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Must Answer ONE Question to be entered into the Drawing. Only one Kindle per winner!
Discussions open AUGUST 21st at "Live" Chat Event.

















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Coming in November for a December Giveaway:




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PAM HILLMAN GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY THE PROMISE OF BREEZE HILL


ABOUT AUTHOR: CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of. www.pamhillman.com

What fascinates you about the time period you wrote about in The Promise of Breeze Hill?

PAM: The Natchez District during the 18th century was a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. From the Sunset Indians (aka Natchez Indians), the Choctaw, and the Chickasaw, to the explorers who held the territory at one time or another, there’s so much to write about. The French settled the area in the late 1600s, then the British defeated the French in 1763 and ruled the Mississippi territory, only to lose control to the Spanish in 1779. By 1798, the area became an organized territory of the United States of America. In addition to the various countries that wielded power, descendants from the African continents, Central and South America, and Ireland populated the Natchez District as either slaves, indentured servants, or free men.

And as if that isn’t enough, I had this narrow window of time where highwaymen plied the Natchez Trace, and I wanted to capitalize on that. Merchants and farmers floated their goods down the Mississippi River to Natchez and New Orleans, then walked back up the Natchez Trace, their pockets full from the sale of their goods. Bands of unscrupulous and violent highwaymen lay in wait for unsuspecting travelers.

The first steamboat, New Orleans, didn’t travel the Mississippi River until 1811, so I plopped my characters down in the early 1790s so they’d be totally dependent on the Natchez Trace for travel. And they’d have to deal with those nasty highwaymen.

Nora: Wow! Fascinating. Thanks for sharing this.


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?

PAM: Little House on the Prairie was always a family favorite. Still is. The story lines were always family friendly and made me think. We also enjoyed Bonanza, and it wasn’t until more recent years that I found out that Michael Landon wrote and directed many episodes for both shows. So maybe that explains why I enjoyed both shows then and now.

Nora: Michael Landon was a very talented guy. He also starred in and produced Highway to Heaven.

PAM HILLMAN, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
PAM: It has been a pleasure to visit the TBCN blog. The community of readers and writers who gather here are simply amazing. And the fact that we all love Christian fiction is the glue that holds us together. I’ve never met a reader of fiction that I didn’t like! God bless, and thank you so much for having me.




















Nora: It's my pleasure, Pam. You are right about Christian Fiction being the glue that holds us together and encourages our soul! Jesus was the ultimate story teller.
Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I was burning the midnight oil (so to speak Grin) reading this one. It's a page-turner. Loved it!

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway that starts the 17th - LAST DAY to ENTER is August 22th.

 Pam will be giving away (1) signed copy of her new book. Must answer one questions below to enter.

READ MORE of this INTERVIEW with PAM at BOOK FUN MAGAZINE
CLICK Link Below 

https://indd.adobe.com/view/95a28925-3401-470c-86a4-30fde1cbc371 
See you there!
Nora :o)


ANSWER ONE QUESTION TO ENTER BOOK GIVEAWAY RIGHT HERE

1. What do you look for in a historical fiction story? 
2. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
3. What do you like most about reading Christian Fiction? What's the draw for you?

PLEASE Make sure you include your Email address so we can contact you if your name is drawn?


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Nora St Laurent
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ALANA TERRY'S NEW NOVEL REVIEWED

Beauty From Ashes
By Alana Terry
Published By: First Fruits Publishing
ISBN# B072N2D24F
396 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: A baby was never part of Tiff's plans. Especially not a sick baby in a NICU, struggling for life on a ventilator.

As days in the hospital turn to weeks, Tiff grows more and more convinced that God is punishing her for turning her back on him so many years ago. Or is it possible he's working in the midst of her daughter's bleak prognosis to draw Tiff back to himself once more?

The Orchard Grove Christian Women's Fiction books are standalone literary novels about real-life believers facing real-life struggles. You won't meet perfect saints whose lives are faultless models of the Christian faith. Instead, you'll meet a perfect God whose plans of redemption are far more glorious than what the mortal mind could ever imagine.

The Orchard Grove books are a literary series of family-drama stories with realistic characters facing gritty issues that confront contemporary Christians today. Standalone novels from award-winning Christian fiction novelist Alana Terry, whose books "inspire without preaching at you," these titles merge edgy Christian fiction, literary prose, and a God compassionate enough to look upon those who suffer and "to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes ... a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (Isaiah 60:3).

REVIEW: Newly married young couple, Tiffany and Jake are struggling to wrap their minds around their very sick child’s condition. They are dazed at their predicament and perplexed by all the medical information they have to absorb in order to care for their baby if she lives that long.

The story is written from Tiffany’s point of view and shows how she emotionally navigates the situation as she deals with fiery darts of regrets from the past. She was abandoned by her mother and became a product of the foster care system. Tiffany also struggles to learn and recapture a time when she had genuinely met Jesus, felt the Holy Spirit working in her heart and mind. Oh, how she needed Him now. But how to get there?

This author writes from the heart-wrenching days when her little one fought for his life and her spiritual battle at the time. (talked about in her author notes to readers) The drama and the struggles are real, and suspenseful as the reader is allowed to walk with this couple as they are faced with hard decisions they have to make in the best interest of their daughter, Natalie.

This is a hard read because of the subject matter; as it’s an honest look at the many stresses surrounding Tiffany and Jake; shows how people treat them and how they treat each other. I liked that Tiffany was honest with her feelings even when at times they betrayed her. I liked her honest approach in her quest to find God; as she decided to lean not on her own understanding, and power. I liked how the author showed that we can experience the peace that passes all understanding; also showed how God is with us in the storms of life if we let him. It’s not easy. This is a powerful, gritty, engaging read that would work well for book club. The author includes sixteen discussion questions to help create lively discussions at your meeting.



ABOUT AUTHOR: Alana is a pastor's wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers' Favorite, and more. Alana's passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I bought this ebook on Amazon. 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
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TO WAGER HER HEART REVIEWED

To Wager Her Heart
By Tamera Alexander
Publisher by Zondervan
ISBN#978-0310-291084
372 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a powerful love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won. 
    
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success--General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. 

REVEW: The author pens a rich historical tale that gives readers a peek into the complex in a post-Civil War America Southern society where they meet Alexandra Jamison, daughter of a wealthy attorney who is part of Nashville’s elite upper-class social order. Her father demands she gets married soon. It’s been a year since the death of her fiancé David, it was time to move on. Her father’s demands shake her to the core and move her into action. Alexandra is ready to risk everything in order to make her dream a reality. She heads to Fisk University; which is the first Freedmen’s University. There was more to life than marrying for money’s sake; David has shown her that.

Sylas Rutledge leaves Colorado to end up near Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. He’s on a mission to clear his father’s name and boost his growing rail business by trying to win General Harding’s contract on a new train project. He notices they do things differently in the South. He needs someone to bring him up to speed on business etiquette if he is going to have any chance in talking to the General. He is introduced to Alexandra by her attorney father and thinks she might be the one to help him. Problem she doesn’t want anything to do with him especially after she learns his father was the engineer on the train accident that took her fiancé’s life.

This author does an amazing job of introducing readers to several people who are willing to fight for their principles and also willing to pay the cost. It’s different for everyone. Ella says, “….none of us knows what we’re fully capable of doing until God leads us to a place where we realize our strength is nothing compared to His. He says to take a step, yet you look out and see nothing but thin air in your path. Yet, He calls you on. And only when you finally trust Him and take that step into nothingness do you discover you’re standing on solid ground.”

These are powerful words. I liked how the author brings history to life in this powerful story of love, loss, tragedy, and new beginnings. It’s a setting centered around characters trying to do the right thing and society not willing to change. It’s moving to see how these characters face monumental circumstances yet find the peace that passes all understanding when they walk the path they’ve been called to.

I like learning about history and situations through fiction. In author notes, she tells readers that the Belle Meade Plantation can be walked through today. The Jubilee Singers were real and went through far more than she discussed in the novel, and the crash on Dutchman’s curve was tragic. It occurred on July 9th, 1918. It was deemed the worst railroad accidents in American history. This makes for a heartfelt, intriguing read and a good book club pick. The author has a plethora of historical information, which includes fourteen discussion questions that will help give you a lively book club experience.

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
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THE HARVEST BAKER by KEN HAEDRICH REVIEWED


The Harvest Baker
By Ken Haedrich
Published by Storey Publishing
9781612127675
Pages 304

ABOUT BOOK: Let them eat cake — and vegetables, too! Award-winning cookbook author Ken Haedrich serves up 150 delicious baked goods that are full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and go far beyond zucchini bread and carrot cake. From Bacon, Cheddar, and Fresh Corn Muffins to Fresh Fennel and Italian Sausage Pizza, Spaghetti Squash and Parmesan Quiche, and Brown Sugar Rhubarb Tart Squares, these scrumptious recipes add nutrition plus amazing flavor to every meal of the day. The breadth of this collection is stunning, and you’ll be amazed that baked goods this tasty also deliver your daily dose of fresh vegetables.


Baked Beet and Blueberry

Ricotta, Lemon Blueberry
REVIEW: I was thrilled to find a cook book with recipes that are delicious and easy to make. Every recipe I tried in this book turned out and my family loved them. Every bite I took tasted like an explosion of yummy flavors. I was pleasantly surprised by the combinations of fruits and vegetables and how well they went together. I didn’t tell my family what was inside the muffin until they were raving about how the wonderful it tasted. For example, I made a beet and blueberry muffin. I never would think to put those together. What a wonderful taste. All these muffins were so fluffy and filled with wonderful flavors.

The recipes in this book are easy to follow and the ingredients are easy to find. I like how the author talks about the recipe before he tells you how to make it. There are dozens of beautiful color pictures sprinkled throughout the book along with helpful hints.

The recipes I tried and LOVED are Whole-Wheat Blueberry Beet Muffin, Bacon, Cheddar, and Fresh Corn Muffins, Ricotta, Lemon, and Blackberry Muffins, Peanut Butter and Apple Crumb Muffins, Glorious Morning Muffins, Butternut Squash Crumb Muffins, Great American Potato Bread and Cheddar and Vegetable Bread-A-Saurus loaf.
Baked Bacon, Cheese Onion
This author has written other books. This is his newest. I’ll definitely be checking out his other books. It’s rare to have so many wonderful recipes my family loved one book. Looking for some new family favorite for breakfast, lunch, dinner snack just take a peek inside. You’ll be glad you did.

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
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FRANK PERRETTI FANS CHECK OUT THIS REVIEW


The Delusion
By Laura Gallier
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-2236-1
304 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Owen was a normal high school student with a great life. He had a beautiful girlfriend, played on the football team, and was surrounded by a group of great friends. That is, until he found a well on some abandoned land, and a man who offered him a drink of water that changed his life forever.

Suddenly, Owen is seeing things that no one else sees: Shackles and chains that bind his family and friends, terrifying creatures that connect themselves to the cuffs attached at the end of the chains, and angelic beings who seem to have a power that even the demons cannot withstand.

Similar to Frank Perretti’s This Present Darkness and Piercing the DarknessThe Delusion explores spiritual warfare in a fresh way, reminding us that We All Have Our Demons.

REVIEW: O.K. Confession time. I’m chicken little when it comes to seeing scary movies and books. I would have never chosen to read a book with such a creepy cover. I was sent this book by the publisher. Since this novel was written for a YA audience I thought I’d peek inside. I read the first page then the next. It wasn’t too graphic so I kept going. Kind of reminded me of Frank Peretti’s novels that rocked my world. This author did the same. She gives readers a whole new perspective on the spiritual battle for our souls in this debut fiction novel; she lifts the veil to reveal the chains that bind us. I was startled when Owen sees them on his mom. The shackles were heavy. Owen saw how they were personalized. No two the same.

Owen’s high school is plagued with a string of suicides; twelve to be exact. Owen and the other students can’t believe this is happening. Desperate for answers Owen runs into a man who claims someone is plotting these suicides. Owen thinks this guys lost it but he follows him anyway.

Owen is led to believe that if he drinks from this old well the man will give him the answers he seeks. After he drinks the man disappears. Owen’s world is shaken – he starts to feel sick. He can’t believe the scary images he sees around him. He says, “I was trapped in a demented universe- a real-life zombie apocalypse undetected by everyone but me….I didn’t know if it was real or imagined, and I couldn’t decide which was worse.”

As Owen gets about town, he realizes there is a heavy concentration of creepers at his school and not anywhere else. He feels trapped until he spots a girl at school who has no chains. She actually glows with a radiant light. He wants to talk to her about why she has no chains. But she couldn’t see things the way he does. For now, he’d quietly enjoys watching the power she had over the darkness. He thinks, “I got a kick out of watching creepers scatter like cockroaches scurrying from a spotlight to avoid crossing paths with my new prom date. Thin and fragile as she was in the material world, in the alternate dimension, Ray Anne was like a Jedi.”

This book will help readers see into the darkness and get a glimpse at the ways we might speak things into existence. At the same time, the author shows that there is power in the word of God. As it says in Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This book is being made into a movie. The trailer I watched takes place right after Owen drinks from the old well. He rushes home to tell his mom everything that’s going on with him and stops everything when she enters his room. He’s freaking out at how she looks. His mom gets upset with him about his behavior. She thinks he’s on drugs. Owen realizes the dog barks because can see the same things he does. I’m glad the trailer was short. I couldn’t watch any more. I’m thankful for the book; no way am I brave enough to watch this movie on the big screen. Watch the trailer if you dare! Either way, the book is a must read. I look forward to reading more by this author.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Gallier she says –“ Hi ya'll! Now you know I'm from Texas, but you may not know that I'm an author and speaker who recently took a leap out of the non-fiction world to write my first novel, THE DELUSION

I discourage you from reading this book - that is until you're ready to consider the haunting real-life implications and you're prepared to start a book you'll feel the need to finish in one  setting. A quick glance at the book reviews and you'll see, people find it nearly impossible to put down and even harder to put out of their minds.

Plans are well underway to bring THE DELUSION to the big screen! Be sure and watch the teaser video posted on the right or on YouTube (
http://youtu.be/KYsDGhHoVF8).”




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

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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PAM HILLMAN'S NEW NOVEL REVIEWED


The Promise of Breeze Hill
By Pam Hillman
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-1592-9
416 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

REVIEW: My heart was held captive by this Gone with the Wind feel of a story. I quickly bonded with the characters as I imagined Isabella Bartholomew to be a little like Scarlett. She had to grow up fast after her father’s injuries had him physically unable to do much. She soon becomes the heart of Breeze Hill and is responsible for its day to day functions. Behind Isabella’s sweet southern bell exterior, readers could see her fierce love for the Plantation and her keen sense of responsibility as she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness to save her home and protect her family.

The author helps readers get under the skin of the characters and feel their pain, joy and struggle in hard hopeless times. I enjoyed the splash of romance which is not the main focus of the story. I enjoyed the special moments that left me teary eyed and cheering!  

Readers meet Connor who had apprenticed under John W. Benson, renowned master craftsman from the Carolinas. He died and left him up for grabs. He needed a benefactor in order get his brothers to America.

 “Sold,” Bloomfield’s gavel beat a death knell against the table in front of him. “To Miss Isabella Bartholomew on behalf of Breeze Hill Plantation.”

“Cold dread swooshed up from Conner’s stomach and exploded in his chest.”
“A woman. He’d been indentured to a woman….God help him.”

I felt for this man as he found himself in a precarious place after the death of his benefactor. Connor would not be done in by another pretty face. He had been masterfully manipulated by his previous plantation owners’ daughter in Ireland.  It’s the very thing that had him on the run to America in the first place.

Connor, Isabelle, and her father became increasingly concerned about the danger lurking in the shadows. How would she fight them? They start to prepare. I enjoyed how Isabell, her father, and Connor grow and change as the story progressed. Connor soon discovers he has the same values as Isabelle. He too would do whatever it took to have his family united again

She ignores her feelings for Connor to entertain several marriage proposals being presented. She had to think about her family. These were offers from wealthy and influential neighbors interested in her for her property. Could these very men be the ones out to steal Breeze Hill from them? Sabotage their livelihood? The author has a part where she writes in the POV of the villain which made him creepier. I liked that the author had a few surprises involving the villain I didn’t see coming.

I loved this page-turning story with lots of action, suspense and just plain fun that included a horse race while ladies shopping about town. Sit back and enjoy this novel that will stay with you long after you close the book. This would make a great book club pick there is so much to discuss and the author includes 12 discussion questions. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last.

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

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

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ROAD TO PARADISE REVIEWED

Road to Paradise
By Karen Barnett
Published by Waterbrook
ISBN#978-0-7352-8951-3
344 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred."

REVIEW: This author introduces readers to Margaret Lane only child of a Washington State Senator in early 1900’s; who escaped city life, run into the wilderness, to hide from social obligations. She embraces her passion and hopes to avoid the media spot light and her ex-fiancé. Margaret has studied and dreamed of living in a place submerged in God’s incredible nature. She also hopes that by pointing people to the magnificent surroundings she could lead them to God.

Unbeknownst to Margaret her Dad has helped her land a job working as a Ranger’s assistant. The Rangers aren’t happy about this arrangement especially Ford Brayden. He didn’t have time to babysit a spoiled rich kid. But with money being tight at the park the Senators donation really helps.

Margaret and Ford soon learn a few things. Ford that Margaret is not a spoiled brat, she loves the outdoors, really does know her stuff about the flora and can quickly identify the names of things. Margaret, on the other hand, realizes that she doesn’t want anyone to give her special treatment; that book knowledge is extremely different when you must live in the woods (that has so many variables) For one thing she didn’t know how to start a fire and keep warm. It’s awkward until they find a place for Margaret. The Chief quickly drafts her to tell camp fire tales to guests that visit Mountain Rainer National Park. She excels at that. Everyone wins.

Margaret and Ford might bump heads when it comes to working in the wilderness but they unite on fighting against those who want to build a ski resort and dance hall. They will do anything to preserve the Mountain the way God made it;

There is a sweet budding romance that both try to avoid. Margaret won’t be joined with someone that doesn’t share her faith. Ford’s heart toward God hardened after the hiking accident that killed his father.

Margaret says, “ I love seeing God’s creation laid out in front of Us. The earth is full of thy riches.” How anyone can look at this natural order and not see the Maker’s hand. I’ll never comprehend.”

…Ford replied, “I hate to disagree, but nature is beautiful because it’s random and unpredictable. Why do you think they call it wilderness? There’s no order to nature God has nothing to do with it. The stuff men build is ordered and boring. This – This is the opposite…- “The wilderness is a dangerous, unforgiving place. If you don’t take it seriously, you won’t take steps to protect yourself.” He knew about this all too well.

Margaret’s’ prayer, “God I tried, Lord, but it’s not up to me, is it? If only you’d whisper in his ear.”

I recommend this book to those who like a story centered on God’s creation and like that the setting is as if a character in the novel. You’ll learn a bit about Parks, history, flora, how Rangers work combined with a splash of romance and a hint of danger.

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

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

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THE CAPTIVATING LADY CHARLOTTE REVIEWED

The Captivating Lady Charlotte
By Carolyn Miller
Published by
ISBN#978-0-8254-4451-7
310 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter. Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace?

Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller in the tradition of Georgette Heyer and Julie Klassen. Fans of The Elusive Miss Ellison will meet compelling new characters--and a few old friends.

REVIEW: I was pleasantly surprised to find Nicholas and Lavinia in this novel with a pretty big role; as Lavinia helps her cousin Lady Charlotte navigate the does and dont’s of her season. Tensions and emotions run high as Charlotte tries to remember all the things her mother said along with what was required of her by society. Manners, etiquette and appearances made you or could break you. Charlette’s mom felt the Duke was the prize of the season; even though he’d had some troubles in the past. All looked bright now. Her mother thought eighteen-year-old Charlotte was full of dreams and unrealistic expectations, who wanted to marry for love; she needed to be sensible and get to know the Duke. She needed to realize love had nothing to do with marriage.

William the Duke had to pick up the pieces of his life. His dreams for a happily ever after died years before his wife did. William seeks God to heal his wounded heart and prepare him to be good companion/friend. William knew he jumped to conclusions and had trust issues that could hurt any future relationships. He sought God and the council of Christian friends (Nicholas) to help him find someone. He wouldn’t be swept away again by another pretty face. He knew love was something deeper than looks. He wanted a woman of faith and someone who would love him unconditionally.
Thru the course of the season and helping her cousin thru a bad turn of events she gets glimpses of what true love is. It’s more than butterflies in her stomach, compliments that made her heart soar and made her giggle. It goes deeper than that. She saw that with Nicholas and Lavinia as they weathered the storm together with faith in God to bring them through.

She catches glimpses of that in Duke Hartwell. He was kind, respectful and knew how to love well. He may not be the most romantic, great at conversation or the most handsome but he cared deeply for others. She liked that.

I liked how the author has many of her characters mature and grow in their faith. I liked how Charlotte and the Duke saw God at work in their lives. I like how the Spiritual thread was natural not preachy. Here’s a peek:

The Duke…”I had said every aware Christian.”
Charlotte, “Meaning some are not.”
Duke “yes”…”I do not intend my words to destress you, Lady Charlotte.”
“They have not. You have merely made me see how blind I’ve been. I believe, but have never really considered claim of faith requiring action.”

“His heart gave a little ping of gladness. She shared his faith, which as more than his first wife had.”

I enjoyed the story and had a deep respect at what the author shared in her author notes to readers. She talked about a situation Nicholas and Lavinia went through that was similar to what she experienced. She says, …”I felt myself challenged: I had praised God in church only the day before; could I still praise God even when my world tumbled apart?...My challenge in those dark hours was whether I would blame God or actively trust him by doing what he says. I chose to “put on the garment of Praise for the Spirit of heaviness.” As described in Isaiah 61.”

Wow, this made the storm Nicholas and Lavinia stand out even more as the reader gets a glimpse into the heart of the author. If you are looking for a fun read and/or one that will bring about good discussion at book club this one’s for you! I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading book three that will be out in October of this year.

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

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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HILARIOUS YA NOVEL REVIEWED - JUST SAYIN'

Just Sayin’
By Dandi Daley Mackall
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4967-2316-0
179 P

ABOUT BOOK: Just Sayin’ tells the story of an almost-blended family that almost falls apart before it even begins. 11 year-old Cassie Callahan is staying with her grandmother while her mom, Jennifer, recovers from a difficult breakup from her fiancé, Trent. Cassie, along with Trent’s kids, Nick and Julie, are trying to figure out why their parents’ relationship ended so abruptly and searching for a way to bring them back together. Meanwhile, the kids get caught up in a game show that encourages the “art” of insults, and learn along the way that our words have much more power than they think.

In a way that only Dandi can accomplish, this story weaves together, in a contemporary way, an old-time game show, letter writing, outstanding vocabulary, and reminders from God’s word that taming our tongue is both difficult and important!

REVIEW: I’m amazed by the versatility of this author. I had just finished reading her gripping WWII fiction drama. Then I started reading this completely different, fun, witty, tender-hearted YA fiction family story that had me grinning from ear to ear the whole time I read. By the end of the second page, I was laughing out-loud. My heart and imagination were kidnapped from then on by this creative, talented author and the sweet children she wrote about.

Here’s a peek at the letter eleven years old Cassie Callahan wrote to her mother who’s in CA.  “Dear Mom, Gram is making me write you, even though it’s past her bed time (which is about three hours after she fell asleep in the recliner in front of the TV). …I’m living with a very old person. You know how Gram has always lied about her age? Well, she’s started bragging about it now. I think that’s how you know somebody’s turning old…She’s so old that when she went in to renew her driver’s license, they said not only had her driver’s license expired but so had her birth date.”

This author did an amazing job of creating this entertaining novel with only the use of letters written back and forth from one family member to another. The kids don’t have phones and no access to a computer or internet service. They’ve gone back in time and they don’t like it.

Cassie and Nick enter a contest by Jonathan Kirby, the host of their favorite show The Hour of Insult, they get to work on filling out the entry form and are ecstatic about the grand prize they could win. Cassie goes to youth group for something to do. The Pastor tries to answer her questions and encourages her to write letters to God. She tries that but crosses it out. Underneath she starts to write to Jesus. I loved her transparent heart and the way she writes these letters.
She begins, “Dear Jesus, I’ve been sitting on my bed and trying to write your Father (and mine), and it just hasn’t been working for me. Then I got the idea to write you. You’ve been down here on earth.”

Both Cassie and Nick were looking forward to being a family until their parents’ engagement ended abruptly. Things were all set. They even picked out clothes for the wedding. What happened? They were determined to find out.

In the meantime, they were having a blast thinking up ways to win the contest they’ve entered. They also start corresponding to Kirby The King of Insults. Both of their parents didn’t like the show and didn’t want them to watch it.  Something changes in Cassie as she starts reading the bible and looking up things about loving your neighbor as yourself and how the tongue had the power to lift someone up or tear them down. She starts to look at the power of words in a whole new light.

This is a delightful story I read in one sitting. I was glued to the situation and wondered if this couple would get back together. This author has a clever way in which the kids in the story discuss a topic that’s important – life changing even without it being preachy. I liked that. I also adored the Gram character who cared for Cassie. She was a hoot!

Are you looking for a fun read for your book club? This is it. I highly recommend this novel. I loved this book and this author!


ABOUT AUTHOR: Dandi won her first writing contest as a 10-year-old tomboy. Her 50 words on "Why I Want to Be Batboy for the Kansas City A's" won first place, but the team wouldn't let a girl be batboy. It was her first taste of rejection.

Since then, Dandi Daley Mackall has become an award-winning author of nearly 500 books for adults and children of all ages, with sales of 4 million copies in 22 countries. MY BOYFRIENDS' DOGS is now a Hallmark movie. THE SILENCE OF MURDER won the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. Her picture books range from rock and roll, ROCK AWAY GRANNY! to legends and history, like Legend of Ohio, Legend of Saint Nicholas, Rudy Rides the Rails: A Depression Era Story, FLIPSIDE STORIES, showing the same story from different points of view.

Her latest novel is WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, based on the incredible true story of her parents, Army doctor and Army nurse in WW2. Visit: https://youtu.be/LJL59-UsAyo

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

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

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