Monday, August 4, 2014

A Time to Overcome by J.M. Downey

Back Cover Blurb:

Big secrets never stay hidden, and it’s the darkest ones that threaten us the most.

Michael and May Lynn Thompson have found their mission helping escaped slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. But an enemy from their past seeks revenge and vows to bring them to justice at the gallows for a crime they didn’t commit. It is this plight that will bring a long ignored secret to light: a revelation that will force Michael and May Lynn to realize the life they love can evaporate like mist on the dawning of a new day.

Will Michael and May Lynn hold true to the Lord’s provisions? Dive into the adventure which asks our characters to choose the Lord's way or man's.

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter One

God let Israel walk across dry land to freedom so why did they have to walk across bridge? Elijah clenched Esau’s hand as he looked over the rail at the seething dark water underneath, twisting and turning in angry gasps. Death seemed to swim under them. The young boy swallowed hard and looked at the back of the man leading his small group. The large figure draped in a black coat loomed over them, holding one lantern to light the way. A black hat had been pushed on his head covering most of his features. Every one but that scar. A long deep brown scar that ran across his cheek.

Elijah shuddered. He looked as mean as the overseer, Mr. Brown. Elijah leaned down towards his brother and whispered, “they say, his mama fed him African Bullfrogs. It soured his blood. Even the bounty hunters scared of him.”

His mother turned, and narrowed her eyes. The young boy clamped his mouth shut. Mist sprayed into his face, cooling his burning skin. Why they have to be quiet? Ain’t no one going to hear them over the roaring water.

Elijah glanced around, but saw nothing, but a deep penetrating blackness that seeped through his skin to his very soul. His mama had said the land would be beautiful to look at during the day, but only freemen could look at its beauty. And they weren’t freemen yet. He reached back and rubbed his shoulder. He could still feel each sharp sting, each burning gash from the whip. He had fought hard to keep breathing after the beating, but at least it finally gave his mama courage to leave. And now after jumping from house to house, secret wagon hole to wagon hole they were here, on Suspension Bridge.

The man in the black coat and wide hat turned to look at him; a smirk crossed his face, making the scar on his cheek stand out. “African bullfrogs?”

“I sorry, sir.”

He turned back and chuckled. “She never did that, but she did feed me monkeys.”

Elijah swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in a painful jump. “Monkeys like us.”

A sigh escaped from the man’s lips. “No real monkeys.”


They had been walking for hours. His young legs hurt and all he could do was stare at that man. Who was he? Didn’t he realize his owners would shoot him dead if caught? They all be dead, like Uncle Tom. Elijah patted the leather bag he carried, feeling the hard body of the book. First thing he going to do was learn words and read that book. Hopefully, the master hadn’t noticed it missing yet.

“Why he do this?” Elijah whispered to his brother.

“Sh.” His mother slapped his shoulder.

He best listen to her. Her eyes could tear him up worse than that foreman did.

Up ahead a thick blackness awaited them. A yawn escaped his lips - every inch of him wanted to stop and lay down in a soft bale of hay. Maybe soon. Moses stopped and looked at the ground, lowering the lantern, revealing: Earth. Dirt. Ground. Elijah spun around, looking at the long blackness behind him. No bounty hunter emerged. Had they made it?

His mother fell to the ground, digging her fingers through it as tears slipped down her face. “Thank you Lord.” She raised her hands to the air and let the dirt fall down. Freedom. No white man could bring them back now.

Esau ran across the board and jumped up and down on the solid earth. A land called Canada.

Elijah looked at the ground reflected in the light, rubbing the tips of his fingers together. This was it. All he had to do was take one step and he would touch freedom. It was so near, but why did his feet not want to move? He turned to look around. Surely there was a bounty hunter after them. And surely he would catch them soon. Negro boys like him weren’t supposed to be their own men. The bull-frog man turned and looked at him, coming back with his head bent to the side. The man stopped in front of him and put a hand on his shoulder, looking into his eyes. Elijah’s mouth dropped open. He had such rich blue eyes like a robin’s eggs.

“This is why I help, young man.” He knelt so they were eye level. “I want you to know something. The freedom you are about to find will be temporary.”

The boy knit his brows. “Temporary?” He was right. Did he know how close the bounty hunter was?

“Yes, someday you will abandon this earth and leave it behind. My hope is that you will reach for a freedom that is everlasting.” He pointed at Elijah’s chest. “One that no man can take, because it comes from the Lord.”

Tears welled in his eyes as the man held out his hand, and let him clasp it. Ain’t no white man ever held out his hand to him. Elijah took a deep breath and one step off the bridge. The ground was solid like all other ground, but there was something different about this ground. He half expected it to shake, but it remained still. This ground meant no more whips. No more overseers with steel cold eyes. Elijah looked up at the white man’s rich blue eyes as the heaviness he had carried his short life lifted from him and was replaced with a pure lightness.

If earthly freedom could taste this sweet, he wanted to make sure he tasted heavenly freedom. A laugh escaped from his lips. “Mister, tell me more.”

Buy her books here:

About Josie:

J.M. Downey  is the christian romance author of A Time to Say Goodbye, The Secret Son and Bonds of Tradition. She has master’s degree in English From East Carolina University, and currently works for a premier test scoring company. She is the mother of a precocious six-year-old girl, who enjoys bugs, snakes and superman.  She enjoys southern cooking, reading and exploring emerging technology, but is best defined by her devotion to her faith and the empowerment of women in the modern world.

Connect with her here:
Author page

Josie is giving away a copy of  A Time to Overcome. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Carol Q. said...

This book sounds great please enter me, thank you

Michelle Hamilton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Hamilton said...

Can't wait to read

Amy C said...

Sounds like a great book!
Thank you.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

I've always been interested in the Underground Railroad. Looking forward to reading this one!


Boos Mum said...

This book sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Jackie McNutt said...

Thank you for featuring A Time To Overcome. It looks like a very interesting story and I am looking forward to reading it.

Jackie McNutt said...

Thank you for featuring A Time To Overcome. It looks like a very interesting story and I am looking forward to reading it.

Camila F said...

Sounds like another good read Josie. Hope to be joining you ladies this coming book club meeting at Crossroads. May God bless you with great success in your writing career and ministry through your stories.
Camille F.

Anonymous said...

:) mandn(at)wisper(dash)wireless(dot)com

barbara LaChance said...

Hi Josie. Glad to see you are doing as a writer. Love the picture of you and Michelle. It was great to see my granddaughter. as this is the only way I can see her.
Love mom

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