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THE STORY TRAVELERS BIBLE REVIEWED


The Story Travelers Bible
By Tracy Madder
Illustrated by Tim Crecelius
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-0915-7 HB
4-8 year old’s

ABOUT BOOK: Join Lana, Munch, and Griffin on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel through the Holy Land and learn about the stories, cultures, people, and places of the Bible. High-quality illustrations, engaging sidebars, and scripture passages draw kids into the narrative. The Story Travelers Bible teaches kids that the Bible is more than just a bunch of tales told by parents and Sunday school teachers, but the Bible documents God’s work in and for His people from the beginning of time. The Story Travelers Bible will take kids on a ride through 85 Bible stories.

REVIEW: This reminded me of Superbook animated series my kids watched growing up.  The kids would jump into the Bible that was all lit up. Then they’d get dropped in the middle of an event that took place in the Bible. They had a firsthand adventure with the stories from Bible times. In a similar way, Lana, Munch, and Griffin get caught up inside a mini bus that wildly spins them until it vanishes with the kids.

Before the bus vanishes, they’ve had a discussion among themselves about reading the Bible. Each of them says they don’t do it much or if at all. I liked the kids’ honesty. This book teaches kids that the Bible documents God’s work in and for his people from the beginning of time. The story travelers’ Bible will take kids on adventures through 85 Bible stories.

There are things to look at and learn about with every story told; from the sidebars and information boxes. There are Learn More sections, Build your faith boxes and Memory verses. This book is told in an engaging storytelling manner with colorful animated illustrations and activities that allow children to dig deeper into the Bible for themselves. Both children and parents will like this contemporary and fresh narrative. This hardback book will catch kids’ attention and imagination as it’s filled with adorable animated pictures that bring Bible stories to life and help kids get a deeper understanding.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Tracey Madder is an author and content creator for children. She has over ten years of experience in the entertainment industry, working internationally as a model, actress, and photographer. Then she stepped out of the spotlight to raise a family, and now it is the title of “stay-at-home mom” that she is most proud of.

Inspired by her four kids, Tracey began creating children’s content in 2014. She is the author/creator of The Story Travelers Bible and the Prayer Monsters brand.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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
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I AM DEVOTIONAL REVIEWED


I Am Devotional
By Diane Stortz
Published by Tommy Nelson
ISBN# 978-0-7180-9673-1
205 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: The God Who Saves. The God Who Provides. The Holy One. The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us—explore the glory and the goodness of God in I Am Devotional.  

Children will learn to trust God in everything as they learn about the names and character of God in the I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith.

Name of God: I AM
Meaning: God is to be worshiped
Application: Worship God by how you live!

Diane Stortz has a proven history of connecting well with both children and parents in her writing. With sales of 500,000 inspirational books for children, Diane is a trusted name for Christian families. The art of Diane Le Feyer has captivated readers of I Am and will continue to delight in this accompanying devotional with vibrant illustrations throughout and a vivid cover embellished with foil and lots of striking glitter.
The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.

REVIEW: I was blown away by the hardback cover, how it glows and the fact that it’s textured and sparkles. I also thought the animated illustrations by Diane LeFeyer were inviting and beautiful. This devotional starts out with a short note to parents and kids letting them know how to use this devotional and what to look forward to.

I loved how this devotional started out with Moses and the burning bush and what God told him his name was. The next devotional looks into What’s in a name? The author talks about names and that many of the names in the Bible often told about the person. She talks about Adam and Eve and what their names meant. Then she says that sometimes God changed people’s names to reflect a change in who they were.

The author states, “God’s names have meaning. I am Who I Am is the name God told Moses, but the Bible has many other names for God. As you go through this book and learn more of God’s names, you will get to know Him better and trust Him more. And you can start today!”

Devotions in this book are based on forty of the many names for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit found in scriptures. They are written to help children develop an understanding of what the names tell us about God, how we should respond, and how we can see those characteristics of God at work in our own lives.

Each devotion includes discussion questions, prayer, and a Go Deeper Bible verse to explore. Families can work through the book together, and older children can enjoy using the book for grown-up-style devotions on their own. I liked that it also had a section that asked the kids questions that made them think like, “Have you ever made a promise you couldn’t keep? What happened? What do you think is the best thing about God’s promises and power? It helps make things a little more engaging.

The author states, “my prayer is for Psalm 9:10 to be true for you and your children every day: “Those who know your name put their trust in you” Has a purple ribbon to mark your place

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLookBlogger 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
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REGENCY BRIDES SERIES by CAROLYN MILLER BOOK 1 REVIEWED

The Elusive Miss Ellison
By Carolyn Miller
(Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace)
Published by Kregal Publishers
304 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war, he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

REVIEW: I realized the beginning of the story felt slow to me because I didn’t know where the author was leading me. Things pick up around chapter four or so. I started to connect with strong headed Lavinia, whose emotionally elusive, feisty, good-natured, religious, who is the heroine. It was easier to understand where the new Earl of Hawkesbury was coming from. He was handsome, rich, prideful, self-centered and insensitive at times with people that were beneath his rank.

Unexpected events cause Lavinia and Nicholas to interact in close courters allowing them to see another side of the other. During this time, they have a spiritual spark ignite inside their hearts. I liked how the author has this naturally evolve, it wasn’t forced or preachy. It was realistic. It was noteworthy not just to have faith in Christ, but to allow God to work in your heart and lives daily during that time.

It was interesting to read what the Earl’s mission and expectations were for a small village in that Era. The small village was thrilled to finally have a new Earl of Hawkesbury. Nicholas was not so thrilled as he noticed that many of the mothers were grooming their daughters well in hopes of making him their new son-in-law. Lavinia, on the other hand, wasn’t interested in the least in finding a husband. Her concerns were more that the Earl do more for the poor.

When Lavinia meets Nichols, she is disgusted by his demeanor. Nichols feels the same way about her and her attitude of superiority and her keen sense of duty to the less fortunate. He hates the fact that this job has been forced upon him by his social position. Playful banter happens as they battle wills; these two couldn’t be more different.

Tragedy is a game changer for Nicholas and Lavinia; sparks start to fly and love tries to bloom, but misunderstandings and hurt feelings stunt its growth.  Lavinia’s strong personality consistently sprouts miscommunication and pain. I did enjoy the light-hearted moments filled with humor. I enjoyed the musical entertainment and some surprises that happened at the balls. I almost felt like I was there. Things are kept lively with disappearances, many mysteries with surprising twists and turns I didn’t see coming; making this an engaging read and a fun escape. I look forward to reading book two titled, Captivating Lady Charlotte.

FROM AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Carolyn Miller, author of 'The Elusive Miss Ellison'.

I live in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia.

I'm married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!) as I do (except not in the Regency genre - funny, that!).

My favorite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but I also enjoy contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

I try to write stories that are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus 'true love', and other challenges we all face at different times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I bought this ebook on Amazon. 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
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GOD BLESS MY SCHOOL - CHILDRENS BB REVIEWED



 God Bless My School
By Hannah C. Hall
Illustrated by Steve Whitlow
Published by Tommy Nelson
ISBN#978-0-7180-1109-3

ABOUT BOOK: Are you ready for some brand-new fun—at school?
These cuddly critters have got their school supplies and are ready for big adventures! Help your own little learner look forward to exciting activities and new friends and—most of all—remember that God is with them everywhere they go


ABOUT AUTHOR: Hannah C. Hall is a bestselling author, award-winning blogger, lover of Jesus, lover of Josh, mother of four, cooker of meals, changer of diapers, and an unashamed enjoyer of desserts. Hannah C. Hall estimates that she has read approximately 4,500 bedtime stories to her children over the last few years. She is thankful to get to add her own books to their daily rotation. Hannah and her husband, Josh, have five children and live in a small town in Arkansas. Visit her at HannahCHall.com

ABOUT ILLUSTRATOR: Steve Whitlow lives in northern England, on the top of a (very) windswept hill, with his wife and young family. Steve followed his artistic calling from an early age and was first published at age 16, producing vibrant characters for greeting cards and then children's publishing. With no formal art training and only his natural talent, Steve has now been working as a professional artist for more than twenty years. “My kids are my critics,” says Steve. “The best reaction I can hope for is an exclamation of ‘Cool, Dad!’ from either Sam or Ethan—or both.”   

REVIEW: This is a cuddly feel good adorable book to look at and read. This board book introduces little ones to the concept of leaving home and getting ready to go to school. The author shows little animal friends getting ready for school. They put on their new shoes, put supplies in their backpack for school, hug mom goodbye and they’re off.

There are different adorable animals illustrated throughout this story. One of the furry friends is pictured flying the nest it reads, “I’m off on big adventures now! I’m brave as I can be. And I won’t cry when I say, “Bye.” I know God goes with me.” Ahhhh!

Mom’s will have to remember that message too as they hug their precious little one’s goodbye!

The author shows kids gathered inside the classroom learning the teachers' name then all the different activities they get to do. There is lunch time, nap time, and then fun on the playground. This gives parents and child to talk about the fun they will have ahead when they go to school. It’s not scary but fun. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLookBloggers 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
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LAST DAY TO ENTER DRAWING

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER this DRAWING

TO ENTER DRAWINGS You must first JOIN TBCN. www.bookfun.org
If you are Already a member click on this LINK http://www.bookfun.org/page/author-groups-for-promo

Frank Barbehann
Marcia Laycock
Pamela Meyer
Jo Huddleston
Kathern Haddad
Anne Greene
Alana Terry
Lee Carver
Carolyn Miller
William Comb
N.J. Lindquist




Jean Williams











Giving away Gift Cards, Coffee mugs, a pound of coffee, Book sets for Alana Terry and N.J. Lindquist, Of course lots of separate books too! Head on over to The Book Club Network and Check it out. If you are not a member it's easy to join.

You can CLICK on the Author's Pictures which will take you to their author group. You CLICK JOIN on the top right-hand corner. This allows you to enter the drawing.

Go to JUNE 19th Discussion Page. You Enter there in the white space. It's easy. (It's for USA Residents only)

See you there

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS REVIEWED

A Trail of Crumbs
By Susie Finkbeiner
Published by Kregel
ISBN#978-0-8254-4446-3
311 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That's one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin--and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn't sure she'll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel.

REVIEW: This novel picks up four months after book one ends. Pearl and her family have experienced a great loss and they try to carry on but times get tough. I lost my heart to Pearl in book one, A Cup of Dust, because she is an enchanting little girl who is honest, brave and insightful beyond her ten years. She’s endured more than most could imagine (now because of health issues); their family leaves everybody and everything they've known to start over and reconnect with family in Michigan.

This author brilliantly slips readers into the shoes of loveable eleven-year-old Pearl and has them see and feel the anguish and weariness her family’s experienced through her eyes. This is not an easy read but it was encouraging to learn about the community support system that sprung up during the great depression era.

My favorite parts to read were the times on the farm. I learned that the author loved visits to her family farm each year - she says, …”I based the town of Bliss on a southeastern Michigan farming community called Blissfield…. I have rich and happy memories”…”For this city girl, my days on that family farm were magical and I look back on those visits as some of my favorite memories.”….”This novel recaptures part of my childhood.” The farm times were magical in the book too.

I enjoyed fun moments at the library when Pearl comes up against Mrs. Trask an older Librarian who won’t let her check out adventure stories of Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket. She leads Pearl to the section of proper lady books she can check out. Her Aunt tells her that Mrs. Trask knows the power of story and doesn’t want to corrupt her impressionable mind. Grin! She does manage to read The Wizard of Oz and Hanzel and Gretel. I loved hearing about how Pearl divisors and re-reads these tales and what she thinks about them. There are 11 discussion questions to help create lively discussion with your book club group. The author leaves things up in the air at the end of this novel. I hope book three will be out soon!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it's a congenital condition, one she's quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother's Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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

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A LADY IN DISGUISE REVIEWED & GIVEAWAY

A Lady in Disguise
By Sandra Byrd
Published by Howard Books
ISBN#978-1-4767-1859-0
384   pages

ABOUT BOOK: In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

REVIEW: Gillian leaves her father’s poorly attended funeral and stumbles upon a plain clothed police officer searching her home without permission. Why? What are they looking for?

“...Louisa said, “Scared us to death, it did, when he broke in. Didn’t expect to find us here, no doubt.” “Why would a policeman break in, I ask you, and one your father worked with at that?”

Gillian is unexpectedly orphaned when her loving father turns up dead on a city street under questionable circumstances; accident-murder?  This left her in a precarious and dangerous predicament. She now understood how with no man to oversee her well-being; a woman can be taken advantage of and she saw how it is possible some women find themselves in prostitution and/or sold. Who can she trust? Every time Gillian tries to uncover clues about her father’s accident and reputation-threatening people try to ruin her livelihood. Why?  Why is she threatened by people who were once considered close friends?  Gillian must decide if finding the truth is worth losing everything, including two potential romances and the ability to help a local charity that mentors young girls past the pantomime age for kids in the theater.

First potential suitor; Thomas Lockwood handsome next-door neighbor – every inch a gentleman. He’s eager to help her decide what needs to be fixed in her newly inherited house. Did he have feelings for her? Or was he after her house? She hadn’t a clue.

Then there’s Francis Collingsworth a childhood friend whose father was her father’s partner on the force. Suddenly Francis has the interest to court her. Why? At whose request did he do this, his or his fathers?

I loved the theatrical side to this story. I was fascinated by the method and materials Gillian worked with to make stunning seasonal dresses. I was also amazed at how Gillian went about designing gowns for the theatrical performance of Cinderella.

Gillian is strong willed, a woman of faith, naive to the ways of the world and often rushed out (by herself) to get information with little thought to her safety. I found myself holding my breath and wanting to yell, “what are you thinking? Don’t go in that empty house alone.” But she didn’t listen. Grin

Gillian thought…”I sat my bag down and began to walk through the rooms… “I laughed nervously. Why should I be thinking of screaming?”

I liked what the author said in notes to readers, “This book is a tribute to all those who invest in the lives of others, whether it be by providing means for them to escape the human misery that is trafficking, by providing jobs and a future through employment.”

This author saved the best story for last in The Daughters of Hampton series. I was spellbound by this Victorian romance, suspense novel. I was sorry to have it end. This makes for a wonderful summer read, a great book club pick; with a delightful conclusion to the series. I highly recommend it. It’s a keeper.


CONGRATS to LORAINE NUNLEY
Thanks to Sandra Byrd for having this giveaway opportunity.

***ENTER DRAWING *** for A Lady in Disguise

CLICK LINK BELOW
Read an interview with Sandra Byrd and Put your Name in the Hat.


Disclosure of Material Connection: 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

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SANDRA BYRD INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY - ENTER TODAY


ABOUT AUTHOR: After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books.

Sandra's series of historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017. Sandra is excited to continue writing Gothic romance and will be adding books to that genre beginning in October 2018 with Tyndale House Publishers.

Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, this time for women, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. Her latest book, The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional, will be published in October 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping new writers develop their talents and their work for traditional publishing or self-publication. She has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to guide developing authors toward success each year via novelcoaching.com.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.  
Salvation Army

How did you come up with the idea for A Lady in Disguise?



SANDRA: I’ve always admired the work that the Salvation Army does, and when we were in London some years ago, I visited their headquarters.  It was a good starting point for me. But during my research, I learned about the woman who reached out in ministry to the pantomime waifs – child actors who were a part of the big, musical productions but often had nothing to turn to when their time acting was over.  I became interested in it because it was such a difficult foil – a happy, theatrical time for those who bought tickets, but a path which led to a not so happy life, and considerable risks, for the kids providing the entertainment. I admired Mrs. Barlee, who took up their cause.

Nora: I enjoyed learning about this topic. It was fascinating and sad to learn about the realities for these young ones.

What do you hope readers take away from A Lady in Disguise?

SANDRA: Gillian’s main philosophy is we can do for one what we cannot do for many. Often the scope of human suffering is so large that we are paralyzed into thinking we cannot do much, so why do anything? But if one by one, each of us reached out to sponsor a child, take in a foster child, contribute to a food bank, or anything that tugs on your heart, we can make a collective difference.

Nora: I liked Gillian’s philosophy and her generous heart!

What was your favorite scene in A Lady in Disguise? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?
Drury

SANDRA:  My favorite scene was the final scene at the theatre because I’m a romantic and my girl had earned her happy ever after.

The hardest scene to write is when she was betrayed. Readers sometimes speak against characters who “should have known better” or “should have seen something sooner,” but really, do any of us? We all want to believe the best of people, especially people who should love us until we are confronted with hard truths.

Nora: I LOVED the theatre aspect to this story and the fact she was making gowns for the play Cinderella. Good point you make about the hardest scene.

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

SANDRA:  Wow moments always include becoming friends – and even roommates! – with authors whose work I have long admired. You pinch yourself.  It’s a fangirl moment and just a privilege to be among people whose work you enjoy.

Nora: Fun!

Second, it was a wow moment when the Lord showed me once that the greatest trust He’d shown in me was not for my fiction, or for my work for adults, even. It was writing for kids - devotionals for kids, to be exact – and speaking to them, for Him. I was awestruck, humbled, and to be honest, a little frightened by, in the best sense, the responsibility and trust.

Nora: Powerful!

I like the balance you have in your female leads in this series. The women were smart yet vulnerable and are determined to stay the course to get to the bottom of matters. What do you hope women take away from the women in this series?

SANDRA: The heroines in my books cannot just solve their problems as you or I might - but I love them the more for that; they are forced to cleverly use the tools at hand. Truthfully, all of us, then and now, are constrained in some way from the full self-determination we would prefer, and perhaps that is one way we identify with them. And yet ... the human spirit, a strong woman's spirit, faces those challenges head on, tries to think through what she wants, and then plots a way toward it. When roadblocks occur, she finds a way over, around, or through. That was true a thousand years ago and is still true, now.

The very freedom of our age has wrought a new set of challenges. But we still find a way to triumph. Seeing women do that, then, encourages me as a woman to do that, now. If they can be contenders, so can I!

Also - we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines.

Nora: So, true. I like how you said that.

I adored Miss Gillian Young she was smart, generous, faithful, courageous and loving. I liked reading about how she stayed true to herself and her faith. She wouldn’t just marry anyone. She’d rather work hard to accomplish her goals. What made that and her faith important to you to include that in the book?
The Royal Withdrawing Room

SANDRA: My faith is central to my worldview and interests, so it informs the subjects I pursue in my books. Honestly, I felt it would be anachronistic to write about 19th Century England and not have any mention of or interaction with faith; it was completely integrated into daily and weekly life. It interests me how a strong Christian woman approaches challenges in her era and setting. I don't set out, in fiction, to teach, only to show and reveal and understand through the heroine's eyes. Hopefully, that makes a good story whether the reader is a Christian or not!

Nora: Yes, I agree! Every book in this series has been a powerful memorable read.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?
Earl Grey Creme Brulee
SANDRA: I’m feverishly working on a book tentatively titled, What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense.  It will be published by Tyndale House in October 2018, and I’m so excited to bring more in this thrilling genre to readers such as yourself!

Nora: Sounds like fun. I can’t wait to read it.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK 

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?

SANDRA: I’m the oldest child, so I’m sure I’d be trying to organize everyone. 😊 This is probably why I am an inveterate book plotter!

Nora: Grin!

What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies what books affected you most? What did you walk away from the movie/book thinking?

SANDRA: The books (and later television shows) that most impacted me were the Little House on the Prairie books.  They developed my love of history and historical novels at a young age. Fact is, though, I have always loved to read. Read everything and anything, including the proverbial back of the cereal boxes!  I also loved Family Affair. Ah, Buffy. I still have my Mrs. Beasley!

Nora: I love Little House!

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?
Cheynetown Home


SANDRA: Oh, I would definitely visit the eras and areas in which I love to write about. Often, when I’m in London, I feel like I am already in a time machine.  I have stood on the spot which people I’ve written about have been executed, I’ve visited Westminster Abbey where Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor next to each other, I’ve walked along parts of the Roman wall which encircled the city. I’d love to visit Revolutionary America, too. In all these places, I’d observe. Eat! And take good notes!


Nora: Sounds like an interesting trip. I’d love to hear about your adventures over a cup of tea!


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

SANDRA: I was a waitress in a Jewish deli and a temporary bill collector for a department store.  I learned a lot in both of them!

Nora: No I would have never guessed! Grin!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
SANDRA: My children’s laughter.
Sandra with Paddington Bear
Nora: We don’t laugh enough! Grin!

Thank you for stopping by and helping us get to know you. I’ve enjoyed The Daughter of Hampshire series so much. I look forward to your next book What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense. Thanks for giving away a copy of A Lady in Disguise here on TBCN blog.


CONGRATS to LORAINE NUNLEY

Thanks to Sandra Byrd for having this giveaway opportunity.

TO ENTER DRAWING for the book A LADY IN DISGUISE PLEASE ANSWER ONE of the following Questions.

1.  What is your favorite element to discover in a fiction book?
2.  What do you enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story?
3.  What does do you look forward to in a romantic suspense story?
4.  If you’ve read any of Sandra Byrd’s books, which is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?
5. What is your favorite genre to read?
6. Favorite book you've read this year?

Sign up for Sandra’s Newsletter for a bonus prize.
 
This drawing for a copy of A Lady in Disguise will end on Saturday, June 17th. ***USA Residents Only***

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Thanks for stopping by Sandra! Grin!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN COO Where Book Fun Begins!