BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

CFBA - DANGEROUS MERCY by KATHY HERMAN


This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
Dangerous Mercy
 
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Kathy Herman
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.      

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dangerous Mercy, go HERE.

***NOTE*** I just received this book yesterday. It looks good! I will post the review when I'm done reading this book!!


Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org 

FIRST TOUR - CHERISHED by KIM CASH TATE - WATCH THE VIDEO WOW!

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:

Thomas Nelson (August 30, 2011)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kim Cash Tate was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. Her mother, a manager with AT&T, and her father, an educator, divorced when she was young. Even after the divorce, one thing her parents agreed on was the importance of education. She attended both public and private Catholic schools, and college was a given. Tate chose the University of Maryland.

After completing her undergraduate degree, she distinguished herself as a law student at George Washington University. She was invited to join the Journal staff, and a summer job at a respected law firm in her beloved Washington, D.C. followed by a one-year clerkship with a federal judge in Madison.

Tate’s law career took off in Madison. Once the clerkship ended, she was hired on at a large firm. In spite of her success, she was plagued by constant feelings of discontentment and loneliness for the racially diverse environment she left behind in D.C. She began seeking faith, simply as a means of maintaining sanity. After she and Bill married, the couple began attending a local AME church, and they both felt Jesus calling.

When her children were young, Tate left her thriving law career to stay home. A passionate and persuasive communicator, she tried her hand at writing. More Christian than African-American shares her story of finding her identity in Christ rather than in her race, which had been a major focus for her. Her first novel was Heavenly Places, followed by Faithful and her newest release, Cherished. Tate was a speaker for Women of Faith in both 2010 and 2011.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Kim Cash Tate explores Psalm 103:12 as she takes her readers down the path to God’s forgiveness and reconciliation in her newest novel, Cherished.  Readers will discover that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices.  And He doesn’t just forgive them, but they are truly cherished!

Tate’s story will show her readers how God can bring beauty from ashes.  She has a unique way of weaving her characters’ lives together, leading back to one great point—God’s tremendous mercy and grace.  In the words of one of her characters, “I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I felt like it would take a while to work my way back into God’s good graces, but it was like…”—she flung wide her arms—“…He just embraced me.” We too can be embraced by the same great love when we learn that true forgiveness for ALL of our sins is right before us.  

Growing up in Saint Louis, Kelli London dreamed of becoming a songwriter and glorifying God with her songs of praise.  But after falling into sin, she walks away from her dreams.  Heather Anderson’s life has spun out of control—first an affair with a married man and then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band.  Broken and alone, she discovers the only one who can save her.  Brian Howard grew up as a science geek.  But after making the worst mistake of his life after high school, he finds forgiveness in Christ and is being led down a completely different path.  Now he must choose whether to continue pursuing his PhD in biochemistry or to become a full time Christian rapper.

****WHAT A POWERFUL VIDEO HERE -- WHAT A STORY!!******




Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595548556
ISBN-13: 978-1595548559

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Kelli London took her place on the piano bench and waited for her cue, grateful that her jittery hands were hidden from the crowd. She shouldn’t have agreed to do this, but she loved her brother and had never seen him happier. How could she say no to singing at his wedding?

But it was the song Cedric had asked her to sing, one he’d heard only by chance. He had no idea what it meant to her. He didn’t know that singing it would unleash memories of the last person she ever wanted to think about.
Laughter rose from the pews, and Kelli looked up, wondering what she’d missed.
“. . . and I’m sure Cedric wants me to get to the vows ASAP,” Pastor Lyles was saying, “so they can get to that kiss they’ve been waiting for.”
Kelli had only met the pastor once before, at her brother Lindell’s wedding last fall, but it didn’t take long to love his spirit and his style. A black man in his late fifties, he’d started Living Word Community Church decades ago and watched it grow into a multi-ethnic megachurch. At least a couple hundred members were here today. Kelli guessed none of them thought twice about the various hues and accents that had gathered to see this black couple wed. She loved that spirit too.

Cedric was shaking his head with a shamefaced grin as the pastor called him out. Cyd was smiling up at him, gorgeous, beaming like the bright light she’d become in Cedric’s life.

Pastor Lyles continued. “But I don’t think he’ll mind one last song, and it’s a special one, written by his sister.”

Kelli drew a deep breath as Cedric and Cyd smiled over at her, Lindell and Stephanie too—the flip side of last fall. Then Stephanie and Lindell were the bride and groom, and Cyd and Cedric were maid of honor and best man, which was how they met. Kelli loved the story, how Cyd turned forty on her younger sister’s wedding day, thinking she’d never marry herself. Now here she was—a June bride. It was romantic that her brothers would now be married to sisters, but it somehow added to her melancholy, that each of them had found the love of his life.

Kelli gazed at the piano keys, and knowing they had to, her fingers tapped the first notes. She fought to stay in the moment, in the church. Her eyes swept Cyd and Cedric, imagined the lyrics were just for them . . .
I will love you till the stars don’t shine

And I will love you till the oceans run dry

I will love you till you know every why

I will, I will

Her eyes closed, and he was there. A shiver of remembrance danced down her arms. She could still see that distant look in his eyes, could even hear him, that tone of indifference that echoed forever in her head. Kelli opened her eyes to capture another image—any image—but he was everywhere now. And her heart allowed itself to be crushed all over again.
I will love you like an endless stream

A million miles won’t take your heart from me

I will love you every breath you breathe

I will, I will

Almost to the bridge, Kelli could feel her emotions cresting with the song. She closed her eyes again as they took over, filling her voice, magnifying her range, powering her through. She played the final chords with the salt of tears on her lips and bowed her head at the last note . . . and heard—applause? She looked out and saw the guests on their feet and Cedric and Cyd fully turned, facing her—Cyd wiping tears from her cheeks. With her own anxiety about singing it, Kelli hadn’t given thought to whether people might actually like the song.

She pulled a tissue from the box atop the piano, dabbed her cheeks, and blew her nose, then muscled a heart-heavy smile to acknowledge everyone’s kindness. When she moved back to the front pew beside her mother, only then did the guests stop clapping and sit.

“When did you write that?” her mother asked, patting her thigh. “That was beautiful.”
“Thanks, Mom. I wrote it . . . a long time ago.”

She turned her gaze to the ceremony, her heart beating a little faster still, puzzled by the response to the song. It coaxed a different memory to the surface, and as Cyd and Cedric exchanged vows, Kelli thought about her long-ago dream of writing music that God would somehow use. Then the better part of her brain kicked in,

reminding her that she’d left songwriting behind, that she knew better than to dream.
That all those dreams had turned to dust.

“Kelli! Girrrl . . .”
Kelli looked up—midpivot in the Electric Slide—and saw Stephanie threading her way through the line dancers in her champagne-colored dress. Soon as the song started, it seemed everybody left tables and mingled to claim a spot on the parquet floor. Kelli waved her sister-in-law over.

“I’ve been looking for you.” Stephanie scooted between Kelli and Devin, a nine-year-old cousin, as rows of people sidestepped to the right. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you . . . girl, you sang that song. I had no idea—hold up, am I doing this right?” She was headed a different direction from everyone else. “Why am I even

out here? I hate this stupid dance.”

Kelli laughed. “Back, Steph. We’re going back.”

“Oh.” Stephanie checked Devin to get in sync, then leaned her head Kelli’s way again, her voice elevated. “Anyway, I told Lindell I couldn’t believe he didn’t tell me about that song, ’cause I would’ve had you sing it at our wedding. And he said he’d never heard it . . . and then I couldn’t believe that.”
“I know. Crazy, right? This way, Steph. Pivot left.”

Stephanie was behind her now, and Kelli turned to make sure she was following, but Devin had it under control.

Like a traffic cop, he moved his hands left, then right to direct her which way to go next. “And pivot,” he announced, to the amusement of those around them.
Side by side with Stephanie again, Kelli continued. “Lindell and Cedric had already moved out of the house by the time I started writing songs in high school, so it was easy to kind of keep my music to myself.” She shrugged. “Cedric overheard it because I didn’t know he was there.”
“Hmph,” Stephanie said. “If I had that kind of talent, everybody would know about it. They’d have to tell me to be quiet.”

The music switched, and they could hear people near the center of the floor cheering, “Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric! Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric!”

Kelli and Stephanie craned their necks, moving toward the action.

“Oh, goodness,” Stephanie said, laughing. “Look at your brother. He’s at it again.”
Kelli laughed too, remembering Cedric and Cyd on the dance floor at Stephanie and Lindell’s reception. Now the two had cut a wide swath in the middle of the floor with a different line dance, this one a little livelier.

Kelli and Stephanie worked their way to a spot in the inner circle.

“Have you seen this version?” Stephanie asked.

Kelli nodded. “But you know Cedric’s gonna add his own twist.”

Instead of a simple sidestep, Cedric led Cyd in bouncy moves to the left, with a slide before going right. And instead of a normal pivot, they did some kind of kick, kick, turn—with Cedric twirling Cyd into a two-step before moving back to the line dance, all of it seamless. The crowd was fired up.
After a couple of rounds, Cedric spotted Kelli and pulled her to the center.
“I don’t know if you can hang with a twenty-five-year-old, big brother.” Although Cedric was a fit forty-two, Kelli didn’t miss an opportunity to tease him about his age. “I’d hate to embarrass you in front of your guests.”
“Oh, you got jokes? We’ll see about that, baby sis.”

Cyd led the cheers this time as Kelli whipped some different moves on him. Cedric paused, then mimicked every last one to let her know she couldn’t show him up. Lindell dragged Stephanie out there—literally—and Kelli was in stitches watching them try to copy what she and Cedric were doing. Soon everyone on the

floor had joined in again, and then the music switched to Motown, which got its own cheers.
Cedric draped one arm around Kelli and the other around Cyd and led them off the floor. They stopped at the bridal party table, which had emptied of all but Dana, one of Cyd’s bridesmaids.

“Why aren’t you on the dance floor?” Cedric asked. “We need all the forty-and-over folk representing.”

Dana glared at him. “Let’s see how well you ‘represent’ with some heels on. My feet are killing me.” Then she nodded toward the dance floor. “My husband left me. He’s out there with the kids. And last I saw, Scott wasn’t representing too well either. He looked almost as bad as Stephanie with that Electric Slide.”

“I heard that, Dana,” Stephanie said, walking up with Lindell. “I could learn the dumb dance if I cared to. And since you’re trying to clown me, I might do it just to keep my black rhythm points. Can’t have a white guy showing me up.”

Dana got a kick out of that, laughing as auburn wisps fell about her face. “How about a white girl? Let’s tell the deejay to play it again and see who’s got it.”
Stephanie eased into a seat. “Uh, no thanks. I always told you, you’re one of those black white girls. You can go on the dance floor.”

Dana eyed the dancers out there. “Well, pray for Mackenzie. I think the poor thing takes after Scott. Look at them.”

Kelli’s heart was smiling. Because she lived out of state, she didn’t know these women well—not even her sisters-in-law—but from her brief interactions, including last night’s rehearsal dinner, she could tell she would like them.
Cyd pulled out a chair and sat, her beautiful gown, passed down from her mother, swishing over the sides. “Ahh . . . think I can get away with sitting like this for maybe five minutes?”

Cedric massaged her shoulders. “You’re good. The Jackson Five’s got everybody occupied.”
Dana touched Kelli’s arm. “The bridal table was talking about you earlier.”
“Me? Why?” Kelli took a seat.

“Are you kidding? That song. It was beautiful.”

Kelli blushed. “Thank you.”
“That’s my little sister.” Cedric beamed.

“Mine too!” Lindell said, giving her shoulder a squeeze. “So proud of you, girl.” He looked at the others. “Just got her master’s too, from UT–Austin.”
“I heard,” Dana said. “Is your degree in music?”

Kelli shook her head. “One’s in communications and the other’s in public relations.”
“Wow, two?” Dana nodded. “That’s awesome.”

“Well . . . not really. Just means I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Kelli didn’t mind admitting it. “But I’m done being a professional student. I’m looking for a job now—”

“—in Texas.” Cedric’s tone made clear what he thought of that. “What part of Texas?” Stephanie asked. “Are you trying to stay in Austin?”

“I’ve been looking at possibilities in Austin and Houston . . .and Dallas.”
“Mostly Dallas, I’d bet,” Cedric said. “That’s where her boyfriend is.” He looked around playfully. “Where is he anyway? I wanted to meet him, see if he measures up. What’s his name? Miller?”

Kelli smirked at her big brother. “Miles. Miles Reed. He wanted to meet you all too, but he had a conflict.”

“I’m sure we’ll get another opportunity,” Cedric said, “if I can get you to move back to St. Louis.”

Cyd perked up. “Ooh, Kelli, I’d love that. Any chance?”

“I . . . doubt it.” Kelli hedged to be polite; her mind had said a fast no. She hadn’t lived in St. Louis since she left for college, and the distance had been good. Her mother had relocated to Little Rock to care for her mother, so Kelli had gone there on school breaks.

“How’s the job market in Texas?” Cedric asked. “Improved any?”

Cedric knew the answer perfectly well. He was a VP at a head-hunting firm. He’d made some calls for her, but nothing had materialized.

“Not exactly,” Kelli admitted. “I’ve been looking since early in the year, and, well . . . it’s nearing the end of June.”

Lindell rubbed his chin. “I’m thinking you can be unemployed in St. Louis just as well as in Austin.”

Cedric gave a big nod to his brother. “Better than in Austin. In St. Louis, you can be unemployed and hang out with your brothers.”
Cyd raised a hand. “And sisters. Don’t forget about us.”

“All of us,” Dana said. “We’d love to plug you into Daughters’ Fellowship.”

“What’s that?” Kelli asked.

“It started years ago with Dana, Phyllis, and me.” Cyd pointed toward the dance floor at her other bridesmaid. “Real informal. We’d do potluck and talk about—sometimes cry about—what God was doing in our lives. Stephanie crashed the party last year.” Cyd smiled at her younger sister. “It’s evolved into kind of a Bible study/gabfest.”

“Emphasis on gab,” Cedric said. “Amazing how two hours can turn into five—every single time. You’d think you’d run out of things to talk about.”
“Now, now, brother,”  Lindell said, “don’t exaggerate. I think it was four and a half hours last time.”

Cedric and Lindell shared a laugh as the women pounced.

“We’re praying too, you know,” Dana said. “Getting that fuel we need to be the best we can be.”

“Lindell knows.” Stephanie gave him the eye. “I left the house with an attitude before that last meeting. Came back changed. Didn’t I?”

Lindell threw up his hands. “Hey, I’m not complaining. I might be the biggest DF fan at the table. Stephanie’s not the same woman I married.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Babe, that’s a good thing! I’m just sayin’.”

Kelli laughed as Lindell backpedaled. For years her brothers had been busy with their careers, living the bachelor life. Hadn’t occurred to them or her that they should live near one another, be a part of each other's lives. But now they were both settled down, with wives Kelli would love to know better. She’d always wanted sisters. And it was strange that she, Cyd, and Stephanie kind of looked alike—all of them tall with honey brown skin and long brown hair.

And Daughters’ Fellowship sounded great. Her own relationship with God wasn’t where it should be. She’d known that for some time. Just wasn’t sure how to get it back on the right track. The thought of getting together with these women, talking and learning from them, felt like water to her parched soul.

If only it were in another city . . .

Kelli sighed as she looked around the table at the laughter, the ribbing, the love. Did she really want to stay in Austin, away from all of this?

And what about Miles? They’d been dating almost a year. Although he’d graduated from UT–Austin last December and moved back to Dallas, the distance didn’t seem so great with them both in Texas. Still, they were already several hours apart. Would a few more make a huge difference?

Kelli looked up as her mother stopped at their table.

“Hey, it’s my gorgeous mother,” Cedric said, placing an arm around her.
“No, it’s my gorgeous mother,” Lindell said, hugging her other side.

Francine London glowed with pride. “You boys are something else,” she said. “And I didn’t come to see y’all. I came to see how my daughters-in-law are doing.”
“Oh, it’s like that now?” Cedric asked. “I get married, and I get kicked to the curb?”
Francine laughed, keeping her arms around her sons’ waists. “I’m wondering what’s gonna happen when you all start having my grandchildren. I’m not gonna like being all the way in Little Rock.”

“You need to move back too,” Lindell said.

Francine dismissed it with a shake of the head. “Your grandmother’s not doing well, can’t get around, so we’re better off staying put.”
“Well, help us convince your daughter to move back,” Cedric said. “We’ve been working on her.”

Francine looked at Kelli, nodding. “I was thinking about that today, how nice it would be if you could be around your brothers and their wives. You know I’m big on family.”

“Yes, I know, Mom.” Kelli cut them off at the pass. “So . . . which one of you would be willing to let your little sister move in?”

***NOTE**** I was unable to sign up to read and review the book when it needed to be to join this tour. But I wanted to SPREAD the WORD about this book. I watched the You Tube Interview and This book went on my must read list!! WOW what a Story!! I haven't read any books by Kim before!! I'm definitely checking out this one!!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

LAST NIGHTS WINNERS @ THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK'S NOOK & BOOK GIVEAWAY

GREAT GIVEAWAYS LAST NIGHT SEPT 26th 9:30p.m. for our "live" chat NOOK and BOOK giveaway!



THANKS to Kathi Macias we have our grand prize of the night a NOOK - She is also giving away two of her NEW books.




Kathi Macias giveaway
Deliver me from Evil
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/kathi-macias-book-giveaways-deliver-me-from-evil-a-christmas-jour
WINNER

Virginia

Kathi Macias giveaway
A Christmas Journey Home
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/kathi-macias-book-giveaways-deliver-me-from-evil-a-christmas-jour
WINNER

Rachel Savage




The Pirate Of my Heart by Jamie Carie (thanks to B and H for 5 copies to giveaway)
http://www.bookfun.org/group/bhpublishers/forum/topics/the-pirate-of-my-heart-by-jamie-carie

WINNERS
Pam Kellogg
Michelle T
Julie B Lippo
Janet Ruth
Penny Embry




Anne Mateer is giving away (2)signed copies of her new book
Wind of a Dream by Anne Mateer (2 signed copies)
WINNERS
Shirley Strait
Sharna Reif





Ann H.  Gabhart is giving away (1) of each of her new books
‘Angel Sister’ and ‘The Blessed’ by Ann H. Gabhart (one of each)
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/angel-sister-and-the-blessed-by-ann-h-gabhart-book-giveaway
WINNERS 

Angel Sister was won by Amy C
The Blessed was won by Sharon Moore




Composing Amelia by Alison Strobel
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/composing-amelia-by-alison-strobel-giveaway
Winner - Hope Painter




Ginny Yttrup is giving away (2) signed copies of her new book WORDS!
WORDS by Ginny Yttrup (2 copies)
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/words-by-ginny-yttrup-2-copies
WINNERs

Jennifer Dove
Noah Arsenaultq



GRAND PRIZE WINNER - OF the NOOK
Nook Giveaway (Thanks Kathi Macias)
http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/kathi-macias-nook-giveaway
WINNER 

Joy Hannabass


THANKS to B and H, Kathi Macias and these authors for helping to create BOOK FUN at The Book Club Network for Book Clubs, Readers and Authors!!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the NEXT Give Away at The Book Club Network


OCTOBER 17th MONDAY NIGHT at 9p.m. Eastern Standard Time!!


Until Next Time


Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org 

A HEART REVEALED by JULIE LESSMAN - REVIEWED






ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN: 

Julie is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction” at http://www.borders.com/online/store/ListView_best2009favefiction. Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her “Winds of Change” series has recently released with A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com

REVIEW
A HEART REVEALED
By Julie Lessman
Published by Revell
ISBN# 9780800734169
505 Pages

Back Cover: Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?

Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.

Review: I am grateful to have received a review copy of a novel that is written by an author who's passionate about her relationship with Jesus and others she loves.  Not only does she have a zest and love for life but Julie’s passion for her Savior radiates throughout this book and not in a preachy way, but an honest and enlightening way. Julie’s newest novel shows what we have in our hearts is revealed through our actions, thoughts and words. Just like Julie’s characters this often takes us by surprise, thinking we’ve dealt with that matter or didn’t realize a matter bothered us so much. I enjoyed this complex and tender story.

I loved A Hope Undaunted, the first book in the Winds of Change series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on A Heart Revealed and see where Julie would take me next. This story started out in the time of the great depression of 1931 – where people struggled to survive. They had a hard time balancing, work and family just like we deal with today. This author also talked about true love, making a time for passion, talking face to face (not texting) and how we have to work at keeping a love relationship alive.

I also like how Julie showed that just because these characters accepted Christ in their hearts and go to church; things are not perfect and all is not happily ever-after. Life can be painful at times and God wants to heal our hurts, we have to let him. I also enjoyed how Julie Lessman naturally weaves the theme of how we can be free in Christ through forgiveness! Julie showed how unforgiveness can keep us a prisoner to the pain of the past and never let us walk in what we can be in the present. It’s the freedom we have in Christ through forgiving others, and ourselves. Julie also revealed that you never know what heavy burden someone was carrying around before Jesus set them free.

Julie answers the question, what does it look like to accept Jesus into our hearts, say we love Him but don’t make him Lord of our lives? And what does someone do when they discover their heart is still bleeding from deep hurts they’ve hide from their conscious mind. Julie shows this very thing and so much more in A Heart Revealed. Each of us has a story to tell, we don’t get out of this life alive and untouched by the tragedies of the world. I love how Julie shows her passion for God through the characters' passion for each other and how all relationships take work.

I liked how Julie honestly looked at marriage on so many levels. She looked at the parents Marcy and Patrick's marriage along with Faith and Collin, Charity and Mitch, and Katie and Luke. It’s hard to have a creative and loving marriage in changing times and its almost impossible to do it without God working in you and through you.. This author gives a peek into these marriages that have very different personalities. I loved how she showed that without God marriage isn’t possible. With each husband and wife seeking God’s will for their lives and asking help in loving their spouse the way he would is the only way they make it. Julie did show the fun side of marriage too. All wasn't serious. I enjoyed the tender moments that left most of the romance to the readers’ imagination and I loved reading about them laughing and having fun; especially when the whole family gets together for game night.

Julie talked about being single in this book and enjoying it. I liked how she handled matter. She showed Sean and Emma as being totally fulfilled in being single. They fully walked in all it meant to be for them. They were both single and living for Jesus. I also liked how she revealed that Sean and Emma could be best of friends. They were confidants; they prayed for one another and held each other accountable. I also liked that even though Emma made strong suggestions to Sean that he sought God on his own terms. He didn’t take someone else’s word for what he was supposed to do.

A Priest said to Sean, “Emma sees herself as – a scarred woman, inside and out. Keep in mind that when a woman’s self-image has been destroyed, both by the man she loved and the very sins that have imprisoned her most of her life, she can’t see what you see. It will only be though the mirror of God’s love and that of your own that Emma will finally have a glimpse of the beautiful women God created her to be.” Powerful stuff.

Julie is creative and fun and had a newsletter contest and two people won the prize. The prize was to have their names in Julie's new book. Casey Herringshaw and Michelle Tuller won. It was fun to read Casey’s name in this book because I work with her on the ACFW book club loop. 

I loved reading about all the members of the O’Connor family; they all have so much fun interacting with each other. I highly recommend this book and Julie’s other as well for an honest, passionate look at love and life and everything in-between. Her books are definitely worth your time. Let Julie and her books sweep you into the O’Connor family and into the arms of Jesus. You’ll enjoy her passionate characters in this book and her others.


Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

GABBY, GOD'S LITTLE ANGEL by SHEILA WALSH

Sheila Walsh is excited to announce her new series for little girls and she is celebrating Gabby’s arrival with a fun KINDLE Giveaway and an Angel FB party on October 4th!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. Help Sheila introduce Gabby - be sure to check out her video trailer promotion here!

In Gabby, God’s Little Angel, Gigi fans will fall in love with Gabby and learn about God’s love and provision and a little about His invisible creation, the angels.


Enter today - Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together an “Angel” prize package worth over $150.00!



One lucky winner will receive:

  • A brand new KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel 


But wait! There’s more …

On October 4th join Sheila at her Author Page on FB for the Gabby, God’s Little Angel Party! She will announce the winner of the KINDLE, host a chat and give away a ton of fun products from the Gigi and Gabby line! RSVP today and then be sure to stop by on October 4th at 5:00 PM PST (6 PM MST, 7 PM CST, & 8 PM EST).



Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

KILOTON THREAT by WILLIAM BOYKIN & TOM MORRISEY - REVIEWED


KILOTON THREAT
By William G. Boykin and Tom Morrisey
Published by B and H
ISBN# 978-0-8054-4954-9
262 Pages

Book Description: Taken from what could be tomorrow's headlines, Kiloton Threat is a novel that explores the frightening potential of nuclear weapons in the Middle East today. Out of the house churches of rural Iran, a Christian masquerading as a Muslim gains the confidence of a high-ranking leader in the Iranian nuclear program and opens his eyes to Christianity. The man’s newfound faith stirs his desire to flee to the West, taking with him intelligence that would allow Coalition forces to neutralize his nation's devastating capabilities. But no one in such a position could ever escape unnoticed.

Enter Blake Kershaw, a highly trained U.S. Special Forces officer who has already made extraordinary sacrifices for his country that include faking death and losing his true identity. His mission to infiltrate Iran and extract the high-value defector strains the relationship with the woman he loves— one of the few people on earth who knows his real story. With even more intensity, it shows the price that must sometimes be paid when political correctness fails and a man has to stand up for what is right.

Review: I’m thankful to have received a review copy of this action-adventure drama story I couldn’t put down. I appreciated the fact that these authors took sometime in explaining what the Twelfth Imam, AKA “Mahdi” is and why I should know about it in the first place. These authors didn't bog the reader down with technological information but used laymen’s terms to get their message across. It was easy to explore along with the characters in the story the possibility of how WWIII could start in the Middle East and get the attention of the whole world.

My favorite character was Blake Kershaw, a highly skilled U.S. Special Forces Officer. His new mission is to infiltrate Iran and extract the high-value defector. This mission puts a huge strain on his relationship with Ali, his fiancé.

Ali, is the one person on earth he can be himself with. He doesn't have to hide anything from. He says this to Ali, “You know I am not going to walk away from this kind of thing. We’re talking the fate of a nation here. Not our nation, but that doesn't matter. We’re going to need more than my help to do this. We’re going to need God’s help. Together we will pull this off.”

Blake knew this much, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” That’s how he did his job.

I envisioned Blake to be several different leading men rolled into one! Blake had the heart of a Godly Warrior, like David in the bible. He had the determination and strength to carry out any mission, no matter the personal risk. In a pinch when Plan “A” wasn’t working out the way everyone thought it would and/or when regular supplies weren’t available for Blake to use (like they were supposed to be-Grin!) – He reminded me of MacGyver– a man who could think on his feet, a man who was resourceful and could use everyday items to get the operation accomplished.

Blake’s first and foremost a soldier. A soldier always followed orders. That’s the man in a nutshell. I highly recommend this fast paced military novel. I enjoyed the rhythm and flow of the action adventure and this story. The information in this book helped clear up a few military things for me and also helped me understand a little more about the Twelfth Imam!!

I was thrilled to read another book by Tom Morrissey and I've enjoyed them all. I look forward to this new writing team and the stories they will write.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

LETTERS FROM WAR - REVIEWED






















LETTERS FROM WAR
By Mark Schultz with Travis Thrashes
Published by: Howard Books
ISBN #: 978-1-4391-9731-8
288 Pages

Book Description: Platinum-selling Christian music artist Mark Schultz pens a novella based on his award-winning song “Letters from War,” about a mother’s unwavering hope, courage, and steadfast prayers.

Every night, Beth leaves the front porch light on. Just in case. It’s been two years since her son, James, went missing while saving the life of a fellow paratrooper in his division. Beth’s faith has sustained her while she awaits word on her son’s whereabouts. Well-meaning friends encourages Beth to move on, but Beth continues to hope.


Review: I’m thankful to have received a review copy of such a moving and tender novel. Beth’s son, James, goes off to serve his country just like his father did. The only thing James’ mom requested of him was that he writes her “real” letters, not emails. Beth says, “Emails can easily be lost. All with an errant click of a mouse or a press of a button.... but to discard a letter, you have to physically throw it away, something she’s been unable to do ever since getting the first letter. Words are different. Words reach the soul. She continues to read them to hear James and to keep believing.”

Beth says to her friend, “I can hear him speaking as she reads his words. They are beautiful just like he was. Here is a letter from James to his mom: “I’m not here to follow in Dad’s footsteps. I’m here to serve all of you and to serve this country... I am the infantry...I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight, wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemy... I am what my country expects me to be: The best-trained soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win!”

These authors have written a touching and memorable novel from a military families POV . James, Beth’s son, and Britt’s husband are in waiting mode. They were waiting to hear of any news of James’ whereabouts. James has been missing in action for two years.  Not a single word on his location or any indication if he’s alive.

Beth, Britt and Emily (James sister) feel like their life is on hold. Beth still writes letters to her son James, even though she knows no one knows where he is. It’s as if she stops writing all hope is will be lost – she couldn’t go there.

I liked the unique way these authors used letters written in this novel to James and from his family members to make the story gripping, intimate, and give the reader a personal peek at the ways families relate to one another when they are away. This is a powerful, eye opener, for a non-military person like myself. It really shows the heartache and all the family goes through when one of their loved ones goes missing in action.  I could see through James voice he had a “call” to be a solider and his heart to defend his country so we can be safe! It also gives a little glimpse into how James, a believer sees war, “the things we’ve seen - its impossible not to be affected ... it’s not just my faith that’s kept me grounded and out of harm’s way emotionally. It’s been my family too, and my ability to compartmentalize and avoid bad habits. “These are the tools he uses to survive and complete his mission.

This novel gave me a look at the soldiers’ family and how they sacrifice their loved ones to keep our country free. It also reminded me of what I take for granted. It heightened my awareness of what others do to protect our country. I’ve loved Travis Thrashers novels and Mark Schultz’s music, this novel doesn’t disappoint. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to read a story that made me instantly care for the character, made me laugh and also cry. This book was a great reminder with the 9/11 10th Anniversary this year of all I am to be thankful for. It had me see our military men and their families in a whole new light.  I recommend this book so all types of readers.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

NOOK GIVEAWAY SEPT 26th - MONDAY MARK YOUR CALENDARS

GREAT GIVEAWAYS SCHEDULED FOR SEPT 26th 9:30p.m. (I have book club that night so our meeting time at TBCN is later than usual) for our "live" chat and giveaway!

THANKS to Kathi Macias we have our grand prize of the night a NOOK - She is also giving away two of her new books.



 

THANKS to B and H for giving away (5) copies of Jamie Carie's new book The Pirate of My Heart.

David Housholder is giving away (3) signed copies of his new book


Anne Mateer is giving away (2)signed copies of her new book giveaway















Ann H.  Gabhart is giving away (1) of each of her new books

Alison Strobel had a pretty neat Book Club Journal book to give away along with her new book Composing  Ameila.

Ginny Yttrup is giving away (2) signed copies of her new book WORDS!

THANKS to B and H and these authors for helping to create BOOK FUN at The Book Club Network for Book Clubs, Readers and Authors!!

See you all on MONDAY NIGHT 9:30p.m. Eastern Standard time right here for our "Live" Giveaway EVENT!! Must be Present to win!


Next Month Fun Book Club Kit Giveaways by Jennifer Ailee, Tracie Peterson's, HOUSE OF SECRETS and THE CHAIR by James L. Rubart.

(3) GIVEWAYS - POSSESSION by RENE GUTTERIDGE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rene Gutteridge is the author of seventeen novels, including four suspense novels from Tyndale House Publishers (The Splitting Storm, Storm Gathering, Storm Surge, and Listen). She is also known for her Christian comedy novels and sketches. She studied screenwriting while earning a mass communications degree, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University and earning the Excellence in Mass Communication Award. She served as the full-time director of drama for First United Methodist Church for five years. She now writes full-time and enjoys instructing at writers conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


An Interview with Rene Gutteridge (thanks to Tyndale Publishers for allowing me to post this interview and have this giveaway)

Many readers are familiar with your comedies, but how many suspense novels have you written, and what made you decide to write another one?

This is my sixth pure suspense. Suspense is actually my favorite genre in which to write. When I was a kid, the very first novel I attempted was a ghost story. Suspense lets me explore good and evil and all the fears that I sometimes don’t want to admit are there. It lets me believe that there are still heroes in the world. It helps me gain perspective on my life. And I can relax a bit in the writing process. To be a great comedy writer, you have to have suffered a bit. Many comedy writers are intense and dark, like you’d expect a suspense writer to be. Suspense writers are usually very witty and engaging, like you’d expect a comedy writer to be. Thankfully, my split personality allows me to toggle between both.

How did the idea for Possession come to you?

It sort of came from two different places. I’d read a magazine article about people whose possessions were being held for ransom by illegitimate moving companies. And that was about the time we were watching people lose all their belongings when the economy crashed. I read news stories about dads killing themselves and their entire families because they lost their jobs or lost their homes. So I wanted to explore the idea of losing everything and what that means and how to gain perspective on life . . . on what really matters.

The story opens with Lindy at the police station. Why did you start there? Were you worried about giving too much away?

I always like to start stories with a little mystery, a small amount of information that readers can carry with them. I like the opening because it casts a tiny shadow of doubt over every chapter until the end.
A lot of the spiritual content in the story comes through Conner, and the innocence of his faith is so powerful. Where did you come up with the idea of Conner’s becoming a Christian by watching a televangelist?
I got the idea from my own son, who’d somehow gotten to a televangelist one morning while surfing for cartoons. For days after that he would talk to me about what he heard in that sermon. I had this funny picture in my head of Conner watching this evangelist, his white hair slicked to his head, his hands shooting in the air, and Conner just totally picking up on that, not a thought about denomination or what’s comfortable or uncomfortable for him. Since I wasn’t raised charismatic, I thought it’d be fun to explore how a mom would react to her kid acting like a little charismatic televangelist. And how, in the end, she finds her own faith through something that used to embarrass her.

Vance suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. How did you research this? And what made you decide to give Vance this illness? Are hallucinations like Vance’s conversations with Doug Cantella common to PTSD?


I’ve been interested in PTSD since my experience with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I was there for the whole thing and saw a lot of disturbing things but never had any PTSD symptoms—no flashbacks or anything else—except my eyes water every time I hear sirens, fifteen years later. It’s just this weird physiological reaction that happens every time I hear a siren. And that was one of the things that made such an impression on me that day: the sirens never ended. They just kept coming and coming, all through the city. All through the night. I feel fortunate that I was able to come through that without psychological damage. But it gave me a small glimpse into Vance’s struggle with PTSD.

In my research on PTSD, I found a lot of interesting symptoms that coincide with the disorder, including the flashbacks that he experiences, the sounds of the bullets and shattering glass. Hallucinations, however, are extremely uncommon, and there you’re actually bordering on psychosis. But for the story, I wanted Vance to really struggle with reality and delusion and then find faith in between. It fit well for what he’d been through with the D.C. sniper case, which is a case I’d been fascinated with since it happened. I always wondered what it was like for those cops, trying to hunt down what must’ve seemed like a ghost.

Lindy’s mother, Joan, is an intriguing character. She is the proverbial ice queen, yet we see that she truly loves her daughter. How did you develop this character?

Joan was a lot of fun to write. It’s always fun to play with the mother-in-law/son-in-law relationship. I saw Joan clearly from the moment I decided to put her in the story. But what I really enjoyed was ice-picking my way through her coldness, to find her humanity underneath.

Where did you get the motivation for Erin’s character?

She’s a whole lot of badness wrapped into one! She’s misguided, selfish, living for all the wrong things. Rarely does one get this extreme, but I think the thing that makes the bad guy (or gal) so chilling is when we get a little glimpse of ourselves in that character. Erin and Vance both lost their way, but her pride and her own desires kept her from finding the healing that Vance eventually finds.

What do you hope the reader takes away from this story?


The first and most obvious thing is that I want readers to examine what really matters in their lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the extras of life that were intended as blessings but become harmful when we elevate them over what truly matters. But I also love the story between Vance and Lindy, and how through utter material devastation, they find the compassion and truth they need to restore their marriage. There can be so many obstacles that stand in the way of a marriage thriving, but it is sometimes those very things that cause all the layers to be peeled away so that healing can begin. Lastly, always, always read the fine print!

FINDING HOPE Book Club is reading POSSESSION for this month's book club pick. I'll be posting my ladies reactions to the book here after out Sept. 26th Meeting. We will be talking with Rene via telephone.

We had read LISTEN by Rene last year as a book club and talked to her. Powerful, thought provoking book about our WORDS and how they Affected a whole town and the people that lived there! Wow!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org 




CONGRATS TO THE WINNERS OF POSSESSION


THANKS EVERYONE for encouraging Rene Gutteridge. I'm glad to hear about her other books. I might have to check them out.


HERE ARE THE THREE WINNERS


Sheryl Barnes
Shirley Strait
Linda Wagner


THANKS AGAIN for stopping by. Do so again!! As I'll have other drawings this month. Oh, REMEMBER that on October 17th at 9p.m. EST. We'll have lots of Giveaways. It's a "Live" Event. Must be present to win. The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org






MANDATORY TO ENTER - ANSWER ONE OF THE THREE QUESTIONS BELOW!!


DRAWING OCTOBER 3rd.


1. If you've read Rene Gutteridge books before, which was your favorite and why?


2. What are your thoughts when Rene talks about our possessions and how she got the idea to write this story?


3. After watching people lose everything they own in sunamis, hurricanes and earth quakes, do you have a different out look on stuff? If so what have you gleaned from all this?


4. Make A Comment about the interview! Something that struck you!





For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can

1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
Enter to win (3) Book Giveaway POSSESSION by Rene Gutteridge from@http://ning.it/qcep4b Please RT
3. Grab a button on my site and add it to yours (Finding Hope Through Fiction's Button or The Book Club Network's Button (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
4. Make a post on your blog about this drawing (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address) - I will contact the winner and need to hear from them within 48 hours to claim their prize! Winners chosen using Randomnumber.org.

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

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