BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

SAFE HARBOR GIVEAWAY ENTER TODAY



DRAWING STARTS TODAY
JULY 21st
LAST DAY ENTER JULY 31st

BOOK BLURB: In two days, wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, will wed a man she loathes. She would refuse this arranged marriage to Lyman Millard, but the Bible clearly says she is to honor her parents, and Anna would do most anything to please her father--even leaving her teaching job at a mission school and marrying a man she doesn't love. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, and Anna and her family escape with only the clothes on their backs and the wedding postponed. Father moves the family to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Anna reconnects with Rory Quinn, a handsome immigrant who worked at the mission school. Realizing she is in love with Rory, Anna prepares to break the marriage arrangement with Lyman until she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Raised in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Pamela has published articles in Today's Christian Woman, Christian Computing Magazine, Victory in Grace Magazine, Ancestry Magazine, Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Ezine, and the ACFW Ezine, Afictionado. Her true story, Like Son, Like Father, appeared in His Forever (Adams Media). She has served as a sign language interpreter for her church and is a leader of a women's Bible study group. 

Her author tagline, "Take a Sentimental Journey" describes her stories, both contemporary and historical, as most are centered in small Wisconsin towns.

Her books include Thyme for Love, a contemporary mystery-romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, What Lies Ahead, a novella in The Bucket List Dare anthology, and Second Chance Love, a romance set at a rodeo in downstate Illinois. Just out is If These Walls Could Talk, a novella in Coming Home, A Tiny House Collection. Coming in June, Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (a reissue of LFY in Lake Geneva, WI). 

Pam now resides in Illinois with her two rescue cats. She's not too far from her native Wisconsin, where you will often see her nosing around for more story ideas.


MUST ASK ONE QUESTION
TO BE ENTERED INTO DRAWING
(Best Way to Thank an Author for a book is to do a review)

1. Do you read reviews? If you do what do you look for? If you don't read reviews how to you choose the next book you want to read?

2. If you read reviews where do you go to read them? Why do you read them there?

3. Pam says, "Safe Refuge is set in my hometown of Lake Geneva which has a rich history. Do you have a favorite place that is rich in history? Tell us about it."


If you have any question please feel free to contact me nora@bookfunmagazine.com 



Nora St.Laurent
#AD Contest Sponsored by Author/Publisher

GET TO KNOW RON SMORYNSKI - ENTER DRAWING (1) PB COPY OF ALFRED



GIVEAWAY EVENT STARTS JULY 21st and ENDS JULY 31st

ENTER TODAY!

BACK COVER: Do you love the Harry Potter stories but want more oomph and action? Do you love Lord of the Rings but want faster pacing and kid-centered storylines? Well look no further. Aflred the Boy King series offers just that. It's about kids in an adventurous fantasy world, in epic battles, and learning about noble causes. Ron, the author, has been in Hollywood working in the industry for many years as a CG animator. Being in love with story and seeing wonderful works of fantasy come out, there was something missing for this storyteller. Ron decided to write a story he loved telling to his young daughters. An epic story about a computer-game playing boy being magically transported into a scary fantasy world. A grim realm in need of a hero. Kids will love reading this. Adults will love reading this, but more importantly, dads reading to their daughters, moms reading to their sons. Alfred the Boy King series will enthrall and move you, at whatever age.


MUST ANSWER ONE OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW TO BE ENTERED!

1. If you read Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and/or Narnia what did you enjoy most about these books?

2. Do you read YA novels? IF so what do you enjoy most about them? If not, what do you read?

3. Ron Smorynski is a creative man, not only is he an animator, an author but he also home-school's his daughters. Any homeschooling's out there? If so, what books have you had your children read that they loved?

FOR ANOTHER CHANCE TO PUT YOUR NAME IN THE HAT FOR THIS BOOK HEAD to TBCN www.bookfun.org 

Ron is giving away Two copies of his book there.

If you have any question please feel free to contact me nora@bookfunmagazine.com

Nora St.Laurent

#AD Contest Sponsored by Author/Publisher

CARRIE STUART PARKS NEWEST THRILLER REVIEWED



Formula of Deception
By Carrie Stuart Parks
Published by Thomas Nelson
320 Pages
Release date July 3,2018

BACK COVER: An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.
After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

REVIEW:   Wow! What an amazing, nail biting story that kept me on the edge of my chair as I walked in the shoes of main character Murphy Anderson; a woman on the run from a serial killer and in a desperate search to locate her twin sister. She’s gone rogue to get the information needed in doing so she uncovers an incredible treasure and mystery from WWII that people would kill to get their hands on.

I enjoyed getting to know Kodiak, Alaska and sketch artist Murphy Anderson. This was an intriguing story I couldn’t put down. It reminded me a little of the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” As the audience thinks the story is about the war and it turns out to be something completely different.

This a suspenseful action, adventure story that did not get too graphic. I appreciate that. The author includes 8 discussion questions to help get your book club discussion going. This is a fascinating read and one that would work great as a book club pick.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLookfor Bloggers Site. 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 https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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JUMP ABOARD THIS PIRATE SHIP AND SAIL AWAY!


The Pirate Bride
By Kathleen Y. Barbo
(The Daughter of the Mayflower series)
Published by Barbour Books
ISBN# 978-1-68322-497-6
256 Pages
Release Date April 1, 2018
Tag Historical, Action Adventure, Privateer, Pirates, High Sea ships Nuns, Faith, Romance, and family

Back Cover: Can a former privateer and a determined heiress find lost treasure in 1725? A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Pasts Collide in New Orleans when a treasure goes missing. The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear.

BOOK REVIEW: I had a blast hanging out with Maribel Cordoba and Captain Beaumont. When Maribel splashed on the page and came to life with her fiercely independent thinking, her spunk, with a sense of high sea adventure, and her determination to become a crew member of a pirate ship. I had to smile and laugh out-loud at her passionate desire and confidence in dealing with these pirates.

She knew all she needed to know by reading (almost three times now) , “The Notorious Seafaring Pirates and their Exploits by Captain Ulysses Jones. When Jean-Lu Valmont meets Maribel for the first time a ship mate describes Maribel’s dilemma, “apparently the gag was deemed necessary due to the girl’s insistence on telling anyone who might listen about the books she’s read on pirating and how she knows their jobs well enough to do all of them.” Humor rose on the old man’s face as he looked at Jean…” She’s a spitfire, that one. Watch yourself near her.”

Jean-Lu Valmont is strong, handsome, a pirate commissioned by the French. He operated his ship a little differently than most pirates.  He was not cut throat and ruthless. But he would demand respect from everyone on his ship. Then he meets Maribel Cordoba in a vulnerable position and after they take the gag out of her mouth.  He says, “I am the captain of this vessel.” He looked at Maribel “As such, I regret to inform you that a woman will never be fit to join my crew.”

“And why not?” says eleven-year-old Maribel.

“I’m responsible for protecting all of you.”

“That’s ridiculous. I’ve done a fine job fending for myself.” Maribel blurts out. She’d show him and the other guys on this ship a thing or two; and she does! Grin! (I’m not going to spoil it)

There is more fun in-store for Maribel when she gets to New Orleans. There are surprises for her, Jean-Luc and the reader. This is an entertaining action-packed adventure on land and at sea. It’s a great escape; with well-developed characters I liked hanging out with. I highly recommend this as a delightful read and one that would work well for your book club experience. There is so much to discuss.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. 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 https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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THE LOVE LETTER IS AMAZING!



The Love Letter
By Rachel Hauck
Published by: Thomas Nelson
ISBN#987-0310351009
352 Pages
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Tags Clean Wholesome Romance, Hamilton, Chloe, Jesse, Revolutionary, Hollywood, Time Slip, Historical, Contemporary

Back Cover: Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.  

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

REVIEW: Outstanding! Rachel Hauck’s best novel so far. This time-slip story has it all from hero’s past and present, getting a behind the scene tour of a movie set and a peek at the creative process of making a film. Then there’s the battles that took place in South Carolina that will rip at your heart. There are characters you can cheer for, cry with and feel not only their agony but their triumphs as well!  

It was an engaging read in both time lines right from the start with actress Chole Daschle is trying to break out of being the “Queen of death scenes”. Would Hollywood ever see her as something more? She wants to break their type casting; so when Chole reads a script, she seeks to audition for she is anxious that no female characters die. The movie is Bound by Love. It's written by a new scriptwriter. She wanted the part of Esther Kingsley, a woman facing tough times during the Revolutionary War. She’s torn between being loyal to her father and/or following her heart and be with the man she loves, Hamilton Lightfoot. They learn that, “Bravery is fighting in the midst of your fear, not in absence of it.”

All the leading characters Chloe, Jesse, Esther and Hamilton face some hard truths about their life’s choices, faith, and forgiveness not only for the people they’ve hurt and/or hurt them but for themselves as well. It was refreshing to see that none of these characters were running off to get involved physically and then wonder about all the ramifications of their relationship later. Chloe had done that. Everything she rushed into died like the many roles she played.

I liked both leading lady’s loyalty and their search for true love. Chole and Esther ask themselves the question, what is real love.? What does it look like? Would their soul mate ever be found? Did it really exist?

I liked what Chole says this about marriage, “Marriage is the one place where no one can go but you and your spouse. One man. One woman. In a union that has baffled humanity since the beginning of time. It’s a treasure, something to be guarded with every part of your being…joined by God.”

I liked that they were flawed characters testing the waters of faith, church and their struggle with trusting God and His best plan for their lives. So far as they could see things weren’t adding up to be toogreat. It was down right horrific in some of the things they experienced. Many discovered that forgiving others was easier then forgiving themselves

I relished hanging out with these characters past and present. I enjoyed all the twists, turns, and surprises I experienced with them on their journey. Don’t rush through this, you’ll want to savor every word. This makes for a great book club pick. The author includes ten discussion questions to help make your book club experience lively! I highly recommend this novel for a great read and for your next book club pick. This is a keeper to be enjoyed over and over again!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. 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 https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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TAKE A FASCINATING STROLL THROUGH WOMEN'S CLOTHING as you read THE FASHION DESIGNER


The Fashion Designer
By Nancy Moser
Published By: Shiloh Run Press; Gld Edition
ISBN# 978-16832226017
320 Pages
Released Date: July 1, 2018
Tag: Patterns, Annie Moser Post Women Obligation Artist Faith Business America

Back Cover: Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.

Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.

Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

REVIEW: I enjoyed the authors note to readers as much as I enjoyed the novel. I liked hearing about her research and the treasures she found. She mentions the time period between 1912-1913 had an enormous impact on women’s fashion. The shift was made to functional and comfort. Instead of difficult and tight fitting. There is a sad but hilarious scene where Henrietta gets stuck in her high fashion dress because she had no one to help her undo the buttons in the back of her dress. I often wondered why they needed maids to help them dress and undress. That scene says it all! Grin!

Annie is inspired to bring pretty, and comfortable creations to life for the working woman. She wanted clothes that woman could breathe and be free in. She called it “fashion for the unruffled, unveiled, and the unstoppable woman.”

I was swept up in the excitement of these young ladies coming up with ideas for the clothes and watch them set up their store in New York fashion district. It was an intriguing look into the fashion world back then. What they had to go through to have women change and how they set up a retail store with different size dresses. It was unique for that time when dresses were made to order. Lane Bryant was in the novel. I liked hearing about the interesting facts behind Annie meeting her. I learned fascinating facts about Lane Bryant too that made me smile.

I enjoyed all the ladies in the story, how they got along, how they created and how they dealt with family and loved ones.

I enjoyed the natural organic spiritual thread running throughout the story. Each lady is dealing with something and are willing face hard issues and grow. I like how they explain things to one another and encourage each other to pray and hear from God. This is just one example:

“Life is a grand puzzle, with pieces interlocking, pieces elusive, pieces missing. But in the end, God puts it all together and we see the full picture.”

This is book two in a series. The first book is called The Pattern Artist. It reads as a standalone. I look forward to the Pins Promise in an Anthology Christmas Stitches: novella. Where some of the characters in the book will appear.

The author includes 23 discussion questions and fun pictures at the end of the book that can be used at your meeting. I highly recommend this book for a fun, intriguing read and/or for your next book club pick.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the 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 https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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I'M BLOWN AWAY BY WHERE HOPE BEGINS by CATHERINE WEST



Where Hope Begins
By Catherine West
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Release Date May 22, 2018
ISBN#978-0785217435
368 Pages 
Tag: Christian Fiction, Divorce, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Suicide, Second Chances, Loss, Marriage, Emotional, Death, Faith, New Beginnings, Heart

BACK COVER: Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

REVIEW: I was hooked from the first line, “My husband is leaving me.”

Divorce is not an easy topic to discuss. It’s a death of main character Savannah’s dream that affects all family members and those she’s in relationship with. I liked her transparency, vulnerability and her struggle to do the right thing. Her question was,” What is the right thing?”

Catherine explores this topic with a keen sensitivity to the pain of living with anger, regrets, poor choices, and broken relationships; including the one they all had with God. I was blown away by this gifted storyteller who allowed readers to walk in the shoes of these complex characters dealing with an almost impossible situation. All the while showing how each member comes to the end of themselves and gives up control of their lives. As they surrender readers see how this author masterfully weaves in little nuggets of pure and lovely hope of new beginnings seen amongst the scattered broken pieces of life. 

Catherine writes brilliantly witty, heartfelt dialogue, that held me hostage as I walked with this family through their pain, anguish and struggles with faith, hope and the inability to love anyone including themselves; while their world is turned upside down yet again. The family has become numb. So many questions. Is there really a God? How can they go on when they haven’t recovered from the last tragedy?

These characters search deep into their souls to find answers to these questions and those they are too afraid to ask. I loved that this story is not preachy. It vividly shows the power of grace, love and the possibility of being set free from pain and suffering . Readers see that by giving up the anger and pain we were never meant to carry all things become possible.

I loved how the author kept the reader guessing as to how this story would end. There were so many possibilities. I enjoyed the surprises, twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Woven into the story line where fun moments in book stores, libraries, a mystery to uncover, there are unexpected family secrets revealed, giggles moments and a clean romance intertwined with family life and an adorable young soul named Mazie, that makes you smile when she talks about her guardian angel. 

The author includes discussion questions for your book club. This is a beautiful story that will linger in your heart long after you close the book. I highly recommend this for your next book club pick and/or just a great memorable read!



ABOUT AUTHOR: Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 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

BECKY WADE'S NEW NOVEL REVIEWED


Falling For You
By Becky Wade
Book #2 in A Bradfor Sisters Romance series
Published by: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: May 2018
ISBN#978-0764219375
368 Pages
Clean Wholesome Romance Sports Christian Fiction, Mystery, Family Secrets, relationships, forgiveness, God, modeling

BACK COVER: Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

REVIEW: Charlette, Corbin’s niece, a dramatic middle schooler; wants to meet Willow (the famous model Corbin used to date) to tell her of a family secret she just uncovered. She can’t trust family members with this news because they’ve lied to her about this for years. Corbin humbles himself and asks Willow if she’d meet with Charlotte to help her process this news. Willow can’t believe she’s said yes to their meeting; not after their bad break up. But she couldn’t resist Charlotte’s request after all she was a huge fan. She did not want to disappoint.

Willow is a beautiful and smart professional model who’s been crushed by her break up with Corbin. It’s affected her faith and career. He’s a handsome NFL Quarterback and is having a hard time adjusting to his sudden retirement from the game he loved. Corbin was crushed by their break up. This has affected his life and has had him re-evaluate his faith and what he’s living for.

I enjoyed the family secret mystery to be solved, the romance, how the author handled Corbin, and Willow’s crisis of faith, forgiveness with themselves and their relationship. I liked how these characters grew from beginning to end and how the faith issues they faced were organic and not preachy in the book. This is a story of reconciliation and love with lots of fun and mystery to explore, with a few surprises for readers. This is a fun read that would work well for your book club. The author includes discussion questions to help create lively discussion at your book club meeting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, via netgalley. 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 https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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CHECK OUT NEW HISTORICAL by JUDITH MILLER

The Lady of Tarpons Springs
By Judith Miller
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Release Date July 31, 2018
ISBN# 978-0764231063
Tag: Historical Bethany House Publisher Tarpon Springs Florida Judith Miller
320 Pages

BACK COVER: Much to the dismay of her Greek family, Zanna Krykos makes a living as a lawyer in Tarpon Springs, Florida. When her friend Lucy needs legal advice about the business she inherited upon her father's passing, she ends up asking Zanna to run the business instead, so she can focus on her medical career.

Nico Kalos is a Greek diver who has worked on sponging boats in the Aegean Sea since the age of 14, giving him a vast knowledge of the trade. When he hears of an opportunity to lead a group of spongers to the United States, he seizes it. But his excitement is quickly quelled when he arrives only to discover that a young woman with no experience in the business will be in charge of the new crews.

But as Zanna and Nico face even more complications than they could have imagined, they must learn to work together or risk everything they've worked so hard for.

REVIEW:  I enjoyed the spunk and determination of main character Zanna Krykos who has gone against the wishes of her father; and followed the dream of becoming a lawyer in Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1905. She’s about to follow her heart again which surprises even her. This time she feels like a fish swimming up stream as she not only has to convince her father, a very traditional Greek family man; to believe in her but her best friend Lucy, medical doctor to get on board with it as well. Not to mention the women in her society who think she should abandon her dreams; get married and have children.

If losing her father wasn’t hard enough, she receives a telegram with overwhelming news, 50 Greek men are heading her way expecting to work in the sponging business her father owns. Zanna has helped her friend legally now she has an idea to help her with the sponging business. Zanna hopes her father and Lucy will agree to her idea.

This was an interesting time period. I liked learning about the traditions of Greek families, and the sponging business in Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1905. I enjoyed Zanna’s spirit, her family, Nico Kalos, the Greek diver who helps Zanna navigate the sponging business and how he goes about uncovering the mystery aboard one of the three ships that killed a crew member.  

In author notes to readers Judith describes how the story came about and how Tarpon Springs is located on the Anclote River where they have walking tours, historical museums, sponge shops and boat rides. I wish I would have known about this when I lived in Florida. This was a fun, informative, engaging historical novel with a splash of romance I recommend for a entertaining summer read and one to share with your book club. There is so much to learn.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Judith Miller is an award winning and best-selling author of historical fiction for Bethany House Publishers. With a love of history, a dash of romance and a touch of mystery, Judith transports her readers to another time and place. Her passion for history and love of God keep her inspired. Judith and her husband are empty-nesters who live in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Judy blogs with four other historical novelists at www.writespassage.blogspot.com

PRE ORDER NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Tarpon-Springs-Judith-Miller/dp/0764231065/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1530197374&sr=8-1 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. 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

GRIPPING NOVEL, MUST READ - MICHELLE GRIEP's NEW BOOK


The Captured Bride
By Michelle Griep
Daughters of the Mayflower #3
Published by Barbour Books; Gld
Release Date June 1, 2018
TAG: Native American, Romance, Christian Fiction, Historical, Mercy, Elias, French, Obligation, Traitor, Indian, Adventure, Gold

BACK COVER: Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love to survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

REVIEW: I loved learning about the French and Indian war as this author whisked me back in time with remarkable visual images, riveting action and intriguing, realistic, fun characters I enjoyed hanging out with. The author pays attention to historical detail with rich descriptions that don’t bog the reader down but help them experience the time period. Four unlikely travelers, three men and a woman; set out on a trek through dangerous territory with valuable cargo and only a hope and a prayer they’ll make it to their destination. All the while they are banding together to use their experience and skill set to avoid French soldiers, Indians and the challenges of the wilderness.

I enjoyed Mercy a no nonsense, tough, skilled scout who you don’t want to mess with. She feels comfortable in breeches rather than gowns but can fit into a formal setting with ease when necessary. Mercy takes on this assignment at the urging of her father figure friend- a worn out soldier named Matthew. The captain has told them that they will be traveling with a condemned traitor named Elias Dubois and Rufus Bragg a sixteen-year-old boy with a gawkily build. This mission keeps gets better and better. The icing to the cake for Mercy is the fact she will be married in name only to this traitor Elias.

As their journey goes along, tensions rise as they learn each other’s skill sets, navigate natural disasters, discover each other’s temperaments and look out for ways to gather food for them all. This is a fascinating, compelling period piece I couldn’t put down. This gripping story is filled with twists, turns, surprises and action that was fast and furious with a splash of romance. I loved this author’s witty dialogue and the secrets each keeps from the other. This is how Matthew; posing as Mercy’s father describes her to Elias; her pretend husband, “This her is Mercy. …. She can be a little…Let’s just say she is a fiddle string wound tight and about to break. Might wanna ride quiet for a while. If she snaps, it will leave a mark. She’ll get out if soon enough.”

I cared deeply for these characters right from the start; as they faced the dangers of this unbelievably crazy assignment. I loved that the spiritual aspect of this story was not preachy but was woven in naturally. This is the third book in the Mayflower series. Each novel can be read as a standalone. I liked the author notes to readers where she gives you the behinds the scenes look at how this story came about. I highly recommend this for a great read and/or for your next book club pick. T

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. 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

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Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
nora@bookfunmagazine.com