BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

TAKING TIME TO CATCH UP WITH MY FAMILY

Picture taken from Juniperbooks.com  COOL!! Christmas Tree Made of Books
http://juniperbooks.com/christmas-tree-made-of-books/


It's Been an AMAZING year at The Book Club Network. I'm so thankful for all that have participated in our Monthly "Live"chats and also in our 20 day Christmas Book Party from December 1st until Dec 20th, where we gave away over 100 books. I'm thankful for the authors I've meet and the generosity in which they gave their books away.









I'm also EXCITED about the new folks I've meet at The Book Club Network, you all are so excited about reading Christian Fiction!! It's great to see!! You are such an encouragement. It was also fun to learn about how you all celebrate Christmas and what is important to you. I also loved your "Dream" List!! I appreciate you sharing from the heart!


I'm also thankful that we've had the busiest Christmas season at the Christian Book Store I work at in years. Tim Tebo. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Longing by Karen Kingsbury were our number one books sold along with Jesus Calling being our Top devotional seller. These are amazing books!!

November and December were very busy at work and also on-line. I also put together a voting list for the two book clubs I run which included 40 books and we had a wonderful Christmas party at Provino's Resturant. Something we haven't done before.

I need a break from my on-line presence and obligations so that I can catch up with my family and myself. I've been blogging every day and in December I was giving away books at The Book Club Network every day. It was fun but having to work at the Christian book store every day in December was intense. I have a few posts I'll be posting in January but I wont' be doing it every day!

I need time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead of me. I need to seek the Lords direction and what the He has in store for me in the New Year. It's been a tough year on many levels and it's been an amazing year on many levels too.

I just need to re-charge and re-group!! Thanks for understanding!! I'll rejoin you again in FEBRUARY 2012. I won't be blogging much!! Thanks for your patience, understanding and support!



Blessings
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
EXCITING things are ahead in 2012!!


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


THE NOTE II: TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE by ANGELA HUNT

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:

Tyndale House Publishers (April 2, 2009)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christy Award winner Angela Hunt writes books for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of The Tale of Three Trees, The Note (which became a Hallmark holiday film), and more than 100 other titles. Angela has won gold and silver medals from ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Award and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from a major readers’ magazine.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414332955
ISBN-13: 978-1414332956


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


With one elbow propped on her desk, Peyton MacGruder chewed on the edge of a fingernail and glared at the clock on the wall. On days like this, when she was twenty minutes away from her deadline and far from finished with her column, she could swear that the minute hand swept over the clock face at double speed.

  She transferred her gaze to the computer monitor and fluttered her fingers over the keyboard. Some days the magic worked and the words flowed. Other days she might as well be typing gibberish.

  She skimmed the half-completed column on her screen and tried to focus her thoughts. Last week a reader had written that she was afraid to trust a brother-in-law who had stolen from her in the past. Peyton had answered that forgiveness was important, but experience could not be ignored. And when it came to matters of the heart, caution should always trump passion. Dozens of readers had e-mailed, filling her in-box with responses, most of them supportive.

  Now she was working on a recap that included reader comments, but everything she’d written so far looked like extended self-congratulation. She needed a corroborating opinion . . . and any column could be improved with an appropriate quote, couldn’t it?  She reached for her dictionary of popular quotations, scanned the index, and jabbed her finger at an appropriate entry. Smiling with satisfaction, she propped her reading glasses on the end of her nose and worked the quote into her piece:

And so, dear readers, when it comes to dealing with relationships, perhaps we should keep the words of Eumenides in mind. That venerable sage once wrote, “There are times when fear is good. It must keep its watchful place at the heart’s controls. There is advantage in the wisdom won from pain.”

  Perhaps a happy heart is, at its core, a cautious heart.

  There. She leaned back and clicked the word count tool. Seven hundred words—not bad. The dragon lady shouldn’t have to cut any of this column.

  After a quick proofread, Peyton clicked Send and addressed the file to Nora Chilton, senior features editor. Another click and away it went.

  She turned as something slapped the surface of her desk. Mandi Hillridge, an overenthusiastic intern from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, stood in the aisle, her arms filled with folders. Peyton picked up the envelope Mandi had tossed her way and studied the return address. “Am I supposed to know this Eve Miller?”

  Mandi shifted her burden from one arm to the other. “I doubt it. I think she’s a reader.”

  Peyton ran her fingertip across the ragged edge. “Why has this letter been opened?”

  “Because Phil Brinker didn’t check the address before he tore into it. Our stellar mailroom staff mistakenly delivered it to him while he was in New York working on that story about the media covering the media. He just got back and told me to bring it to you.” Mandi stepped closer, her eyes gleaming. “You want me to go fuss at the guys in the mailroom? One of them’s kinda cute.”

  Peyton glanced over the short walls of the reporters’ cubicles and saw Nora stepping out of the elevator. “No.” She propped both elbows up on her desk. “I want you to get me two Tylenol. Extra strength.”

  “You have a headache?”

  “Not yet.”

  Mandi turned in time to see Nora approaching, a folded newspaper in hand.  Even from her desk Peyton recognized the distinctive banner that contained her byline and staff photo. Had Nora come down to complain about a column that had already run? She wouldn’t, unless one of the higher-ups sent her to confront Peyton about some obscure point.

  “About that headache—” Mandi lowered her voice—“I’ll bring the bottle.”

  The young woman hurried away as Nora approached Peyton’s desk. The editor waved the paper before Peyton’s anxious gaze and nodded. “By the way, about this column last week? You were absolutely right.”

  “That’s a nice change.” Peyton managed a smile. “About what?”

  “Passion. It should always be tempered with caution. Especially when it comes to affairs of the heart.”

  Peyton straightened in her chair, not certain why the editor had felt compelled to personally deliver this bit of elaboration. “You speaking from conviction or firsthand experience?”

  Nora managed a coy smile. “None of your business. Anyway, you’ve been doing really good work lately. I had my doubts at first, but you’ve grown into the job.”

  “You came all the way down here to pat me on the back?”

  “Actually, I came down here to tell you that in addition to writing the Heart Healer, I’m going to need you to handle a feature or two for the Lifestyles section. We got the call last night; Marlo Evans had a baby boy, so she’ll be out on maternity leave for the next several weeks.”

  Peyton dropped her head to her hand and groaned. “Why not use freelancers?”

  “Because I don’t have the patience or the finances to deal with neophytes. The budget cuts have made it necessary for all of us to pick up the slack now and then. Besides—” her mouth curved in a wry smile—“you’re fast and you’re good at researching. A feature or two shouldn’t be a problem for you.”

  “But I’m swamped with—” Peyton swallowed the rest of her complaint as sports editor King Danville moved into her line of vision. A warm feeling settled in the pit of her stomach and brought a smile to her lips. Would she ever stop feeling all gushy and girly whenever King approached her desk?

  King glanced at the features editor before returning Peyton’s smile. “Hello, Nora.”

  Nora’s chin dipped in a stiff nod. “Kingston.”

  Like a flower seeking the sun, Peyton shifted to face the man who had recently brought new joy to her life. “I was just telling Nora that these days I don’t have time to keep up with my column and write a weekly feature, no matter how occasional it is.”

  Nora glanced from Peyton to King and then arched a brow. “Perhaps if you temper your newfound passion, you’ll find the time.”

  King grinned as the editor smiled and moved toward the elevator; then he pulled a white bottle from his jacket pocket and shook it. Peyton placed the familiar rattle within seconds: Extra Strength Tylenol, as requested.

  “Ran into Mandi in the coffee room,” King explained. “She said you were going to need these.”

  “She was right.” Peyton sighed. “Nora seems to think I can sit down and whip up a decent feature while I’m outlining my next column. I don’t know where she got the idea that I’m some kind of writing machine.”

  “Maybe from the fact that you write so fast you make the rest of us look like we’re moving backward.”

  Peyton shook her head, unwilling to accept praise she didn’t deserve. She knew the truth—she could turn an assignment around quickly because outside the newspaper office she had no life. While other writers struggled to work amid the pressures of family schedules, children’s homework, school events, sporting activities, and the needs of a spouse, Peyton only had to take care of herself and her two cats.

  At least that’s the way things were before King and Christine came into her life. The situation was a little different now, and she was feeling the pressure.

  “I’m not that fast,” she insisted. “And I’m not that versatile.”

  “Then don’t cave so quickly, MacGruder. Just because Nora’s your boss doesn’t mean you have to let her push you around.”

  “I was ready to push back until she played the guilt card. When she mentioned the budget cuts, I realized how lucky I am to even be employed. How can I not agree to write whatever she wants?”

  “That’s what I like about you—you’re a solid team player.”

  “I’m a pushover.”

  King smiled and stepped to the side of Peyton’s desk. “In that case, I’d better prescribe two of these—” he held up the bottle of pain relievers—“or one of these.” Before Peyton could point out that they were surrounded by coworkers in cubicles, he bent and pressed a kiss to her lips. She closed her eyes, ready to forget about an audience of staff reporters, clerks, and copy editors, but the kiss didn’t last.

  She looked up at him, unsatisfied.

  “Do any good?” he asked.

  “Not sure. Try again. Maybe increase the dosage.”

  He bent, his lips warming hers with more passion this time. When he finally pulled away, Peyton exhaled a long sigh of happiness . . . and the writers around her erupted into applause.

  Peyton grinned as her cheeks warmed. “They approve.”

  “I don’t give a fig about them. What did you think?”

  “Um . . . better.”

  “Only better? Well, you know what they say about practice making perfect . . .”

  As the other reporters hooted and King leaned in for yet another kiss, Peyton pressed her palm against the center of his chest. “You know, it’s this kind of temptation that led to Marlo Evans’s maternity leave. And in turn, to my impending headache. So maybe we should get back to work.”

  With a roguish grin, King straightened and stepped away from her chair. “Yes, ma’am.”

  “But after work—” Peyton squinted at him—“would you want to go for a jog with me and Christine? We wanted to run the paths down by the shoreline.”

  King shook his head. “Enticing offer, but I’ve got to run out to the university after I finish up today. David needs to talk to me about something. He says it’s important.”

  Peyton nodded, once again reminded that their relationship was not as simple as it would have been if they’d met in their twenties. She had Christine to consider, and King had David. Both children, hers and his, were nearly grown, and both had been forced to deal with the aftermath of their parents’ unwise decisions.

  “MacGruder.” King’s voice, warm and insistent, drew her from her thoughts. “Maybe I’ll stop by your place later.”

  “I’d like that.” Peyton offered him a forgiving smile. “I’ll be waiting.”

  King took two steps toward his office, then halted. “Hey—” he turned, propping his arms on the cubicle wall—“I found an interesting e-mail in my in-box this morning. A friend in New York said my name recently came up in a board meeting at the Times.”

  Peyton felt a frigid finger touch the base of her spine. “The New York Times?”

  He chuckled. “Hard to imagine, huh? Moving from the Middleborough Times to the Gray Lady?”

  “Your name came up in a board meeting? What does that mean, exactly?”

  He shrugged. “I don’t know, but I’ll keep you posted.”

  As he walked away, exchanging gibes with other writers as he passed their desks, Peyton felt fear blow down the back of her neck. Any other journalist would be salivating at the thought of writing for the Times, but King never seemed to get ahead of himself. Contentment was one of his primary virtues, and Peyton hadn’t realized how much she’d been counting on his ability to remain satisfied with the status quo.

  What would she do if she lost him?

  The thought struck like a blow to the chest, stealing her breath. Until recently, she had managed to keep herself detached from complicated personal relationships. But then the tragedy of a horrific plane crash taught her about the brevity of life and the importance of connection. Now she was desperate to understand two precious people, but understanding took time, and time was something she no longer possessed in abundance.

  She forced herself to take a deep breath and steady her pulse. No one was abandoning her; the world had not shifted on its axis. Her imagination was simply working overtime, a tendency that nearly always resulted in needless worry and borrowed trouble.

  With her gift for imagining disaster, maybe she should have been a novelist.

  When she swiveled toward her computer, determined to set her fears aside and tackle her e-mail, her gaze fell again on the envelope from Eve Miller. The postmark was five days in the past, so by now the woman’s comments were old news. And in an electronic society, old news was dead news.

  Peyton tossed the envelope into a bin filled with unopened letters and turned her attention to her in-box.

***

Peyton slid behind the wheel of her car, tossed her purse into the empty passenger seat, and fumbled with the buckle of her seat belt. When she was certain the car’s computer wouldn’t scold her for forgetting some vital procedure, she turned the ignition switch and waited for the automatic seat to slide forward, tilt, rise, and whatever else it did to adjust to her frame.

  King had talked her into buying this vehicle last weekend, insisting that her old car was only a few miles away from imploding. “Ninety-eight thousand miles?” he exclaimed after glimpsing her odometer. “Good grief, MacGruder, are you going for some kind of endurance record?”

  She had to admit the new vehicle was nice, but its myriad bells and whistles bewildered her. She hadn’t taken the time to read the manual, and she barely managed to sit through the salesman’s demonstration. “I don’t have time to fuss with fancy gadgets,” she told the desperate young man who had greeted her and King at the auto dealership. “So just point me toward something safe and inexpensive. Something I won’t have to give up chocolate to afford.”

  Like a village matchmaker, the salesman grinned and fixed her up with this sleek blue machine, which he kept calling a crossover—a cross between a sedan and an SUV. She had a feeling the vehicle was too big to be economical or politically correct, but since an entire row of similar vehicles waited behind a fence at the dealership, the manager was probably eager to move his inventory. Regardless, the car earned good crash ratings, it used less gasoline than a tank, and it had the one accessory she couldn’t live without: a CD player.

  Before putting the car in gear, Peyton punched the button of the stereo system and relaxed when the professional reader’s voice poured through the surround sound speakers. She’d bought this audiobook about mothers and daughters shortly after telling Christine the truth about their relationship—yes, they were reporter and reader, but they were also biological mother and daughter. Eighteen years and difficult circumstances had kept them apart, but a series of newspaper columns had brought them back together.

  Now Peyton wanted nothing more than to be the mother she would have been if tragedy hadn’t intervened. A heaven-sent miracle had restored the child she’d been forced to surrender for adoption, and Peyton didn’t want to forfeit this second chance to love. And parent. And occasionally nag.

  She and Christine were still in the midst of that awkward getting-to-know-you phase, but Peyton felt they’d made great strides in their relationship. They tried to talk every day, even if only briefly, and though Christine still lived in the house she’d inherited from her adoptive parents, she felt free enough to drop into Peyton’s home unannounced, as any daughter naturally would.

  Still, Christine rarely called Peyton “Mom.” When necessary, she called Peyton by name . . . or she didn’t call her anything at all.

  “By late adolescence,” a confident voice intoned as Peyton put the car in gear and backed out of the parking space, “most daughters can be placed in one of three categories—distant, dissatisfied, or dependent. Do any of these words remind you of the young woman in your life?”

  Peyton shook her head and shifted into drive. The author needed a fourth category for Christine—maybe delightful. They were still in the honeymoon phase, each of them unbearably grateful to have found the other. They might have disagreements later—in fact, they probably would—but for now Peyton was thrilled to be able to know and love the young woman who had never been far from her thoughts and prayers.

  “Outstanding mothers devote most of their time to their children, instilling healthy values into daughters who will become outstanding mothers themselves,” the reader continued, “but unsuitable mothers abandon and abuse.”

  Peyton winced at the author’s use of the word abandon.

  “Bottom line, if you provide your child with what she needs—clothing, shelter, food, affection—you, concerned mother, are off the hook if your daughter makes unwise decisions. After you have taught your child right from wrong, your daughter has the freedom to choose . . . right or wrong. Do not blame yourself if she chooses to learn life’s lessons through negative experiences.”

  Peyton frowned as she pulled out of the parking lot and into traffic. Over the years, she’d covered dozens of stories involving teenage delinquents—wayward boys who got mixed up with guns and drugs, runaway girls who ended up on the street or in the hospital because they went looking for love in all the wrong faces. Behind every sad teenager’s story, Peyton found a distraught mother who couldn’t seem to understand how her child ended up in such a deplorable state.

  She hated to admit it, but every time she interviewed one of those mothers, she’d walked away feeling resentful and slightly smug, convinced that she would have managed better if only given a chance. But now that she was being given an opportunity to mother a teen, she had no idea what she was supposed to do.

  To make matters worse, her time of greatest influence would be limited. After the plane crash in which her father died, Christine had taken time off to grieve, but soon she’d go back to school and get busy with her studies. She’d probably meet a young man on campus and want to settle down. Then she’d center her world on her husband and her children, and she’d expect Peyton to focus on being a doting grandmother, not a mom. So this precious opportunity to parent her daughter would be relatively short-lived.

  Peyton pulled up to the red light at an intersection and snapped off the CD player. The bookstores were loaded with books about how to parent newborns, toddlers, middle schoolers, and teens, but no one had much advice for brand-new parents of young adults.

  No one even seemed to be able to answer Peyton’s most basic question: at eighteen, which did Christine need most: an authority figure or a friend?


Copyright ©2009 by Angela Hunt. Used with permission from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
**NOTE** I'm a HUGE Angela Hunt fan. Finding Hope Book Club read the book The Note written by Angela Hunt and then we watched The Note - the movie. We were pleasantly surprised they were faithful to the book. We enjoyed the movie and the actors involved. They brought depth to the movie and didn't make it hokey.

I haven't read The Note II but I suspect that they will be faithful to book to and the movie will be just as good. Looking forward to watching something fun, and heart felt on New Years Eve or Day?? Check this one out!!

Haven't read any of Angela Hunt books. I Highly Recommend them. They are thought-provoking and I always learn something knew!!

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE


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

LIVE REFLECTIVELY: & LIVE ABUNDANTLY - STUDY BOOKS

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 authors are:


and the books:

David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)

David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. She and her husband founded Calvary Church of Albuquerque—one of the fastest-growing churches worldwide. She is the author of Holy Moments: Recognizing God’s Fingerprints on Your Life and also contributed to the best-selling New Women’s Devotional Bible. Heitzig serves as Executive Director of She Ministries of Albuquerque, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. She and her husband Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Penny Rose is the award-winning author of numerous books. Penny thrives on teaching at conferences and retreats nationwide. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Kerry, a pastor at Calvary of Albuquerque.

Visit the authors' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The Fresh Life series was created for women who crave a profound experience of God’s Word without an overwhelming time commitment. Bible teachers Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose challenge readers to dig deep into Scripture by using a directed study method that only requires twenty minutes a day. With a fresh approach to studying Scripture that gives newcomers as well as seasoned students deep insight into God’s Word, the latest two additions in the series explore the life of Moses and the riches in the book of Ephesians.

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses (Heitzig) is an engaging Bible study on the life of Moses. He was saved from death on the Nile and raised as an Egyptian prince. He met his wife at a Midianite well, witnessed the birth of a nation as the Red Sea parted and watched water gush from a rock with one touch of his rod. He died overlooking the Jordan River. Through viewing the water moments of Moses’ life, readers will be encouraged to consider the moments in their own lives that shape who they are and who they are becoming.

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Heitzig and Rose) challenges readers to dig deep into the book of Ephesians to find the spiritual treasure God has for them. The book of Ephesians is God’s “last will and testament” that bequeaths his spiritual treasures to His beloved children. Covering topics such as living in God’s will and receiving peace no matter the circumstances, it reveals the magnitude of every Christian’s inheritance—a gift “exceedingly abundantly above” what you could ever ask for.

The Fresh Life series teaches readers to:
·         Lift up...a prayer
·         Look at…God’s Word (answering questions concerning what the passage says)
·         Learn about…what the passage means (sidebars define words and profice background information)
·         Live out…what they have learned (personalizing the text and learning how it can impact their daily life)
·         Listen to…quotes from well-known figures to build on the truths uncovered in Scripture

Readers will develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord and walk away feeling inspired to move forward in their walks of faith. Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively continue the rich biblical tradition of the Fresh Life series. They offer wisdom that will leave readers encouraged in their present situations and hopeful for the spiritual journey ahead.

Product Details:

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781405939
ISBN-13: 978-0781405935

Product Details:

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434703304
ISBN-13: 978-1434703309

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER (Click on images to expand):

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

































Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Click on images to expand)


NOTE:: This looks good. Thought Id share!! If you are looking for a new bible study for the new year? Take a peek it might be the thing you want to start the New Year out reading!


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

























THE CAT LOVER'S DEVOTIONAL by M.R. WELLS, CONNIE FLEISHAUER & DOTTIE P. ADAMS

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 authors are:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


M. R. Wells is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection.  She has written extensively for children’s animated television and video programs, including several Disney shows, Adventures from the Book of Virtues and Bibleman. She shares her Southern California home with her cats and dogs Muffin, Bo, Munchie, Becca and Marley.

Connie Fleishauer is a retired teacher and writer, and is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. The wife of a Bakersfield, California farmer, she is a mother of three and grandmother of one. While many cats have warmed her home, currently, she has two dogs.

Dottie P. Adams is a teaching director for Community Bible Study in the Los Angeles area where she has taught a Bible class for twenty years. Co-author of Purr-ables from Heaven, she is the wife of a retired physicist, the mother of three children, grandmother of five, and currently has cats Midnight and Mooch.

Visit the authors' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



A new devotional for cat lovers will delight and impart truth about God’s ways, workings in our lives and our relationship with Him. Entertaining true accounts of the antics and personalities of cats are interwoven with anecdotes from the lives of the people who love them and timeless biblical truth. Suitable for adults, youth or children, the stories are filled with gripping moments that reveal God’s love and would lend themselves well to family or personal devotions.






Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736928812
ISBN-13: 978-0736928816

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Midnight’s Not-So-Rapid Transit

Relationships Take Time

We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

I love sitting at the dining room table on spring mornings, watching the stark darkness turn into a misty dawn as the birds sing to announce the new day. It’s a great time to be alone with the Lord. The house is quiet because I’m the only “early bird” up besides the real ones chirping outside.

As I sat praying one particular morning I heard a loud thump on the window behind me. It was Midnight, asking to come in for breakfast. She always bangs her head against the windowpane to get my attention. Then she rubs her nose against the window frame and meows softly, knowing I will come outside to fetch her. I call this her “rapid transit,” even though she could come in much more quickly through the cat door. But it’s not the quickness she desires—it’s the contact.

As Midnight softly meowed and rubbed that morning I pulled on a jacket and headed outdoors to perform the rite we both love. I cozy up to the air conditioner, which is exactly the height of my shoulders. She steps from the machine to my shoulder as I guide her. She drapes herself around me with her front paws on my left shoulder, her belly nestling the back of my neck, and her back paws hanging down over my right shoulder. As her face presses against me, she purrs into my left ear. I understand that this is her ride to her food bowl—but it’s so much more. Not only do I get a smell of the morning air, I have precious moments of special closeness with my “living fur shawl.” It’s a joy to have this relationship with one of God’s little four-foots—a joy I treasure!

Like my cat, my youngest grandchild also loves to cuddle. He and his brother and their parents live with us right now. I often spend part of the morning upstairs working on lectures for the Bible study class I teach. Eli and Jayden are awake by the time I come downstairs. Jayden (age two and a half) is content to smile, call to me, and continue his play. But Eli (18 months) wants more. He rushes over to me, crying “Maw-Maw!” Then he tugs at my clothes till I pick him up so he can snuggle. As soon as he’s in my arms, he lays his head tightly against me, his ear pressed against my chest. He stays that way for what is a long time for a toddler. It’s a joy to have this special time with him, and I treasure it too!

I also treasure the special relationship time I spend with God. Most mornings I go to Him in prayer, even if it’s just to ask His blessing on my family. I spend a few moments reading the Bible, even if it’s just one verse to connect my mind to Him. I call this “having coffee with Jesus.”

I get my coffee and intentionally ask Jesus to sit with me as if He were here in the flesh. I picture Him sitting right across the table. I talk about the previous day or the day to come. I weep with Him over hardships I’m facing or the suffering of others. I laugh and rejoice with Him over answered prayer. I share my needs and thank Him for being my friend. Sometimes I imagine Him smiling back at me, and other times I believe He brings a verse of Scripture into my mind to correct me or give me hope or courage.

Building close relationships takes time. It must be intentional. It can’t only happen when it’s convenient. Jesus lived this out when He walked the earth. He called each of His disciples and poured His life into them for three years. And He always took time to pray and be with His Father in heaven.

Midnight intentionally bumps the window to begin our special time together. I intentionally respond, even if she’s interrupting something pressing. When Eli wants to snuggle, I take time to enjoy his toddler love, even if I’m in a hurry. I have coffee with Jesus in the same way. Whether it’s convenient or not, I take the necessary time not just to go through my prayers, but to be with my Lord. I believe He delights to hear me purring in His ear as I start the day with Him!

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3).
Consider This:

Do you set aside time to be with God each day? If so, how does it enhance your relationship? If not, would you be willing to try?

Perry’s Good Shepherd

Be a Shepherd for God

The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His,

And He is mine forever.

HENRY W. BAKER

Perry is a very special kitty, the first to live indoors with my in-laws, Harold and Doris. They got him from relatives who could no longer keep him. He is totally enjoying his new life as he chooses where to sleep and whose lap to jump on for some pampering. This gorgeous fluffy orange cat with bright peridot eyes knows just what he wants and how to get it. He loves Harold and Doris, but like all ornery kids he knows how to work them.

On one particular evening when I’d been visiting with them, Perry decided to be a bit more playful than anyone desired. When we walked out the back door, Perry slipped out behind us and followed. He darted under my car to hide. I saw him first and began to call him, but there was no way he was going to obey me. This was playtime. He raced to the back of the vehicle and sprinted down the long driveway.

Harold and Doris live in the country, but their home is near a popular road where cars drive fast. Perry could have been in great danger. He would have had little chance of survival on this road in the dark of night. Fortunately, his faithful master took care of him. As I started to go after the truant, Harold stopped me. He said, “Cover me with the flashlight and I’ll go get him.”

Although Perry was ornery, perhaps this cat had some “horse sense.” He got close to the road but turned aside. He darted into the pasture at the east end of the farm. Perry slunk down in the high grass while Harold, age 82, tried to sneak up on the mischievous feline in his stocking feet in the dark. I felt bad that Harold would not let me join him in the pursuit, but this was his cat, his “child,” his responsibility. He was Perry’s “good shepherd,” and he was acting as any good shepherd would. Giving up or giving in was never an option.

Finally, Perry seemed to realize that Harold was in charge (or he chose to let Harold think he was). Perry hunkered down and let his human grab him. I could tell that even though Harold was tired and his stocking feet were muddy, he was pleased to have Perry back safely in his arms.

Harold probably just thought of this as another one of many chases he had with Perry. But to me, it was more. It was a reenactment of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. In Matthew 18:12-14, Jesus talks about the shepherd who left the rest of his flock to search for the one little lost sheep that had wandered off.

Many years ago, I was just such a lost sheep. Just before entering high school, I had been making some very poor choices. I had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior when I was six years old, and I had gone to church all my life. But at this time, I decided to explore my small world in ways I didn’t need to. I had chosen to be with some “friends” who weren’t true friends, and we had done some things we needed to confess.

My older brother talked to me about what I was doing. He asked if I really wanted to go to high school with that baggage. He stayed with me until I prayed and promised that I would try to obey God and behave like His child. Darrell was my shepherd at that point, and many other times through my teenage years. When I was lost, he went looking for me till he found me. He’d bring me home and nurture me the way a brother or a shepherd would.

The story of the lost sheep had great meaning to me as I was growing up. I loved thinking about the caring shepherd picking up the scared, tired little lamb in his strong arms and carrying it home. I still take comfort in this parable today. It is a way of telling us that we will never be left alone. No matter what our age, if we choose to run off by ourselves, like Perry did that night, our Good Shepherd will always go after us and bring us home in His loving arms, if we allow Him to.

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent (Luke 15:4-7).

Consider This:

Have you ever strayed from God? What lured you away? How did your Good Shepherd pursue you? Did you let Him carry you home? If not, would you like to do that right now? Is there someone God might want you to shepherd for Him?

Undying Love

Be “Otherly”

True happiness is found in unselfish Love, a Love which increases in proportion as it is shared.

THOMAS MERTON

Tigret was my dear friend Patty’s treasured four-footed kitty soul mate for 17 wonderful years. He was her first real pet and best buddy. They lived together in New York, and when Patty moved to California, Tigret made the cross-country journey with her.

When Patty watched TV, Tigret would curl up beside her. He slept on her bed at night. When she gave parties, he sat on his very own chair. But he was more than a faithful companion. Patty once heard someone say that God gives us each a pet to teach us something special. She feels Tigret was given to her to teach her to be “otherly”—to love others and God with an unselfish love.

Tigret knew Patty’s moods. He sensed when she was sad or happy. He would put his paw on her lap or hand in a gesture of kitty comfort. He also seemed to know when she was sick—sometimes even before she did. He would stay close by his beloved human until he sensed she was better.

Tigret’s ultimate expression of unselfish love was to care for Patty even when he was dying. He was 17 and had developed kidney problems. He couldn’t drink enough water to stay healthy, and giving him fluids subcutaneously didn’t work well. He would yelp when the needle was inserted. Patty decided not to force this on him. Tigret got sicker and sicker until it took all his strength just to go upstairs. Clearly Tigret’s time on this earth was ending. Patty made him as comfortable as she could…even as her own heart was breaking.

One day, as Patty tended Tigret in tears, he reached out his paw and placed it on her arm. It was as if he was saying, “You’ll be okay.” When Tigret died, Patty wasn’t with him. She believes he knew it would be easier for her that way.

Someone else in Patty’s life also tried to care for her while dying. Patty’s mother passed away just one month after Tigret. She had battled cancer before—but no one knew it had come back.

Patty’s mom was a pediatric cardiologist. In her later years she semiretired from private practice and became involved in teaching and mentoring medical interns and residents. She kept this up even when the cancer returned, and Patty would not have realized that something was wrong except for God’s intervention.

It was a Sunday after church, and Patty had gone up front for prayer on a completely unrelated matter. The gentleman who prayed with her asked Patty how her mother was. “As far as I know, okay,” Patty answered. The man suggested Patty ask her mom about her health. When Patty did, her mom admitted her cancer had come back.

Just like Tigret, Patty’s mom was concerned for the needs of others, even as her own health was failing. She tried to keep teaching. She talked to Patty about taking care of her dad. When Patty finally persuaded her to go to the doctor, he said she had six to nine months to live. They could try chemotherapy, but there was no guarantee.

Patty’s mom took her first dose of chemo—and passed away a week later.

Patty recalls a moment in her mother’s hospital room. Her mom was on a ventilator. Patty saw two angels in a corner by the bed. Patty knew her mom loved Jesus and would go to be with Him. She died soon after. That experience feels to Patty like a special gift from God.

Our loving Lord Jesus was also “otherly” when it was time for Him to die. As His betrayal and crucifixion approached, His focus was to teach and prepare His disciples. In John 16:5-7, He told them, “Now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Even as He hung on the cross, Jesus asked His disciple John to care for His mother.

But Jesus’ sacrificial love went far deeper. He willingly took upon Himself the penalty for our sins. By doing so, He conquered sin and death so that all who put their trust in Him could enjoy eternal life. Patty has given her life to her Savior, and she knows that when she leaves this earth she will go to her loving Lord, who will wipe away all her tears, including the ones she shed for Tigret and her mother. And she’ll be reunited with her mom again.

Being “otherly” isn’t something that starts when we are dying. It’s a way of life. It’s what Jesus calls us to do. If you live and love with an “otherly” focus, as Tigret and Patty’s mom did, you will show that you are Jesus’ disciple!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:10-11).

Consider This:

Is there someone in your life who loves you unselfishly? How do they do that and how does it make you feel? How could you focus more on others and be more sensitive to their needs? What could you do to show them “otherly” love?

**NOTE** I haven't read this book but I thought it looked interesting. I know that many of you will be looking for a good devotional to start out this year. If you are a CAT LOVER you might want to check this one out! Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org

WINNERS ANNOUNCED - of TBCN CHRISTMAS BOOK PARTY


THANKS for your participation in this contest! THANKS to all the authors that participated in this Christmas Book Party! It was great to get to know you and your books!!

I work at a Christian Book Store and we haven't been this busy at Christmas time in years. It was a Great thing but between the on-line contest, working more intense hours at work, getting together voting polls for ACFW on-line book that and the two face to face book clubs that I run I was wiped out.

I did contact all the winners personally and notified the authors about who the winners were but I'm sorry it took so long for me to post the winners to the public. I did celebrate a birthday Dec 23rd and we had Christmas. I was a little busy! THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE!!

Here are the books given away and the people that received them!


WINNERS PICKED DEC 21st @ TBCN


PAMELA EWEN - DANCING ON GLASS

Candy Mersdorf

JEANETTE WINDLE
VEILED FREEDOM

1. Sandra Burns
2. Sharon Moore
3. Katie McCurdy

FREEDOM STAND

1. Laura Christian
2. Sharon R. Paavola
3. Dena Cline


PLAIN FEAR: FORSAKEN
LEANNA ELLIS

1.Jan Kern

TIFFANY AMBER STOCKTON
(2) Book Bundles
1. Ann Knowles
2. Elizabeth Dennison

TRISH PERRY
(2) Book BUNDLES
1. Andrea Lynn Craig
2. Jeane Howell

C.J. DARLINGTON
THICKER THAN BLOOD

1.Eleanor Anders
2. Patricia Cher

DONN TAYLOR (5) Bk Giveaway
DUST and DIAMOND

1.Jeremy Harder
2.Jamie Dennett
3.Angela Kozak
4. Anne Rightler
5. Shawna Wallace

DONN TAYLOR (5) Book Giveaway
RHAPSODY IN RED

1.Chris Gant
2.Amy Brown
3.Tonnie Heckathorn
4. Faye Oygard
5.Shawna Wallace

SANDRA BYRD (2) Book Giveaway
 TO DIE FOR
1.Lori Lochner
2.Kellie DeMarsh

MIRALEE FERRELL – (2) Book Giveaway
LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUNDANCE, WYOMING
1. Janet Reinhart
2. Gwen Gage

RICHARD L. MABRY – 1 SET (2) Single Book Giveaway
(1) Set of books - PRESCRIPTION FOR TROUBLE SERIES

1.Jacqueline Robertson (1) Box Set winner

LETHAL REMEDY (1) Signed book each
2. Edwina Cowgill
3. Melinda Borseth

LAURIE ALICE EAKES
(4) Book Giveaway
 LADY IN THE MIST

1. Betsy Schaknowski

HIGHLAND CROSSING

1.Claudine Nickens
2.Lady Dragonkeeper
Jennifer Fuchikami
3.Sandra Stiles

REBECCA ONDOV
Horse Tales From Heaven
1.Martha Artyomenko
2.Darlene Keith

THANKS to ALL the AUTHORS and ALL MEMBERS for participating. I did this because many of you said you have been unable to attend out "Live" Chat giveaways each month. This way Everyone that wanted to participate could. 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS our NEXT "LIVE" Chat giveaway is on JANUARY 23rd at 9p.m Eastern Standard Time.

B & H is giving away 5 copies of RACE AGAINST TIME by Kimberly Woodhouse that night and we'll have more giveaway information soon.

FYI - I'm TAKING a BREAK from the On-Line Word as of today!! I'll resurface again at the END of JANUARY!! I need time to relax and re-connect with my family Between the many hours I put in on this 20 day giveaway, extended work hours and my other duties. I need a rest and get a re-charge to start the NEW YEAR!!

Thanks gain to everyone that participated. 2012 is going to be an EXCITING NEW YEAR @ THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK!!

Looking forward to more BOOK FUN!!

Blessings
HAPPY NEW YEAR

Nora :o)
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org