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Frank Barbehann
Marcia Laycock
Pamela Meyer
Jo Huddleston
Kathern Haddad
Anne Greene
Alana Terry
Lee Carver
Carolyn Miller
William Comb
N.J. Lindquist




Jean Williams











Giving away Gift Cards, Coffee mugs, a pound of coffee, Book sets for Alana Terry and N.J. Lindquist, Of course lots of separate books too! Head on over to The Book Club Network and Check it out. If you are not a member it's easy to join.

You can CLICK on the Author's Pictures which will take you to their author group. You CLICK JOIN on the top right-hand corner. This allows you to enter the drawing.

Go to JUNE 19th Discussion Page. You Enter there in the white space. It's easy. (It's for USA Residents only)

See you there

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS REVIEWED

A Trail of Crumbs
By Susie Finkbeiner
Published by Kregel
ISBN#978-0-8254-4446-3
311 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That's one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin--and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn't sure she'll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel.

REVIEW: This novel picks up four months after book one ends. Pearl and her family have experienced a great loss and they try to carry on but times get tough. I lost my heart to Pearl in book one, A Cup of Dust, because she is an enchanting little girl who is honest, brave and insightful beyond her ten years. She’s endured more than most could imagine (now because of health issues); their family leaves everybody and everything they've known to start over and reconnect with family in Michigan.

This author brilliantly slips readers into the shoes of loveable eleven-year-old Pearl and has them see and feel the anguish and weariness her family’s experienced through her eyes. This is not an easy read but it was encouraging to learn about the community support system that sprung up during the great depression era.

My favorite parts to read were the times on the farm. I learned that the author loved visits to her family farm each year - she says, …”I based the town of Bliss on a southeastern Michigan farming community called Blissfield…. I have rich and happy memories”…”For this city girl, my days on that family farm were magical and I look back on those visits as some of my favorite memories.”….”This novel recaptures part of my childhood.” The farm times were magical in the book too.

I enjoyed fun moments at the library when Pearl comes up against Mrs. Trask an older Librarian who won’t let her check out adventure stories of Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket. She leads Pearl to the section of proper lady books she can check out. Her Aunt tells her that Mrs. Trask knows the power of story and doesn’t want to corrupt her impressionable mind. Grin! She does manage to read The Wizard of Oz and Hanzel and Gretel. I loved hearing about how Pearl divisors and re-reads these tales and what she thinks about them. There are 11 discussion questions to help create lively discussion with your book club group. The author leaves things up in the air at the end of this novel. I hope book three will be out soon!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it's a congenital condition, one she's quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother's Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

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

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A LADY IN DISGUISE REVIEWED & GIVEAWAY

A Lady in Disguise
By Sandra Byrd
Published by Howard Books
ISBN#978-1-4767-1859-0
384   pages

ABOUT BOOK: In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

REVIEW: Gillian leaves her father’s poorly attended funeral and stumbles upon a plain clothed police officer searching her home without permission. Why? What are they looking for?

“...Louisa said, “Scared us to death, it did, when he broke in. Didn’t expect to find us here, no doubt.” “Why would a policeman break in, I ask you, and one your father worked with at that?”

Gillian is unexpectedly orphaned when her loving father turns up dead on a city street under questionable circumstances; accident-murder?  This left her in a precarious and dangerous predicament. She now understood how with no man to oversee her well-being; a woman can be taken advantage of and she saw how it is possible some women find themselves in prostitution and/or sold. Who can she trust? Every time Gillian tries to uncover clues about her father’s accident and reputation-threatening people try to ruin her livelihood. Why?  Why is she threatened by people who were once considered close friends?  Gillian must decide if finding the truth is worth losing everything, including two potential romances and the ability to help a local charity that mentors young girls past the pantomime age for kids in the theater.

First potential suitor; Thomas Lockwood handsome next-door neighbor – every inch a gentleman. He’s eager to help her decide what needs to be fixed in her newly inherited house. Did he have feelings for her? Or was he after her house? She hadn’t a clue.

Then there’s Francis Collingsworth a childhood friend whose father was her father’s partner on the force. Suddenly Francis has the interest to court her. Why? At whose request did he do this, his or his fathers?

I loved the theatrical side to this story. I was fascinated by the method and materials Gillian worked with to make stunning seasonal dresses. I was also amazed at how Gillian went about designing gowns for the theatrical performance of Cinderella.

Gillian is strong willed, a woman of faith, naive to the ways of the world and often rushed out (by herself) to get information with little thought to her safety. I found myself holding my breath and wanting to yell, “what are you thinking? Don’t go in that empty house alone.” But she didn’t listen. Grin

Gillian thought…”I sat my bag down and began to walk through the rooms… “I laughed nervously. Why should I be thinking of screaming?”

I liked what the author said in notes to readers, “This book is a tribute to all those who invest in the lives of others, whether it be by providing means for them to escape the human misery that is trafficking, by providing jobs and a future through employment.”

This author saved the best story for last in The Daughters of Hampton series. I was spellbound by this Victorian romance, suspense novel. I was sorry to have it end. This makes for a wonderful summer read, a great book club pick; with a delightful conclusion to the series. I highly recommend it. It’s a keeper.


 ***ENTER DRAWING *** for A Lady in Disguise

CLICK LINK BELOW
Read an interview with Sandra Byrd and Put your Name in the Hat.


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

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SANDRA BYRD INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY - ENTER TODAY


ABOUT AUTHOR: After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books.

Sandra's series of historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017. Sandra is excited to continue writing Gothic romance and will be adding books to that genre beginning in October 2018 with Tyndale House Publishers.

Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, this time for women, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. Her latest book, The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional, will be published in October 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping new writers develop their talents and their work for traditional publishing or self-publication. She has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to guide developing authors toward success each year via novelcoaching.com.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.  
Salvation Army

How did you come up with the idea for A Lady in Disguise?



SANDRA: I’ve always admired the work that the Salvation Army does, and when we were in London some years ago, I visited their headquarters.  It was a good starting point for me. But during my research, I learned about the woman who reached out in ministry to the pantomime waifs – child actors who were a part of the big, musical productions but often had nothing to turn to when their time acting was over.  I became interested in it because it was such a difficult foil – a happy, theatrical time for those who bought tickets, but a path which led to a not so happy life, and considerable risks, for the kids providing the entertainment. I admired Mrs. Barlee, who took up their cause.

Nora: I enjoyed learning about this topic. It was fascinating and sad to learn about the realities for these young ones.

What do you hope readers take away from A Lady in Disguise?

SANDRA: Gillian’s main philosophy is we can do for one what we cannot do for many. Often the scope of human suffering is so large that we are paralyzed into thinking we cannot do much, so why do anything? But if one by one, each of us reached out to sponsor a child, take in a foster child, contribute to a food bank, or anything that tugs on your heart, we can make a collective difference.

Nora: I liked Gillian’s philosophy and her generous heart!

What was your favorite scene in A Lady in Disguise? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?
Drury

SANDRA:  My favorite scene was the final scene at the theatre because I’m a romantic and my girl had earned her happy ever after.

The hardest scene to write is when she was betrayed. Readers sometimes speak against characters who “should have known better” or “should have seen something sooner,” but really, do any of us? We all want to believe the best of people, especially people who should love us until we are confronted with hard truths.

Nora: I LOVED the theatre aspect to this story and the fact she was making gowns for the play Cinderella. Good point you make about the hardest scene.

Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had in your writing career? What made it a wow for you?

SANDRA:  Wow moments always include becoming friends – and even roommates! – with authors whose work I have long admired. You pinch yourself.  It’s a fangirl moment and just a privilege to be among people whose work you enjoy.

Nora: Fun!

Second, it was a wow moment when the Lord showed me once that the greatest trust He’d shown in me was not for my fiction, or for my work for adults, even. It was writing for kids - devotionals for kids, to be exact – and speaking to them, for Him. I was awestruck, humbled, and to be honest, a little frightened by, in the best sense, the responsibility and trust.

Nora: Powerful!

I like the balance you have in your female leads in this series. The women were smart yet vulnerable and are determined to stay the course to get to the bottom of matters. What do you hope women take away from the women in this series?

SANDRA: The heroines in my books cannot just solve their problems as you or I might - but I love them the more for that; they are forced to cleverly use the tools at hand. Truthfully, all of us, then and now, are constrained in some way from the full self-determination we would prefer, and perhaps that is one way we identify with them. And yet ... the human spirit, a strong woman's spirit, faces those challenges head on, tries to think through what she wants, and then plots a way toward it. When roadblocks occur, she finds a way over, around, or through. That was true a thousand years ago and is still true, now.

The very freedom of our age has wrought a new set of challenges. But we still find a way to triumph. Seeing women do that, then, encourages me as a woman to do that, now. If they can be contenders, so can I!

Also - we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines.

Nora: So, true. I like how you said that.

I adored Miss Gillian Young she was smart, generous, faithful, courageous and loving. I liked reading about how she stayed true to herself and her faith. She wouldn’t just marry anyone. She’d rather work hard to accomplish her goals. What made that and her faith important to you to include that in the book?
The Royal Withdrawing Room

SANDRA: My faith is central to my worldview and interests, so it informs the subjects I pursue in my books. Honestly, I felt it would be anachronistic to write about 19th Century England and not have any mention of or interaction with faith; it was completely integrated into daily and weekly life. It interests me how a strong Christian woman approaches challenges in her era and setting. I don't set out, in fiction, to teach, only to show and reveal and understand through the heroine's eyes. Hopefully, that makes a good story whether the reader is a Christian or not!

Nora: Yes, I agree! Every book in this series has been a powerful memorable read.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?
Earl Grey Creme Brulee
SANDRA: I’m feverishly working on a book tentatively titled, What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense.  It will be published by Tyndale House in October 2018, and I’m so excited to bring more in this thrilling genre to readers such as yourself!

Nora: Sounds like fun. I can’t wait to read it.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK 

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

SANDRA: I’m the oldest child, so I’m sure I’d be trying to organize everyone. 😊 This is probably why I am an inveterate book plotter!

Nora: Grin!

What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies what books affected you most? What did you walk away from the movie/book thinking?

SANDRA: The books (and later television shows) that most impacted me were the Little House on the Prairie books.  They developed my love of history and historical novels at a young age. Fact is, though, I have always loved to read. Read everything and anything, including the proverbial back of the cereal boxes!  I also loved Family Affair. Ah, Buffy. I still have my Mrs. Beasley!

Nora: I love Little House!

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?
Cheynetown Home


SANDRA: Oh, I would definitely visit the eras and areas in which I love to write about. Often, when I’m in London, I feel like I am already in a time machine.  I have stood on the spot which people I’ve written about have been executed, I’ve visited Westminster Abbey where Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor next to each other, I’ve walked along parts of the Roman wall which encircled the city. I’d love to visit Revolutionary America, too. In all these places, I’d observe. Eat! And take good notes!


Nora: Sounds like an interesting trip. I’d love to hear about your adventures over a cup of tea!


What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

SANDRA: I was a waitress in a Jewish deli and a temporary bill collector for a department store.  I learned a lot in both of them!

Nora: No I would have never guessed! Grin!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
SANDRA: My children’s laughter.
Sandra with Paddington Bear
Nora: We don’t laugh enough! Grin!

Thank you for stopping by and helping us get to know you. I’ve enjoyed The Daughter of Hampshire series so much. I look forward to your next book What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense. Thanks for giving away a copy of A Lady in Disguise here on TBCN blog.

TO ENTER DRAWING for the book A LADY IN DISGUISE PLEASE ANSWER ONE of the following Questions.

1.  What is your favorite element to discover in a fiction book?
2.  What do you enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story?
3.  What does do you look forward to in a romantic suspense story?
4.  If you’ve read any of Sandra Byrd’s books, which is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?
5. What is your favorite genre to read?
6. Favorite book you've read this year?

Sign up for Sandra’s Newsletter for a bonus prize.
 
This drawing for a copy of A Lady in Disguise will end on Saturday, June 17th. ***USA Residents Only***

Tell Your Friends to JOIN the Book Fun!

Thanks for stopping by Sandra! Grin!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN COO Where Book Fun Begins!

JANE AUSTIN FANS WILL LOVE THIS MODERN RETELLING OF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Jane of Austin
By Hillary Manton Lodge
Published by Waterbrook
ISBN#978-1-6042-934-6
315 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away

REVIEW: This author beautifully brings together a heartfelt story of three sisters whose lives are suddenly shattered by an unexpected chain of events. News travels fast of their father’s business scandal and they are forever identified with their father’s deeds. Their lease is up on their tea salon in San Francisco. They are unable to find an affordable place so they seek a new place and relocate in Austin, Texas. The girls are looking for a fresh start and to reconnect with family members on their mother’s side.

In the authors, last series readers got a front row seat and learned about the restaurant business. This book has readers learn about tea and treats that go with it. Jane of Austin has the gift of creating tea magic that her customers in San Francisco loved. The sisters hope to find a shop where they could do the same in Texas. One sister is running from love another is just concerned about the business and is surprised by love. They both care for and encourage their youngest sister Margot who is finishing her high school years.

I enjoyed this author’s fun style of writing and the recipes throughout the novel. The ten discussion questions at the end help generate lively discussion to your book club meetings. Your group will have a tough time deciding on which yummy sounding treat to bring to the meeting. Some of the recipes included are Cranberry Vanilla Scones, A Perfect Cup of Tea, Pear and Earl Grey Tea Pies to Go, Texas Sheet Cake with a Black Tea Twist., Pumpkin Scones with Chai Glaze and few more. This is a fun read and would work great for your next book club pick.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook 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 
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BUILD COMMUNITY WITH THE TURQUOISE TABLE

The Turquoise Table
By Kristin Schell
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN#978-0-718-095581
216 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table
Simple recipes to take outside and share with others
Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods
Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting
New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live. Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door


REVIEW: Readers get a peek at how to create a throwback in time when everyone felt welcome to stop and chat because they were sitting on the front porch. Kristen has a refreshing transparency as she shares her thoughts, fears, anxiety, and failures of gathering family and others in making a heartfelt connection.

Kristen was inspired by an 84-year-old widow in Prague, who placed a small bronze plaque on the outside of her tiny brown stove apartment that read “Embassy of the Kingdom of heaven.” She saw how Ludmilla inspired others with her quiet, warm, genuine, simple gestures that made others feel welcome. Kristen was reminded of Romans 12:13 “What simple ways can we let people know they matter and create space for people to belong.”

Ludmilla, had the ministry of “presence”. She invited people into her home to talk. She’d make some tea and share some cookies from a tin. She was fully present. Everyone mattered. Prayers were answered and Inspiration struck Kriste.

This is a beautifully designed book with practical applications and thought-provoking questions to help readers make a deeper connection with people they see face-to-face. Some of the topics discussed are “When Hospitality feels hard, a test to identify “How Frazzled Are you?” “Love Where You Live”, “Unplug and Use an iBasket” “Ways to Kick Start Your Table Gatherings, How to be a Good Listener, and yummy quick snack ideas to share; such as Overnight French Toast, Simple Sautéed Apples, Homemade Vanilla Latte. This author shows there is more to life than running from one activity to the next.

This is an inspirational read that shows readers how to start small and reconnect with family and friends with inspiring stories shared from around the USA and the world. You won’t look at your neighborhood and family the same. Life happens at the table.  It’s a keeper.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLookforBloggers 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
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VICTORIAN ROMANCE GOTHIC THRILLER

A Lady in Disguise
By Sandra Byrd
Published by Howard Books
ISBN#978-1-4767-1859-0
384   pages

ABOUT BOOK: In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

REVIEW: Gillian leaves her father’s poorly attended funeral and stumbles upon a plain clothed police officer searching her home without permission. Why? What are they looking for?

“...Louisa said, “Scared us to death, it did, when he broke in. Didn’t expect to find us here, no doubt.” “Why would a policeman break in, I ask you, and one your father worked with at that?”

Gillian is a woman whose unexpectedly orphaned when her loving father turns up dead on a city street under questionable circumstances; accident-murder?  This left her in a precarious and dangerous predicament. She now understood how with no man to oversee her well-being; a woman can be taken advantage of and saw how it was possible some women found themselves in prostitution and/or sold. Why is she threatened by people who were once considered close friends? Who can she trust? Every time Gillian tries to uncover clues about her father’s accident and reputation-threatening people try to ruin her livelihood. Why? Gillian must decide if finding the truth is worth losing everything, including two potential romances and the ability to help a local charity that mentors young girls past the pantomime age for kids in the theater.

First potential suitor; Thomas Lockwood handsome next-door neighbor – every inch a gentleman. He’s eager to help her decide what needs to be fixed in her newly inherited house. Did he have feelings for her? Or was he after her house? She hadn’t a clue.

Then there’s Francis Collingsworth a childhood friend whose father was her father’s partner on the force. Suddenly Francis has the interest to court her. Why? At whose request did he do this, his or his fathers?

I loved the theatrical side to this story. I was fascinated by the method and materials Gillian worked with to make stunning seasonal dresses. I was also amazed at how Gillian went about designing gowns for the theatrical performance of Cinderella.

Gillian is strong willed, a woman of faith, naive to the ways of the world and often rushed out (by herself) to get information with little thought to her safety. I found myself holding my breath and wanting to yell, “what are you thinking? Don’t go in that empty house alone.” But she didn’t listen. Grin. …”I sat my bag down and began to walk through the rooms… “I laughed nervously. Why should I be thinking of screaming?”

I liked what the author said in notes to readers, “This book is a tribute to all those who invest in the lives of others, whether it be by providing means for them to escape the human misery that is trafficking, by providing jobs and a future through employment.”

This author saved the best for last in the newest Daughters of Hampton series. I was spellbound by this Victorian romance, suspense story. I was sorry to have it end. This makes for a wonderful summer read, a great book club pick and delightful conclusion to the series. I highly recommend it. It’s a keeper.

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
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FUN QUESTIONS KIDS ASK

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?
By Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley
Illustrated by Ailie Busby
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-1740-4 HB
Age Range: 4 - 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 2

ABOUT BOOK: Kids ask a lot of questions. Some silly and some innocent. Some deep and some serious. The books in the I’ve Got Questions series address many of those childlike questions and offer satisfying answers. The content is lively and fun, yet meaningful and respectful of a child’s inquisitive mind. While the books have a strong educational component, the deeper purpose is to show parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. Illustrations feature multicultural characters both male and female.

REVIEW: The illustrations jumped out at me because they are made to look like little children drew them with colored pencils. They are cute and colorful. The other thing that grabbed my attention were the great questions. They are one’s you know kids would ask. The questions express the fun way kids think.

One of my favorite questions in this book was, “Kangaroos just make me laugh. Their pouches look so funny! Tell me what they keep in there – some jelly beans or money?”

Another thing I enjoyed about this book are the informative answers. The answer to the question is above is, “A mama kangaroo’s big pouch is for her baby’roo. She keeps her joey safe and warm, and feeds him in their too.”

The first illustration that has the question on it has a child giving a Kangaroo a jelly bean. The picture with the answer about the pouch has the baby in the pouch snuggling with his mama. They both are adorable and make you smile.

Not only is this book fun to read because of the pictures and funny questions. It’s also a great teaching tool that helps kids learn about the world around them without realizing they are learning a thing. It’s a win-win for parent and child!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, award-winning author, national speaker, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She has written more than 100 books for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, and Bible study materials. She also writes stories for Clubhouse Jr. magazine and lyrics for children's piano music. She graduated from Calvin College with a degree in elementary education and studied early childhood development at the University of Michigan. She has written books for many popular children's series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, and I Can Read! She is the co-author of Our Daily Bread for Kids, My Mama and Me, and M is for Manger. She and her husband live in Florida. Visit Crystal at www.crystalbowman.com

AUTHOR: Teri McKinley grew up in the world of publishing, attending book signings and book conventions with her mother, Crystal Bowman. Teri began writing stories in elementary school, and her love for writing grew in college while attending Baylor University. She has been published in national magazines such as Susie Magazine and The Eleusis, and has also written greeting cards for Discovery House Publishers. She has a master's degree in Interior Design from Arizona State University, and currently works as a student advisor for East Texas Baptist University. Teri and her husband live in Longview, Texas.

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

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