TBCN Give Away

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould are being featured;  their book, THE AMISH BRIDE, Received a CHRISTY AWARD this year.

Enter at the link below for a free copy of THE AMISH BRIDE (10 copies will be given away!)






Dad’s court case was anti-climatic, for him anyway. First, after checking in and waiting quite awhile for the Assistant District Attorney (ADA), she finally showed up after court was supposed to be in session. Second, she took us to a conference room to interview Dad. Third, we found out Dad didn’t have to see the the guy and probably doesn’t even need to testify since a surveillance camera recorded the entire scene. Fourth, the state WON’T let the guy plea bargain (GOOD!). Fifth, the guy never showed. Sixth, they sent us home and told us we’d be contacted for the Grand Jury sometime, they thought, in October.

We had noticed the guy wasn’t in the court room but thought he maybe was running late. However, according to their records he was still in jail. The ADA said that meant he either wasn’t transported or their records were inaccurate and he was a no show. We still don’t know which.

Dad was fine with all of it, but I wasn’t.

Even though this court room scene was MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more organized and less chaotic than the ones I attended for my case, the memories still overwhelmed and overcame me. I lost it a couple of times and though I didn’t cry uncontrollably like I did during my cases, I did cry on several occasions. The memories are still haunting my dreams these last few days and I’ve become more hyper-aware and hypersensitive again.

All this just for the pre-trial. I’m really not sure how I’ll handle the Grand Jury when the memories of my entire case will surely be more vivid since the Grand Jury case, like mine, will last longer and be more detailed.

Dad’s cardiologist appointment was more problematic. He’s not been feeling well since he got hit (go figure!) and the Dr. is concerned. His blood pressure’s been really crazy
(http://thesoundsofliving.blogspot.com/2012/08/girlfriends-and-er-visits-part-1.html) and the Dr. isn’t sure what’s causing it to act up so much. The doc gave him some new pills to try for a week and if they don’t help he wants to put Dad in the hospital. The doc also thinks Dad may need new batteries in his pacemaker, too. He’ll have those tested next week at his follow up appointment.

Court Case and Apology

Dad’s court case is tomorrow. It will be a very trying day for him and me.  Trying for him for obvious reasons. Trying for me because of the memories of my attack and subsequent case.

I’ll post a follow up on Tuesday evening after Dad’s Dr. appointment. This way I can include the information about his case and his appointment.

I owe several authors and publishing companies apologies for how long I am taking to post my review blogs. I was in the middle of reading four different books when Dad was run over and things came to a screeching halt (just wish the car that hit him had, too).  I will begin book reviews again late this week or early next week depending on the outcome of Dad’s Dr. appointment.  Thank you all for your kind patience and understanding during this extremely difficult and tumultuous time for us.

Girlfriends and ER Visits Part 2

As I mentioned Dad had a visit to the ER recently. While being triaged one of the volunteers called for him to come with her to the back ER area. When she called him, she said, “Come on, honey,” and winked. She then held out her hand and made a “click, click” noise with her tongue. At this point I advised her to be careful as he may take her up on the “come on, honey,” based on his last visit.

He described to her his last visit and she told him, “Well, maybe you should be careful as I may just waltz you out the back door and take you dancing!”

Dad looked at me with a big grin and told her he wasn’t sure about the dancing since he still had to use his cane but he could definitely take her out for a steak dinner!

They continued to talk for awhile until the nurse came to escort him to a room.

We were there for several hours and when we left she was gone. Poor Dad was heartbroken! (He’s wanting to drop by the ER one day, but not as a patient, to see if he can find out more about her!!!)

I think he now looks forward to ER visits as he seems to be batting them out of the park! Needless to say, I DON”T.

Everyone at the hospital was charmed by his girlfriend #1 story and wanted to hear more about his adventure. Of course, he was very happy to oblige.

He’s been on several dates w/#1 and they’ve visited each other’s friends together. Things seem to be truckin’ along quite nicely.

I’m happy for him as he has been so lonely in the 2+ years since my Mom passed away. He’s still a little depressed about losing her. His accident seems to have made it just a little worse, so the lady gives him something to look forward to each day. They both appear to really enjoy each other’s company. Each of their dates have lasted several hours as they look at pictures, watch TV, reminisce about days gone by and a myriad of other getting to know each other type things. All of this is after several hours chatting at the restaurant, too!

Wonderful First Novel!

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade is a great book particularly since it is Wade’s first novel.
Kate Donovan began praying in the fourth grade for her future husband, but in her thirty-one years of life, he still hasn’t appeared.
Matt Jarreau’s Mom had been praying for him, too, more than ever since life had appeared to deal him an exceptionally cruel hand. She prayed God would help him heal and send him a new love.
Enter Gran, Kate’s Grandmother, who offers Kate the opportunity to help renovate her family home in Redbud, Pennsylvania. At almost the same time Kate decides she’s tired of it all, in particular, her social work job. Gran has also hired Matt to assist with items too large for her and Kate to handle.
Kate realizes Matt has retreated from life.  But, she is too stubborn to give up on her goal to reintroduce him to living.
Throw in some feisty, eccentric and in some cases love hungry seniors, friends of Gran, and you have a perfect recipe for matchmaking fun.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book as it was easy to relate to and get lost in the story.
This book was provided to me by Bethany House in exchange for an unbiased opinion.
For more information and to get to know Becky Wade go to:

TBCN Birthday

Happy Birthday Bash!!!!
 TBCN INTERVIEW w/Nora St.Laurent
Nora St. Laurent’s Bio: Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network http://www.bookfun.org She runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.
What inspired you start TBCN?
The Book Club Network was born out of a desire to share Christian Fiction authors with other book clubs, share book club ideas with other leaders and to encourage the authors who are writing such amazing books. The economy has been really tough for a few years and people are not parting with money like they used to. Through TBCN they can take their time and find the right book or win it. We have give away opportunities each month. ALL of our contests are from the 19th – 21st of the month.
I run two face to face book clubs one at the Christian Book Store I work at and the other at the church I attend. It’s a position I never imagined I’d be in since I didn’t read for pleasure much before I started working in a Christian book store 11 years ago.
But since I love talking with people and the main thing to talk about in a book store is books I started reading Christian Fiction (publishers sent ARC copies to our store and I started checking them out) The first book that rocked my world and got me hooked in Christian Fiction was a book by Linda Nichols called Not a Sparrow Falls her next book did me in and I couldn’t stop talking about it, At the Scent of Water was her next book that prompted me to contact the author and let her know how much her book touched my spirit.
After reading these two books and telling customers about these reads I had a reason to read.  These books spoke to me because I wasn’t expecting it. It reminded me of the stories in the bible. Jesus is the greatest story teller and He knew a story could change a life or prick our spirit and move us in a direction we never thought we’d be in.
I tell you all that to say I’m dyslexic and I have not been a fan of reading. Movies were more my thing. I could watch a movie of a book and have a lot more fun. Reading Christian Fiction changed my life in more ways than one.  I wanted to tell everyone about the greatest book I read, and I’d do that at the book store.  It was possible to talk about the new book I read and loved for about a month or more but when At the Scent of Water and Not a Sparrow Falls were not on the shelf anymore, I had to find some other books to talk about at work.  I’m not a very fast reader so; discovering the next new book was a challenge. Would I get the book read before it disappeared from the shelf?  How long do books live on a book shelf? The shelf life of a book was a mystery to me and still is.
I was whining to my husband Fred about my problem. How can I get the word out about great books for a very long period of time??? Being a man who likes to face challenges head we began to talk about how we could do this and the fact that I can’t read books fast enough to keep up with it’s shelf life at the store.
I also told him as a book club leader I wanted to promote great books and share them with other groups. Not everyone has the advantage of working at a book store and see what new books hit the shelves each week. Another struggle I had was if I had an author speaking at my book club I wanted to share them with other book clubs in the area. How could I do that? Where are book clubs meeting?
Our answer to many of these questions and more was the birth of The Book Club Network – TBCN. Connecting authors to book clubs and readers to their books; it’s also a network of book clubs as they post what they’ve read and how the meeting turned out.
It’s a place to find where a book club is located. We have a member map where you can find a book club near you. Message them and see if they are accepting new members. I envision it to be similar to be similar to the Weight Watchers program (don’t laugh Grin) you can go to a meeting anywhere in the country right? All you have to do is look on line and get connected. This is my hope for the future of TBCN.
Have there been any surprises for you @TBCN? What benefits have you seen by bringing readers and authors together?
I’ve been encouraged and fascinated by our growth. I can see there were other people out there like me wanting to connect with other book club members.
I’ll tell you what has surprised me is the author/reader interaction each month. This is something I didn’t foresee as I’ve watch the authors are having a blast interacting with the readers and visa/versa. The beauty of this discussion is it’s there forever for all to read no matter when you join TBCN.
The authors have done a great job coming up with questions for reader to answer that give them a peek into their book – create interest and then the discussion helps book club leaders connect with the author. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of authors that want to be featured @The Book Club Network. It’s been a great thing.
The interaction with the authors is almost like having a book club meeting on line. It’s a huge benefit for both the authors who’ve wanted to ask clubs questions and readers who want to get to know authors. The authors are catching on. Our sponsors have loved the interaction as well. Members have told me that they love the author interaction from the 19th-21st as much as having a chance to win all these books. It’s hard to know if a book will be a fit for your group so these interaction times are helpful for that and so much more. Another thing I love about TBCN members is the fact they are not afraid to share what they think in a good way. I’ve learned so much and laughed out loud in some discussion where the questions lead to sharing funny moments.
My hope is that book club leaders and/or members participate in the discussions and make that book connection with the author and their book. I want TBCN to be a tool for them in picking out their books. Maybe invite the author to speak to their book club on the phone. It’s my hope. The discussion will be there forever. No worries about a books shelf live here @TBCN. So, everyone has time to get to know each other!! It’s a beautiful thing!
How can readers join in the anniversary celebrations?
It’s easy to sign up to be a member of TBCN.  We ask a few questions for you to answer and for other information that helps us keep spammers and other information seekers out of the network. It’s also FREE. You have opportunities to win lots of books. For our BIRTHDAY BASH we are giving away 10 books a day and announcing winners once a week. You’ll have all week to enter the daily  featured contests.
 If you are avid reader this is the place for you to learn about the latest in Christian Fiction and interact with the author each month.
Are you a book club leader? Well this is the place for you to find your next book club pick. We’d also love for you to set up your Book club page at our site for others to see. It’s a place to share your latest featured book. Post pictures of your club and the field trips you’ve taken. The authors you’ve met and the book fun you’ve had. Learn from other book clubs that have already set up their pages.
Want to start a book club but felt it was too overwhelming? You can learn from other experienced book club leaders, and you can start right away making your book club list!
Do you like to win books? This is the place for you. You’ll have a chance to get to know the authors and their books and read genre’s you normally wouldn’t. We’ve been giving away about 100 books a month and for our birthday bash it’s going to be 10 books every day; starting August first. Winners are picked weekly and announced each weekly.
THANK YOU! You’ve been a grand host to have me here and let me talk about The Book Club Network and our Birthday Bash!! I hope to see you there @TBCN http://www.bookfun.org
 You are a Blessing!!
 Nora :o)
The Book Club Network CEO

Part 1 Continued

So. . .

The whole time Dad is in the hospital the lady continues to visit, he goes to rehab and she comes to see him, he comes home and she comes to see him!

One of the days she came over, Bill and I went over as he hadn’t met her yet and Dad wanted him to meet her. During that visit she told us her daughter was nervous about the age difference. She told her and I quote, “I’d rather be an old man’s darlin’ than a young man’s fool!” Needless, to say, Dad was thrilled.

They’ve been on a date of sorts-just going to get lunch on a day when she dropped by, she’s offered to help Dad clean house and show him some tricks to stay on top of things and generally helped keep him cheered up during this semi-grueling recovery time.

A side note about the cleaning tips-I’ve been suggesting to him for a couple of years that cleaning and sorting would go much easier if he:
               1) Got 4 totes and labelled them keep, throwaway, donate or garage sale and not sure-go through later

               2) Picked a room and divided in quadrants to work on

               3) Started in that 1 room and stayed there til finished, closed the door and start on next room

               4) Rewarded himself with a “date”, dinner out or something other than another item for the house, when he finished each room

               5) QUIT Buying More and More STUFF (not to mention doing this one would save him the money he always says he needs!)

 Those are the biggest of the suggestions though there were others. Well, in 2+ years he never listened and though I tried to help as much as I could there wasn’t a lot I could do as stuff came in faster than I could carry it out!

Guess what?????? He called and said, “Hey, my girlfriend has some great ideas on cleaning the house.”
And proceeded to name E-V-E R-Y-T-H-I-N-G that I had suggested!!!!

So, as soon as he’s on his feet a little better we’re doing some MAJOR housecleaning.

Guess only time will tell how this will go. It promises to be interesting though as she is an exceedingly independent lady. She has published a book, is writing more books, sold artwork and is an accomplished musician! My Dad is very old school to the extreme and is used to the um, for lack of a better way to describe it, I’ll say- the barefoot, pregnant and tied to the kitchen sink plus a little of Nell Fenwick-damsel ALWAYS helpless and in distress types. (He butts heads with my sisters and I and several friends a lot because we, as females, are not so suitably helpless!)

I won’t say I’ll continue to girlfriend 2 story tomorrow because every time I say I’ll do something tomorrow-something comes up and I can’t, but I promise I’ll do it as soon as I can.        

Girlfriends and ER Visits Part 1

This won’t be what you expect from the title, I’m sure-but here goes.

I took Dad to the Er this morning. He was having an horrendous headache and after his “run-in” with a car last month I decided not to take a chance.

His blood pressure was really wonky while we were there. It was 229/170 when he was being processed in. Then, when he was in the ER cubicle it went down to 180/100, up to 223/170, down to 150/95 and so on the whole time. His heart spiked to 112 then dropped to 85 and kept going up to 90 and above and down to 70. His pulse ox kept dropping from 90-91 to 75-80 and of course through all this the alarms kept going off. If I wasn’t already a bundle of nerves, all the alarms would have made me that way.

And then to top it all off they sent him home with no explanations and instructions to see his Dr. next week.  NEXT WEEK?  What about tomorrow? And oh, yeah, by the way-uh, what is wrong with him?  No answer, just perplexed looks! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

So, we wait.

Now, the girlfriends. My Dad is, I think (as all daughters do), kinda cute and doesn’t look his age.  I am admittedly prejudiced BUT. . . .

When he was in the ER in July, after being hit by the car, we were there for about 9 hours before they decided to admit him. During this time several other patients came in and out of the cubicle next to him. One person next to him was a mother and grandmother there with her daughter who was having trouble.

The mother, after about 2 hours of hearing our conversation with the police and each other, peeked around the corner and told us she couldn’t help but hear our conversation and was curious as to what had happened. She also looked at Dad and told him she thought he sounded like an interesting person.

One conversation led to another over the next few hours when Dad said something to her about his age. (At this point we had figured out she was single and about 20 years younger than him.) She replied with something to the effect that age didn’t mean anything. Dad perked up, grinned and said, “If you really mean that maybe after I get out of here we can go for a steak dinner.” She gave him a big smile, a thumbs up and said, “Sure!”

So, begins the saga of girlfriend #1.

And because today was a long, long day and because little one had braces put in yesterday and is in lots of pain, needs medicine and attention-I’ll close for now and continue tomorrow.