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The April 2016  issue of Book Fun Magazineis now LIVE 

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CHAPEL SPRINGS REVIEWED


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

ANE MULLIGAN UP-CLOSE and GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY

BOOK #2

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














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

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

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




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

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

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

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

Click.

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

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

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

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

Without us knowing anything.

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

Did I mention it was without us knowing anything?

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

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

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

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

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

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




HOME TO CHAPEL SPRINGS (Book #3)



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Nora: This is powerful!

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

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

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

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

Nora: Wow!

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

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

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

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

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

“But her husband…”

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

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

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

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


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

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

ANSWER ONE Of the QUESTIONS BELOW to ENTER THE DRAWING


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

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


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

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

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


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

TESSA AFSHAR MUST READ LAND OF SILENCE 3 BOOK GIVEAWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2014


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



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


Thanks to Tyndale for the THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY. 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


ENTER DRAWING TODAY!! 
Last Day to Enter Drawing is MAY 20th REMEMBER to leave your contact info - email address PLEASE!! Thanks!

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

Sponsored by Tyndale Publishers #ad#contest

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


HALLEE BRIDGEMAN AN AUTHOR TO WATCH

A Melody for James
By Hallee Bridgeman
Published by Olivia Kimbrell Press
ISBN#978-193960-3074
322 Pages

Back Cover: Solitary strangers meet during a stormy stopover. Hours later, their hearts hum a harmonious duet. Melody Mason has the hottest female voice in the country music scene. But the cheers of throngs of adoring fans mean little in the absence of the handsome stranger who rescued her years before. Widower James Montgomery has never forgotten her. He prays God can bring her back. Incredible events finally bring them face to face again. Together at last, they realize the bond between them has miraculously risen to a crescendo, melodiously marrying them like strong symphonic chords. Uncannily, they learn they share more in common than they could have ever imagined. They know God reunited them for a purpose. Sinister forces threaten to destroy their new found happiness. The couple must work in close concert, placing all their faith in God as they solve the deadly mystery that ties their lives inexplicably together. Fire, loss, and bloodshed cannot shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that leaves hearts and lives forever changed.

REVIEW: Warning: Warning: Before reading this book have your favorite restaurant delivery number on speed dial. Get ready to be sucked into Melody and James’s world. You’ll be glued to this fast-paced suspenseful drama and lose track of time.

Hallee’s mother left this message that read, “This is your mother – I want you to quit your job, and go home and finish writing that book!” I agree with her mom. This author is gifted at creating rich, complex characters that jump off the page and into your heart. This author brilliantly weaves in a spiritual thread naturally, along with well-timed humor and fun moments between James and Melody that make you smile. I loved every second I spend reading this novel.

This story literally starts out with a bang that instantly pulls at your heart strings and makes you say WHAT? I didn’t see that coming. One of the aspects of the novel I enjoyed was that most of the novel is set in Atlanta, GA where I live. I also liked that the back drop for this story is set up in the music industry. Melody is a famous singer. This author shows Melody and how she prepares for her summer music tour. James had never seen this side of her before. They met four years ago when Melody was in route to go to Seminary and be a worship leader and James was grieving the murder of his wife.

James says this about Melody, “She made me forget Angela. She made me feel. For the first time in months. I felt something other than raw pain. That was priceless to me ….He believed God brought them together.”

Melody is a strong, gift song writer; who is passionate about family, friends and music. She is drawn to James and lets him gently lead her back to a relationship with God. He also helps her face her fear.  She knew all too well that, “Fear paralyzed you, made you weak and useless.” She hated that.

I liked what this author had to say about love through her characters, “True love, sacrificial love, that kind of love grew out of respect, similar interests, mutual goals….Could God, who is himself love, have orchestrated events already with infinite wisdom and infinite knowledge and predestine them to be brought together..?” James and Melody wonder. I love how this book isn’t preachy but keeps the main thing the main thing.

I highly recommend this novel filled with vivid imagery, believable likeable characters that made me feel as if I were watching a movie! Even though the author gets into the head of the bad guy and gives readers a peek into his sinister plot it never got really graphic. For that I am grateful. I like how the author tells you enough and lets your imagination do the rest.

I liked learning Olivia Kimbrell Press’s mission statement, “a publisher offering true to life, meaningful fiction from a Christian world view intended to up lift the heart and engage the mind.” This is why I read Christian fiction and loved this story.

An extra feature for readers are the well thought out discussion questions sure to liven up your meeting time. This novel is filled with twists, turns and surprises including a Bonus at the end with yummy sounding recipes. The authors says, “James invites Melody over his house for their first date. He cooks her a meal consisting of salad, bread, pasta with red sauce. Here you will find recipes to recreate that meal, which is sure to please and certain to enhance your discussion time of friendship and fellowship.” The recipe are for Crunchy Chopped Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing, Turkey Sausage Spaghetti sauce, Fresh Garlic French Bread and Mascarpone Cheesecake with Vanilla Almond Crust.

This story is GREAT for a book club pick. Hallee Bridgeman is an author to watch. This novel is a must read.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy.

An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a teenaged daughter, and two elementary aged sons delivers.

A prolific writer, when she's not penning novels, you will find her in the kitchen, which she considers the 'heart of the home'. Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food "Parody" cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.

Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time board member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC).

Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at
hallee@halleebridgeman.com

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

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

AFTER THE BOXES ARE UNPACKED REVIEWED

After the Boxes Are Unpacked
Moving on After Moving In
By Susan Miller
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#
257 Pages

Back cover: An essential relocation guide refreshed and updated for today’s movers.
More than 34 million Americans move each year, and studies show it can be one of the heaviest strains on a marriage. For women especially, relocating can be a traumatic event. With true stories, ingenious insights, and helpful hints, this great book makes transitioning smoother so women can get on with their lives. Those who are moving will find this valuable book as important as packing tape. Divided into three sections, After the Boxes are Unpacked helps recent movers focus on letting go of their past, starting over, and moving ahead. Topics include the following:

How to manage the emotional stress of leaving family and friends
How to support your spouse through a relocation
How to build new relationships in a new city
How to help children adjust to new surroundings and make friends
How to find a new church home
How to navigate financial challenges related to moving
How to discover God’s will for you and your family in a new city

This evergreen book has been a staple for movers for 20 years and has been extensively refreshed with additional content for today’s movers.

REVIEW: This book is well thought out. It's not one that tells you how to pack and label your boxes for moving. This author helps readers help themselves and their family get emotionally reader to move. Then she had steps for them to take to ready to get connected in their new community and thrive in that new environment.

The author gives readers a peek into a few of her moves, and that of some others. Showing there are all types of reasons and ways people get ready to move. This author shows that moving is not just about unpacking and setting up house somewhere else. There is so much that happens from point A to B. I hadn’t thought of the process of grieving, letting go of the past and coping with what you left behind; as you remember what was, and look forward to what is. The author shows how she had to  choose to start over. She says," I had to let God mold me through this process…until I allowed God to refine me and teach me…I couldn’t be ready to move forward in my life…I couldn’t mature in Christ until I let him mend and mold me!”

The author has heart to heart sections in the chapter where she wants to point out a scripture reference to help you look deeper in the situation or matter. Some of the topics mentioned are: Dealing with the emotional stress of leaving family and friends
How to support your spouse through a relocation (and deal with the stress of moving)
How to help children adjust to new surroundings and make friends
How to navigate financial challenges related to moving
How to discover God’s will for you and your family in a new city. This author talks about so much more.

This is such a rich resource on moving, leaving place and setting up things to make your new house a home emotionally. I found it very helpful and something I’ll be re-reading when I move. Change is never easy but this author helps readers cover all their bases. Even ones they didn’t know they had!!

ABOUT AUTHOR: SUSAN MILLER In 1995 I launched Just Moved Ministry out of a desire to offer women around the world the hope and encouragement of Jesus Christ as they cope with their losses and emotional struggles associated with a move, and the many other changes they face in life. Just Moved is a non-profit, global organization that provides resources and personal support to women who have moved, as well as to churches, neighborhoods, seminaries, military installations, and corporations that wish to encourage the uprooted woman and her family.

My desire to help women in transition led to writing several books, including After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving InBut Mom, I Don’t Want to Move!, and My Journey: a Journal for Movers. I also wrote Moving On After Moving In, a 13-session study based on After the Boxes are Unpacked. It is so exciting to know that After the Boxes are Unpacked… is now in its 21st printing, and is still considered a vital tool for bringing the message of hope to women who move.

It has been a privilege to be a guest on many radio programs such as Focus on the Family, with Dr. James Dobson; Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey; Family Life’sParent Talk; The Regina Brett show on NPR station WKSU ; Army Wife Talk Radio; and hosted my own radio talk show, Just Moved! I love knowing I can encourage thousands of women I would never even meet through the venue of radio!

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

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

DEE HENDERSON'S NEW NOVEL TRACES OF GUILT REVIEWED

Traces of Guilt
Dee Henderson
Published by Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-1887-3
400 Pages
  
Back Cover: Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

REVIEW: Cold cases are brought to the front burner with a new task force headed up by Ann Falcon (who readers have met in other novels by this author) under the request of the Governor.

Ann seeks the help of longtime friends The Thane brothers who live in Carin County where these cases took place. Evie is using her vacation time to dig into a twelve year old case. The first case she digs into is the Florist family disappearance. Sheriff Gabriel Thane is also a friend of Ann and is recruited by her to help in review clues in these cases. He helps Evie set up an office where she can work. The Sheriff likes her perspective. She sees things with fresh eyes; and has a new way of thinking. She likes solving real-life puzzles. Gabriel likes how she works. She says, “You’ve spent twelve years eliminating things…What is the motive? Were the deputy and family a chance encounter or were they targeted?” She was looking for the trigger event. She continues, “The more years pass, the more some people get annoyed with each other, drift apart, find old tensions simmering. The former-friend who will now give him up is a powerful investigative tool… you can find him by a general pattern he leaves in his wake. Violence rarely limits itself to a single type of assault…Who were people afraid of back then? Who are people afraid of today? Sometimes that question points to the right direction.”

The novel reminds me of a T.V. show I like to watch Elementary. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson dig through information and crime scenes trying to come up with the very things Evie mentions above. They hang their items up to create an evidence wall (like Evie does in this novel). It helps them see how things are intertwined; maybe discovering connections they hadn’t noticed before. There is no suspense and drama to the story it’s just the facts and a very interesting story line.

Dee Henderson writes a fascinating story from an investigators point of view. I found it interesting to read how they go about beginning their search. I felt like I was in the room with Evie and Sheriff Gabriel as they went about brainstorming the facts about the two cold cases. This is not a light read. Some of the evidence and situations they investigate are heart breaking. I liked the relationship aspect of this novel as well. It was fun to see the rich layers this author has created. I was glad to see Ann and Paul Falcon again and meet the Thane brothers, Gabriel, Will, and Joshua. Will is retired military and Joshua owns a bait and tackle shop.

This author gives readers an honest look at what investigators do to get to the bottom of things that have gone cold. It sure makes me glad that people like to jump in and try to solve these puzzles. It’s not easy. Not sure I could do any of this.

This author has changed her writing style over the years. Other novels I’ve read by her were nail biting suspenseful. These newer novels are kind a behind the scenes look at the professionals that do the job of seeking out the criminals and in this case trying to find out who done what years ago.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com .

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

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

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

LITTLE ONE, GOD MADE YOU SPECIAL REVIEWED


Little One, God Made You Special
By Amy Warren Hilliker
Illustrated by Polona Lovsin
ISBN#978-0310-753001-50699
Published by Zonderkids


Back Cover: Little One, God Made You Special, written by Amy Warren Hilliker and inspired by the New York Times #1bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life, is a cute and cuddly board book that let’s children know God made each one of us very special.

REVIEW: The cute and beautiful illustrations first caught my eye. They are beautiful, full of color and help bring the story to life. This book is written by Rick Warren’s daughter Amy. He says, “Even little ones can begin learning God has a unique purpose for their lives….”

I like the message of the book and how it goes along to talk about all the things that make this little bear special and things that no one else does like, “No one had your silly laugh when you splash in bubble baths.”

In the end the Mama bear reassures her cub, “You are perfect, little one. There’s no one like you – no, not one!”

This is a fun, beautiful board book that will help create special times with your children and grand-kids! I highly recommend it.

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

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

ENTER 3 BOOK DRAWING TODAY - LEAD ME HOME AMY K. SORRELLS


Lead Me Home
By Amy K. Sorrells
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-0955-3
370 Pages

Back Cover: Amid open fields and empty pews, small towns can crush big dreams.
Abandoned by his no-good father and forced to grow up too soon, Noble Burden has set his dreams aside to run the family farm. Meanwhile, James Horton, the pastor of the local church, questions his own calling as he prepares to close the doors for good.

As a severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood, both men fear losing what they care about most . . . and reconsider where they truly belong.

REVIEW: The title Lead Me Home (subtitle: What if all we’re looking for is right where we are?) first caught my eye. I was surprised and hooked to the story after I read the first line, “All at once, the Reverend James Horton understood why Frank Whitmore had killed himself.”

What? I’d never read a book that started out like that. This made me read more. Then I checked out the author note to reader section; she says,”…my heart was … broken for small churches, small towns, and the over looked among us…”It’s not easy being small these days, It’s not easy being the church these days either. Many small towns, independent farms, and churches are dying; just like in the fictional town of Sycamore, Indiana. Many folks like James Horton and Noble Burden wonder how they could possibly be in the right place. Many feel insignificant – even invisible – because of how they compare to the biggest churches, farms and dreams all around them…they struggle to feel like they matter when every sound bite, every social media outlet, everything that saturates our senses says that bigger, louder, stronger, smarter, more beautiful, more independent, and more trendy is better.”

I appreciated hearing her heart about these matters before I plunged into reading the rest of the story. The main character Pastor James Horton struggles with insecurity and the ability to wrap his mind around the church he’d been given to serve for years is closing. His wife was killed in a car accident a few years back and now he was facing the death of his church. How was this possible? Didn’t he hear from God about being the Pastor at this church? Deep down he didn’t blame the people for going to a more modern looking church.

“Higher Grounds resembled the TajJahal rising above the cornfields where the interstate rounded a bend on the way to Indianapolis and traffic getting in an out three morning and one Saturday evening service.”

“Sycamore Community Church (who James Pastored) had been a small ragamuffin church that still used hymnals, recited the Apostles Creed, sang the doxology after the offering, and typed and printed their own bulletins. James Horton didn’t doubt that Higher Grounds preached the same gospel…He wondered why so many were attracted to the loud and shiny places that made old places like Sycamore Community Church seem obsolete, even ignorant by comparison, on days James felt most discouraged, all he wanted to know from God was: Wasn’t the gospel supposed to be enough? Wasn’t he enough?”

This was a good point and fascinating to read about. Across the field Nobel Burden had put his dreams on hold after his father left them behind to run a dairy farm and take care of his younger brother and mother. His dream is to move to Nashville and play his music. The thing that keeps him planted is his family and the love he has for a young lady in town who hasn’t talked to him since her mother died in a car accident.

I felt for each characters situation. Nothing was easy but in the end the author reminds the characters and the reader of something important. Nobel says, “I think I’m realizing God’s been wanting to comfort me, but that he can’t if I don’t let him. If All I’m doing is running from him, I ain’t gonna find him because I’m looking in the wrong direction….Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love…”

This author explores both of these men’s’ situations as they seek God for answers and don’t hear a response right away. In the end both come to the same conclusion on their own; “Grace is abundant for each of us who chooses to believe.”

This is a moving, thought-provoking story with characters I deeply cared for. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last. This would make a great book pick for your book club.The author has included twelve discussion questions to help you create a lively discussion.  It’s a must read!  Add this title to your summer reading list.




ABOUT AUTHOR: AMY K. Sorrells is an award-winning author and occasional poet writing words of hope for a hurting world. Amy got her start in journalism, has written for medical publications, and enjoyed a three year stint as a weekly op-ed columnist for her town newspaper. A graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband and three sons in central Indiana.

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

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


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