The Quest for Wellness
By Mark Sherwood, ND with
Michele-Neil-Sherwood, DO
Published by Emerge
224 Pages

About Book: This book is a guided journey where the destination is a restored life filled with more energy, strength, focus and peace... a life you used to know and enjoy when you were younger. You may have thought those days were gone and your youthful vitality has been replaced with aches, pains, sickness and fatigue. The good news is you can take charge of your own health and GET YOUR LIFE BACK! Along this journey, you will learn how to LIVE the Wellness Lifestyle. It can be achieved by taking simple, yet effective steps to see immediate changes in your body, mind, emotions and your spirit. We are whole beings. When one area of our life suffers, all areas are affected. That is why the power team of Dr's. Mark and Michele Sherwood have written this book for you. The Quest for Wellness is not only for those suffering with long–term illness, it is a powerfully simple and balanced approach for everyone who desires to live their life with optimum health, and peak performance. Remember, the quest for wellness is a journey, but it is one that is worth taking. The rewards are literally life–changing. Author Mark Sherwood says "You can become well again and go from exhausted to energized... Let me prove it to you!"

REVIEW: This author says, “We live in a sound bit world and catch a glimpse here and there about what is healthy. It’s always changing.” I agree.

Before we met Dr. Mark Sherwood; I knew he was an ex–professional baseball player and a 24–year retired veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, where he logged a decade of courageous service on the department's SWAT Team. My husband and I looked forward to talking with him about his new book.

My husband and I had the privilege of meeting Mark Sherwood a few months ago at the ICRS conference in Orlando, Florida. He had been encouraging us in our eating plan for weeks via email and a few phone calls. We were both thrilled to meet him, see and hear how he lives out his plan. But what first got me about meeting Dr. Mark Sherwood was his passion for wellness. He had a heart to see people get well so they can really “live” life not just hobble through it.
I’ve tried many “diets” throughout the years; especially after giving birth to three children and having baby pounds still with me after each birth. I went to weekly meetings, weighing in and learning what foods would help me lose weight not necessarily make me feel energized or well. I did lose the weight but could not maintain it because I didn’t learn how to eat healthy in the first place. My husband and I started our quest for wellness June 22, 2015, it’s an experience that has us both energized and losing weight.

I have lost 10 pounds since my husband and I have made changes in our lifestyle and in the way we eat spelled out in, “The Quest for Wellness plan.”  I’ve tried for many years to lose 10 pounds (or more) and have only been able to maintain the weight I was currently at; so to have lost this much since June 22nd I’m elated. My husband is too! (He’s lost more)

I’ve known some of these principles like drinking lots of water and eating a variety of veggies, taking vitamins and using holistic drops but the plan he has laid out has made me look at the bigger picture which is “wellness” not just losing weight.

I have discovered first hand that the little steps I’ve made so far make a huge difference. I was surprised at how just changing my sleeping pattern, eating more veggies, measuring out my protein and fruit and exercising less could make such an impact on my life. I’ve lost weight but more importantly the pain I’ve had in my feet is completely gone in the left foot and in my right I have a little pain in my heel. I don’t feel exhausted, but rested. I feel satisfied after we eat and in between meals. That is huge. I’m not killing myself at the gym in order to lose weight. It’s mind boggling. . It’s working. I have more energy and have lost a dress size.

I liked how the author deals with the whole person in this book. We aren’t just exercise, mindless machines, we are humans with many aspects to our personhood; each aspect needs watering and nurturing to bloom and grow. I like how the author starts with doable baby steps and when we get that down we can move to the next level; slow and steady wins.

The First Phase is broken down into categories; under the categories Physical, Emotional; Intellectual; Spiritual the author lists:

“Physical; Move more, add two veggies to every day, increase water (All doable”)
“Emotional; Identify your stressors, Monitor your self-talk”
“Intellectual; Choose or start a “course” or identify a new nonfiction book to read”
“Spiritual; Spend 5 – 10 minutes in silence each day, Read the Bible 10 minutes”

Dr. Mark goes on to explain the first phase in more detail with many options. He asks readers to look at your obligations – Forgive – then let it go. “Life is a marathon, not a sprint. The best things in life are sometimes slow.”

This author says “Most of the things we truly value do not happen instantly.” “Having a healthy body and mind always requires effort, dedication, and commitment. Nothing of real value comes easy.”

Dr. Mark Sherwood and his wife Michele have many wellness video’s you can find on youtube; they also have a wellness community you can join for free.

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsor
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St Laurent                                                  
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog  
Book Fun Magazine 


By Mark Bittman
Published by: Pam Krauss Books
256 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Since his New York Times op-ed column debuted in 2011, Mark Bittman has emerged as one of our most impassioned and opinionated observers of the food landscape. The Times’ only dedicated opinion columnist covering the food beat, Bittman routinely makes readers think twice about how the food we eat is produced, distributed, and cooked, and shines a bright light on the profound impact that diet—both good and bad—can have on our health and that of the planet.

In A Bone to Pick, Mark’s most memorable and thought-provoking columns are compiled into a single volume for the first time. As abundant and safe as the American food supply appears to be, the state of our health reveals the presence of staggering deficiencies in both the system that produces food and the forces that regulate it. Bittman leaves no issue unexamined; agricultural practices, government legislation, fad diets, and corporate greed all come under scrutiny and show that the issues governing what ends up in our market basket and on our tables are both complex and often deliberately confusing. Unabashedly opinionated and invariably thought provoking, Bittman’s columns have helped readers decipher arcane policy, unpack scientific studies, and deflate affronts to common sense when it comes to determining what “eating well” truly means. As urgent as the situation is, Mark contends that we can be optimistic about the future of our food and its impact on our health, as slow-food movements, better school-lunch programs, and even “healthy fast food” become part of the norm. 

REVIEW: “Mark Bittman is one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, has over million copies in print, mandatory of the modern kitchen.”

He opens up by talking about the American food system and how it’s broken; how food is processed; consumed’ how it affects our health and the environment.  He brings up points that need to be assessed and factored into fixing our current food system.

This book is a compilation of thought-provoking columns which appeared in the New York Times in his weekly opinion column and the rest are from Sunday magazine. These articles explore a wide range of topics as vast and varied as food itself…”The problems are numerous and complex”, the author states….”We need activists on all levels, people doing the right thing independently of government, and that goes from cooking regularly, to making sure school lunches aren’t poison to labor organizing to supporting farmers.”

This author has six chapters the first one is titled Big Ag, Sustainability, and What’s in between Topics discussed in this chapter are: Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World; That flawed Stanford Study; Not All Industrial Food is Evil; Abundance Doesn’t Mean Health.

Chapter Two titled What’s Wrong With Meat? – Some topics discussed; We’re Eating Less Meat. Why?;

Chapter Three titled What is Food? And What is Not? - Topics discussed; Make Food Choices Simple: Cook; What Is Food?; Is “Eat Real Food” Unthinkable?; It’s The Sugar, Folks; Farmers’ Market Values

Chapter Four titled The Truth About Diet(s); (Only) Two Rules For a Good Diet; What Causes Weight Gain?; Got Milk?;You Don’t Need It.

Chapter Five titled The Broken Food Chain; 11 Trillion Reasons

Chapter Six titled Legislating and Labeling; Bad Food? Tax it, and Subsidize Veggies

There are about 12 or so articles under each chapter title I’ve only mentioned a few articles that jumped out at me. The author then ends this book talking about Some progress on Eating and Health – Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled? – Hunger in Plain Sight and Don’t End Agricultural subsides, fix them and Fixing our Food Problem.

This book opened my eyes to things I didn’t even know where going on with food. This book is an essential resource “for every reader eager to understand not only the complexities inherent in the American food system, but also the many opportunities that exist to improve it.” This author is not shy about sharing “the good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMO’s, farming and so much more.”

My eyes are open. I don’t look at food the same way. This author has awakened me to the issues happening today and how I can get involved to impact my children, grandchildren for generations to come for good. He showed how it takes all of us to improve the food system.

I'm thankful to the Blogging for Books Program for the complementary copy of this informative book. I was given this for my honest opinion.

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine



These three authors have come up with fun questions. Pick one to answer. That enters you into the drawing. These three authors are at The Book Club Network interacting with readers. It's fun to read. The LAST DAY to enter is JULY 31st.

You must be a member of TBCN to enter the drawing. It's FREE And EASY to join. Check out the Front Page of TBCN where these book covers are located to JOIN in the BOOK FUN!! 


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ABOUT AUTHOR: Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. She's published over twenty-five books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life.

Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann loves hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dog, Oscar. See more about her books at

How did you come up with the idea for The Innocent?  

That’s a question I’m often asked when I give talks about writing and I know other authors are asked the same. It’s a question I like to hear answered too. The perpetual mystery of where do you get ideas. But sometimes it’s a hard question to answer since seeds for ideas can drift on the winds of life, making it hard to exactly pin down the origin of a story idea. On top of that, some of those idea seeds dig down in your imagination and take a long time to germinate. Other ideas burst up and flower out almost instantaneously.

But as it turns out, I do know how I came up with the initial idea for The Innocent. When I was first published in the general market in the 1970’s and 80’s, I wrote a book about the Shakers that did not find a publisher. Many years later, I rewrote that book, The Outsider, for the Christian market. When The Outsider found enthusiastic readers among those who loved Amish fiction, my publishers asked me to write more Shaker books. Not something I had planned to do, but I’d never had a publisher ask me to write anything. So I agreed to write more Shaker books and ended up writing five, in fact.

Each time a new Shaker book was published, my son-in-law, who has never read any of my Shaker books, kept telling me I should write a Shaker mystery. He claimed he might read that. LOL. And then he would come up with how I might do that. Have one of the characters be a sheriff, he suggested. So when I did decide to write that seventh Shaker book, I thought why not. A sheriff and a Shaker sounded like an interesting combo of characters with enticing possibilities, perhaps with a bit of mystery mixed in. One idea led to another and another until I had written that story of a sheriff and a Shaker. Now readers can judge for themselves if my son-in-law gave me a good idea for The Innocent.

I’ve heard authors say that their characters came alive and took them places they didn’t expect to go? Did this happen in this story? If not, has it happened to you before? Do tell!

I’ve written a lot of books–The Innocent is my twenty-eighth published book–and I don’t think I’ve ever written a book where that creative magic didn’t happen in a story. Often an unexpected character shows up out of nowhere to walk into a scene. Sometimes a character finds a different path to take than whichever one I was trying to push him or her down.

In The Innocent that unexpected character with a bigger role in the story than I might have expected was a dog. I knew Carlyn was going to have a dog when I began planning her character, but I didn’t know Asher was going to be such a remarkable dog and have so much to do with the eventual outcome. But Asher appeared on the first page and displayed his canine courage and loyalty throughout the story. So much so, that when my agent read The Innocent, she actually asked how I would like it if the most memorable character I created in any of my books turned out to be a dog? Needless to say, she liked Asher.

But I’ve had other characters come on the scene and steal the show at times. I think of Wes in my Heart of Hollyhill series with his zany stories of being from Jupiter. He was another character who seemed to drop out of the sky into my story. Literally, to hear him tell it, since he says he fell out of that Jupiter spaceship! And then I did plan for Aunt Hattie in my Rosey Corner books, but I had no idea she would look up toward heaven and say those wonderful prayers throughout the books. So many great characters over the years who have nudged my imagination and fed their stories through my fingers onto the computer screen and finally into a book. 

What are you very thankful for in your life that others might view as silly?
Oscar and Me

At our church, we often mention that we’re thankful for everyday blessings. Not sure about silly, but I do have an abundance of the ordinary life blessings. One that comes to mind are all the dogs that have blessed my life. Some might think it’s silly to be thankful for dogs, but I know many of you pet lovers won’t think that’s silly at all and you’re right. Dogs and other pets enrich our lives.

I got the dog hunger when I was about seven or more likely I was born with that hunger. I wanted a dog. My very own dog. I finally got a shepherd mix pup when I was nine or ten. And I’ve had at least one dog in my life ever since. Sometimes as many as three. I’m down to one dog again now. A very good dog even if he has some odd quirks. I keep saying I’m going to do a blog post about my Odd Dog, Oscar, but it hasn’t happened yet. But I have been very thankful for each of those furry friends over the years. They’ve given me incentive to walk. They have made me smile and laugh and cry when I had to tell them that final goodbye. These days I get to enjoy my children’s dogs too. They are grand dogs and fun to get to know.

Then again, on second thought maybe I do have a silly reason for thankfulness. I am thankful for air conditioning. Not for the reason you might think. But because now I can drink hot tea all summer long since my husband’s cool point on the thermostat is somewhat below my own.

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

Of course. Sneak peeks are always fun. Actually, I’m working on a series of books so different from what my readers expect from me that my publishers have tweaked my author name on the books to A.H. Gabhart. When I was a kid dreaming of being a writer and thinking up pen names, I never considered initials. Of course, I never considered my own boring name Ann either. But my editor, agent and I decided the initials would work for my new series, the Hidden Spring Mysteries. I’ve always loved to read mysteries, so why not write one?

These are contemporary, cozy mysteries set in the small town of Hidden Springs with the main character the deputy sheriff, Michael Keane. That’s a little different from most cozy mysteries since this type of book doesn’t generally star a law enforcement officer, but that’s me. Always a little bit off center. But I do hope readers will like visiting Hidden Springs where mystery surprises the townspeople each time it shows up. When a body is found on the courthouse steps, events are set in motion that make Michael face some difficult truths about the little town he loves.

The first novel in the series is Murder at the Courthouse and is scheduled for an October 2015 release. The second in the series that combines cozy with suspense will be out in July 2016. It’s just gotten its official title. Murder Comes by Mail. I am hard at work on the third mystery that is tentatively scheduled for early 2017. Don’t even have a working title for it as yet. All the books will be published by Revell Books.

Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had in your writing career? What made it a wow for you?

The first “wow” moment is easy to come up with because it just happened this spring. My Rosey Corner book, Love Comes Home, was a finalist for the Selah Historical Romance Book of 2015. The Selah Awards are given out at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in North Carolina every year. I’ve never been to the conference but I’ve always thought it sounded as if it would a lovely place to go meet with other writers for a while and hone your craft. So when I got the news that I was a finalist, I checked out Ridgecrest where the conference is held. Turned out to be a beautiful place within driving distance and I could just show up for the dinner. The trip became even more inviting due to Ridgecrest being not all that far from my daughter’s house in South Carolina. So I could add a visit to her to the trip.

Anyway, everything seemed to be pointing to this being a great chance for a little R and R with my husband. I did not go expecting to win even my category. I did go planning to applaud whoever did win. Then when Eva Marie Everson announced the Historical Romance winner, lo and behold it was Love Comes Home. I was very pleased. I’ve had books that have been finalists for awards a few times but have never won any of them.

Then, it came time to announce the Selah Book of the Year Award. Eva Marie began talking about the winning book. She said the book had gotten a perfect score from the judges and that they said the book left them changed. About here, I think she’s talking about a book in the Bible Study category. You could have knocked me off my chair with a feather when she announced Love Comes Home as the 2015 Selah Book of the Year. “Wow” was an understatement right then.

The other “wow” moment is a little different. I have been writing for many years. My first book was published in 1978 in the general market. Over my long career, I’ve had two long dry spells where what I was writing wasn’t selling. The last time was in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Nearly a decade passed without any of my work being published. I was still writing, just not writing what the market wanted. So I decided to write one more book without worrying about markets or sales. I’d write about what I knew best. Small towns and country churches. And while I wrote it, I would often imagine singing that old spiritual “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

That book, my last ditch effort to write a story to find readers, was Scent of Lilacs. It was definitely a “wow” moment when I got the news Revell Books wanted to publish it. More “wow” moments followed with a contract for two additional Hollyhill books and now almost 700 Amazon reviews for Scent of Lilacs, the large majority of them positive. The Lord sometimes gifts us with those “wow” moments when we’re the most discouraged.

How did you first learn about the Shakers? What made you want to write about them?

My first two published books were historical romances published in the general market and they both had a Kentucky background. The first was set in pioneer Kentucky and the second during the Civil War era. So when I was looking around for another Kentucky historical period to use as a background for a story, I came across accounts of the Shakers in Kentucky.
Shaker Village

At the same time, the Shaker village near me had recently been bought by a private group of people who worked to preserve the village and showcase the role Shakers played in our state. So with this wonderful living history museum open to the public at the Pleasant Hill Shaker village not far from where I live, I decided to research and write a book about the Shakers. That book didn’t suit market needs at the time, but as I said above, many years later I rewrote the story and it was published as The Outsider.
Shaker Village
The Shaker history fascinated me because of their unconventional lifestyle of celibacy and their worship services that centered around dancing or as they put it, exercising or laboring the songs. The Shakers were, for the most part, kind, charitable and peaceful people. They believed their love of God was demonstrated in the diligence they showed in working with their hands. “Hands to work. Hearts to God.” They were inventive and continually came up with innovative ideas to make their work easier and faster. And yet, I could imagine and see in the historical accounts of the Shakers how difficult it might be to live a Shaker life. Especially if one entertained notions of romantic love. And so I dropped my characters down into that setting to see what might happen next.

Generally, my characters question the Shaker way and in the process they must examine their own beliefs. That makes their faith in the Lord stronger. While I never planned to write but one Shaker book, I have enjoyed making return visits to my fictional Harmony Hill Shaker Village with new characters as I did with Carlyn and Mitchell in The Innocent to see what might happen next.

What are the challenges of writing historicals?

One of the biggest challenges is completely stepping back in time with atmosphere, language and events. You have to be careful not to use expressions and words that weren’t in use during whatever era you choose for your book. There are so many little things that can sneak into a story that to an author seems to have been around forever, but perhaps not. In one of my Hollyhill books, I mention that one of my characters had read a John MacDonald mystery. I was fortunate to have a sharp-eyed editor who noted that those books hadn’t been published at the time in my book. So I changed it to a different mystery writer. That’s just a small example of how easy it is to go wrong.

But the more important challenge is simply the tone of the book. Each story has its own setting, its own atmosphere. That comes from the characters and the events in the book, but also from the background. One way I try to get “in character” with my people is by reading diaries or journals from the time period of my book. It’s my hope that will help me not be too modern in tone. That’s something that is true with different historical books as well. My Shaker books have a different tone than my Rosey Corner books. Or at least I intend for them to.

What is your favorite type of music? Why is it your favorite?

Since my husband sang in various Southern Gospel Quartets for around forty years, I guess I better say Southern Gospel. I did enjoy going with him and his groups to churches all around this area to hear their concerts. My husband has a great bass voice. But the truth is, I’m not very musically inclined. It’s the words of the songs that reach out and touch me rather than the tune. One of my all-time favorite songs is “The Rose” sung by Bette Midler. That’s because of the image in that song of the rose under the snow waiting to flower again in the spring. I like many of the old hymns for the same reason. The moving images their words make come alive in my mind.

Do you have a favorite board game you liked playing as a kid? If so, what was it?

Something I'm Thankful for
We played more cards than board games, but we did have Monopoly, Scrabble and Clue. I think when I was a kid, I probably like Monopoly best. I always wanted to buy Park Place and Boardwalk and those railroads.

Out of all the Superhero movies out is there one you like most? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite Superhero movie. Not much of a moviegoer and don’t watch much television either. If I have free time, I’d rather bury my nose in a book. However, not long ago we took my fifteen-year-old grandson to see The Avengers movie. That was fun because of how much he enjoyed it and how he keeps trying to get me up to date on which Superhero is which. It seems there are a lot of them out there.

Out of all the high tech gadgets out today; Name three that have really impacted your life? How has it impacted you?

Sweet Fawn
 I write on a word processor. You youngsters probably don’t think of that as high tech, but then you didn’t start out writing in a notebook and then on a typewriter. For sure, if you ever had to use carbon paper to make a copy of what you typed, then you will definitely think word processors are very high tech. Writing on a word processor is way easier when it comes to rewriting and correcting and adding or subtracting words. A bonus, or perhaps proof that our electronic age is making us all softer, my fingers don’t have to be as strong to type on a keyboard as they did to pound out stories on that old manual typewriter I started writing on.

Black-eyed Susans
High speed internet has made a big impact too. Now I can have reading friends all around the globe. I can “talk” with people from Australia, New Zealand and the next town over with the same ease. That’s been fun and it lets me enjoy Facebook and other social media.

The other one is definitely my iPhone. I have the internet in my pocket and the ability to call up people almost anywhere. But one of the things I like most about the phone in my pocket is the ability to take photos of anything and everything to share with my friends on Facebook and on my blog. I’m always taking pictures of things I spot on my daily walks and then posting them. It’s like taking all my friends along with me on those walks. Recently, I spotted a little yellow flower while walking and posted a picture of it. Then every day for thirty days, I discovered a different yellow flower to share before I couldn’t locate that thirty-first flower. That would have been something I could have never done with the old fashioned film cameras. Sharing is simply easier with phones.

What was the best advice your parents or someone special to you gave?

“Just keep hoeing and eventually you’ll get to the end of the row.” You see, I grew up on a farm in Kentucky. Our money crop was tobacco. My father had three daughters, no sons. So those daughters had to help in the fields and one of the worst jobs ever, in my young mind, was hoeing out the rows of tobacco. We had one field where the rows looked five miles long. At least. They were probably actually only a half mile long. LOL. But when you started at one end you weren’t sure you might not expire before you reached the other end. Then, even when that didn’t happen and you were still on your feet at the end of that row, you just had to turn around and start hoeing up another row back toward where the water jug was stashed in the shade under the truck. But my mother told me to keep hoeing, one plant after another. That was good advice that I’ve been able to use in many of the things I’ve done since. Tackle the job one step at a time. It even works when I’m in the middle of a book and the story seems to be lagging. “Just keep putting down one word after another and eventually you’ll get to the end of the story.” You can’t edit and fix what hasn’t been written.

Fondest childhood memory? Funniest childhood memory? (It may not have been captured on film for the America’s Funniest home video’s but you wish it had been)
Ollie and Me

Hands down, someone dropping a black Cocker Spaniel at our farm while I was in the midst of my extreme case of dog hunger. My father wouldn’t let me keep Inky. Of course, I named him as soon as I saw him. But my aunt who lived about a mile over the hill and was like a grandmother to my sisters and me took the dog in. All that summer, I walked over to her house every day and loved on that dog. I’d sit on the front porch and Inky would jump up on the bench beside me and lay his head in my lap. He was the sweetest dog ever. But not many weeks went by until we found out why such a precious dog had been dropped. My aunt and I came home one day from town to find dead hens everywhere in the yard. Inky was hiding in the woodshed, but it was evident he was the culprit. My aunt tied him to the clothesline and found somebody who didn’t have chickens to take him. I was a farm girl so I understood, but that didn’t keep me from being in mourning. Not long after that a friend of my father’s brought me that pup I mentioned earlier and another fond memory began to ease the sorrow of losing Inky.
Son Gary & Sumo

I’ve tried to think of a funny memory but I must have been a humorless child. However, you might think our enjoyment of playing the game “My bird’s a pretty bird” might qualify. In that game, my sisters, cousins and I sat in a circle around a bucket of water. The person who was “it” had a thimble and filled it with water. Then he or she chanted the line “My bird’s a pretty bird. What color’s yours?” Each person in the circle guessed a color. If you were right, you got the thimbleful of water in the face and got to be “it” next. What can I say? We were easy to entertain back in those days. LOL. 


I’m so happy to be here once more, visiting the wonderful readers at The Book Club Network. It’s fun reading your comments and trust me, I do very much appreciate you reading my books. You know, it takes two to make a story truly come to life–the writer and the reader.  Hope you all have a wonderful summer with plenty of time for relaxation and reading.


I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN that started the 20th of JULY at LAST DAY to enter is JULY 30th.

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.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 
The Book Club Network Blog  
Book Fun Magazine  

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers


ABOUT AUTHOR: Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.

Rebecca writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. Learn more at  

How did you come up with the idea for To Capture Her Heart?

While researching the first book in the series, A Place In His Heart, I uncovered what was like a gold nugget of information about Quashawam—some call her Heather Flower—the daughter of the Montaukett grand sachem. She was kidnapped on her wedding day and her groom killed by a fierce rival tribe, and tradition has it an Englishman, Lion Gardiner, paid her ransom. The story was too good to ignore!

What do you hope readers take away from To Capture Her Heart?

I hope my readers find unique entertainment in my stories. I love writing historical romance because there is something for the romantic, something for the history fan, something for those who just enjoy a great read. One of the spiritual themes that emerged for me as I wrote the story is we are all loved by God and even with all of our blunders—well-intentioned or otherwise—His love is steadfast.

What was your favorite scene in To Capture Her Heart? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

I can’t tell you my favorite scene because I would give away a pivotal part of the story! But I loved writing it. I think readers will know when they come to that scene! The hardest scenes to write were the ones about the Native Americans who died because of the disease brought by the European settlers. In the first book of the series, I introduced Winnie, a Corchaug woman and her husband, Winheytem, who become good friends of my main characters, the Hortons. I knew I couldn’t write a series in that setting without losing some of the beloved native people. Early in the book Winheytem dies and I felt the tragedy of his loss.

Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had in your writing career? What made it a wow for you?

The first was when my agent, Barbara Scott, offered to represent me. And the second was when I received an eight page fan letter from a gentleman named John. He did not sign his last name or provide any contact information. He sent it to my publisher, Revell, and they forwarded it to me. He compared the impact of my story to the stories of Grace Livingston Hill, books his sweet wife had given him to read. And he told me of the scene in my book that drove him to tears and said, “Yes, men do weep.” To know that my book had so deeply touched someone beyond my target market was overwhelming. That was a wow moment for me.

What keeps you sane in the middle of craziness? Hope in the middle of stress and Life’s storms?
It is my time in the morning spent at God’s feet in prayer and meditation. It is a time to soak up His word, to ask Him to hold my hand during the day and be with me through the night. I am comforted by seeing a pink sunrise on the mountain, the hummingbird at his feeder, or the rains that I know will not last forever.

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

I think there is a need and a longing for great stories and pure entertainment written from a Christian worldview. And I love it because those are the stories I love to write!

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

I just turned in the manuscript for the third book in The Southold Chronicles series. It moves forward another decade to 1664, an eventful year. I found it intriguing that Long Island for much of the 1600’s was divided right down the middle. The Dutch inhabited the west end and the English the east end. But in 1664 the English sent warships up the sound and took New Amsterdam. Of course, in the midst all of the political ballyhoo, you will find romance in the story!

How much research do you put into your historicals? Did you discover some fascinating tales that made it in your book? Some that didn’t?

I do extensive research. I thought that with a series, the research would not be as intense with the second and third books, but I was wrong. So much was changing decade to decade in New England and the rest of the world. Not a bad thing, because I love the research. My personal library of books on the history of the Great Migration, Southold, Long Island, New Netherlands and Connecticut is huge.

I do online searches as well, but the numerous trips I’ve made to Long Island, Plimoth Plantation, the Wampanoag Village and the Mayflower II are my favorite way to conduct research. One of the fun and fascinating accounts I read online concerned the son of Southold’s first minister, Reverend John Youngs. His name was John Jr., so for story purposes I called him Johnny. He was captain of his own bark (ship) and was a bit of a rabble rouser. He spent some time sailing from Long Island to Connecticut trying to convince many of the small towns to join him in his determination to roust the Dutch from New Amsterdam. 

At one point he was arrested by the Dutch authorities for privateering and while the New Haven courts were arranging to pay his ransom, he escaped! I found court records that substantiated the story and that bit worked well in my story-line.

Let’s say you have rhythm and all the dance moves came easy for you; they ask you to be on “Dancing With the Stars” Who would you pick as your partner? Why?

My husband, most definitely! We found each other later in life and married in 2006. He is beauty and grace on the dance floor. Me, not so much. We took dancing lessons at Arthur Murray’s so that I could learn to dance with him at our wedding. We danced to Keith Urban’s Making Memories of Us. We still dance to it whenever we hear it, and he still takes my breath away!


Out of all the Superhero movies out is there one you like most? Why?

Man of Steel. For two reasons: Superman takes me back to my childhood and Henry Cavill (who played Superman in that movie) was the face of Barnabas Horton for me in my debut novel A Place In His Heart

Out of all the high tech gadgets out today; Name three that have really impacted your life? How has it impacted you?

My smart phone. I just switched to a plus size – almost a notepad. I’m trying to train myself to jot notes on it throughout the day instead of the bazillion sticky notes that I find all over the place, and never the right one. And I’m learning to use its great camera to keep in touch with FB. That is fun!

My color printer/scanner. I never realized how much I had to do until I had one. Could not research, write, or communicate without it!
I still love my Ipad even though I have my gigantic phone. The ability to have a research book at my fingertips is fantastic – although I prefer a book in hand and will usually still order the print version. But Kindle gives a chance to preview it and also to search for the information I’m looking for immediately. To me that is huge. And I like being able to occasionally pull up a movie. James Scott Bell teaches plot and structure with fantastic movie examples, and now I find I look for his points as I watch.   

What was the best advice your parents or someone special to you gave?

My dad was a Navy pilot, but we always had a horse or two. He was stationed at Oak Harbor, WA, and he and my mom thought he would retire there. I was twelve and horse crazy so they bought me the horse of my dreams, a black and white pinto with a star on her forehead. She was a wild horse from eastern Washington and green broke. And I loved her and rode her. And she threw me and I broke my collarbone. It took all summer to heal And when I was ready to ride again, did my dad say she was too much horse for me? No, he had me get back up and ride. 

And he said, “You need to learn to fall. Tuck and roll.” And I learned how to fall while Star and I learned together how to ride without me falling. I concentrated that day on tuck and roll, but I’ve carried his words with me throughout life, and they have been invaluable in so many circumstances. And you know, that is what our Heavenly Father teaches us, too. He doesn’t promise us we won’t fall, but we have His Word to help us up when we do.  

What would a perfect day look like to you?

Ooooh, I can picture so many – a walk on the Long Island or Oregon beaches, snowshoeing in the Wallowa Mountains, a day with my grandchildren anywhere.


Thank you so much for spending time with me today!

It was great fun to see you at the ICRS in Orlando a few weeks ago. What a wonderful surprise. 

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures too!

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of JULY at LAST DAY to Enter JULY 30th.

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun to see readers responses! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins  
The Book Club Network Blog   
Book Fun Magazine   

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers


ABOUT AUTHOR: JEN TURANO is the bestselling and acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction series and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House.  Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen by RT as a top pick, while A Most Peculiar Circumstance was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013. She is a member of ACFW and makes her home outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband and teenage son. Visit her website at or Facebook page at

What was your favorite scene in In Good Company? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

My favorite scene has to be the tennis scene where Millie is playing against Miss Caroline Dixon.  It was a blast to write – what with all the craziness that happened during the match.  The hardest was when Elizabeth thought her father had come back for her – The emotional nature of that scene did get to me – which meant it took me quite a few hours to write it since I’d have to stop and collect myself every few minutes. 

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

Since the setting for most of “In Good Company” is in Newport during the summer social season, I did have to do quite a bit of new research – that research introducing me to “cottages” as the mansions on Newport were referred to from those of a certain social set, to The Reading Room – a lovely gentleman’s club where there was relatively little reading ever done, to Bailey’s Beach – a very exclusive stretch of sand that, oddly enough, didn’t possess very nice water to swim in, but was chosen because of its secluded location, and The Newport Casino – where no gambling was done, but was simply a club to dine, play tennis and listen to music. 

For a wonderful glimpse of Newport, I would highly recommend the book “Gilded – How Newport Became America’s Richest Resort” by Deborah Davis. 

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

I just recently turned in book three of this series – “Playing the Part.”  It’s Miss Lucetta Plum’s story and is set in a castle that sits high above the Hudson River – a castle that just happens to be named Ravenwood.  Poor Lucetta has run into a bit of a tricky situation with none other than Mr. Silas Ruff – the dastardly gentleman in “After a Fashion, and to get away from his evil intentions, she finds herself agreeing to Abigail Hart’s suggestion of staying at Ravenwood – even though the castle just happens to be owned by none other than Abigail’s…grandson – the oh so delicious Mr. Bram Haverstein.  It’ll hit shelves toward the beginning of March, 2016. 

 After that, I just signed a new contract for a new series – The Wallflowers – but I don’t have all the details as to when those books will start releasing – and since I have yet to write them, well, we’ll see how it goes. 

When you start a new book and/or series what usually comes first for you characters, setting, and situation?

I normally see the characters first – heroines enter my mind before heroes and then the plot begins to fill in.  Settings are normally last – although that isn’t always the case.  In my first series – I knew when I wrote book one that Miss Agatha Watson’s story would start out west – and her story wasn’t until book four. 

How do you come up with your characters names? In this series you have; Harriet Peabody, Millie Longfellow, Lucetta, Everette, Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, Mrs. Fienman, Mrs. Birmingham etc.?

I get a lot of names through pouring over old census data from the 1800’s – but also find names in obituaries and old books.  Everett Mulberry was actually supposed to be an Isaac, but when I was talking to one of my writer friends, he made the remark that whenever he hears the name Isaac, he immediately thinks about the bartender from The Love Boat.  Unfortunately, from that point forward, every time I’d type out Isaac, I’d picture that bartender while strains of the theme song from The Love Boat swept through my mind.  Clearly, I had to find another name, so I called my friend back, told him he owed me a name, and that had him pulling out old family history notes and the name Everett was written on one of the pages.  Since this friend of mine had caused me so much trouble – I told him he really should give me another name – and that’s when he found a Lucetta Plum tucked in his family archives.  I have to work with names for a few days to see if they’ll stick, and sure enough, Lucetta worked just fine as did Everett. 

After a Fashion has a colorful leading lady who isn’t afraid to stick up for herself. She is tender hearted and has compassion for the working class (of which she is part of) I adored her. How did you come up with her? What do you hope readers take away from Harriet Peabody?

Miss Harriet Peabody was inspired by my love of My Fair Lady.  I’ve always wanted to create a character not of wealth, but a lady who has seen her share of trouble and yet that trouble hasn’t soured her on life.  The main thing I wanted readers to gain from Harriet was a sense of self – that no matter what life might throw at you, if you just keep a no-nonsense air about matters, you should be able to press forward and make the best of your situation. 

One of the things that delighted me about Millie was the fact that she was fascinated about learning “new” words. It was fun to see her trying to use the “new” word in a sentence as soon as she learned it. What made you develop a character with this fascination? What do you hope readers take away from this?

When I was young, I overheard a conversation regarding a woman who’d married up in the world.  This woman was known to take a grammar book with her when she visited the beauty parlor and that always struck me as being a very sensible thing to do, especially since this lady was trying to fit in with the country club set.  What always bothered me about that story, though, was the fact that the ladies from the country club had taken to mocking this woman for toting around a grammar book.  By creating Millie, she allowed me to show how fabulous improving oneself could be and certainly should never be something anyone mocks – As for the lady in the beauty parlor – she did wonderfully well with her improvements and eventually became one of the leaders of the country club set – although she was always the nicest lady at that particular club. 

If you had to pick one “reality” TV show to be on what would you pick and why? If you can’t think of a “Reality” Show what show would you be interested being on? Why?

Oddly enough, I rarely watch reality TV shows, but if I had to choose just a regular TV show, I’d go with…The Blacklist – and I’d like to be one of the villains because…how fun would that be – especially if I got to experience a completely gruesome death in the end – served up my just desserts and all that – and…who wouldn’t want a chance to act with James Spader? 

Let’s say you have rhythm and all the dance moves came easy for you; they ask you to be on “Dancing With the Stars” Who would you pick as your partner? (Doesn’t have to be on the show) Why?

Channing Tatum – because…well, do I really need a reason other than the fact that man can dance?

Out of all the Superhero movies out there which one do you like most? Why?

Ironman – the first one – because the dialogue was very clever and I simply adore Robert Downey Jr. 

Out of all the high tech gadgets out today; Name three that have really impacted your life? How has it impacted you?

Cell-phone – because I’m always connected, but other than my phone, I can’t think of any other high-tech gadgets I use all that much.

What was the best advise your parents or someone special do you gave?

Being different is completely cool.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone enjoys their summer!


I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of JULY  at LAST DAY to enter JULY 30th.

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.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network Blog
Book Fun Magazine

Interview Sponsored by: Bethany House Publishers