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THE HUNTRESS of THORNBECK FOREST by MELANIE DICKERSON REVIEWED

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
By Melanie Dickerson
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN#978-0-7180-2624-0
310 Pages

Back Cover: A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.
A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.

Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

REVIEW: The beautiful cover first drew me to look inside; then author whisked me into the forest where Odette Menkels and her team are hunting. By day Odette teaches poor children to read and by night she poaches deer to feed these children. She knows what it’s like to be an orphan begging on the streets for food.

Odette is the niece of a prosperous merchant named Rutger, who found her on the streets and placed her in a life of privilege. Her uncle has not forced her to marry but has treated her to a tutor so teaches Odette different languages and allows her read the scriptures.

Odette hears a familiar love ballad and thinks, “The words made Odette wrinkle her nose. She did not like to admit, but she did hope someday she might want to “lock someone away in her heart” and lose the key. But unless he was wealthy and willing to help the poor, she feared she might be destined to go on poaching deer until she grew too old to stretch a bowstring.”

Jorgen Hartman is the new forester. He’s honorable, handsome and hardworking. He tells Odette, “Poaching cannot be tolerated. The king’s land, forests, and game in this region are entrusted to me and it is my duty to see that they are maintained and protected.”

This author is skilled in storytelling and brings this Robin Hood like adventure to life in a unique way. I adored her strong female character and Jorgen the Forester trying hard to do the right thing when it seemed impossible for them to do it. This author does a great job in having you not like a few characters in the story too; like Mathis Papendrop who is a wealthy, respectable young man who adores Odette. He says he’ll give her breathing room to make up her mind about marrying him but nothing is beyond his scope of doing in order to get his way. Odette wants to marry for love! Was that a wrong thing to hope for?

Another thing she struggled with was her justification in breaking the law to feed the poor. “She knows her actions might hurt the people around her but what about the hungry children?” I enjoyed Odette’s journey in discovering how important it was to live a life of integrity all the way around. Not just in one part of life!

As the story unfolds you’ll shake your head and smirk as you wonder who was betraying whom. This is a story with rich characters with themes of faith, loyalty, trusting God, integrity, loss, doing the right thing. The author weaves in suspense, drama, a mystery and a splash of romance along with a mascaraed ball. She has it all!! It’s a fun and delightful read.

This would make a good book club pick there is a lot going on. The author has included 14 discussion questions to help keep the discussion lively. This book makes for a fun escape too!

I would love to see this on the big screen!! Just saying! Can’t wait to read this author’s next book titled The Golden Braid the caption reads, “The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.” Release date is November 2015 mark your calendars. I’m marking mine!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complementary 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 www.psalm516.blogspot.com
The Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

CAN'T BUY ME LOVE by BETH K. VOGT REVIEWED - GRAB it TODAY .99 Cents

Can’t Buy Me Love
By Beth Vogt
Published by Howard Books
ASIN#BOOUBCL6C8
140 pages

BACK COVER: In this e-novella kicking off the brand-new Destination Wedding series, Bellamy, a bride-to-be who dreams of a one-of-a-kind Manhattan wedding, gets caught up in all the planning, and things quickly spin out of control.

What is the true cost of an ultimate uptown wedding?

Bellamy grew up in a large, boisterous family. The Hillmans may not have had it all, but Bellamy learned how to stretch a dollar and make it look like she did. Now she’s marrying Reid Stanton, the man of her dreams. While planning their one-of-a-kind Manhattan destination wedding, Bellamy gets caught up in all things Pinterest. It starts out simply enough with a “Save the Date Destination Wedding” board. Then it’s the “Destination Wedding Dresses” and “Invitations” boards. As her ideas multiply, so does the cost of the wedding.

Before she realizes it, all her creative planning has decimated the budget. Can Bellamy make things right, or will the cost of the ultimate wedding be losing the man she loves?

REVIEW: Beth Vogt hits it out of the park with the first book in the Destination wedding series titled Can’t Buy Me Love. I loved how this author packed so much into this 140 page novella. She has characters I instantly connected with and a compelling and delightful story line that kept me up late reading and giggling in parts.
“Hey,…No Fair!” Reid yelled.

“All’s fair in love and a nice, competitive game night.” Bellamy stole a brief, real kiss while running her fingers through his brown hair and messing up the well-groomed style. “And if I can’t win with skill, I’ll win with distraction.”

“Oh, really? Well, two can play at that game---.”

I like the fact that Beth is not afraid to talk about tough issues in her books. This novella is a great escape with gold nuggets inside for readers to ponder. When I pick up a book by this author I look forward to reading about how the people in the story look outside themselves to solve the dilemma they find themselves in. I look forward to how she is transparent with the problem and how her characters get real with themselves and their circumstances. I like how this author knows how to take the reader for a wonderful time in her stories but always keeps the main thing the main thing.

“You’re going to wear yourself out trying to please Mr. Stanton, you know. And it’s not about making him happy - it’s about being who God made you.”

I enjoyed how Beth took the reader on a mini tour of the places New York City is known for. She even included a little history of Rockefeller center which made this novella so interesting.

Reid Stanton sweeps Bellamy off her feet in this whirlwind romance. Bellamy gets carried away as she plans their destination wedding. They run into a huge snag that derails their wedding plans. They both realize that there is real life after they experience the perfect wedding. They haven’t known each other that long and didn’t talk about the nitty gritty of day in and day out life together! They have feelings that have gotten them this far but can they work out the real life issues to have a happily ever after?

You’ll want to read this novella to find out. This book is just pure fun! I highly recommend it!

You can GRAB IT TODAY for ONLY .99 Cents!! CLICK on the Book Cover to Purchase! 5/28/15

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org  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

MY NEW ROOTS by SARAH BRITTON REVIEWED


My New Roots
By Sarah Britton
ISBN#978-0-8041-8538-7
265 Pages

Back Cover: At long last, Sarah Britton, called the “queen bee of the health blogs” by Bon App├ętit, reveals 100 gorgeous, all-new plant-based recipes in her debut cookbook, inspired by her wildly popular blog.

Every month, half a million readers—vegetarians, vegans, paleo followers, and gluten-free gourmets alike—flock to Sarah’s adaptable and accessible recipes that make powerfully healthy ingredients simply irresistible. My New Roots is the ultimate guide to revitalizing one’s health and palate, one delicious recipe at a time: no fad diets or gimmicks here. Whether readers are newcomers to natural foods or are already devotees, they will discover how easy it is to eat healthfully and happily when whole foods and plants are at the center of every plate.

REVIEW: The author’s passion for eating plant based food spills off the pages of her new cook book. She is excited to help people learn that plant based foods are great for you and can taste amazing. I checked out several videos on her blog My New Roots. There is one I watched that featured several healthy desserts you can eat for breakfast that are in this book. They looked yummy!

Sarah Britton’s food philosophy is to put whole-food and plants at the center of every plate. This book is a “guide to revitalizing your health and your palate.” The author states, “…eating season and local is a priority for me, as this not only helps my body acclimate to the extend environment but also contribute to the health of the environment in choosing foods in summer, such as crispy, calorie-dense food like pumpkins and beets to fuel us through winter seasons have flavor.”

Instead of relying on readymade and packaged foods from the store this author helps readers develop essential techniques that will have you stay the course in your whole-food eating journey. She has pictures and detailed information in how to use the kitchen daily to: 1. How to cook dried legumes
2. How to cook grains
3. How to make ghee
4. How to make nut and seed milk
5. How to make nut and seed butter
6. How to grow your own sprouts
7. What the Holy Trinity of flavor is – salt, sugar, acid – there is a checklist chart for readers to add a pinch of this and that to come up with just the right flavor for their meal.
I loved the beautiful color photos throughout this hard back cookbook. I liked this author’s variety of recipes. Many I can’t wait to try. I liked that this author had helpful symbols on each recipe like gf - Gluten Free,v - Vegan,  a clock symbol  which meant this Recipe requires planning ahead or has a make a-head element to it. A quarter moon symbol means this recipe takes 8 hours or more or overnight. 

The recipes are broken down into different seasons. In the chapter of SPRING – I’d like to try – Freekeh Pancakes with wilted Swiss Chard and Poached Eggs, Spring Cabbage Wraps with Couscous, Za’Atar and Spicy Tahini dressing, Oyster Mushroom Bisque, Quinoa Risotto with Grilled Scrapes and Arugula.

EARLY SUMMER – Multigrain Carrot Cake Porridge with Pecan Crunch, Fully Loaded Breakfast Bars, Sorrel Hummus, Grilled Zucchini and Green Onions with Baby Spinach, Real Deal Ginger Ale, Pina Colada Passion Fruit Popsicles.

LATE SUMMER – Blueberry Cardamom Chia Pudding, Sparkling Mint Melonade, Sundown Carrot and Grilled Corn Salad.

AUTUMN – Green Galaxy Smoothie Bowl with Buckwheat Crisps, Hazelnut Flatbread with Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter, Warm Spinach, Bacon, and Egg Salad, Red Onion Lentil Soup with Manchego Toasts, Banoffee Pie.

WINTER – Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Grapefruit with Macadomia Nut Cream, Chipoltel Sweet Potato and Trumpet Mushroom Breakfast Tacos, Cranberry Carrot Loaf, Roasted Parsnips with Pomegranate Glaze and Za’Atar – Creamy Eggnog Milkshake.

There is also a helpful section on stocking your pantry at the end. I’m thrilled about meeting this author and her book. I can’t wait to start making the recipes I’ve listed and many more. This is a book I’ll be referring to often. It’s a keeper!


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for books for my honest opinion All opinions expressed are my own.

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

LYNETTE EASON UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL PLUS 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



ABOUT AUTHOR: Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and www.lynetteeason.com.

How did you come up with the idea for NO PLACE TO HIDE?

No Place To Hide was just a little spark in my imagination for a while. I played with it and played the “what it” game and soon I had some material I could slowly build into a story.

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

I’m working on the second book in the Elite Guardians series. I believe it will be out in the Fall of 2016. It’s about Katie Singleton and Daniel Matthews. Katie is a member of the Elite Guardians team and when Daniel’s life is threatened, his niece (who lives with him) takes the initiative and hires Katie to be his bodyguard.

Nora: Sounds intriguing Lynette!

Beauty
I recently read an article you wrote for Book Fun Magazine where you talked a little bit about a recent mission’s trip. You talked about Haitian refugees living in dumps. How did you first learn about these refugees? What made you want to help?

My husband has a good friend, Mike Williams, who started a ministry in the Dominican Republic. He moved his family there a few years ago and they have been working and helping to make life better for the residents’ one person, one family, at a time. Mike invited us to come see what his ministry was all about. So the summer of 2013, our entire family went and have been hooked on helping those people ever since.

Nora: Wow!


How did you and your family react to the conditions they saw at the refugee dump?
The Dump

The dump is a nasty, horrible place, filled with rotting food, human waste, the stench is unbelievable—and the flies…oh goodness, the flies, swarms of undulating black clouds that reach feet in diameter. I truly don’t have the words to adequately express what we saw there. But the one thing that really grabs your attention when you can pull your gaze away from the “homes” built from milk jugs, newspaper and cardboard are the people who live there. Yes, you read that right. There are real human beings, living, breathing people who live in the midst of the dump.
People at the Dump

Nora: Lynette, I can’t imagine; the dump and seeing people living the way you’ve described. That’s all they’ve known. It does make you appreciate the little things we have in life.

How were you and your family changed by working with the Haitian refugees at the dump?

I’d heard about the people who lived there, of course, but there’s nothing that compares to seeing it firsthand. Hearing it, smelling it. And even tasting it as gross as that sounds. But you’re breathing that air and there’s a certain taste that gets in your mouth and it takes a while for it leave. Visiting the dump, loving on the people there, feeding them and hearing their “merci beaucoup” when you hand them their peanut butter sandwich and cup of vitamin soup.
Cardboard Houses at Dump

Nora: I imagine you don’t see things the way you used to; life has a whole new meaning! Thank you for sharing the pictures and the experience you’ve had.

Did you run into trouble in your travels?
 If so what happened? Was it hard to get a passport and the necessary paperwork to leave the country and come back again?

No, we had no issues getting the passports. We already had them from another trip we’d taken a couple of years before. An interesting story about an incident happened when we were at our hotel is one morning we were planning to leave to go to the dump to feed the refugees. We all gathered in the lobby of the hotel to wait for our ride. When Mike arrived with his truck, a cab with an attached open air back with two long benches, the police arrived and demanded that he pay a “fine” before we would be allowed to leave the hotel. This is very typical of the corruptness of the Dominican police force. They said our driver was breaking a law because he didn’t have seatbelts in the back of the truck. There was no such law in existence.
Eating Soup at the Dump

So Mike refused to pay the fine – i.e. – extortion and called for help from a local friend that the police respect. In the end, we ended up walking out of the back of the hotel where other ministry workers picked us up. We then went on to the dump to feed the refugees. An experience like that makes you very aware that while there are very many things that are wrong with our country, including corruptness in the government, but at least I don’t have to worry about being held hostage at a hotel on some trumped up charge that I’m breaking a law that doesn’t exist. (Things are changing in the US so we may come to this point in the future, but right now, I’m not worried about that happening.)

In line for Snacks
I appreciate the freedoms that I have. I appreciate that I don’t have to be afraid of the police officer who pulls me over. I appreciate the material things that I have, but realize that in the long run, they’re not really that important. What’s important is people and making a difference in their lives. Whether that’s by going on a mission trip, supporting missionaries financially or by writing books with the message of God’s love. Or by doing it all. J That’s what’s important. People. Okay, I’m done now. LOL.
Jack and Dr. Boy

Nora: That is amazing Lynette. Circumstances like this put things and life in perspective. We have so much to be grateful for. It’s in situations like the one you’ve described that increase our faith. It also has us experience God’s love, mercy and grace on a whole new way.



How long were you gone on the mission trip? What did you do to prepare for the trip?

We were gone for about a week the first time. The second time was two weeks and this summer with also be for two weeks. In preparation for the trip, we sent out letters asking for financial donations, collected old suitcases to carry flip flops (we gathered almost a thousand pair!) And the suitcases never go to waste. We left them there for the people to use. They don’t go anywhere, but use them for closets to store clothing or food. We took Vacation Bible School supplies and filled the community center’s closet. (We painted that building, by the way.) A ladies ministry sewed over a hundred dolls for the girls and boys and other donated clothing and food items.
Getting Ready for Dump

There were seventeen people on our team and we had almost 40 LARGE suitcases full of donated items for the people in Sosua. When we got to the airport, we knew it was going to cost a lot of money, but God intervened in an amazing way. He sent us a Christian ticket agent. When my husband explained what we were doing, she charged us a minimal fee, not the almost $2,000 it would have been. Love to see God move! 

Nora: This is very cool! Go God!

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

I’d play the peacemaker between all who would argue about who’s in charge.

Nora: I could see you doing that!

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

I would love to go into the past and experience my children as babies again. I’d take more pictures and just spend time marveling over how special they are. I’d go see all of the people who have since passed on and hug them a little tighter. I don’t think I’d go into the future, though. I might find out something I don’t want to know! LOL.

Nora: Awwwwww! I’m all choked up! Yes that would be a great thing to experience!

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

Lauryn Giving Hugs
I don’t know that the jobs would surprise people, but I worked at a Bojangles fast food restaurant when I was in high school and I worked as a teacher in both a brick and mortar school and in the online environment.

Nora: Interesting Lynette. I bet both jobs gave you a new perspective on that industry.

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

Lauryn and Girls
My children laughing, a beautiful song, the ocean crashing against the shore, bacon sizzling in the frying pan…LOL

Nora: Oh, Yeah!

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?

I think I pray without ceasing. I think the hardest part of my day is being disciplined to sit down and homeschool my son. He’s not the difficult part, it’s just the whole doing school thing that neither one of us really enjoys. We do it because we have to. The funny thing is, once we get into it, its fine. It’s the getting started part that’s hard. 
Nora: Taking the first step is hard!
 
ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS, LYNETTE? 
Kids on the Truck

I always love to hear from my readers. You’re welcome to stop by my facebook page to say hello at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and I’m also on twitter @lynetteeason. I would love to have sign up for my newsletter at www.lynetteeason.com to keep up with news about future books.
Lynette

THANKS for stopping by Lynette and sharing your mission trip experience and talk about your new book! I enjoyed talking to you and meeting you at Life Way book signing and the ICRS conference in Atlanta, GA last year.

Lynette and I at her book signing Buford GA
I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN www.bookfun.org I’m thrilled that Revell will be giving away 5 copies of your new book No Place to Hide. The discussion will start on May 20th at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org (You must be a member to participate.) it’s FREE and EASY to join in this 5 book drawing.

Looking forward to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)

99 CENTS TODAY BETH K. VOGT'S NEW RELEASE


CLICK LINK BELOW TO PURCHASE
 http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Buy-Love-Destination-Wedding-ebook/dp/B00UBCL6C8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432118153&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+vogt



This authors books are captivating, fun and make great book club picks. There is so much to discuss. 

I instantly connect with her characters. Don't miss these heartfelt novels that 




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 

AMANDA CABOT UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



ABOUT AUTHOR: With both parents’ avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled "All About Thermometers," were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she's sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she's not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and - of course - reading

 How did you come up with the idea for IN FIREFLY VALLEY?

The stories that appeal to me the most are the ones where characters have to heal, because I love showing how God’s love can and does heal even the worst of hurts.  For In Firefly Valley, what are those hurts?  In Marisa’s case, there are two.  The first was easy to identify: she’s been downsized.  As someone who was once downsized, I had no trouble knowing how Marisa would react.  The second was more difficult: her troubled relationship with her father.  I've never been in Marisa’s situation, but I drew from the memories of a family friend who went through an experience similar to Marisa’s.  Once I started asking “what if?” before I knew it, I had a book.
Nora: Grin!
Amanda says:What do you think this lorikeet is saying?  There were dozens of them waiting for the catamaran taking us to Brampton Island.

How did you come up with Rainbow’s End? What kind of place we’re you looking to set your Texas Crossroads series?

I’ve already admitted that I like to tell stories of healing.  Normally it’s the characters who heal, but in this case, the resort also needed to be fixed.  Anyone who’s read At Bluebonnet Lake knows that Rainbow’s End was in sad shape when Kate and Greg first saw it.  What they also know, if they read my author’s letter at the back of the book, is that Rainbow’s End was inspired by a real resort in the Adirondack Mountains where my husband and I spent a memorable week, complete with leaky roofs and boats, frequent power outages and less than stellar meals.  The location was gorgeous, and the place had so much potential that I wanted to fix it.  I couldn’t do that in real life, but one of the great things about being an author is that I could create Rainbow’s End and transform it into the kind of resort it was meant to be. 

How different is your approach to writing this series as opposed to the others that were historicals?

The biggest difference for me has been in the approach to details.  When I write historicals, one of my goals is to make a particular time period come to life for readers.  To do that, even though I’m writing fiction, I include information about actual events that occurred at the time the book takes place.  I ensure that my characters’ clothing is authentic to the time, and I season the story with as many tidbits of life in that era as I can without making it read like a text book.

Nora: I like that about your stories!

Writing a contemporary is very different.  
Amanda says:It’s easy to see why Australia’s Great Ocean Road is considered one of the most scenic highways in the world. 

I've heard editors say that contemporary novels should be set in the “timeless present.”  By that, they mean that if someone picks up the book ten years from now, the story should still feel current.  From an author’s view, that means including no references to current events and limiting references to technology, all to avoid dating the book.  I don’t want readers in 2025 to be jarred by reading about an iPhone 6 or a character wearing a brand of shoes that no longer exists. 

Nora: Interesting! Didn't think about that! Fun!

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?

I love being able to show readers how God can – and will – change our lives, if only we ask Him.  I've tackled some painful subjects in my historicals, and Marisa (the heroine of In Firefly Valley) has her share of problems. Although the research for some of these books has been heartbreaking, when I receive letters from readers telling me that my fictional characters’ struggles helped them deal with the problems in their own lives and brought them closer to God, I know I’m doing what He has planned for me. 

Nora: I like that about your books!

What has surprised you most about being an author?
Amanda says: Not only is Scotland’s island of Skye beautiful, but driving on Skye is an adventure.  When two cars approach on a single track road like this, one of them has to use the small pull-off area.  The question is, which one.
Don’t laugh, but the biggest surprise was discovering that many readers think authors are a foreign species.  I remember being at a book signing with six other authors.  Readers walked by us, giving us curious looks as if we were animals in a zoo.  Though we tried to engage them in conversation, it didn't work.  They were there to see the strange species, Authors Americanos.  Fortunately, social media has brought us all closer, so I suspect there are fewer readers who still harbor the thought that authors are “different.”  At least I hope that’s the case.

Nora: LOL!

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

I've just finished the first edits for On Lone Star Trail, the third of the Texas Crossroads books.  Like the first two, it takes place at Rainbow’s End and features characters who are at crossroads in their lives.  Famous pianist Gillian Hodge’s career is destroyed when her hand is crushed in a motorcycle accident, so if there’s one thing she never wants to see again, it’s a man on a motorcycle.  You can guess what happens.  She’s on her way to Rainbow’s End when a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to hydroplane and crash in front of her.  On Lone Star Trail will be available in February 2016.

Nora: Sounds like fun! 

When you sit down to relax and read, what genre do you turn to? Do you prefer hardback, paperback or digital when you read? Why?
Brampton Island Australia's Barrier Reef - What can I say this is Amanda's idea of a tropical paradise - I agree with her 
I’m a rather eclectic reader and read everything from cozy mysteries and romantic suspense to both contemporary and historical romances.  As you might guess from that list, my preference is for books with either a happy ending or at least one where justice prevails.  Although hardbacks used to be my preference, I now read almost exclusively on my e-reader.  I like the fact that it weighs less than a hardback, is easier to carry, and has adjustable font sizes for different lighting conditions.

Nora: I like happy endings too. I also like books that give an ending and I don't have to imagine how things end up! 

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

I suspect I’d be the leader.  Perhaps it’s because I’m the oldest of four children, but leading people is something I've done for most of my whole life.  I was the one who organized grammar school plays and neighborhood talent shows, and when I became an adult, my day job was directing computer programmers.  Now I lead a group of Christian fiction writers in northern Colorado.  As a side note, it’s been deeply gratifying to see so many of those writers become published, thanks to things they learned and contacts they made through the group.

Nora: I think you'd be good at it!

What was your favorite show on T.V. when you were growing up? Why is it your favorite? If you didn't watch TV what were your favorite books?

I didn't watch a lot of TV growing up, but books … Ah, that’s a different story.  I used to make regular trips to the library, coming home with as many books as I could carry.  My favorites include the Anne of Green Gables series (which won't surprise anyone who’s read In Firefly Valley) and Little Women.  And, no, it’s not a coincidence that both of them feature heroines who want to be authors.
Amanda says: Don’t you wonder how this highland cattle sees?  It was another of the fascinating sights in Scotland.
If money weren't an issue where would you like to go and do?

I’d learn to sail, buy a yacht and travel around the world.  Although I had the privilege of living in both France and Germany briefly and have visited many beautiful places, some of which you can see from the pictures I've included, there are still many countries I haven’t seen.  I’d love to tour the whole Mediterranean, and sailing along some of the world’s famous rivers would be wonderful.  Then there are the Scandinavian fjords, the beauties of the south Pacific, Antarctica, and …  I’m smiling as I think about all the possibilities.

Nora: Sounds like fun!

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?

Watching the evening news is the most difficult time of the day for me and one that definitely requires prayer.  Who wouldn't be upset by the horrific violence that’s occurring and the destruction so many people are enduring because of natural disasters? 

Nora: Yes, events and daily life keeps us on our knees!

What movies do you try to see in the theater if your schedule allows? What do you enjoy most about seeing movies in the theater?

You’re probably not going to believe this, but it’s been years – more years than I care to count – since I've seen a movie in a theater.  I love movies, though, and am a huge fan of Netflix.  The things I like about seeing movies at home are that I can pause the film and talk about it without disturbing anyone else.  I can also rewind to see a particular scene again.  And, then there are the special features.  I've learned so much – so many inside details that made the movies come alive in a new way – through the special features.

Nora: I'm a fan of Netflix too! I love how if you missed a series you can catch up quickly! I've been spoiled! I like the aspect of stopping the show and talking about a situation! Yes, GREAT Feature!

AMANDA, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of TBCN. I've enjoyed our time together and am looking forward to seeing readers’ answers to my questions.
Amanda

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of APRIL at www.bookfun.org .

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 MAY at www.bookfun.org . Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.
Sincerely,

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)

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

2015 CHRISTY AWARD FINALISTS

2015 Christy Award Finalists Announced

“The finalists this year represent the widest group of publishers in the history of the awards and also include an independently published novel. Several of the judges commented on the growing diversity and overall excellence of the novels submitted,” said Donna Kehoe, executive director of the Christy Awards.

Award ceremony will be in Orlando Florida, June.

CONTEMPORARY











Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord (RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate  (Tyndale House Publishers)


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE











A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook Multnomah)
Firewall by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)
Undetected by Dee Henderson (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


CONTEMPORARY SERIES











The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner (Harvest House Publishers)
Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney (Abingdon Press)
When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers) 

FIRST NOVEL











Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton (RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
House of Living Stones by Kate Schuermann (Concordia Publishing House)


HISTORICAL











The Advocate by Randy Singer  (Tyndale House Publishers)
The Invention of Wings  by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking)
The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Tyndale House Publishers)


HISTORICAL ROMANCE











A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (WaterBrook Multnomah)
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

SUSPENSE











The Color of Justice by Ace Collins (Abingdon Press)
A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks (Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)
Sky Zone by Creston Mapes (David C Cook)
VISIONARY











Once Beyond a Time by Ann Tatlock (Heritage Beacon Fiction)
Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes (Enclave Publishing)
YOUNG ADULT











Failstate: Nemesis by John W. Otte (Enclave Publishing)  
This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof (Independently Published)
Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

CONGRADULATIONS to all the authors. I’ll be attending the Christy Awards this year. I’ll post the winners as soon as I can!

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