BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

CARRE ARMSTRONG GARDNER Up-Close and Personal 3 Book GIVEAWAY



ABOUT AUTHOR: Carre writes from the big small town of Portland, Maine, where she's the mom of 3 teenagers and 2 dogs she would rather not own. (Only the dogs, not the teenagers.) From 2007 to 2010, she and her family lived in Russia, studying the language and doing humanitarian work.

Like most writers, Carre grew up with her a book always in her hand. The heroines she admired most were smart, creative, independent thinkers like Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, and Cherry Ames. Nancy proved that being a girl detective might just be the coolest career ever, but Cherry taught her that nursing was more practical. Carre compromised by becoming a nurse and marrying a sleuth.

Nearly every flat surface in Carre's home has books on it. The stories she loves most are those about the ordinary lives of ordinary people; she thinks of every life as a fascinating drama. Isn't each one of us the hero of our own story? She'd love for you to drop her a line and tell her yours.

How did you come up with the idea for The Darling Family series?

CARRE: It evolved in bits and pieces over a period of about 10 years. For instance, People magazine does an annual issue on everyday people who have lost at least 100 lbs, and one year, they had this stunning redhead, and I just found her so compelling. Sephy’s story was born that way. I also really wanted to write about an unhappy marriage. It’s my belief that there are many more unhappy marriages out there, especially in the church, especially among couples in their thirties, than we realize. Other issues we don’t address enough in the church are addiction, perfectionism, grief, and women who mistake being people-pleasers for godliness. I wanted to write about all of it. But the overriding theme throughout the books is the family dynamic. I love big families: the joy, the bickering, the secrets, the love… I used to get the Lands End catalog, and they use the same models every issue: a redhead, a brunette, and a blonde. They’re always posed in these family-looking scenes, and that helped me think about these half-formed characters more concretely. I gave Amy dreadlocks because I’ve always wanted dreadlocks, myself.
  
What made you open up the novel with DeShaun’s graduation ceremony with such a scary situation?

CARRE: I wasn’t sure where you were going with it at first – but I have a son graduating in a few weeks and was horrified by the thought. But given the horrific situations that have happened in movie theaters, schools etc. anything’s possible. How do you deal with situations like this? How do you not let fear consume you and take over your life? I opened the book that way because I wanted to show that Hammer is really headed for serious trouble, unless his parents get him some help. When you are a parent, you have the potential to be terrified like nobody else on the planet. The world is a horrifying place in many ways, and the thought of bringing up children in it could paralyze us with fear if we let it. For my own sanity, I am careful of what I allow past the gates of my eyes and ears, because once something is in your mind, it’s there to stay. I simply do not watch the news: the media is an industry that stays competitive by fear-mongering, and I’m not buying into that. Instead, I keep up with current events by reading news stories, which are easier to police as I go. Sometimes I’m simply better off to stay uninformed. It’s not burying my head in the sand: it’s being a good steward of my own peace of mind. When I lived and worked in Russia, I learned the art of living day by day—sometimes hour by hour—and not pinning my hopes on what I wanted the future to bring. You had to do that there, because all of life was uncertain, and much of it was dangerous. It’s an excellent way to live. Learning to take life as it comes and just go with it puts an end to a lot of anxiety. But it takes practice. And it takes a solid belief that God is completely, minutely in control of everything, and always acting out of great love for us, even in the hard things. 

Out of all the interviews you’ve ever done is there a question you wished someone had asked you but didn’t? If so, what is the question and what is your answer?

CARRE: Yes, thank you! Nobody ever asks me whether or not I write poetry. The answer is yes, I do, and very badly. Here’s one of my poems, which hearkens back to the days of the old, top-loading washing machines:


Ode on a Downy Fabric Softener Ball

Oh imperfect sphere with skin of milky blue!
Translucent polystyrene betrays your inmost parts
Thick, substantial, with a cloying April-fresh scent.

I watch you, tumbled and tossed among my daughter’s shorts
Resigned, probably dreading that
Final, sickening spin

When once again your head will pop open
Draining your viscera, spilling it out
Like a tiny, blue blood sacrifice upon my family’s clothing.

And you will lie quiet: spent and disheartened
While around you the waters rise
Bearing your empty body up and up again.
Short cycle, cold rinse.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play? 

CARRE: I’d be the person who sees the problem in front of her and sets to work quietly solving it: I don’t need to have my opinion heard; I’m not a great team player, and I wouldn’t be vying for leadership. In the end, we would be rescued because I’d built a signal fire while everyone else was arguing about who was in charge.

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

CARRE: I would go live in Hertfordshire, England, near Longbourn in the early 19th century, and be best friends with Elizabeth Bennett. And if Mr. Darcy happened to like me better than her, that would not be my fault.

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?

CARRE: What a great question! I think I would say all the sounds that water makes. A trickling brook, a roaring waterfall, pattering rain, crashing waves… I feel very at home on and in the water: I grew up on lakes, and now live near the ocean. This week, I’m leaving on a hundred-mile kayaking trip. At night, I sleep with a white noise machine that sounds like a rain storm. The sound of water is both exciting and soothing to me.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 

CARRE: Thank you so much for taking the time to read The Darling Family series: I’m humbled and thrilled to be part of your lives in this way!

Nora: THANKS for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books Carre! I really enjoyed the Darlings family series. You had great discussion questions in the first two books. Sure to make for a lively book club discussion. I look forward to reading your next book series! All the best to you and yours.

If you’d like to read more of this interview you can check out the July Issue of Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com (out later this month) The author as added interesting pictures and talks about what has surprised her most about being an author etc!

ANSWER ONE OF CARRE’S QUESTIONS TO BE ENTER DRAWING

1.    What do you like to read? Do you mostly read Christian fiction, or do you read in other markets too? Why or why not? What’s the most important criteria when you choose what to read next?

2.    What’s one thing you know in life now that you didn’t know ten or twenty years ago: that, if you had the power, you would go back and tell your decades-younger self?


3.    I’d like to ask the time-machine question to readers: A friend of yours has a time machine and lets you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do? 

****PLEASE REMEMBER to put your email address with your comment so I can contact you if your name is drawn********

\EXTRA BONUS ENTRY - Check out Book Fun Magazine tell me of an article that catches your eye. www.bookfunmagazine.com 

Another extra entry for telling me why you stopped and read it.

BOOK FUN MAGAZINE http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/BookFunMagazine/issues/103065/viewer  


Sponsored by Tyndale Publishers #AD USA Residents only.

Nora St. Laurent is the CEO of The Book Club Network Inc. http://www.bookfun.org
You can read author interviews, reviews, learn about book signings and about TBCN giveaways on the blog she created called The Book Club Network blog, http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Nora also does author interviews and reviews for Book Fun Magazine http://www.bookfunmagazine.com  
Nora has also run book clubs with more than 100 members.


62 comments:

  1. 1. I read mostly Christian fiction with a couple or so exceptions. I enjoy Debbie Macomber, Sheila Roberts and Susan Mallery.
    I don't like books with graphic sex or language.

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  2. Christian and clean novels. If I'm not familiar with an author, I look for endorsements by authors I read and I will research the author and their books and read reviews. No foul language, nudity or sexual. I look for a spiritual lesson that a character learns.

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    1. Your name was drawn could you please email me your contact information by tomorrow? norafindinghope@yahoo.com. If I do not hear from you I will have to draw another name!! THANKS for participating!

      Delete

  3. 2. What’s one thing you know in life now that you didn’t know ten or twenty years ago: that, if you had the power, you would go back and tell your decades-younger self? I would go back and tell myself that there really is such a thing as unconditional love. After being married for thirteen years, I thought there were greener pastures and divorced my hubby. We had two children that were nine and twelve and didn't understand. After I went to the bottom of the pit as I call it, I realized I had made a huge mistake. My hubby was still standing for restoration even though we were divirced. A year and a half later we remarried. He showed me what u fictional love was and lead me to the lord. A year two years after being remarried we had our third child. Her name is Destiny.

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    1. Wow, thanks for your honesty, Deana! I love that your story had a happy ending.

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  4. What’s one thing you know in life now that you didn’t know ten or twenty years ago: that, if you had the power, you would go back and tell your decades-younger self?

    I know that nothing can replace a mother's love. My mother died from cancer when I was a teen, so I'd go back and savor each moment I had with her.

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. My own kids are at the age when they're off doing their own things, and rarely check in with me. Some days I can feel like I don't matter to them. So thanks for your comment because I needed to hear it today!

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  5. If I could use my friend's time machine, I would go back in time. I would go back to my childhood before my dad died. I would most definitely spend more time doing fun things with him and telling him that I love him more than anything. I know he knew I loved him, but I would verbally tell him a whole lot more. I was only 17 when I lost my dad from cancer and I would have definitely loved to have had more time to spend with him. Cherish every moment you can with the ones you love because you never know when God will call them home.
    tazbaby2540@gmail.com

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    1. Life is never the same after you lose a parent, is it? Thanks for the reminder that we should love them better while we have them.

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  6. Christian fiction is the primary genre that I read these days and I also enjoy Christian non-fiction. I have two favorite authors that write secular fiction and I still enjoy their books but both Mary Higgins Clark and Jennifer Chiaverini write stories that I am not embarassed to be seen reading!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. What do you like to read? Do you mostly read Christian fiction, or do you read in other markets too? Why or why not? What’s the most important criteria when you choose what to read next?

    I mostly read romance, women's articles but enjoy most other genres. I like to learn something new, like to be taken to a new place and learn about it and I like a story with twists-one that is not so predictable.

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  8. If I could go back in time I would go back to when my children were babies so I could do it all over again. They were the best years of my life and hopefully I would be a much better mother.

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    Replies
    1. I would do the same, and I hope I'd be a better mother too. I loved those years!

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  9. Forgot to include my email.
    Jhdwayne@peoplepc.com

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  10. I like to read thrillers. I read little of a lot of things but they are my go to genre. They keep my attention best and keep me turning pages long after others have put me to sleep.

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  11. I mostly prefer to read Christian fiction but have read many wondeful non-fiction titles offered through TBCN. I probably would not have read these, had it not been for TBCN.

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  12. Bonus Entry: I love the entire magazine but especially love interviews with authors like Tessa Afshar this month. Incredible!

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  13. I love reading - but almost only read Christian fiction because I prefer clean books (therefore Christian) and I prefer stories over non-fiction - although I do like biographies.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Bonus entry: I was ambushed caught my eye because of the picture of one man with a bunch of girls!

    I then read the article because I like to read:)

    I also liked the picture of Plowed Land and read it because I recognized the name of the author as one who wrote the most amazing book I've read in a long time so I wanted to see what she said.

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  16. Time Machine question. . God is Sovereign, He will take care of you, rest in Him. I wish I had started trying to do that earlier. Thanks for the chance to win. I enjoyed your downey poem. P & G might want that for an add. :-)
    Becky B.
    ohiohomeschool (at) gmail (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha: thanks! Proctor & Gamble might be the way I make my fortune!

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  17. Love christian fiction with suspense and some romance. Refuse to read worldly suspense now that I have found fantastic Christian authors like Colleen Coble, Dee Henderson, Richard Mabry, etc...

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  18. Bonus entry: "Identity theft" grabbed my attention because I am a computer teacher and this type of issue aligns with my curriculum.

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    1. Your name was drawn could you please email me your contact information by tomorrow? norafindinghope@yahoo.com. If I do not hear from you I will have to draw another name!! THANKS for participating!

      Delete
  19. I read different genres and do not limit myself to Christian fiction; however, I don't read junk.

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  20. I will read pretty much any genre esp if it has been recommended to me by a friend. For the last year or so my next book choice to read has pretty much been what is next on my to be revised list.
    Anne at Rightler dot com

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  21. I read cozy mysteries and also am author of three cozy cat mysteries and a cozy WWII humorous mystery. With a time machine, I'd probably go back to the time my children were teenagers..when I thought I looked 'so old' and now would give my eye teeth to look that young again! I loved your interview. You sound like my kind of gal. Check out cozy books by Elaine Faber on Amazon for good clean, mystery reads.

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    1. I feel the same way when I see pictures of myself from 10 or 15 years ago! I should have appreciated the way I looked then. And I like a good cozy mystery myself!

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  22. I mostly read Christian fiction because secular fiction has gotten so it contains so many cuss words that I don't want to fill my mind with. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  23. I read Christian fiction and non fiction and occasionally a clean fiction book in the general market. I especially love Christian historical, as I love learning while being entertained. I was drawn to the article of Tessa Afshar book Land of Silence. Thank you for the chance. God bless!
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

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  24. l. I like to read Christian fiction - mysteries or relationships going wrong and then mending. I prefer Christian novels for their non-swearing,non-nudity and non-sexual airs.

    I also enjoy reading Christian non-fiction. I like to learn new things to grow spiritually in my Christian walk.

    BONUS ENTRY:

    The whole magazine is so interesting to read, but I especially liked the interview with Tessa Afshar.

    WHAT MADE ME ASTOP AND READ THE INTERVIEW:

    One of my favorite Bible stories is the woman with the issue of blood touching the hem of Jesus' garment. I read about this book before and recognized the cover immediately.

    debralindquist1@gmail.com

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  25. 1. I love Christian fiction! I do occasionally read in the secular market but mostly try to stay in the Christian market. readerscorner01@gmail.com

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  26. I would tell myself to trust in God with my whole heart, soul and mind. That I didn't need to be good enough to be a Christian because Jesus came fir the imperfect. This would mean I would be restored by His word and Sacrament of Holy Communion and not need to live in the future of what ifs and if I only had _____ I would be fulfilled and happy. Through my Baptism I was made His child, but my younger self needed to learn to stop searching elsewhere to fill what only God can fill.
    Janmccri@aol.com

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  27. I read a lot of Christian fiction and other genres. I like suspense, mysteries, thrillers, some nonfiction and some scifi. Sometimes I have to see what book I need to review next or what is due back at the library soon.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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  28. I would tell my younger self to slow down and enjoy the years raising my children. To be more patient and to make myself understand how quickly the years would fly by. ba.wood@live.com

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    Replies
    1. I would do the same thing! I'd love to have those years back....

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  29. I read Christian fiction because I can trust it won't be "tarnished with trash"!

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  30. I read light romance mainly, with Christian fiction, thrillers and cozy mysterys for a change of pace. I also like biographys of Christian singers and missionarys. Nancy A

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  31. If I could go back those years, I would enjoy today more and plan less for tomorrow.I would encourage my friends and family to do the same.
    I looked at the magazine because I was curious about the content.
    The information about The Jerusalem Secret was intriguing.

    annielaurasmith@comcast.net

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  32. I would like to go back and walk with Jesus as he taught & healed. Oh,to see His face.

    I hopped on over because of receiving your email 😊

    Always my first read is the editor's page; it just draws me in!

    ozarkharness@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Your name was drawn could you please email me your contact information by tomorrow? norafindinghope@yahoo.com. If I do not hear from you I will have to draw another name!! THANKS for participating!

      Delete
  33. I would use a time machine to go back to the days of Jesus and watch some of the stories in the Bible as they happened in real life.

    I viewed the magazine and read the article Vive la Difference by Sylvia Bambola.
    It was intriguing to read her personal experience that broadened her perspective of God's creation along with the contrasting strengths and weaknesses of each.

    uberad24@gmail.com

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  34. I would tell my much younger self two things. 1. Take better care of your money with a goal to being debt-free. It's an amazing feeling to not struggle to make payments. 2. Don't be so worried about what others think. "Take a chance! Columbus did!" (One of my Mom's favorite sayings.)

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    Replies
    1. I love your mom's saying! My mom used to say, "Don't worry so much about what people think of you: they're not thinking of you at all!"

      Delete
  35. I read mostly Christian romance. The article that caught my attention was "I want you to be my daddy." Because I lost my dad as a young teenager. and I wanted to know what the article was about. galinda at earthlink dot net

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  36. If I had a time machine I would want to go back so that I could sit and listen to Jesus as he taught.

    Also, I love Christian fiction, especially suspense. I do read a few friends that don't write Christian fiction but I mostly read Christian fiction & non-fiction.

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  37. Iwould tell myself to enjoy and appreciate life. Savor youth and good health. You only go through this stage once.

    I loved the Living by Faith article. It was funny but so encouraging. This is really putting your faith in God in action.
    Sonnetta_jones@hotmail.com

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  38. 2. Something that I know now that I didn't know 10 years ago is just how deeply my mother loves me. It wasn't until I gave birth to my own son that I came to realize the depth of her love for me and God started to show me all the things I had overlooked within our relationship. It is truly amazing - the honor and privilege of being a mother.

    Shayla.Logan11@gmail.com

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  39. Wow! Great questions. Answering #2. If I could go back in time and change one thing, it would be the decision to forego college because I was in love. Should have followed my dream to be a nurse. Thanks for the chance to win! vjameson@perkinscenter.org

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  40. If I had a time machine I would go back and downs more time with my grandparents and soak up all the information about life they had to share.

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  41. If I could I would take better care of my body. Keep my weight off and be healthier.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. I prefer Christian books so there are no surprises. I am in 2 other book clubs and sometimes do not read/finish some of the choices.

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  43. I love to read everything about the Amish but I am also starting to read other style of books. I would love to have my grandparents back as they were the only parents that loved me.
    Karen are khsmith97217@yahoo.com

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  44. I stopped to read The Holy Spirit: Heaven's Greatest Evangelist. Intriguing title and an even better article!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. The ad ad that caught my eye first was Books for Children by Elk Lake Publishing. I have a granddaughter that was two this past Feb. and she already loves books. I want to make sure that her reading material helps her learn about God and His Son.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  46. I like to read Christian suspense/romance--like Dee Henderson & Dani Pettrey--to name just a few authors--I'm a very visual learner, so I haven't watched tv in decades--last movie I watched was War Room; & before that, Mr Holland's Opus, Forest Gump & Rain Man! I don't want sin, swearing, etc. "programmed" into my brain...

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  47. I like to read a variety of genres but like Christian fiction best.
    onorman (at) wilkes (dot) net

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  48. I only read Christian fiction. I do enjoy reading a lot of different kinds of books such as Amish. mystery/suspense, historical, and romance. I choose to read only clean/Christian books because I don't like reading the trash that is in the general books.

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  49. Forgot to reply for the bonus entries. I liked several of the articles, but enjoyed Tessa Afshar's Plowed Land. I stopped to read it because Tessa is a new author I've discovered that writes Biblical fiction. God has been speaking to me recently about not feeling guilty if I can't do it all just right. I just have to give my best effort for the tasks He has called me to do. That's what counts. vjameson@perkinscenter.org. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  50. If I had a time machine I would go back year and try and fix my marriage before it became a shambles. We would have gone to counseling to fix the issues before they became enormous. But with prayer and counseling now hopefully things will get better. Thank you for the chance to win your wonderful books. Pennymarks@frontier.com

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