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Clean Soups By Rebecca Katz with Mat Ederson REVIEWED

Clean Soups
By Rebecca Katz with Mat Ederson
Photo: Eva Kolenko
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN# 978-03995782050
160 pages HB

BACK COVER: 
From bestselling author Rebecca Katz comes this collection of 60 recipes for pure, cleansing soups intended to renew and restore.

Soup has a unique ability to nourish and heal the body. In Clean Soups, author Rebecca Katz shows you how to use wholesome stocks and soups to naturally detox and stay energized year-round. She also explains the building blocks for creating deliciously balanced soups, such as Moroccan carrot soup, kale soup with coconut and lime, and simplest chicken pho. With foundational broths, blended soups, and traditional healing soups, as well as a two-day cleanse, Clean Soups shows how one simple bowl can make a huge difference in how you feel.

REVIEW: Growing up Rebecca intently watched in wonder as her Grandmother and mother prepared and made soup. She says, “The soups they made were magic. I always felt better after having a cup or bowl, and I knew instinctively that the soup had the power to heal.

Rebecca continues,.…”throughout my 20 years culinary consulting and cooking corner in the food-as-medicine movement. I’ve been, first and foremost, a soup-maker.” (Her soup mentor was Chef Rich LaMarita of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary arts)

I liked what she said about soup, “Eating soup is a way to hit the body’s reset button, to allow internal organs devoted to detoxification the rest and nutrients necessary to successfully do their job. …:”Soup, after all, is life distilled into a bowl. Unlike juicing, nothing is lost in the stockpot; indeed, just the opposite takes place. The heat of the pot slowly breaks down nutrients to a more digestible state, simultaneously releasing outrageous flavors that create heady aromas that magnetically draw us to the broth.”

“After the introduction the author starts out with the soup tool kit. She says, “What you need for soup success is a plan that minimizes stress and maximizes your pleasure in the kitchen …She goes on to say, “That’s where this chapter comes in. I start with the basics, including a complete list of the equipment you’ll need. I’ll also show you how to stock your pantry, which is a huge time-saver.”

The author continues, ”I’ll show you how all of the soups in this book follow a template – the dance steps; if you will, that each soup tangos to as it winds its way from water to wonderment. Once you pick up the moves – and believe me, they’re easier than you think – you’ll be on your way to being a master soup-maker in no time.”

I felt there was hope for me to make amazing soups after reading these words by the author. She also has a foolproof way of course-correcting any soup using just 4 basic pantry staples. It’s called FASS – fat, acid, salt and sweet – and she says, “I absolutely guarantee that it will maximize the flavor of any soup you make.” – I’m excited about this too!

This book is beautifully illustrated with colorful pictures of the many recipes that I want to try. Some of them are: Magic mineral broth, Chicken Magic Mineral broth
Immune broth, Roasted curry sweet potato soup, Summer zucchini soup with basil
Spiced butternut squash soup with cardamom and ginger, Spring time asparagus and leek soup, Silk road pumpkin soup, Caramelized fennel and chickpea soup with saffron
Caramelized onion soup with Pastured beef bone broth, Cuban Black Bean Soup
Nana’s chicken soup with Zucchini noodles, Mini meatballs in broth. Parsnip chips.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Netgalley sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org  
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

I LOVE YOU JUST BECAUSE REVIEWED


I Love you Just Because
By Donna Keith
Illustrated by Alison Edgson
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718088538
20 pages Boardbook

Book Blurb: The third book in this adorable series, I Love You Just Because is the perfect way to show kids that their parents love them just because.

With sales of nearly 75,000 copies for the first two I Love You . . . books, this third addition uses sweet, playful art to depict family dynamics that are grounded in unconditional love.

Through adorable, cuddly art and fun rhyming text, I Love You Just Because will help little ones understand their parents' love for them and that it doesn't have to be earned. With playful artwork and the same friendly bear family you already know and love from Donna Keith's first two books—I Love You All the Same and I Love You Even When—the sweet story of this book will touch you and your family and will remind you that family members love each other...just because.

Parents will gravitate toward the felt need and fun messaging of this book as it seeks to help them explain to their little ones that they are truly loved just because.

REVIEW: This is a precious book you’ll enjoy reading with your kids and/or grandkids over and over again. The pictures are adorable, colorful and fun. The book starts out with the mother bear waking up her cub. It ends with Mother and Father Bear putting them to sleep. The middle illustrates daily activities. The message of unconditional love shines through its beautifully illustrated pages. Each page has a scripture reference to ponder.

The author has several different colored bears throughout the story. Showing no matter who you are or what you look like you are loved. I like how it ends “At bedtime, Panda, Brown and Polar bear hear their Papa say a prayer of thanks to God for all the blessings of the day. He thanks God for the joy each cub brings to this family. And just how special God has made each of their cubs to be.” Scripture for that page is  “Children are a gift from the Lord. “ Psalm 127:3

This is a visually beautiful story brought to life with pictures, an encouraging message and uplifting scripture references. It’s a win win for everyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook for bloggers sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

BROTH AND STOCK by JENNIFER McGRUTHER REVIEWED

Broth and Stock
By Jennifer McGruther
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN#978-1-60774-931-8
183 Pages

Back Cover: Broths and stocks have always had a central place in kitchens around the world owing to their ability to comfort, nourish, and heal. In Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen and an authority in the traditional foods movement, illustrates why a good broth or stock is the foundation of amazing and wholesome cooking. Included are over a dozen master recipes for base stocks and then 40 recipes using these stocks in complete meals. These accessible recipes are appropriate for vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat eaters alike and showcase the nutrient-dense, real food that nourishes the body and soul. The Whole Chicken Broth is the perfect base for Springtime Risotto with Asparagus, Green Garlic, and Chive Blossoms, while the recipe for Fish Stock will bring new life to a classic dish like New England Clam Chowder. People are catching on to this century’s old appreciation of bone and vegetable based broths, and Jennifer McGruther shows how these can be made quickly and cost-effectively at home.

REVIEWThere is a wealth of helpful information inside this book with all the beautiful color photos that make me want to try all the recipes. There are lots of bonuses in making your own broth. The author says “Making broth is an experience of delayed gratification…Broth is not the stuff of quick and easy thirty minute meals, so plan accordingly…good food takes good time.”

She continues, “With few exceptions, making broths and stocks is wonderfully simple. If you can boil water, you can make a good broth.” (Hooray there is hope for me.) She goes on to say, “It’s inexpensive to make, broths, and stocks are powerfully nutritious cost – effective food. You can purchase bones straight from ranches, farmers, and butchers at a fraction of the cost of prime cuts of meat, while the spent frames of roasted chickens and turkeys coupled with vegetable scraps make a broth that costs little to cook at home.” It’s a win, win situation! I love that.

The author starts the book out by giving the history behind making broth that I found very interesting. Some of the other things she touches on in the book are the differences between broth, stock and bone broth. I like how she explains this. It was very helpful.

She tells readers where to find bones for stocks and bone broth. The equipment you’ll need to make the broths and the different methods you can use in making broths and stocks. She goes through freezing and pressure canning the soup you’ve made. Then there are the yummy recipes she has that use the broths and stocks you’ve just made.

Some of the recipes that I want to try are Dashi – a traditional base for soups in Japan, Sea vegetable broth, Chicken scrap broth, Schmaltz mashed potatoes with gravy with black pepper and fresh thyme, Chicken Soup with parmesan, Rice peas and lemon white bean and bacon soup, Pink Shrimp Chowder, Salmon, Celery and potato chowder with Dulse, New England Clam Chowder, and Irish Vegetable soup, Potato Onion Gratin and an interesting section on Why chose Alaskan Wild-caught Salmon for your soup.

The recipes have easy to find ingredients. The author talks about the soup the reader might make before she starts giving direction. She includes the serving size for each recipe. This book is helpful in giving readers knowledge on the health benefits of broth and how it can be used in so many dishes. I can’t wait to dig into making the recipes inside.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for books sight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

THE ALLIANCE by JOLINA PETERSHEIM REVIEWED


THE ALLIANCE
By Jolina Petersheim
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-49674-1399-4
365 Pages

BACK COVER: When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won't start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they're willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

REVIEW: I was hooked from page one when Leora desperately seeks help from her community to save a man trapped in a small plane as it burst into flames. It was fascinating and scary to read how this situation might play out inside the Amish/Mennonite community and out. I appreciated how this author had readers see everyone’s faith be tested and how the outside community might react. I was surprised there was a mystery to solve in the middle of the suspense and drama as the end of “life” as everyone knew it was over.

This is a sobering look at an all too real crisis situation. One thing the other books I’ve read about on this topic had in common was the fact they mention the Amish community and how it would not be affected by an EMP- Electronic Magnetic Pulse. The pulse would wipe out all technology which they don’t use. This is a unique look at the disaster from within the Amish/Mennonite community.

A plane drops out of the sky and lands in an Amish community’s empty field. Leora and others help the pilot; an Englisher survive. No one knows what’s going on and why Englishers’ cars have stopped running.

Moses (the Englisher) knows exactly what’s up. When he’s physically able he speaks to the Mennonite council. He tells them, “Life as we knew it might be extinct. Honestly this is way beyond all of us…what I see is this: the cities will get hit hardest first. Food will run out in the grocery stores in a day or two, and there’ll be looting and crime almost instantly. Most Americans are so reliant on fast food or stopping at the Supermarket after work…when food runs out… then the exodus out of the city will begin…”

The council says to Moses, “We will not fight these – locusts, as you call them…fighting back is not our way and is certainly not Gott’s way. Our people have been practicing nonresistance since the 1600’s…If these strangers come as you say they will… we will be like Christ, we will love one another…””If that is a problem, anyone is free to leave at any time.”

There’s the rub Moses has been in combat, has seen the locusts up-close and personal. Matters can get pretty ugly and deadly real quick. He knew the danger. He wasn’t going to sit by and watch this community be demolished. They had no idea what was instore! He continues, “If I’m right, it’s a huge benefit that everyone will be prepared when things really get tough…if, I’m wrong – and I doubt that I am, but if I am wrong – what’s the problem with running people through a drill of worst-case scenarios?”

I enjoyed how this author unfolds the situation. I also liked that it was written from the POV of an Englisher – Moses – x-military, suffered from PSTD and someone who walked away from his faith and through the POV of a young nineteen year old Mennonite girl named Leora. Leora has cared for her siblings since their father disappeared and her mother died. She is an independent woman with a strong faith that is tested to the max.

Unexpected complications arise for this young lady as her feelings for the Englisher grow strong and Jabil a young Mennonite boy who’s had feelings for her for years; notices that attraction. He’s wanted to court Leora and is sad she doesn’t feel for him what he’s noticed she feels for this outsider. She told him they were friends, good friends, he was a safe man, not someone she’d love that way. Was Leora wrong to hold out for true love? Both Leora and Moses and Jabil agree this is not a time for romance. Leora is passionate about her view on love. She says, …”I’d rather die knowing there is a possibility of love than live in safety without it.”

I liked how these characters evolved as they faced new challenges, tough issues and choices that had to be made. This is a scenario everyone needs to learn about so they can be prepared. Many in our country are making plans to survive an EMP even now. .

The author ended the novel on a hopeful note and in such a way that left it open for a sequel. This would make a great read and/or book club pick. There are twelve discussion questions to help ignite a lively discussion for your book club meeting. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last. Add it to your summer reading list. This is a must read!

ABOUT AUTHOR: JOLINA PETERSHEIM is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. Her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications such as Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, and Today's Christian Woman. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Follow Jolina and her blog at jolinapetersheim.com. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network; Tyndale publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

LOVE FINDS YOU IN VALENTINE AVAILABLE on DVD TODAY!

LOVE FINDS YOU IN VALENTINE MOVIE
Anchor Bay Entertainment
DVD Release June 7th

Based on a novel by the same name written by Irene Brand

REVIEW: The setting of this movie is Valentine, Nebraska. Most of the movie is shot on a huge ranch. The cinematography was amazing. The Main character Kennedy Blaine inherits a working ranch after her father passes. The only stipulation in the will was that Kennedy had to go to the ranch before she sold it. Kennedy had heard her parents talk fondly of the ranch they referred to as home.

Kennedy puts her plans to take the bar exam on hold and heads to Valentine the place her parents ran away from in order to get married. They never returned. Kennedy is very surprised at what she finds and understands why her parents called this place home. Being in Valentine makes her more determined to reconnect with family. First on her list to see is her grandfather, Gabriel Morgan. She wanted to know why he never reached out to her or her family. There were no calls, letters! Nothing! Why?

Sparks fly; not in a good way when Kennedy and Derek Sterling meet. He thinks she is trespassing and doesn’t feel any better about her when she tells him that she was thinking of selling the place. Derek loved the ranch he didn’t understand why she’d want to sell it. She says it’s because it’s losing money. He shows her evidence that will prove him right! Kennedy is getting conflicting information about the profits and loss for the past four years. She’s going to investigate this.



While she does that Derek’s past catches up with him and threatens to destroy everything he’s worked hard for and holds dear to his heart! Will Kennedy get the answers she’s searching for? Will she find peace, love and family in Valentine? This is a story of forgiveness and new beginnings!

This is a beautiful, engaging film that’s well shot and acted. It was an added bonus to see Lindsay Wagner (“Bionic Woman”) and Ed Asner (Up, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”). It’s a family the whole family can watch!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

KILL DEVIL by MIKE DELLOSSO REVIEWED


Kill Devil
By Mike Dellosso
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-0822-8
376 Pages

BACK COVER: Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe—new names, new location, and new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.

Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust—including his own senses.

REVIEW: I was instantly caught up into this fast paced mind-bending story. With the lead character I felt was similar to Jason Bourne except for the fact that this trained sniper, Jed Patrick has a wife Karen and an eight year old daughter named Lilly!

This is book two in the series. The first book was titled Centralia. I didn’t feel lost having only read book two. I liked how the faith element was naturally woven into this fast paced psychological thriller. The story unfolds as Jed goes into a convenient store he’s visited before and feels something odd. The clerk strikes up small talk and Jed notices a man reading the back of a cereal box.

Strange; the clerk has never talked to him before. A bearded man starts to stare at Jed. “He leaves the store with a bad feeling in his gut. Was he being paranoid or was something sinister going on? Had they been found? He went through the event, what was out of the ordinary? “A bearded forty something checking the label of a box of cereal at a convenient store was out of the ordinary…Something was wrong. Prickles danced on the back of Jed’s neck. His heart rate quickened. He drew in a deep breath. It could be nothing.” He hurried home. The door to their cabin was open. He pulled out his gun and slowly entered”

I cared for Jed and his family. Jed was a clever, capable, God fearing intelligent man who was a trained sniper, special ops guy willing to do what it takes to keep his family safe and gain control of his mind. Jed tries to sort out a never ending web of lies he’s been told. What was true? “He couldn’t trust his head – the implant had him hearing voices and hallucinations bombarding him.”

I liked how this author naturally wove a faith message into the action! Lilly is an eight year old mature little girl; she tells Jed, “have faith daddy.”

He tells his wife Karen, “Faith isn’t about your feelings or even your senses; it’s about the actions you take in light of what you know to be true. Putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward.” I’ve seen Lilly model this for me.”

What made the story fun and more dramatic for me was the character Tiffany Stockton who’s a single gal grieving the loss of her dad. She was going through her father’s things and discovered a thumb drive that is encrypted. She embarks on a mission to break the code. What she uncovers is unimaginable dangers material.

“Tiffany had to do something…she couldn’t just sit on this information and be yet another government Ostrich. Her dad used to tell her all the time that evil flourished when good men - and woman, he would add - did nothing. And he was a good man. He did something.” “She confides in Jack her dads close friend. He can’t believe what she found. He tells her they can trust no one.”

 Tiffany and Jack’s lives are turned upside down as they try to make sense of this deadly information that’s fallen into their laps and what their next step will be.

This was a fast paced, crazy, fun read I couldn’t put down. I think this would make a great book for a book club discussion and a great escape for summer reading. I look forward to reading the third book in the series.


ABOUT AUTHOR: MIKE DELLOSSO was born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He is a regular columnist for AVirtuousWoman.org, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed websites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and FaithWriters, and plans to join International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network site and Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

CHAPEL SPRINGS REVIEWED


CHAPEL SPRINGS SURVIVAL
By Ane Mulligan
Published by Lighthouse Publishing
ISBN#978-1-941103-58-6
272 Pages

BACK COVER: A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art ~ how on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive?

With the success of her Operation Marriage Revival, life is good for Claire Bennett. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son, Wes, has married a Brazilian mail order bride — one who is eight years older than him. When Claire tries to welcome her new daughter-in-law, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus. Will Claire and her family survive her son's marriage?

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Along with her new marriage, she has a dream to expand her business by adding guest rooms. Things are going according to plan. That is, until her groom's adult son moves in on everything. Will her dream survive her stepson?

From the first sighting of a country music star in Claire's gallery, The Painted Loon, to the visit of a Hollywood diva, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing lifelong residents to flee the area. When her best friends, Patsy and Nathan, put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she's got. With her son's future at stake and the town looking to her to solve their problems, it's Claire who needs a guardian angel.

REVIEW: In Chapel Springs Revival the author introduces readers to a fun loving, colorful cast of characters that make up this sweet town; they also appear in this second novel where I fell in love with Chapel Springs as everyone is trying to protect the integrity of their beloved little town.

There’s trouble brewing in their small city. Some want a large hotel built in Chapel Springs. On the one hand this would bring lots of people to the town which would infuse it with money; on the other hand it might run current residents off because of the crowd. Their town was like Mayberry. Can you imagine any of that cast moving out of the town? Either could Claire and her friends they say. “…This would destroy the feel of Chapel Springs, y’all. Right now, we’re Mayberry, USA. Mitford. That’s what people love about Chapel Springs…” That’s what I loved too! They all fought hard to keep the “heart” and integrity of Chapel Springs.

In the middle of meetings and protests Clair gets unimaginable news from her nineteen year old son; he’s married a woman he met on-line. A mail-order bride? Was this really happening? Her son’s bride’s name is Costy and she’s Brazilian. This rocks her world.

Lydia and Graham are newlyweds embarking on a new adventure. All goes well until Graham’s son moves in for a while. Lydia sees another side of Kenny that concerns her. How can she express what she sees in Kenny and Graham’s relationship and how it’s affecting their marriage?

I enjoyed hanging out with these characters and felt like the town took on a personality of its own in this installment. I liked how the community has matured and grown from the first book. Readers will be surprised at the twists and turns; I know a few I didn’t see coming.

This author has included ten discussion questions and two yummy looking recipes that will help enhance your book club experience. Sweet potatoes in orange halves and Avocado Potato salad. Be prepared for pure fun ahead! Great book to add to your summer reading list.

ABOUT AUTHOR: ANE MULLIGANWhile a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). 

Ane firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Her passion when she isn't writing her Southern-fried Fiction, is Community Theatre. She's president of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, an avocational theatre group, where she and her husband act, direct, build sets, and are chief gofors.

President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion.

You can find Ane on her website/blog: http://www.anemulligan.com . If you'd like to see a map of Chapel Springs showing you where all the characters live, visit http://www.anemulligan.com/p/books.html

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network site, Lighthouse Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

ANE MULLIGAN UP-CLOSE and GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY

BOOK #2

 ABOUT AUTHOR: ANE MULLIGANWhile a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). 
First book














Ane firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Her passion when she isn't writing her Southern-fried Fiction, is Community Theatre. She's president of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, an avocational theatre group, where she and her husband act, direct, build sets, and are chief gofors.

President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion.

You can find Ane on her website/blog: http://www.anemulligan.com . If you'd like to see a map of Chapel Springs showing you where all the characters live, visit http://www.anemulligan.com/p/books.html




What do you hope readers see and/or take away from the second book in your series Chapel Springs Survival? 
ANE: Scripture tells us that love covers a multitude of sin. In Chapel Springs Survival that plays out in two distinct ways; one with Claire’s new daughter-in-law and the other with Claire’s husband, Joel. Of course sometimes, loving calls for sacrifice.

One of my endorsers, Barbara Davis, author of Summer at Hideaway Key said of Chapel Springs Survival, “...proving in the end nothing is impossible when we hold tight to faith and keep our hearts open.”

Nora: Amen! Amen!
Zully & Michael's Wedding Day
Can you tell readers how you got the idea for this second book?
CLAN'S 5th BD LAST MONTH
ANE: I’ll never forget it. The day started out normal, boring even. Then I got a phone call from our eldest son.

"Hey, Mom. I emailed you some pictures. Take a look and call me back."

Click.

He hung up. Without even asking how I was. I ran to my computer.

I opened his email, and the first photo was of a nice looking but definitely foreign young woman. I clicked on the second photo. She was wearing a wedding dress.

I hit speed dial.
Left to RT Grandson's Javier & Juan, Zully's Dad, then sister, Zully then her Mom and Michael In front Clan

Our Michael, a widower with two young children, had gotten himself a 21st Century mail order bride. He met her in a chat room for women in Columbia, South America, to meet and marry American men. They communicated for a year before he flew to Columbia and married her.

Without us knowing anything.

He came back and spent the next year trying to get her into the U.S. legally.

Did I mention it was without us knowing anything?

He didn't tell us until she got here. Our two grandchildren knew. His brother knew. But we didn't. Do you remember that old margarine commercial, where the woman said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature” and zapped someone? I told him for not telling me, it was going in a book. And it did.

Nora: I've enjoyed hearing this story. It's been a blessing to see their family grow. I love how you worked this into your novel. It was just pure fun to read!

What was your favorite scene to write? Why? What was the hardest scene for you to write? Why?

ANE: That would be when Claire got arrested. I almost felt sorry for Sheriff Jim Bob Taylor and his deputy, Farley. Actually, this whole book was fun to write.

There wasn’t any one scene that was hard to write. However, Claire’s son Wes doesn’t see how his wife is treating Claire. That drove me nuts! I wanted to slap that boy upside his head. Me and several other characters. But that’s what love will do to you. It can hide a multitude of sins.

Nora: OhMyGosh Ane! I laughed so hard! I couldn't believe Clair's luck! LOL!




HOME TO CHAPEL SPRINGS (Book #3)



What did you want to explore in the third book Home to Chapel Springs? Show readers?

ANE: When I finished Chapel Springs Survival, I asked the Lord, “What’s next?” I heard Him whisper to my heart, “Your story. It’s time.”

I found my birth sisters in 2009 and they welcomed me with open arms and open hearts. Your readers can read the whole story on my website under the tab My Adoption Story. We have had many visits back and forth and I love them dearly.  

But not every reunion story is like mine. Some are fraught with rejection and fear. I wanted to explore that and try to understand it. So this story, while based on mine own, is far different.

Nora: I remember praying for you as you flew up to meet your sisters. I was excited and scared for you. I was to see the pictures and hear about your special times with your sisters!! What a major blessing for you and your siblings!! I can't wait to see how you worked this story into your third novel!

You talk about adoption in this third book; why is this topic so near and dear to your heart? Can you share some of your testimony on this topic?


ANE: I was adopted as a baby. I never felt rejected, though. God placed me in a loving family, who always told me I was a chosen baby. I was loved and had an idyllic childhood.

Even so, I always wanted to know my birth family. Shortly before my adoptive mother went home to Jesus, Daddy sent me my adoption record. I now knew my mother’s name. I didn’t do anything for a while, but in time, I decided to search for my mother. With a name like Elsie Vauna Mullvain, it wasn’t hard to find her.

I hope your readers will take time to go to my website and read the whole story there. Just go to www.anemulligan.com and click the tab My Adoption Story.

Nora: This is powerful!

What do you hope readers take away from this third novel?

ANE: God is faithful with our dreams. He’s the dream keeper. No matter what your dream is, if it bring God glory and you seek Him first, He keeps the dream safe and in His time, He will grant you the desires of your heart.

In 1999, when I found my birth mother, she didn’t want a relationship. I understood and honored that. By then, I had discovered I had sisters, and I wanted so badly to know them but had no way of finding them. I didn’t have their names and I knew they’d surely be married, further complicating things.

So I gave it to God and went on with my life. Still, the yearning remained. And when the time was right, God stepped in and connected us. It was ten years later.

Nora: Wow!

What was the hardest scene to write? What scene did you have a blast writing? Why?

ANE: The hardest was probably the scene where Claire and Joel try to find the theater ghost. I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be. They first had to figure out how the theater could be entered. What I discovered really surprised me. And no, I won’t say what it was. Everyone will have to read it to discover it for themselves. *wink*

I didn’t have time to have any hard scenes in this book. I was on a tight deadline and didn’t have time to consider “hard.” But I can tell you what gave me fits.

I have a difficult time being mean to my characters. I created them and love them. I’ve spent months getting to know them and they’ve become dear friends. However, for a novel to be good, you need conflict.

When I sent the first couple of chapters to my critique partner Gina Holmes, she emailed me back and said, “Yawn. Who cares?”

“But her husband…”

“Not enough. You’ve got to strip her of everything.”

I realized Gina was right. So I got tough and dismantled Carin Jardine’s life—and nearly destroyed Claire’s family.

I’m still not sure if Claire has forgiven me. 

Nora: One of your questions below is would I go with Claire to see if there was a ghost in the theater. I think I'd need more people to go with me maybe 10 or so! Just the two of us NO WAY! Grin!


THANKS ANE for stopping in and helping us get to know you and for giving us a peek at the back story to your books. Thanks also for Giving Away ONE Signed copy of a book of yours!
Ane is Giving Away (1) Signed copy of this boo
LAST DAY TO ENTER DRAWING IS MAY 22nd
ENTER DRAWING TODAY!! 

If you are in the ATLANTA AREA ANE MULLIGAN will be doing a book signing on MAY 21st at SUGAR HILL BAKERY from 11-1p.m.

ANSWER ONE Of the QUESTIONS BELOW to ENTER THE DRAWING


1. What would your first reaction be is you suddenly learned you had siblings you never knew about?

2. Birth order plays into Home to Chapel Springs. What is your birth order?


3. The theater in Chapel Springs is rumored to be haunted. Would you investigate it?

PLEASE REMEMBER TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you if your name is drawn!

Here is the Link to my review http://psalm516.blogspot.com/2016/05/chapel-springs-reviewed.html 


Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

TESSA AFSHAR MUST READ LAND OF SILENCE 3 BOOK GIVEAWAY

Land of Silence
By Tessa Afshar
Tyndale Publishers
ISBN#978-1-4964-0646-0
389 Pages

Back Cover: Before Christ called her daughter . . .
Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

REVIEW: This story grabbed my heart from the beginning, “When I think of the ruin my life has become, the slow wrecking of the dreams, the destruction of every love, I always return to the bee. That one tiny sting, which robbed my place of favor in my father’s heart and changed the course of my destiny.”

Oh, wow, I was hooked. This author pens a compelling thought-provoking novel that encouraged and touched my soul. I like the author notes to readers when she shares that nothing is known about the woman with the issue of blood; but what is known was this woman was called daughter. The author states, “This was, the only time Jesus addresses a woman as daughter.” She explains the situation around this woman’s healing and how Jesus doesn’t just throw around words. The novel builds up to the moment where Jesus stops everything he is doing to ask, “Who touched me?” The people he was traveling with and the disciples thought this was a bizarre question to ask since the crowd was pressing in on every side. But Jesus knew someone was healed physically and he wanted to give them more than they were seeking.

This story is a powerful, gripping and emotional read I couldn’t put down.It reminded me of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Eilanna is like the female lead in Francine’s book. She is a woman beaten down by life’s blows and is left with nothing. Both of these women were strong, desperate for love and were willing to risk it all to get a touch of Jesus to heal their bodies and their souls.

Elianna (the woman with issue of blood) represents us and our journey in darkness, trying to make it on our own. This author brilliantly shows readers the many ways God reveals himself to us and desires to love us beyond our wildest dreams; it’s ours if we let him in our heart. He desires to heal us from the inside out. I enjoyed how this author brought scripture to life and included other bible characters into the mix to interact with Elianna. It was surprising to read about the “Jewish purity laws” and how they were in forced on daily basis. It could make a person crazy. Grin! I loved how this story naturally flowed and wasn’t preachy!

The author said that her story line revolved around a few questions I hadn’t given much thought to. The first was, “Why would Jesus delay an urgent procession to save the life of a little girl in order to find out who had touched him? The second was, “Why would he take time, they did not have to call a destitute woman daughter?” This writer pulls out all the stops as she delves into the answers to these questions and gives the reader a profound look at the heart of Jesus.

I was fascinated by the role women played in society back then. I grew to deeply care for Eilanna as she searched for answers. This young lady who was forever changed by a chain of events that were out of her control to fix. Heart sick and desperate to be healed of a sickness that plagued her body and shaped her life. What a remarkable journey!

There are twelve discussion questions to enhance your book club experience. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, it won’t be the last. This is an amazing story that would be great for your book club. I highly recommend this novel to everyone. It’s a must read. 


2014


ABOUT AUTHOR: TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category and World Magazine chose Harvest of Rubies as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel, Harvest of Gold was nominated for the 2014 Christy Award. Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fifteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.



ICRS 2014
THANKS Tesss for the interview that will be featured in Book Fun Magazine next month. So, Excited you are on the front cover!


Thanks to Tyndale for the THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY. 


QUESTIONS FOR READERS: (Must answer one to be entered into drawing)

MAKE SURE you leave your EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you if your name is drawn.

1. Have any of you read other books by this author? If so, which ones touched your heart? Brought scripture to life? Just enjoyed!

2. What do you look forward to about reading biblical fiction?

3. What do you look out for while you are reading this type of story?


4. If you’ve read about the woman with the issue of blood that Jesus heals, what stands out to you about that story in the bible? 

BONUS ENTRY Head on over to Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com  

Let me know if an article catches your eye. If so, 
give me the page number for your extra bonus.

TELL ME of an AD in the Magazine that catches your eye and why you liked it for another BONUS!


CONTEST ENDED MAY 21st
NAMES DRAWN BELOW
Lucy Reynolds
Shayla Logan

Rachel Stark 

CHECK OUT TESSA'S Up-Close and Personal interview in the JUNE Issue of Book Fun Magazine. www.bookfunmagazine.com 

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

Sponsored by Tyndale Publishers #ad#contest

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and Tyndale Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”