BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

THE LOST CASTLE REVIEWED


The Lost Castle
By Kristy Cambron
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN#978-0718095468
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: www.kristycambron.com

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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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WHEN GOD MADE LIGHT REVIEWED



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

Published by Waterbrook
ISBN#978-1-60142-920-9
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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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100 NUTRITIONALLY BALANCED ONE-DISH VEGAN MEALS



Power Plates
By Gena Hamshaw
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN#978-0-399-57905-9
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, ..it’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! www.bookfun.org

THE MASTERPIECE REVIEWED - NEW RELEASE from FRANCINE RIVERS


The Masterpiece
By Francine Rivers
Published by Tyndall
ISBN#978-1496407900
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 www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) 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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

TEN LITTLE NIGHT STARS REVIEWED

Ten Little Night Stars
By Deb Bruelle
Illustrated by Gabi Murphy
Published By Zonderkidz
ISBN#978-0310762126
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! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

THE SATURDAY NIGHT SUPPER CLUB AUTHOR INTERVIEWED & GIVEAWAY



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 (www.carlalaureano.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/CarlaLaureanoAuthor
Twitter.com/carlalaureano
Instagram.com/carlalaureanoauthor


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.

PLEASE ANSWER ONE 
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!

CONGRATULATIONS
To PATRICIA BRADLEY


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

Sincerely,

Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent The Book Club Network Inc. http://www.bookfun.org
You can read author interviews, reviews, learn about book signings and about TBCN giveaways on the blog she created called The Book Club Network blog, http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Nora also does author interviews and reviews for Book Fun Magazine http://www.bookfunmagazine.com  
Nora has also run book clubs face to face and online with more than 100 members. She enjoys working part-time for the Public Library as a CSA.