Yada Yada Prayer Group was our January pick for 2011. The party edition has all sorts of wonderful recipes in the book. Since Finding Hope book club doesn’t read ever books in a series my ladies wanted to try some of the recipes from the seven Yada Yada prayer group books. So we did. I’ll be posting about the dinner and have pictures in another post. This post I wanted to talk about the book.

 Everyone liked the book and the recipes in the back of the book. Funny thing is we did talk about was the cover of the book. Several of my ladies had mentioned that they were not crazy about the cover of the book. They didn’t like it because it was pink. I just thought it looked silly with the different socks and I wasn’t into silly. When asked about the cover of the book Neta’s first reaction was “Pink” I’m not fond of pink. We all cracked up! She said she didn’t have a say in the covers of the books but they grew on her and she even included some discussion about socks inside the books.

 Neta Jackson was gracious to join us at each book club meeting. I was thrilled to talk to Neta! I really enjoyed the first book, many members read the whole series and are reading the new House of Hope series Neta has come out with.

When Neta was asked, “How did you come up with the idea for the book?”

Neta's Prayer group showing off fans Nets gave them from China
Neta responded by saying that her husband Dave is the idea man. Neta has a prayer group that has met in her house for 14 years now. Her husband said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if you wrote a novel about your group?” Neta said, “I can’t do that! It’s too personal.” He laughed and said, “It’d be fiction of course!””

Neta liked this and the ideas started flowing. She originally thought this would be a stand alone. The book was a success and the publisher said how about a three book deal? She went to work and soon the characters in her book were fighting for a book of their own. There are seven books in the Yada Yada prayer group books.

We also asked, “How the Party Edition books came about?” She asked her publisher if they might be interested in one book that captured the food and traditions talked about in all the books. It would be one place where we could celebrate each of the ladies customs and traditions. The publisher liked it but decided to just add a little bit of this in the back of all seven books.

I liked how she said that each book was inspired by something she was going through where the Lord was teaching her something. For example.

1. Yada Yada Prayer Group – Learned about Grace
2. Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down – Learned about Forgiveness
3. Yada Yada Prayer group Gets Real – Transparent theme –stop hiding behind smiling faces
4. Yada Yada Prayer group Gets Tough – Spiritual Warfare theme

And so it goes. Then the House of Hope series happened. Neta and her husband have been volunteering at a women’s shelter for years. She said that there are two shelters one for emergency-crisis care and another house where things have calmed down in a persons life and they are getting their life back together. She wanted to write about that, thus the House of Hope series was born.

Neta and Dave Jackson wrote a series of home school books about the leaders of the Christian faith called the Trailblazers. An American woman contacted them and asked if they would be interested in doing a writing seminar in China for home school groups. Neta and Dave looked at each other and said they were willing! Next thing you know this woman has scheduled a five city tour for them to have creative writing seminars in. They were there for a month. It was amazing what God provided. Neta said they had an amazing time and is wondering what the Lord has in mind.

Dave & Neta Jackson last month in China

Neta said that someone recently approached them and said would you be interested in doing a seminar like that in New Zealand. Neta and her husband said, “We are willing!” Say tuned, not sure they will be going next!

Thanks Neta for talking to both of my groups and giving me some really fun pictures to include in this post. Thanks ladies for telling me about the other books in this series. They are definitely in my to be read pile. The House of Hope series sounds really good too. Neta said that her and her husband did have a say so in the new house of hope cover. She likes this one very much. I agree with her.

If your book club hasn’t read any books in this series you should check it out. I highly recommend them. We had a BLAST!! Thanks again Neta for the photos and making the book club experience so much fun. Here is the picture I promised you. A few of us brave (or crazy) enough to find and wear our crazy socks. I don't think we are cover material yet, but we're working on it. (these were taken at our Christmas party 2010.The These women braved venturing out in a rainy cold stormy night. to sing christmas carols and talk about our book club pick- that's committment! I think they just wanted to show off their socks! Just saying!)

Nora :D

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

The Yada Yada Prayer Group

(Book One)
By: Neta Jackson
Published By: Integrity Publishers
ISBN #: 978-1591450740
Pages: 400 Pages

Back Cover: What do an ex-con, a former addict; a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common?

Nothing, or so I thought; who would have imagined that God would make a group as mismatched as ours the closet of friends?

I almost didn’t even go to the Chicago Women’s Conference – after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn’t exactly my "comfort zone." But I would be rooming with my boss, Avis, and I hoped that maybe I might make a friend or two.

When Avis and I were assigned to a prayer group of twelve women at the conference, I wasn’t sure what to think. There was Flo, an outspoken ex-drug addict; Ruth, a Messianic Jew who could smother-mother you to death; and Yo-Yo, an ex-con who wasn’t even a Christian! Not to mention women from Jamaica, Honduras, South Africa – practically a mini-United Nations. We certainly didn’t have much in common.

But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together. So "the Yada Yada Prayer Group" decided to keep praying for each other via e-mail. That worked for a while, but our personal struggles and requests soon got too intense for cyberspace, so we decided to meet together every other Sunday night.

Talk about a rock tumbler!–knocking off each other’s rough edges, learning to laugh and cry along the way. But when I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound girlfriends to help teach me – Jodi Baxter, longtime Christian "good girl" – what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.

REVIEW: When this book was chosen for my book club pick I wasn't excited at ALL to read it. With women’s legs wearing wacky socks and the color pink all over the cover it didn’t make me want to pick up the book, let along read it. It also has a cast full of women a lot older than myself. I delved into this book because our book club meeting was quickly approaching. I had put off reading this book long enough. To my great surprise after the first couple of pages I was completely hooked on this story.

The author has a unique way of bringing the Holy Spirit to light. I felt so moved by this book. It reminded me of how I felt when I went to youth camps for a weekend. You know the way you feel when you're cut off from the world and completely engulfed by the Holy Spirit and into the word of God. This book had the same feel for me. It reminded me that worship is powerful and that it's more than just standing up and singing some words on a screen. I’d never thought of praying scripture but when Nony started praying scripture in the book I decided I was going to try it. The author showed through Nony how powerful and easy it would be to pray out loud that way.

The main character in this book is Jodi. She attends a conference with Avis (the principal at the school she teaches) along with a variety of diverse women. Jodi goes to this with the mindset she's not going to enjoy it at all, but maybe she'll become friends with Avis. During the conference they get assigned prayer groups. The women in Prayer Group 26 instantly connect. One of the girl's son's gets shot and the group starts a prayer circle. During the whole conference Jodi, is dealing with worship and how everyone around her is worshiping differently then she’s seen before. The lessons she learns about prayer and worship really touched me. I loved how she talked about a "quiet time" and how she never thought about talking aloud during this time because it's called "QUIET time".

I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to talk to the author on the phone at book club. It was REALLY cool! She was awesome to talk to and I was able to share with her my feelings about her book. Neta Jackson shared with us the fact that she didn't like pink on the front cover either, at first either! It grew on her! Funny right?

Finding Hope Book Club has two separate book clubs and I went to both nights. Each night she had great stories to tell! One of the most inspiring things Neta talked about was her recent trip to China her and her husband just got back from. They went over there to teach a creative writing class in five cities. It was amazing how the Lord orchestrated the trip for them.

I also enjoyed hearing how Neta’s husband gave her the idea for the Yada Yada prayer group and how Neta incorporated some sock themes into her stories. Her new book series House of Hope, has a few characters Yada Yada Prayer Group series but brings a whole new experience for her readers. Neta and her husband Dave had been volunteering at a women’s shelter for years. She wanted to bring hope to women and families in a homeless situation. It’s not surprising how fast someone can become homeless in this economy. It was SO much fun talking to her and hearing about her own prayer group that inspired the series and how they’ve been meeting for 14 years now. Everyone at the book club really enjoyed the book; I wasn’t the only one that had issues with the cover being pink. We all laughed when Neta admitted her aversion it too. I read this book in a couple of days and thoroughly adored it! I am SO glad the ladies in the group voted on this book in my book club, even though I didn’t!! This book completely revamped my prayer and worship life and goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I had finished this book on a Saturday, and the following Sunday during worship I felt like I had just been to a youth conference. I was enthralled by this book and was captured into this story. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Hilary St. Laurent
Where You Go From Here


  1. Wow, Nora! What a great review of my Yada Yada Prayer Group AND House of Hope series! Thanks so much. And it was a stitch talking with your two book clubs by phone. HUGS to all you book club members!

  2. Very... Nicee... Blog.. I really appreciate it... Thanks..:-)