Sunday, July 29, 2012

All you need to know about TBCN and Nora St Laurent

The Book Club Network
About NORA:
Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network 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, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.
Nora, 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!) 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 at TBCN, Nora? 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 atThe 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 atTBCN. 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. 
Do you have any other comments for my readers?
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.

It's been great talking up close and personal about TCBN, Nora. Thanks for coming by.
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 atTBCN
Nora :o)
The Book Club Network CEO

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Winner of the summer NCB Writing Contest! Cameron Presson

Fourteen-year-old Cameron Presson of Thompson Station, TN, claimed first prize in the 2012 New Christian Books Summer Writing Contest. He entered a modern Jonah story entitled “In the Belly of a Jail” about a 16-year-old arrested for driving while intoxicated, who surrendered his life to Christ after being incarcerated.

“I think all the entries are beautifully creative work. All these writers should be encouraged to keep writing,” remarked one of the judges, Katherine Harms. She is author of Oceans of Love, a book with 30 days of meditations on God’s love built on texts relating to oceans and water.

Second place went to 11-year-old Victoria Rifa of Yakima, Washington, for her wail tale, Double Trouble, involving squabbling twins who turned to God after an earthquake.

Third place went to 14-year-old Maisie Lay of Marshall, IL, for her story, “To Learn Responsibility,” about a girl who was sent to military school for a day after leaving her baby brother alone.

Receiving Honorable Mention Awards were Nathan and Daniel Bae, of Irvine, CA, and Stephen Gordon, Tampa, FL.

New Christian Books, an online magazine serving the Christian reading and writing communities, sought modern Jonah stories from 10 to 14 year olds for its summer contest held in conjunction with the John 3:16 Marketing Network. The network is a group of Christian authors who have bonded to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“It was my goal to teach and reinforce the lesson of Jonah: there is price to pay when you disobey,” says the magazine’s publisher Cheryl Rogers, “while at the same time introducing the magazine and the work of Christian authors to new readers.”

Rogers has penned a number of ebooks, including the short story collection Just Like Jonah Wail Tales that inspired the contest. The ebook involves characters who land in a whale of trouble for making the wrong choices, but who seek God and are restored.

The judging was done by a panel of Christian authors including Harms and Acacia Beumer, author of Launch Out Into the Deep; Lisa Lickel, author of First Children of Farmington to be released later this year; Diane Tatum, author Gold Earrings; Cheryl Rogers and her son David Rogers, a 13-year-old Williams Middle School student in Tampa, FL, as junior judge.

The contest was sponsored by Samantha Ryan Chandler, author of A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me, An Impossibly True Story; Linda Yezak, author of Give the Lady a Ride; Jairus King, author of Men's Ministry Handbook for Christians; Mike Lynch, author of After the Cross; Tom Blubaugh, author of Night of the Cossack; and Sana Edoja, author of Knowing God.

The winners received cash and other prizes, including books by Christian authors Acacia Beumer, Laura Davis, Lorilyn Roberts, the founder of the John 3:16 Marketing Network; and Cheryl Rogers.

(From me, Lisa - wowsers, this is one reason I approach judging with fear and trembling - these kids were mostly quite GOODD! Congratulations to them all.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wisconsin Children's Book Festival

Wisconsin Authors, Illustrators Round Out Slate for Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival Oct. 12-14

The three-day festival features dozens of opportunities for book lovers of all ages to meet favorite authors and illustrators and attend readings, demonstrations, writing and poetry workshops, art-making sessions with illustrators, book signings and more.

Joining this year’s stellar slate of national and local authors and illustrators are:
  • Jacqueline Houtman, author of The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, a Read On Wisconsin! pick and a book which one reviewer said “deserves a place on every elementary and middle school shelf” (Library Media Connection.) The Theater for Young Audiences in Sheboygan presented the world premiere of the stage version of The Reinvention of Edison Thomas in October, 2011. Ms. Houtman lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Ilsa J. Bick is a former child psychiatrist and the author of popular and award-winning novels for young adults (Draw the Dark, Ashes, Drowning Instinct) whose books have been praised for their pacing, action, and suspense and who “writes about dysfunction with a professional’s insight” (Booklist.) Ms. Bick lives in Kohler, Wisconsin.
  • Lisa Albert has written biographies of Stephanie Meyer and Lois Lowry for the Authors Teens Love series and she is the author of the novel Mercy Lily, called “affecting and thought-provoking” by Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA.) Ms. Albert lives in Muskego, Wisconsin.
  • Rebecca and Madelyn Spindler are the mother/daughter writing team and co-authors of the middle-grade book series, Tale of Two Sisters (Sarah Jane Is a Pain, Life According to Liz) featuring eleven-year-old Liz McCormick, a tomboy growing up on her family’s farm in the rolling hills of Wisconsin. Madelyn Spindler was eleven years old when she began writing the first book in the series with her mother, Rebecca. The Spindlers live in Madison, Wisconsin.
Previously announced authors and illustrators of acclaimed books for children and teens are Steven Kellogg (The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, Pinkerton, Behave!), Sarah Weeks (Pie, Crocodile Smile), Nina Crews (The Neighborhood Mother Goose, One Hot Summer Day), Dan Yaccarino (Trashy Town, All the Way to America), Edward Hemingway (Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship; Bump in the Night), Brian Lies (Bats at the Beach, More), W.H. Beck (Malcolm at Midnight), Liz Garton Scanlon (All the World, A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes) and James Kennedy (The Order of Odd Fish.)

Kennedy will bring a special screening of his 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to this year’s Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival and children and teens can enter their own 90 Second-Newbery videos for a chance to see their video screened at the festival.

The theme for this year’s children’s book festival is Family, giving festival goers the opportunity to hear authors and illustrators speak about how family has played a role in their works. Authors and illustrators will sign books after their presentations and festival bookseller and sponsor Apple Blossom Books (Oshkosh) will donate a portion of book sale proceeds to support the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival, helping keep the festival free to all.

About the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival
The Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival is presented by community volunteers and these local organizations who believe in the transformative power of reading and the literary and visual arts: the Mead Public Library, the Eastern Shores Library System, the Sheboygan Area and Kohler school districts, the Kohler Public Library, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, and Bookworm Gardens.

The Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival is Wisconsin’s only free, public children’s book festival. Funding support comes from the Kohler Foundation, Inc., the F.K. Bemis Family Foundation, the Garton Family Foundation, the Mead Public Library Foundation, The Friends of Mead Public Library, the Sheboygan Service Club Foundation and other donors. In-kind support is provided by Dynamic Inc. and the Family Resource Center of Sheboygan County.

Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival:
Mead Public Library:
John Michael Kohler Arts Center:
Bookworm Gardens:

Contact Information:

Jo Ann Dent, Co-chairSheboygan Children’s Book Festival
920-912-2309 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 920-912-2309 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Karin Menzer, Co-chairSheboygan Children’s Book Festival
920-459-3400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 920-459-3400 end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 3404

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Blessing Seer - Paul Mowery


My friend, Paula Mowery, just released her debut novella--READ ALL ABOUT IT!

About the author:
Paula Mowery is a pastor’s wife and a homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing in the area of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – THE BLESSING SEER.
Learn more about Paula at her blog –

About the book, THE BLESSING SEER:

When God sends Addy a special messenger who challenges her to step from her comfort zone, she isn’t sure she’s up to the job. She feels inadequate to take on the task of encouraging others, and when she starts seeing visions, she worries she’s losing her mind.

Yet, Addy wants only to be used by God, even if that means seeing visions and risking relationship with family and friends. By stepping out on a limb, can Addy really accomplish something significant for God? What affect will her surrender to His will have on those around her? And, what affect will it have on her own life?

1. Paula, what’s been a favorite work experience you’ve had so far in life?

Recently, I've enjoyed working with my editor at Harbourlight. She has taught me so much without trying to change my voice. She made editing enjoyable - that's a big deal.

2. If you could do anything you want, what would it be?

I would love the opportunity to write and speak full time spurring other Christian women in their walks with God. Writing and speaking/teaching is my passion.

3. What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled?

As of June 16th, I have added Haiti to the places I have been. About 10 years ago I went on a mission trip to Africa where I had the opportunity to see the Indian Ocean - beautiful. On this recent trip to Haiti, I was once again seeing the ocean out one window and a mountain out the other. That view of Haiti seemed exotic until I went to the villages where the people live - what an eye-opener. We are so blessed.

4. That sounds fascinating! We just had some speakers in our church who were there. I love to get a feel for where you live. What do you see outside the closest window right now, Paula?

The closest window looks out onto my screened-in patio which looks into the backyard lined with trees. I have wicker pillow-padded rockers where my daughter and I love to sit and read.

5. What do you tell people when they ask “and what do you do?”

I usually start out with pastor's wife and homeschool mom. I am learning to say that I'm a writer and deal with the "really?" and surprised expressions.

6. That is a funny thing, isn't it? Where’s your favorite place to grocery shop?

I'm a one-stop kind of girl - I shop at Walmart where I can get everything including prescriptions and get out.

7. What, to you, is worship?

Worship is an attitude that I can engage in all of the time if I will. I can worship listening and singing along to my favorite contemporary Christian singers. I worship while interpreting my husband's sermons for our deaf members. I worship while reading a Christian-inspired book. I worship when God leads my hand to write a story.

Thank you, Paula, and best wishes with your work.

THE BLESSING SEER is available through the publisher at as well as other ebook distributors like Amazon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Sale

DawnSinger - buy today! - by Janalyn Voigt

Special Limited-time offer!

Buy DawnSinger Tuesday, July 3rd, to receive a gift from the author and other free e-gifts. As a thank-you for your interest, you're invited to enter to win some fantastic prizes. (No purchase necessary to take part in the drawing.)
Purchase eBook here.

With freedom as its central theme, DawnSinger is the perfect companion for the 4th of July holiday. Why not treat yourself or someone you love to a reading adventure?

About DawnSinger
Sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.

Praise for DawnSinger

“In DawnSinger, Janalyn Voigt has penned a novel full of surprises. With adventure, mystery, and an unlikely romance, this beautiful, epic fantasy debut will leave you scrambling for the next book in the trilogy.” Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid

DawnSinger is a delightful fantasy spun with bardic prose and threaded with danger and intrigue.” Linda Windsor, author of Healer, Thief and Rebel, Brides of Alba Historical Trilogy

“Janalyn Voigt builds an exciting world, tranquil on the surface but filled with danger, ancient enemies, and a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. DawnSinger leads you into a land only imagined in dreams. I can’t wait to read the second book in the Tales of Faeraven trilogy.” Lisa Grace, best-selling author of the Angel in the Shadows series.

Special Gift From the Author

~ A signed, personalized book plate (sticker to place inside the book)--one for each book you purchase!

Janalyn explains how she discovered books.
It happened over time. My father instilled a love of literature in me at an early age when he read chapters from "The Wizard of Oz," "Robinson Crusoe" and other classics as bedtime stories. When I grew older, and he stopped reading bedtime stories, I put myself to sleep with tales I "wrote" in my head.
As a precocious reader, I soon graduated to the novels in my parent's bookcase. I'm sure those books contributed to my growth as a writer. Eventually, I scribbled my own stories on paper. A teacher noticed my ability to tell a story when I was twelve. As a result of his encouragement, I identified my desire to write novels.

DawnSinger is my debut novel and the first offering in Tales of Faeraven. I've already begun work on WayFarer, the next book in my epic fantasy series.
I live in a beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening, and finding adventures in the great outdoors. I dream of owning a horse, exploring all the national parks, and visiting European castles.

Steps to Receive Your Thank-You Gifts

Step 1: Buy DawnSinger on July 3rd on Amazon; then proceed to Step 2 below with your Order # to claim your FREE GIFTS.
Note: If Amazon indicates a low supply or “out of stock” status, ORDER TUESDAY ANYWAY so that you can receive the bonus gifts. Their supply will restock immediately and you should not have a long wait for your book(s).
Step 2: Entering your information in the form below will take you to a page where you can request your author gift and that will redirect you to your other e-gifts. (Preview additional e-gifts below my launch celebration drawings.)


(No purchase necessary)

Giveaways include a $20 Starbucks Card & Free Copies of Tales of Faeraven, book two

DRAWING 1: ONE winner will receive a $20 STARBUCKS CARD and a signed print copy of WayFarer, BOOK TWO of Tales of Faeraven, available upon its release.

DRAWING 2: TWO winners will receive a signed print copy of WayFarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven, available upon its release.

DRAWING 3: THREE winners will receive a free kindle copy of WayFarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven, available upon its release.

Post to Facebook about these great drawings!

Copy and Paste:
Today only, author Janalyn Voigt, is launching her debut novel, DawnSinger, book one in the epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven. She's giving away gifts and offering some amazing prizes, including a $20 Starbucks card, in three different drawings!!

Tweet about this amazing offer!

Copy and Paste:
Buy the epic fantasy novel, DawnSinger, today and enter three amazing drawings! #fantasy #fiction #drawings

Join the Party!

Besides the author's gift of a free signed book plate, when you purchase DawnSinger at on July 3rd, you will also receive free bonus gifts from Janalyn's generous supporters. Learn more at