200,000-300,000 LAST YEAR

(ATLANTA, GA) Every two minutes in the United States, a child is sold as a sex slave. When unassuming suburban mom Susan Norris learned that girls as young as nine years old were being trafficked for sex in her own quiet suburban Atlanta neighborhood, she had to act.

“It’s time to sound the alarm,” Susan says. “We need to wake up and recognize our country’s most valuable resource is being stolen from us, our children. Called the crime hidden in plain sight, sex trafficking is no respecter of persons. It impacts every demographic imaginable.”

From countless hours spent with survivors, their families, detectives, and a former pimp, Susan crafted the story Rescuing Hope. It released in January and has already sold in the thousands.

“Susan made me feel such a deep connection to Hope, I now carry her in my heart,” one ministry director said. “She is the face of the girls I am fighting for.”

Susan works alongside other organizations addressing this issue, including Resolution Hope, Not for Sale, and Out of Darkness. She lobbies for stronger laws to protect victims, while investing herself into the lives of rescued girls as they piece together shattered lives.

To learn more, visit
To obtain an interview with Susan Norris or arrange for her to speak at your event, email Rebeca at or call (615) 308-1198.

RESCUING HOPE | by SUSAN NORRIS| January 1, 2013 | iUniverse | 978-1475966237 | $14.95 | Tradepaper
*Headline statistics from The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, 2009, Shared Hope International and the U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation
About Susan Norris

A powerful voice for hope, international speaker and activist Susan Norris helps teens and women find freedom from strongholds. When she learned of girls as young as nine years old being trafficked for sex in her own quiet suburban Atlanta neighborhood, Susan set out on a quest to free and protect them.

Known to many as Miss Susan, this woman of boldness has spent countless hours listening to, comforting, and helping survivors, their families, detectives, and even a former pimp. She is a voice for victims and a catalyst for action among her peers. Her book, Rescuing Hope, provides a realistic portrayal of how a child becomes a victim of sex trafficking and serves as a source of hope and insight to those who read it.

A CLASS certified speaker, Susan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Master’s of Education. She taught in public and private schools and served as a leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes before being called to full time ministry. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children and considers them to be her highest calling.

She has spoken at over a dozen events since January and is scheduled for several more through April, including an invitation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been featured in electronic and traditional media, including the “Marietta Daily Journal” and Cornerstone Media Television.

To learn more, visit

To obtain an interview with Susan Norris or arrange for her to speak at your event, email Rebeca at or call (615) 308-1198.

Quick Stats About Sex Trafficking in the United States

·         According to the FBI, human sex trafficking is the fastest growing business of organized crime in the world

·         According to the FBI, the average age at which girls first become victims of forced prostitution is 12 to 14.

·         According to the FBI, traffickers use force, drugs, emotional tactics, and financial methods to control their victims. Perpetrators promise marriage and a lifestyle victims often did not have in their previous familial relationships. In cases where the children have few or no positive male role models in their lives, the traffickers often demand the victim refer to them as, “daddy.”

·         According to the U.S. State Department, approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls and up to 50% are minors.

·         According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as many as 2.8 million children run away in the U.S. each year. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third will be lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution and pornography.

·         According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation

To learn more, visit

To obtain an interview with Susan Norris or arrange for her to speak at your event, email Rebeca at or call (615) 308-1198.

RESCUING HOPE | by SUSAN NORRIS| January 1, 2013 | iUniverse
978-1475966237 | $14.95 | Tradepaper

12 Ways to Protect Yourself

Human sex trafficking is as networked as the drug and arms trades.  Pimps pay people to surf the internet to find new recruits for them. Others are paid to pose as possible dates to lure girls into a trap. It’s all about money. Everyone in the game is looking for a way to cash in on you or some other unsuspecting soul.

1.      Do not post pictures of yourself on Facebook in bathing suits or other revealing clothing. Traffickers are constantly looking for girls to recruit by perusing pictures of anyone in their network.

2.                  Only accept people as friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media if you know them personally. Teenagers like being popular, even on the internet.  Many will accept any friend invitation they receive, so you can’t count on your friends to be wise when accepting friends. Your safety is up to you. Be smart!

3.                  Never post where you’re going on social media; only post where you’ve been.  If someone manages to get to your page, they can track your every move if you post who you’re with and where you’re going next. It’s like handing a trafficker a roadmap to find you.

4.                  Posting pictures and comments on social media from your smartphone may list your location without you being aware of it. You can shut this feature off on your phone.  Ask your cell phone provider how to do this. If you’re posting a picture of yourself, the trafficker will have no trouble picking you out from the crowd.

5.                  Remember there is safety in numbers.  Even something as simple as walking home from the bus stop has proven dangerous if done alone.  Always make sure you are with others.

6.                  Don’t engage in conversations with guys you don’t know.  Don’t answer their questions or give out information about yourself or your friends.  What appears to be harmless flirting can lead to dangerous activity in seconds.

7.                  Don’t get into a car with anyone you don’t know well, even if they appear to know you.

8.                  Beware of friends telling you they have an easy way to make money.

9.                  Don’t go to a party held by someone you or your family doesn’t know well.

10.              Beware of offers by stranger to get you into modeling or the movies. Talk with your parents about anyone who approaches you with this type of offer. If they are from a reputable company there will be a way to confirm so and keep you safe in the process.

11.              Do not take a gift from a stranger.

79.              Never accept an open drink of any kind, even a soda, from someone you don’t know well. It’s very common for traffickers to lace a drink with drugs to inhibit your abilities.


JONI and KEN TADA: Untold Love Story
By Ken Tada, Joni Earkson Tada and Larry Libby
Published By: Zondervan
ISBN# 978-0310336730  
192 Pages

Back Cover: This is the true love story of Joni and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada. A love story showing what it truly means for a man and a woman to live in love ... in sickness and in health. 

Even the honeymoon wasn't easy. Did Ken realize what he was getting into when he proposed to Joni, a quadriplegic woman? As their marriage years moved on, Ken became increasingly overwhelmed by the never-ceasing demands of caring for Joni, who begins to experience chronic, extreme, nightmarish pain. Ken sinks into depression, and the couple finds themselves on parallel tracks in life, married and living under the same roof but drifting apart emotionally.

But as they fight for their marriage and find their way through the mazes of depression and pain, they wrap their two lives around their rock---Jesus.

During Ken's denial of Joni's diagnosis, and Joni's thoughts of how wonderful a quick exit to heaven would be, they experience a personal visitation with the savior you will never forget.

Review: Joni and Ken Tada have been a couple that have inspired me for years. I was first introduced to Joni Earkenson in the movie she made of her diving accident where she broke her neck as a teen. She reenacted her part in the movie; where her life fell apart and in the recovery she found Jesus. He gave her so many talents from painting with her teeth, to singing, speaking and writing books. She encouraged me and many others in her radio show Joni and Friends. Her passion for what the Lord called her to do show on her face, in her voice and everything she did.

I watched a video clip of Joni and Ken where they discussed this book. Joni says she hopes by sharing their story and how God moved in their lives even through cancer that a couple would say hey if they can make it with all they have going on maybe my problems aren’t so bad. If God will be with them and move in an unexpected way He’ll do the same for them. They’ll have hope and courage to face anything with God.

“This is God’s universal purpose for all Christians suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in the world.” Statement by John Piper

I know that this couple and their testimony encouraged me as I began reading this while in the ICU unit with my youngest son as he battled to recover from a double ear infection, the flu and pneumonia. As with Joni this was not our first time to the hospital. This child came out early and had a few more obstacles to overcome than most just like Joni.

Tears ran down my face as I read how Joni and Ken met and how Joni went to the Doctors was told she had breast cancer. I read this by Joni, “Cancer hadn’t felt like a gift in the beginning…no, not at all.” (wait a minute did I just read the word gift? I double checked – yes!) She goes on to tell how they reacted to the news and how they came up with a plan of treatment. They were both surprised at their initial reactions to the news.

Joni continued, “In just a blink or two, you’re swept along in another direction, toward another destination. Some-where you couldn’t have foreseen. Somewhere you never intended to go… That’s what this day was like…the freeway had divided, and Joni was being whisked away in a new direction fast. Toward what? …Where?.....Her life would change forever getting worse or better, nothing would be the same after this…what next? We live in a society that runs away from tough stuff, divorces loved ones that are sick or puts them away in a home, it’s hard to face the tough stuff day in and day out.

Ken thought, “They had been married 28 years, traveled together on six continents. But this was uncharted territory; off the edge of any map they had ever seen! God saw the whole map of their lives, right to the very edges and beyond. He could handle any dragons. Even ones with a name like cancer, later Joni would said, “Cancer, she told her self, not without a note of wonder, was a gift!”

After the shared about how they heard the news, their first reactions and deciding on the treatment plan; the book flashes back to how they first met. How they thought about marriage, ministry and in the mix they both shared their testimonies! It was neat to learn how God worked separately in their lives and then brought these two people together.

Ken Tada stepped up to be the warrior God made him to be as they faced cancer. Joni allowed her husband to love her and be there for her in a new way. This couple shared their spiritual journey in a very personal, inspirational, and transparent way, revealing their highs and lows in the battle. Through the trials of chemo and surgery God’s love blossomed in them and between them. What the enemy meant to take them out God meant it for there good and something a little more! That was the blessing!

Was it easy? No. Was it painful and scary? Yes. Was it worth pressing into God and each other to make it thru? Yes. I highly recommend this story for everyone! It will give you a new outlook on life, relationships and love. A must read.

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book fun Begins!


By Terri Blackstock
Published by Zondervan
305 Pages

Back Cover: When truth doesn't make sense, will lies prevail? Cathy Cramer is a former lawyer and investigative blogger who writes commentary on high-profile homicides. When she finds a threatening note warning her that she's about to experience the same kind of judgment and speculation that she dishes out in her blog, Cathy writes it off as mischief . . . until her brother's wife is murdered and all the 'facts' point to him. The killer has staged the crime to make the truth too far-fetched to believe. Working to solve the murder and clear her brother's name, Cathy and her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, moonlight as part-time private investigators. Juliet, a stay-at-home mom of two boys, and Holly, a scattered ne'er-do-well who drives a taxi, put aside their fear to hunt down the real killer. Stakes rise when their brother's grieving five-year-old son is kidnapped. As police focus on the wrong set of clues, the three sisters and their battered detective friend are the only hope for solving this bizarre crime, saving the child, and freeing their brother.

Review: Terri Blackstock pens another eye opening thriller! This time she takes a look at blogging and how technology we use every day can be used against us, even ensnare us like a mouse in a trap.

Our justice system is supposed to be one that says we are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately in many cases the media has made people guilty before they’ve had a chance to prove their innocence.

Cathy Cramer is a retired lawyer who has been on a personal mission to see that justice is done in her community. She calls it as she see’s it on her blog no emotions and/or judgment held back. She writes for her readers and tells them the truth as she sees it.

Cathy receives a note on the wind shield of her car it says, “Guilt or innocence is not something to be judged by a two-bit blogger with a drama-loving readership. Maybe it’s time you saw first hand how speculation ruins lives. Judgment that has nothing to do with truth. See how it feels.”

This note didn’t faze her. She got threats all the time. She thought nothing of it; until life has she knew it changed.

I was quickly drawn into this story and cared for her characters and their wild situation. Terri has a way of making you the reader stop and take a look at our fast paced ever changing world in a whole new light. Wow!

If you are into suspense with a faith message naturally interwoven into the story, I recommend this read. It will change the way you think about several things. It will have you read this statement with renewed hope and something more, “The truth is the truth no matter how it looks…tell them that.”

Words typed in an email and sent into cyper space can’t be taken back and they can never be erased. It’s there forever! Think about that as you grab this book to take on vacation with you! Wow!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


ABOUT AUTHOR: A history buff, antique collector, wedding coordinator, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves, A Great Catch, and The Ride of Her Life. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Lorna lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with her husband. They have two children in college and one still at home.
Visit her at, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on Twitter.

What do you hope readers take away from When Love Calls?

Not only do I hope readers will be entertained by When Love Calls, but I hope they will see themselves in Hannah’s struggle. So many times we think we have to be independent to be strong. Our culture values that kind of strength. However, there’s strength in knowing when to lean on others, too, and most importantly, when to lean on the Lord.

What fascinates you about the 1900’s?

The early 1900s is one of my absolute favorite time periods because the world was changing so rapidly. Women were fighting for their right to vote, roles were changing for women, and yet so many things remained the same. Mechanization was changing the world—airplanes, automobiles, and engines of all kinds. It was also the time before the world is turned upside down by the First World War In a way, there was still innocence in the air.

If you could live in 1908 what would you want to experience first hand? What would you miss most in our modern world of today?

Great question! I would want to experience a suffrage convention. Those women were fighters. I don’t agree with everything they said or did, but I admire their intelligence and their spirit. What would I miss? I’d miss the modern conveniences we take for granted—a freezer, an air conditioner, a microwave, a toaster and a blow dryer.

I laughed out loud at the requirements to in being a switchboard operator – It said, “Candidates between 16-25, must possess excellent eyesight and hearing!

Switchboard’s mission in life was to serve the public,” Now a days it’s difficult to get a “live” person on the phone to help you. What did you learn in your research that surprised you and made you laugh?

There were so many things about the switchboard operators that surprised me, but I was shocked at what they could ask the candidates. Not only did they weigh and measure the girls, they asked for the names of their physicians, their druggist, and their minister. Can you imagine if they did any of that today? They also wanted candidates in financial need so they asked questions about that. It shows how much times have changed.

Remember when all of us had land lines and message machines? What do you miss most about having a land line? What do you enjoy most about your cell phone? What features are you surprised your phone is capable of doing?

I still have a land line, but I have a cell phone, too. However, since we use a voice over internet provide (Voip) for our land line, it sometimes does some funky things like I can hear my own voice echoing. I love my cell phone because my kids can get a hold of me any time they need to. Besides having one daughter still at home, I have a son and daughter in college. I still feel connected to them.
Family Photo @ Christmas
As for features, my phone is VERY basic and not very user friendly. I just got texting last month. My son had to figure any of the fancy stuff out, because no one else could.

A history of North American Birds of 1874 is mentioned in your book. What made you put that in there? Are you a bird watcher? If so, what birds have you spotted? What do you enjoy most about this activity?

I’m not a bird watcher, but my mother was. She loved them and was always pointing them out to me. I wish now that I’d have paid better attention. As I’ve gotten older, I think my love for birds has grown.

Your story talks about fires and how they are dealt with back then. It really makes you appreciate our fire fighters and first responders today. What surprised you in your research about this topic for your book? What made you appreciate this group of men and what they do for a living, then and now?

Fire fighters back then had to rely almost solely on their physical abilities. Equipment and gear helped them fight the fire, but did little to protect them. I was quite impressed that most cities had a fire marshal who investigated arsons. These men knew their fires—even without CSI!

Those men and women who serve as fire fighters and first responders today have my upmost respect and admiration. My heart breaks for the families of  the firefighters and first responders in Waco who lost their lives trying to save others.

Bravery, dedication, selflessness, and teamwork are timeless qualities that firefighters possess then and still do today.

Nora: I couldn't agree with you more Lorena!

They had a distinct way of dressing back then – what do you most admire, think was beautiful? What would you personally like to wear or dislike wearing?
Love the Hat on the Front Cover

I absolutely love the hats! I wish hats like that would come back. Who wouldn't look good in them? The dresses, too, are gorgeous. What I wouldn't like would be the corsets! I’m afraid I do not have a corset friendly figure. I also can’t imagine how hot those dresses were in the summer.

Lorna and Judith Miller - Fun


What movie affected you most when you were young? If you didn't watch movies what books affected you most? 

The first movie I remember seeing when I was young was Pinocchio. The one I think affected me most was The Wizard of Oz. The flying monkeys terrified me, but I loved everything else about the movie—especially the ruby slippers.

Nora: Oh, I didn't like the witch and the monkey's. I didn't like that movie because it scared me.

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 the teacher of the children. Other than writing, I’m passionate about teaching. When I wasn’t teaching, I’d probably be cooking. I love that, too.

When it’s time for you to relax and read which way do you enjoy reading and why – digital or paper books? What types of stories to you like to read?

I have a Kindle, which I do enjoy, but I prefer holding the book in my hands. I can sneak a peek at the chapters ahead a lot easier with a book. (I’m a terrible cheat.) I also love the feel and the smell of books. As for what I like to read, I love reading many genres including fantasy, science fiction, suspense, contemporary romance, and of course, historicals. Give me a good plot, good characters, and good romance and I’m a happy girl.

A friend of yours has a time machine, and they are going to let you use it for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

This is an unfair question for someone who loves history! Besides hopping back to any number of Biblical moments, I’d go back spend another day with my mother. My children were five and two when she died and my youngest wasn’t even thought of yet. I’d take pictures of them and ask her a whole lot of parenting questions I never got to ask.

Nora: Thanks for answering this even thought it was unfair!! LOL!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by today. I cherish my reader friends and love to hear from you at, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN right NOW!! Last day to enter is MAY 31st.


You are More than WELCOME to leave a comment for Lorna here. But ALL ENTRIES Must be Made at TBCN!! LORNA is there TOO!! Joining in the book Discussion. JOIN THE FUN!! It's Free and Easy! 


Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


ABOUT AUTHOR: Leslie Gould is the award-winning author of seventeen novels, including the #1 bestseller and Christy Award winner The Amish Midwife, co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. Leslie’s novel Beyond the Blue was the winner of the Romantic Times Book Club Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Inspirational Novel in 2006. Courting Cate (inspired by The Taming of the Shrew), made the ECPA bestseller list for December 2012. Her latest release is Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet).

Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing from Portland State University in 2009 and has taught fiction as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and four children. Visit her at

How did you come up with the idea for this series, The Courtships of Lancaster County? What inspired you?

A few years ago, during my MFA program, my Shakespeare professor assigned retellings of plays in short-story form. I loved those assignments! When I started writing Amish fiction, I realized the settings and characters lent themselves to Shakespeare-inspired stories. An Amish Taming of the Shrew immediately came to mind, including a sassy Plain girl as the lead, and the title “Courting Cate.”

If you were able to live in an Amish Community for 6 months or so what would you look forward to experiencing the most? The least?

I would look forward to experiencing community without the interference of modern life. It’s hard to imagine living on a multigenerational farm and interacting with others without the competition of a computer, cell phone, and car, but I like the idea of it.

What would I look forward to experiencing the least? 

Not having a computer, cell phone, and car, lol, plus all the hard work involved in an Amish life. The older I get, the more I’d honestly rather write about the hard work than actually do it. (I do think there was a time, say in my 20s, when I would have embraced it.)

Have you been to an Amish community? If so, what surprised you about it? If not, how do you gather your information in order to write about this community?

I've visited two different communities in Lancaster County, toured a couple of others in western and central Pennsylvania, and spent time with an Amish family in Nappanee, Indiana. I’ve also read extensively about the Anabaptist culture, and I’ve interviewed people who grew up Amish or had relatives who did. I also have several Mennonite contacts who answer my questions about Anabaptists in general.

I’m always surprised by how much I have in common with Amish women, and they've been surprised by our shared interests too. (Gardening, midwifery, nutrition, organic food, chiropractics, and parenting, mainly.) I asked one Amish woman what her dream for her children was and she answered, “That they have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.” That is exactly the same dream I have for my children.

You wrote The Amish Midwife, the first in The Women of Lancaster County series, with author Mindy Starns Clark. Can you describe how you all came up with the idea for that series?

I’ve been interested in midwifery for years and fascinated with the practice of midwives in Amish communities. Because it was my first experience writing an Amish novel (thank goodness I had Mindy to collaborate with!), I wanted the main character to be a non-Amish person arriving in Lancaster County for the first time, seeing it in much the same way I had years ago.

After I came up with a basic plot, Mindy and I met in Lancaster to expand the story and then worked back and forth by e-mail through the entire process. We just finished our fourth and last novel in the series, The Amish Seamstress. It releases this summer.

You and Mindy won a Christy Award last year for The Amish Midwife. Can you describe how that felt? What was that experience like for you?
Leslie & Mindy at Christy's with husband Celebrating 2012
(Peter and Leslie Gould and Mindy and John Clark posed together after the Christy Awards' ceremony last July) 

Nora: Congrats Leslie and Mindy!! What fun!

It was such an honor to be a finalist for a Christy. Just being at the banquet with my husband, Mindy and her husband, our publisher, and our agent was so much fun. The evening was magical and perfect…and then we won! It was an amazing moment. I felt an absolute, overwhelming sense of gratitude.

In Courting Cate you had Cate leave her Amish community and go to New York. I enjoyed that very much. What made you have Cate visit New York?

Leslie's Daughters in N.Y.
Cate needed to spend time in an Amish community very different from her own but within driving distance of Lancaster County. So off to New York state she went, where she had to not only survive in a more rural and less wealthy area, but she also had a chance to visit New York City.

The second time my husband and I visited Lancaster County together, we took our two daughters with us and then went on to Manhattan. It was their first trip back east. It was so fun to see their reactions to the two very different places. I played with those reactions as I imagined what it would be like for an Amish young woman like Cate to visit the City.

Nora: I really liked Cate's trip to N.Y. I like it every more now that I've learned more about you and your family's travels and the inspiration for Cate's journey!

What did you want readers to take away from Courting Cate?

I wrote Courting Cate while my Army Reservist husband was away, commanding a field hospital in eastern Afghanistan. I poured my love and my longing for him into Courting Cate.

That said, first of all I want readers to know they’re not alone in their insecurities, doubts, and woundedness. Next I want them to know that only God can truly tame, or better yet, heal them. Finally I hope the story inspires them to love more deeply and truly.


What three things would you rather not live without? (Besides friends and family) 
1. A good book to read   2. Something to write with and on—a pen and lots of paper will do  3. A beautiful place to walk

Can you tell us about two jobs you had that would surprise people?

When I was just out of college, I curated a historical museum in Ashland, Oregon. One of the great things about it was that I was able to collaborate with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on exhibits and living history performances.

Years late, I edited a regional bridal magazine out of Portland, Oregon (where I continue to live) for eight years. I am not a fashion-aficionado kind of girl—but I do love a good wedding story.

Nora: Fun! Thanks for sharing this Leslie!

What movie affected you most when you were young?

I was absolutely terrified by “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!” So terrified, still, that no other movie even comes to mind!

Nora: OhMyGosh! How wild. I was terrified by The Wizard of Oz and Snow White. I still don't like them! Grin!

A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for a while. What would you do with it? Where would you go and what would you do.

I’d be tempted to go to the past where I’d at least have an idea of what to expect, but I would force myself to go into the future, say two hundred years from now. Wouldn’t it be great to find a New Earth?! If not, I’d love to find any descendants I might have and see what their lives are like.

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 would have that paper and pen I can’t live without. So naturally, I’d be the one taking notes, keeping track of our ideas, daily happenings, and who said what, lol. I’d also make lists of what resources we had and what we wished we had. And I’d write down prayers and praises. Then, because I wouldn’t be able to help myself, I’d start writing a story based on our experience. (Note to self—pack a lot of paper and extra pens next time I visit the tropics.)

Leslie receives Master of Fine Arts Degree
(Leslie's family celebrated with her after she received her master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Portland State University)

My next book in The Courtships of Lancaster County series is Minding Molly, inspired by a Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m working on rewrites now! I'm excited to share it with everyone soon!


THANKS Leslie for stopping by and sharing your heart and photo's with us. It was great to get to know you, your family and your books! I'm Excited about the 10 book giveaway Bethany House is giving away right now. I'm also THRILLED that you are having a great discussion going on as well at TBCN!!

JOIN THE BOOK FUN TODAY at The Book Club Network and interact with Leslie Gould. Enter 10 book giveaway!


You are WELCOME to leave a comment for Leslie here but there are three questions at TBCN. You'll need to answer one to enter. It's that easy. You'll also see Leslie there too!! It's a Win Win!  Tell your friends! 10 BOOKS!! Wow!


Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


ABOUT AUTHOR: Lynette Eason has written/contracted thirty-one books since 2007. She has thirteen Love Inspired Suspense books on the shelf with more due to release soon. Lynette also writes for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her current release, WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS hit #8 on the CBA bestsellers list this year. Currently, she is working on her third series for Revell and just signed and eight book contract for Love Inspired Suspense. She has been teaching for more than ten years and is very happy to make the transition from teaching school to teaching writing whenever the opportunity presents. She is married, has two children, and lives in Spartanburg, SC.

What research did you do for this story? Anything surprise you in your research? If so, what was it?

I had to a ton of research for this one. Mostly how the US Marshals protect someone, their procedures, etc. I also had to do quite a bit of research on organized crime. That was really interesting. And scary, too. There are a LOT of bad guys out there!

What inspired you to write When a Secret Kills? How did you get the idea for this story?
  This is the third book in the series and I had to make sure I tied up all the loose ends in a tidy yet surprising manner. My FANS inspired me to write it. LOL. Seriously, I got so much “hate” email because of the cliffhangers in the first two books that I knew I really had to deliver a winner of a last book.

I simply sat down and brainstormed it. I started out thinking that writing about friends from high school would be cool. Then I decided they needed to share a secret. Then I decided they needed to all be coming back for their high school reunion—add in romantic reunions as well as a killer and you've got WHEN A SECRET KILLS, book 3 of the Deadly Reunions series.

Nora: Oh, Yeah! That works!

What do you hope readers take away from When a Secret Kills?

First of all, I want readers to love the story and come away feeling like they got MORE than their money’s worth.  I also want them to see the spiritual thread. To realize redemption isn’t a fairy tale. That forgiveness is a real and God wants each person to come to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.

Nora: I look forward to reading it. I love when spiritual threads are woven into the story naturally and have readers walk way knowing the things you mentioned! Great stuff!

With the events of this the Boston Marathon and the shoot out at the movie theater  has it made you think twice about attending events with large crowds of people? What do you think would be your first reaction if you were attending either of these events and gun fire broke out?

Your main character Jillian saysshe is tired of living in fear, constantly watching over her shoulder, wondering if this would be the day she’d die.” What gives her the courage to face her fears and to stop running? She knows she’s been found. When her friend is killed in her place, she’s mad. She wants justice and maybe some revenge. She’s beyond scared, but furious too. And she has people she loves to protect, so she takes that adrenaline, that fear, and that fury and goes forward.”  

What advice do you give people if they face these situations or similar in the future?

Boston was a horrific thing. It’s heartbreaking that people want to kill others simply because of their nationality. I mean it’s awful to want to kill anyone period, of course, but simply because a person was born in a specific place?? That’s just so sad. I had several friends who were there that day. All of them medical doctors. One of them performed my thyroid surgery 14 years ago. I know for a fact that they immediately stopped to help the injured. One was an ER doctor whose wife is a nurse. She and my mother in law worked together. Theresa was running the race and her husband (the ER doc) was standing at the finish line. He moved down, away from the finish line, to get a glimpse of his wife. And then the bombs went off. The doctor didn't hesitate. He went to work trying to save people. And people are alive today because of his quick actions.

I would like to think that I would act as heroically. But I don’t think anyone knows what they would do when placed in such a mind-numbing situation. I know if my kids were there, I would be frantic making sure they were safe. I don’t really have any advice. I can’t give advice for that kind of situation. You asked if I think twice about going to crowded areas. And yes, I do. I don’t just think twice about it, I think about it the whole time I’m there, keeping alert and watchful. It’s a sad way to live sometimes, but it’s our world today unfortunately.

Nora: We do live in a crazy world. Wow, I had no idea you know people in the Boston Marathon. I'm reminded of the scripture verse I say to myself a lot, "God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind!" If we give into fear the enemy wins! We already know the end and who really wins. Thanks for sharing your heart about this event Lynette!

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?

I write Christian fiction because I want to be able to put the faith element in the stories. I love God and I want to make his love known to others. He’s given me the opportunity to do that through fiction and I just love that.

Nora: That's the reason I only read Christian Fiction. I want to read books that confirm my beliefs, strengthen my faith and not scare me to death. I also want to have the opportunity and feel compassion for people as I walk in their shoes for a while in a book. I'm thankful for your opportunity to write in this genre Lynette.


What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn't watch movies what books affected you most? 

I remember watching The Sound of Music. Knowing it was based on a true story had a profound impact on me. That an entire family had to flee in order stay alive and not compromise their beliefs. I just thought that was amazing. And I loved the love story of Captain Von Trapp and Maria. It was suspenseful and beautiful all at the same time. As for books, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

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? 

The mediator when all the fighting and arguing broke out. LOL

When it’s time for you to relax and read which way do you enjoy reading and why – digital or paper books? What types of stories to you like to read?

 I like both. If I’m lying in bed, I prefer my ipad or iphone. If I’m in the tub, I prefer a paperback. For obvious reasons!

What is your favorite suspense show on T.V.? Why is it your favorite?

I LOVE NCIS Los Angeles. I love it because of the characterization and the dialogue. Kenzi, Deeks, Sam and Callen. The action/adventure stuff is fun, too, but adore the characters. J 


 Thank you so much for having me! It’s always a blessing to be a part of TBCN!


Thanks for stopping by Lynette and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN going on right now.

Head on over to The Book Club Network and enter the drawing. Revell is giving away 5 copies of Lynette's new book. There are three questions, you only have to answer one to enter. All must join TBCN in order to participate. NO ENTRIES are ACCEPTED on this blog. You are WELCOME to encourage Lynette and leave a comment. But ALL ENTRIES are to be MADE at TBCN 

See you there!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 


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

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

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 5, 2012)

Jackie Castle graduated from UT Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas. She is a published freelance writer, storyteller and elementary educator. She lives in Texas with her husband, two teenagers, and her dog, Ginger (aka ginger-roonie). When she's not teaching, she is traipsing through the worlds of Alburnium or Fae in search of another story.

She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.

Visit the author's website.

Alyra, mockingly known as Princess, was captured at an early age by the evil ruler, Darnel, and brought up in the dark land of Racah. At the age of seventeen, she considers herself nothing special. She has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. Her hope of ever finding freedom dims.

Until the messenger arrives. Until he brings to light the meaning behind the medallion she's kept hidden. Until she accepts the blinding truth.

Now she flees for her life.

Alyra’s journey leads her down a narrow road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.

NOTE: I didn't sign up for this tour but this looks good. I thought you might be interested in reading the first chapter. Check out this hew book by Jacki Castle!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 

Product Details:
List Price: $11.98
Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481194623
ISBN-13: 978-1481194624


Winter’s grip on the mountain realm crept along the stony dungeon floor and seeped through the girl’s thin slippers. A biting chill encircled her legs, as gooseflesh spread up her back and down to her chapped hands. Shivering, she wished spring would hurry and show itself.

She pitched fresh hay into what were once stalls for horses and other livestock. Now King Darnel, ruler over the city of Racah, used the area to hold new slaves captured from the neighboring towns his forces had overtaken.

Her hand slipped over the weathered handle. A sharp jab sent tears welling in her eyes. She dropped the pitch fork, sucking at her splintered palm, covered in scrapes and scabs from previous injuries. To think, she’d traded a life of fine warm clothes and leisurely work for this. She picked the sliver from her hand. Every last injury was completely worth it.

“Hey, Princess.”

She spun toward the voice. Tarek stood in the doorway. Four pheasants hung by their legs from a strip of leather tied around Tarek’s belt. He wore the customary gray trousers and black shirt of the kitchen help. A spiteful grin crinkled the edges of his green eyes as he took in her work. Long, wheat-colored hair fell in his face and over the collar of his tunic.

At nineteen, he towered over her by nearly a foot in height and possibly two years in age. She had no memories of her past, including when and where she was actually born, or even more disturbing, her real name. From what little she did remember, she placed her own age somewhere around seventeen summers

Darnel, who’d somehow managed to steal her memories, had ordered everyone to call her Princess, and they did so with much snickering and laughter. His little joke, she was sure.

Tarek pushed open the sliding door. A wave of cold air swirled in, stirring up dust and flecks of hay. “Ben wants you to bring a bucket of water out to the new arrivals. Right now.”

She replaced the tool on its peg, then grabbed her thin cloak before heading outside.

Tarek blocked the exit, leaning against the frame with arms crossed over his strong chest. While she spent most of her time cleaning, taking care of Ben, her overseer, or searching the various tunnels worming beneath the mountain fortress, he hunted outdoors or chopped wood. Her pale white skin stood in complete contrast to his darkened sun-kissed color. Oh, what she’d do to trade places with him. Yet she’d not complain. Her job in the dungeon was much more preferable to the one she previously held.

“Looks like this group came a long way. What a wasted bunch of bones. Though something about them must be important, if you ask me.”

Wanting to get away from him, she darted around and hurried toward the pump. The charcoal-gray castle towered hundreds of feet above, the stone walls blending into the cliffs. Below, nestled amongst the crags and plateaus lay Racah, consisting of stonework buildings and forlorn homes surrounded by high ramparts and steep peaks that circled the city.

Tarek trailed her like a lost puppy. “That Baykok Captain, the creepy one they call Bezoar? He brought them in himself.”

She froze, her gut twisted. She had no desire to meet the inhuman creature-man today. Grabbing the pail, she set it under the spout. Her splintered hand burned when she grasped the lever and pumped.

Tarek leaned closer until his tanned face was inches from hers. “And,” a taunt hid just below the surface of his words. “You’ll be happy to know your father is out there to greet our new guests, as well.” He bit his upper lip, keeping the mocking grin in check.

She gave the pump two more good pulls. “Aren’t you suppose to help cook for tonight’s banquet? Wonder what Darnel would say if he found out you were shirking your own responsibilities to play messenger boy?”

His annoying grin grew slack. Brows furrowed, he spat, “King Darnel. And I work hard. Even his majesty has bragged on my hunting skills. Unlike you, I appreciate my position and only want to serve my King to the best of my ability.”

“Such a good little lap dog you are. Why don’t you go fetch a bone or dig a hole and leave me to my own work?” She took up the pail handle and made her way toward the front of the prison where Ben would be waiting.

The weight of the bucket lightened as Tarek held the handle from the opposite side. She glared at him, despite being somewhat grateful for his help. He said nothing more as they walked. When the group came into view, nearly fifty people dressed in dreary, ragged clothing, she stopped a moment to gather her wits and steady her panicked thoughts. Just as Tarek said, Bezoar and Master both attended this group’s arrival.


“He’s not my father.”

Tarek’s brow arched.

“I wasn’t born to him.” She met his narrow-eyed gaze. “I wasn’t. I came from another place, like them. And like you. This isn’t my true home.”

His chest rose with a deep intake of breath which he slowly blew out. “Perhaps, Princess, we are better off here in Racah. I am. My family now has work, food to eat, decent shelter. Where we came from, nothing grew. Everyone was starving.” He brushed away the blond bangs from his face with his free hand. “Look at them. Their clothes are torn, ragged. Bet they will be glad, as well, once they see the King means them no harm.”

Princess shook her head. Tarek had no idea the evil Darnel was capable of. She hoped he’d never find out.

When Tarek left her, she paused needing to completely clear her mind. Humming a silent tune, she headed for the gathering.

Bezoar sat upon his huge black steed. He resembled a living skeleton with grayish skin that clung to his thin body like a grubby, wet sheet. His long, boney fingers hooked around a leather whip hanging from the saddle horn. Deep-set, yellowed eyes peered from beneath the hood of his black cloak.

“Sire,” the Baykok hissed, pointing to a man thrown over the back of a packhorse. “The messenger was a bonus. He’s been spreading his propaganda amongst the towns. I ordered his life spared for the time being. You did request I bring such filth to you when we found them.”

Lord Darnel chuckled with satisfaction. “Yes, that is a bonus, my good captain. Anytime we can stop such liars is indeed fortunate.”

Keeping the silent melody playing, Princess moved toward the group, making sure the dungeon master Ben was between herself and Master Darnel. Ben wore his colorful robes, the purple, red, and yellow striped fabric billowing in the breeze. As she approached, she noticed his hand gripping his cane so tight his chestnut-colored skin paled. Though Ben was known to have a terrible temper, age and arthritis had tamed his angry outbursts. Since she’d taken over many of his responsibilities, he generally treated her decently. More importantly, he ignored her long disappearances while she searched new tunnels for a means of escape.

Ben nodded toward the chained group, then ordered in his deep, throaty voice, “Give ’em something to drink, girl.”

Behind the messenger’s horse stood a long line of men, women, and children, all thin and haggard. Their condition most likely resulted from their trek across the barren land that surrounded the mountain. The castle itself, built into the heart of the cliffs, was nearly impenetrable, as well as inescapable. Climbing the only road leading into the city was difficult on horseback… and even more-so on foot. No telling how long they’d gone without food or rest. Bezoar didn’t concern himself with such human needs.

The prisoners clustered around her, eager to quench their dry mouths. They grasped the ladle greedily in their scraped, bloody hands. Princess avoided the scared expressions on the children’s dirty faces as they gulped the cool water. Yet one dark-haired girl, about the age of five, reminded her of the first time she’d entered this forsaken city. Had the same look of terror been in her own brown eyes?

Princess dared a glance toward the man strapped on the horse. He raised his bruised head. A long cut tore down the side of his cheek. With his one good eye, he stared at his surroundings in defiance. A gold medallion hung from his neck.

Her breath caught when her heart lodged into her throat. Forgetting the prisoners, Princess stepped closer. Water sloshed over the rim and onto her feet. She steadied the bucket, then handed it to the eldest man in the group to hold. She had to see that pendant.

The messenger’s face softened when he caught sight of her staring at him. She quickly turned, not wanting him to know she’d noticed him.

She chanced a glance at Master Darnel, surprised he wore his finest attire to greet a bunch of shoddy prisoners. He stood tall, a smile plastered on his smooth, handsome face. His deep purple button-down coat was trimmed in silver thread. Upon his head sat a silver crown, inlaid with rubies and emeralds, which had been collected while digging the tunnels throughout his mountain lands. His polished black boots stopped just below his knees.

Several large, brutish men flanked Darnel. She’d heard the newly appointed governors, who would run the new towns, were being presented at tonight’s banquet.

She shuddered when one of them grinned at her and elbowed a trollish-looking man, who stood beside him. They whispered something, then broke into chuckles, all the while never taking their eyes off her. Princess’s gut twisted, wondering what they found so humorous. She took the bucket from the elder and stood to the side, searching Ben’s face to see if he’d give her the go-ahead to take them inside.

Ben remained a statue.

Darnel motioned to his men. “Release the messenger so he may stand with our other guests.” His mocking smile widened.

Two soldiers untied the messenger’s hands and feet and shoved him off the beast headfirst. He crashed to the ground with a loud groan. One man grabbed the pail from her and tossed the remaining water in the man’s face. He staggered to his feet.

His nicely tailored clothes were bloodied and torn. Dirt caked his beard. The medallion hung outside his shirt, the symbol of a horn glinted in the morning sun.

The disk was different, yet similar. What could that mean?

Darnel stepped closer, scanning the group. She felt his stare and despite all attempts not to look, her eyes finally met his cold blues. His hateful laughter sounded inside her head. Think. Fill your mind to keep him out!

“How fortunate-” Darnel addressed the crowd, “-for all of you to be brought here at this exciting time in the history of my empire. We are, this very day, in the process of establishing new cities and villages in the western frontier. And you, most fortunate ones, are to be the first to inhabit them.”

Now she understood why Bezoar and the governors were there. This group would be forced to build those cities. Maybe that was the reason behind his increased attacks on the border lands. He needed more slaves to send out west where he hoped to increase his kingdom. She gazed toward the rising sun, knowing something hindered his progress in that direction. Something that plagued her dreams and pulled at her heartstrings.

“My territory is expanding. My governors and I-” Darnel waved to the beast-men standing behind him, “-are discussing how best to achieve this. We petition you, good people of Racah, to listen to our ideas and consider joining the quest to revive these lands under my rule.”

Princess shook her head and muttered, “Working as slave laborers.”

With a gasp, she snapped her mouth closed. Those standing around her whispered to each other. They’d heard her! An outburst like that might result in more lashings. She chewed her lip, daring a glance at Ben whose brown eyes narrowed on her in silent warning.

The messenger’s voice boomed over Darnel’s speech. “Lies! Do not fall for this imposter’s deception.”

The closest soldier shoved the butt of his spear into the man’s gut. “Shut up, fool!”

The man fell to his knees wheezing.

Princess gaped at him. He’d be the dragon’s supper if he didn’t quit.

The messenger took in a winded breath and continued, “Resist him! For the army of the true King is at hand! Do not give in to this evil traitor and his ways! Stand firm while time remains.” He leaped to his feet and darted out of the soldier’s reach. His steel-gray eyes scanned the frightened prisoners.

Don’t listen to the ranting of a fool, daughter! Darnel’s voice rasped in her head. She flinched, and tried once again to control her thoughts. The man continued talking, but she couldn’t separate his words from Master’s.

“The time of this evil one’s reign….”

Foolish girl, have you not learned your lesson yet? Darnel stood still as a statue, an amused look on his calm face. His cruel eyes flicked in her direction. I would be prepared to forgive your insolence and restore you to your rightful position.

Her head pounded from trying to block his thoughts.

“…his army approaches as I speak.”

The snap of Bezoar’s whip cracked the air as it tore into the messenger’s back. He flicked again, and another streak ripped open his shirt and skin. The man bowed over, going down on his knees in the mud.

“Enough,” hissed Bezoar, drawing his sword from the sheath. “I’ll take care of this, Sire.”

Heart racing, Princess stepped between the dark hooded creature and the crouched man. “The dragon hasn’t been fed in awhile, Master.” She met Darnel’s arctic glare.

Her mouth went dry at her own audacity. She’d have been better off staying out of the way and as quiet as possible. But she couldn’t let them kill the messenger. Not yet.

“The dragon doesn’t care if he’s crazy or not. She’ll eat him all the same.”

The people standing around her gasped.

The eldest prisoner spoke up. “Perhaps we should listen to the Messenger.” He pointed a dirty finger at Darnel. “That tyrant ordered our towns to be burnt to the ground, then says he wants us to help rebuild? Shoulda left us alone in the first place if you ask me.”

Darnel closed the distance between himself and the old man. His hand clamped around the prisoner’s neck. “I did you a favor. You’re homes were crumbling, you had nothing to eat—”

“That’s ’cause you’ve stripped this land of all that’s good. I remember what it was like. I remember when we followed King Shay—”

With one quick movement, a dagger appeared in Darnel’s hand and swept across the man’s neck, splattering the bystanders in blood. The old man crumpled at Master’s feet, red puddling into the ground. Darnel, ignoring the screams coming from the on-lookers, turned to Ben, his blue eyes flashing with rage.

“I’ll expect you to convince them to accept my offer. If there are others who wish to join the messenger at my dragon’s dinner, don’t hesitate to comply.”

Ben nodded, then motioned for a couple of soldiers to escort the remaining group inside. Bezoar ordered the body to be dumped in the pit and the messenger to be taken to the holding cell until the dragon’s feeding time.

Princess moved to follow Ben when a strong hand clamp down on her arm. Darnel yanked her around so she was face to face with him.

“It’s your fault that man died.”

She started to protest that he had the dagger not her, but he cut off her words.

“Stupid child. When will you learn that I mean to sever anything or anyone who denies my authority? If you refuse to serve me, I will find other means of curbing your disloyalty.”

From behind her, the messenger yelled, “Don’t give in, freedom is at hand!”

She watched as the soldiers dragged him to the dungeon.

Darnel gripped her chin, his fingers still wet with the man’s blood. He turned her face back to his. “You are running out of time, daughter. My patience with you wanes.”

“Will you also feed me to the dragon, Master?” she asked, emboldened by the messenger’s chants of Freedom! filling her heart.

“I’ll not give you such an easy way out, my dear.” He shoved her away, then strolled toward the castle with his governors following. The troll-man kept looking back over his shoulder at her, smirking.

Princess reached into the inner pocket she’d sewn into all her skirts and pulled out a small golden disk which fit perfectly inside the palm of her hand. A tree had been engraved on one side. The other side had a fire flame surrounded by what might be a burst of light. Her medallion was similar to the messenger’s yet different.

“For freedom!” He continued to chant. Suddenly, the sound of a loud smack brought complete silence from within.

There wasn’t much time. She needed to hurry.