BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

BORN OF PERSUASION by JESSICA DOTTA REVIEWED




BORN OF PERSUASION
By Jessica Dotta
Published by Tyndall
ISBN#978-1-4143-7555-7
427 Pages

Back Cover:  The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

Review:  I’m thankful for a review copy of a book that plunged me into the middle of the Victorian Era and captivated my mind, and emotions. I agonized with main character Julia Elliston’s challenge. Her world turned upside down by the death of her mother. “She is orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands and/or guardians, Julia would soon discover she is at the mercy of an anonymous guardian, one who planed to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.”

 Julie goes to Am Meer to be with her Aunt and cousin. The only family she had. There she meets a woman who’s a match maker. She tells Julie she can find her a husband before she’s shipped off to Scotland for a nice price, decisions, decisions what would Julie do?

I hung on every word as the drama unfolded for the reader at the same time the main character learned her fate. Just when I thought I had things figured out the tale would morph into something I hadn’t expected. I was drawn into this authors’ world through her writing style, description, and she evoked deep emotion within my spirit. I lost all track of all time.

Julie thinks after she arrives at Am Meer, “Secrets I had kept. Lies I had told. All to protect two people who had ended up betraying me in every possible manner. My very flesh recoiled at the thought of being considered a frivolous youth, and it wrought a change in my countenance.

You gravely mistake me, then.” I said in a hard voice, ready to gather my shirts and leave.”

Later on in the story Julie says, “…I realized how much we’d lost over a simple misunderstanding. I have found that those who try to shield us from the truth, regardless of the reason, end up doing the greatest harm. Truth alone sets you free, not lies and omissions.”

I was hooked from the first page, you will be too. It says, “Later, when I allowed myself to confront the memories, to dwell on the particulars, I realized my arrival at Am Meer marked the beginning.

Not the mysterious letter that drained the life from Mama. Not her suicide….For those happenings were not my story. I was sinless there. They were the end result of events set in motion long before I arrived at the cottage. I could no more have stopped their unfolding than I could have prevented my own birth.”

This book is absolutely entertaining and brilliantly written, with lovable flawed characters. Full of witty dialogue that opened windows into a world of intriguing mystery as this author explores love, faith and honor. Jane Austen fans will love this instant classic that dropped me into all the richness of the Victorian Era. I highly recommend this book for a great read and a book club pick. You’ll have to leave extra time to talk about all the drama inside these pages. This is Jessica Dotta’s debut novel. It’s a must read and this author is one to watch.

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

JEN TURANO UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL - 10 Book Giveaway Opportunity - A Most Peculiar Circumstance




ABOUT AUTHOR: Jen Turano, critically-acclaimed author of A Change of Fortune and A Most Peculiar Circumstance, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles.  She is a member of ACFW and makes her home outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband and teenage son.  Visit her website at www.jenturano.com

What inspired you to write A Most Peculiar Circumstance?

Mr. Theodore Wilder was the driving force behind the creation of A Most Peculiar Circumstance.  He was such a fun character to write in A Change of Fortune, that I knew he had to have his own story almost from the moment he appeared on the page of that book.  The problem was I didn't quite know who I was going to create to pair him up with considering he has such a contrary personality.  Miss Arabella Beckett popped to mind while writing A Change of Fortune, and I thought it would be rather amusing to write her as a suffragist and put her into direct proximity with Theodore.  Sparks were certain to fly and their initial disdain for each other allowed me a lot of opportunities to develop their characters.  I've always been a fan of stories where opposites attract, and Arabella and Theodore didn't disappoint in that regard.

Women dressed very differently in the 1880’s.  What do you think you’d enjoy wearing?  What do you think you’d dislike wearing?

Society ladies who lived in New York City during the Gilded Age changed their outfits numerous times per day.  There were morning dresses, dresses made for paying calls, and spectacular evening gowns that were a must for going to dinners, operas or balls.  I would have enjoyed the evening wear because I do like to dress up, and would have certainly enjoyed traveling to Paris to secure these gowns, especially from the House of Worth.  However, wearing corsets paired with bustles would not have been pleasant in the least.  Breathing was difficult, as was sitting, and in the summer, I’m quite sure corsets were plastered to a lady’s skin with perspiration, something that wouldn't have been exactly pleasant.  I wouldn't have minded the hats, but while doing research, I discovered that there were entire species of birds that were brought almost to extinction because of ladies demanding bird feathers attached to their fashionable creations which was rather disturbing to learn, so…hmmm…maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed the hats now that I think about it.


What has surprised you the most about being an author?

I think the thing that has surprised me the most about being an author is the reaction of the readers.  They've been fabulous and incredibly enthusiastic about my stories.  I love when they write to me and want to discuss the characters and tell me what books they’d like to see from me in the future.  I wasn't expecting so much support and encouragement and it’s been beyond anything I could have imagined.


Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on now?  When will it be out?

This week I’m going back and looking over book four in the Ladies of Distinction Series.  I finished it months ago and it’s due soon to the publisher, so I’m giving it a last polish.  It’s Miss Agatha Watson’s story and she’s gotten herself in a bit of trouble which has caused her to leave New York City for a spell until it’s safe for her to return.  While she’s in Colorado sniffing out a story, she runs into Mr. Zayne Beckett, the gentleman she’s always held dear to her heart, but a gentleman who left her for another lady.  To her amazement and dismay, she finds him in a rather sad state and not behaving at all like the Zayne she’d come to adore.  Getting him back to New York leads them into one misadventure after another, and to add a bit of sweetness to this story, I've included an adorable pink pig by the name of Matilda.  The book is due to release sometime in 2014.  I've also recently finished a first draft of another book, currently untitled, but this one centers around a young lady by the name of Miss Harriet Peabody.  She works in a hat shop, has a rather mysterious past, and she strikes a deal with Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, one of the most powerful and wealthy gentleman in the country (he’s sort of based off of Andrew Carnegie,) and from the moment they strike their deal, mayhem begins.  

Your bio says you were a manager for many years; can you tell us what you did?  How did you make the change from manager to author? 

Jen's son Dominic Paddle boarding
 I got my first retail job the day I turned sixteen at a local department store, L.L. Good & Company.  My first day was black Friday and I was given the daunting task of working in cosmetics.  It was hilarious.  I didn't know anything about expensive cosmetics and all of the products were stored in drawers, so it made for a very interesting first day.  I decided to pursue a career in fashion because of this part-time job, and once I graduated from college, I went back into department stores, first working in a buying office and then moving out into management.  
When my husband and I moved to Rochester, New York, I began working for B. Forman, a family owned department store and my job there was that of store manager.  We employed a cast of true characters, from the lady who worked in dresses who could only work until five because her husband had to have a cocktail at six and couldn't drive after that, to the elderly lady who worked in sportswear who had a slight case of Parkinson’s but who snuck her coffee out onto the sales floor everyday even though her shaking caused her to leave a tell-tale trail of coffee after her.  She pretended it wasn't hers, I pretended I didn't see it, and the maintenance man pretended it was a normal occurrence for him to mop that particular stretch of marble every time she worked.  My job was to oversee the entire store, as well as employees, and also help department managers with merchandising their areas.  We offered free gift wrap at our store, so there were many times when I had to help there when we were short-staffed, even though I readily admit I’m not the best at wrapping, something our customers were always quick to point out.

Jen's husband Al on recent vacation
The company was bought out by the May Company, but instead of simply coming in and taking over the store, they decided to close it down.  I’d never been involved with a going-out-of business sale, and quite frankly, I never want to go through that again.  A liquidation company came in to run the sale, all of our policies changes, especially in regard to customer service, and it seemed to me as if our old customers emptied out their closets and decided to try and bring back everything they’d ever purchased at our store even though we were no longer accepting returns.  The end of my career came when a woman marched in with a mink coat slung over her arm, threw it on the counter, demanded $10,000 for it, and when I told her we weren't taking returns any longer (and that we hadn't carried mink for over fifteen years) she hit me over the head with her overly large purse, and right there and then I decided I’d had enough of retail.  My husband and I decided we might as well get around to starting a family, and a year later, my son, Dominic was born.  I settled in to being a stay at home mom, although I must admit it was a little odd to go from being a career woman to spending all my time at playgrounds, but I wouldn't have changed a thing about spending all that time with my son.  

When he reached third grade, we finished book six in this series about birds, and I have to say, it was a bit of a struggle to get through that book (and I have yet to admit to my son that there are at least seven more books in that particular series.)  After we read the last page, Dominic looked at me and announced that the stories I used to tell him to keep him occupied in his jogger stroller while I got a bit of exercise were more interesting and we decided to write our own book.  That was the beginning of my pursuit of a writing career.  I loved using my brain again, loved creating outlandish characters, and tried many different genres before I finally settled on historical romance, something I read most often.  I had tons of scathing rejections at first, which caused me to really buckle down and learn my craft, and then I finally signed with Mary Sue Seymour of the Seymour agency and she very kindly sold my work to Bethany House.  It’s been an absolute blast so far and I've been very fortunate to discover a new career that I truly love.  

What movie affected you most when you were young?
Jen w/sister Tricia

The Apple Dumpling Gang was my favorite movie when I was young.  My older sister took me to see it at the drive-in theater, and there was just something magical about that night.  We put blankets on top of our station wagon, got huge buckets of popcorn and sodas, and the movie had both of us laughing out loud numerous times.  

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?
Son Dominic snow-boarding

I definitely wouldn't want to take over the role of cook because everyone would starve pretty quickly since I’m a horrendous cook.  I like to build things though, so perhaps I’d take over the job of securing everyone shelter, although I don’t think I’d be up for building anything like what was found in The Swiss Family Robinson movie.  That would be cool, but way beyond what I’m capable of crafting.









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

I’d go back to when my mom and dad were still alive and just spend more time with them.  There are so many things that we never got to say to each other, and I’d love to be able to see their faces once again and hear them laugh.

What was your favorite suspense show on TV when you were growing up?  Why was it your favorite?  If you didn't watch TV, what were your favorite books?
Jen with Brother and Sister

When I was younger, we only got two TV stations out where we lived, so I didn't watch much TV at all.  (We also had to walk to school, uphill both ways and…well, okay, that’s not really true.)  My favorite show was Bonanza because I had a huge crush on Little John, but I spent more time reading.  My favorites were Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and my mom’s old collection of Beverly Gray books.  When I reached my teens, I began to read light romances, and then my mom lent me her copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, and I've been hooked on historical romances ever since.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS JEN?
It’s been an honor being here and I’d like to take a moment to thank the readers.  I do hope all of you will enjoy A Most Peculiar Circumstance, as well as the other stories in The Ladies of Distinction Series.  My hope is that my stories will make you smile, or better yet, laugh out loud.
Jen


10 Book Giveaway @TBCN www.bookfun.org 

Thanks Jen for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your new book. THRILLED that Bethany House has a 10 Book Giveaway Opportunity at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK Right Now!! 

HOP on Over to TBCN www.bookfun.org and ENTER TODAY!! All entries are to be made there. 

You can encourage Jen here or hop on over and join the discussion with Jen! It's great fun!

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

ANN GABHART UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL INTERVIEW - GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



 ABOUT AUTHOR: ANN H. GABHART’S first published works were personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems in church periodicals, but then she wrote a novel and her course was set. That first novel turned out to be only practice and was never published, but over twenty of her books for both adults and young adults have been published since that time. In 2005, her first inspirational novel, The Scent of Lilacs, was released, and she set out on a new path of writing historical fiction where she could not only share her characters’ stories, but also weave in their faith journeys along their story trail. Ann has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. The Gifted is the fifth book set in her Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky with her husband, Darrell. They have three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit her website, www.annhgabhart.com

   What inspired you to write Small Town girl?

Small Town Girl is a follow-up story to Angel Sister. It's not exactly a sequel since the story moves ahead in time five years and is a stand-alone story, but if you want to read both books, it would be more fun to read them in order. So to answer what inspired me to write Small Town Girl, I have to go back to when I wrote Angel Sister. A few years ago I was having difficulty selling any of my work and I made the decision to write something I knew really well but also that I loved. The result was Scent of Lilacs, the first book in my Heart of Hollyhill series set in Small Town, America in the 1960s, my growing up years. That went fairly well for me, so when I was casting about for a new idea, I thought about my mother's growing up years. My mother and her three sisters were always telling stories about growing up during the Great Depression. So I decided to write "their" story. The events were all fiction, but the background came straight from my mother's and my aunts' stories.  I loved the characters so much that they kept hanging around in my imagination. They had more adventures to live and more stories to tell. So I brought them back in Small Town Girl. I departed more from my mother's background here as the sisters followed their own fictional identities and began walking down romantic pathways. But I still see a lot of my mother in Kate’s character. In the picture attached are my mother and her older sister, the one I modeled Evie on in the Rosey Corner books. Mom is on the right.

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

I didn't start out writing Christian Fiction. My first thirteen books were published in the general market. Two were historical romances for adults and eleven were coming of age stories for young people. I had sort of glanced over at the Christian fiction market from time to time, but I didn't feel I could write for that market. I wanted to tell stories, not preach. That shows how little I knew about the Christian market. Sometimes the Lord is able to use what's happening in a person's life to push her over to where maybe she needed to be all along. Several years of rejections did that for me. I finally decided to write a book about what I knew and what I knew was small towns and country churches. But even then I wasn't really focusing on the Christian market. I was simply trying to write the best story I could. That story turned out to be Scent of Lilacs about a preacher and his family. Bible stories and verses were sprinkled throughout as part of the story, and so my agent, at the time, decided to submit the story to a Christian publisher, Revell Books. I'm so glad she did because I love writing for the Christian market. I like being able to tell my stories and weave in my characters' faith journeys. What we believe is very important to who we are. I like being able to write a story I enjoy writing and not have editors tell me they can't buy my books because they're "too clean." I like being able to write encouraging story-lines that can touch readers’ hearts and perhaps make them think about their own faith journeys. I especially like getting e-mails that tell me this or that story helped the reader step closer to the Lord. I think the Lord opened this story pathway for me and I'm only sorry I didn't decide to explore this genre sooner.

Can you share your testimony with us?

I was an extremely shy little girl. People who know me now find that hard to believe, but it was true. It's also true that from the time I was that shy little girl I always felt the Lord was watching over me. With love and kindness. My father didn't believe in going to church and that made it difficult for my mother to attend church. An aunt took her and her sisters to church when she was a child. She did take us to Sunday school some of the time when we were very young. Then I remember going to Bible School in the summers. My sisters both made decisions for Christ at these Bible schools, but I was way too shy to step out into the aisle and walk to the front. I wanted to, but I was paralyzed in place. Even after I got old enough and started driving myself to church I still didn't have the courage to make that walk down the aisle to shake the preacher's hand. I married young, had a baby when I was seventeen. I remember sitting at the hospital admitting desk while having labor pains and answering the woman's questions. She asked if I was a church member. I was not and having to say that made me feel so sad. I wanted to be able to say yes, I was a Christian and a church member in good standing. My husband’s family was always active in their church, and after we married, my husband and I went to church every Sunday. So I did go to church, but I hadn't done that one thing the Bible says we must and that is to confess Him before man. After I had my baby and got back to church, I waited for the invitation hymn, "Just as I Am" and then I did step out into the aisle and go forward just as I was – a young mother and wife who had always loved the Lord and finally was willing to brave the terrors of that church aisle to confess that truth. I found then and ever since that the Lord is always there to give you courage and strength.

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



I love sneak peeks! I'm actually busily working on another Rosey Corner book. Those Merritt sisters from Angel Sister and Small Town Girl just keep having more stories to share. Again I have moved forward in time about four years until after World War II. Now the sisters are trying to settle down into their new lives after the upheaval of the war years. The working title is Home to Rosey Corner, but I expect that to change. I just have no idea what it's going to change to. I'm the type of writer who likes to finish a book and then find it the right title. It will be out sometime in the summer of 2014. Before that I have a Shaker Christmas book coming out, Christmas at Harmony Hill. It has a Civil War era setting and I’m bringing back a character I loved, Sister Sophrena. She was the Shaker sister who wrote the journal entries in The Gifted. Now we get the rest of her story. 


The book releases on my birthday, September 15. How about that for a great birthday present? Orchard of Hope, my second Heart of Hollyhill book is being reissued in October with Summer of Joy, the last of the Hollyhill books to be reissued in February or March. You can see that this has been a very busy year for me and a fun one. I love having new books out for readers.


What fascinated you and/or surprised you in your research for this book?

When I originally began researching the historical background for Small Town Girl, I thought I would be following some of the characters overseas to the war. The story took a bit of a different direction, but I did read quite a bit about World War II. I am always humbled by the courage of our soldiers. After Pearl Harbor, men all over the country lined up to enlist. At times that word “men” was something of an exaggeration. Boys of seventeen got their parents to sign for them to enlist or they lied about their age. Boys of eighteen and nineteen piloted bombing raids and went to sea on Navy battleships or drove tanks across Africa and Europe. The men, young and old, showed great courage under fire. They stormed beaches and died by the thousands. But they made a difference and the survivors kept lining up for the next battle until the war was won. While we often say these men were ready to die for their country and for freedom, which they were, it became something more personal for them. The men in their units became like brothers and whether they actually liked each other or not, they stood shoulder to shoulder to fight the enemy, ready to die for one another.  

The part of my research that I did use in Small Town Girl was the way the country came together after Pearl Harbor. It was no longer a war over there. Now it was all Americans pulling together to make whatever sacrifices it took to win the war. This generation of people had been made tough by living through the Great Depression and that toughness showed when their country was threatened. I don’t know that reading about that surprised me, but it did renew my respect and thankfulness for what Tom Brokaw called “the greatest generation.”


FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

What was your favorite suspense show on T.V. when you were growing up? Why is it your favorite? If you didn't watch TV what were your favorite books?

Did they have T.V. way back then? Actually I can remember when my parents got their first T.V. A black and white model. Color televisions mostly just looked sort of pink back when I was a kid. Our black and white T.V. screen was probably smaller than an average computer monitor these days, but we thought it was fantastic. I'm trying to remember suspense shows. Not sure Perry Mason would qualify as suspense. There was the Twilight Zone. That gave me nightmares many a night. I still remember the show about this neck scarf that somehow came to life (don't remember the exact details, thank goodness) and choked the women who wore it. I’m thinking that might be why I've never been a big fan of neck scarves. LOL. Also, it could be shows like that are why I've always liked books better that television! Hardy Boy mystery books were the reason I first picked up a pen. I wanted to solve a mystery the way they did and so I began writing my own mystery. Lots of words under the bridge since then, but that was the beginning.

 If money isn't an issue and you could go and do anything you've dreamed of doing what would you do?
Ann's Grandchildren

What would I do? It's hard to wrap my mind around the "if money isn't an issue." Or maybe my dreams are more on the ordinary side where money really isn't an issue. I've always, always wanted to write. And I'm doing that now. I wouldn't mind being a little younger so I could look forward to more writing years, but money won't turn back the clock. I love my family and my grandchildren are a sweet blessing, but money didn't buy that either. I might build that dream home with a library to hold all the books I have stacked everywhere. I might fly to the Canadian Rockies and on to Alaska. I might spend a few weeks on one of those quiet islands off the east coast. I guess if money's no object, I can just buy that island and invite the whole family to come enjoy a vacation time. But then when would I do this writing I love to do?

 Can you name two jobs that would surprise people?
Ann with the chickens
Do you mean two jobs I've done?  If so, then readers might be surprised to know that I grew up on a farm and still live on a farm. A farm kid has lots of jobs including feeding the chickens and bottle feeding a lamb now and again. Actually chickens were my first writing pay. I won 100 baby chicks when I was in the sixth grade by writing an essay on why I wanted the chickens. That helped me see that hey, this writing could pay off. LOL. After I married, my husband and I raised tobacco. While tobacco is not politically correct these days, that acre of tobacco helped us pay the bills on the farm. At that time, tobacco was a cash crop for many small farmers and helped keep the family farm a part of the Kentucky scene for many years. Now very few people raise tobacco here in Kentucky, and I don't miss working in it even a little bit. I also worked a while for the school board in my county, getting up early in the morning to arrange substitutes for teachers who were sick or out for whatever reasons. It was not a fun job, but it did allow me to have time for writing in the middle of the day. I was extremely happy to quit that job too.

If you have a weekend off and can do whatever you’d like, what would that be?

Read, read, read. That is, if the grand-kids can't come home to visit. Then it would be play, play, play!






ANN, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
Ann with Author friends

I love talking about books and writing, so naturally I’m a big fan of book clubs. I've never had the opportunity to be in a book club – until now. I’m very happy to be here and part of this fun book club on line with all of you. Thanks for inviting me over to visit with you. I hope you’ll enjoy your glimpse into my writing life and life down here on the farm. You can get more of that every week on my blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com or by signing up for my occasional newsletter. I appreciate each and every one of you who chooses to read one of my books. I hope you will enjoy reading more about the Merritt family in Small Town Girl. I’ll watch for your reviews and comments. Thanks, Nora, for the great interview. I know we’ll be talking again on down the writing road.

Ann

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books Ann. Thanks for all the fun pictures to share with readers too!  I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th JULY. Looking forward to it.

JOIN ANN and I AT THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK for this great contest (www.bookfun.org). I can't wait to see the answers to the three questions that Ann has for you!

THANKS ANN!!

ALL ENTRIES are to be made at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org (Must be a member to join - It's FREE and EASY to join!)

SEE YOU ALL THERE 

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


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Nora :o)
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MISERY LOVES COMPANY by RENE GUTTERIDGE REVIEWED




Misery Loves Company
By Rene Gutteridge
Published by Tyndall
368 Pages

Back Cover: Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.
Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.

Review: I was thrilled to receive a review copy of a Rene Gutteridge book that blew me away! OhMyGosh! This story is well crafter, multilayered and fascinating!

This novel gives readers a peek into a writer’s world. It’s a glimpse into how some do their musing thru a famous author named Patrick Reagan. I loved Rene’s wit, her rich plot and characters I instantly cared for!

In order to cope with the death of her Police Officer husband, Jules Belleno turns to blogging. She writes her feelings and thoughts down daily. She gives her weekly views on books too!  All this is strategically intermingled in a serious police drama as they try to solve a murder mystery. This author had me at the edge of my seat as I quickly flipped the pages to find out who done it.

Jules’s father is retired Lt. Colonel who reads his daughters blog and reviews. It’s the only way he can connect with her and get an insight into why she does the things she does. He sees she’s talented and pushes her to get paid for the work she does. Jules blows it off. That’s not why she writes! Will her father ever get her?

When the Lt. Colonel knocks on the door no one answers! Her car is in the garage. That’s odd she’s always home. Jules father visits her the same time and day every week. He calls a police friend to come over and check the place out. He knew something wasn’t right - his daughter was missing.

Chris Downey stops by. The Lt. lets him in. He checks out Jules blog, her facebook page and email.  Jule’s father had warned her about writing personal things on social media sites. But it was her passion to write. Lt. said, “Sometimes I don’t know my daughter unless I read all that blog junk. I try, but there’s always this wall between us…I think all this technology is ruining everything about our society. But don’t get me started.”

Chris replies, “I was able to get on her facebook page and her blog. If someone was following her posts, they could pretty easily figure out the pattern. And she is definitely a pattern girl.”

This author brings up very serious concerns about blogging, social media and writing reviews that got my attention. Rene takes readers on a surprising journey with much to think about along the way. Loved it!

Jules says to someone she meets, “You read my blog?”

Stranger says, “Isn’t that the point? That people read it? Don’t you hope they get to know you?...If you’d known I’d been reading it, would you have perhaps chosen your words more carefully?” This will make you think about your next media post!

I loved when Jules, who is a book person, says, “While we’re reading words, they’re making magic happen and that magic lands right in your heart, were it’s there forever.” I’ve felt that way about many of Rene’s books. It’s one of the reasons I read Christian Fiction.

I whole heartedly agree with Rene when her character said this about books. These characters and the message of this novel landed in my heart, mind and soul. This novel is an important read for those who blog, write reviews and use social media. I highly recommend this as a great summer read. and a book club pick. There is so much to talk about. It’s a must read! Just saying!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


A FLOAT by ERIN HEALY REVIEWED



A FLOAT
By Erin Healy
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN#978-1-4016-8552-2
356 Pages

Back Cover: Dark waters are rising. Who will stay afloat?
Architect Vance Nolan has crafted a marvel—shining apartments floating in the peaceful cove of a winding river. The project is partially occupied and about to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way.

Torrential rains quickly flood the cove, leaving a handful of builders, investors, and residents cut off from the rest of the world. The motley group is bitterly divided over how to survive.

Vance insists they wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single-mom Danielle Clement, obligated to each man and desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, isn't sure which one is wiser.

Power failure, an unnatural daytime darkness, explosions, and a murder expose hidden intentions and dark histories. Then Simeon spots something strange underwater—beautiful, shifting lights in the dark depths.
In this watery world, everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light. And deliverance may mean more than just getting out alive.

REVIEW:  I’m thankful for the review copy of a suspenseful tale that had my full attention as I turned the pages until the wee hours of the night. This is a fast-paced, heart-felt story I had a hard time putting down. This author does a great job of meshing mystery, suspense and faith together with characters I instantly cared for!

I like how this author talks about how people respond in a tragedy. Just watching the show survivor gives viewers a peek into how the human spirit is diverse and how each of us go through the same circumstance differently.

Pete says to Vance and his Dad, “You’d think that in this day and age meteorologists would be smarter.”

“They’re not the problem,” Dad said, “the real stinker is that in this day and age we think we know more than we really do. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded now and then how little we actually control.”

Vance recalls this conversation with his brother and Dad years ago. It applied to him today as he faced the storm. Vance is the manager of this project. He knew better than anyone the layout of the buildings and how things were built. He seeks advice from his friend, Zeke. “How do I know the right thing to do?”

“The same way you have always known. You ask God. You wait. You listen for the wisdom that drowns out fear and brings peace to your heart. I think you’ve already done all this, haven’t you?” Zeke continues after he sees Vance nod, “So for now at least, you know you’re doing what you must do.”

“Is it enough?” Vance replies.

“Is it enough? That’s the question of a man who thinks that waiting is the weaker activity. But patience requires the strength of Hercules.” I’ll Amen that! I like how this author naturally weaves the spiritual thread into this novel.

This book is unlike all the disaster movies that have been out lately because of the spiritual element she brings out in the story. I also liked how this author described water as these characters are facing a flood. “In the Bible, rain could bring a destructive flood or a fall-on-you-knees relief after seven years of drought. Water could drown an enemy horde or heal a man’s leprosy. It could be turned into blood; it could be turned to wine. It harbored death and it delivered life.”

People are seeking refuge in building 12, the only completed building in this project. Each was hoping to survive as they watched the tragedy around them play out. They pondered their next move as the rains are hammering down on the building.

Single mom, Danielle Clement’s listens to her young son, Simeon tell her about the angels he saw when he was under water; before they reached a dry surface and what they said to him. Tony Dean, developer of this project and close friend of his mom don’t believe the boy. They think he’s a kid with a great imagination. What does he know about angels? But Vance and his friend Zeke’s spirits are encouraged and believe what Simeon is telling them and ask some questions.

How do people respond in the middle of a tragedy? Let me count the ways. Things get more stressful and emotional as each person’s security is threatened and/or stripped away from them all together. Each member of this small group tries to come up with a plan to combat these uncontrollable events. Through all this the author gives a peek at how God works in mysterious ways and how He’s ways are definitely not ours. “God might not reveal himself to each of us equally, or even in similar ways.”

Some people don’t take the time to stop and listen to that still small voice but plunge ahead trying to save themselves with little regard to the people around them. Some turn to God for the very first time. God uses all things in our lives for his Glory and our good if we let Him.

This book gives a peek into the supernatural powers at work around us. It also reminds us of our eternal hope in Jesus no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. I highly recommend this novel as a book club pick; there is so much in here to talk about. It’s also a great fun and thought provoking summer read.

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

RODNEY PEAVY'S INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY




ABOUT BOOK: Have you thought about adopting, but been stymied by the many questions flooding your mind? Could I love an adopted child as I would one born to me? What if there are emotional problems? Would my family accept my adopted children? 

Rodney Peavy answers these questions and tells the story of how his adoptive family came together.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Rodney Peavy is a native of the state of Georgia. He currently serves as pastor of Washington Heights Baptist Church in Thomson, Georgia. He has served on staff in church ministry since the age of eighteen in varying capacities, including youth ministry, and in both associate and senior pastor positions in churches across central Georgia. He currently pastors a church in Monroe, GA.

Reverend Peavy's educational background includes a master's degree in Theological Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, a bachelor's degree in Christian Education and an Associate's Degree of Divinity from the Baptist College of Florida, an associate's degree from Truett McConnell College, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Grace Bible Institute in his hometown of Buford, Georgia, in 2011.

Married to Beverly Peavy since 1997, the two of them have built a family through the process of adoption. The Peavy's adopted children are Christian, Carlos, Tosha and Joshua. This book is their story. 


CHECK OUT RODNEY PEAVY'S INTERVIEW at BOOK FUN MAGAZINE

CLICK LINK BELOW

http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/i/141120 It's on PAGE 50 in Book Fun Magazine.


 1. Have an Adoption Story of your own. Know of an adoption story that encouraged you? 

2. Are you adopted? 

3. Know someone who has adopted children and it has encouraged you?

4. You've read Rodney's interview and want to share what you enjoyed most about it.
DO TELL!! 

To be entered into the drawing for a signed copy of his book 

(3 Copies will be available)

PLEASE Share the answer to one of the above questions.

If you don't want a copy of the book you can encourage Pastor Peavy in his ministry he is a pastor in Monroe GA.

THANKS Pastor Rodney for sharing your story with us. I appreciate your transparency in the story, I've enjoyed working with you and meeting your family!

Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for letting us get to know you, your family and your story!

A name will be picked on JULY 15th. PLEASE LEAVE your EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you if your name is picked.

Sincerely,

Nora  :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

NIV REAL LIFE DEVOTIONAL BIBLE FOR WOMEN - FIRST CHAPTER

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 Insight Notes author is:


and the book:

Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.

Visit the author's website.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
This Bible will help you live up to your God-given potential. Insightful daily devotions written by the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries help you maintain life's balance in spite of today's hectic pace. Dive into the beauty and clarity of the NIV Bible text paired with daily devotions crafted by women just like you---women who want to live authentically and fully grounded in the Word of God.






Product Details:
List Price: $34.99
Hardcover: 1536 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310439361
ISBN-13: 978-0310439363

NOTE: I didn't sign up for this tour but I thought this was very interesting and wanted to share it with you!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

AND NOW...SOME SAMPLE PAGES (CLICK ON PAGES TO ENLARGE): 









JULY ISSUE OF BOOK FUN MAGAZINE IS NOW "LIVE" READY TO ENJOY



JULY ISSUE of BOOK FUN MAGAZINE now is LIVE Check it 

out its FREE!!


Filled with fun and surprises!!

http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/t/22572 


HAPPY 4th 

ENJOY READING!!

Nora :o)