BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

NETA & DAVE JACKSON'S NEW BOOK - REVIEWED





LUCY COME HOME
By Dave and Neta Jackson
Published by Castle Rock Creative
ISBN#978-0-9820544-3-7
417 Pages


Back Cover: Lucy Tucker has been on the streets of Chicago for 50 years. Why won’t she come home?

Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan’s sugar beet fields in the early 1940s—the “war years”—until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate—and a dead field boss—sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she’d ever known.

Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of the Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday. Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle ageing mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her—unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn’t let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold … Lucy disappears again.

How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy’s murky past. But … why won’t Lucy come home?


REVIEW
"Belching black smoke and steam, the Grand Western born down on the train station in Laspeer, Michigan, with a series of jerks and ear-splitting squeals. But not all the squeals originated from the train's under-carriage where the rusty brakes gripped the huge metal wheels."

The book opens with this paragraph. Love how they set a mood in very few words. Dave and Neta Jackson have a gift of putting the reader in the middle of the action, I can picture the scene like the one I've quoted to make them feel like they are there! I like their writing style and the pace of the story. The adventure unfolds in the future but then flashes back to 1940 when Lucy was growing up. The authors flip from current time to the past and back again smoothly. It really added to the story. I was hooked in both story lines.

This is a tender love story it's also a story of survival against all odds. It features Lucky Tucker aka Cindy in her youth. Lucy is a frequent guest of the Manna House Shelter. This book focuses on Lucy's Life up-close and personal and a time long ago.

If you've enjoyed the Yada Yada Prayer Group book series and/or any other of these authors books you'll enjoy this one too.If you haven't read any of these authors book this is a GREAT book to start with!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network CEO

RESULTS ARE IN - TBCN WINNERS FOR JUNE'S CONTEST


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


LOVE IN DISGUISE
By Carol Cox


Peggy Blann Phifer
Sandra Burns
Audrey Lynn Noel Grant
Robyn Conners
Eleanor Shepherd
Jeanie Burkett
Merna Bawel
Tab Gotzmer
Linda Wagner
Paula Osborne

CHRISTIAN READS
BRENDA KAISER

BOUND BY GRACE
By Tiffany Amber Stockton

Keona White
Judy K. Burgi
Christina Turner
Denise Jordan
Sally Shupe
Angela Holland
Dianne Munson
Paula Osborne
Erin Shephard
Sabrina Templin

EXPOSED
By Shannon Deitz

Janice Smith
Susan Gambrell Parnell
Daphne Michele Webb
Robyn Conners
Deborah Malone

REDEMPTION RANCH
SECOND CHANCE RANCH
By Leann Harris

Mary Zander,
Gailya Keller,
Maureen Timerman.

ONCE OCEAN AWAY and BLOOD RANSOM
By Lisa Harris

Blood Ransom
Elizabeth Riggs

An Ocean Away
Leane Howell

STAR DUST
Carla Stewart


Julia Reffner
Lori Lochner
Audrey Lynn Noel
Dianne Munson
Becky Doughty

This is the FIRST POST about this. I'll post more of the winners later on today!! If you'd like to see the complete list of books giving away and the winners check out the front page of TBCN.

THANKS to everyone that participated and THANKS to the featured authors for participating as well.  THANKS to BETHANY HOUSE for sponsoring this contest!! It's been a Blessing to work with you!

Nora :o)
The Book Club Network CEO

LYNN DOVE - GUEST POST- AUTHOR INTERVIEW



ABOUT AUTHOR: Lynn Dove is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where she earned her Bachelor of Education degree in 1981, she has spent the last thirty years teaching children in the private and public school settings. In 2007, she earned a Masters of Religious Education degree from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.

Lynn’s blogs Journey Thoughtsand Word Salt have well over 10K in followers and readers. Journey Thoughts won a 2011 Canadian Christian Writing Award (the equivalent of winning a Christy Award in Canada). Lynn’s writing has also been showcased in a few compilation books the latest being in Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith featuring essays from Robin Jones Gunn, Tricia Goyer and Suzanne Woods Fisher just to name a few. Lynn’s article “Cool Grandma” can be found on p. 56.

How do you describe yourself, Lynn?
I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). I wear so many different “hats” that I find prioritizing them tends to focus me better. I have been married to my best friend, Charles for over 33 years and we have three wonderful children: daughter, Laurelle (husband, Matt) grandbaby, Jaxon, and we have two live-at-home teenagers, Brett and Carmen. I have been a teacher most of my adult life, and I still substitute from time to time at the private Christian school my youngest daughter attends. I love volunteering and working closely with the youth in our church. I love to blog, camp and read.

Tell us a little bit about your “Wounded Trilogy”?
Shoot the Wounded, the first book of the Wounded Trilogy, is written for youth and young adults. It addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person's spirit and speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence. The story points the characters, and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ. STW was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards.

Heal the Wounded, is the sequel to STW and the second book of the Wounded Trilogy. HTW won a Bronze Medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Young Adult- Coming of Age category. HTW delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle. Heal the Wounded, continues to follow the characters, Jake, Leigh, Mike (Jake's best friend), and Tim (Ronnie's brother) each of them dealing with the aftermath of their friend’s death in the first book. Jake is especially dealing with a variety of disappointments (“Job” experiences I call them) that cause him to question why God allows bad things to happen to good people. A new character is introduced into the story, Cassidy, a young cancer patient whose unquenchable spirit and faith impacts Jake, Leigh, Mike and Tim in a way that allows them all to experience God's grace and the power of His healing in each one of their lives.

Love the Wounded is the final and dramatic conclusion to the Wounded Trilogy series that has followed the lives of teenagers Jake, Leigh, Mike, Dylan and Tim as they come to terms with a series of tragedies and events that have made each of them question why God allows “bad things to happen to good people”. Released May 30, 2012, the book has already received a five star review from Readers Favorite.

My books deal with a variety of social issues: family violence, bullying, teen pregnancy, gossip and are listed as resources on the largest anti-bullying website in the world: www.bullying.org

Why did you become a writer?
I know this is a cliché answer, but I have always wanted to write. I have written poetry and short stories since I was in elementary school. I was always writing. In fact my biology teacher in high school signed my Gr. 12 year book: “To the only literary biologist I know”. My teachers could always count on me to give a lengthy treatise on any subject. I did not have aspirations to be a novelist. My debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, actually started out as a short story but 100 pages later, I realized I couldn’t call it a “short story” any longer. Then it sat for ten years taking up valuable computer memory space until one day as I was deleting files I came across the story again. It was my husband who encouraged me to finish it and then get it published.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people?
I have three children and because two of them are teenagers and I write novels for teenagers, I have been very purposeful not basing my characters on any one of them. It would mortify them! Instead I try to draw on my experience with working with teenagers in general as a high school teacher and as a youth leader, so I kind of create characters that have a smattering of many individuals I know personally all rolled up into one cohesive characterization. My kids still say that they see themselves in the characters. I suppose that’s to be expected, but I pray that when they recognize themselves they see the character as positively portrayed and not the otherwise.

Do you have any new book or writing projects now that the Wounded Trilogy is done?
I am working on a more autobiographical account of my journey with breast cancer in 2001 called “Life Lived”. I have a few projects I am working on, a devotional for one, as well as a few more articles set to be published in compilation book works.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers (authors)?
I am asked this question a lot and my advice is always: WRITE! If you feel called by God to write, just write. Decide in advance what your goals are for writing. Is it for pure enjoyment that you write? Is it something you do that is private or is it something you want to share? Decide to whom you are writing. Knowing your audience will also determine how you will write and what your focus will be when you write. Also determine your “success” goals before you embark on the publishing journey. Do you want to have a small, intimate audience or a world-wide audience? That will help you set realistic expectations when it comes to selling and promoting your work.

I had no idea when I embarked on this writing adventure that there would be so much work involved in promoting yourself and your work. As a Christian we revere humbleness, however for you to be noticed in the industry and to get your books into the hands of readers, you have to create a “buzz” about your work. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of effort and purposeful networking. I spend a lot of time building online relationships with hundreds of authors and industry professionals. I read and review books and I have blogs that showcase new and “seasoned” authors. I have learned so much for those who have been in the industry a long time, and I have been blessed with incredible mentors along the way.

What is your favorite work of literary fiction?
There are so many wonderful works of fiction it is tough to choose just one. I love the classics but the book that inspired me to read (and then write) was Lucy Maude Montgomery’s, “Anne of Green Gables”. I suppose being a Canadian; I gravitate naturally to Canadian authors and their work.

Who is your favorite contemporary author?
Again there are so many wonderful authors out there. I am an eclectic reader, meaning that I read all genres of fiction so my favourite Christian author(s) are Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and Suzanne Woods Fisher and Janette Oke.

Who are your greatest encouragers?
I have a hugely supportive family, extended family and friends. My biggest fan is my husband, Charles. He has been the one who encouraged me to publish in the first place (and he had never even read the book at that time). My church family hosts my book launches and prays for me on a regular basis. They realize that this is a ministry for me, and they have bought my books and sent them all around the world! I am more than blessed!
Lynn’s books are available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, on Lynn’s website.
Readers may also connect with Lynn on Twitter, Facebook, on her blogs: “Journey Thoughts”, “Word Salt” and on her website: www.shootthewounded.org


Thanks for stopping by and letting us get to know you are your books Lynn!


Blessings


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

BOUND BY GRACE AUTHOR TIFFANY AMBER STOCKTON




I'm Thrilled to introduce to you Tiffany Amber Stockton. She was the CAN (Christian Author Network) Featured author this month. She gave away 10 copies of her new book Bound by Grace.

You've been on our network before with our Christmas giveaway last year. I'm glad to have you back. I wanted to do an interview with you about your book club experience. THANKS for giving us a peek into what it's like from an authors point of view.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, virtual assistant, and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Australian shepherd named Roxie. She has sold 12 books so far with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site: www.amberstockton.com.

ABOUT BOOK: Unlike other young ladies, Charlotte Pringle would rather run her bookshop than pursue eligible gentlemen. But when her parents pressure her to agree to an advantageous match, she fears she'll be trapped in a loveless marriage. Richard Baxton feels pressure at every turn now that he's responsible for the family business and his niece Grace, who is unable to walk. When Grace's love for books leads him to Charlotte's bookshop, Richard is drawn to Charlotte's sweet spirit. But with endless problems on the horizon, will God's grace enable them to accept the hardship with dignity and strength?

What do you like best about TBCN?

I love the author features, the publicity, the camaraderie, and the general cohesive feel to the clubs and all promotion that takes place there. I’ve been a member of TBCN since it first launched. I don’t have a book club of my own. But as an author I do make appearances when invited.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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

I have been able to hear directly from multiple readers at once, and from a group who has discussed the aspects of my books together, often building upon each other to deepen their takeaway value from the book they’ve read.

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

I would love to connect on a more personal level (such as a phone or Skype appearance) and be more in touch with my readers. Meeting this goal would take time and dedication, plus taking that first step to get started.

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. I will talk to 2 or 20. It makes no difference to me. I am far more comfortable in person or on Skype, where I can see who I’m talking to. I don’t do well on the phone when I can’t interact with anything more than a voice.

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

Any meeting where I can see the other members. I’m a visual person, not audio. It’s far easier for me to connect when I can interact face-to-face, whether in person or virtually.

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

I have yet to be told of a group who has read my book, though I have had countless individual readers, many of whom know each other, who has discussed by book informally.

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

The feedback I’ve received from readers has brought a great deal of insight I wouldn’t have had without their input. I love hearing from readers, discovering what they’ve gleaned from my books. Quite often, it’s nothing I planned to be or even knew was there.

Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? One of your characters? If so, which ones or what surprised you?

Yes. Copper and Candles brought the most entertaining feedback, especially with readers speaking of how much they loved my portrayal of the different social classes without making one “better” than the other. However, my first series, set in Colonial Delaware (so far) has received the greatest amount of letters and feedback from readers. We’ll see what happens with my current series which takes that same setting and jumps forward a little over 100 years to the end of the 19th century and early 20th century.

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

Without a doubt. I have been able to glean what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve even taken suggestions from readers on what to include in future novels. I get a feel for what my readers love the most about what I write and what I can leave out with the next book I pen. It’s fantastic!

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

That true personal connection. Quite often I feel as if readers of my books see me as an untouchable or distant entity, someone they could never hope to truly know as anything but an author. But as a human being created by God to crave that personal touch, I know for a fact that’s not true. I love to talk to and meet new people. And I’d be deeply honored to have one of my books selected for a reading group. As of yet, it has not happened...at least of which not that I’m aware.

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you are working on now? I heard it will be out in 2013. I’m curious as to what it’s about!! Do tell!!

I just sent a proposal in to Abingdon for their Quilts of Love series, but I won’t know for a while if the editor will accept the story. And I recently finished book 3 in my newest series, Brandywine Brides. The 3-book collection will be out in 2013 sometime, though I don’t know the exact month. Right now, I am without a contract, but my agent has several proposals floating on multiple editors’ desks. We’ll see what unfolds. In the meantime, I’m taking the summer to focus on my 2 little ones (ages 3 and 1) and enjoy the break from deadlines. I’ve had back-to-back ones for about 4 years now. With adding children to our family, the balancing act hasn’t been easy.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

What movie most affected you when you were young. If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you most in your youth?

The Sound of Music. This might seem silly, but it instilled in me the hope of happily ever after, despite your circumstances. It also reinforced the need to be yourself and not what you think someone else would want you to be. It’s you and your core that will mean the most to others. So, be real.

What is the most special thing anyone has ever done for you?

When my husband let me do what I wanted when I wanted for one entire day. He didn’t attempt to fill up the day with special events or buy me special gifts. He simply took care of the kids, helped me when I needed it, and let me be *me* for a day. In a world where so many demand so much of me nearly every minute of every day? That was priceless!

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 be there when John Hancock put his name on the Declaration of Independence! Or at the reading of the Gettysburg Address. Monumental moments in our nation’s history, and ones I fear are being lost with each passing generation. The wonders and joys of history aren’t as important to people today, and there’s a sadness in my heart about that.

You are 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?

I’d be a leader and one who takes charge, delegating tasks, seeing what needed to be done and either doing it if I could or finding someone who could. If another with a greater knowledge of the group stepped up to lead, I’d likely co-lead and also provide the administrative or detail support necessary to see everything got accomplished.

You've been given 48 hours to hang out with any two (alive or dead). Who would you pick and what would you do?

Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin. With Abigail, I would ask her to share her secrets to being a devoted wife who her husband adored, and how she remained everything her husband needed, in spite of his stress and the demands of the work he did. With Benjamin, I would simply ask him to share some of his wisdom, but I would also walk with him and shadow him for 2 days to get a good idea of how his mind worked.

What three books did you love as a kid?

Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion, Little House on the Prairie

THANKS Tiffany for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I'm excited about featuring you and your book at the TBCN this month.
Nora

Thank YOU, Nora, for having me. I look forward to interacting with everyone and mailing out my books to the winners!
Tiff

Blessings to you and your family Tiffany!

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

Shannon Deitz and Hopeful Hearts Ministry - GIVEAWAY and GUEST BLOG POST

 Giving away 5 Copies of her book @ TBCN Contest ends today www.bookfun.org 

ABOUT BOOK: EXPOSED

"My job is just to give you the message; it is up to you whether you believe it or not." -Saint Bernadette of Lourdes Shannon Deitz spent nearly two decades of her life in the darkest valleys of self-destruction, believing she was unworthy of God's love. After witnessing as a child the sex and drug-induced downfall of her older sister, Shannon turned away from her Catholic faith and upbringing and found herself caught in a wild and carefree lifestyle. She drank, partied, and sought comfort in abusive relationships, only to be raped not once but twice-by two different boyfriends. Years later, after an intense spiritual battle within, Shannon found herself at rock bottom, where she nally understood the truth-that her life had never belonged to her. It had always belonged to God. He had given her the gift of free will, and although she had been tied to him since conception, he had wanted her to love him on her own. Exposed: Inexcusable Me . . . Irreplaceable Him is the story of one woman's courageous journey down the path of spiritual self-discovery. Not only does this book expose the awful truths of physical and emotional abuse, but it also exposes the truth that, no matter how deeply our wounds may run, we will always be worthy of God's healing grace.

Shannon Deitz is a woman in love with God and excited about her faith.  But it wasn’t always that way. For nearly two decades Shannon spent her life in the darkest valleys of self-destruction, believing she was unworthy of God’s love.  At the age of 27, Shannon found herself at rock bottom, where she finally understood the truth – that her life had never belonged to her.  It had always belonged to God. It was the beginning of a love story that has grown more beautiful with each passing day.  From that point she did as God called her to do and for twelve years ministered to teens as a youth minster and spoke to thousands of teens and young adults at conferences all over the world. Her ministry is now offering hope to women and men of all ages.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Shannon is an international speaker on faith issues and surviving abuse, founder of Hopeful Hearts Ministry, and spokesperson for the Maria Goretti Network, a non-profit self-help abuse survivor support group.  Her memoir, EXPOSED: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him, debuted in 2010 and was voted runner up for the 2011 About.com Reader’s Choice Award.  Shannon and her husband, Neal, live in Kingwood, Texas, where they are active in their local parish and community. Their two sons, Ryan and Seth, provide them with endless joy and reason to continually count their blessings. For more information on the book and her ministry visit www.hopefulheartsministry.com

Hopeful Hearts Ministry
Offering the hope of Christ’s Light
and Love to those who are suffering.



Q and A With SHANNON DEITZ and HOPEFUL HEARTS MINISTRY

Q. I’ve read your book Exposed, and some of your blogs and I really would like to change, but I’ve made such a complete mess of my life that I don’t know where to start. How do I begin?

A. You begin by praying. And if you don’t know how to pray you just say, “God help me.” Then you take one step at a time. Begin daily asking God to help you. And, remember, don’t be so hard on yourself. God loves you and there is nothing you could ever do to make Him love you less. Don’t look back at your mess. Ask for forgiveness and then move forward acting forgiven and wanting to live the life He created you to have.

Q. I know that you are Catholic. I am not. Do I have to be Catholic before you can help me? 

A. No! Absolutely not! It doesn’t matter what denomination, religion or lack of religion you might be or have, we all suffer and we all are in need of hope. I don’t profess to cure anyone, nor am I a licensed therapist or counselor. All I can do is give you my experience and offer what knowledge and wisdom I’ve mustered through my own sufferings that have taught me that there is so much more to life than living as a victim in the suffering.

Q. How can I know that God loves me? 

A. Take in a breath. And let it out. With every breath you take, He is beside you, within you, around you. I think the hardest part about “knowing” is the ability to feel worthy of receiving His love, because how can we truly know it unless we accept it? That’s the real question. When I think about knowing God’s love for me, I think of Jeremiah 1:5—“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” When I think of God’s love, I think of how He knew me and wanted to create me, just as He knew you and wanted to create you and continues to want you to fulfill the purpose for which He created you.

Q. I look around me and all I see is everything getting worse and worse. How am I supposed to find hope in that? 

A. God brings good out of everything—this I know for certain and would bet my life upon. There was a time when I felt that every time I turned around another bad thing was happening to me. “Really, God?”

I would think and let the anger towards Him and everyone else around me build up until I was blinded by anything that could be good. I was so stuck in focusing on the “bad” stuff that I wouldn’t allow myself to see the good that was forming from it all. The more that I stayed beaten down, the more I made decisions that reflected that attitude—which brought on even more “bad” stuff. 
It wasn’t until I literally could not live stuck in that hopeless despair and anger that I finally gave it all to God. I felt there was nothing to lose because it was all bad anyway. Once I started to look up and see what He could do better with my life then that is when I started to see the good that was going on around me. Now I look back at that time in my life and I thank God for it…not that I’m glad it was done to me, but for the strength and wisdom I received having lived through it.

Q. I was raped by my boyfriend and now everyone acts like I’m the one who did something wrong. How am I supposed to get over this and move on with my life? 

A. First of all, I am so sorry this happened to you. No one deserves to be raped, taken advantage of or abused in any way. When it is done by someone you trust, like your boyfriend, it is a deeper wound to heal and it often is harder for others to understand because they can’t fathom that person acting in that way. Stick with those that love you and are there to support you through this difficult time. You can’t make others believe you, but you can stick to the truth and soon enough the actions of your boyfriend will be revealed. Please go to counseling and talk about what happened to you. Talking is the best healing, along with prayer. And, remember, what has been done to you does not define you. One step at a time is how you move on with your life, trusting God has more for you in this life. You will get through this.

Q. Like you, I suffered with feelings of unworthiness for years. I’ve finally come to see myself as a beloved child of God and now I’d really like to help others, just as you are doing. How did you get started?

A. I started by helping through my church with teens. I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to help them not make the same mistakes I made. And, if they felt they already had made those mistakes or things had already been done to them, I wanted them to know that their life was not over or defined by these things. From there I just kept talking and telling about what had happened to me and how I overcame the depression and despair. More and more people wanted to know so they asked me to speak to their groups. Honestly, I wish I could give you a formula for how I got started, but it truly was a multitude of little moments that led up to what I am doing today. My advice would be to just start talking and sharing your experience and offering your time to groups you think could benefit from the wisdom God has given you through your journey. If you are feeling called, then know that God will open the doors.

Shannon is available for speaking events, please visitwww.HopefulHeartsMinistry.com

Shannon’s story, told in her new book Exposed: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him as well as her ministry are very transparent, wanting to help others who are suffering. Shannon is available for interviews and to write articles. You can read her blog at http://www.shannonmdeitz.com/category/blog

Thanks to Diane Morrow with B and B Media for this Guest Post!

TODAY is the LAST DAY to Enter the DRAWING for a chance a winning a copy of EXPOSED. It's also your chance to interact with SHANNON @TBCN Contest www.bookfun.org

EXCITED ABOUT THIS 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

Blessings

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

THE JUDGE by RANDY SINGER REVIEWED - NEW

Here is your SNEAK PEEK - THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT IN SEPTEMBER


THE JUDGE
By Randy Singer
Published by Tyndal
ISBN#978-1-4143-3568-1
417 Pages

Back Cover: When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker. But he has an idea that might: he will stage the ultimate reality show. With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world's major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges.

Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity. As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life. With Internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Moreno. Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney’s clues in an apologetics book Finney wrote and must race against time to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her boss dies defending them.

Review: I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, sad to say I’ve done that. Randy Singers’ new book The Judge was originally released in 2006 under the name, Cross Examination of Oliver Finney. He wrote a non-fiction companion book named Cross Examination of Jesus Christ!

I work at a book store and remember seeing these books on the shelf. I had not read many of Randy’s books then. The cover and/or the title of the book didn’t grab my attention and I chose not to read the books. My Bad, Oh my, did I miss a great book experience.

Great news is their back! I’m thankful for the review copy of a book I miss judged! Pun intended. The title of the new book is catchy and evokes emotion. The cover made me stop in my tracks and stare! I just had to make this the number one book on my TBR pile. I’m thrilled I did! I’m grateful I’ve had a second chance with Randy Singer’s book and the opportunity to enjoy this thought provoking, suspenseful, intriguing read with characters I instantly liked such as Nikki, Wellington and Oliver Finney.

I was hooked after reading the first few sentences, “There must be some mistake…the room started spinning as soon as the patient heard the words. Inoperable brain cancer. Frontal lobe…unbelievable…He wasn’t ready to face whatever lurked on the other side of death.”

Are you hooked? Want to know more?

Randy Singer takes the reader on an adventure like no other! What would you do to defend your faith? That’s the question!

The rich patient diagnosed with brain cancer had denied the existence of God his whole life! The patient had a brilliant idea after watching the TV show, Survivor. He’d know once and for all if there was a God and which one was real. “He would choose powerful advocates for each of the world’s major religions as contestants. Their faith would be put to the ultimate test on a remote island.” Everything would be videotaped for all to see.

Oliver Finney is a feisty, cigar smoking, Christian U.S. Judge who’s been around the block a few times, and agrees to defend Christianity when producers ask him to. He thinks, “How many men had a chance to reach an entire generation during the last year of their lives. Maybe his whole life had been preparing him for this very moment!”

The producer explains to the director about the show, “It’s not championship wrestling, “McCormick, but it’s not jeopardy either. Faith on Trial will test you spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically!”

I like how the author broke down the sections of this book into five parts. 1. Agenda, 2. Contestants 3. Cross-examination 4. Rebuttal 5. Verdict.

I like the books new look, and this author ability to capture my heart from the start. Warning you’ll be up late reading this one. I was gripped by the suspense, fun and Oliver Finney’s obsession with puzzles and codes. It’s a refreshing read that will encourage you and stir your soul. I highly recommend this book to everyone especially for your next book club meeting. This book is to be experienced and shared!

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

SHE'S GOT ISSUES by NICOLE UNICE - REVIEWED





SHE'S GOT ISSUES
By Nicole Unice
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4143-6510-7
252 Pages

Back Cover: We've all got our issues! Maybe you feel like life just isn't going your way, or you’re afraid that you don’t measure up to other people’s expectations. Perhaps you have a hard time managing your temper or have someone in your life you just can’t forgive. We deal with our “issues” every day in one form or another; the problem is, after a while, they start to feel . . . normal. Unchanging. Just part of who we are. And we forget that we have access to the power of Christ—a power that can transform our everyday weaknesses into our greatest strengths and gifts.

In She’s Got Issues, Christian counselor, ministry leader, and regular mom Nicole Unice explores the ordinary issues that are keeping you from the full and free life you were meant to have. Applying years of counseling with practical scriptural teaching and a fresh and authentic voice, Nicole shows you how to let God freely shape your character—and transform your life from ordinary to abundant.

Review: Love the cover, enjoyed and appreciated the author’s transparency and humor. I’m thankful for the review copy I received of this book and how Nicole Unice talks about topics that have been rolling around in my mind for a while now but haven’t expressed. I love when the Lord brings a book into my life I could really benefit from, She's Got Issues is one of them.

Under the heading, “Do You Have Issues?” the author discusses how people assume when we accept Jesus into our heart we live happily ever after. How can that be when we live in a fallen world and further more we’re human and we all have issues. Some of us are willing to admit them and others are clueless. (It was refreshing to read). Nicole Unice goes on to say, “The ability to see yourself clearly is crucial in your relationship with Christ and in your subsequent ability to serve well. You can not live more abundantly and love better without addressing the underlying issues. You are not after perfection in the way you love but you do need to cultivate a growing dependency on a relationship with Christ that gives you the ability to love.”

The author then asks, “Am I changed because of Jesus?”

This glimpse into the book shows you her sense of humor and transparency. She says, “First I told myself I was qualified to decide if I was changed: I’m a counselor, for heaven’s sake. I’m a supposed expert on how to be a healthy person.

Then I told myself why I was qualified to be a Christian: I rock at bible trivia games. I’m so legit. I can even pronounce a few Hebrew words, and I know the four different Greek words for love. I’ve gone to seminary!

Then I told myself the truth: I can’t really handle ordinary life with a constant peace or lasting joy. I do ok loving when it’s easy. I don’t love much when it’s hard!”

I enjoyed the author’s honesty, transparency and courage to ask the tough questions we don’t think to ask ourselves. This book makes you stop, think and ask yourself some through provoking questions. I liked the layout and how Nicole reveals things about herself and characters from the bible. She deals with five common issues in her books: control, insecurity, comparisons, fear and anger.

The author first defines the issue and how to deal with it. Then she has a few questions you can ask yourself to assess and identify how intently you struggle with the issue being discussed.

There is a word-up section where she helps the reader focus their thoughts on scripture. She says, “God’s word has the supernatural ability to satisfy your longings in a way that no other word can.”

She goes on to say, “We don’t think about the thing that’s driving the action that’s driving us crazy.” I like how she brings up this subject and helps the reader uncover why behaviors make them crazy.

This book can be read and done individually and/or as a group study with friends. Group discussion questions are included for your group if you want to use the book that way.

The author also has a Prayer section I enjoyed: Example prayer: “God I know there is a way that seems right to me. Would you open my heart to receive your instruction in this?”

At the end of each chapter there is the Prayer, a journaling Exercise – reflections time to help you on your journey and deal with issues you may not have been aware of in your life and stories from the bible to reflect on as well. The author says this about what she hopes you take away from her book, “there is great freedom in transparency. My desire is that this book will invite you into that place of honesty with yourself, others and with God.”

What a refreshing look at a topic many of us don’t want to talk about and/or either stop to think about. I enjoyed this authors humor, transparency and how she shares about the fact none of us will be perfect this side of heaven. We’ll have issues until Jesus returns. She’s Got Issues is a book you take your time reading. You'll be comforted your not alone, others have issues too, and it's a time to reflect on characters from the bible that had issues too. No one wants to admit we have stuff to deal with. Nicole Unice give hope in the healing process, and help to reflect on God’s word and the issues you might be facing. It’s good for a group study with people you know. I liked how this author tells the leader how to make the study safe for sharing and growing as the groups goes from chapter to chapter. Our world is changing all the time and our issues change as we learn and grow. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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

LOVE IN DISGUISE REVIEWED & GIVEAWAY


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love in Disguise
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
by
Carol Cox


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and antelope really do play--within view of the family's front porch.



A word from Carol: As a native of Arizona, I have a longtime interest in the Southwest and its history. My family shares my love of the Old West, as evidenced by this photo taken back in the halcyon days before my son turned to a life of crime and started robbing trains for a living...

ABOUT THE BOOK
When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love in Disguise, go HERE.

REVIEW
LOVE IN DISGUISE
By Carol Cox
Published by Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-0955-0
350 Pages

Back Cover: Delightfully Engaging Blend of Romance, Suspense, History, and Humor

When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments--until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven's mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow...or to fall head over heels for Lavinia's captivating niece, Jessie.

But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn't exist?

Review: Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…”

These words explain the premise of this book perfectly. In enters main character Ellie Moore a starlet wannabee, who is a wardrobe, make-up and hair stylist person in the theatre for a well known actress. Ellie takes her job seriously and watches the leading ladies so she can learn to be the best when it was her turn to be on stage.

Well Ellie gets that big break but it’s not exactly the part of her dreams. Her break comes to her in the most bizarre way and she uses the world as her stage literally.  She needed a job and she would make this part work, even if it killed her. It just might!  Ellie was a gal that could think on her feet – she learned this from her years in “live” theater when the unexpected happened all the time.

I was thankful for the review copy of this book that introduced me to Carol Cox. I hadn’t read a book by her before. This book was a fun, suspenseful, mystery story I adored. It was a refreshing female lead with an interesting plot and lots of unexpected twists.

Since my husband and I were around theater for years it was interesting to read that some things never change and how things were done in the 1880’s with live theater. If your looking for a fun summer read, a historical suspense story with a little romance this is the book for you. If you are looking for your next book club pick, look no further. Love In Disguise will bring about great discussion and lots of laughs. I highly recommend this novel for a great summer read and a featured book club selection.

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


10 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY 
@ THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org 


STARTS TODAY!!