HAPPY Almost Christmas;

Two Things- 

1. Our January Book Club Pick is Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano. Discussion starts January 21st

2.   CLICK ON DEC. Discusson

3.   If Already a Member – CLICK DECEMBER DISCUSSION
Add Comment! Let me know if you wanted to be entered for the quilt and/or the book, gift card, game being offered.



The Country House Courtship Linore Burkard

Teresa Irizarry – Board Game Giveaway

George M. Weaver – Significant Me

Diane/David Munson - North Starlight

Dawn Kinzer -  Box Set

Pamela S. Meyers -  Safe Harbor

MaryLu Tyndall – The Liberty Bride

The Lockman Foundation – Bible Giveaway

Jean Williams – Road Trip of Delusion

Carolyn Miller – The Elusive Miss Ellison

Kathy Harris – The Road to Mercy & $10.00 Gift Card
Nicholas Marniclaus – Holly Fool, Holy Father

Ane Mulligan – A Southern Season

Anne Greene – A Williamsburg Christmas

N.J. Lindquist – Hot Apple Cider

Jennifer Imediegqu – Letters to Her

Ron Smorynski – Alfred – The boy Who Would Be King

Coffee Giveaway – Greg & Jean Hines

Vincent James Vezza – Gift Card Giveaway 


Please Let me know if you have troubles. I’m Happy to Help you!

Blessings to you!
Tell your Friends

Nora :o)


Illustrated by Marta Cabrol
Published by:Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 27, 2018
20 Pages Board Book
Preschool and up

Tags: Humorous, family, Animals, Children's Board book, Fiction

BOOK BLURB: Remind your little one of your unending love with the playful rhymes of When Do I Love You?,a silly and charming board book that will make you laugh as it warms your heart.

With super silly pictures of lizards in blizzards, goats in boats, and ducks in trucks, When Do I Love You? maintains a classic emotive tone that parents will love. The perfect gift for baby showers, birthday parties, or as an extra special "just because!" gift, this sweet book will be a favorite in your family for years to come.

REVIEW: This is a sturdy, playful, rhyming board book with adorable animal illustrations that makes this a fun read to be enjoyed together with your child and one they can read by themselves later. The rhythms are catchy, and the pictures bring the message to life.

Children learn that parents don’t just love them for one thing and in one situation, but their love runs deep in all aspects of lives. The little animals ask their parents this question and the parents reply, “When do I love you?” Each animal answers this question in a different way they are loved. The animal’s depicted in the book are ducks, bears, lizards, cats, mice, moose, dogs, raccoons, goats and at the end they show a mother and child. Who answers the question “When do I love you, little one? My love for you has just begun! I’ll love you today, tomorrow – whenever! My snuggle bug, I’ll love you forever.”

This book brings a smile to your face all the way through and a warm feeling in your heart too!

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

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


An Unpresentable Glory
Eleanor K. Gustafson
Published by:Ambassador International
Release Date: June 17, 2018
ISBN# 978-1620208423
325 Pages

Tags: Political race, Senators, Romance, Native American, gardening, mental illness, God’s grace, tragedy, grief, depression, political slander Unusual talk of politics, wealth, family, friendship. Loss and forgiveness, depression, mental illness, strength, courage, spiritual growth, responsibility, and love.

BOOK BLURB: Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly-acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. What is not so joyful is finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, an unpresentable glory.

Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.

REVIEW:  I was intrigued from the start …”Her immediate problem lay face-down between her perennial border and clematis arbor – more specifically, a man who looked to be either dead or unconscious.”.

Her first instinct is to call 911 but the man pleads with her not to. She helps him into her home.The story could have gone lots of ways from there. Personally, I don’t know if I would have done that, but Linda (a single woman) thought she could take him down because he was so sick. She looked in his eyes and felt she could trust him. She does think ,… “This is really stupid. A man – in my house- mysterious illness – requesting secrecy…who is this guy?...What I’ve done, I’ve done – stupid or not. Lord, you dumped this man here. Help me care for him with dignity and honor.”

Linda nurses the man back to health, a bond is created that remained strong as their lives went in opposite directions. They both feel that they had encountered something very special an “unpresentable” moment. He had asked to be called Jay. Never gave his full name. Later on, Linda finds out who he really is and is drawn into an unimaginable political mess. She had promised she would never attempt to contact him in any way. She stays true to her word.

Linda’s home is in upper state New York. She would learn the identity of the man she helped was Senator Lawrie who lived in North Dakota, and worked in Washington, D.C.

It was fun to be part of a story that was blooming and growing in several directions and on many levels. I felt the spiritual aspect was believable. and it was fun to follow a Senator as he learns how to deal with the horrific load he carried. Through allegories related to Linda’s Garden work readers could see how God plants seeds of faith to take root, be watered, nurtured, and grow into something beautiful if we don’t let the weeds take over our lives, our hearts. Linda has Garden tours at her house. I had heard of them, but I had no idea all that went into creating and maintaining an amazing garden like she had with a lovely gazebo.

“Jay looks over her garden and says, “I’m glad you tolerate a weed or two. There’s hope for me in such a place.”

“Huh! Linda bent to yank an offender. “Try finding a garden without weeds! Think this way: Gardens are the exception on this planet; weeds are the norm. This is their world. We march in with order and design, and weeds just laugh. The strong guys come in and take over, doing what they want in their chosen environment. Think kudzu, bully of the south, or oriental bittersweet that’s taking over the northeast. My garden is temporary, at best. Only God’s garden will last forever.”

When the Senator is ready to go back to work, his good friend Nathan helps Lawrie find a support system in D.C. They find a men’s bible study group there that keep him accountable. He stays in touch with Nathan who lives in his home town too. It was refreshing to read about a men’s group and how they keep each other on the path God has for each of them. These men are strong like-minded, like-hearted friends who pray, praise, tare vulnerable with and tell each other like it is. No one is an island. Lawrie has been that for far too long. He struggles to make the change.

Then the story took a left turn I didn’t expect. I couldn’t believe the Senator would get himself involved in such a crazy situation. But then again, his life was falling apart at every turn. He refused to listen to those around him that told him this was bad news.

I did enjoy the “unpresentable glory” “moments in the book where the characters recognize the hand of God in the situation. They recognize God’s grace in their lives that to many would go unnoticed. But someone with spiritual eyes could see that this could only have been orchestrated by God himself.”  God moves in mysterious ways and most often in ways we could never imagine. His presence is constant whether we can feel it or not, He is with us always as Lawrie soon discovers intertwined in the Political backdrop and how that played out in the everyday lives of the people around him.

This would make a good novel for book clubs. It has a little bit of everything inside, a splash of romance, deals with the rich and famous, in the back drop of a political arena, that discusses Native American issues and some current issues, family, friendship, loss, depression, forgiveness, courage, strength, responsibility, love and God’s grace. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


Express Yourself
The One-Year Journal for Girls
By: Katherine Flannery
Illustrated by Elizabeth Graeber
Published by: Rockridge Press
Release Date: November 27, 2019
150 Pages
Ages 7-14 years old
Grades 2-9

Tags: Journal, teen girls, self-expression, fun

Book Blurb: Express Yourself is a one-year journal for teen girls with thought-provoking prompts for self-exploration, inspiration, and free expression.
Teen girls have a lot to say―and even more to write about. Chronicling one year’s worth of discoveries, dreams, and day-to-day happenings, Express Yourself gives girls the gift of getting to know themselves.
From describing a favorite daydream to documenting the world around them, this journal engages teens with important questions for reflection. With dedicated space for daily expression―plus wise words from smart women for inspiration―Express Yourself gives every girl the space to write her story.
Truths, daydreams, fears, hopes, likes, hates―Express Yourself offers girls an outlet for self-exploration, with:
·         Weekly writing prompts that encourage girls to reflect on the most impactful events of their teenage years.
·         Space for daily notes to write regularly, even if it is just a quick few lines.
·         Inspirational quotes from leading ladies in every industry, including comedians, writers, actresses, politicians, and more!
Years from now, when she has grown up into an amazing woman, she will look back at the pages in Express Yourself and remember where it all began.

REVIEW: This notebook is made for people that don’t have lots of time to journal. I liked the reflection questions of the day and the fun pictures to start off the week along with an encouraging quote. There is lots of space for the question of the week. The first question is, “If you could make one wish that was guaranteed to come true, what would it be? How different would your life be once it was granted?” Here’s a fun quote starting on week two, “Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly, writer.

Makes a great gift, and something to look back on. Space for notes, doodles, there is also the End-of- Year Q & A section that lists 20 questions for reflection. The first one is “What can you do now that you weren’t able to do a year ago?”

I recommend this fun book for those young people who like to journal but don’t have lots of time.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


The Pescatarian Cookbook
By Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD
Published by: Rockridge Press
170 Pages

Tags: Fish, Seafood, Allergies, Pescatarian diet

BOOK BLURB: The Pescatarian Cookbook is the definitive kitchen companion to the pescatarian diet with fundamental information, recipes, and healthy meal plans.

Rich in fish and seafood, hearty vegetables, and wholesome grains―pescatarians is a varied and balanced diet. The Pescatarian Cookbook is a complete reference to reap all benefits of this naturally nutritious diet with essential information, recipes, and healthy meal plans.

From Zucchini Pancakes with Smoked Salmon for breakfast to Grilled Swordfish with Chimichurri and Roasted Vegetables for dinner, this pescatarian cookbook offers perfectly portioned pescatarian plates for every meal. Complete with 3 weeks’ worth of meal plans―that include shopping lists and tips for meal prep―The Pescatarian Cookbook is your go-to reference to make the pescatarian diet a sustainable and satisfying lifestyle.

The Pescatarian Cookbook is a recipe for good health and great taste with:
An essential introduction that explains everything you need to know to follow the pescatarian diet, including the health benefits, pantry staples and cooking equipment, plus shopping and storage tips.

75 recipes for breakfasts, soups and salads, vegetable mains, seafood mains, sides and snacks, and dessert!

3 one-week meal plans that take the guesswork out of what you should eat and when, and provides shopping lists to do the rest of the heavy lifting.

There’s more to the pescatarian diet than eating seafood. Get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals from both the land and sea with the recipes and meal plan from The Pescatarian Cookbook.

REVIEW: The author states, “ ..Pesco is Italian for “fish”. A pescatarian diet is similar to a Mediterranean diet, or to a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and seafood. This eating style emphasizes minimally processed ingredients and whole-food sources for carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

The 5 major principles are
1. Fish and Seafood as Primary Animal Proteins,
2. The ability to include eggs and diary
 3. Plant-forward focus
4. Lots of fruits and vegetables
5. Whole Grains and Fiber-Rich Foods.”

I’d never heard of this diet. The information in the book was helpful. The author also answers ten common questions people have about this diet and then 10 reasons this diet is healthy. Then she shares how to best use this book for healthy eating, for a diet if you want to lose weight and then she gives the science behind it all.

Next the author shares what the essential pescatarian ingredients are and how to store them. I found the information on the different fish and their flavors and the guide to seafood chapter most helpful. She tells readers Where to buy fish, how to pick it out and then store it. I appreciated the list of substitutes for different fish. Then there was the meal planning chapter. The only down side to the recipes was the fact that there was only one food picture per chapter, I wish there were more. There is also three weeks of meal plans are provided. Recipes start with Breakfasts. I tried Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats. Yummy!

Then soups and salads, Vegetarian Mains, and Seafood Mains, I tried Lemon-Herb Baked Shrimp with Pasta, It was good along with the Seafood Salad-Stuffed Avocados in that section. After that there was Sides and Snacks

I look forward to trying Slathered Apple Snackers, No-Bake Fruit and Seed Granola Bars, Smoky Sweet Potato dip and so many more from all the different sections I’ve named. Oh, let’s not forget about the desserts, Easy Mango Sorbet looks good, Layered Key Line Cups and Carrot Cake Cookies with Toasted Pecans sound delicious too. The book ends with a Blank Shopping sample sheet you can copy, Blank Menu planner sheet for the week breaking out Breakfast, lunch and dinner and use when you go to the store. Then there is a section for resources and references.

If you love seafood and veggies this is the cook book for you. I liked that the author’s recipes have simple directions and ingredients that are easy to find. They also includes prep time, cook time, nutritional information per serving, along with color coding for gluten-free and vegetarian. Then lists how many servings each dish makes. There is a section on What to do with left overs, and some of the recipes give ingredient tips, variations to a dish and suggested substitutions. Here is an example of a leftover tip. “This creamy soup can easily transition to a pasta sauce. You can store the leftovers, refrigerate, for up to 5 days and combine it with cooked pasta and roasted veggies.”  I look forward to making many dishes from this book. They sound yummy.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


Dead Sea Rising
By Jerry Jenkins
Published By: Worthy Publishing
ISBN# 978-1617950094
Release Date: November 13. 2018
320 Pages

Tags: Mystery, Suspense, Inspirational, Historical, Dead Sea, King Nimrod, Saudi Arabia, Time-Slip story, Jerry Jenkins, New York, Nicole Berman, Archaeologist,

BOOK BLURB: Nicole Berman is an archaeologist on the brink of a world-changing discovery. During her first dig in Jordan, she believes she has found concrete evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history books forever. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed. While urgently trying to connect pieces of an ancient puzzle, a dangerous enemy is out to stop her.

REVIEW: This is the first time-slip story I’ve read that didn’t connect the accent historical story to the current one. I felt like I was reading two (and then later on a third time line developed) separate stories at the same time waiting for them to connect with the other. It never happened.

The book starts out in Manhattan, N.Y. current time where Nicole Berman’s father calls to inform her that her mother is in the hospital awaiting surgery from a broken hip. Both of them think this is strange since Virginia Berman exercised daily. She was in great shape. It seemed impossible for her to break her hip from tripping on a rug.

When Nicole gets to the hospital before her father because he is an airplane heading to N.Y. from Europe. She is confronted by a police officer who thinks there is foul play. Nicole and her father are suspects in the investigation. I enjoyed NYPD Sergeant Wojciechowski whose been around the block a few times and has a crusty bedside manner. He just wants the facts he doesn’t care how educated Nicole Berman is. Everyone’s a suspect until he can prove otherwise. This and the other story lines are slow going and nothing is resolved at the end of this book.

Then readers are brought to Shinar, Mesopotamia 2000 BC where they meet Terah, King Nimrod’s chief officer. He’s expecting the arrival of his first child. There is anxiety on both parents Terah who is praying to the god idols for the birth of a girl. His wife Belessunu prays to the one true God’s will be done in their lives. They’ve waited many years for the arrival of this child, Abram. As this story line develops some gruesome things happen along the way to this child’s birth. This is an Old testament story of Abraham’s father and mother. It made me go to the Bible. I wondered where this was headed and how it would connect to the other story-lines. Still wondering.

Then there was a third story line that follows Nicole Berman’s father Ben, Ben is an angry 18-year-old, running from his parents laid out plan for his life. He wanted to prove something to them. When he gets to Vietnam things don’t go as he planned. He’s assigned to a hospital unit. Which gives him a front row seat to see what the after math of battle looks like. The hospital would stabilize the patients and ship them off to other hospitals for treatment. The ones that could be fixed up there would then return to serve. The reader learns about a secret he’s kept, what happens to him there, how he received a purple heart and how he was injured.

Unlike other time slip stories I’ve read none of these stories’ lines connected with the other it was like I was reading three different stories at once. The story lines change from chapter to chapter. The chapters are short with lots of dialogue and carefully selected details. All the story lines show how these characters made decisions that had consequences that not only affected their lives but also of the people around them. There was no escape card to be played with no strings attached. The consequences were high.

The author takes his time in helping you get to know the characters, the time lines well to set you up for book two. I only wish I could have waited to read this book until book two and three where written, so I didn’t have to wait to know what happens next. I wanted to know how all these story lines connected, I wanted a conclusion to all three-story lines. As always, this author does a great job (just like he did in the Left Behind series) of leaving you hanging and wanting to know more.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Author of more than 195 books with sales of over 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series, Jerry B. Jenkins is former vice president for publishing and former chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. 

Jerry's writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty-one of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one).

Jerry owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, through which he trains writers online

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!
The Book Club Network blog


Silent Days, Holy Night
By Phyllis Clark Nichols
Published by Gilead Publishers
Release Date October 30, 2018
ISBN# 978-1683701491
232 Pages

Tags: Holidays, Play, Mime, Sign Language, Inspirational, Christian Fiction, Deaf, Giving, Love, Forgiveness, Intimate Community

BOOK BLURB: Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill, and the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights--and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second.

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Henry Lafferty, 50 years old.  the entire course of her life shifts. He's nothing at all like the rumors she's heard from neighbors and classmates. He's kind and extraordinarily talented--he also happens to be deaf and use a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides its time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest--an act that will change them all forever.

REVIEW:  I was captivated by and lost my heart to this curious ten-year-old girl named Julia; who made me smile at all the questions she asked her father and the people she met. I enjoyed her curiosity, eagerness to learn and the fact she wanted to  be friends with Mr. Lafferty. I loved how the author had the reader enter Henry Lafferty’s world through Julia’s eyes. I was just as interested in how Mr. Lafferty communicated, carved birds, how he loves hearing her play the piano in a unique way. It was fun to discover Henry's hidden gift her Dad talked about.

This story reminded me a little of the Disney movie Pollyanna as Julia was a stranger to no one. Grin! She loved people and the world around her. She is a very creative child, who was not afraid to ask questions that helped her understand how things worked. She showed love and kindness beyond her years. Her grand-parents say she was born a 40-year-old. LOL!

The topics dealt with are growing up, showing how reaching out to people who are different, it’s not scary, how to respect and embrace their differences and back grounds and how to get a common ground and grow a relationship from that. She also talks about being selfless,  how to give good gifts and let God work as He does.

I liked Julia’s understanding of God and watching her walk out what God says in His word to do. I also enjoyed her prays. Some of them were funny. Kind of like knowing she is doing wrong and asks God for forgiveness (Instead of getting permissiom- peace about it first). But that’s how 10-year-olds think. I loved her honesty, and desire to do the right thing.

Here’s a peek at a prayer and Julia's questioning nature, She had asked her Dad several questions before this one,“Julia tries to get out of going with her father to meet Mr. Lafferty. “….Why do we have to pick Mrs. Walker up? And tell me why this trip won’t be bo-ring?”

“Julia Russell, with your gift for asking questions, I’m positive you’ll be the fourth generation of attorney’s in his family.”

 They get to Henry Lafferty’s house and she asks to go to the rest room. Along the way she spies a piano. Her eyes hone-in-on the keys. They are not the white plastic ones, she played on but real ivory keys. She imagines what it would be like to play that piano. She prays, “Now, Jesus, please forgive me for what I’m about to do, but I may never get this chance again. And I really don’t think you’d want me to miss it.”

She uses the soft pedal and starts to play the piano quietly. It’s a game changer. Mr Henry Lafferty wheels his way into the parlor and asks her to play that song again. Julia is astounded a deaf man could enjoy the song.

It had an ending kind of like the one in It’s a Wonderful Life. It squeezes your heart, brings tears to your eyes and makes you smile in your soul.

I loved how this author describes the Emerald Crest; a place I’d love to visit. There’s a fun treat for readers at the end as the author includes the recipes for Grancie’s Pound-Cake Cookies and Grancie’s Iced Pumpkin Cookies she mentions often in the story. I’m reading this right after Thanksgiving. It was fun to be in the Christmas celebrating season at the same time as Julia. I look forward to making the cookies and sharing them with my family.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


How do you say Good Night?
By Thomas Nelson
Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
Published by Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 30, 2018
ISBN# 978-1400209118
20 Pages
Ages 4-8 Years
Preschool – 3rd grade

Tags: Bedtime & Dreams, Family, Values, Virtues, Christian Fiction, Children’s Board Book

BOOK BLURB: A fun, new bedtime story to read to your kids!
Join Zoey the zebra as she searches across Africa for the best way to say good night. She sees the bedtime routine of lions, warthogs, monkeys, and more—but which one is the very best?

Teaching little ones to celebrate differences while appreciating the blessing of their own unique family, How Do You Say Good Night? is a great way to introduce the concept of diversity in a fun and respectful way while also fostering an attitude of gratitude.
Watch your little ones reach for this book night after night!

REVIEW: The illustrations in this book bring the story to life and make me smile. Zoey the zebra looks out on a hill and realizes bedtime is near. She wonders, “How do others say good night before they’re tucked in tight? Do they stop to pray before they hit the hay? Do they brush their teeth before they go to sleep? What’s the very best way to end each wonderful day?” She heads out to find the best way to say good night.”

I enjoyed the fun rhythm of this story; as Zoey goes from animal to animal discovering what they do in their night time rituals. He’s amazed at how different they are from one to the other. It’s kind of like Goldie locks and the three bears she goes from one chair to the next trying to see which one fits her just right.

Everyone does things different and that’s ok. It’s a good thing to learn. I think this is a fun encouraging read right before bed. I could see this being a family favorite.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


The Printed Letter Book Shop
By Katherine Reay
Published by Thomas Nelson – Harper Collins
Release Date May 14, 2019
ISBN# 978-0785222002
336 Pages

Tag: Book Store, Book Quotes, Friendship, Family, Clean & Wholesome

Book Blurb: Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop.
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened her heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

REVIEW: All bookish people will love this story. It’s fun, intriguing, has a mystery and a splash of romance. It takes place in The Printed Letter Book Shop a place I’d love to hang out in and work at. The author does a brilliant job of placing readers inside the shop as the customer and then as an employee/owner of the store.

Maddie is the founder and creator of the shop, Janet was an artist and put up inviting window and end cap displays. Claire was great at running the business end of things. Madeline (Maddie’s name sake) just inherited this special book store that the community embraced and adored. They didn’t want to see it close.

Here's a peek at the store, Claire asks her customer, “Have you read The Secret Garden?”
“Too long ago to remember it.”…Claire opened the book and said, “Mary Lennox begins her journey in a new and unfamiliar land, but makes her mark on it. She transforms it and reviews the people around her as well as herself. She blossoms…And when you’re finished come back, we’ll talk some more.”

I love that the author invites the reader into this special place and the reader is also on the receiving end of book recommendations, where they describe books, give quotes from books and talk about books Maddie has recommended to the three people who run the book store, Janet, Claire and Madeline. Each list was personally handpicked by Maddie herself and given to each of them after her death by her attorney Greg Frankel.

The author states, “Maddie’s list to each woman was a love letter – so I’ll let Janet, Claire, and Madeline keep them private. On the other hand, I can’t help giving a peek behind the curtain….” .Quote from book, Madeline says, …”I remember Aunt Maddie saying you could lose yourself in a book and, paradoxically, find yourself as well.”

Madeline was a lawyer in a prestigious firm and worked hard to hopefully make partner. She didn’t want anything to do with this book business. It was her Aunt’s thing. But Madeline’s life takes a sharp turn into an unexpected zone and she finds herself getting to know her Aunt Maddie and her family in ways she never thought possible. It changes the way she looked at her Aunt, parents and herself. She begins to question what’s important in life.

All three women realize that The Printed Letter Bookshop is more than a book store it’s a place where they can bloom and grow in friendship and in healing for themselves and the community. Things change for these three women as their friendship develops and they start to trust each other.

I had a hard time getting into this book at first because it seemed slow and it started off at a funeral. The author shows the funeral from all three women’s perspective Janet, Claire and then Madeline. It was a little confusing until I got my bearings as to who was who and how it related to the scheme of things. The author clearly labels the chapters, so you know who is talking.

At the surface I thought maybe this story was just going to be pure fluff and fun being in the book store sharing favorite books and book quotes but once I got my bearings the author takes readers deeper.

I was amazed at what each character had to deal with and how natural the spiritual thread was intertwined throughout the story and the trials, healing and forgiveness. It choked me up in parts.  The author naturally lets the light shine in the dark places. Showing that sometimes it’s harder to forgive yourself and at other times it’s harder to forgive what’s been done to you. These ladies give each other the grace to take one step at a time as they recapture their lives, their hopes, dreams, worth and loves.

I highly recommend this book as a book club pick. It’s a rich story with characters you care about and all the things we love about books. This was the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last. This books a keeper.

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!
The Book Club Network blog


The Baggage Handler
By David Rawlings
Published by: Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0785224939
240 Pages
Release Date: March 5, 2019

Tags: Christian Fiction, Classics Allegories, Fantasy, Magical Realism

BOOK BLURB: When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. 

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.
A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding.

And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream, so he can keep his own alive.
When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcases from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.
In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.

REVIEW: This is a great, engaging story with a powerful message that reminded me of those written by David Gregory titled Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, Day with a Perfect Stranger just to name a few of his books.

As I read this fun, engaging story I felt like it was the Twilight Zone meets the Matrix as a baggage handler gives each of his customers a choice. One, they can make a choice to keep their baggage - let’s call it the blue pill choice. The bag will stay just as heavy as it’s always been. Like taking the blue pill in the Matrix, “the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” (quote from wikepidia) – You are secure and comforted and live in a blissful ignorance.

OR Choice number two, you can deal with your baggage and walk in a new light. Just like if you were to take the red pill “You stay in wonderland and you can see how deep the rabbit hole goes. In the Matrix. “Neo learns everything that he has believed isn’t real and in order for him to know the truth about his world, he has to make a choice. Same as these characters.

Three people have gotten their baggage mixed up at the airport. They go to an off-site baggage claim center that kind of looks like the white room in Maxtix, that’s in an unusual building this is where I think they enter the Twilight Zone, wikepidia it states, “Is an unusual situation or mental state between reality and fantasy…”It’s the middle ground between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is a dimension of imagination.” Readers and customers enter.

Each character is under a deadline and needs what’s in their luggage to go on with the next important stage of their lives. They didn’t have time to mess with anymore delays. They needed their luggage now.

Gillian Short is first up to bat. Her sister Becky’s daughter is getting married and she is heading to help without her family whose to join her later. Gillian can’t help but be envious of her sister’s life.

Then there’s David Hawke a man on a mission at his company’s headquarters to discuss how well his branch was doing. He hoped it was better than his marriage was doing. He thought about the ultimatum he gave his wife about their relationship. It wasn’t pretty.

Next up is Michael Downer a high school grad on his way to Clarendon University trying to do what his dad wanted him to do; secure a football scholarship. His dad set up the meeting; but his heart was really into art. He had made an appointment to see the head of the art dept while he was there hoping he might get in that program and obtain the football scholarship.

Each one of these characters confront the Baggage Handler demanding their luggage be returned pronto. When they get their bags, the Handler tells them to check it. Each discovers things they didn’t pack. They discover some surprising things that unnerve them. The Baggage Handler knows more about each of them like the woman Jesus meets at the well. They were just as stunned by his revelations and what he is offering them.

Gillian says to him, “What an odd choice of words. Don’t you usually collect your baggage?”

“Yes, people usually collect their baggage, but They’d be better off if they dealt with it.”
“Deal with” is exactly what we mean.”

“Well, if you say so. They are just words.”
The Baggage Handler shook his head…”Words have far more power than that.”

Each of these people try to figure out what is happening to them in his crazy place where they are asked to deal with more than their luggage. They can go as deep as they want to OR not go anywhere at all. They have a choice. Quote, “What weights us down is not our baggage but the decision to keep carrying it.”

This is an engaging powerful story that will touch your heart in unexpected ways. You won’t stop thinking about these characters and the message of this book long after you read the last word. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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!
The Book Club Network blog