Kathi Macias spoke to Finding Hope Book Club this month. What a treat that was. We talked about her book PEOPLE of the BOOK, the last book in the Extreme Devotion Series!! GREAT series. RED INK won a Golden Scroll Award a few days before she spoke to our group and has been nominated for a Carol Award.

What I wanted to share with you today was her new book DELIVER US FROM EVIL!! It's the first book in the FREEDOM SERIES!!

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (September 5, 2011)

Product Description 

Deliver Me from Evil introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old, Bible-college-bound Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara’s and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.

Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.

About the Author

Award winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 20 books, including the “Extreme Devotion” series of novels for New Hope Publishers.

Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, and the grand prize in an international writing contest.
With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.


Kathi writes books with a mission. This one is to make readers award of this horrific problem happening right in our back yards. What I like about Kathi's book is that they make the reader aware of an issue but don't leave on a negative note. They leave the reader wanting to help and leave things in a hopeful night. We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us! Looking forward to reading this series. 

Paperback: 240 Pages
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (October 5, 2011)

During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a “coyote” to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.

Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway.

Two widows—one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge—must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.

Kathi also has a Christmas book coming about soon. It's called A Christmas Journey. Looking forward to reading that one too. Kathi was so much fun! Can't wait to talk with her again at book club!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network 


SEPTEMBER is a big month for NEW Books hitting a book shelf near you!!

  • Hardcover: 416 pages

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 6, 2011) 

  • Product Description


    An avenue of Egyptian sphinxes, an Etruscan tufa tomb, a Bohemian coffee shop, and a Stone Age landscape where universes collide …Kit Livingstone met his great grandfather Cosimo in a rainy alley in London where he discovered the reality of alternate realities.

    Now he's on the run - and on a quest, trying to understand the impossible mission he inherited from Cosimo: to restore a map that charts the hidden dimensions of the multiverse while staying one step ahead of the savage Burley Men.

    The key is the Skin Map - but where it leads and what it means, Kit has no idea. The pieces have been scattered throughout this universe and beyond.

    Mina, from her outpost in seventeenth-century Prague, is quickly gaining both the experience and the means to succeed in the quest. Yet so are those with evil intent, who from the shadows are manipulating great minds of history for their own malign purposes.

    Across time and space, through manifest and hidden worlds, those who know how to use ley lines to travel through astral planes have left their own world behind in this, the second quest: to unlock the mystery of The Bone House.

  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Summerside Press (September 1, 2011) 

  • Product Description

    Dottie Morgan has no desire to share her home or her heart over the Christmas holidays. After all, her Christmas spirit froze over when Dottie lost her son in World War II. But when a blizzard of the decade traps Dottie in her home with four near strangers, she just might discover that opening her door might also open her heart to a Christmas miracle and a new reason to celebrate Christmas.

  • Paperback: 400 pages

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 6, 2011) 

  • Product Description

    Uncover a land that has been hidden for over a thousand years.
    Beneath the land of Britain, a great army is sleeping. On a visit to an old church, Daniel Tully and Freya Reynolds awaken two ancient knights from a centuries-old slumber. They are kidnapped and taken to an underground city that stands in peril, besieged in all directions by a vicious warhost. Nidergeard is the only thing protecting the upper world's blissful ignorance of mythical forces that have been held at bay since the creation of the world. In order to return home, Daniel and Freya must strike at the heart of the opposer's power.

    Fast forward eight years. Daniel, now homeless, still wages what he believes to be a righteous war against those he judges to be evil. Freya has tried to put the past behind her and concentrate on getting an education, a job, and a life. When they reconnect in Oxford, unseen forces begin to ally against them. Daniel is pulled through a portal and into another world. Freya is abducted by someone-some thing-posing as her professor and drugged to keep her in a delusional state. After they finally break free, neither can deny the truth . . . they must return to Nidergeard and resume the battle.

    With a thrilling narrative that draws heavily upon British mythology, The Realms Thereunder will quickly establish Ross Lawhead as a major new voice in fantasy.

  • Paperback: 366 pages

  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 27, 2011)

  • Product Description

    In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books---faith, community, simplicity, family---with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt. When two women---one Amish, one English---each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life. 

  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: B&H Books (October 1, 2011) 

  • Product Description

    All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.

    As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.

    Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

  • Paperback: 400 pages

  • Publisher: B&H Books (September 15, 2011) 

  • Product Description

    If someone gave you a chair and said it was made by Jesus Christ, would you believe them?

    When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe's antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was crafted by Jesus, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed two days after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts wondering . . . could this chair heal the person whose life Corin destroyed twelve years ago?

    As word spreads of the boy's healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece flits in and out of his life like a shadow, insinuating it's Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

    Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he'll reveal. Corin's life shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. What’s more, he's not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.

  • Hardcover: 176 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2011) 

  • Product Description

    The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.

    Once again, Melody Carlson delivers a Christmas story that will touch hearts and delight the senses. Sure to be a classic, The Christmas Shoppe is filled with the special magic the best Christmas stories share--that intangible mixture of nostalgia, joy, and a little bit of magic.

    NOTE: WOW!! So many great books heading our way. Wish there were more hours in the day to read them!!

    Nora :o)
    The Book Club Network 


    It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

    You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
    Today's Wild Card author is:

    and the book:

    David C. Cook (July 1, 2011)
    ***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, The B&B Media Group, for sending me a review copy.***


    Matt Redman has been leading worship full-time since the age of 20. His journey has taken him to countries such as South Africa, Japan, India, Australia, Germany, Uganda, Croatia and the Czech Republic. He has worked with many church plants and is currently involved with St Peters, a new church planted out of HTB in London. His early compositions include "The Heart of Worship," "Better Is One Day" and  "Once Again." More recent songs have included "Blessed Be Your Name" and "You Never Let Go" (both written with his wife, Beth). Redman is also the author of three books which all center on the theme of worship: The Unquenchable Worshipper, Facedown and Blessed Be Your Name (co-authored with Beth). Plus he has compiled two other books: The Heart of Worship Files and Inside-Out Worship. Redman and his wife currently live on the south coast of England with their five children.

    Visit the author's website.


    God's Light Shines Through the Smallest Prism

    Matt Redman invites readers to reflect God's dazzling radiance.

    When God shines upon His church, we become a dazzling testimony to His awesome radiance. You may feel ineffective. You might have lost confidence in your ability to shine. You may think you are too small or inconsequential to ever be of any value in the kingdom of God. But no matter at all—for, in the end, it is all a matter of light. His light. The life of worship never begins with you. It starts and ends with Jesus. In his newest book, Mirror Ball: Living a Life that Reflects God's Radiance, worship leader and songwriter Matt Redman reminds us that even when we feel insufficient to reflect God's glory, God can show through us as light radiates through a prism. Living in this truth will transform how we view our words, our relationships and our daily lives.

    Passion is not only that which gets us up in the morning; it helps us see it through to the end of the day. And for anyone who has truly encountered the wonder of the cross, it soon becomes a way of life. If you're looking for a heightened way to tell God you love Him, the very best way has little to do with stringing poetic sentences together. It involves a life laid down in service and adoration. The concrete evidence of whether worship has lived or died in us will always be our lives. We sing our songs with good intent, but in the end our lives must become the evidence.

    In and of ourselves we have no light. But in His bright and shining light we are transformed and begin to radiate the glories of our God to the world around us. You may be feeling totally inadequate for that task. But if so, you have simply forgotten the most important part of the equation. It is not about you and your best efforts. It is the light, power and love of Christ illuminating our fragile lives.

    Through story, Scripture and practical inspiration, Redman encourages his readers to remember that, however inadequate they may feel to live out this passion, God will work in and through them. After all, the same God who said "let there be light" has made His light to shine in their hearts, illuminating their lives and the lives of those around them.

    Product Details:

    List Price: $12.99
    Paperback: 176 pages
    Publisher: David C. Cook (July 1, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0781405785
    ISBN-13: 978-0781405782



         The Passion of the Christian

         It’s New Year’s Eve in downtown Nashville, and things are getting crazy. There’s a mood of fun and festivity everywhere you look. And inside the biggest arena of all, two of the most popular country acts in the nation lead thousands of fans in a celebration of the end of one year and the beginning of the next. The music cranks up loud and the shouts of the audience respond in kind. The truth is, people love to party.

         That night in Tennessee, we arrived to prepare for the Passion college gathering. Over the next few evenings the same arena would fill again, and we’d start a party of a different kind. No less volume

    or excitement—hopefully more—but a whole different reason for letting out those shouts of joy. If people can get that excited over December becoming January, what on earth does it look like when over twenty thousand college students get their hearts and heads around the glory and grace of God? What does it sound like when we find ourselves caught up in the epic story of the One who came to this earth, endured the cross, and made a way home for us—all in the name of love and rescue? As loud and as fun as those New Year celebrations might be, shouldn’t they become just the faintest whisper when compared with the thunderous shouts and applause that accompany the praise of the King of all heaven? In the words of the old worship hymn, “Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.”
         I once met a man who’d survived a shark attack by screaming so loudly that he burst blood vessels in his neck. His ear-piercing cries gave the shark so much of a headache that it gave up the attack and swam away. Where did such a loud scream come from? It came from deep inside him—from the very depths of who he was, crying out for mercy and survival.
         So on the last night of the Passion student gathering that year, my good friend Louie Giglio, the founder of Passion, decided we were going to throw the party to end all parties. No low-key affair with some semiloud music and a halfhearted whoop or two—but a full-on, turn-it-up-loud celebration of the Son of God. The point being that if we truly live in the light of Christ and all that He has accomplished, there’s a time to be a little bit outrageous in our gathered response to Him.
         The day of the worship-fueled party arrived, and things were beginning to happen inside the arena. People hung extra lights and prepared song lists, and everything looked good for some extreme celebration. Apart from one thing, that is. Louie had been excitedly talking about a mirror-ball moment, which he’d planned for a while. At just the right time, during a joyful worship song, he planned to lower this thing, shine some lights on it, and give a little extra visually creative expression to these full-on celebrations. The first time I heard about the mirror ball, it sounded like a good idea—until I entered the arena, that is. Hanging above the center of the stage was a tiny spherical object, and as I strained my eyes to see it, I thought the object certainly looked like a mirror ball. But I was sure this couldn’t be Louie’s mirror ball: It was tiny—the kind of thing I’d seen every year from the age of seven at my school disco. Yet—I looked around—there didn’t seem to be any other mirror balls hanging up there. And so I had to conclude that this must be the one he was talking about. Quite frankly, I was worried. I decided that we were headed for the biggest anticlimax in the history of Christian worship gatherings. Louie had told everyone on the team about this great disco-ball moment that would help lead us in our joyful worship celebrations—when, as far as I could tell, it was going to be a moment of laughter for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be a good friend and warn him—but he was so pumped about his little mirror ball, I just didn’t have the heart.
         As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. The evening was wonderful. The thousands of students assembling that night to worship Jesus arrived in silence—as we’d been encouraged to do to prepare our hearts for gathered worship. Through songs and sounds and moments of ancient liturgy, we went to the cross. There we recalled the most amazing act of obedience and sacrifice this world has ever seen. We paused for a while, and I was reminded once again that God makes worshippers out of wonderers. As our hearts breathed in afresh the mystery of grace, we exhaled reverent awe and thanksgiving in response. The soul-gripping mystery of Calvary fueled the fires of our praise, and remembrance led us to rejoicing. Next, we began to turn up the volume a notch or two, with heartfelt songs of devotion resounding intensely around the room. In Scripture, Jesus Himself said that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks—and as we stood there in amazement at the grace and glory of God, sounds of joyful thanksgiving tried to find a way out of our hearts.
         And then the moment arrived. Mirror ball time. Down from the ceiling came the world’s smallest disco ball. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry … or get my binoculars out to actually see the thing.
         However, in one bright, shining moment, all of my fears died. Powerful beams of light hit the face of the ball, and suddenly, in every corner of that massive arena, radiance shone all around. Light filled the room. It seemed to glow on every face and shine on every inch of floor, wall, and ceiling. A huge arena filled with light—by way of a tiny little mirror ball. And people partied. In that moment, focusing on the glory of the Savior and celebrating His victories, we shouted for joy and danced with abandon.

         It turns out that in all my doubting and questioning of Louie’s mirror ball, I’d seriously underestimated the most important factor—the power and brilliance of the beams of light that shone upon it.
    In the end, it was all a matter of light.

         When it comes to a life of worship and mission, the very same rules apply. In and of ourselves we have no light. But in His bright and shining light we are transformed—and begin to radiate the glories of our God to the world around us. You may be feeling totally inadequate, far from ready for that task. But if so, you have forgotten the most important part of the equation. It is not about you and your best efforts. It is about the light, power, and love of Christ illuminating our fragile lives. As Scripture reminds us, the same God who said, “Let there be light,” has made His light to shine in our hearts.

         When God shines upon His church, we become a dazzling testimony to His awesome radiance. You may feel ineffective. You might have lost confidence in your ability to shine. You may think you are too small or inconsequential to ever be of any value in the kingdom of God. But no matter at all—for, in the end, it’s all a matter of light. His light. The life of worship never begins with you. It starts and ends with Jesus.
         Back to Nashville for a moment. I left the arena that night inspired by the shouts and the songs that had been poured out in that place. But the mirror ball left a really big impression. It reminded me of our ultimate call as we live on this earth—to shine all around for the glory of God.

         Then another thought hit me: So often we equate passion with volume and energy, and surely that can play an important part. But when it comes to true passion, ultimately those things are just the tip of the iceberg—the part most on display. However, God looks beneath the surface, searching our hearts. Yes, God does call us to sing. He calls us to sing loudly, boldly, joyfully, and reverently before Him. Just check out the exhortations in so many of the psalms for evidence. God loves a shout of praise or a joyful noise brought in His name. These things are great and important ways of expressing the explosive celebrations happening in our hearts. But to complete the integrity of these offerings, God is looking for a people who will take their passion to the next level and begin to shine His light in their everyday lives. A people who will stand in the light of who He is and reflect His wonders for all the world to see. We see the light. We celebrate the light. And we send the light.

    Lives Laid Down

         Lives of passion step outside the normal and rational and give all they have gladly and generously. I love this definition of passion being made popular by Louie: “Passion is the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to achieve the goal.” Defined in this way, passion becomes a life laid down in extravagant surrender—thoughts, words, and deeds thrown wholeheartedly into the mix even when it costs us something. Or indeed, costs us everything.

         This definition also brings us right back to the cross. The passion of Jesus shows us the most heightened example we will ever see of “the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to achieve the goal.” At Calvary we encounter the Savior of the world—who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross and scorned all of its shame. He underwent agonies we could never imagine. If we were to look at the cross simply through the lens of physical torture it would be grueling enough in and of itself. The cross was one of the most gruesome and painful forms of capital punishment this world has ever seen.

         Yet this was no ordinary crucifixion. For here was the Son of God—He who was pure and faultless—becoming stained by our sin and shame. The One so accustomed to the peace and joy of heaven encountered the depths of earthly shame, suffering, and pain. He had no sin and instead became sin for us. He who existed in close communion with the Father felt the cruelty and dark loneliness of Gethsemane and Calvary. Add all of these factors together, and you are left with a cross that is not only physically heavy to carry—but one that is unfathomably heavy to bear in spiritual, emotional, and psychological terms. Yet Christ did so. And, astonishingly, He chose to do so. That is the ultimate display of passion.
         Be assured, Jesus was not eager to face the agonies of that place. We do not find Him bubbling over with anticipation—completely the opposite. On the eve of His death, the Savior cries out:

    “Abba, Father … everything is possible for you. Take

    this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you

    will.” (Mark 14:36)

         A passionate obedience to the Father and an unwavering commitment to His mission see Jesus through the loneliness of Gethsemane and to the cross. This really is the passion of the Christ. And the passion of the worshipper must take on the very same characteristics.

         The Scriptures are full of worship songs and devotional music—and in the right place, music can play such a wonderful and unique role in our worship. It’s part of how we’ve been made and a wonderful way to express our devotion to God together. Eugene Peterson writes:
    Song and dance are the result of an excess energy.

    When we are normal we talk, when we are dying we

    whisper, but when there is more in us than we contain

    we sing. When we are healthy we walk, when

    we are decrepit we shuffle, but when we are beyond

    ourselves with vitality we dance.

         But passionate worship is never a matter of merely getting the words and tune right or raising a loud shout. The true test of our passion for God will always be our lives. If I’m looking for a heightened way to tell God I love Him, the very best way has very little to do with stringing poetic sentences together. It involves a life laid down in service and adoration. The concrete evidence of whether our worship has lived or died in us will always be our lives. We may sing our songs with good intentions, but in the end our lives must become the evidence.
         Singing is easy. The proof is always in the living. Or even the dying. Will the music in our hearts subside when the going gets tough? Will we be distracted or discouraged from our cause when the conditions aren’t favorable? Will the fireworks of our excited hearts come to nothing more than a momentary spark that fizzles out, never to be seen again? Or could we prove the flames of our passion even in the furnace of difficulty, inconvenience, and endurance?

         Passion is not only that which gets us up in the morning—it helps us see it through to the end of the day. Passion finishes what it begins and makes good on its promise of running the race with perseverance and turning good intentions into fulfilled dreams. Passion is always more than a party. It’s a story of guts and glory, pain and purpose. And for anyone who has truly encountered the wonder of the cross, it soon becomes a way of life.

    Copyright 2011 Matt Redman. Mirror Ball published by David C Cook. Publisher permission required to reproduce in any way. All rights reserved.

    NOTE: I LOVE Matt Redman's music and wondered about the man behind the music. I have this book on my TO READ list. I read a book by his wife Beth last year. Wow!! I can't wait to dig into this book! I'll let you know about it soon!


    Nora St.Laurent


    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Canary Island Song
    Howard Books; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
    Robin Jones Gunn

    Robin Jones Gunn was born in Wisconsin and lived on a dairy farm until her family moved to southern California when she was five years old. She grew up in Orange County and spent her summers at Newport Beach with friends from her church youth group. After attending Biola University and Capernwray Bible School in Austria, Robin and Ross were married and spent the next two decades working together in youth ministry.

    It was the young teens at Robin’s church who challenged her to write stories for them. She hadn’t thought much about being a writer, but took their request to heart and set her alarm for 3am, three days a week. With two small children it was the only time she could find to write the first story about Christy Miller. After two years and ten rejections the novel Summer Promise was accepted for publication in 1988. Robin hasn’t stopped writing since. Over 4 million copies of her 75 books have sold and can be found in a dozen translations all over the world.

    Robin and her husband now live in Hawai’i where Ross is a counselor and Robin continues to write to the sound of tropical birds chattering in the palm trees outside her window. Their children are grown but manage to come to the islands with their families every chance they get. Robin's awards include: three Christy awards for excellence in fiction, a Gold Medallion finalist, Mt. Hermon Pacesetter and the Mt. Hermon Writer of the Year award. Robin travels extensively and is a frequent key-note speaker at various events around the world.  She serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writer’s Guild.

    When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to “get a life,” Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

        The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

        Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?
        Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Canary Island Song, go HERE.

    NOTE: I'm in the middle of this book right now so I don't have a full review for you. It's just like the sister chick books. I'm having a great time and Robin has taken us to the Canary Islands! I didn't want to rush reading this book just to do a review!! I want to savor every word and take in all the sites Robin has for me to see in her new book. So get ready for fun! This book is definitely worth your time and energy! But then again ALL of Robin's books are like that!! Grin!

    Nora :o)


    It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

    You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

    Today's Wild Card author is:

    and the book:

    WaterBrook Press; 1st edition (September 19, 2000
    ***Special thanks to Laura Tucker, WaterBrook Multnomah Publicity, for sending me a review copy.***


    Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling author of eight novels, three novellas, and two gift books, with more than a half-million books in print. God Gave Us You is her first children’s book. As an editor during the week and a writer on weekends, she makes her very-messy-but-cozy home in Colorado with her husband, Tim, and their daughters, Olivia and Emma.

    Visit the author's website.


    Laura J. Bryant attended the Maryland Institute of Art, where she received a strong foundation in drawing, painting, and print-making. Illustrating children’s books has provided her with both a rewarding and creative career. Laura’s clients have included Simon & Schuster, McGraw Hill, and Stech-Vaughn publishers, among others. She currently lives among the tidal rivers on the eastern shore of Maryland with her loving husband and curiously cantankerous cat!

    Visit the author's website.


    Filled with playful, winsome illustrations by an artist who specializes in polar bear images, this four-color, read-to-me picture book will build children’s self-esteem through the tale of a mama bear who reassuringly explains where her cub came from and affirms Mama and Papa’s great love for her.

    Product Details:

    List Price: $10.99
    Reading level: Baby-Preschool
    Hardcover: 40 pages
    Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1st edition (September 19, 2000)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1578563232
    ASIN: B002PJ4LHM


    To Liv, Emma, and Jack—
    Words cannot express how glad
    we are that God gave us you.

    To Ron and Shirley—
    Who have an endless supply of love and generosity.

    “Good night, sweet child,” Mama said as she tucked Little Cub in.

    But Little Cub wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep.

    “Mama, where did I come from?” she asked.

    “From God,” her mother answered. “Your papa and I were alone, and we wanted
    a baby.”

    “And you got me?” Little Cub asked, her voice muffled by the covers.

    “Yes, my special child. God gave us you.”

    REVIEW: I ADORE Lisa's children's books. I specially like that this book is available now as a board book. It has a great message that kids will enjoy reading over and over again. I know that my grandson loves looking at the pictures of the bears and the loving message he doesn't quite understand but loves looking at it. The bears are fun and the message is conveyed in pictures and words. Letting each child know that they are special, loved and his parents are glad to have them in their lives!They are truly gifts from God. I don't think we hear that enough.

    If you haven't read any of Lisa's other books you should. They are just as fun, beautiful and have great messages. You'll enjoy reading them over and over again. Lisa knows how to create a special time with your children and grandchildren!!

    Thanks Lisa and  Laura J. Bryant for creating such meaningful and beautiful children s books.

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network 


    By Anne Mateer
    Published By: Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0764209031
    320 Pages

    Book Description: Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promised adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans.

    But the Spanish flue epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebeka is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart

    By Austin Boyd
    Published by: Zondervan (August 8, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0310328193
    336 Pages

    Book Description: Austin Boyd's vivid writing plunges you into Appalachia with such descriptive realism that you taste the perfume of summer clover and melt into the tender heart of a young woman who would sacrifice anything for Daddy. Hearkening to the myth of Pandora's Box, Nobody's Child sweeps you into a world where unprecedented choices never intended by heaven lead to unintended consequences never before seen on earth. Meet... Laura Ann McGehee---Determined to honor her father's dying request, the young West Virginia woman will do whatever it takes to save the family farm, including using the one remaining financial resource she has---her body. Sophia McQuistion---Thanks to the unusual sacrifice of a woman she has never met, she carries the child she could never conceive. Ian Stewart---In Laura's time of need, he's more than just a close friend. He is a source of grace, a man who loves Laura Ann through her many trials. When unusual circumstances place Sophia's baby in Laura Ann's care, Laura Ann is now the virgin mother of her own biological son. The media call him 'Nobody's Child.' But somebody wants him badly enough to steal him. Weaving together bioethics and faith, Nobody's Child dramatizes a future that is already upon us with consequences we can no longer avoid.

    By Dorothy Love
    Published By: Thomas Nelson (May 31, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1595549006
     320 Pages

    Unless she can trust God's love to cast out her fears, Ada may lose the heart of a good man.  

    Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady's companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.

    Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada's friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

    When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt's primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.

    With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.

    By Tamara Leigh
    Published by: Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1601421685
    352 Pages

    Book Description: She’s all about going green. Could he be her white knight—or will he make her see red?

    Tree-huggin’, animal-lovin’ Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it’s been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it’s time she shed her widow’s weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family’s estate—a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won’t turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.

    Enter J. C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn’t return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. Unfortunately, J. C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when she interrupts his meeting—until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight—in more ways than one. But there are things Bridget doesn’t know about J. C., and it could mean the end of everything she’s worked for…and break her heart.

    By DiAnn Mills
    Published by: Summerside Press (June 1, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1609361389
    320 Pages

    Book Description: When Eva Fortier's grandfather is murdered, her attorney urges her to leave New York and take refuge in the high desert area of New Mexico. Leaving her life of wealth behind, Eva attempts to make sense of the tragedies in her life.

    Navajo David Benally has his hands full taking care of his people's medical needs. But when his father asks him to help fulfill a vow made to Eva's father, he has no choice but to oblige. He views Eva as a spoiled rich girl...until he sees her strength in the midst of life-threatening danger.


    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network


    By Robert Whitlow
    Published by: Thomas Nelson (July 19, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1595544513
    400 Pages

    Book Description: Sometimes the smallest towns hold the biggest secrets. Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a big-city law firm. One final matter has to be cleared from his docket--the closing of his deceased father's law practice in the small town of Bethel. Killed in a tragic boating accident, John Crane didn't leave his son anything except the hassle of a bankrupt estate.
    Then, within twenty-four hours, Tom loses his job, his girlfriend, and his cat. Job didn't have it much worse.
    Returning to Bethel with his pride ground to powder, Tom's plan to quietly shut down his father's practice and slink out of town runs into an unexpected roadblock - two million dollars of unclaimed money stashed in a secret bank account. Tom follows the money into a tangled web of lies, theft, and off-shore financial transactions manipulated by powerful men who will do anything to stop him from discovering the truth.

    By Robin Lee Hatcher
    Published by: Zondervan (August 16, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0310258087
    288 Pages

    Book Description: In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with. Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again. A woman who hasn't known love. A man who lost the love he had. In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.
    By Erynn Mangum
    Published By: Zondervan (August 16, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0310721444
    224 Pages
    Ages 9-12

    Book Description: Drawing conclusions or drafting disaster? Other than harboring a somewhat obsessive fondness for Crispix and completely swearing-off boys after a bad date (don't ask), sixteen-year-old Kate Carter is about as ordinary as they come, except for her two notable talents: art and sarcasm. After an introduction to forensic sketching in her elective art class, Kate discovers a third and most unexpected gift---criminal profiling. Her photo-quality sketch helps the police catch a wanted murderer and earns her celebrity status in South Woodhaven Falls. But when that murderer appears to be using his friends to exact revenge, Kate goes from local hero to possible target. Will she manage to survive? Will life ever be normal again? And will local news anchor Ted Deffle ever stop sending her flowers?

    By Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma
    Published By: Thomas Nelson (August 9, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1595546869
    352 Pages

    Book Description: Before Wren was a mother humming lullabies, she was a lonely daughter aching for unconditional love. 

    Wren Evans is an ordinary mother parenting an extraordinary child. Charlie and Wren share an incredible bond--forged in the fire of a single-parent home. Their intimacy insulates them from the outside world. And Wren will do anything for Charlie, even if it means uprooting their little family yet again to expose him to the best musical training.
    But Charlie has a deep desire of his own. With the earnest belief only found in children, Charlie goes to his heavenly Father with a request: "God, please make my mom happy again." The answer to his prayer comes soon and unexpectedly with the fulfillment of a promise made long, long ago.

    By Beth Wiseman
    Published By:  Thomas Nelson (August 9, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1595549204
    400 Pages

    Beth Wiseman's Amish novellas are available for the first time in one collection-Healing Hearts.

    "A Choice to Forgive" Lydia has loved two men in her life. Daniel, who disappeared one Christmas Eve long ago, leaving only a note saying he wanted to live in the Englisch world. And Elam, Daniel's brother, to whom she had been happily married for 15 years. When Elam dies, Lydia gives up on ever loving again. But she is shocked when Daniel wants to return to the Order and her life.

    "A Change of Heart" Leah is a writer in a community that does not encourage such fruitless endeavors. She lacks the skills necessary to be a good Amish fraa. Aaron knows these things about Leah, but his heart is captured by this spirited young woman.

    "Healing Hearts" Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn't expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he's back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?

    These novellas were previously published in An Amish Love, An Amish Gathering, and An Amish Christmas.


    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network 


    Published by :Summerside Press (September 1, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1609363086\
    320 page 

    Book Description: A kiss can be life-changing. When Keara and Elam Jensen share their first kiss on their wedding day, a marriage of convenience becomes much less convenient! It also becomes more than they expected when God shows them what He really has in store for their lives. Will their mysteriously injured visitor ruin their future, or will her influence—and her personal battle—draw them into deadly danger?

    Visit Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1901, and discover for yourself what excitement and romance await along the White River Hollow.

    By Margaret Daley
    Published By Summerside Press (September 1, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-1609363093
    320 Pages

    Book Description: Penniless, pregnant, and newly widowed
    immigrant Rachel Gordon doesn’t believe her situation could get any worse...until she meets her new neighbors.

    Shortly after the War of 1812, Rachel and her husband set out from England for a plantation in South Carolina, which he had purchased sight unseen. However, while en route, Tom Gordon fell overboard and drowned, leaving Rachel, frightened and alone, to make a home
    for her and her newborn. Can a battle-scarred American physician who comes to rescue her rescue also heal her wounded heart?

    By Janice Thompson
    Published By: Revell (September 1, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0800733469
    304 Pages

    Book Description: Athena Pappas is the head writer on one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. But when Vegas comedian Stephen Cosse is brought in to beef up the show's suddenly sagging ratings, she starts to worry about her job. Sparks fly as the competition--and attraction--between the two writers heats up. Athena has never had a problem scripting the romances of her characters. So why is her own love life so hard to script?

    With humor and a Hollywood-insider viewpoint, Hello, Hollywood! delivers lots of laughs as the characters discover that not being in control of the plot of their lives might just be the best thing that ever happened to them.

    By Susan Meissner
    Published By WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)
    ISBN# 978-0307458858
    352 Pages

    Book Description: A house shrouded in time. 
    A line of women with a heritage of loss.
    As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.
    When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.
    With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.


    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network 

    ICRS CONFERENCE JULY 11th - JULY 14th 2011

    The ICRS Conference was held in Atlanta this year at the Word Trade Center. It was an exciting time for all as we got to know all the new products and authors. Before the show started they made an announcement that Thomas Nelson and World Vision were partnering together this year and next. Thomas Nelson has a new bible they would be selling and some of the proceeds of the bible would go directly to World Vision to help children.

    Thomas Nelson Publishing presented a check to the President of World Vision

    The CBA Presented a check to Eagle Ranch to continue their work with young people and  families in the Atlanta area!! It was thrilling to this ministry get such a generous gift. They do so much in our community!

    Then the Ribbon cutting ceremony!! The floor was open for all to enter and see the rows and rows of publishers, authors and merchandise available to look at. It was a thrilling today!

    More on the ICRS conference and the people I met this week.


    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network