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SUZANNE WOODS FISHER UP-CLOSE and PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY - IMPOSTER




ABOUT AUTHOR: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of 'The Stoney Ridge Seasons' and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is a Christy award finalist and a Carol award winner. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne hosts the blog Amish Wisdom, and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb to your smart phone. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to hear from readers!  

What do you hope readers take away from The Imposter?

Suzanne: The story line for The Imposter delves into the behind-the-scenes of church leadership. It took a lot of research to make sure I could write a credible story. But the drama is wrapped up in a quirky, endearing family, The Stoltzfus clan, who are new to Stoney Ridge. They’re looking for a fresh start, a clean beginning. As we all know, there’s really no such thing! Our past comes along with us.

What drove my story, though, was that I wanted to create a fictional minister, David Stoltzfus, who was based on a bishop whom I greatly admired. The Amish bishop tends to get stereotyped in the worst way—controlling and dominating, joyless, lacking grace. I wanted to show another type of bishop, who shepherded his flock guided by love for God.

Nora: I found this story fascinating. I thought it was a unique look at the Amish community I hadn’t read before.

In the prologue, David said, “The God who spoke, long ago, still speaks,” David, Birdy, Katrina – they all sought and sensed a timely word from God. Have you ever sensed God speaking to you? What was it like? A prompting, a nearly audible words, a gut feeling? Did you listen to that prompting and, if so, what was the result? (This is a discussion question in the back of your book for book clubs I wanted to ask you)
Suzanne: I have definitely sensed a timely word, a prompting from God during critical times throughout my life. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s timing is not predictable, but here’s what I’ve noticed: it tends to happen during prayer (obviously! The pipeline has to be open), and it’s usually short, to the point, very clear. Also, the prompting never contradicts Scripture, it always lines up with God’s Word. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5, niv).

Nora: Good point!

On the surface, the tension between David Stoltzfus and Freeman Glick had to do with how a church adjusted to cultural and financial pressure without losing its core values. (I found that aspect of the story very interesting and relevant) Such pressure isn’t unique to the Amish. Every church faces issues of holding tight to essentials of faith while making accommodations for a changing culture. What kinds of changes and adjustments have you observed in your own church experience?

Suzanne: There is a constant tension of adjusting to modern times without relinquishing what’s truly important—and maybe it’s a good tension. Here’s an example that most of us can relate to: When I was young, going to church meant dressing in our Sunday best. Ministers wore robes, as did choir members. Casual clothing is the trend for church going in today’s world. While I understand the rationale behind it (what matters is on the inside, not the outside), sometimes I wonder if we end up treating the holiness of God casually, too.

Nora: Interesting point!

 “One thing I’ve learned in life,” David Stoltzfus said, “is that we’re all just a few choices away from becoming just about any kind of person. Good or bad.” (That’s a powerful statement and so true.) How do you feel about that statement? What do you hope readers take away from it? (Another one of the discussion questions in the back of the book I had to ask you)

Suzanne: I agree with David, wholeheartedly. Absolutely! It’s the reason we need to live in constant communication with God. 

Nora: So, true and Sobering!

A common phrase of David Stoltzfus in The Imposter was, “Everybody begins somewhere,” What was the starting point of your spiritual journey? (You had another great discussion question in the back of your book for book clubs.)

Suzanne: My spiritual journey has been like climbing a spiral staircase—it’s grown deeper and deeper through the years, but I can’t see the end and I can’t remember the beginning. Some steps have been deep, some shallow. Certainly, I can point to people and events that caused my faith to grow in leaps and bounds. And times when I’ve slacked off and sat down, rather than kept on climbing. Definitely a more fruitful, satisfying journey when I keep going!

Nora: Thanks for sharing this Suzanne. Slow and steady wins the race. Life can be really hard sometimes!

Have you seen any good movies lately and/or read a book you won’t soon forget? Please share!

Suzanne: I have…but it might surprise you that I read mostly non-fiction. A book I would highly recommend is Being Mortal by Atul Guwande (all of his books are fab!). The main takeaway point of the book is to figure out what makes your life meaningful. A great question for all of us to think about.

Nora: Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never heard of this author before!

Pick one to answer – Would you rather be stranded on an island for two years with twenty friends of your choice OR Would you rather be on the island with a group of twenty famous people of your choosing? Which would it be? Why?


Suzanne: Oh, wow. I would LOVE to be on an island with my friends! I have the best, dearest, most amazing friends. Two years with them, without distractions or busy calendars, would be awesome.

Nora: This does sound like fun. It would be a great time without distractions and buy calendars. Life can get fast and crazy!

Pick one to answer – Would you rather live in a world without grass or a world without roads? Why?

Suzanne: That’s easy…I do live in a world without grass…and I hate it! California is having the worst drought. My backyard looks like hay. So…I would definitely prefer to live in a world without roads than without grass.

Nora: I haven’t driven around California thanks for your insight. I’m sorry to hear about the drought!

This is a fun one – Pick one to answer - Would you rather be forced to watch The Sound of Music continuously for 48 hours OR would you rather drive cross-country with Barry Manilow singing on the radio the whole time? Which would you like? Why?

Suzanne: I think I did watch Sound of Music for a ridiculously, continuously long time! I would definitely prefer Sound of Music over Barry Manilow. Why? Um…well…let’s just say, Copacabana reminds me of my Jazzercise stage.

Nora: LOL!! Love it!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given, what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most? 

Suzanne: Family stuff, definitely. We have a big, extended family…which translates to a lot of ups and downs and everything in between. I spend a lot of time on my knees!

Nora: I can relate. As our kids get older and have started having children. I feel the need to be on my knees in prayer more too. There is so much in this world to rob us of our joy and for fear to take over. I found prayer calms the soul!

Nora: I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN TODAY is the LAST DAY to ENTER the DRAWING by Clicking this link  www.bookfun.org 

Looking forward reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun!

REMINDER - Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate.

It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows. The last day to enter this drawing is the last day of the month.
Sincerely,

Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
The Book Club Network Blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers

WIN or LOSE I LOVE YOU by LYSA TERKEURST REVIEWED


Win or Lost I love You
By Lysa Terkerust
Illustrated by Jana Christy
Published by Tommy Nelson
ISBN#978-0-529-419400-7
28 Pages Hardback

Back Cover: Win or lose, one thing that’s true . . . No matter what, I love you!
Competition can bring out the worst in us, but it can also be an opportunity to learn impactful life lessons. That’s why it’s so important for kids to understand how to handle winning and losing!

Join Lulu and Max as they help Bear-Bear, Goosey, Coyote and the rest of their animal friends in the Field Day contests determine who will be the leader of Lulu’s forest.
But as the animals soon find out, not everyone can win. Sore losers, unkind winners, flaring tempers, and a few tears are taking the fun straight out of Field Day!
Just like Lulu and Max help the animals navigate the ups and downs of the day, with Win or Lose, I Love You parents will be equipped to help children:


REVIEW: Lulu and Max are excited about the field day they have planned in the forest with six animal friends. They have a costume contest, then a stick toss, then an obstacle course and a pie eating contest. The race is on. Some animals get stuck, some fall only one wins each race.

The author says in forward, “Here’s the thing – sometimes kids struggle with bad attitudes, wanting to get ahead, and constantly wanting to pub themselves first. Winning and losing can become all-consuming to the point where our children can really forget that God has a plan in all of this – whether they win or lose.”

I liked how the author and illustrator bring this message to life. The winning and losing situation can be hard to deal with. It’s also hard to deal with someone who acts poorly. Many feel uncomfortable when people act badly in this situation. What to do?

Lulu says to an animal friend, “You behaved badly, but you are not bad. What can you do to make things better?”

Great question. Powerful statement. Great observation, “you are not bad.” Might have not handled things so great but with God’s help we can do better the next time.

I really liked how this book gets kids thinking, it shows a real situation with good attitudes and behaviors and those that are not so good. It also shows ways to handle winning and losing.

This book helps parents open up a dialogue to talk about this topic. There are also ten scriptures that help readers with this topic. This book will make a great gift. It has a powerful message delivered through fun loving characters!! It’s a win, win for everyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher Tommy Nelson for BookLookBlogger program. 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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

LISA HARRIS UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY -VENDETTA






ABOUT AUTHOR: LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves...the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31:8)

When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com  or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com . For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org  

How did you come up with the idea for VENDETTA?

LISA: It started with the idea of doing a missing person series. I really love character driven novels, even with suspense, so I had one of my characters motivated by the fact that her own sister went missing a decade ago. Originally, I was going to focus on different people on the task force, but my publisher wanted me to stick to telling stories about Nikki Boyd. In the end, I love this because it makes for great suspense, but you also really get to know Nikki throughout the series.

Nora: I enjoyed getting to know Nikki and how she went about trying to find the missing person. It was suspenseful and insightful as to how this task force does it's job.

In your author notes you mentioned a few books about parks and hiking the Appalachian Trail and the Smoky Mountains; what surprised when you read these books? What surprised you about hikers?

LISA: As a family, we’ve been able to travel a lot over the past couple decades while living overseas, something I love. What I also love is discovering new places I didn’t know about before both for their beauty and historical significance. The Appalachian Trail was one of these fun discoveries for me. I was completely impressed by the stories I read as well as the endurance it takes to complete the Appalachian Trail. I had no idea just how tough a journey like that really is. We’re talking over two thousand miles of walking! For me the dedication and endurance was incredible. It seems fun and glamorous—at least it did to me at first—but when you read about just how tough it is, it totally gives you respect not just for those who finish, but anyone who even gives it a try.

Nora: I mentioned the Appalachian Trail to a few people I work with. One girl hiked it by herself and another had her husband go with a friend on the trail. It's a very popular place with many hidden dangers. I enjoyed reading about this place.
 
 Parts of your book VENDETTA were difficult to read. You mention in the author notes, “I tackled the more difficult side of research about what happens when a child goes missing, and how families and friends often respond, along with local authorities.”

QUESTION: In your research were there items you read about that broke your heart? Others you would not put in your book? Where did you draw the line in how realistic and creepy you would go in writing this story?

LISA: Even with all that I read in researching this book, it’s still hard to imagine what families go through in a situation like this. I honestly can’t imagine how frightening it would be to not know where your child was. And with a missing child, until they are found, there can be no resolution, which has to be one of the most difficult things I can imagine. That kind of research is hard, because you’re looking at real people who are dealing with an incredible amount of pain and loss. I felt like I needed to show some of the rawness of the situation, and yet also show justice and resolution in the end as well.

Nora: It is frightening. I remember not being able to find my youngest son for 30 minutes. I had the neighbors kids and ours looking. He was 6 at the time. One of his siblings found him fast asleep under his bed. Wish all parents who have a missing child could be found like this. Grin!

You mention technology and how predators use it to lure young innocents into their web. What advice to you give parents on what to look for or to stay on top of with technology and young children?

LISA: Writing this story was a stark reminder that there is so much evil out there, and yet I also believe that God doesn’t want us to live in fear. We aren’t in control of everything in our lives. We can’t be and we know that. (As tough as that is sometimes!)

All we can really do is be proactive in our children’s lives, especially their online activities and in knowing who their friends are. We have to pray, stay involved in their lives (without smothering them) and pray some more. Because of this, I think it’s also vital to really keep communication open with our children, especially when they become pre-teens and teens. We live in a very different world than the one most of us grew up in as parents. Our kids need guardrails in their lives to keep them safe, but they also need us as parents to take the time to listen to them.

Nora: Things change so much it's hard to keep up with what is being used by kids. You book was informative and helpful as well as a suspenseful, heartfelt read!

You mention people dodging bears in the parks in your new book VENDETTA; what animals have you dodged living in Africa? 




LISA: We’ve been chased in our car by an elephant which was scary. My daughter still doesn’t like being near elephants. I also had a lion walk by my car window close enough I could touch it. At the time I couldn’t decide if I should roll up my window or get some good video. I got some great video, though I’m not sure that was the wisest choice!

And then of course there is the constant dodging of chickens and goats in the road.

Nora: Oh, My!  

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

LISA: Of course! I’m working on two stories right now, actually. One is the third book in my Nikki Boyd series. I’m really enjoying writing it, because it digs deep into what makes Nikki tick as a person—both on and off the job—as she faces some extremely tough challenges.

 I’m also working on the outline of a brand new book for Love Inspired Suspense that is set in the Sahara. What I love about this series (four books planned) is the chance to write stores set internationally. Right now I’m contracted to write one in the Sahara, Italy, Amsterdam, and Brazil.

Nora: Wow, you are one busy lady! I've made a note about these books they sound good!

You’ve talked before about your project; you said, “I’m passionate about our work in trying to bring hope to those we are working with; not just spiritually, but physically as well. That’s why we started The ECHO Project. A lot has happened over the past year that has showed us some serious needs people have who simply aren’t able to help themselves. We have encouraged the churches we work with to get involved and it has been so exciting. We visit the sick/dying, families have taken in orphans, stepped up to build houses for the needy, etc”

QUESTION: Please tell me how you started this project and how it’s going? What are your needs?

LISA: “After we’d lived in Mozambique for a couple years, we realized we were dealing with so many people and their physical needs that we needed to start a non-profit so we could help more people. That was the beginning of The ECHO Project. I’ve often had to remind myself that I still can’t fix everyone’s situation, or help everyone who has a need, but for that one person whose life is changed, that is enough.”

Our dream now is to build a compound where we can bring in people who need hospice care or children/women who need a home. This is such a need. We will have some of the local Christians trained to help them as they run the small compound. I’m also hoping to begin a sewing project to help the single mothers, especially out in the villages, earn money for their families. You can learn more about what God is doing through this project or donate at http://theechoprojectblog.blogspot.com

Our desire is to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Pro 31:8” HOW Can people help you in making your dream come true?

Nora: Thank you for sharing your dream and desire with readers. I hope that many can partner with you!

Can you tell readers what you look for when you get to visit the States? A food you desire to eat? A place you like to visit? When get back home to Africa what to you look forward to? Miss when you are in America?


LISA: This is a great question for me especially right now. We are currently home on furlough in the US for the rest of the year, and I’m definitely feeling the cultural shock. I think this is because I often feel pulled between to places when I don’t belong one hundred percent in either. It’s an interesting place to be. J
           
While in the US I like to get as much Mexican food I can. I also love to see the fall leaves, something you don’t see where we are in Africa, and of course seeing family is important.

When I’m here in the US, I miss the slower pace of life in Africa, the people, and the worship.

Nora: It sounds like you had a similar experience as a close friend of mine (who was a missionary in Africa) tell me that it was harder to adjust to the fast pace of America than it was to adjust to the slow pace of Africa.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

LISA: When I was just out of college we were broke and wanted to earn some extra money for Christmas, so I took on a few temp jobs. One was standing all day at a local bank and apologizing to people for the long lines due to some technical problems. 

The worst was delivering phone books (do they even do that any more?) by walking door to door after I’d just dropped a sewing machine on my foot and could hardly walk. Fun memories. J

Nora: It's funny to think about those thick phone books we used to use!! Grin!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? What causes you to pray the most?

LISA: How about all day? Just kidding. But right now, I am struggling with the fast pace of life here in the US and wondering when it will slow down! The good thing is that it has me praying a lot. All day. And when I wake up at night.

Nora:  I can only imagine Lisa. Thanks for sharing your heart!

When growing up, what movie had a profound effect on your heart, mind? If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you deeply?

LISA: I remember reading Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness and the profound influence it had on me. Evil is clearly real and sometimes we feel surrounded by it, but God and his power are far greater.

Nora: Oh, Lisa, Piercing the Darkness rocked my world in a profound way too! It was a game changer! Wow!

If you had the money and the time what would you love to do if you could?

LISA: I would love to take a cruise around the world. I’d stop and explore every port and enjoy the weeks of no cooking or doing laundry, and hopefully not gain to much weight from being so lazy. J 

Nora: That sounds like fun! It would be tremendous bonus to not gain weight along the way!! Grin!

LISA; ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 

LISA: Thank you so much for giving me the chance to share and connect with your readers. Love and appreciate the wonderful job you are doing for both readers and authors! 

Nora: Thanks Lisa I always love hearing from you. Readers can find out how to get involved in Lisa Harri's  The ECHO Project clicking this link  http://theechoprojectblog.blogspot.com You can also connect with Lisa at her website http://www.lisaharriswrites.com 


I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN that started the 20th of OCTOBER at www.bookfun.org LAST DAY to Enter OCT 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.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network Blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com   
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com  


Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers

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Nora St.Laurent

MUD PUDDLE HUNTING DAY by CALLIE GRANT REVIEWED

Mud Puddle Hunting Day
By Callie Grant
Illustrated by Melanie Magee
Published by Graham Blanchard
ISBN#978-0-9854090-0-5

Back Cover: All of God’s wonders look different for play on mud puddle hunting day! Children join the adventure of a young girl’s dash through the rain where she finds just what she’s looking for―a splashing experience with God’s amazing creation. In the Graham Blanchard book collection, Mud Puddle Hunting Day is a Praise book, which celebrates the soul-pleasing wonders of God that children experience every day. A natural response to this God-filled world is worship, gratitude and awe for him and his glory, while young hearts grow for him. Find out more about our Learn, Absorb and Praise books for children at GrahamBlanchard.com.

REVIEW: I enjoyed this beautifully illustrated board book about having fun on a rainy day. The child needs to prepare for the outdoors but its ok to get wet. The child sees the outside differently in the rain. The author’s shows things kids can do in the rain. She also shows animals and how they are dealing with the weather. As the little girl marches through puddles the world is fun.
I liked the rhythm of the book as well. Here’s a line from the book, “Rain changes everything along the way on a mud puddle hunting day.”
The little girl finds some treasures along the way. And Gods promise at the end of the story! It’s fun!! I can’t wait to share this book with my grandson.

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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

KITCHEN MATRIX by MARK BITTMAN REVIEWED


Kitchen Matrix
By Mark Bittman
Published by Pam Krauss books – Crown Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-8041-8801-2
364 Pages

Back Cover: Bestselling author Mark Bittman anthologizes his popular Matrix series in a boldly graphic new cookbook that emphasizes creativity, improvisation, and simplicity as the keys to varied cooking.

For years, Mark Bittman has shared his formulas, recipes, and kitchen improvisations in his popular New York Times Eat column, in which an ingredient or essential technique is presented in different variations in a bold matrix. Accompanied by striking photographs and brief, straightforward instructions, these thematic matrices show how simple changes in preparation and ingredient swaps in a master recipe can yield dishes that are each completely different from the original, and equally delicious. In Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix, Mark’s matrices come together to create a collection of over 400 flexible recipes covering vegetables, fruits, meats and chicken, and even desserts.  Whether you're cooking up soup (creamy, broth, earthy, or hearty), freezing ice pops (in fruity, savory, creamy, or boozy varieties), or preparing asparagus (steamed, roasted, stir-fried, or grilled), following Mark’s approach to culinary improvisation will deliver stand-out results. 

REVIEW: I had read the book A Bone to Pick by this author who also has a column in the New York Times Magazine called “Eat”, he started writing in 2011 and continues today. I found the book insightful and disturbing as I learned about the food we eat and where it comes from. Because I learned so much I couldn’t wait to check out one of his cook books. I found this book informative, fascinating and very helpful. I’m a visual learner and found the design and color pictures in this hardback book wonderful. 
In this book here are over 750 simple recipes and techniques to mix and match.

This cookbook has several categories; first there is the introduction to the book and how it all works. First there is the section on Appetizers and Entertaining, then Soups, Stews and sandwiches; Vegetables, Pasta, Grains and Beans; Fish and Seafood; Poultry and Eggs; Meat; Condiments and Seasonings; Fruit; Desserts and Baking.

I appreciated the fact that they included pictures of ingredients on one section. Some of these ingredients I’ve never seen in its original form only in a ground up form in a jar. I liked the fact that he puts together flavors that complement one another and taste good. He’s taken the guess work out cooking for me. I liked the section on entertaining. I love having a go to book where I can look at what’s in my cupboard and see what I can create from it. I’m excited that now I have a tool I can use to be creative and cook good healthy food.

Beautiful color pictures are on every page of this wonderful and helpful book. It’s said we first enjoy a meal with eyes; that is so true. Each chapter has an introduction to what to expect and how to use the recipes in each section. The recipes are simple and the instructions easy to follow with ingredients I can easily find in the local grocery store.

There are some fun sections I can’t wait to try like the one on burgers. The author says, “…for the sake of mixing it up – and frankly, because you probably don’t need me telling you how to make a classic burger – here are nine burgers that move beyond beef.” Oh, Yeah I think so!

I also can’t wait to start on the veggie chapter. This author says, “You can probably tell by the length of this chapter that I’m a little obsessed with vegetables. Not only are they what we should be eating more of than anything else, but there are nearly countless varieties that can be prepared (cooked or not), in an endless number of ways…this chapter is ordered largely by season, which is meant to facilitate the kind of ingredients – driven cooking that I highly recommend when it comes to produce.”

He encourages readers to see ingredients in the grocery story that look great and then go home and find recipes to make wonderful meals. There are a variety of recipes in the book that look yummy. He also includes a page on Vegetable show stoppers that are a substitute for meaty main courses. Some of the vegetables listed are corn, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, root veggies and many more.

This is my new go to book for the vegetable seasons. I look forward to all I’m going to learn from this author. There is also a fun section titled Thanksgiving leftovers that is creative and know I’ll be using it really soon. Some of the desserts look great too. Some that stand out are the recipes on donuts, brownies, Ice pops and Fruit desserts look wonderful too. This book would make a great gift for the skilled and unskilled cook!

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books site. 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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRES by LAURA FRANTZ REVIEWED


The Mistress of Tall Acres
By Laura Frantz
Published Revell
ISBN#978-0-8007-2044-5
400 Pages

Back Cover: A marriage of convenience.
She is in love with someone else.
He has no wish to love again.
What could possibly go wrong?

In the aftermath of the American Revolution a destitute young woman agrees to a marriage of convenience and becomes Mistress of Tall Acre. But when secrets from her husband's past are revealed, loyalties and ties are torn asunder.

REVIEW: The author states in her notes …”this was fun to write because of my own family heritage in Virginia, but mostly because of my continued awe, and appreciation of those first American Patriots. From the comforts of our twenty-first – century homes and a world of instant everything, we often forget how long the revolutionary war was and how very turbulent and passionate that time period was. In the span of a novel I’ve attempted to portray a tiny slice of that era through the tenants of Tall Acre…through their sacrifices, courage, and vision they leave us an enduring, historically rich legacy.”

This author creates believable characters I instantly cared about. I appreciated the rich historical detail without bogging the reader down.  She also creates villains I loathed and there were some twists I didn’t see coming. The treachery that Sophie and Seamus endured was deep, my heart ached for them. (I know they aren’t real but it felt real!) I also felt like I was in the parlor with Sophie and General Seamus’s younger daughter Lily Cate (who I adored) as the prepared to take tea.

Sophie’s friend jokes with her about the tea party they have planned, “You wouldn’t by any chance, have designs on the general by way of his little daughter?”

“Glynnis! You make the situation sound so – conniving…”The truth is I’m lonely. I’ve always loved children. We’ve had no merriment at Three Chimney’s for ages, even if it’s a humble tea party.” In the parlor

Lily and Sophie pray before their tea party. Sophie gives Lily one of her dolls she stored in the attic. A Pandora Doll. Lily Cate treasures the gift. I grew to admire Sophie. She is brave and has a strength to hang out at the manor waiting on her brother to return from war. She is determined to do the right thing as she is having to deal with running a household with little money and few servants. She has learned to lean on the Lord in hard times. She trusts the Lord to provide a way when there seems to be no way to survive.


Seamus is a General at the end of the war in 1783 who has suffered unimaginable horrors of war. The battle weary soldier would like to pick up his life where he left it and raise his lovely daughter. He’s a widow who finds himself still in a battle on a whole new plain. It’s unimaginable what he goes through.

Sophie Menzies wants to help General Seamus Ogilvy navigate fatherhood because she’s developed a bond with his daughter. He needs help but so does she. Can they work together? Can she enter a marriage of convenience? Could he do the same?

I was captured by this story and their situations. I loved how this author Interwoven in the story historical facts, suspense, drama and mystery and their journey in faith. Seamus and Sophie walk a hard road which causes them to question all that they believe and stand for – trust God’s plan for their lives? – Embark on their journey as a family? What was the right thing?

I liked getting glimpses of General Seamus interacting with General George Washington. I had read that this author is going to start having historical figures have dialogue in her novels. I enjoyed the peek at General Washington.

This is a sweet and tender love story with a few twists and turns; with a few heart-wrenching parts I was surprised by. This is a story you won’t soon forget. I highly recommend this as a great escape and one that would be GREAT for book club. This story is rich with so much to talk about.

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsor Revell
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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

VENDETTA by LISA HARRIS REVIEWED

Vendetta
By Lisa Harris
Published by Revell
ISBN# 978-0-8007-2417-7
304 Pages

Back Cover: No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

With this explosive first book in the new Nikki Boyd Files, Lisa Harris takes readers on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have them holding their breath until the heart-stopping finish.

REVIEW: Hold on to your heart while reading this one. This is an all too real situation about what happens when a child goes missing. The author states, “I tackled the more difficult side of research about what happens when a child goes missing, and how families and friends often respond, all with local authorities…”.. She goes on to say, “I have taken some liberties, including creating the newly instated Missing Persons Task Force team for the sake of the story.”

This is book one in the Nikki Boyd Files, where she talks about the first forty eight hours being he most critical to missing children’s cases. Nikki can sympathize with victims’ families because her sister went missing ten years ago. Never found. Nikki says, “I know that one of the hardest things a person can face is not knowing where a loved one is.”

Sixteen year old girl is reported missing. Kyle legal guardian is the older brother. Woven into the story are flash backs to Nikki’s time with her little sister. Tyler is her best friend’s husband. Today they were celebrating what would have been Katie’s Birthday. They lost her a year ago today. Tyler was still beating himself up about the event; three tours of duty he says, “in special ops, and I couldn’t save my own wife.”

Nikki wonders, “Why does everything have to happen at once, God? Because this day can’t end this way?”

“Sometimes there truly is nothing you can do to change your circumstances. Sometimes all you can do is hold on for dear life and pray that God will help you find a way through the storm. Sometimes he shows you a way to escape, and sometimes he walks through the fire with you!”

This author pens a haunting, suspenseful, surreal tale of a young missing girl. Warning: You’ll be up late reading this page turner and biting your nails as the author takes you alongside Nikki and Tyler and the rest of the rescue team to uncover clues to the girl’s whereabouts. The author has a few twists and turns as the author ends this novel in preparation for the next adventure! If you love a suspenseful read with a splash of romance you’ll love this book. This makes for a great read and one that would work well in a book club setting!

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsor Revell
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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com


ALL OF ME THAT YOU CAN'T SEE REVIEWED


ALL OF ME THAT YOU CAN’T SEE
By Callie Grant
Illustranted by Jeremy Tugeau
Published by Graham Blanchard Inc.
ISBN#978-0-9854090-4-3
20 pages BB

Back Cover: A child discovers how his inner self is growing in Jesus right along with the rest of him, as he lives out changes in his heart, mind, strength and soul. In the Graham Blanchard book collection, All of Me That You Can’t See is an Absorb book, which connects studies about the facts of God with a child’s inner life. Children assimilate on a personal level who God is and how they are made to be with him, trust him and love him―the life of a believer. Find out more about our Learn, Absorb and Praise books for children at GrahamBlanchard.com.

REVIEW: The cover of this board book first caught my eye. It’s fun and beautiful. The little boy in the super hero costume reminded me of my grandson. The wonderful illustrations help bring the story to life. I like that this author talks about growing up on the outside and on the inside too. She talks about ways your heart, mind, soul and strength grow along with your body.  She gives examples of each with a fun picture. Not too many books about this subject. This book helps start conversations with youngesters that is important and in a way they understand. I liked that this message is simple yet profound. This helps a child with his or her own relationship and discovery of Jesus.

I loved it. There is also more support and insight to sharing your faith and teaching your child about God at Graham Blanchard publishers site.

This book based on Mark 12: 30 
“A young child discovers that his inner self grows in Jesus right along with the rest of him.” 

I highly recommend these book.

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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com