BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

BOOK FUN KICKS OFF JANUARY READING IN A BIG WAY


HAPPY JANUARY EVERYONE!!
Monday night we kicked off January's offerings. Here is the link to ALL that is being featuredhttps://www.bookfun.org/page/author-groups-for-promo We Also have head-shots of authors on the front page, you can click on those pictures if that is easier to navigate.

Remember if you are not a member of the authors group, you'll need to JOIN their Group and then answer ONE of the questions to be entered into the drawing.

THANKS for spreading the word and for helping to create lots of BOOK FUN here. Oh, Remember also that Book Fun Magazine is out. CLICK on Book Fun Magazine cover featuring MaryLu Tyndall'.

If you have any questions I'll be more than happy to help you. Email me at nora@bookfunmagazine.com 

HAPPY READING
BLESSINGS to you and Yours!

Nora :o)

IRMA JOUBERT'S NEWEST NOVEL REVIEWED

The Crooked Path
By Irma Joubert
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718-098179
398 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.

Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.

Marco’s experience in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.

In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.

REVIEW: I was mesmerized, engaged and surprised by this authors’ compelling novel titled, “The Girl From the Train.” I couldn’t wait to read another book by her. This book showed a different look at the persecution of the Jews that took place in Italy during WWII. The author says, “All my historical novels are based on true stories people have told me.” Knowing this makes the story an even more compelling read.

This book was set up differently than most books I’ve read. The author first lists a cast of characters then follows that by a glossary of words. Part one of this book is titled “Stepping out.” I was quickly drawn into this story and felt for the leading lady Lettie from the first line, “What she was looking at, was definitely not what she wanted to see.”

Readers are introduced to Lettie in her younger years. The author shows where Lettie’s drive to succeed came from. It was an effort to overcome insecurities from childhood, and to face the challenge of thriving in a male dominated field. She had to work hard to prosper so in the end she could show her childhood friends she was smart enough be a successful doctor. She wanted to be someone they would look up to and respect.



Then the story shifts to the second part titled “Love and War” where readers are brought to Italy and introduced to Marco Romanelli. I instantly connected with Marco and felt for his situation. Readers see him fall in love with a Jewish girl, Rachel Rosenfield. The author shows how that affects both of their lives and that of their families.

I felt a disconnect here because I was fully engaged in Lettie’s story in the USA then the author makes a switch and introduces another character living in Italy. I liked Marco from the start and was quickly engaged in his story and his life in Italy; but I couldn’t imagine how Lettie’s life and his would intersect but I read on. I’m glad I did.

The author quickly engages readers as they learn about Marco and Rachel’s family, their love and see how their community fights the powerful Nazi regime and survive the best they can. I felt for the people as they tried to be imaginative in how they’d survive the horrors of WWII.

I liked what Lettie’s mom told her. “Life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end, it will always take you where you’re supposed to be.” Marco says to Rachel, “…even a crooked path has to lead somewhere.”

Again, the book takes another shift to Part three titled “Intersection”, where Lettie and Marco meet (after 123 pages into the story). The last part is titled, “Wondering.” Again, I’m not sure if the choppiness from section to section is partly due to the fact that this novel was translated to English from the authors native tongue Dutch. There was a detachment that felt like little bumps in the road. The ending felt forced as the author ties things up in a nice bow. I did enjoy the vacation Lettie and her friends went on as they toured Italy. I wanted to be there with them they had so much fun.

 This was a very interesting compelling, heart wrenching, read about the WWII era; rich in history, dealt with survival, love, loss, relationships and hope. I enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more by this author. I found the Author notes interesting. There are thirteen discussion questions to help create engaging discussion at your book club.

ABOUT AUTHOR: International bestselling author IRMA JOUBERT was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing fiction. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She is the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.

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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WITH LOVE FROM ME TO YOU BOARDBOOK REVIEWED

With Love, From Me To You
By Dr. Mary Manz Simon
Published by Zonderkidz BB
ISBN# 978-0310758150
18 Pages 4-8 years old 1-2 grade level



ABOUT BOOK: With Love, From Me to You is a board book for little ones that will remind them how important it is to love and be loved. With adorable illustrations and sweet, rhyming text by bestselling author Dr. Mary Manz Simon, this book shows children how important their actions and words are in expressing God’s great love with one another. Parents will enjoy reading this book on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year to encourage their children to remember that love is more than gifts and candy; it’s about doing for others and sending love to everyone who’s near.

“A red heart sends a message
that says, "I so love you,"
but we can send those same words
in what we say and do.

If I see someone crying
or looking very sad,
I'll stop to show some kindness
and he won't feel so bad.”

REVIEW: This sweet colorfully animated board book gives parents a way of talking about, being kind, compassionate, sharing love and how God’s loves everyone. The author uses a rhyming style of writing and a white bear who delivers mail to sweet little animals along his way.

There is an adorable train in the background that follows the bear from page to page. In the end they all end up riding it and having so much fun.

This book is cute; has sweet adorable animals throughout the fluffy clouds and clear skies, at the end this story leaves you with fuzzy warm feelings and a big smile on your face. 

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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CATHY GOHLKE INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY




ABOUT AUTHOR: Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Secrets She Kept (winner of the 2016 Carol and INSPY Awards), Saving Amelie (winner of the 2015 INSPY Award), Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award. 

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their children and granddaughters. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks

How did you come up with the idea for Until We Find Home?
CATHY: Alarmed by the plight of young refugees fleeing gangs in Mexico to cross the United States border, and heart heavy for victims and refugees worldwide who’ve suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive regimes, I looked for a moment in history to tell their tale as I wish it could play out. I didn’t have to look far.

The Kindertransport of 1938–1940 brought 10,000 predominantly Jewish children to Great Britain for refuge from Nazi oppression. 
Some of those were housed in the beautiful Lake District. When dear friend and author Carrie Turansky and I combined forces to research our separate books in England, then joined a wonderful tour led by Liz Curtis Higgs through Scotland, I had the opportunity to visit the area. Both countries provided great grist for the writing mill.

Accounts abound of men and women who rescued children through resistance in occupied countries during WWII, often at great cost—even life itself. 

But what happened next? What happened when those children entered countries of refuge? I wondered about the average person and what role they might have played once the children were out of immediate danger . . . and what role we might play in the world’s need today. Until We Find Home explores these questions on the British home front.

Nora: I was fascinated by this situation and how it came about. The answers to the above questions was unimaginable and thought-provoking. I couldn’t put this novel down.

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

CATHY: Wow #1: The first time I was called to the stage to accept a Christy Award. The “wow” wasn’t because of receiving the physical award (though that was exciting and wonderful) but because it came to me as affirmation from the Lord that, despite the many naysayers in my life and all the reasons I should have failed, this writing for His glory was the path He’d chosen for me during the second half of my life’s journey. That insight—like a sweet and precious kiss from the Lord—was a mountaintop experience and a turning point for me.

Wow #2: At one of the lowest points of my chemotherapy treatments, I was tempted to give up. While weak and bedridden from a dangerously low white blood count, I read a story of John Sherrill’s two-time battle with cancer. According to the account I read, John, though believing in God, had not yet accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. On his way to a second surgery, with a prognosis of only three months to live, he surrendered his life to Christ. When the doctors operated to cut out the mass of suspected cancer, it had shrunk to the size of a raisin and was not cancerous. John considered his healing miraculous. 

For me, there was another miracle. I knew John and Elizabeth Sherrill as the as-told-to cowriters of Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I realized that if John had given up—if he’d allowed cancer to overwhelm him and steal his life, if he’d never surrendered his life to Christ and been healed to go from strength to strength—he and his wife would not have gone on to write the book that has brought hope to and strengthened the faith of millions. He would not have written the book that so convicted me as a young woman or that inspired Billy Graham to produce the movie by the same name—or that provided the answer to Hannah’s desperate need to forgive in my book Secrets She Kept.

Reading Sherrill’s story of full surrender to the Lord and of overcoming fear and cancer at the low time I did in my own cancer journey gave me great hope that if I waited upon the Lord, He might again use me to write stories of hope and faith and conviction too—stories that glorify Him and portray His love for us all. 

Sherrill’s unique connection to Corrie ten Boom and her connection to the characters of Secrets She Kept—which was about to release—washed over me as another great love gift, a reminder that all my days and all my abilities and opportunities are in God’s hands, that He is not limited by diagnoses or human catastrophes. That morning, I learned to fight with a surrendered heart and knew I would write again, one way or another. I can’t wait to meet John in heaven and thank him.

Nora: Wow, that is powerful. I liked how you brought that aspect of fighting and purpose out through your character Miranda who struggled with the diagnosis of cancer. “As Miranda’s health worsened, she prepared for the end of this life and even prayed that the Lord would allow her to die with grace and dignity.” I appreciate your transparency about this matter in your author notes to readers.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?

CATHY: I’m working on a new WWII book, set primarily in Poland and ending in England. Poland suffered from every side during the war—invaded by the Germans and the Russians, and in the end, it was hung out to dry even by the British and Americans. This is a story of jumping in to help when needed, of standing up to do what you can, what you must, no matter the cost. And in the end, when you think you’ve given everything, what do you do when you’re asked to give up what—or whom—you love most?

Irena Sendler, the Polish social worker who created a network that saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto, is a cameo character. What happened to those rescued children after the war? It’s a story I’ve felt compelled to write. It is set to release in 2019.

Nora: Wow, this sounds like another fascinating novel. I love that your books have me learn about history through your characters and their unique situations and showing God’s intervention. Thank you for writing them.

Out of all the sounds in the world, which are your favorite?
CATHY: Birdsong in the morning; bells at Evensong; someone singing for the joy of it.

Nora: Love it!

What movie affected you most when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies, what books affected you most? 

CATHY: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson; In His Steps by Charles Sheldon; The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, as told to John and Elizabeth Sherrill; and Christy by Catherine Marshall.

Nora: Wow, that’s quite a list!

What keeps you sane in the middle of craziness? Hope in the middle of stress and life’s storms?

CATHY: I remember that I have a long history with the God I worship, the Father I trust. My life, like others, has held many storms—storms that would have been my undoing except for Him. I trust Him because He’s always been faithful, always kept His promises. He had hope, and a future planned for me when I had none. In this life I have Christ; in death I have Him more. There is no “lose” in that, but surrender and joyful abandon.

Nora: Amen! Amen!

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

CATHY: I’d go to Israel in the time of Jesus. I’d love to look into His eyes, hear Him speak to individuals—maybe even to me—feel the touch of His hand, hear Him preach, watch as He healed people, and see His ministry unfold. I’d love to watch as He upended all the prevailing ideas of the day among religious leaders and led them to grapple with understanding just what He meant. I’d love to perceive Him through the eyes of a woman of that time.

In fact, I’m hoping to do the next best thing. In 2020, a dear friend, author, and veteran traveler to Israel, Terri Gillespie, will join me in leading a tour through Israel, culminating with the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany (where my book Saving Amelie is set during WWII). We’ll explore Jesus’ calling of disciples in His day in Israel, what it looked like to walk as His disciple through WWII in Germany, and what it means to walk as His disciples today. We’d love to have you join us! Check my website, www.cathygohlke.com, and my Facebook page, CathyGohlkeBooks, in the spring of 2018 for trip details.

Nora: Wow, Cathy. I’m excited for your trip in 2020. Look forward to seeing your pictures.

CATHY GOHLKE, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
CATHY: Thank you for having me, Nora! I’ve loved sharing this time—and these memories and future dreams—with you and all your readers.
    
    
Come visit me on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks or stop by my website, where you’ll find more research photos and recipes from Until We Find Home. If your book club would like to host a FaceTime or telephone meeting with me after reading Until We Find Home, let me know. I’d love to share that experience.

Nora: Thank you for stopping by and sharing the behind the scenes of your happenings of your new book Until We Find Home. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures too.


PLEASE ANSWER ONE 

of the Following Questions to be Entered into the drawing for chance at a copy of this book.



1. If you've read any books by this author which ones? What was your favorite? Why?

2. Have any of you read about this time period and the children fleeing their homes? If so what did you learn that surprised you?

3. What surprised you and/or you learned about this time period that you hadn't known before.

PLEASE Remember to include your email address so I can contact you if your name is drawn! THANKS!

I’m looking forward to reading your new book that takes place in Poland. Cathy is a featured author in Book Fun Magazine. She shares more pictures and tidbits about this book! www.bookfun.org Click on front cover on front page to read current magazine issue!

Blessings to you and yours
Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent The Book Club Network Inc. http://www.bookfun.org
You can read author interviews, reviews, learn about book signings and about TBCN giveaways on the blog she created called The Book Club Network blog, http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Nora also does author interviews and reviews for Book Fun Magazine http://www.bookfunmagazine.com  

Nora has also run book clubs face to face and online with more than 100 members. She enjoys working part-time for the Public Library as a CSA.

STAYING STYLISH by CANDACE CAMERON BURE REVIEWED


Staying Stylish
By Candace Cameron Bure
Published by Zondervan
ISBN#978-0310088059
239 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Join Candace Cameron Bure, actress best known as D.J. Tanner from Full House and a New York Times bestselling author, whose faith and wit have delighted audiences for decades, as she lets you in on her best-kept secrets for Staying Stylish. This gorgeous manual for beauty, style, health, and spiritual wellness will be your one-stop shop for everything you need to live your most stylish life.

As an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author, and inspirational speaker, Candace Cameron Bure has spent her entire life in the spotlight, and she is well aware of the pressures and forces many women face. Throughout her career, Candace has balanced her faith, family, and passion for work and found her spot as role model to women of all ages—and as a style icon.

In her brand-new book Staying Stylish, Candace invites you behind the scenes of her day-to-day life and shares over 100 tips and tricks for looking and feeling your best—both inside and out. Nurture your body, style, and soul as you read through this beautiful book full of photos, insider secrets, and exciting ideas to revamp your own life into its best possible version. She offers her insight into balance, spiritual growth, and looking great while doing it all.

Staying Stylish topics will include personal style, fresh hair and makeup for any age, a well-balanced diet and fitness regime, and a well-nourished spirit.
Met Candace on her First book signing event at LifeWay She is a lovely inside an out

REVIEW: Candace Cameron Bure gives readers a peek into how she goes about purchasing clothes, organizing her closet and the tricks and tips to putting it all together. She discusses picking out clothes for casual, dressy, Red Carpet events and travel. The thing she says is to “Be true to you”…“Fashion isn’t about anyone else. It’s about yourself – what you feel beautiful wearing and what makes you most comfortable, which leads to confidence.”

I like how she goes through each item of clothing and talks about things to think about before purchasing them. I also like her helpful tips, for example, “Tip. “Fill your closet with timeless basics that work well with each other. Make sure they are high quality and versatile enough to transition from casual to dressy and from day to night.”

She then talks about how to dress up a casual outfit, and her favorite places to find basic items of clothing she lists stores she likes and favorite brands. I appreciated her mentioning where to spend money and where to save it on certain items for your wardrobe. She shows you how to polish off an outfit and talks about how simplicity is a rule to guide you.

She goes over these items of clothing; T-Shirts, Blouses, bottoms and dresses, pants, shirts – White Dress, The A-line dress – Denim, Skinny Jeans, Distress, Chopped Jeans, How to bring new life to old jeans, jump suits and jackets and so much more.

The second part of this book shows what Candace does for Skin Care, Makeup and Hair Care. She goes over her Morning and night routine and how to tips for the ultimate polish make-up tips, along with being brave with your hair.

The author says,  ..”living a healthy life is the first step to appearing strong, beautiful, and happy.”

She talks about feel “good” foods, eating well to make you feel energized  on the inside that will have you look good on the outside. She mentions healthy snacks she likes, and gives a list for her favorites. She also talks about staying strong by exercising with weights and stretching.

And finally, she talks about nourishing your spirit through prayer, journaling, reading fiction and non-fiction books and she has tips for managing stress.

I enjoyed these tips and all the wonderful pictures inside to help get her point across about style, make up and exercise. This is a beautiful hard back book with a ribbon (to help mark your place). It’s a good reference book and one that would make a great gift too.

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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FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY BY JULIE LESSMAN REVIEWED

For Love of Liberty
By Julie Lessman
Published by: Amazon
ISBN#B0772CMKYN
164 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: A Match Made in Heaven?
Or Someplace a Whole Lot Warmer?

She’s stubborn, educated, and looking to give women the vote.
He’s bullheaded, successful, and looking to give her a piece of his mind.
But when things heat up, they just may give each other a piece of their hearts.

REVIEW: During Atlanta’s surprise snow storm I read and ENJOY For Love of Liberty. Author Julie Lessman shows readers another side of her writing style in this delightful western I had so much fun reading. I sensed a freedom and a joy bubble up through the pages. A freedom Liberty and Finn had at the end of the book; which will surprise readers.

Finn’s friend says to Liberty, “…Back in school, I’ve seen you madder than a wet hornet with a headache when Finn and I pulled some crazy stunt to drive you crazy, but in the end, you always simmered down and did the right thing.”

This author seamlessly tucks inside these pages important issues about relationships, tempers, waiting and learning how to work things out in God’s time. Of course, the author keeps the main thing the main thing with the Lord. This 164-page story is a prequel in her new series set at Silver Lining Ranch. This novella includes the first chapter of the next book in the series titled Love’s Silver Lining to be released in the summer of 2018. Fin and Liberty will be in the next book with a brand-new couple; Maggie Mulaney and Finn’s nephew, Blaze Donovan.

I liked how this author has her characters keep each other accountable and on track, the Pastor tells Finn, “Ask the Good Lord for His opinion, why don’t you, then just follow the peace. Better a headache than a heartache at missing out on what the Almighty has in store. After all, you can always take willow bark for the headache, my boy, but heartache stays with a body for a long, long time…”

I look forward to reading it. I enjoyed the first chapter and the fun I had with Finn and Liberty as they planned and implemented the fourth of July celebration for their community with a dance, special booths, pie eating contest, lots of fireworks and so much more. It’s a win, win for all!

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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JARED BROCK FEATURED AUTHOR BOOK FUN MAGAZINE

JARED BROCK is on COVER with wife Michelle


FREE GRAB TODAY!!

Jared Brock's book A Year of Prayerful Living is on sale .99 cents


THE MIRACLE OF MYSTERIA REVIEWED


The Miracle of Mysteria
By Leonid Belov
Published by
ISBN# 978-0-9965513-2-8
131 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: When the Black Death is coming, what can you do—except wait to die? In the year 1348, as the deadliest of all plagues approaches the community of Rundschau in the Swiss Alps, villagers use their last remaining hours to stage the Passion of Christ. As their performance turns into prayer, the village becomes a temple. What happens when the whole community reaches out to God? The miracle of Mysteria—the sacramental and mysterious experience that takes place when people meet God.

Heaven IS listening... This story is inspired by the real events that took place in the Bavarian village of Oberammergau. The Passion of Christ has been staged there every decade since 1634, when the village was miraculously spared from the bubonic plague. The next performance is scheduled in 2020.

Prologue: This voluminous manuscript was discovered on October 22, 19xx, in the archives of the magistrate of the city of Geneva. In all likelihood, it is the work of Arnold Enke, a doctor of medicine, considered to be one of Geneva's most worthy and devout citizens, who rendered invaluable aid to the city throughout its frequent pandemics, in particular the outbreaks of the black plague. Although Doctor Enke had the good fortune to live to a ripe old age, his final hours were not spent peacefully in bed. Compelled both by his sense of professional duty and his Christian conscience, he traveled to Bern during a cholera outbreak in 1419, to treat the victims there, and ended up succumbing to the disease himself. His last words were: “Ave Crux, triumphator, victoria Christi, Gloria christiani.”[1]

Upon presenting you with this translation of his notes, we have taken it upon ourselves to make some stylistic changes to the original transcripts in order to add a dose of dynamism and make the narrative style sound less dated to the modern ear. In all other material aspects, the manuscript has been preserved almost without change.

REVIEW: A divine intervention, faith, hope, worship and unity messages are packed inside this 131-page novel I found fascinating. In 1348 a small town named Rundschau awaited their fate as they saw an unstoppable plague wipe out cities all around them. “…Already it’s black mask seemed to stare into all our windows.”

The town seemed dead already as they were trapped in the clutches of fear. Then the sound of church bells awakened them. The shepherd of this flock called them together to instill hope and a purpose. Father Theodor Riechmann told his congregation, “We must not lose heart….Death marches through the world like a victorious army of the evil one. Is there anything that might halt this onslaught?”

“I have prayed, wept and beseeched the merciful Lord…in the darkest hours, it dawned on me. “The cross!”…”The gospel’s power! Our weapon of victory over death, our hope of redemption, our gateway to resurrection and eternal life!” …”Therefore our duty is to never lose heart over hell’s apparent triumph, but to resolutely proclaim the Lord’s victory….”
…”The people of Rundschau, who just an hour earlier had filed into the church as if for their own funeral, were now transformed.”…”I heard expressions of excitement from every direction…..How amazing this seemed to me! The danger was still present; the plague lurked silently in our homes, ready to show itself; but our fears had melted away. No longer were we simply waiting to die; we were part of something new and fascinating, a divine act – the Mysteria.”

This was their final finest hour. They would simply enact from the Gospels, line by line, the holy Passion of the Lord to be performed in the streets of Rundschau. They would glorify the Lord with their bodies and voices for all to see. This sparked an excitement in their souls as they had one week to prepare for the performance of their lives. Everyone took this seriously and did their best. Somehow, they gathered an orchestra from other cities which added to the enthusiasm about this event.

None of them expected a divine intervention. No one knew their lives would be changed forever, no one knew they would get a peek at the Glory of the Lord. The man who played Jesus said this to his friend, “…I never imagined anyone could see me like that, understand me like that….I’m still dazed by that kind of love.”

No sooner had this amazing miracle happened to the town and it’s people; the enemy tried to snatch it away. Destroy the works of the divine. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. You’ll be astounded and want to read what happens next and learn what is still happening in the small town of Rundschau! Oh, Wow! This story will encourage your soul.

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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SHELLIE RUSHING TOMLINSON'S NEW DEVOTIONAL REVIEWED


Devotions for the Hungry Heart
By Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
Published by Shiloh Run Press
ISBN# 978-1-68322-432-7
272 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, the Belle of All Things Southern, is back with a devotional guide for the Jesus-hungry heart. Grounded in scripture and offered in the author’s signature storytelling style, this devotional invites you to God's table for a continual feast. With six prominent themes including Sharing, Needing, Celebrating, Praying, Surrendering, and Being Intentional, you'll be challenged and encouraged to develop God-honoring traits in your spiritual life.

A delightful companion book to Tomlinson’s Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce, Devotions for the Hungry Heart features a bonus full-color insert featuring more than a dozen mouthwatering recipes plus photos. You're guaranteed to find nourishment for your body as well as your spirit!

REVIEW: I had read Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce and adored this author’s sense of humor, her passion for the Savior and the fact she can tell a good story is a bonus. I like her transparency too.

Here’s a peek into how she kicked off a devotion talking about a sign she read walking in the woods that said, “Walk at your own risk.” This got her thinking of her Christian walk. “…to follow Christ is not merely to risk our lives; it is to lose them. So I’ve been thinking: perhaps we should add a similar caution to our church signs….Follow Jesus at Your Own Risk. Details Inside.” …(message not a big draw she admits) but, ”When we die daily to walk with the God-man, we soon discover that His presence is worth every single step.”

This devotion is filled with scripture, hope, fun thought-provoking stories to encourage your faith along with beautiful pictures and yummy looking recipes. It’s a winning combination.


ABOUT AUTHOR: Shellie is the fun-loving energetic storytelling host of ATS LIVE, a radio talk show that airs live every Monday evening on TALK 540 out of Monroe, Louisiana. In addition, her pretaped All Things Southern radio segments air Monday through Friday on 28 affiliates across the south. Shellie is a popular humorist, speaker, and the author of the nonfiction humor titles Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On” and Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy!” Both received nominations for SIBA Nonfiction Book of the Year and led Jeff Foxworthy to call her, "Laugh out loud funny!" Kori and Missy Robertson of A&E's Duck Dynasty endorsed Shellie's latest release and debut book in the faith market, Heart Wide Open, saying it will fuel your desire for a deeper relationship with God. Watch for Shellie's upcoming storytelling cookbook, "Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce", set to be released from Barbor Publishing October 2016!

Get a peek into her humor as she goes about telling everyone about her new cook books. LOL!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Jeanne Wynn publicist. 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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INSIGHTFUL,HILARIOUS, PRAYER PILGRIMAGE YOU'LL WANT TO BE PART OF

A Year of Living Prayerfully
By Jared Brock
“How a curious traveler met the Pope, walked on coals, danced with Rabbis and renewed his prayer life.”
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-14143-9
331 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Follow Jared on a 37,000-mile trip around the world as he...
* Dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn
* Discovers the 330-year-old home of Brother Lawrence
* Burns his clothes at the end of the Camino de Santiago
* Attends the world's largest church in Seoul
* Visits Westboro Baptist Church
* Tries to stay out of trouble in North Korea
* Meets the Pope and has lunch at the Vatican
* Attempts fire walking (with only minor burns) 
  
A Year of Living Prayerfully is a fascinating, humorous, globe-trotting exploration of prayer that will help you grow your own prayer life. Jared's witty reflections on his fast-paced journey will both entertain and inspire you to think about your own prayer journey.

REVIEW: I enjoyed this couple’s thought-provoking journey that had them searching the globe to learn about prayer. What is it? How is it done? This young couple had been passionate about prayer and their faith since middle school, but lately, their prayer life was stale. They were sensing a deep need to connect with God again, especially after becoming aware of some horrific realities in the world as they filmed a sex trafficking documentary. The author says, “These issues towered over us and exposed the gaping holes in our spiritual walk”….”We wanted to be prayer warriors, but we felt like prayer wanderers.”

The author explains that prayer had become a mechanical routine. He admits, “If I’m really honest, God was my Santa Clause.”

The author describes their journey, “For our year of living prayerfully, I compiled a list of Judeo-Christian faiths, sects, and denominations. The plan was to research their prayer methods, traditions, and beliefs. We’d travel the world to meet religious leaders, prayer experts and everyday people who have made prayer a vital part of their lives.”… “This book is simply an old-school record of a prayer pilgrimage, for all those who, for whatever reason, can’t go on one for themselves.”

I liked how they systematically went about getting answers about prayer from all points of view. I enjoyed the many quotes that started the chapters. This is one of my favorites, “Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God.”

I felt like I was walking by their side on this journey and saw things through their eyes I’d most likely never see in person. I also loved the author's sense of humor. I found myself laughing out loud several times. There was an amazing turn of events that allowed Jared and his wife to get a face to face meeting with the Pope. It was a divine appointment. Here’s an example of his well-timed humor.

 There is a side note to readers about how they were dressed to see the Pope. He states,….”On such short notice, we didn’t have time to make a shopping stop….”

“I had asked our host in Rome if I could borrow a few items….The shirt was enormous, reminiscent of billowing ship sails. The pants, on the other hand, were 4” too short, exposing both my white socks and my pasty white ankles.”

“I pulled my pants lower, not unlike a Brooklyn gangster whose arrest we had witnessed a few months earlier. I looked in the mirror. I looked like a mafia bodyguard in a parachute at a funeral.”

“I had kept the shoes and shirt, but switched back to denim. My wife, on the other hand, had no alternate clothing options. They say that success in life is doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and we had tried our best.”

“We met the Pope in jeans and yoga pants.”

That scene still makes me laugh. I liked how the book was divided into various places their research took them. They started in Hamilton, Ontario, then they traveled to New York. City, Israel, Mount Athos, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Eastern USA, the Outer Limits, Korea and England.

This is a young couple’s search for a deeper, more alive and meaningful prayer life. It made me think about my own faith walk and how I pray. I was inspired not only by what they discovered on this adventure but by how the Lord orchestrated many “divine” moments for them.  This book was fun, informative, honest, inspiring, and entertaining. It was a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t get enough of. 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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