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TIES THAT BIND by CINDY WOODSMALL REVIEWED

Ties that Bind
By Cindy Woodsmall
Published by WaterBrook Press
ISBN# 978-1601426994

Back Cover: Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever. Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

REVIEW: This author hooked me from the start, “Gnarled fingers of smoke seeped under the closed door of the old house. Fear threatened to steal Lovina’s ability to obey her husband’s departing words to stay put.”


This story tugged at my heart strings. I couldn’t put down. I instantly connected with the characters and felt for their situation. Cindy skillfully pens a powerfully moving story that could be ripped from today’s headlines and affects both the Amish and the Engischer world.  


I enjoyed this novel because it didn’t exclusively stay inside the Amish community. This author does a great job creating a tender story with believable characters I could relate to. I enjoyed her well timed humor and getting to the heart of the matter in relationships inside the family and outside in the world.

Here's a peek at the main Amish female character Ariana says about being a sister, “Sisterhood was like having a vivid rainbow and a gloomy thunderstorm in the same room at the same time.” LOL!


Here's a peek at leading male Amish character; Quill and what he shares about relationships, “People’s point of views were tricky in any relationship. That was especially true with him and Ariana. Quill had a helicopter view of the event in broad daylight. She wasn’t to blame for seeing him from the vantage point available to her (which was limited).”…He told Ariana “We have to allow people to make their own decisions about what’s right and wrong for them?” Quill is a complex young man who believes with all his heart he’s here to help people through the hard times. He wants to help them make the right choice for them no matter what the Old Order church says. This young man was loyal, responsible and wise.


Quill reflects on words found in a book from the Plymouth colony that help him.” All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties…Hardship wasn’t an indicator of being right or wrong. It was a sign of being alive.”


Ariana aspires to own her own restaurant that would benefit her whole family; at the same time she is fearful a family member wants to leave the Amish community. She thinks about the “fear Amish parents lived with …after welcoming newborns into the fold, watching over them with love and prayers for two decades, give or take, and then to see them across a great divide, standing in the world with the Amish on the other side. Did Englisch parents live with such fear, for their children – the terror that the fires of hell would swallow their loved ones?”


This is not your typical Amish story where a person is unhappy with the Old Order ways and wants to embrace the ways of the World. It’s so much more. This author does a brilliant job of engaging readers in this heart-wrenching tale that has two families think about what’s important to God, to themselves, and others. I can’t wait to read the next book in The Amish of Summer Grove series. I’m fascinated to see where this amazing author takes these characters next. This would make a great book club pick. There is so much to talk about that is relevant to everyone. This book is 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 www.bookfunmagazine.com 

PULSE by L.R. BURKARD REVIEWED


Pulse
By L.R. Burkard
Published by: Lilliput Press
ASIN#B011WSHROU
275 Pages

Back Cover: What do you do when the whole world stops?
When everything you've come to depend upon--transportation, grocery shopping, cell phones, and the internet--comes to a sudden, crashing halt?
Welcome to PULSE.

Three teenage girls and their families must survive when America's worst nightmare actually occurs: The failure of the electric grid due to an electromagnetic pulse.

To outsiders, Andrea Patterson has the American dream house and family. But when the unthinkable happens and life is forever different, the dream looks more like a nightmare--one from which she and her family may not wake up alive.

Lexie Martin's farm family has never been cool like Andrea's, but they've been prepping for disaster for years. For them, the world didn't stop; it just slowed down. The one thing they didn't prepare for? A psycho school bus driver who wants what they've got.

Sarah Weaver, friend of Andrea and Lexie, lives on the top floor of a ten-story apartment building. When things went black, she thought it could be romantic--like living in the time of Jane Austen.

She was wrong.

Has the world collapsed forever?
Who will survive when technology fails? Perhaps even more important,
Who will get to eat?

REVIEW: The cover made me stop, then I looked at the author’s name. I was thrilled to learn that L.R. Burkard and Linore Burkard were the same person. I adored the authors other books and was excited to read this new YA series. The set up for this story is brilliant. The reader experiences the tragic worldwide event from three very different teenage girls’ POV’S. These three girls are friends and go to school together – that is about as much as they have in common. The author introduces one young lady at a time; writing the novel in first person; which made it more intimate. Andrea is 16 and the first teenager to experience the fall out. Each new chapter starts out giving the time line like this Jan 11th Day one (and so on – this is important when you read the other girls stories)

Andrea things to herself, “So my dad got all upset because when he went to leave for work the car went halfway down the driveway and died. His precious Mercedes. I was just walking out to wait for the school bus and he hurried towards me in a huff, yelling something about how the starter wouldn’t even turn over.”

“What’d you do to the car, Andrea? He demanded. I stared at him. I couldn’t believe he was trying to pin it on me.”

After the reader learns about that family they meet the next teenager in PART 2 Lexie Jan 11th 16 years old - Day one. Lexie thinks to herself, “We’re the “preppers” we’d long ago taken seriously the idea that something catastrophic could render the country helpless in a matter of minutes by shutting down the entire electric grid. Heck, we almost expect it. My parents even had enough emergency supplies in storage to last through such a disaster…had it really happened?” As you can see this gal has a different spin on things. It’s quite fascinating to read.

The reader meets the last teen SARAH in PART 3 she too is 16 years old and lives in the city. She has a completely different situation then the other two girls which reminded me of the movie The Day After. The author takes readers through all these families’ lives -later mixing up the girls situations as time goes on. The author takes readers to part 6 which is three months out in time.

Each family has troubles even the ones that are prepared. Readers see that fire drills are different than actually experiencing the real deal! This is a realistic look at what desperate people do in desperate times. It’s edgy but not too graphic. This book sets the stage for the next book in the series. You’ll want to know what happens to these three friends and the families. You’ll want to know how God moves in their lives through impossible situations. This book grabbed my heart and never let go as I watched these families struggle; I couldn’t help but wondered what I’d do.

I instantly cared about these girls and their all too real situation. I had read a series similar to this one that showed a small towns struggle. It didn’t happen in the thick of winter like this story did. This one is written in first person which puts a whole new spin on things. Learning about this through the eyes of teens had me spell bound! You won’t want to miss this gritty and powerful series. This would make a great book club pick. There is so much to discuss.

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

DECEPTION ON SABLE HILL by SHELLEY GRAY REVIEWED


Deception on Sable Hill
By Shelley Gray
Published by Zondervan
ISBN# 978-0-310-33854-3
334 Pages

Back Cover: The World’s Fair has introduced many new ideas to Chicago society—but can two individuals from very different backgrounds find love together?

It’s mid-September 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs is the reigning debutant of Gilded Age Chicago society. To outsiders she appears to have it all. But Eloisa is living with a dark secret. Several months ago, she endured a horrible assault at the hands of Douglass Sloane, heir to one of Chicago’s wealthiest families. Fearing the loss of her reputation, Eloisa confided in only one friend. That is, until she meets Detective Sean Ryan at a high-society ball.

Sean is on the fringes of the Chicago elite. Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best chance to ensure security. Despite social boundaries, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs. Sean will do anything to keep her safe—even if he can never earn her affections.

Eloisa longs to feel normal again, but a killer is on the loose. In the last month, three debutants have been accosted by an assailant wielding a knife, and Eloisa fears for her safety at every event she attends. As the danger in the city increases, and as the romance between Eloisa and Sean blossoms, they both realize they want to be seen as more than how the world views them. But will they catch the killer before all their hopes come crashing down?

REVIEW: It’s the beautiful and intriguing cover that grabbed my attention first. Then I noticed the name of the author. I’ve wanted to read one of her books for a while now. Up until now she’d written mostly Amish. The bonus for me was the story took place during the World’s Fair and I liked how it showed the confusing times within social lines in Chicago that were rapidly changing.

The author whisks readers into Eloisa’s world mingling at an elegant party Eloisa’s mother insisted she attend.  A young man starts to lead her to a private area. Eloisa becomes nervous. She doesn’t want to go. Sean Ryan sees panic in Eloisa’s eyes. He steps in to see how she is. She gladly accepts his help. Then people at the party panic for other reasons, screams break out. Everyone is nervous about The Slasher who’s been cutting beautiful rich girls’ faces; leaving them scarred for life!

The author says, “I truly loved Eloisa’s character. She worked hard to overcome the pain she suffered in a previous book…” She continues,…”Deception on Sable Hill takes place at the end of the Gilded age, right before the turn of the Century that will bring the Great War, Prohibition, the women’s right to vote. And the rise of the middle class.”

Eloisa finds it easy to set her feelings aside and pretend all was right with her world but not now. Not after she was sexually assaulted by a gentleman her mother set her up with. No one knows her secret and that she’s tarnished. She spent a long time hiding from people. But after a while became a fighter, “Perhaps life really was worth grasping and taking chances.(she thought) Perhaps life really was for living by what a person wanted instead of how others would view their having it.” She wasn’t going to let this event define her.

She helps Detective Sean Ryan with what she knew about the woman who were cut by the Slasher. She liked Sean and wondered if he liked her too. It was crazy for either of them to think this way. They were from very different worlds.

Sean explains to her when asked why they can’t have feelings for each other; “Because I’m Irish, Eloisa. Because I’m working class. Because my family built canals and railroads and worked in the stockyards while yours financed them. Because each of your evening gowns likely costs more than I earn in a month.”

Elosia looks Sean…”Those things don’t define you….You are more than that.”

Sean Ryan watches how the reverse situation his partner Owen Howard is going through. Owen is interested in his young nineteen year old sister Katie. She’s impressionable, feisty and wonders if she’ll ever be suitable for a man like Owen. The author says this about Katie “I felt she represented all the changes that were taking place for women at the turn of the century.” I agree

Eloisa wants to volunteer to help at Hope House. Sean runs into her sister later and asks how the tour of Hope House went with Eloisa.. Mauve explains, “She has everything, Sean. She has everything and she wants more. She’s going to want to marry a man who can give her more. No matter what you might think, she is not going to want to marry someone like you.”

Emotions run high and misunderstandings are inevitable between the classes. Will anyone be able to get along? Understand? This author gave a clear understanding of this matter from both sides. The author doesn’t have the reader solve the mystery but to go alongside the people that are in charge of investigating; Ryan and Owen. We see how this event affects their lives and their loved ones.

This is the second book in the Chicago World’s Fair mystery series; book one was titled Secrets of Sloane. I hadn’t read book one. I didn’t feel lost at all. I look forward to reading the third and final book in this series that’s scheduled to release November 2015; titled Whispers in the Reading Room. This novel would make a great book club pick. The author includes great discussion questions that would help in book club discussions. It’s a win, win for everyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Blogging program. 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

HARRY MOON CONTEST STARTS TODAY!


Very first HARRY MOON Contest! 

Who is Harry Moon? He's a kid navigating his way through middle school with the help of his friends; one of them is a white rabbit. Check out his facebook page to learn more!


LIKE the Page, and Tell them BOOK FUN Sent you to be entered in the Drawing.


What can you win?
An annual subscription,(a Harry Moon book every other month)  for your child, your grandchild, your neighbor's child (or grandchild) or a stranger's child (or grandchild) or even for YOU! 

What comes with this cool subscription?
Every other month, you get a book! About the Adventures of Harry Moon in his home town of Sleepy Hollow.

First you will get a welcome package, with a hard cover book, a poster, a map of Sleepy Hollow, a Sleepy Hollow Hat, a cool looking carabiner to hook to your belt (Similar to this, but different).

A letter from the Mayor of Sleepy Hollow, and More!!! 


In between the books you will get the Sleepy Hollow NEWS and an App that includes all the books (as they are released) in eBook form for FREE!

What do I do to get one?
First... go to the HarryMoon Face Book Page  and LIKE the PAGE and leave a comment: BookFun Sent Me"


We will be watching all of the new friends gather there and in November we will be announcing who gets the really cool, unbelievably awesome, wondrously woven, Harry Moon Subscriptions!

I've read the first book titled Wand Paper Scissors in the series and LOVED IT!! I liked Harry Moon, his family and their sense of humor. This hard back book is beautifully illustrated and the message inside the book is what every parent wants their kids to read. It's full quirky characters I instantly connected with. As I read this book I saw opportunities for parents to laugh together and talk about matters you normally wouldn't have a chance to. Talking about talent shows, friendships, and bullies.

Back Cover: Wand Paper Scissors Harry Moon is up to his eyeballs in magic in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. His arch enemy, Titus Kligore, has eyes on winning the Annual Scary Talent Show. Harry has a tough job ahead if he is going to steal the crown. He takes a chance on a magical rabbit who introduces him to the deep magic. Harry decides that the best way forward is to DO NO EVIL and the struggle to defeat Titus while winning the affection of the love of his life goes epic.

I enjoyed this story so much I can't wait to read it to my grandson. What are you waiting for? HEAD over to HarryMoonFaceBookPage and ENTER TODAY!! Tell Harry that BOOK FUN Sent you!! Grin!

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

Post Sponsored by Rabbit Publications #AD

EVERY BRIDE NEEDS A GROOM by JANICE THOMPSON REVIEWED


Every Bride Needs a Groom
By Janice Thompson
Published by Revell
ISBN# 978-0-8007-2399-6
362 Pages

Back Cover: Somewhere in a sea of tulle and taffeta, satin and crepe, Katie Fisher needs to find a key ingredient of the perfect wedding--the groom.

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is busy planning her fairy-tale wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn't managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? Anyway, she's sure he'll be getting down on one knee any time now. And a one-of-a-kind designer dress doesn't just fall out of the sky right when you need it.

But when Katie's boyfriend takes a job in another town and breaks up with her--on the very same day she wins her dream dress--her world is turned upside down. Dare she go to Dallas to claim her prize? And will the hunky pro basketball player who runs the beyond-swanky bridal shop--yeah, you read that right--discover her humiliating secret if she does?

REVIEW: Janice Thompson kicks off another fun and thought-provoking series in a small town I wanted to visit with quirky characters I instantly loved. In the middle of planning a wedding and all the changes marriage brings she causes readers to take a closer look at family, relationships and change. I liked that and the fact that this author took readers into a wedding boutique where Cosmopolitan wedding dress designer does her creating.  Do you want a great escape and a story that makes you smile from ear to ear. This book is it. I highly recommend this novel for Fun, fun, fun! I look forward to the next book in the series Every Bride Gets Confused, out October 2015.

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsor Revell
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 www.bookfunmagazine.com

TWO RENEGADE REALMS by DONITA K. PAUL REVIEWED


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310735815/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=06BBKNTR2Y3Q51EH0EBP&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop
Book 2

Two Renegade Realms
By Donita K. Paul
Published by Zondervan
ISBN#978-0310735816
416 Pages

About Book: In book two of the Realm Walkers Series, Cantor, Bixby, and Dukmee must band together to find the storied realm walker Chomountain after the devastating attack by the corrupt Realm Walkers Guild. But what they discover while traveling turns their mission upside down and they must now find a way to restore Chomountain.

REVIEW: I was first captured by the beautiful cover of this book. Second; I’ve read several of this authors books and loved reading them. This author usually writes for middle readers 5-8th graders. Her stories are dragon adventures filled with fun, and fantasy. It’s a great escape. I like that all of the dragons in her books are very different, unique (just like people) I couldn’t wait to jump into this magical world filled with dragons and mystery. What I didn’t realize when I ordered this title is this was book two in the Realm Walker series.

I tried several times to read this book all the way thru but there was so much missing that other readers would have grasped from book one. This book is not a stand-alone novel. I couldn’t wrap my mind around and follow the story line.  I found it hard to navigate my way through this fantasy world and connect with the place and its characters. I was lost. I didn’t know the, who, what, where, why and when. I’m going to try this book again once I’ve read book one in the series titled, One Realm Beyond.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Blogging program. 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

THOMAS LOCKE UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY- Trial Run




ABOUT AUTHOR: Thomas Locke AKA Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.


What do you hope readers take away from Trial Run?

Thomas: Toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein said, 'The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all good science.'  That's what I've tried to instill here, and what I would love to hear that readers have discovered, a renewed sense awareness of the glorious mystery within life. 
Thomas Locke/Davis Bunn Hiking
My first Thomas Locke book, entitled Emissary, was released in early January of this year. The week before it was launched I received a really strong review from the national book club magazine. The reviewer then asked to speak with me by phone, and she revealed that she is going through chemotherapy. The lady then she thanked me for helping her to completely escape from herself for three days. She said what was greatest to her was that she came away from the book with a new sense of hope.  I have to tell you that is just about the finest response I have received in my twenty-plus years as a published writer.  And it is exactly what I hope other readers will find, a chance to fly away with this story as their personal magic carpet, and return to earth with a renewed sense of hope.

Nora: Emissary did whisk me away in to a fascinating world with characters I instantly cared for. Looking forward to reading the next installment out in December; titled Merchant of Alyss.

In your research for Trial Run did you come across any technology that was similar to and/or might be close to being created; similar to what you discuss in this novel?

Thomas: Absolutely. In the past six years, the study of human brains and thought patterns has seen more progress than in all the centuries up to now. New technologies that have become commonplace in hospitals and clinics, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has been redesigned to show what is happening inside a person's mind as they think or feel certain things. 'Reading' thoughts remains impossible, because the actual brainwave patterns are unique to each individual.  But the underlying trends are the same for all humanity. This has resulted in scientists being able to stimulate new 'trends', or primary brainwave patterns. They are now able to treat very serious issues, such as migraines, in some patients using these same non-invasive techniques.

Nora: Oh, wow. Amazing and scary!

What was your favorite scene in Trial Run? Which was the most fun to write? Why?

Hiking
Thomas: Both of those questions have the same answer.  My first image, the concept that launched me into writing Trial Run, was the scene where Trent Major dreams his very first dream. That entire concept was written once and not changed at all, through all the redrafts and edits, the scene arrived full blown.  I can still see that image of the kid crouching by in that little concrete cave, with the neighbor's cat for company, and then bouncing into the classroom where he meets his older self.  In just four pages, we are introduced to a character, his vulnerabilities, and the future of where this book is headed.  It is a great scene.

Nora: That was fun to read. Kind of reminded me a little of a scene from Back to the Future. Grin!

Many sci-fi, fantasy stories lately are dark and hopeless. What do you hope readers glean from Trial Run that they won’t see in current main-stream fiction?

Thomas: This is a great question.  My first passion as a childhood reader was science fiction and fantasy.  So many of these stories imparted a sense of the heroic.  The challenges were massive, the vistas beyond the scope of normal life, and the characters rose up to become what was required in order to vanquish the threat. I still feel this helped shape my own sense of determination and hope.  And this is what I would like to offer readers today. 

Nora: Stories like Hunger Games and Insurgent do not leave the audience much hope of anything.  I really appreciate that aspect of your stories. You write incredibly creative adventure stories with hope!! It's a win, win. 

In Trial Run you reveal a dangerous, mind-bending technology that twists time in unexpected directions; perception and reality become entangled. How did you come up with this concept?

Thomas: My nephew and dear friend, Mason Matthews, is a theoretical physicist.  He has gone to great pains to introduce me to the world of quantum physics, which basically means spending hours dumbing down his life's work.  One issue he grapples with constantly, and which is increasingly becoming a topic of work and thought within his profession, is the link between the quantum world and human thought.  Our consciousness, at its core, does not seem to function according to what anyone would consider logical patterns.  The whole issue of time and causality are redefined at the level of thought and human emotions.  These conversations have expanded my own world enormously, and as a result I dedicated Trial Run to my incredibly intelligent – and patient – nephew.

Nora: That aspect of the story was fascinating!
Biking










Can you explain what “near-time sci-fi is and how you’ve used it in Trial Run?

Thomas: Maybe we should start with an example, such as Michael Chrichton's Jurassic Park.  Near-time sci-fi uses today's world, what is called a contemporary setting, and then takes technology that we know of right now, and carts it on around the bend of time.  The great thing about near-time sci-fi is, we establish characters and places in the world that everyone knows.  We're not off fighting aliens on Mars.  We're right here, right now.  This creates the challenge of maintaining a tight hold on reality, even while I'm bending and stretching this reality with a technology that doesn't exist.  Yet. 

Nora: Thanks for clearing that up. Grin!

This is a fast-paced, eventful novel, a page-turner for sure. How do you make sure you don’t give the reader too much at once? That you gave them time to breathe in between events – situations?

Thomas: This is another great question.  The issue you've raised here is crucial to good writing.  The reader needs to discover the story's events, and what they mean, in time to the characters.  This also offers the opportunity to mask the actual direction with false trails.  If the character believes and becomes emotionally invested in one thing, it needs to serve as a magnet for the audience.  Then at the end, the reader can look back and say, man, I never saw that coming.  What they don't say, but what is absolutely essential, is that, wow, this actually followed a completely logical course from page one. 

Nora:  You said, "the reader can look back and say, man, I never saw that coming" I felt this way several times! Grin!

Your characters struggle with what is real? Who is in control? What is control? What do you hope readers catch in their struggle? Relate to? What hope do you want them to leave with?

Thomas: (I really love these questions.) Government surveillance has become a huge issue.  It's now estimated that the average person in Great Britain, where we live, is caught on surveillance cameras over three hundred times each day.  As I started developing this story, I found myself repeatedly coming back to the issue of, where is this headed? What if there really is nothing off-limits from official scrutiny?  What if a new technology like this granted governments to spy on anything, and anyone, anywhere in the world?



The issue gathered a momentum all its own.  What if a shadow agency had the ability to create a total scrutiny?  Every conversation I had, or action I took, now and in the future.  All exposed.  What would happen to our society, and to the fabric of our very lives?

In Trial Run, a group operating as consultants to the federal government steal this experimental project in order to do just that.  They use this cutting-edge technology to obtain intelligence. The military supplies this group with test subjects, and their initial trials bring in some incredible results.  But at the moment of real success, a number of these subjects fall into a coma.  The military comes down hard and threatens to pull the plug.  The group is frantic to find a way to keep going, especially as the subjects who make it back are reporting abilities that go far beyond anything they might have expected. 

Nora: I like how you brought all this out and made readers think. Crazy to read about average people in Great Britain being caught on video 300 times per day. Oh, My!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?

Thomas: Ocean waves

There are so many types of weather which is your favorite? Which to you try to avoid?

Thomas: Favorite:  Light off-shore winds with a storm a thousand miles out to sea, drawing all the bad weather away and creating beautiful perfect crystal-clear waves.
Avoid:  Hurricanes.

Have you seen any good movies lately and/or read a book you won’t soon forget? Please share!

Thomas: Movies: I recently saw 'Live Die Repeat' again for the third time (bad joke).  Some of the violence was over the top.  But the concept was brilliant.  I thought it was the best acting I've seen in years from Tom Cruise. I am currently doing the interviews tied to the launch of Trial Run, and one of the program hosts this morning was going on and on about wanting to see Trial Run as a film starring Tom Cruise.  It was, to say the least, a great interview.

Nora: Fun!

Thomas: Books: This summer I started re-reading a number of classics that I have not picked up in years.  I just finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird.  Now I am reading The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.  Both were written around the same time-frame, and both hold such incredible insight into today's world.  

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

Thomas: Right now we are working on four different film projects.  Patience is required at so many levels, and with so many issues.  The gift in all this, the truly remarkable event, is how many of these people have become friends.  I am effectively trusting them with my life's work.  When I sign the contract, my role as creator, and all control that I've maintained up to this point, are handed to them.  Trusting this to friends who at least try to maintain my sense of vision is vital.

Thomas Locke/Davis Bunn and Nora FL 2015
Why not have more believers work in mainstream fiction and in Hollywood?  So long as we remain in our comfort zones, the trend taken by those in charge will be towards ever-darker themes.  It is the course we have seen for twenty years now, and it will continue until we make our voices heard.

Nora: It's exciting to hear about your film projects. I'm so glad you are in that arena giving the audience a great story with a powerful message with hope.

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN going on right Now at www.bookfun.org LAST DAY to Enter August 31st.

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! 
Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of AUGUST at www.bookfun.org .

REMINDER - Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows. The last day to enter this drawing is the last day of the month.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Sincerely,

Nora :o)

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


Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers

REAL FOOD FOR ROOKIES by KELLY MOEGGENBORG REVIEWED

Real Food for Rookies
By Kelly Moeggenborg, A.K.A.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Published by: H and B House of Bread
ISBN# 978-1-939603-86-9
173 Pages

Back Cover: Kelly says, “It wasn't that many years ago that I didn't have a clue how to feed my family well. To be honest, it wasn't even on my radar to pay much attention to what I was feeding them, I just didn't think food made that big of a difference. It was all about what was cheap, what tasted good, and what was convenient to throw together. Even though we struggled helping our kids in school, and there were behavioral issues that had us under constant stress, I still didn't make the connection.”

REVIEW: This author made a food transition in her family from junk food to real food 10 years ago. She seeks to encourage and show others it can be done because her family of six is still doing it. She says, “You can’t do better until you know better… I want to help you learn more quickly than I did”…“My best advice is start where you can. Keep adding more positive changes as you are ready to tackle them.”

 This author is passionate about eating real foods and wants to help others do the same. This book was originally titled The Real Food Ingredients Guide. It’s been up-dated; revised, expanded and has a new name. My family has just embarked on this adventure; there is so much to take in.

I’m very thankful to have found this book. It’s helpful in understanding terminology found on packaging labels. It’s easy to follow and comprehend as the author shares about how her family started, she says, “I was a product of the late 70’s and 80’s convenience food trend”…”When I married we ran through the drive thru 2 – 3 times a week. Why? Because it was fast and easy and it tasted good!” ..”During that time I got my thinking and taste buds all messed up”

I appreciated her honesty and encouragement about how their family evolved to where they are today. We all live busy lives and often don’t have days and days to educate ourselves about many items found on the grocery store shelf. It’s overwhelming! This author has done her homework. She’s A.K.A. as The Kitchen Kop and her website keeps readers up to date on changes and/or recipes she discovers along with helpful information to be aware of.

The book is small, has useful information and packs a powerful punch in assisting the reader to easily navigate making “Real Food” choices at the grocery store and on-line.  This author helped me to understand what to look for on food labels and made me aware of the names associated with different methods of farming food.

I liked her rules about what to focus on when getting started.
1.    “If you can’t pronounce something on the label, don’t buy it.
2.    If there’s a ‘whole’ version, buy that instead.
3.    This tip is one you’re probably heard a lot, but holds true regardless: Did your great grandmother eat it? If not, then you shouldn’t either.
4.    Buying more and more foods without a label is a great goal, but don’ worry, we’re not there yet either! “

The first part of the book offers a reference guide on good and bad food ingredients, looks at local versus organic, fats and oils, milk variations, and lists other quick food facts. The second part of the book includes Kelly’s top ten list of junk food in pictures, six obstacles in making the change to real food, six recipes, the authors’ final words, and helpful resources and links.

Kelly states, “What you eat does matter.” I liked her list of objections she’s heard about going this route. (She talks more about the matters I’ve listed.)
1. It’s not about perfection, it’s about learning more and more, doing a little better all the time. The truth can and will set you free.
2. Feel confused – overwhelmed about where to start? Ask yourself some questions. What is most natural? How did God design it? And several other helpful questions to help keep the main thing the main thing.
3. Who has the time?
4. Family complaints – she lists them.
5. Money? Eating real costs more. She talks about finding some.
6. Commitment to the long haul. What are the best tips to stay on track? Etc.

This author includes family favorites converted to real food recipes near the back of the book. There are several that look good Pizza, Chicken nuggets, Ice Cream etc (with black and white pictures) and many others on her website. The author states, “Be patient with yourself and your family. Realize that permanent change takes time.” Amen!

This book is a great way to start your “Real Food’ adventure. This book will lead you to her website which will take you to the next level. This journey is about taking one step at a time and staying the course to wellness!! It’s a win, win for everyone!

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

SARAH SUNDIN UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY TBCN



ABOUT AUTHOR: Sarah Sundin is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten is a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award, and her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. http://www.sarahsundin.com.

How did you come up with the idea for Through Waters Deep?

Sarah: I really wanted to tell the story of two old friends who are reunited and slowly fall in love. Plus, I was intrigued by what was happening in 1941, when the United States was officially neutral in World War II. I was surprised by the angry division and all the rumors of sabotage and espionage—which stoked my story imagination! I was also surprised to learn American warships were escorting British convoys and exchanging fire with U-boats—before Pearl Harbor! What would it be like to serve as a naval officer on a destroyer at that time? And what if there really was a saboteur at a shipyard?

“I’d like to ask you about Mary; the female lead character in your story. Mary loved reading Nancy Drew mysteries as a girl and is thrilled to have her own mystery to solve. What did you like most about reading Nancy Drew mysteries? Is there anything you’ve always longed to do because of a book or movie?

Sarah: Ironically, I wasn’t the big Nancy Drew reader in the family—my mother and sister were. I read quite a few though, and I was always impressed with Nancy’s pluck and persistence. As for me, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls and wear sunbonnets and ride in covered wagons. The closest I’ve come is the stagecoach ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, but I’ll survive.

Park Street Boston

In growing up, what were three important values you learned that stuck with you and shaped your life?

Sarah: It’s so hard to pick the top three! My parents taught me to always do the right thing, even when it’s hard and even if you stand alone. They taught me to pay close attention to details and to do your best work. And they taught me the value of lifelong education, of always reading and exploring and challenging yourself.


Can you give us a peek into where the story heads in book two of the Waves of Freedom series?

Sarah: Anchor in the Storm is scheduled for the summer of 2016. For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ens. Archer Vandenberg, even if Arch is her brother’s best friend. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast in the darkest days of the war, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch’s efforts to aid Lillian’s investigation and to win her trust fling them both into danger—from torpedoes, drug lords, and opened hearts.

You’ve mentioned the fact that your last trip to Boston was in 2014 to gather photos and facts for this new series. What do you love most about Boston? Is there a place you like to visit and/or take others there when you go to Boston? 

Sarah: I do love Boston! There’s history everywhere. We love to walk the Freedom Trail, which takes you to many of Boston’s historical sites in a day’s walk. From Boston Common to the Old North Church to the USS Constitution, there’s something for every interest.

Boston is rich in history and the shipyards and naval bases played a key role in WWII. Did you go on a destroyer? How is that ship different from the rest? What struck you most about the shipyards and naval bases?

USS CASSIN
Sarah: I’ve had the chance to tour several destroyers. In Boston, we toured the WWII-era destroyer USS Cassin Young at the Charlestown Navy Yard. Destroyers are often overlooked in favor of the huge, impressive aircraft carriers and battleships (which I love!). But destroyers are scrappy little ships, fast and maneuverable and versatile, and they played a pivotal role in WWII. Because the ships were smaller, the crews were usually quite close too.

In Boston, we thoroughly explored the Charlestown Navy Yard. Since my heroine worked there, I was much more interested in the workings of the shipyard than I’d been on previous trips. I was surprised just how many people worked there in WWII—almost 50,000 at the peak in 1943!

Your daughter recently got married? What surprised you about that day? What is something you’ll never forget? Special moment you can share?
Family Picture this Summer at Wedding

Sarah: Yes, our daughter got married on July 18! There were so many wonderful moments…Walking down the aisle on the arms of my two handsome sons…Watching my lovely daughter walk down the aisle on the arm of her beaming daddy…The joy of Christian friendship as our small group stepped in and quietly filled unexpected needs at the reception. And the most surprising moment? Watching our three kids and all their friends bopping on the dance floor to music from the ’80s—from my era! 

Nora: Fun! Beautiful family!

There are so many types of weather which is your favorite? Which to you try to avoid?

Sarah: I love cold and rain. I hate hot and humid with a passion—it makes me downright cranky.

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
Family Trip to Italy



Sarah: I’m getting quite sentimental now that my nest is emptying. My favorite sound is when all three of my “babies” (plus my new son-in-law!) are home and are teasing each other and telling funny stories and laughing. Music to my ears.

Nora: I'm quickly approaching that stage in our family life too!



Have you seen any good movies lately and/or read a book you won’t soon forget? Please share!

Sarah: It’s been a crazy summer, so I’m way behind in my reading! I recently read Karen Barnett’s Beyond the Ashes, set in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Great mix of well-researched history, a delightful romance, and a stirring spiritual message.

Nora: Sounds interesting!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given, what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

My kids (again). They range from 17 to 22, so they’re all in the middle of making Big Life Decisions—marriage, college, career, where to live. So I pray for them to turn to the Lord themselves, make wise decisions, and to have peace. And I pray a lot for my own peace, patience, wisdom, and restraint in working with them. These years are challenging but exciting, and I’m in awe of the wonderful young adults all three of them are becoming!

Nora: My children range 17 to 23 Grin! Looking forward to and sad about my son's Senior year. My 23 year old daughter and husband are expecting our grand daughter in December of this year. This does keep us praying! I can relate to what you say about praying for ourselves too! Grin!

SARAH, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
Thank you so much for having me back on The Book Club Network!I love to hear from readers. Stop by my website and say Hi! 
http://www.sarahsundin.com.

Nora: Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of AUGUST (Currently underway - Check it out) at www.bookfun.org .

Looking forward reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! REMINDER - Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows. The last day to enter this drawing is the last day of the month.

Sincerely,

Nora :o)

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