The Lost Castle
By Kristy Cambron
Published by Thomas Nelson
Release Date February 6, 2018
384 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Broken-down walls and crumbling stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own.

What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

REVIEW: The author’s character in present time is named Ellie. A young lady watching her grandmother Lady Vi, battle Alzheimer’s, something this author knows all too well as she experienced it firsthand with her grandmother. It’s a story of this young girl discovering another side of her grandmother’s past she never knew. It involved a hidden chapel, a picture taken of her at a castle and undercover work she’d done for the French Resistance in WWII.

I found it fascinating the author states in notes to readers, there really was a lost castle. “Ch√Ęteau de la mothe-chandeniers” a thirteenth-century-castle-turned-storybook chateau. It’s surrounded by a moat and nestled in the heart of French wine country.” I googled this castle and found some amazing pictures.

Don’t give up on this book even though it’s a little difficult to navigate in the beginning with the present situation with Ellie and two other women’s stories from the past, but this author does an amazing job of tying these women’s lives together through events that happened at the castle. Hang in there the author intensely brings the story to a gripping conclusion and has you rooting for all three of these strong, flawed, courageous ladies and their situations.

This is a powerful and moving story where the castle is just as much a character as these ladies. The author includes eight discussion questions to help generate lively conversation about this book. It would make a great pick for your book club. It’s fun, mysterious and there is so much to talk about.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from 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
Book Fun Magazine
SVP Promotion


When God Made Light
By Matthew Paul Turner
Illustrated by David Catrow

Published by Waterbrook
3-7 Years Preschool-2
Release date February 12, 2018
48 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: From the author and illustrator of the best-selling When God Made You comes a new illuminating message about God's design affirming young readers.

'Let there be light!' that's what God said. And light began shining and then started to spread." Wild and creative illustrations from top children's illustrator David Catrow pair with Matthew Paul Turner's lyrical verse in this message of a God-made light that cuts through darkness to bring vision and hope to all young readers. This light radiates, chasing away the shadows, providing the wonder and fun of stargazing or firefly chasing. Most important, this light appears in each child--an inner God-given spark that grows and will be used to change the world

REVIEW: I first encountered author Matthew Paul Turner in his first picture book collaboration with David Caltrow (my favorite children’s illustrator) in When God Made You., which is an adorable book with a powerful message. So, when I saw these two were teamed up for another book I had to read it.

This brilliant book opens with the words “Let There Be Light” each word on a page showing two little girls busy making something creative and fun using markers and scissors, while their cat and dog run around. The story begins, let there be light “And light began shining and then started to spread.”

After reading this book I realized I haven’t thought much about light. It is a wonderful thing. This book is filled with elaborate descriptions of all kinds of light and an array of beautiful color splashed throughout. Here’s a peek inside the book, “When God made light, a universe lit up, a dazzling display of big shiny stuff. And all that light- every bright golden hue – is the very same light that God put inside you.”

The illustrator pulls out all the stops as he shows everyone doing fun things like dancing in the day light, the moonlight and the light in between. The author describes numerous kinds of joyous light and just as many ways to relish it.

The story and pictures will warm your heart and bring a huge smile to your face and your soul. This is a delight and a joy to take in. I shared it on the phone with my daughter I can’t wait to share it with the grand-kids in person. This is going to become a family favorite.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Matthew Paul Turner is the best-selling author of "When God Made You," "Churched,"and "Hear No Evil." He, and his wife, Jessica, along with their kids, Elias, Adeline, and Ezra, live in Nashville, Tennessee.

ABOUT ILLUSTRATOR: He says, “My name is David Catrow and I am primarily a writer and illustrator of books for children; having over 70 published works in print. My scholastic book series MAX SPANIEL to name one example, has sold over a million copies and I have several NYT best sellers and two NYT Best Illustrated Books. I continue to develop projects with Simon and Schuster, Penguin Putnam, Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, Harper-Collins, and the list goes on….My syndicated editorial cartoons have run in over 1000 newspapers across Canada and the US.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from 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
Book Fun Magazine
SVP Promotion


Power Plates
By Gena Hamshaw
Published by 10 Speed Press
Pages 247 HB

ABOUT BOOK: Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan.

These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal--things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena's simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

REVIEW: The book is broken down into sections. First is Breakfast, then Salads, Soups, Bowls, Skillets, Stovetop then Bakes. There are no desserts and/or appetizers but oh, wow, there are so many delicious looking recipes. I like what the author says about the recipes in this book. She states that since she is talking about macronutrients, she wanted to clarify a few things. “First,’s not a diet book. Nutrition is always on my mind when I create recipes” …Second, “..this book is an offering of vegan recipes that are intended to help you feel nourished, whether you’re a lifelong vegan or a curious omnivore.” She goes on to say…”my personal opinion is… human bodies and tastes differ, as do the cultures and traditions… to this matter we all will do well to listen to our bodies.”

In the beginning she talks about ingredients and how to cook and store them. There is a macronutrient building blocks chart and then she starts off the book with a recipe titled Shortcut Steel-Cut Oats. I loved the fact that every recipe in this book had a beautiful picture beside the recipe. There is also an easy to read index.

I like that the author says if you want to add meat, and/or tofu to the recipe by all means do. I added meat to one of the recipes I tried the other I didn’t.  I tried the Zucchini Pesto Pasta Salad. This was easy to make had simple instructions, the ingredients I had at home and most of all my family liked it. She also has a list of optional accompaniments you can serve with the dish on most recipes. She includes serving sizes at the top of the ingredients This recipe can be served hot or cold. It was yummy we ate it hot. We also tried the Butternut Squash Salad (with red quinoa and pumpkin seeds) I had to try this because I love butternut squash and all the other ingredients I like but would never think to put them all together. We had this one cold. It was very good.  I loved the variety of recipes in this book and the fact that her goal is to give readers power plates. The cover states, “Inside these book there are 100 nutritionally balanced, one-dish vegan meals.” It doesn’t get any better than that.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale 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 Masterpiece
By Francine Rivers
Published by Tyndall
Release Date Feb 6, 2018
Christian Fiction. Romance, Clean, Wholesome, Inspirational

ABOUT BOOK: A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

REVIEW: There is so much in this novel, I don’t know where to begin to describe this wonderful character driven adventure. In the authors’ note to readers she says, “…I wanted to explore two individuals and how traumatic childhood experiences impact their adult thinking and behavior. Can they have a normal life?”…With Christ, all things are possible, but what if faith is lacking?”

This is a powerful topic with rich deep characterization where the reader is allowed to walk in these characters shoes as they struggle in their spiritual journey, they feel the traumatic pain from childhood and the joys of being set free. This is a masterpiece on so many levels. I’ll be reading this novel again and highly recommend it for your next book club pick. The author includes fifteen discussion questions.

ABOUT AUTHOR: New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America's coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at and connect with her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

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

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


Ten Little Night Stars
By Deb Bruelle
Illustrated by Gabi Murphy
Published By Zonderkidz
22 Pages Boardbook
Release date Jan 23, 2018
Preschool – 3rd grade 4-8 Years

ABOUT BOOK: Ten Little Night Stars is a sweet bedtime counting book perfect for the youngest readers. One by one the stars come out in the night sky as cute and cuddly animals go through their bedtime routines. This board book will encourage children to turn the page with interactive and engaging rhyme, and will take them through bath time, story time, and sleep. Written by Deb Gruelle, great-great-grand-niece of Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, Ten Little Night Stars is the perfect bedtime story for parents and children alike.

REVIEW: The sweet adorable elephants lying in the grass looking up at the stars grabbed my attention. I loved their sweet smiles and the peaceful look in their faces as they gazed at the stars. I liked the soft puffy cover of this high quality plush board book..

This story helps child and parent connect in a fun way as they read about all the different animals getting ready to sleep; at the same time, it helps kids learn to count to ten with the rhyming writing style.

The illustrator does an amazing job of bringing the story to life with these adorable, bright beautifully colored pages showing parent and child getting ready for bed. I also liked how it showed them kneeling by their bed praying before bed.

Here’s a sample of what it says on that page, SEVEN! “Seven little night stars, The Hour’s getting late. I close my eyes to say my prayers. And then there are…Eight

The last page shows a baby elephant fast asleep. I can see how this would soon become a family favorite bedtime story.

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

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

Book Fun Magazine


ABOUT AUTHOR: Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night. 

Connect with Carla online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:

How did you come up with the idea for The Saturday Night Supper Club?

CARLA: I’m always fascinated by the jobs that seem glamorous from the outside but require skill and hard work, which is why I’ve written about chefs in a couple of books. This time, I wanted to explore what it was like for a woman working in an industry that is still heavily male-dominated and not necessarily compatible with having a husband and family. I also knew from the beginning that I wanted to focus on the relationship between Rachel, Melody, and Ana because I know the impact that having strong female friendships has had on my life.

Nora: It was an intriguing peek into the world of a chef business owner. I also liked your insightful way you showed how females fair in this cooking world. The only thing missing were a recipe or two in the book for readers to try. Grin!

What keeps you sane in the middle of craziness? Hope in the middle of stress and life’s storms?

CARLA: Jesus, yoga, and chocolate, in that order. The Lord is definitely my hope in all situations, but yoga has given me the tools to quiet myself enough to hear what He’s saying to me. Chocolate needs no explanation!

Nora: Oh, Yeah!

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?

CARLA: If I could be guaranteed that I wasn’t going to disrupt the space-time continuum and put an end to all life on earth, I’d go to the future to see how my two sons turn out. I’m so curious to see what they’re going to choose to do for a living and who they will marry! And of course, I would want to know if there are any difficulties that I could prevent or prepare them for. (If one of them ended up in jail, for example, you could bet I’d be praying and looking for ways to prevent that!)

Nora: Fun no one has ever mentioned the fact that they’d only go if they could be “guaranteed they wouldn’t disturb the space-time continuum and put an end to all life on earth”; Great point!

Nora: Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. Looking forward to sharing this book and your interview with readers. The only thing missing from your novel was a recipe or two for readers to try at home or to make and bring to book club! I'm Excited about the giveaway opportunity too.

of the Following Questions to be Entered into the drawing for chance at a copy of this book.

1. If you watch cooking shows which ones do you watch and why?

2. What do you like about cooking shows? What don't you like?

3. Is there a cooking skill and/or tool you started using because of a cooking show? If so what is it and how do you use it? 

LAST DAY to Enter Drawing FEB 15th
PLEASE remember to include your email address!


THANKS to everyone that stopped by. 
I LOVED this discussion about cooking shows. I learned a thing or two. Grin!


Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent The Book Club Network Inc.
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,
Nora also does author interviews and reviews for Book Fun Magazine  
Nora has also run book clubs face to face and online with more than 100 members. She enjoys working part-time for the Public Library as a CSA.


No One Ever Asked
By Katie Ganshert
Published by WaterBrooke
Release Date April 3, 2018
384 Pages Comtemporary, Family Saga, Inspirational

ABOUT BOOK: Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand-new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?

REVIEW: Crystal Ridge school has no choice but to open their doors to bussed students. It’s the law. Camille PTA chairwoman with three children, Jen Covington a career woman who has recently adopted a girl from south Africa and realizes mother hood is harder than she’d realized and Anaya Jones who is the first woman to graduate college in her family has a brand-new job teaching at Crystal Ridges top elementary school for white rich kids. This twenty-two-young lady wasn’t prepared for what she’d face. These three ladies’ lives collide in the face of integration. These are three very different ladies fighting for their own cause some not acknowledging the others POV. These are hard, painful times, filled with questions, doubt and fear.

Things get stirred up in them and their community they didn’t know they had inside them. The author said she based this story on true events. She documents Brown v Board of Education May 17, 1954, The Plessy Vs Ferguson decision 1896, which legalized state-sponsored segregation, was over turned. In a unanimous decision, the supreme court stated that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal.

Another historical event mirrored in this story is that of Ruby Bridges who became the first black child in the south to attend an all-white school Nov. 14, 1960. She was escorted to the doors by Federal Marshalls and would become the public face of desegregation.

This author shares the delight and frustration of becoming an adoptive mom in 2013 when her and her husband adopted a little girl from the Congo. She shares some insight into what it felt like when she finally brought their little girl home. It had taken years for that reunion she gives readers a peek through the eyes of a career nurse character named Jen.

The author describes that time in her life (on her blog) about some of what they went through while they were waiting for their little one. She says, “Waiting is one of the most excruciating acts of worship… When you are here in helpless waiting, with no power to move it along, what else is there to do but open your hands and trust?”

I agree with this author. She gives a deep, insightful, heart-breaking, through-provoking read. This is a compelling novel that probes into some tough issues without getting gritty, graphic and hard to read. She leaves readers thinking, giving them time to  search their own hearts about this emotionally charged topic.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for book 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!
The Book Club Network blog

Book Fun Magazine


TODAY is the LAST DAY to ENTER drawings for 

Cathy Gohlke’s new book Until We Find Home,
Ane Mulligan’s Chapel Springs books,
MaryLu Tyndall, She Walks in Power
Hallee Bridgeman’s newest Jade's Match
Richard Phelps,  God Touched Me
Max Anderson (He’s giving away a Kindle Fire HD8)
Carolyn Miller’s newest, The Dishonorable Miss Delancey
Jean Williams Readers Choice
Anne Green Lord Bently Needs a Bride

Click on this link https:// Scroll down the Front Page until you see these authors head shots.

CLICK on their HEAD Shots
JOIN their group (if you haven't already)

Thank you for your participating! Tell your friends! Grin!
If you have any questions please contact me I'll be happy to help.


Nora :o)

Nora St Laurent
SVP of Promotions/ COO
The Book Club Network, Inc.


Fierce Faith
By Allie Worthington
Published by Zondervan
Release Date January 23, 2018
224 Pages Christian Living, Spiritual Growth, Personal Growth, Women’s Issues

ABOUT BOOK: Sometimes Jesus’s call to “fear not” seems like the hardest instruction to follow. Some days you faultlessly juggle everything that is your life—kids, husband, house, job, church, friendships, school, pets, appointments, and on and on. Other days the very thought of which ball you’re going to drop puts your anxiety level through the roof. You’re afraid you’re forgetting something. And you are: God’s advice to fear not.

Alli Worthington knows all about the ways a woman can be hard on herself. She shares her own fear struggles with humor and honesty—while offering real strategies for coping with life’s big worries as well as those little everyday worries.

Alli uses biblical wisdom and practical insight to help you:
Identify fear-based thinking.

Overcome the big and little worries in life.
Learn a simple trick to stop the anxiety spiral.
Live a more confident, less worried life.

Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for some encouragement from a friend. Alli’s no-nonsense, wise advice will lighten your heart and help you cut through the daily clutter of fear and worry to reconnect with your own fierce faith.

REVIEW: I’ve been in a battle with fear, and anxiety all my life, I’ve fought the enemy with prayer and scripture I’d memorized but felt it this wasn’t enough. I never felt victorious but alone and anxious. This author is transparent, practical, and gives readers a step by step battle plan – a hands on approach to not be paralyzed in fear.  She shares her experiences and gives readers strategies and insight that are helpful. It’s the best battle plan I’ve read. It’s energized me and given me hope.

She talks about being frozen in fear, talks about not so healthy ways to respond to fear, fighting fear along with other struggles and finally how to be brave and unafraid.

The author says, “When we try to make safety our god, we live life stuck in fear and worship a powerless god.” Ouch! She discusses “self-talk” the things we tell ourselves that plant seeds of fear and hopelessness. That was eye opening.

At the end of each chapter there are Action steps. For example, “Ask yourself…”How Fear, Anxiety and Worry Affects Us….What type of fears and worries affect you most often?” “How have you dealt with fear and worry in the past? Is your natural inclination to fight, to flee, or to hide?”

I like how this author breaks down our thought process as she says, “Our thoughts have the power to tear us down or build us up.” We can be our worst enemy. What we believe and tell ourselves are so important. She says, “We are all called to be strong and courageous.” It’s not only for a select few but for all. This is book is an exciting, hopeful tool I’ll be reading and re-reading as I implement the principles she lays out. I’m so encouraged.

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
Book Fun Magazine

JOIN Book Club Network Group Connect with Us on FB!

We would love to connect with you personally! Join our Book Club Network Group and get connected! 

We post fun questions, weekly free ebooks, weekly discounted ebooks, author interviews and much more!

Can't wait to connect with you there!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


ABOUT AUTHOR: Award-winning and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida's Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandkids, and three cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.

How did you come up with the idea for She Walks in Power?

MaryLu: Like most of my novels, the storyline for She Walks in Power started as a germ of an idea that no matter how much I tried to ignore it, wouldn’t go away. I’d admit that I love medieval romances, but I didn’t know much about the time period, and I was hesitant to do the research. However, the idea of the missing Spear of Destiny (the spear that stabbed Christ) and the power it held just wouldn’t let me go. Add to that a vision of a strong red-haired female Robin Hood type character who protected it and the knight who sought it, well, let’s just say that germ of an idea became a novel in my head. My husband and I had just finished watching the TV series The Musketeers and one of the lead characters who played Athos suddenly became the moody knight that would find his match in my heroine. Throw in some castle intrigue, an evil warlock, a poisoned sister, starving villagers, and a perverse Bishop, and you’ve got yourself quite the tale.

Nora: It was a winning combination! I also liked the part you had in there with your lead female character championing the people to read the Bible for themselves. When Angels Cry was a moving and powerful, fun read!

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? 

MaryLu: Hmm. Well, I’m not really good at “roughing it”. I don’t know how to build a shelter or start a fire or hunt for food. And I hate bugs! So I guess I would be the encourager, the peace-maker, the one who listens to everyone’s problems. I’m told that I’m good at that. Also, I could be the Bible teacher and the person who prays for others.  I’m a hard worker so I’d be happy to do anything, but I should definitely not be put in charge!  

Nora: I’m with you about not being good at “roughing it” I’m a hard worker, team player too, let someone else organize things! Grin!

MaryLu: Without you readers, I wouldn’t be able to keep writing, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is my goal to entertain you, bless you, make you smile, swoon, give you goosebumps, and even make you cry sometimes. But most of all, I want you to see God as I see Him, a Father who loves you and finds you exceedingly precious.

Nora: Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I read She Walks in Power and LOVED IT!  I highly recommend it for your book club and/or just plain fun!

SEE the rest of the interview and Marylu's fun pictures at Book Fun Magazine 

MaryLu is giving away a copy of When Angels Cry at The Book Club Network Click on her headshot to JOIN her author page and enter drawing.

Go to Magazine


Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


Monday night we kicked off January's offerings. Here is the link to ALL that is being featured We Also have head-shots of authors on the front page, you can click on those pictures if that is easier to navigate.

Remember if you are not a member of the authors group, you'll need to JOIN their Group and then answer ONE of the questions to be entered into the drawing.

THANKS for spreading the word and for helping to create lots of BOOK FUN here. Oh, Remember also that Book Fun Magazine is out. CLICK on Book Fun Magazine cover featuring MaryLu Tyndall'.

If you have any questions I'll be more than happy to help you. Email me at 

BLESSINGS to you and Yours!

Nora :o)


The Crooked Path
By Irma Joubert
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718-098179
398 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.

Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.

Marco’s experience in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.

In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.

REVIEW: I was mesmerized, engaged and surprised by this authors’ compelling novel titled, “The Girl From the Train.” I couldn’t wait to read another book by her. This book showed a different look at the persecution of the Jews that took place in Italy during WWII. The author says, “All my historical novels are based on true stories people have told me.” Knowing this makes the story an even more compelling read.

This book was set up differently than most books I’ve read. The author first lists a cast of characters then follows that by a glossary of words. Part one of this book is titled “Stepping out.” I was quickly drawn into this story and felt for the leading lady Lettie from the first line, “What she was looking at, was definitely not what she wanted to see.”

Readers are introduced to Lettie in her younger years. The author shows where Lettie’s drive to succeed came from. It was an effort to overcome insecurities from childhood, and to face the challenge of thriving in a male dominated field. She had to work hard to prosper so in the end she could show her childhood friends she was smart enough be a successful doctor. She wanted to be someone they would look up to and respect.

Then the story shifts to the second part titled “Love and War” where readers are brought to Italy and introduced to Marco Romanelli. I instantly connected with Marco and felt for his situation. Readers see him fall in love with a Jewish girl, Rachel Rosenfield. The author shows how that affects both of their lives and that of their families.

I felt a disconnect here because I was fully engaged in Lettie’s story in the USA then the author makes a switch and introduces another character living in Italy. I liked Marco from the start and was quickly engaged in his story and his life in Italy; but I couldn’t imagine how Lettie’s life and his would intersect but I read on. I’m glad I did.

The author quickly engages readers as they learn about Marco and Rachel’s family, their love and see how their community fights the powerful Nazi regime and survive the best they can. I felt for the people as they tried to be imaginative in how they’d survive the horrors of WWII.

I liked what Lettie’s mom told her. “Life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end, it will always take you where you’re supposed to be.” Marco says to Rachel, “…even a crooked path has to lead somewhere.”

Again, the book takes another shift to Part three titled “Intersection”, where Lettie and Marco meet (after 123 pages into the story). The last part is titled, “Wondering.” Again, I’m not sure if the choppiness from section to section is partly due to the fact that this novel was translated to English from the authors native tongue Dutch. There was a detachment that felt like little bumps in the road. The ending felt forced as the author ties things up in a nice bow. I did enjoy the vacation Lettie and her friends went on as they toured Italy. I wanted to be there with them they had so much fun.

 This was a very interesting compelling, heart wrenching, read about the WWII era; rich in history, dealt with survival, love, loss, relationships and hope. I enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more by this author. I found the Author notes interesting. There are thirteen discussion questions to help create engaging discussion at your book club.

ABOUT AUTHOR: International bestselling author IRMA JOUBERT was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing fiction. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She is the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.

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
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