’s suffrage debate is raging, forcing Ella McFarland to make decisions about her faith, family, and aspirations. When she comes to the rescue of a young, abused sharecropper’s daughter, her calling takes shape in ways she never imagined. Education is Ella’s passion, but a new love is budding in her heart, and new purpose calls. Can she find God’s will amid the tumultuous storm that surrounds her?

CFP: I've been wanting to read this story for a long time, it sounds so good! And it's a multiple award-winning novel! Congrats, Linda!

Question you’d like to ask readers:
I would love to hear readers answer the questions I’ve been asked above. Sharing one another’s struggles and triumphs lightens loads while it strengthens for the road ahead.

Giveaway: The Calling of Ella McFarland Answer Linda's question, above, for a chance to win a copy.




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