BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

LAST DAY TO ENTER CONTEST at TBCN 20 Book Giveaway

5 Book Giveaway
Kellie Coates Gilbert

10 Book Giveaway

David & Beverly Lewis

5 Book Giveaway
Rebecca DeMarino

LAST DAY TO ENTER THIS CONTEST!! Beverely and Kellie have been stopping by and entering into a discusssion with readers! Fun!

GO TO THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org to enter Drawing.

Answer ONE of the questions to be entered into the contest!!



HAPPY READING!!

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

CHRIS FABRY CHRISTY AWARD NOMINEE at ICRS




ABOUT AUTHOR: CHRIS FABRY says:  I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems, songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.

In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.

My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a Christy Award, as well as the 2011 Christian Book Award for Fiction.

NORA: I caught up with Chris Fabry on the ICRS floor right before his book signing for Every Waking Moment. It was nominated for a Christy Award in the Contemporary Fiction category. I was thrilled to learn that June Bug was being made into a film. We did this book for book club. It's a powerful read. There is so much to talk about!! I highly recommend it.



CHRIS:  What if this is as good as life gets? Are you okay with that?

This question has haunted me over the past few years. Five years ago we moved to the desert for health reasons. Looking for recovery in a dry and thirsty land. And I realized my soul was more thirsty than anything.

Every Waking Moment is my effort to take some of the pain and loss of life and sift it through the life of a young woman who's been marginalized in society, working among people who are marginalized (the elderly). This character, Treha, has an extraordinary gift that few observe because she's "different."

Like most of my tales, it's a love story, a mystery, part thriller--but mostly a character sketch of lonely people looking for hope. And it's my intent that you find hope and meaning for your own life through Treha's journey.

ABOUT BOOK EVERY WAKING MOMENT: Treha Langsam is a mysterious young woman who has fallen through the cracks, much like many of the elderly people she works with at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. But Miriam Howard, director of the facility, sees her extraordinary gift and untapped potential. Treha is a whisperer of sorts, calling those who have slipped into dementia back to a life of vibrant, if only temporary, clarity.

When Treha’s and Miriam’s stories intertwine with a documentary team looking for stories of the elderly, Treha’s gift is uncovered, and the search begins for answers to the mysteries of her past. As their paths converge, each person is forced to face the same difficult question: What if this is as good as my life gets?

An uplifting, human tale of an ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift.

If you haven't read any of Chris Fabry's books you need to treat yourself. I'd start with June Bug! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Chris!! Congrats on your nomination!

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org

AUTHORS I MET and/or heard about at ICRS ATLANTA GA

My husband and were able to attend the International Christian Retailer Show this past week June 22-25th. It was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta Georgia.

It was fun to catch up with authors books I've loved and discover books and authors I've never read. For the next couple of days. I'm going to introduce to you the authors I met and how much fun we had.




ABOUT AUTHOR: Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.

ABOUT BOOK: “I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.

I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.

Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

Question listed on Lori Benton’s Amazon page I thought you’d be interested in.

Q. What first sparked your interest to write Burning Sky?

A. When I began researching the 18th century history of what would become the United States, almost at once I was drawn away from the populated seaboard settings to the sparsely settled periphery—the mountain and over-mountain frontier—where cultures inevitably collided, in friendship, trade, and war. What captured my imagination were those individuals who were drawn across those cultural barriers and not only survived the encounter, but thrived, in some cases learning to straddle that line between two worlds.

The Mohawk Valley of New York—before, during, and after the Revolutionary War—is a setting rife with such encounters, played out against the greater conflict of what amounted to a civil war. I couldn’t resist learning more about these men and women—European, African, and Native American—who survived profound losses, made wrenching choices, and saw their families and communities fractured by violence and upheaval, leaving them to redefine their identities as nations, neighbors, kin, and individuals.


I began writing Burning Sky in 2009, but because I let a story germinate for months before writing, I can’t recall exactly when the character of Willa Obenchain first came to me. What I do recall is that a vision of a solitary woman on a journey, somewhere on the New York frontier, intruded upon me as I was going about my day. She was tall and strong, and she bore a carrying basket on her back. And somewhere, I was fairly certain, a collie was lurking.



ABOUT BOOK: Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love

In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.

Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

Check in again and we'll be talking about another author and their books. Some good for your next book club pick and others you'll want to read just for fun!

I'd LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU READ EITHER OF THESE NOVELS!! 

What made them special? Why did you love them? What grabbed your interest? Do tell!!

Until Next Time!

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

CHRISTY AWARD WINNERS BOOK COVERS





BURNING SKY was a BIG WINNER that night.

Lori Benton won FIRST NOVEL Award - HISTORICAL FICTION Award and BOOK of the YEAR AWARD!!

CONTEMPORARY WINNER
Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE - SUSPENSE
Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

FIRST NOVEL
Burning Sky Lori Bentoin

HISTORICAL FICTION
Burning Sky by Lori Benton

HISTORICAL ROMANCE FICTION
Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar

SUSPENSE FICTION
Outlaw by Ted Dekker

VISIONARY FICTION
Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl


 More pictures from the Christy Awards night will be following. I'll also be posting pictures of the authors that I met at the ICRS!! What a fun time meeting all the authors and their books!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org

2014 CHRISTY AWARD WINNERS & FINALISTS


 The Christy Awards were held on June 23rd at the Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia. Master of Ceremonies was Davis Bunn. One of my all time favorite authors. It was a thrill to hear him speak. He was also inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame that night. The Keynote speaker was Marcia Z. Nelson. Excitement was in the air, everyone was dressed up and the food was wonderful!

FICTION CONTEMPORARY CATEGORY the winner
STONES FOR BREAD 
by Christa Parrish
Christa Parrish was unable to accept her award in person

The other nominees were EVERY WAKING MOMENT by Chris Fabry

THE PRAYER BOX by Lisa Wingate

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE-SUSPENSE Winner
DANGEROUS PASSAGE 
By Lisa Harris
Lisa wasn't there that night she lives in Africa
ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck

ROSEMARY COTTAGE by Colleen Coble

VANISHED by Irene Hannon

CONTEMPORARY SERIES Winner
TAKE A CHANCE ON ME 
by Susan May Warren

FIREFLY ISLAND by Lisa Wingate

LOCK, STOCK, and OVER A BARREL by Melody Carlson

FIRST NOVEL the Winner
BURNING SKY
By Lori Benton
This book won BOOK OF YEAR TOO!

Lori was unable to be there to accept her award

 A CAST OF STONES by Patrick W. Carr

DEAR MR. KNIGHTLEY by Katherine Reay

HISTORICAL FICTION Winner 
 BURNING SKY 
By Lori Benton


 SWEET MERCY by Ann Tatlock

ALL FOR A STORY by Allison Pittman
Allison was there more pictures to follow


HISTORICAL ROMANCE WINNER
HARVEST OF GOLD
By Tessa Afshar

STEALING THE PREACHER by Karen Witemeyer

UNDER A BLACKBERRY MOOK by Serena B. Miller

SUSPENSE FICTION WINNER
OUTLAW 
By Ted Dekker

DARK JUSTICE by Brandilyn Collins

SINGULARITY by Steven James

VISIONARY FICTION WINNER
DRAGONWITCH
By Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl was unable to accept her award in person


NUMB by John W. Otte

All in All it was a GREAT NIGHT!! CONGRATS to ALL the Nominees and Winners!! Thanks to Jeane Wynn from Wynn Wynn Media for making this be a special night! I will be posting pictures from that night as soon as they are available!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

ICRS 2014 EXCITING TIMES

My husband and I were thrilled to be able to attend the ICRS Conference held downtown Atlanta this week. The ICRS allowed the public a chance at free tickets to the Change a Life Festival where many inspirational Christian artists gathered.

Attendees of the Change A Life Festival at the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, GA (June 22-25) experienced inspirational messages, worship with top Christian worship leaders, entertainment, family fun, and an opportunity to help Atlanta’s working poor.

When the show started and we walked from the Omni Hotel to the Georgia World of Congress building. I was thankful for these signs that helped us find our way to and from the event! A big thank you for these signs. Grin!

I had read the novelization of this movie by Robin Parrish. It was action filled. The message was all to real and powerful. The movie was just as impactful.

Screening of the movie PERSECUTED Opens in theaters JULY 18th

What a great surprise to meet Erin Bethea today. She played Kirk Cameron's wife in the movie Fireproof. She is now in an animated film called Lesodo Love

Met Rachel Savage long time facebook friend - Fun
Floor of the ICRS 2014 Conference so much to see


I'll be sharing more pictures from this event! There was so much to see and take in for three days and nights. I'm thankful we were able to stay downtown Atlanta and experience all that we could! I'm thankful to all the people that put it together. I'll tell you more as the days pass!!


Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

KELLIE COATES GILBERT UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL 5 Book Giveaway Opportunity





ABOUT AUTHOR: Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure. Kellie's books tell emotionally poignant stories about women in life-changing circumstances. She writes about messy lives . . . and eternal hope. 

Kellie currently makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a very spoiled 2.7 lb. Yorkie named Emmie Sweetpea. 
Visit her online at www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com  


How did you come up with the idea for A Woman of Fortune?

In late 2008, many of us watched as master financier Bernie Madoff’s story unfolded. I couldn’t seem to pull my eyes from the television as the man accused of swindling thousands of innocent victims—including family and friends—out of billions of dollars in the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, was taken from his posh Manhattan apartment in handcuffs and his family became vilified in the media. The events held particular interest for me. In my former role as a legal professional, I helped unravel, what was then, the largest cattle fraud in the United States. I interviewed dozens who were caught in the betrayal and who found themselves and their businesses floundering as a result. These stories fascinate me on many levels, but in particular, I’m intrigued with the families behind the scenes. What is it like for a wife to learn her husband is a criminal? What happens to children when they face that kind of shame? We know, at least in part, what transpired in the Madoff family in the aftermath—fractured relationships, family devastation and suicide. As a novelist, I yearned to explore what might happen if the converse were true. What would the story look like if a strong woman protagonist bucked the odds and used her faith to land on solid ground?

Perhaps I was so intrigued because I spent a lot of time in courtrooms working on high profile cases. People are often at their most vulnerable in these tense situations where much is at stake, and I gained a unique perspective on the human psyche.  Early in my writing career, I recognized there could be value in telling stories about women facing relationship fractures, betrayal, and loss and what it looks like to exhibit strength and dignity in these journeys.

This story is particularly seeped with my legal background. As a legal investigator, I helped unravel the largest cattle fraud in the nation. I spent weeks in the Midwest interviewing and collecting records from farmers and ranchers who had invested with United Producers, a large cattle brokerage outfit. Ultimately, the owner George Young and his office assistant, Kathleen McConnell were imprisoned for many of the things you’ll see showcased in A Woman of Fortune. Last I checked, Mr. Young died in prison and Ms. McConnell was released after serving her sentence.

Nora: This situation grabbed my heart and and attention. I couldn't put this book down. I felt like I was part of this family dealing with the craziness of the situation. I liked how you showed each family member and their reaction to what happened to their father. No everyone handled it the same. Could Claire keep this family together? Would they give the situation to God. Hard times! Thanks for telling us what happened to the man you based the story on. I wondered about that.

From an author’s POV and in developing Claire I ask “Claire enjoys a fabulous life until her husband betrays her and his actions put everything she holds dear at risk.” Why do you think she didn’t see it coming?
Carla Steward, Lisa Wingate, Kellie Coates Gilbert and a friend
Isn’t it interesting how often we’ll see something, hear something, wonder about something—our “insides” send off a warning signal as bright as a yellow caution light on the highway. But, we talk ourselves out of our concern.

Denial can be a powerful tool we try and use to protect our emotions.

Poor Claire, in the early part of the story she maneuvered feeling loyal –scared – angry—protective—confused—depressed—all at the same time.

Those emotions all seem to contradict, but isn’t it true that as women, parts of our character are in conflict? We’re good and bad, smart and silly, brave and frightened . . . sometimes all at the same moment.

Nora: I was fascinated by how you developed all this in Claire and her family.

In A Woman of Fortune, Claire Massey experiences a life event in which her security shifts beneath her feet. Have you ever felt a similar blow? Describe how you made it through.

Claire became so real to me as I journeyed through the creation of this novel. More of my own “stuff” landed on the page than I’d intended, frankly.

My own sensibilities were tested years back when I stood with my little boy in a deli shop waiting for our sandwiches. The room darkened, my vision blurred and I felt . . . well, just icky. Suddenly, I lost the ability to talk and got horribly confused. I was aware of what was happening around me, but the best way I can describe the situation is that I felt “outside myself” watching.

I had a stroke that day, the result of a fairly severe brain bleed. The following months were spent in the hospital with three separate surgeries to correct a tangle of blood vessels that threatened to take my life, or worse, make me a vegetable.

In what felt like an instant, my life was altered. I couldn’t mother my boys, I couldn’t be a friend, I couldn’t work. My head was bald and filled with huge metal staples. Nothing was the same. In the end, I learned a very valuable lesson—God is good, and HE measures my days, not me.

PS – I am fine today, except for a few scar areas and a very bumpy head!

Nora: Oh, wow. How scary. I'm so glad the Lord got you through and you were able to used some of that situation in your book. It was very gripping.

What do you hope readers take away from A Woman of Fortune?

Well, first – I just hope readers enjoy the story. Early readers are telling us the book reminds them of watching a PARENTHOOD or GOOD WIFE episode on television.  As an author, I’m known for creating an emotionally poignant story, with twists the readers never saw coming. This email reflects what I commonly hear from my readers:

“Hi Kellie . . . I just wanted to say your book was touching, gut wrenching and truly amazing at the same time and made me cry a lot. This book made me feel like I knew this family just by reading your book. You’re an amazing writer! It's very hard for me to find the "Right" book to where once I start to read I can't put it down. I finished it and just wanted to let you know I can't wait to read the next one!”
(Readers, you have no idea what your emails and reviews mean to an author!  Thank you for taking the time to give feedback when you read a novel.)

Ultimately though, I’d love women to come away from this novel with a re-calibrated understanding of where (and in Whom) our security rests.

Nora: I did walk way with this and so much more. Grin!


What was your favorite scene in A Woman of Fortune? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

Nora, this question made me pause and really think. Amazingly, I came to realize that the answer to each of these questions is summed up in one scene . . . the final.  I treasure any story that ends in victory, and most especially when the journey before has been rough. I didn’t know how I was going to end this story, but the last line just flowed from my fingers:  “Claire Massey was still a woman of great fortune.”

Strangely the same final scene was my favorite, but also the hardest. I’d spent months with Claire and with her adult children, Garrett, Max and Lainie. I’d felt their emotions, their pain, and their triumph and I just hated to say goodbye.

Nora: I didn't spend months with them but I hated for it to end. I wondered how you were going to end this. I was satisfied and had learned much along the way. Great read!

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

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

The Disney movie BAMBI affected me as a child. My mind was mesmerized by the fact that life could change on a dime, that you could lose a loved one due to someone else’s careless act, and that there was the Prince who would come alongside and protect, guide and fill in the gap. Such a metaphor for Jesus, huh?

Nora: I remember being affected by this movie as well. I felt horrible that Bambi's mother died and he was left all alone.

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? 

Ha – no question. I’d be the PLANNER, the one who took the chaos and made order and created a course of action to follow.

Nora: I'd be the worker bee. 

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

I’d turn the clock back to 1970. I’d be sitting around the table in our ranch house near Sun Valley, Idaho . . . with my family gathered to eat dinner. I’d treasure talking with my dad about when the haying crew was due to arrive and how sheep prices were especially good this year. I’d watch him tell my mother the lamb chops were done just right (smell the garlic?) and see her grin. I’d argue with my little sister over who got the “shiny spoon.” And, in the background I’d hear GUNSMOKE on the television in the living room.

Ah, good memories . . . ones that, at the time, I didn't know would be so fleeting.

Nora : Grin!

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people?

As a teen, I worked at the Sun Valley Lodge and made Ted Kennedy’s bed and picked up his towels off the floor. Oh, and I cleaned a lot of lambing sheds.

Nora: Wow!

Out of all the sounds in the world, which are your favorites?

The sound of my little three and a half year old grandson when I open the door, “Hi Dammy!”

My husband shutting off the bedside lamp before we turn over to sleep. “Love you, Kel.”

My writing partner’s voice on the telephone each morning. “You’ll never believe what I just wrote.”

And the ocean . . . I love the sound of waves.

Nora: Fun!

KELLIE COATES GILBERT, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 

I am one of you . . . an avid reader who loves good books.

I barely remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. My tiny hometown of Carey, Idaho had no library, no bookstore. The bi-weekly bookmobile provided the only avenue to books . . . that, and my Gram, who spent a lot of her Social Security checks on books for her granddaughter with an insatiable appetite for stories.

I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho, a business my family had been in for generations, never dreaming I’d ever see my own name on a novel. I left home to attend Boise State University and spent most of my adult years pursuing a sensible legal career, raising two boys, and learning to be happily married.
But God heard the quiet prayers of a woman who dared to dream big and ask her Lord for the outrageous. In early 2011, I signed my first book contract. Today, I am living my fantasy. I live in Dallas with my husband. I work from home, writing novels.

Thank you for buying and reading my books. Life simply couldn't get much better.
Kellie

Nora: I loved your book and how it made me think about things I normally don't give a second thought to. I'm thrilled that the Lord has put where you are for a time such as this. I look forward to reading more of your books and to see what adventures you take us next.

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN going on right now until the end of the month at www.bookfun.org . 

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Sincerely,



Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!