BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

REVIEW: WEDDED TO WAR POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL BY JOCELYN GREEN




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jocelyn Green, the wife of a former Coast Guard officer, is an award-winning author, freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008), along with contributing writers, and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2011). She is also co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq/Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009). Her books won the Bronze and Gold Medals, respectively, from the Military Writers Society of America (religious/spiritual category) in 2010. Her Web site for military wives, www.faithdeployed.com, won third place in a national contest held by the Evangelical Press Association in 2010.

Jocelyn's debut novel, Wedded to War, releases in July 2012 from River North Fiction.

Jocelyn was the founding editor for www.WivesinBloom.com, the online magazine of Christian Military Wives (a branch of Christian Military Fellowship). She is also a contributor to the Web site www.StartMarriageRight.com. Jocelyn's Facebook page for military wives (www.facebook.com/faithdeployed) has the largest following of any other Christian military wife page on Facebook to date.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is a frequent speaker at military wife events, women's church groups, and writers conferences, and is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn and her husband Rob have two small children and live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She loves books, movies, concerts in the park, Broadway musicals, Mexican food, Caribou Coffee, chocolate (especially Toblerone), traveling and being outside with her family. Favorite authors include C.S. Lewis, John Ortberg, Carolyn Custis James, Anne Lamott and Phillippa Gregory.

Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com or drop her a line at jocelyn@jocelyngreen.com 


WEDDED TO WAR
By Jocelyn Green
Published by Moody Publishers
ISBN# 978-0802405760
398 Pages

Back Cover: In Wedded to War, tending the Union army's sick and wounded would mean leaving Phineas Hastings, the man Charlotte Waverly's mother, Caroline, approved of, for an existence Caroline could not understand. To honor the father she lost to Cholera, Charlotte chose a life of service over privilege-just as her childhood friend, Caleb Lansing, had when he became a military doctor. She quickly discovers that she's combatting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Would the two men who love her stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or would their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

She fought to get her place, and she fought even harder to keep it.Though Wedded to War is a work of fiction, the story is inspired by one Civil War nurse, Georgeanna Woolsey, whose letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering women nurses endured during the Civil War. This is the first novel in the series, Heroines Behind the lines: Civil War, offering an inside look at women's contributions during times of war.

Review: Jocelyn Green teleports readers to the frontlines of the Civil War, through the eyes of medical personal trying to save lives, in her debut novel, Wedded to War.

I was instantly drawn into this fascinating story and sympathized with Charlotte, the main character and her family situation. Charlotte is a strong-willed, opinionated woman who loves God with her whole heart. She faces opposition from her family and friends when she shares she’s call to be a nurse. She also gets some flack from medical organizations she wishes to join. No one could understand why a woman of privilege (who’s never worked a day in her life) wants to volunteer to be a nurse and go into the trenches of war. Was she mad? Did she have a death wish? Charlotte explains to a friend, “For the first time in my life, I feel as through I may actually have some value to other people. Not for what I look like but for what I do. I am part of something bigger than myself.”

After a family relative signs up to help fight the war it becomes personal. She can’t stay home; attend parties and social events anymore. The test, could she be strong enough to be true to her call, herself and God?

Remember the scene in Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett O’Hare is overwhelmed by her surroundings as she helps the Doctor with the wounded, and dying? The camera follows Scarlett running outside to escape the sights and sounds of war only to run into more of the same. There is no escaping the soldiers bleeding and dying bodies.

This author not only shows you this type of scene through Charlotte eyes but she goes a step further. She does an incredible job of allowing the reader to experience the nitty-gritty of the Civil War without getting grotesque. The reader experiences the unforgettable sights, sounds, smells and struggles medical professionals went through in order to help soldiers and themselves survive! Jocelyn is a well crafted writer. She paints scenes in her novel that made me feel as if I were actually there!

Charlotte is confronted in the field by a Doctor, “Sympathy doesn’t save lives. Science does. Efficiency does. If you feel too deeply, it will cloud your judgment, slow you down. I know it’s hard for a woman to understand – that’s why medicine has always been a man’s job!”

She is then accosted by a female administrator of the hospital who tells her, “If you want to be accepted as a nurse, you will do as the Doctor says and not ask questions. Asking questions implies that you do not trust the Doctor’s decisions, his diagnosis, or his treatment. It implies that you could do it better. That he is incompetent. That’s grounds for dismissal…if you don’t drop that strong-minded, women-of-reform attitude, no Doctor, and I mean not one, will want to work with you.”

She had her work cut out for her. No one said it’d be easy. Charlotte didn’t make comments like these or her family’s disapproval get her down. “She knew eventually they’d have to accept women into the ranks, even if it were through doing the dirtiest of jobs: with Gods help she’d make it thru.” It’s funny that nowadays the nursing field is mostly thought to be a woman’s job.

I liked how this author showed the Civil War and the struggles from many different angles. Not only did she highlight Charlotte a woman of privilege, fighting her way into the battle field to become a nurse, but she showed what it was like to be a woman left behind when her husband goes off to fight in the war.

Ruby was the woman left behind to try and figure out how to do life alone. Ruby was honest and strove to do the right thing in Gods eyes. She didn’t know how she was going to make it on the $2.50 per week she made sewing. How would she make it until her husband sent her money? Some women she knew were turning to prostitution to make it through. She was horrified at the idea. She’d think of something else. But the reality was her sewing job took up over 12 hours of her day there wasn’t much time to do a whole lot else. Would God provide a way when there seemed to be no other way?

Of course predicators raise their ugly heads in times like these. Jocelyn shows that side of the war too. She shows how in horrific situations some people take great delight in the fact they have found a way to make themselves rich in the middle of others misfortune.

During the war the innocent and desperate were abused and forced into prostitution (much like human trafficking today). Others made money through scams. Sad all this accrued when the country and its people really needed to work together for the common good!

Wow, what an amazing story based on real women in history. When I finished the last page of this book I was changed, much like how I felt after watching Dances with Wolves and Gone with the Wind. Both movies opened my eyes to things I never thought of before or knew existed and it changed how I viewed periods of American history. If only our history book in school was this exciting and memorable. Grin! This is a great book club pick as there is so much to talk about in it. This book is to be experienced and then shared with friends. I highly recommend it.

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

ROBIN CAROLL TALKS ABOUT BOOK CLUBS


ABOUT AUTHOR:  Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin's mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage - two aspects robin weaves into each of her books. when she isn't wiring, robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home-in the South, where else? she gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference director for ACFW.

Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, Holt Medallion, Carol Awards, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!

Book#2 JUSTICE SERIES Sept 2012


What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?

 I LOVE connecting with other readers. For me, the biggest benefit is hearing how readers connected with my characters and the story. Sometimes, their perceptions surprise and truly move me.






Where would you like to see your relationship with reading groups grow? How do you think your goals can be met? 

I would like to encourage groups to understand how accessible I want to be to them. I call in to book clubs, will Skype with them, try to visit them when possible. If I can't, I try to send some bookmarks and items beforehand.

Do you have a set size a reading group has to be before you'll talk to them on the phone or in person? What do you feel most comfortable doing?

I don't have a set size because I like to chat with reader’s period. Sometimes because of my location or
schedule, visiting in person is impossible, but I've called in, Skyped, even online chatted.

Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why? 

The book club I most enjoy meeting are ones who truly enjoy reading inspirational fiction, although, I've had
several fun connections from groups where I was their first inspirational selection.

What have you learned about your book and yourself from book club meetings? If so, what?

I've learned to be more relaxed with book club members as a whole. I much prefer the casual setting where we are literally visiting than a "classroom" style book club.

Did you learn more about your characters than what you had originally intended? If so what? 

My characters are constantly surprising me. I do very in-depth interviews prior to writing, but even then, I've been surprised.

Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? Characters? If so, which ones?

 I've actually had a reader tell me that one of my characters who became saved despite the past I'd created, helped her accept God's forgiveness. THAT's the best part of writing to me.

Has your book club experience - getting feed back from reading groups - helped you in writing
future books? If so, how has it helped you?
 

I've had a lot of suggestions of  what they'd like to see in a "sequel" come up. LOL

Nora: It was a blast talking to you at Finding Hope Book Club. You spoke to both groups separately – what different conversations we had about your book Deliver Us From Evil. Grin! I know that a few of the Monday night book club had plans for a whole series you could write! Grin!

It was also great fun learning about your and how you know so much about guns and things. Seems a few ladies in my group like to go shooting with their husbands too! As a book club member having the author speak to the group brings richness to the story and a depth to the writing that always pleasantly surprises me! Grin! Thanks for doing what you do!! 

 What would you like to see in reading groups that you haven’t experienced yet?    

One thing I'm working on implementing in the future are video discussions of my books available for
download off my website. We're working to get that in place before the end of 2012.

Nora: Oh, Robin let us know when that is available. I’d love for you to post a few of those at
The Book Club Network so the books club members and leaders could tape into how much fun you are at book club and how suspenseful and fun your books are.TBCN www.bookfun.org  Grin!

What was your most memorable reading group experience? What made it so fun?

 One group planned a "theme" meeting for the night I was scheduled. They had finger foods
and decorations and all sorts of really cool things of Louisiana, where my story was set. We had a
blast!

Why write Christian Fiction? What is the draw for you?
ALL the books in this series were suspenseful

 The hope. I want to write stories that fill people with hope again. Hope that comes with eternal
salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ.

Nora: I have enjoyed reading your books for many reasons but one of the main reasons is how
you naturally weave a spiritual thread into the stories. It’s not preachy but very natural. I Like that so did the ladies in my book club. We also liked your well timed humor in the middle of suspenseful situations.

What do you hope readers take away from your new book?
 
 I hope they realize that everyone is human and sinners, even the ones we hold in higher esteem.










Can you give us a peek at what you are working on now? When will it be out? 

I just turned in the last book in the Justice Seekers series. It's about Maddie Baxter...and Nick Hagar. The second book in the series, TO WRITE A WRONG, releases in September and STRAND OF DECEPTION releases in February 2013.


Robin

Nora: Oh, Robin. I really enjoyed  INJUSTICE FOR ALL.. It’s suspenseful, fun, I care about your charters from the first paragraph and I like your writing style. It’s not like your others but I like it. I can’t wait until the rest of the books come out in
this series. They sound just as good as this one.

THANKS ROBIN for stopping by and letting us know about your new series JUSTICE SEEKERS and about your book club experience!! Thanks for writing Christian Fiction have enjoyed your writing journey! Hope you can stop by again soon!!

This is the FIRST book in this series. Wow, what a start!! I highly recommend Injustice for All!  I do like suspense and Robin keeps you on the edge of your seat and up late reading! Grin!

Until later

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

DIANE/DAVID MUNSON'S BOOK SIGNING @ LIFEWAY



ABOUT BOOK: God’s covenants to His people take center stage as CIA Agent Bo Rider races to help Israel defeat a dangerous enemy amidst unfolding Bible prophecy. After years of clandestine spying, Bo’s new assignment plunges him into Middle East intrigue at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv where he is rocked by a menacing plot against America’s ally. Julia immerses herself in her role as a diplomatic wife in the ancient land where Jesus lived, only to discover the life changing truths of God’s promises for the end days. Meanwhile sinister forces challenge Bo’s loyalty. His battle to regain his stature tests his very core. Will Bo survive the greatest threat ever to his career, his family, and his life?

ABOUT AUTHORS:Diane Munson is an attorney of more than twenty-five years who transitioned from writing briefs for judges to writing inspiring fiction for readers. David Munson was a Special Agent with the NCIS and with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As an undercover agent, he infiltrated international drug smuggling organizations. Diane and David have co-authored together six suspense thrillers: Facing Justice, Confirming Justice, The Camelot Conspiracy, Hero’s Ransom, Redeeming Liberty, and The Joshua Covenant. They are at work on their next novel.

David, Nora and Diane @ Book Signing Friday




Munson's, Betsy & Myself @LifeWay Book signing








I 'd never heard of these authors or their books before I met them today. It was exciting to meet both of them and learn about their suspenseful novels. I've tried to include all their book covers here for you to see. They are eye catching. As you can see they've written quite a few. You'll be glad to hear that each is a stand alone. This writing team has a wealth of experience in the topic they write about. I can't wait to read their newest book! The also have their first youth fiction book releasing in September of 212. The book cover is at the bottom of the page. Night Flight!














NEW BOOK out SEPT 2012
ABOUT NIGHT FLIGHT: When CIA Agent Bo Rider adopts a retired law enforcement dog for his family, teenagers Glenna and Gregg are surprised to discover Blaze’s special skills. They put the dog to work solving crimes, but a captured criminal seeks revenge forcing the kids to hide out at their grandparents’ Florida home. In Skeleton Key powerful villains connive to stop the teens from discovering their criminal enterprise. As Glenna and Gregg face high stakes, they find courage to keep pursuing justice. In Night Flight, the first stand alone novel in the Munsons’ Truth Seeker Series, the Rider family learns the true meaning of loving your neighbor as yourself. This is the debut thriller for young adults by these best-selling ExFeds who write factional fiction based on their careers.

This will be the authors first youth fiction books. Sounds great. I look forward to reading these authors books. They were so much fun to talk to!! I'm sure that this writing team have great stories tell!! I'm looking forward to reading all their books.

Until next Book Signing!!


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

GIVING AWAY over 50 BOOKS @ THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK TODAY

Hey Everyone;


Just wanted to give you an overview of the books that we are giving away Starting TODAY at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org


You must be a member for a chance to win. Membership is FREE!! 


We feature different authors every month and give away over 50 books! Interact with authors and join in the fun!! Here are the books we are giving away today!!

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie (5) Copies 

Prophet R.J. Larson (10) Copies

Escape the Hezbollah by Pola Muzyka (10) Copies

Death in Dahlonega by Deborah Malone (3) Copies

Legacy Road by Graham Garrison (5) Copies

Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front by Karen Whiting and Jocelyn Green (5)

Time by Karen Whiting (5) Copies

The Twelfth Juror by Alexandrea Swann (10) Copies

Hurray God by Jeanette Sharp (10) Copies

Special Delivery by Kathi Macias (1)

Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias (1)

There you have it. Fiction and Non-Fiction books. Get in on the action, the author interaction and the fun!!


Join us today for your chance to win these amazing books!!Just Go To www.bookfun.org TBCN and Join the fun! It's free!


CONTEST ENDS APRIL 21st (Last day to enter)


Blessings


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

RJ LARSON ABOUT DEBUT NOVEL PROPHET




Author Bio:

Kacy Barnett Gramckow is the author of Moody Publisher's THE GENESIS TRILOGY. Kacy is also writing YA Biblical Fantasy under the pen name R.J. Larson. Her first fantasy novel, PROPHET, is scheduled to be published in Spring 2012 by Bethany House Publishers!

She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons.

Where did you get the idea for Prophet?

Two years ago at this time, I woke up from a troubling dream. I’d seen a young woman in a dark chamber, making a difficult, life-altering, potentially fatal choice. The few details I saw in the dream pointed to a fantasy plot with a strong scriptural thread, and I couldn’t ignore the young woman, Ela. She was in danger. I had to follow her storyline!

Did you face any particular creative challenges in writing Prophet?
 
Yes. I’d never expected to write fantasy fiction—historical and Biblical fiction have been my focus—so I had to imagine an entire “otherworld” realm. What did the inhabitants of this world wear? How could I find their names? Which traditions in this new culture, or cultures, could my girl-prophet challenge? Which ones must she obey? What about the landscape? Flora and fauna? And…monsters?   

Kacy & Jerry her sweetie (husband)
Can you tell us something about your Christian testimony?

I was raised in a devout Catholic family and loved my childhood faith. But when I was thirteen, I worked at a Christian camp—a ranch. After listening to the camp leaders reading and explaining the scriptures, I realized my personal Catholic beliefs and previous infant baptism weren’t enough to reconcile my soul with the Lord’s eternal plan. I offered my heart to Him, and though I’m not perfect, I’ve never looked back. The Lord has worked through every circumstance in my life, bringing good from each trial, and from each joy!

Nora: I was raised Catholic but our family wasn't devout. I became a Christian in 9th grade which didn't make my parents happy. It was after the Jim Jones massacre in Africa and my parents were afraid I hooked with a religious cult. I can't understand it was a scary time. They didn't understand why I wasn't going to Catholic church after I got saved. To help keep the peace I went to both churches the one I grew up spiritually in and the Catholic church. I haven't done things perfect either but I'll never regret giving my whole heart and life to Him to do what He would with it! Thanks for sharing your testimony!

Could you tell me how the book cover process works for you? The cover of your book is beautiful, just wondered if you had a say in how they turned out?  Also wondering how involved you are in this process?

Isn’t the cover beautiful?! I love the colors and Ela’s “communing with the Infinite” expression. Typically, Bethany House’s editors and designers ask for author input. In my case, for Prophet, one of the designers, Wes, sent an email full of options for Ela’s clothes. By the time I finished reviewing the choices, I felt as if I’d been on an amazing shopping spree without spending a dime. The gown Ela is wearing is the one I chose, with a few embellishments!

Nora: Yes, the cover is eye catching and lovely! Looking forward to reading what's inside. It's inviting!

Can you give us a sneak peek into what book you are working on right now? When does it release?

I’m waiting for edits on volume 2 of the Books of the Infinite series. Judge releases on November 1st and is Kien’s story—the male protagonist from Prophet. As the title hints, Kien is bent on doing what is right in his own eyes, which is the premise of Judges 21:25. His Creator, however, has other plans for the self-certain Judge Kien!

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? What surprised you?



For the most part, yes. My husband is an editor and his sister is an editor/author, so I knew I’d be in for long hours alone at the computer, lost in my own world. The shocker is online marketing. It seems that every time I turn around, there’s a new site to join, or another online activity that grabs my attention. Pinterest has been my latest lure. And Facebook—Big trouble! I suspect I’ll need to set a timer and be stern with myself about drifting from site to site while doing promotional work! Time has become so precious that I haven’t had a haircut in months. I’ve been referring to my new “up-do” as “deadline hair”. I MUST schedule a haircut. :D

What is your goal or mission as a Christian writer?

To present the Lord’s word in a new realm, offering fresh insights to readers of all ages as they study His scriptures! As my editor/husband often reminds me, when I write, I’m serving as a missionary while offering readers a new fantasy realm. It’s a humbling thought….

 FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

What are three things you wouldn’t want to live without? – (Besides family and Bible that’s a given)

Dear friends, books, and cooking—which would ensure access to food, heat, and water! :D

Your friend has a time machine and they’re going to let you use it for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I would vanish in a heartbeat to the time of Noah and explore the post-Flood earth before the tribes were scattered. All the knowledge of earth’s ancient tribes was encapsulated in that one relatively small area—and Noah and his sons and their wives were still alive, of course. Imagine the chance to study the foundation of our present world!

What are two places you’d like to visit if you had a chance? Why?

All of Great Britain, for its history and high tea, and Petra, because its beautiful seemingly remote images have always intrigued me.

If you had the opportunity to hang out with any two people alive or dead for 48 hours, who would you pick and what would you do? (besides Jesus)

Two great queens: Elizabeth I, and Esther—both strong women who overcame tremendous odds and deadly adversaries.

Name three favorite books you read as a child?

Little Women, The Children’s Bible from Storybook Press, and the entire set of Andrew Lang’s fairy tales. Now that I think of it…between the Children’s Bible and Andrew Lang’s works…the scriptures set in a fantasy realm as Prophet was a natural for me. I should have seen Ela coming!

 ANY FINAL COMMENTS--THOUGHTS FOR MY READERS?

Thanks and blessings, dear readers! Without you, writers would have no audience—we love you!!!

And thank you, Nora! I’ve enjoyed this interview.

Feel free to send me any questions at:  http://www.rjlarsonbooks.com
I’ve also pasted a few subtle hints for the sequels, Judge and King, on my Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/rjlarsonbooks 
RJ

Thank you RJ. It’s been great fun to get to know you and your debut novel. It’s been fun. I’m EXCITED about the Giveaway @TBCN on APRIL 19th-21st www.bookfun.org 

THANKS to Bethany House Publishers for the 10 book giveaway opportunity this month. 


CONTEST STARTS TOMORROW!!

It’s been fun to get to know you and your book.

Blessings on your writing adventures.

Sincerely,

Nora :o)
The Book Club Network

JAMIE CARIE TALKS ABOUT BOOK CLUBS









ABOUT AUTHOR: Jamie writes novels about fierce, passionate women; their dreams; their fears; their triumphs. Her deepest desire is to see her readers find that same passion as they follow their destiny and discover deeper intimacy with Jesus. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three sons.


1. What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?
Jamie @ Book Club Meeting dressed as a Pirate





Reading groups are awesome because I can get feedback (very honest feedback :o) ) on the story which helps me grow as an author. I love hearing what parts of the book people were touched by or if something confused or annoyed them. And the best part is when they gush about one of the characters. That’s fun!

Where would you like to see your relationship with reading groups grow? How do you think your goals can be met?

I would like to participate in more of them. There are so many great books to choose from out there that it is a challenge to get chosen. I need to be more proactive in contacting reading groups and asking that they consider my books.

Do you have a set size a reading group has to be before you'll talk to them on the phone or in person? What do you feel most comfortable doing?

No size limit! I’ll talk to one person and have if they are interested. I love visiting personally but that isn’t always possible so phone calls are fine too. I’m very flexible.

Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why?

I love the ones where the members have known each other for a while and are friends. It really feels like a privilege to be included in those tightknit groups.

What have you learned about your book and yourself from book club meetings?

Jamie at a Book Fair - Dressed the part
I guess the most important lesson is the vast differences in perspective that people bring to a book. What one person “gets” and loves another wasn’t impacted at all or saw something entirely different. That’s where being led by the Holy Spirit comes in for me as an author. I pray God will speak through the story to each reader exactly where she is at.









Did you learn more about your characters than what you had originally intended? If so what?

Since this was my first continuous series I was able to explore my characters at greater depth (over three books instead of one). I feel like I really know Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton. His struggles came from a place deep within me and I hope ring true and inspiring.
Jamie at a Book Signing
Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? One of your characters? If so, which ones or what surprised you?

I have been blown away many times when receiving an email or letter telling me how my characters have made a difference in a reader’s life. Elizabeth from Snow Angel really connected with many readers. She had so many obstacles to overcome before she could love and accept love. A lot of women wrote me about her and how they could relate. (God gets all the glory for that!)

Has your book club experience - getting feed back from reading groups - helped you in writing future books? If so, how has it helped you?

I think it has helped me keep the reader in mind more while I’m writing. I appreciate all the different perspectives and try to craft a story that has themes most people can relate to.

What would you like to experience in reading groups that you haven’t experienced so far?

Just do more of them! :o)

What was your most memorable reading group experience? What made it so special?

Attending a library group meeting where the ladies were so kind and fun, smart and curious about what being an author was like. The food was great too!

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you are working on now? Do tell!!

I am currently working on my memoirs (it’s a slow process) and beginning some research on another three book series. It will be historical but with a fairytale feel. Three sisters who each has a special gift. I’m excited to get started on it!

FUN QUESTION I JUST HAD TO ASK

Name three books you adored as a child?

Heidi, Little House on the Prairie and Jane Eyre.

A movie that most affected you when you were young. If you didn't watch movies what book affected you most in your youth?

The Star Wars movies! My dad, brother and I were crazy about them and saw them at the theatre three times each.

A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for a couple of days. What would you do with it? Any events you’d like to experience? If so which ones?

I would love to see many of the Biblical events in person! Can you imagine seeing David slay Goliath? Or Jesus’ birth? It would be difficult to narrow down the choices.

You find yourself shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians - all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you'd play?

 (Examples: Care for those with physical pain, comfort the frightened, start developing a plan to get off the island, lead the group in song, Organize the group to make best use of resources, Praise God for the beauty of the surroundings, Pray diligently for rescue, Stand guard, watch for a plan or boat - or a role I haven't mentioned) Do Tell!! Grin!

I’m an organizer and encourager. I’m also the eldest of five kids so I’m good at being bossy! :o)

I would be appointing tasks to the appropriate people, helping plan the rescue attempts and best use of the resources – hopefully without stepping on too many toes.
Jamie

Thanks for stopping by Jamie and talking to us about book clubs. I'm excited about you participating at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org CONTEST STARTS APRIL 19th - 21st















I love the two questions you've picked for readers to answer. We are going to have fun!! I'm also looking forward to talking to you at our book club meeting.

Blessings to you and on your writing! Love the cover for the next book in your new series!


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

ECHOES OF TITANIC by MINDY & JOHN CLARK - REVIEWED

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 (March 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James Harvest House Publishers of for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Mindy Starns Clark is the author of many books (more than 450,000 copies sold), which include A Pocket Guide to Amish Life, Shadows of Lancaster County, Whispers of the Bayou, and The Amish Midwife. In addition, Mindy is a popular inspirational speaker and playwright.






John Campbell Clark is an attorney and CPA who works in the Christian nonprofit field. Married to Mindy Starns Clark, he has served as her brainstorming partner, research facilitator, and first reader for many years. A lifelong Titanic buff, he is pleased to be coauthoring with her now. John and Mindy live with their two daughters near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Visit the authors' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Kelsey Tate comes from sturdy stock. Her great-grandmother Adele endured the sinking of Titanic and made it safely to America, where she not only survived but thrived. Generations later, Kelsey works for the firm Adele founded nearly 100 years ago.

Now facing a hostile takeover, the firm’s origins are challenged when new facts emerge about Adele’s actions on the night Titanic sank. Kelsey tries to defend the company and the great-grandmother she has long admired, but the stakes are raised when Kelsey’s boss is murdered and her own life threatened. Forced to seek help from Cole Thornton, a man Kelsey once loved—and lost, thanks to her success-at-all-costs mentality—she pursues mysteries both past and present. Aided by Cole and strengthened by the faith she’d all but forgotten in her climb up the corporate ladder, Kelsey races the clock to defend her family legacy, her livelihood, and ultimately her life.






Product Details:
List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736929460

ISBN-13: 978-0736929462

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: 
Lower Manhattan, New York
April 3, 2012
Kelsey Tate glanced at the clock and then at the stack of files on her desk. It was three p.m., which meant she had thirty minutes before she’d need to start getting ready for the ceremony. She knew she should use that time to work on risk assessments, but something told her she’d be better off getting some fresh air and clearing her head. The assessments she could do later that evening, once the big event was over. For now, she wanted to run through her speech and somehow find focus. Today had been a busy day at the office, and at the moment all she felt was scattered.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she made the decision. Air. Ceremony. Work. In that order.
She locked the files away, straightened her desk, and grabbed her Bluetooth headset for cover. The only way she’d get out of here without being pulled into half a dozen conversations en route to the elevator was to clip the device over her ear and pretend she was on an important call as she went. She loved her front office and the view it afforded her of the busy Manhattan streets below, but sometimes it was a pain having to run the gauntlet of a conference room, an administrative assistant area, and three other executive offices just to get away.
“Is there something proprietary about this?” she asked aloud as she stepped into the hall and pulled the door shut behind her. “Because otherwise, I’m afraid it’s just a little too early to buy in. At this point, there’s simply not enough data.”
Pausing at the desk of Sharon, her executive assistant—or “EA,” as she liked to be called—Kelsey told the nonexistent person on the other end of the line to hold on and then said in a low voice, “I’m running out for a few, but I’ll be back by three thirty if anybody needs me.”
“Got it, Chief,” Sharon replied with a brisk nod, her auburn, precision-cut bob swinging loosely around her face.
So far, so good. Continuing on toward the elevator, Kelsey spotted one of her more talkative coworkers coming up the hall, so before he could speak, she gave him a quick smile and continued with her faux telephone conversation.
“Look, we can’t justify a buy-in of that size. You know as well as I do that you’re estimating the value too high. A million and a half for ten percent is ridiculous.”
The coworker smiled in return and continued past her in the hall.
She finally made it to the elevator, pushed the down button, and punctuated her wait with several well-timed brief utterances. “Really?…With that price earnings ratio?…I don’t know, I’m not sure about that…How much?”
Finally, the bell dinged and the doors opened to reveal an empty elevator. She stepped inside with relief and removed the device from her ear as soon as the doors whisked shut again. She hated to admit it, but her nerves were more rattled today than she had anticipated, though she wasn’t sure why. The announcement she’d be making at the ceremony was an important one, yes, and something she’d been working toward for a long time. But she was no stranger to the podium. She had no fear of public speaking.
It was a more general, vague apprehension she was feeling, almost a foreboding about today’s impending event, though she couldn’t imagine why. Regardless, Kelsey had these thirty minutes to pull herself together somehow. Then she would return, get ready to go on, do her part, and be done with it.
If only the new public relations consultants hadn’t insisted on combining the two separate announcements into one big celebration, she thought as she reached the lobby and walked briskly toward the front door. Though she usually stopped to chat with her friend Ephraim, the building’s head of security, she moved on past with just a glance and a wave toward the front desk. Once she was outside, she exhaled slowly, grateful for the warm spring sunshine. Weather in April in New York City could go either way, but today was warm and dry, thankfully, with just a hint of a breeze.
Turning right, Kelsey merged into the foot traffic moving down the wide sidewalk toward Battery Park. On the way, she thought about the important part of today’s ceremony, the announcement of a brand-new scholarship program to be funded by her late great-grandmother’s foundation. Adele Tate had survivedTitanic and gone on to become a successful businesswoman in an era when women in business were practically unheard of. In her later years, she had created the foundation with the express purpose of empowering other women in business. This new program Kelsey would be announcing today was a perfect fit and would provide up to ten scholarships per year to outstanding young females majoring in business-related fields of study.
Kelsey had been pushing for this for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently, when her family’s firm, Brennan & Tate, had begun taking steps to improve their public relations, that the board was even willing to consider it. The fact that, in the end, the scholarship decision had come down to a PR move rather than any actual altruism didn’t bother her. She figured as long as the money was given out to deserving recipients, the end result was the same, regardless of motive.
Kelsey ran through her speech as she continued down the sidewalk and was pleased to get through the entire thing without once having to refer to the notes in her pocket that listed her key points. When she finally reached the corner at Number One Broadway, she looked ahead longingly at Battery Park, a fixture of the city for several hundred years and the perfect greenery-filled end cap to the island of Manhattan. More than anything, she wanted to make her way across the street and into the park to seek out one of her favorite spots in all of New York: the old family memorial stone that honored her two relatives who had perished on Titanic. Kelsey loved to visit the memorial, as it always left her feeling connected somehow to her many family members, both living and dead.
But there was no time for that now. Instead, she turned left, and once the light changed she moved with the crowd across Broadway to the triangular-shaped area on the other side known as Bowling Green. At the foot of the triangle was a sprinkling of vendors, and she took a moment to buy a bottle of water from a pretzel cart. Continuing onward, she tried some deep breathing exercises as she angled across the wide base of the triangle to tiny Bowling Green Park, another of her favorite places to go when she needed a quick breather during the workday. She loved the symmetry of the place and convergence of shapes: a circular fountain inside an oval park on a triangular piece of land. This was a little oasis of greenery in a landscape of cement, its current focal point a ring of vivid red tulips surrounding the fountain.
Kelsey wanted to sit for a while on one of the benches that lined the walkway and take it all in, but she knew she needed to keep moving. At the very least, she slowed her pace and sipped her water and forced herself to get down to what was really bothering her: the other purpose of today’s event, the part she wasn’t exactly jumping up and down about.
To be sure, she appreciated the honor that was about to be bestowed upon her, and she was proud of having reached this new level of achievement in her career. The problem wasn’t the award itself but the big public fuss that was being made over it. Others had earned membership in Brennan & Tate’s “Quarter Club” in the past, and the most they had received was a handshake and a little plaque.
She, on the other hand, was about to be trooped out front and center in what the PR firm was practically turning into a circus. Between the handwritten invitations and the catered munchies, they were going all out to promote something that should have happened far more quietly. The best Kelsey could do, she supposed, was to grin and bear it––and try as hard as she could to keep the focus on Adele and the foundation and the new scholarship program. The more publicity for that, the better.
Kelsey let out a deep sigh as she continued through the park. This was the price she paid for being not just an account associate in the company’s corporate finance division but an account associate in the corporate finance division who also just happened to be the great-great-granddaughter of the company’s founder and the daughter of its reigning president. If there was such a thing as reverse nepotism, she thought, she was living it now. She’d never expected her professional path to be made easier because of family connections, but she also hadn’t realized how much harder she’d have to work because of them.
At least she had her mentor and business-savvy friend Gloria to guide her through this current maze of public relations troubleshooting. But she’d be glad when this flurry of promotions was finally over and she could get back to business as usual. She loved what she did—and she was very good at it—but lately she’d spent more time authorizing interviews than she had authorizing investments.
Looking upward, Kelsey watched as a copter lifted off from the heliport at the water’s edge, probably taking some important executive to a business meeting. She picked up the pace, exiting the park at the northern end and making her way around a group of chattering tourists who were taking turns posing for photos beside the bronze bull, a statue that had become synonymous with Wall Street and the stock market. Crossing back to her side of the road, she retraced her steps to the office building, allowing herself to take in the sights and sounds and smells of the city that was always so utterly alive and invigorating: car horns blaring the ever-present soundtrack of New York, the doughy smell of pretzels warming in a vendor’s cart, businesswomen on their way to appointments in thousand-dollar suits and Uggs, their designer heels tucked inside briefcases for when they reached their destinations.
About twenty feet from her building, Kelsey spied a catering truck idling out in front and stopped short. From what she could see, Ephraim was holding open the door as a trio of uniformed workers dashed in carrying trays of food. Feeling a vague stir of nausea at the spectacle to come, she ducked into an alley on her left and made her way around to the back side of the building.
At the rear entrance, a solid metal door with a keypad above the knob, Kelsey typed in her security code, listened for the click, and stepped inside. Coming in this way, she’d have to take the stairs rather than the elevator, but she didn’t care. Right now she just couldn’t face the lobby and the excited chaos of the event that was being pulled together in her honor.
Kelsey’s office was on the fourth floor, but she continued up the back stairs to the fifth without stopping. Once there, she again had to type in her security code, and then that interior door unlocked with a soft click. The fifth floor back entrance opened into the executive conference room, but it didn’t occur to Kelsey until she was swinging the door wide that she might be interrupting some sort of meeting. Fortunately, however, she wasn’t. The room was empty.
Stepping inside as the door to the stairwell fell shut behind her, Kelsey paused, relishing in the peace and quiet of the empty space. The fresh air had done her good, but the busyness of the streets had managed to stir up the busyness in her soul. She still felt disquieted, unsettled.
Apprehensive.
Ignoring those feelings, Kelsey glanced around, trying to remember if there was a phone in here as there was in the conference room on the fourth floor. Sure enough, she spotted it on the back wall, mounted between the audio/video cabinet and the broad space where the projection screen hung when it was in use. Lifting the receiver, Kelsey dialed the extension for her EA and told her she was back in the building but would be upstairs with Gloria until it was time for the big event. Sharon read off several messages that had come in while she was gone, none of them urgent, and then said there was one more thing.
“Yes?” Kelsey looked around the room for a clock, hoping her assistant wouldn’t take much longer.
“Next time you fake a phone call as you’re leaving,” Sharon said with a chuckle, “make sure you actually bring your cell phone with you.”
Quickly, Kelsey patted her pockets, her face burning with heat when all she came up with was the headset.
“Busted,” was the best she could say, and then they both laughed. “So who else knows?”
“Just me. I was putting some files on your desk when I heard a ringtone coming from a drawer. I found your phone in your purse and put it on mute. Hope that was okay.”
“Of course. I appreciate it,” Kelsey said, grateful for the quick thinking—and discretion—of her faithful assistant. “Would you do me another favor and lock up my office before you head down to the ceremony?”
“No problem, Chief.”
They ended the call, and Kelsey decided that before she went to talk to Gloria she would take a few minutes to fix herself up for the ceremony. Hoping to avoid having to go downstairs to her office, she decided to pay a visit to the executive washroom instead, where she knew all sorts of necessities could be found.
Slipping from the conference room into the main hall, Kelsey walked toward the front of the building. Though she had to go past a reception area and several offices along the way, she made it to the primary executive suite without having to pause and chat with anyone. Fortunately, the door to the CEO’s office on her left was closed, and the EA that worked for the upper echelon, the exotically lovely Yanni, was busy talking on the phone and simply waved Kelsey on through to the right. With a smile and a nod, she turned and continued down the hallway, past the closed door of Gloria’s office, to the executive washroom.
As expected, inside were baskets of toiletries on the wide marble counter. She washed her hands and then helped herself to an individually wrapped toothbrush and a tiny, disposable packet of toothpaste. After brushing her teeth, she unwrapped a fresh comb and ran it through her hair, trying to neaten up the windblown look she’d earned from her walk outside. She followed that with a shot of hairspray, a little dab of face powder, and some lip gloss for the cameras’ sake, and then she stepped back, smoothed out her clothes, and studied the full effect in the mirror.
Whenever Kelsey looked at herself, the word that came to mind was “Irish”—not the red-headed, pale-skinned, green-eyed variety that most folks thought were the norm. Instead, she and her family sported a look far more common among the Irish: dark hair, even-toned skin, blue eyes.
Taking a cue from her mentor Gloria—and from her great-grandmother Adele, for that matter—Kelsey always bought the nicest clothes she could afford, knowing they were a business investment of sorts. Today she was sporting a new Hugo Boss suit in a soft gray pinstripe, accented with a red silk blouse and a pair of red Gaetano Perrone shoes. On her lapel was her favorite piece of jewelry, a hat pin she’d inherited from her great-grandmother and often wore as a stickpin instead. Purchased in London the day before Adele and her cousin and uncle set sail for America on Titanic, the top of the hat pin was in the shape of a tiny Irish harp, a lovely reminder of their homeland.
The overall look Kelsey always strived for was class, competence, and understated elegance. Examining her image in the mirror now, she felt that today’s outfit had really hit the mark. Her layered, shoulder-length brown hair nicely framed her face, and the touch of makeup emphasized her lips and gave a smooth, matte finish to her skin.
Now all she had to do, she decided, was to get through the big event. In the end, though she wasn’t looking forward to it at all, at least the new scholarship program made this trouble worthwhile.
Gloria’s door was still closed, so Kelsey knocked first and then cracked it open, peeking through to see if her friend was in there by herself or if she had company. Fortunately, she was alone, and though she looked quite startled for a moment, she invited Kelsey in.
“Well, if it isn’t the woman of the hour,” Gloria said. Papers were spread across her desk, but she quickly shoved them into a single file folder and slipped it in a drawer. “You look gorgeous. Is that a new suit?”
Grinning, Kelsey slowly turned in a full circle. “Gotta look good in the photos. It’s all about playing the game, right?”
“I’ve taught you well, my dear.”
Kelsey took her usual seat in one of the two leather chairs facing the desk—a move she’d done countless times before. Yet as she settled in, she detected an odd expression on the older woman’s face, as if she were more nervous and apprehensive than Kelsey herself. Worse, in fact. Though Gloria could usually be found looking perfectly polished, at the moment she was anything but, with dark circles under her eyes, rumpled clothing, and not a speck of makeup on.
“Are you okay?” Kelsey asked. She didn’t want to be rude, but clearly something was wrong. “You’re not sick, are you?”
“Just tired. I worked later than I should have last night. You know how it is.”
Gloria obviously didn’t want to talk about it, so Kelsey simply nodded and changed the subject, asking about the order of events for the ceremony. Gloria spelled things out, describing what sounded like a two-person show featuring Kelsey and the company’s CEO, Walter Hallerman.
Kelsey scrunched up her face in dismay. “What about a board member or two? And don’t we want to include somebody from the foundation?”
“Stop trying to deflect, Kels. You know as well as I do that this is all about you. That’s the whole point.”
Miserably, Kelsey slumped in her chair. “This is getting so old.”
Gloria pulled off her glasses and nervously cleaned them with the corner of her blouse. “Hopefully, it won’t be for much longer.”
Both women knew Kelsey really had no choice—both for her family’s sake and for the sake of the corporation. According to management, after Nolan Tate, Kelsey’s father and the firm’s leader, suffered a stroke last year, the company’s value had taken a serious nosedive and now they needed to show that someone else would be carrying on the Tate name, someone who possessed the same sharp gut instincts and business acumen for which the Tates had long been known. As Kelsey was the only other family member who currently worked here, she’d become the logical choice by default.
It was a heavy weight to bear, one that was feeling heavier all the time. She was happy to carry on the family legacy and didn’t mind doing her part to bolster the company’s image, but she was getting awfully tired of being the center of attention. Last week had been a feature article in the New York Times magazine section about the “up-and-comer with the Midas touch.” Prior to that, her name and face had been splashed across countless other newspapers and magazines, and she’d even appeared on a few local television and radio interview shows. Now she was about to go through this ridiculous ceremony, all for the sake of reassuring the public that even though Nolan Tate might be sidelined for now, another, just-as-capable Tate was ready to step up and prove that the family gift for investing was alive and well.
“I hope you’re right,” she said tiredly. “I don’t think I can stand much more.”
An odd look appeared on Gloria’s face, and Kelsey thought she was about to say something important. But then, after a moment, she simply cleared her throat and asked if Kelsey needed any last-minute help polishing her speech.
“No, thanks. It’s fine. But what were you thinking, just now? I can tell there’s something on your mind today.”
The older woman’s cheeks flushed. “It’s not important. I was…I was going to tell you not to worry, that the end is in sight. Maybe sooner than you think.”
“What do you mean?”
Gloria shrugged and looked away, her fingers nervously taking off her glasses, cleaning them again, and putting them back on. Before she replied, the phone on the desk buzzed, startling her so much she practically fell out of her chair.
Face flushing, Gloria resettled herself in her seat and pushed the button for the speaker. Out came the voice of Walter, their CEO.
“I just got downstairs and don’t see Kelsey. Have you talked to her?”
“She’s here with me now.”
“Good. Tell her to hurry up and get down here. We’ll be starting in ten minutes.”
“No problem.”
“Have her take the stairs and use the side door to go backstage. She can wait there until I finish my introduction.”
“Will do.”
With a click he was gone.
“You heard the man,” Gloria said, suddenly using her brightest pep talk voice, though it sounded strained and on edge. She rose, walked to the door, and stood there holding it open. “It’s showtime, kid. You’d better get downstairs. Break a leg, or whatever it is they say.”
Kelsey stood, feeling oddly dismissed. “Aren’t you coming with me?”
“I…uh…I’ll slip in the back later.”
“But I thought we could go down together.”
“I don’t think so,” Gloria responded without further explanation.
“Listen, are you sure you’re all right?” Kelsey pressed, moving closer.
The woman wouldn’t meet her gaze, though after a moment, much to Kelsey’s surprise, her eyes filled with tears. Cooing sympathetically, Kelsey pulled a clean tissue from her pocket and handed it over, asking again what was wrong, if Gloria wanted to talk about it.
“Is it something with work?”
Gloria didn’t reply.
“Maybe something personal? A problem with you and Vern, perhaps?”
Even though Gloria’s marriage wasn’t exactly known to be warm and fuzzy, she seemed surprised at the thought. Shaking her head, she blew her nose and said, “It’s…I…” Her voice trailed off as she dabbed at her tears. Then she took a deep breath and slowly let it out.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, looking down at the floor and speaking in a soft voice. “Have you ever done something bad out of good intentions?”
Kelsey was surprised. What an odd question for an ethical, no-nonsense woman like Gloria to ask.
“You mean, the ‘end justifies the means’?”
Gloria nodded. “Exactly.”
“Probably,” Kelsey replied, studying her friend’s face. “One time when I was a kid, my mother wouldn’t buy me the mini marshmallows I wanted from the grocery store, so while she was busy at the checkout, I went back and got a bag off the shelf, tore it open, and started eating them anyway. I figured that once they were open she’d have no choice but to buy them. Of course, I didn’t count on her making me pay her back out of my allowance—and then she didn’t even let me have the rest of the marshmallows.”
Both women smiled, but fresh tears filled Gloria’s eyes. “If only this were that simple.” She blinked, sending twin tracks of wetness down her cheeks.
Kelsey felt terrible for the poor thing, but she still didn’t have a clue as to what any of this was about. Of all the people in this office, Gloria was the very last person she’d ever expect to talk this way, much less to stand in an open doorway and cry.
Suddenly, before Kelsey could even think of how to reply, Gloria gripped her by both arms and spoke in an urgent whisper.
“You don’t have to go down there, you know,” she hissed. “You don’t have to do this at all. You could walk right out the back door and go home, and I could tell Walter you weren’t feeling well and had to leave.”
Kelsey was dumbfounded. What on earth was Gloria talking about?
“Why would I do that? It’s just a stupid ceremony. I’ll get through it, no big deal.”
Just as suddenly, Gloria let go of her arms, stepped back, and placed both hands over her eyes. “What am I saying? Don’t listen to me. I’m not myself today at all.”
Kelsey stood there amidst her friend’s meltdown, thinking, You can say that again. She wondered if perhaps Gloria had been drinking or something. She didn’t smell alcohol on her breath, but she certainly was acting strange—stranger than Kelsey could ever have imagined.
“Enough of this,” Gloria said finally, taking her hands from her face and giving Kelsey a broad, forced smile. “Are you ready to go? Because your time’s up. Come on, Tater Tot. Forget what I said earlier. I’ll walk you down myself.”

REVIEW

Echoes of Titanic
By Mindy Starns Clark
& John Campbell Clark
Published by Harvest House Publishers
ISBN#978-0-7369-2946-2
385 Pages

Back Cover: Kelsey Tate comes from sturdy stock. Her great-grandmother Adele endured the sinking of Titanic and made it safely to America, where she not only survived but thrived. Generations later, Kelsey works for the firm Adele founded nearly 100 years ago.
Now facing a hostile takeover, the firm’s origins are challenged when new facts emerge about Adele’s actions on the night Titanic sank. Kelsey tries to defend the company and the great-grandmother she has long admired, but the stakes are raised when Kelsey’s boss is murdered and her own life threatened. Forced to seek help from Cole Thornton, a man Kelsey once loved—and lost, thanks to her success-at-all-costs mentality—she pursues mysteries both past and present. Aided by Cole and strengthened by the faith she’d all but forgotten in her climb up the corporate ladder, Kelsey races the clock to defend her family legacy, her livelihood, and ultimately her life.

Review: I've never read a book by Mindy Starns Clark before and was thankful to receive a review copy of such a haunting, compelling, dramatic suspense novel. I liked the style in which the novel was written using two story lines; one from the present and one from the past. It was amazing how the two intertwined.  This author’s husband John Campbell Clark is a lifelong Titanic buff so the setting for this story is fascinating and it addresses the fact that this is the 100th Anniversary year of the disaster.

It became so clear to me how a family’s heritage was very important from generation to generation. What I do today can and will affect my children, and their children’s children. The book opens up with Kelsey Tate giving a talk about her great-grandmother Adele at an event her families company hosted to commemorate the disaster. Adele was a Titanic survivor and founder of Brennan & Tate (over 100 years ago)

Gloria, Kelsey’s mentor is acting funny and leaves Kelsey to speak at this event alone. She tells Kelsey it’s her time to shine. She didn’t want to overshadow the young lady’s day. Everything they’d been doing lead up to this point. She knew Kelsey would make Adele proud.

Kelsey had always wanted to grow up to be like Adel, “who had found a way to have a successful career and a happy family and have a full life…Kelsey realized she had grown up to be just like Gloria, who was an empty workaholic who channeled all of her emotions and her energies onto her career, pursuing success at all costs. Kelsey had turned her back on God. She had nothing in life, nothing to live for.”

Then the author switches to the POV to Adel on the Titanic making plans to work at her father’s company when she arrived in American. Her role model was Margaret Brown who tells her, “If you want to invest, honey, look to the people and places the big boys are ignoring – women’s interests, for example, show me a woman with a good idea and a strong work ethic, I’ll show you somebody who can succeed like the dickens if she’s given a proper chance.”

“It is one thing to try to break down those barriers that stand in my way, Adele thought, and quite another, to help other women get started out as well, how fulfilling that would be.” Adele was a business minded woman in a time when that wasn’t fashionable.

In tracking down leads about her families past Kelsey questions her Grandpa Jonah. He reminds her, “The secret to a happy life is in the hanging on and in the letting go…., “Let go of your hurts, your grudges, and any possessions that aren’t a necessity. Hang on to your memories’, your loved ones, and most of all your faith. Do that, Little Bit, and your life will be more rewarding than you could ever imagine.”

“When did your heart check out of the equation entirely and turn you into this automation? This shell? (Kelsey’s mother asked her) ….I love you, honey, but I do not know you. What could possibly have happened in your life to bring you to this?”

Good question. Mom just didn’t understand business.  Kelsey was trying to survive on her sinking ship, the family business.  The scandal inside Brennan & Tate, rumors that were making the value of their stock plummet and recent disturbing discoveries about her families past made Kelsey think about her ex-boyfriend Cole, who left her and the company, after a deal went bad, “…looking back now, it struck Kelsey that it wasn’t just her under cutting of a deal that had ended their relationship. It had been her stubborn pride and her unwillingness even to consider that she’d been wrong to do what she did. Her refusal to apologize or even feel bad about it…Kelsey finally realized something. It was the after math of the event, far more than the event itself that had driven Cole away five years ago.”

Brennan & Tate was in the middle of a hostel take-over and the police wouldn’t say if her friend was murdered or committed suicide. Kelsey’s world was crashing in on her. Who could she turn to? Who could she trust? Kelsey was racing against time. Adele’s time on the Titanic was reaching the end of its existence. Time was running out for both ladies. Adele had secrets that Kelsey needed to know. Could she find the clues from the past in time to save the company?

Love this novel. I couldn’t put it down. I was so wrapped up with the characters and their pain and disappoint from both generations. I loved the style in which this author wrote this narrative just when I thought I had it all figured out then Kelsey would discover something new and it changed the way I thought the ending must be. It also changed the way I viewed the characters in the story. I was also on pins and needles for Adele as she was in the middle of a business deal herself that was turning out to be something unexpected. This book is filled with so much from the past and excitement in the future. I’ll definitely be reading more of these authors’ books. I highly recommend this book for reading and for a book club selection.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network