Banner

THE PERFECT EGG by TERI LYN FISHER and JENNY PARKER REVIEWED

The Perfect Egg
By Teri Lyn Fischer
And Jenny Park
ISBN#978-1-60774-625-6
167 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: A cookbook all about eggs, with 70 diverse recipes for meals, snacks, and desserts, from the team behind the beloved food blog Spoon Fork Bacon.

Eggs are one of the world’s super-star foods: inexpensive, protein-rich, versatile, and easily renewable. Every culture has its own take on eggs—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and The Perfect Egg features a dazzling, delicious variety of globally influenced dishes. From Blackberry Stuffed Croissant French Toast to Hot and Sour Soup, and from Poached Yolk-Stuffed Ravioli to Creamy Lemon Curd Tart, the more than seventy recipes in The Perfect Egg offer a fresh, unique, and modern take on the most humble of foods.

REVIEW: This cook book pleasantly surprised me. I had no idea eggs could be the star ingredient in so many amazing mouthwatering dishes. I found these authors approach to the topic of eggs very efficient. They start with sharing All About Eggs. I found this most helpful because buying eggs has become as complicated as buying milk. There are so many kinds. Often times I don’t understand the labels on the egg containers. These authors help readers realize the difference between AA – A – B – Peewee – Small – Med – etc. and other information on the box.

I appreciated the section on Decoding Egg Cartons too! Again great job of informing the reader to the difference between Cage-Free. Free Range and other terms. Then the two page beautiful color spread of the several different types of eggs used in cooking. All the way from Quail, to Ostrich and everything in-between.

I found the Anatomy of an Egg section most fascinating. I didn't know an egg had so many parts! Grin! Then the authors start with cooking Techniques under the section titled Eggs 101 Basics and how to handle and store eggs – great stuff.

Then the recipes start with Sauces and Condiments section. I’d love to try to make my own Mayo, Egg Butter and Hollandaise Sauce. The next section is Pasta Dough and then a chapter on Breads. I’d like to try the Brioche Buns, Challah and Soft Pretzels, they looked yummy. Next section was Morning recipes. Oh, I think I want to try them all. But top on the list are the Egg Clouds, Eggs Benedict, 9 different types of quiche; 9 different kinds of pancakes and 9 different Freitas recipes. Then there are Snacks. Some of my top favorites to try are Corn and Green Onion Fritters with Bacon-Honey Drizzle; Parmesan Popcorn Puffs and 9 different kinds of Deviled eggs.

The Afternoon section has some yummy soups and salads with 9 different egg salads recipes. Then the Night chapter. There are a few I want to try, Croque-Madome – Shrimp OkonomiYaki (Omelet Pancake) Spaetzle with Swedish Meatballs – Savory Strata.
Last but not least are the Sweets. I’d like to try Spicy Chocloate Mousse, Vanilla Bean Semi Freddo Bars – Crème Brulee, Peaches “N”Cream Cake, Grape Fruit – Poppy Seed Pound Cake and 9 different Frozen Custards, and Chocolate-Orange Souffle.

This is a beautiful hardback book with lovely color pictures for many of the recipes listed. Each recipe has ingredients that are easy to find and instructions that are simple to follow. The authors do list the servicing size on the top of the recipe but they don’t list the prep time. The reader can easily locate the cooking time at the end of the recipe; along with tips to make the recipe easier to make and things to watch out for.

I highly recommend this lovely, versatile cook book every kitchen should have. It starts with the basics and builds the info up preparing the reader to make the first recipes in the book. This will be my go to book for healthy, easy meals (some you can make ahead) for my family. This book is a keeper.

I received this review copy of the book for my honest opinion from Blogging for books.

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

DARCIE COBOS UP-CLOSE, PERSONAL and EASTER STORY


ABOUT AUTHOR: DARCIE COBOS is a 24-year veteran police detective, specializing in family violence. Darcie's passion for reaching children with the message of Jesus led her to become founder and CEO of Egglo Entertainment, whose slogan is, See the Light of Jesus Clearly in the Dark. At Egglo she has developed an innovative, new children's ministry program for churches and families, featuring glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunts that focus on Jesus. Her mission with Egglo is to develop childhood experiences and learning that lead to a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.

 A Southern California native, Darcie holds a bachelor's degree in psychology with an emphasis in child psychology from the University of California, Irvine.



How did you come up with the idea for The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure?

Writing a book was so unexpected and out of left field. It’s a very long story, full of God moments, but I’ll give the short version. It started when I had a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt with my kids, which somehow led to inventing glow-in-the-dark Egglo Eggs. Go figure. I learned through experience that when the Holy Spirit prompts me do something, I use the Nike motto of life: Just Do It.

Over-achiever that I am, it snowballed into creating a program for churches to have glow-in-the dark outreach events. The message I wanted to get across through an egg hunt, is Jesus is the light of the world. The best way to do that was through a story. I’m not a writer, though I write for a living. But I write facts. Believe me, I tried to find someone else to write it (a little embarrassing who I asked).

I had no idea what to write, so I asked all the Sunday school kids for their opinions. The kids gave me lots of good ideas, like treasure hunts and jungles. My son came up with the idea to have the eggs contain a Bible verse (made me a proud mama).

Finding an illustrator was rather miraculous. I contacted about 20 artists who all laughed at my two month deadline, and that the manuscript wasn't written yet. I believe the Lord led me the illustrator, Golden Street Animation. The phenomenal illustrations speak for themselves! Even more amazing is that the artist created 22 images, in two months, while I was writing the book!

I had some help from a children’s writer, Virginia Bowen. I was very awed by the experience and completely dependent on the Lord to help me write. I would get down on my knees and face to pray for guidance. I am just so amazed at how the book turned out. I still can’t believe it.


Nora: I’m always amazed at how God provides a way when there seems to be no way. He accomplishes the impossible if we let him! I really loved the illustrations in the book. They are beautiful!

What do you hope readers take away from The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure?
The point of The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure is to convey that Jesus is the light of the world. We are led by the light of Jesus is the message I hope resonates with children. The book and the glow-in-the-dark egg hunt are powerful object lessons. As children grow up, they will inevitably encounter darkness. In dark times I want them to remember the light that will lead them back to Jesus.

Nora: Great message.

What was your favorite part in the picture book The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

My favorite part of the book is the garden scene, especially the illustration. It’s supposed to be like the Garden of Eden. I wanted tons of adorable animals to appeal to kids. In this scene, the characters discover that Jesus is the treasure that they've been searching for. I love how the story comes together here.



The most fun was giving the artist my vision of a scene and then seeing how the picture turned out. It was like opening a present. I was always blown away and sometimes changed the story to match the illustration.

By far the hardest part was to explain God and Jesus to children as clearly and simply as possible. Little did I know that all the books I've read and years of listening to Christian podcasts would help in this endeavor. Just goes to show you that you never what things in life that God will use.

Nora: The illustrations did bring your story to life. Thanks for telling us about your "presents". Fun!

What three things are you most thankful for? 

First, I am thankful that the Lord was with me all those years before I was a believer. I can look back and very specifically see all the times I was spared of things that could have gone terribly wrong. I see now that the Lord was working all along in my life.

Egglo Eggs CrossSecond, my biggest fear in life is that my children grow up and walk away from the Lord. I had my kids after 35, after living for myself all my life. The fierce love I have for my children brings me to my knees every day to thank the Lord for them.

Third, I am grateful that I can witness the Lord’s hand at work on such a constant basis. I don’t mean that I’m special in any way. It’s just that I gradually learned to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He will use you in tangible ways if you’re willing to leave your comfort zone. In my job of investigating domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse, I often meet people in their darkest days. They are more than receptive to the saving grace of Jesus. It’s a satisfying feeling to be part of someone’s faith journey.

Nora: Wow, you do have a hard job. It’s neat to see how God can use these situations for His Glory and our good. 

Can you share your testimony with us?

I have always had an independent, self-driven spirit. My parents never could tell me what to do. And they really didn't try. I grew up in an era where kids left the house all day and came home when the street lights came on. My dad wasn't in the picture too much, and my mom did her best to raise me, but I pretty much did whatever I wanted. My mom tried sending me to church with the neighbors. I ditched confirmation class with the neighbor girl to sit on the roof eating candy. My mom would take me to the Crystal Cathedral to listen to Dr. Robert Schuller. She’d park in the drive-in section and I’d entertain myself in the back of our wood-paneled Town-Country station wagon. 

I always believed in God, but I never gave much thought to it. I lived my own way, doing my own thing, until I had my kids. Then I became mortal. Suddenly, God became important, particularly for the eternity of my children. My husband and I decided to go to church. I credit my pastor for bringing me to faith. He explained the Bible in a way that made sense. I started reading and listening to different pastor’s messages. My favorite is Andy Stanley. I didn't have a shining light moment or date that I came to faith. Gradually, everything just fell into place and made perfect sense.

Nora: Thanks for sharing your heart with us Darcie. It’s funny how life changes after you have a little one and they are dependent on you. You want the best for them. Andy Stanley tells it like it is in a straight forward, non-preachy way. He gets you thinking. I like him too!

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out? What do you hope with happen with your new adventure?

I am working on making glow in the dark pumpkins for Halloween, and glow in the dark hearts for Valentine’s Day. I want to give parents and church leaders Christian options for holidays and solve dilemmas, like Easter egg hunts. They’re pretty much a secular activity which a lot of Christians avoid. Paul preached to people using their own traditions as a spring-board to talk about Christ. In the same way, I am using the Easter egg hunt to deliver a message of Christ. The pumpkins and hearts have bold crosses on them and will be relevant to Jesus. I plan to write stories to go along with them. The books will be a continuation of the Egg-cellent Easter Adventure series. One will be a story for a Christian alternative at Halloween. It will also have a message of the light of Jesus. The Valentine’s book will be a biblical story about love.

Nora: Oh, wow. This sounds like fun. I've read your Egg-cellent story book and look forward to doing the egg-glo hunt soon. I could see these other venues to be just as powerful and fun as your Egg-cellent Easter Adventure! I look forward to reading your books.

Are you still in law enforcement? What does a typical day look like for you?

I can’t believe I've been a police officer for 26 years now, and law enforcement for 29. I work for a major metropolitan city (I’m not sure that I can name it). I've worked many different stations and assignments. I've been a detective investigating domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse for about 12 years. It’s not a glamorous job and nothing like CSI. I can’t solve a case in an hour. But I like it and you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Most officers avoid domestic violence because the victims fight against you as much as the suspects. It’s tough working in enemy territory, the fighting, the destruction, and the seeming hopelessness of it all. More and more, the Lord helps me to see people as He does, to see through the actions and into the wounded hearts. This is a tremendous statement if you knew my starting point as an officer and non-believer.

I have a great job at my current station and I work with great people. The Lord put me in an ideal situation to be able to carry out my duties, run my company, and still be there for my family. At other stations, I've handled as much as 75 cases a month. You can’t really talk to people with that kind of pace. My caseload now gives me much greater flexibility. I always find it surprising how often I call people at just the right moment and fall into a conversation about faith.

It’s hard to consolidate all that a detective does in a day. It’s a long day of 9-10 + hours. Probably the hardest part to manage is how much multitasking there is. You’re hard at work on a case and then abruptly your attention is needed somewhere else, often by citizens yelling at you. You always have to be prepared for something to happen.

One time I was working night watch (which I have to do every few months) and I was driving, minding my own business. All of a sudden, some patrol officers are chasing suspects down the street in front of me. One of the suspects runs in a different direction. Lucky for me he runs down the sidewalk making it easy to chase him in my car. He’s so exhausted he just gives up and pronouns himself out. We usually wait for back up, but I figured that’d only give him time to catch his breath.

So I start to take him into custody, but it’s dark and I have no night vision. I trip on the badly placed step on the walkway. All my equipment goes flying and I make that awkward splat sound on the ground. I pop up as if I meant to do that, still maintaining my game face. Then I ordered him not to move with a bunch of explicates that rivaled Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction. I’m no Samuel Jackson; I can’t pull that off. I’m sure I sounded ridiculous and the kid didn't move for fear I’d inadvertently shoot him. I don’t know why I’m sharing this. I certainly didn't tell the other officers about the incident.

Nora: Thanks for sharing about your job and the incident. I’m thankful for people that are called to be on the police force and want to serve and protect the law and people. These are tough jobs. I’m grateful for all you do. It’s also encouraging to see that God uses us right where we are at; no matter the career. I’m glad you stepped out in faith put feet to the vision He gave you.
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? 

Who hasn't thought of being shipwrecked and what they’d take with them? I can’t live without lip balm…and the Bible, lip balm and the Bible (not in that order). Being trapped on an island…with my relatives…and we have to work as a team…Well my sister could whip up a delicious meal from grass and bark, so that would be covered. I’m pretty good at telling everyone what to do, so I would put myself in charge. So we’d probably perish after about a week.

Nora: LOL!! You crack me up!! I’m not sure what I’d do. Probably be the helper! I’ll let you be in charge and be thankful you know a good cook!

 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?

It sounds cliché, but I would love to have met Jesus. We have such a limited picture of what he was really like from the Bible. Can you image what it would be like to hang out with him?

Nora: It would be interesting to see Him and know all that we do! We’d see Him with different eyes then the Apostles saw Him; I'm sure.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

I have delivered Santa Clause by helicopter, and been a hooker (undercover police work). I bet no one has ever said those two things in a sentence before.

While in college, I worked in community relations for a police department. At Christmas time we’d fly Santa in a helicopter to all the schools and hand out candy canes. I was an elf. 

Then I was a street prostitute (as an undercover police officer, of course) when we had task forces to arrest “Johns” (men who solicit prostitutes).

Nora: No; you are right. How wild to be Santa Clauses' helper and to be a pretend hooker. I hope that wasn't all in one week! Grin! I could see how being an elf and hanging out with Santa would be fun! Wonder if you ever went to your boys schools? Wonder what they felt about you helping Santa? LOL!
Out of all the sounds in the world, which is your favorite?

Since I work all day in an office full of lively conversations and my home is filled with boy noise, the sound I like most is silence. I like to drive in silence. This is my “prayer” time which is mostly: God, give me this, this, this, and that. But I have an attention span like the dogs of “Up.” I see a squirrel and then I’m off in another direction.

Nora: LOL!! I appreciate silence too. I worked many years at a place that piped in music that played 24/7 (some of which I didn't care for). I know I did not appreciate silence until it was taken away from me! Silence can be golden!


We all live busy lives and are in different seasons of life, that is a given. What part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

I get up at 4 in the morning and get home at 4 in the afternoon, after putting out fires all day. The weekday evenings are not fun. Making dinner and getting all the stuff done is trying day after day. I love my kids beyond words, but they are very difficult. To parent them with Christian purpose, rather than yell and scream, is my constant prayer. It’s not my work that is the hard part; it’s raising my kids. Being a mom, is the hardest job of all.
Nora: Amen! Amen! Some days it seems impossible. It’s hard working full time and finding time for the people and things that matter.

THANK YOU DARCIE for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your children’s book. I’m excited about what you will be having next. Please stop by again and show us how it all worked out.

Here is the link to read full review of book http://goo.gl/uAm59U 

To learn more about Darcie and her Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure book and the egg that glow. You can go to her website http://www.eggloentertainment.com 




THE EGG-CELLENT EASTER ADVENTURE by Darcie Cobos REVIEWED


The Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure
By Darcie Cobos
Illustrated by Golden Street Animation – Scott Peterson artist
SIBN# 978-0-9883043-8-3
40 pages PB

Back Cover: Interested in a fresh, never-before-heard before perspective on the Easter egg hunt? Want to connect the egg hunt to the message of Jesus?

Use this book along with Egglo brand Easter eggs to turn an Easter egg hunt into a glowing message about following the light of Jesus. Connect Jesus with a memorable childhood experience. Inspire children with an exciting new hands-on activity of a nighttime Easter egg hunt. Hide glow-in-the-dark Egglo Easter eggs that are filled with scripture verses, trinkets and candy. Read the “The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure” story that captures the fun of the egg hunt with a focus on Jesus in an interactive, child-friendly way. Children will search for glowing eggs and learn how the Bible guides life’s challenges.

Follow Hardy, Anastasia, Pascal and their dog, Zeke, as they discover a glow-rious mystery. Snooping around the attic, they find an intriguing treasure chest containing a curious glowing Easter egg. What is it? What does it do? Only when the kids unite as one do they learn the secret of the egg. They are transported around the world on a wondrous adventure to find the greatest treasure of all. Come along on an egg-straordinary expedition, as the kids search for more glowing Easter eggs in exciting locations. Discover where the eggs lead them.

Each Easter egg the kids find reveals a clue to their next destination and a Bible verse needed for the journey. Along the way, the kids discover how God’s word will guide them through trouble. In the end, the kids learn the Easter story and discover Jesus is the greatest treasure of all.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

REVIEW: This is a beautiful full color paperback book with a glossy finish that illustrates a powerful story kids will have fun reading and having it read to them.  This book will appeal to ages 12 and under. This book starts out on the Saturday morning before Easter. The family is busy getting breakfast ready and talking about what they were going to do to celebrate Easter.

Hardy, Anastasia and their cousin Pascal were excited at what their parents had planned to create a very special Easter egg hunt. Their Easter egg hunt would be at night with eggs that glowed in the dark. The kids ran up to the attic to find the eggs. They uncover a treasure chest and open it; an egg rises from the chest and starts to glow, shake and spin. They all can’t believe their eyes.

The first scroll they encounter is one from Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfishness, but in humility value others above yourself.”

Note with that, “Seek my treasure let truth be heard. I send my son to spread the word, and free my people who’d been chained go now! “The kids realized they were talking about Pharaoh and Moses. After they stopped reading the egg started to glow brighter and brighter. An amazing thing happens. They are transported back to the time of Moses.

They look around to uncover the reason for their travels when they find another scroll. They keep going on adventures finding different scrolls uncovering messages along the way. Until they get to John 1:4-5 “In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.”

The meaning of Easter comes to light in many ways for these kids. The exciting thing about this story is the fact that you can purchase Glow-in-the-Dark Egglo Easter eggs and create a memorable event for your family.  The story can come to life and will drive the meaning of Easter to their mind and hearts.

There is a CD and DVD of this story book; plus Egglo glow in Dark Easter Egg Hunt Event curriculum and downloadable scripture verses, coloring pages, activities, crafts and ideas to make this Easter celebration memorable for you whole family. Here is the website for other products and stories www.eggloentertainment.com

I received a review copy from The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org I'm excited to be posting an interview with Darcie Cobos this week. She is a very special lady with an interesting job and a call on her life. You'll want to know more about the author of Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure!!

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

DINA L. SLEIMAN UP-CLOSE and PERSONAL 5 Book Giveaway Opportunity




ABOUT AUTHOR: Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards. Also look for her novels, Love in Three-Quarter Time, Dance from Deep Within, and her Valiant Hearts series coming with Bethany House Publishers in 2015. Dina serves as an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire Publishing as well, and she loves to teach at writers conferences throughout the US. For more info visit her at her primary website http://dinasleiman.com/

How did you come up with the idea for Dauntless?

Years ago an editor suggested that I try writing a YA medieval romance series. I was certainly open to this idea, but I didn't have any clear direction. It wasn't until I was in the midst of watching the BBC Robin Hood series with my son that a concept finally sparked to life in my mind. The series featured a number of strong, feisty women. Maid Marian was a thief and defender of the poor in her own right. The Saracen character, Djaq, was also a woman—not to mention plenty of tough female bad guys. One day as I was walking and praying specifically about a YA medieval series, this new Robin Hood came to mind, the ideas started flowing, and before long Dauntless was playing like a movie in my mind. Thus my Valiant Hearts series, featuring strong young medieval women in legendary male roles, was born.

Nora: I like your feisty Maid Marian character!

What do you hope readers take away from Dauntless?

Dauntless is very much a story of hope and restoration. Each of the main characters is looking for meaning and a sense of personal destiny in the tragic world surrounding them. In addition, they are all grappling with the idea of civil disobedience and how one should respond when faced with an unjust government, which I think is an excellent topic for young adult literature. I hope that the book will help readers to desire a deeper reliance upon God and a greater sense of intimacy with Him. My theme for the Valiant Hearts series as a whole is “Be Strong and Courageous.” I want to empower young women to boldly pursue their God-given destinies, wherever that might take them. I recently learned that the Jewish translation of “virtuous woman” in Psalm 31 is actually “woman of valor.” That is what I want for my readers: for them to become women of valor!

Nora: Very cool! I like that message, “Be Strong and Courageous – a Woman of Valor! I’m hearing this message everywhere I turn lately!

What was your favorite scene in Dauntless? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

My favorite scene in Dauntless is the prologue. It’s very exciting and action-packed, and unlike the rest of the book, I wrote it in first person/present tense to add to the energy level. This was the scene that popped to life in my mind and sparked the entire book. In general, my favorite scenes to write were the ones that included acrobatic elements. Those were so much fun. I love to write kinesthetic sorts of scenes, and they brought back my own love of gymnastics from childhood. The hardest scene was a very special one that depicts a miraculous situation. I really wanted to hit just the right note with it, and I spent a lot of time trying to get it perfect.

Nora: It was a high energy read! Fun!

What four words or what phrase would best describe you?

Creative, Introspective, Spiritual, Earthy

What surprised you and/or fascinated you in your research for this book?

When I first decided to put females in legendary male roles, I thought I would really be pushing the historical boundaries. Not so! The more I researched, the more I found lots of wonderful stories of sassy, spunky medieval women. For example, Eleanor of Aquitaine was the mother of the evil King John of my book. In addition to being a queen, she was a ruler of her own duchies and she led a crusade to the Holy Land. She was involved in all sorts of crazy political machinations. I also found a story of a young noblewoman who kidnapped a handsome knight and forced him to marry her. LOL. Many noblewomen learned to fight with swords and daggers and hunt with bows and arrows. They were often left to run their castles and protect their regions when husbands were off to war.

Nora: Thanks for sharing this. Fun!

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?

Book 2, Chivalrous, will come out in September 2015. Prepare to meet Gwendolyn Barnes, a spirited young noble woman who longs to be a knight like her brothers. But such cannot be her fate, even in the Camelot-inspired Eden where she dwells. Gwendolyn’s harsh father sees her as little more than a marriage pawn and is determined to wed her to a tough man who will tame her wild ways. This story plays with several Arthurian legends, taking a peek at the world of tournaments, chivalry, and courtly love while also turning the Lancelot and Guinevere story upside down. It follows one of the main characters from Dauntless as he sets off to North Britannia in search of his destiny. And it delves even deeper into what it means to be a female, an issue very close to the heart of every teenage girl, and to women in general.

Nora: Look forward to meeting Gwendolyn Barnes!

What fascinates you about the time period you wrote about?

I feel there is much about the medieval time period that speaks to modern readers. It was a gritty and edgy time, full of action and adventure. Women of the middle ages were feisty and strong. This time also provides an opportunity to examine faith issues from a different perspective. Everyone was Christian, yet being a Christian meant little. I fell in love with the hidden bastions of true Christianity found in the convents and monasteries of that time despite the corruption in the church as a whole. I think young people today are looking for the sort of vibrant, authentic, and intimate relationships with God that can be seen in some of the great saints of that period.

Nora: This is interesting. Thanks for sharing!

What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn't watch movies what books affected you most? 

As a child, I was very committed to watching the weekly “Shirley Temple Theater.” I loved the singing and the dancing and Shirley’s spunky attitude.  Little House on the Prairie was another favorite, both the books and the television series. Again, a spunky heroine, which is something that’s important to me as a writer.
My Family


Nora: I did like Little House!











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? 

I’m usually the mediator. At my house, I call myself the “universal translator.” My function is to help others communicate and to promote peace and unity. I am also an encourager and good at delegating responsibilities. Sometimes due to all those factors, I end up rising into leadership positions, but I’m happiest supporting a strong leader.

Nora: Peace and unity are beautiful things. Being an encourager is great too!

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?

You know, this might sound weird for a historical writer, but I’m not sure I would want to use it at all. Life throughout history was really rough. Women were oppressed and victimized in many cultures. There was disease and famine and death. No electricity, no running water unless you lived in a castle or palace. People were dirty and stinky much of the time. And don’t even get me started on messing with timelines and the disasters that could cause! Maybe I would just take a quick unobtrusive visit to the Middle Ages to get a bird’s eye view of what life was really like.

Nora: LOL!! So True! So True!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?



I love the crashing of waves. Although I grew up landlocked, it was always my dream to live near the ocean. I’m now a quick twenty-five minute drive from the sound I love the most.



We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

I’m pretty laid back, so it takes a lot to test my patience, although when I had little children that was hard on me. Now I’m raising teens and young adults, which suits my personality really well. And I don’t work outside of the home, so honestly, my patience hasn't been tested too much lately. As for what I pray about the most, it’s definitely finances. We have one child in college and another entering in the fall, and it was really our dream offer them the full “go-away-to-college” experience. To make matters more challenging, my husband’s income has gone down recently. But I’m starting to earn a little with my writing, which is a blessing. We’re still learning exactly what it means to trust God with the financial area of our lives.

Nora: Me too!

DINA, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS? 
My goal for this Valiant Hearts series is really to inspire young Christian woman to be all that God has called them to be. I feel like too often girls within the church are given mixed messages. Something like, “You can be whatever you want to be, but you should be…” (insert small box of your denominational choosing.) I want to empower them to think outside of the box and reach for their full potential in Christ.
Dina

To learn more about this author and her books go to her website http://awesomeinspirationals.blogspot.com/p/who-is-dina.html 


Nora: Thanks Dina for that word. I agree with you that reaching their full potential is important. Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books.

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of MARCH at www.bookfun.org .

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU THERE!!

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



SARAH PARSHALL PERRY UP-CLOSE and PERSONAL 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY


ABOUT AUTHOR: Sarah Parshall Perry (JD, University of Virginia School of Law) is a wife and mother of three young children. She is the coauthor of When the Fairy Dust Settles (with her mother, Janet Parshall) and the author of numerous magazine articles, award-winning short stories, and poetry. Sarah has served in youth ministry for over ten years and is currently writing forwww.ChosenFamilies.org where she encourages other families living with disabilities. She lives in Maryland. Learn more at www.sarahperrywrites.com

What do you hope readers take away from Sand in My Sandwich?

Life is wildly, beautifully messy. And that’s the way it was designed. The last perfectly ordered place was Eden. And the only perfectly ordered being is God. Appreciate the messes that God brings to you through your children and your circumstances. There is something wonderful He will show you in all of it. Nothing He does is wasted.

Nora: Amen! Amen! I like how you said that.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you?

I love to write. When I was 10, I wrote a letter to Marguerite Henry, the Newbery award-winning author of Misty of Chincoteague and other children’s books. I was so moved by her stories that I wrote to her, telling her that I wanted to be a writer myself. Then I went to law school, and I learned that writing could be very, very boring. Using Latin is not fun. Unless you are a monk, I’m guessing. And you can’t use phrases like “jacked up” in a legal brief. Coming back to the type of writing I've always wanted to do is very satisfying. The hardest part for me is really the origination of ideas. I don’t have difficulty with the writing part. It’s just the getting started part. I can stare at a blank computer screen for a really long time.  

Nora: I wonder if Marguerite Henry ever wrote you back. That will be another question for the next interview.  I would be very interested to hear what she told you!

What would you say to parents that have just found out their child has ASD? How to feel hopeful?
Park fun














First, these children have amazing giftedness. They see the world in a way that others cannot; they have so much to teach us about both the complexity and the simplicity of the things around us. An ASD diagnosis also indicates that God thought you up to the challenge of raising a child with special needs. He does not give these unique children to just anyone, and He does not make mistakes. He won’t deny you His wisdom or His guidance on your parenting journey, either. Just ask Him.

Nora: The Lord has a way of putting you on a path you’d never sign up for willingly. But I too feel that he has provided all our needs and a few wants. We've experiences special moments in the hard times that we never would have experienced otherwise.  

What advice would you give parents of these special children about their relationship and how to make time for each other?
Sarah's Children
The divorce rate for parents of children on the autism spectrum has been reported to be 85%, so don’t forget that you and your spouse were a family, first – before special education meetings, and physical therapy, and doctor appointments. The two of you need to remember your primacy. God totally digs it when you go on dates and have long talks over coffee. I don’t think He even minds when you close your bedroom door so you can talk to each other without having to stop and wipe a snotty nose in the middle of it (hint: find a room with a lock on the door). Be deliberate with each other. Because I can virtually guarantee your kids won’t help you get a sitter so you can spend time away from them.


Nora: I agree it is important keep dates with your spouse in the middle of life’s crazy schedules. Even if it’s to go walk in a park, go to a book store. It doesn't have to cost lots of money. Precious time together is valuable on many levels. Staying a team in the middle of life’s storms makes all the difference in your relationship with your spouse and children.

What four words or what phrase would best describe you (you can add a few additional words if necessary)?


    Committed (Mat says, “obsessed.” We will discuss this later.)
    Introverted (Writing is the perfect profession for introverts. It’s not that I don’t love people. It’s j       just I like going to work in my pajamas.
   Tender (I hate to see people hurting. I’d rather hug you than shake your hand. I firmly believe there    is too little kindness in the world.)
   Creative (Good career fit, here. Kind of necessary for people who write for a living.)

 Nora: all this shows in  your book. I also loved your sense of humor!

What three things are you most thankful for in life?
Sarah and her children













My family: my long-suffering husband, Matt; my three precious children who are constantly presenting me with new writing material, my parents, siblings, in-laws…basically, anyone related to me by blood or marriage. They generally make everything more tolerable. Sometimes, less so, but that’s another story.

    My horse, Caspian. He is a real pain in the backside sometimes, but just going to the barn and        putting my face next to his makes everything better. Even on the days he’s trying to kill me.

    My books. I love to stand in my makeshift library, and look at their covers, remembering those    I've  read, and pining for those I’d like the time to read. I am constantly on the search for new insights and  ideas.

  Nora: LOL about your horse. Love to see your library!

 When you sit down to relax and read, what genre do you turn to? Do you prefer hardback,  paperback or digital when you read? Why?
Whole family















My two favorite genres are memoir and fiction.
Not surprisingly, these are also the genres I most like to write. I am fascinated by stories – both real and created. Strong characters motivate and inspire me. I am also not an e-reader (sorry all you Kindle fans!). I love the culture of books – their texture, their smell, their weight in my hands. I love stacks of them in unexpected places. I love the worn look they get after years of use. I prefer hardcover, but paperback is usually easier to fit in my purse.

Nora: I agree that paperbacks are easier to put in purses. I don’t want to take my kindle out anywhere for fear I’ll forget it or break it in my purse! Paperbacks are safe and easily replaceable if damaged.

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?

Son Jesse

I’m the details person. I’d be the one counting coconuts, establishing a fishing schedule, scouting camping locations. I’m a natural researcher, so I’d get all the data together, and then let someone else manage the team
.
Nora: I’d like to be on your team!


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?

I’d visit the American ex-pats in Paris during the 1920’s (Hemmingway, Stein, Lewis, Wilder, Fitzgerald) and pick their brains on the process of writing, and where they found inspiration. These authors were critical to putting American literature on the map. To visit one of Gertrude Stein’s literary salons would be thrilling.
   
Nora: That sounds like fun!

What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?

1. A good pillow. Seriously. It makes all the difference.
2. My animals. I can’t imagine why some people don’t like sloppy dog kisses. I don’t love the dog hair tumbleweeds so much, but they make vacuums for that.   
3. Mascara. I look like a mole without anything on my eyes.

Nora: I’m there with you about the pillow. I take mine wherever I go. There is nothing worse than messing up your neck because of a bad pillow! A great pillow make all the difference in how you sleep and feel in the morning.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!
Noah playing with family dog

I was the director of business development at an advertising agency (while also doing a large part of their legal writing). And while in college, I participated in a work study program at the University’s football office doing clerical work. You’d think I’d know more about the sport by now, but I need my husband to explain just about every play when we watch a game. It’s embarrassing.

Nora: Fun!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
The ocean, the nickering of horses, and the laughter of my children. Hearing my children giggle always gets me laughing, too. I love to hide and listen to them joking with one another when they think I’m not around. The jokes tend to be cruder, but the laughter is freer and louder.

Nora: Although horses are intimidating to me, the other sounds I love!
Sarah with Daughter Grace

SARAH, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS?
As bad as things get, you will at some point in the future look back on your “valleys” and smile. You might even laugh. When you hold your life and everything in it with an open hand, you will be amazed at how God manifests His presence. Matt and I spend a lot of time laughing, now. Granted, it took a while, and there were points at which we both wanted to shove each other down a manhole. But the stuff we once thought we wouldn't survive is now just one patch in the whole tapestry of our lives. When we took a step back and looked at the whole thing? The picture was pretty darn amazing.
Sarah

Nora: I love your transparency Sarah. I was very encouraged as I read your book. I like how the Lord has helped you look at life and things differently. Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. This book was real, hopeful and funny. I think laughter is a precious gift; ours for the taking.  It’s gift that has helped our family through so much. 

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of MARCH at www.bookfun.org .

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU ALL THERE

Click on link to read my REVIEW  www.http://goo.gl/PrA9Mo

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

SUZANNE WOODS FISHER UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL PLUS 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



ABOUT AUTHOR: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of 'The Stoney Ridge Seasons' and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is a Christy award finalist and a Carol award winner. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

Suzanne hosts the blog Amish Wisdom, and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb to your smart phone. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to hear from readers!  

How did you come up with the idea for Anna’s Crossing?

It came as I was studying background about the Amish. There was something about the name “Charming Nancy” that seemed like a story waiting to be written. But there aren’t many facts about the actual first sea voyage of the Amish who came to America—only a fragment of a diary, and a ship’s passenger list. I had to hunt down other sources that described life on a tall ship in the 1800s. Fascinating stuff!  

Nora: I was amazed at all these passengers endured on The Charming Nancy. 
Our pets

What do you hope readers take away from Anna’s Crossing?

If I could only choose one (so hard!)…it’s that readers will start looking for the “Only God” moments in their life. We all have them—circumstances that only God could have orchestrated--but we don’t always have the eyes to see them. And yet what a difference it makes to see God at work in your life!

Nora: Yes, I like how you put that Suzanne. Yes, it makes a huge difference when you see God working in your in your life. It gives you hope to take the next step; hang in there another day or week. You did a good job of showing that in your story.

What was your favorite scene in Anna’s Crossing?

There’s a little boy named Felix who liked to roam around the ship, though he kept getting shooed back down to the lower deck by the sailors. There’s one scene, in particular, where he was snooping around the captain’s quarters and heard footsteps approaching. Felix hid in the captain’s bunk, unobserved, until his stomach let out a loud growl. That one loud tummy growl set into motion an entirely new direction for Felix. For Anna, too.

Nora: That was a fun scene!  

What surprised you and/or fascinated you in your research for this book?

The more I dug into the realities of ship life in the 1700s, the more gruesome details kept emerging. One example: a deckhand died and was buried at sea. The next day, a shark was caught. As the cook prepared the shark for supper, he discovered…(ugh, you guessed it)…the dead deckhand.

Nora: Oh, that was a crazy thing. It was real? Yikes!

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?
We train seeing eye dogs

My goal in writing each and every book is to invite a reader into a conversation with God. I try to avoid Bible bashing—thumping someone on the head with a two-by-four—but I do hope readers will finish my books with an interest in learning more about God, or with their faith deepened.

Nora: I appreciate this about reading your stories and this one was no exception. 

What sparked your interest in the subject matter discussed in your book as you searched historical documents, books, newspapers, museums? What did you discover in your research you wanted readers to know?

There is nothing like original sourcing or hands-on research to bring a book to life. I visited a number of historical ship museums on the east coast—and it gave me such a huge appreciation for what our ancestors endured (and most all of us have a link to an ancestor who crossed the ocean in hopes for a better life).

Here’s an example: when I explored the lower decks, where passengers stayed (and they rarely were allowed on the upper decks because it was dangerous for them), I realized how dark and dim and confining it must have been. And the smells! So close to the bilge, as well as the “open plumbing system” (if you catch my drift). Oh…the smells must have been horrific. 

Nora: I know that your research helped you make me feel like I was on the ship with the passengers. I also like how you described the boat having it's own sound and smell. I haven't been on a boat for any length of time so you helped me imagine what it was like for the people in this voyage and how bad the conditions were.
Precious pups

In your research for Anna’s Crossing you came across families’ stories of many who sailed to America in 1737. You said that you read about their grit and determination – and hearts- of these people. And God’s loving protection 
QUESTION: Is there a family you were surprised by that you didn't include in your book but you couldn't stop thinking of them?

In a way, yes. There is something Anna brings along with her from Europe. Something special that plays into another book—Christmas at Rose Hill Farm. I did think often of the many hands that took care of Anna’s “something special” over the centuries.

Nora: It was surprising how that "something special" played out in this story. I didn't read the other book but I'm making a note to find it and read more about the item. Fun!

Out of all the sounds in the world, what are your favorite?

My grandchildren
Making beautiful music together

Bird song (especially owls hooting in the night), my children’s (and grandchildren’s) voices, the garage door opening at night as my husband comes home. 

Nora: I like your favorite sounds.

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

My family and I at my husbands retirement party

My husband loves to make Ice Cream it made and shared at the party

A few months ago, my husband retired after 32 years as a corporate guy. And my daughter moved home after living in China. Then, my son got engaged. And then my daughter got engaged. Two weddings, within six weeks of each other! Everything that’s happened in the last six months has been good—all blessings. But lots of adjustments to make, including a huge reduction in the amount of time I’m able to devote to writing. Definitely something I pray about each day…trying to keep everything in balance. And I pray for grace. I pray for that a lot. J
My daughter, husband and baby

My son and his fiance

My daughter and her fiance
Nora: Wow, you definitely had a lot going on. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I struggle with balance too! Trying to keep the main thing the main thing!

If you had a day to yourself and you could do anything you wanted (funds are not a problem) what would you do?

One of my favorite hobbies is to play tennis. So…if I had a day to myself, plus just the right weather (maybe, 70 degrees and overcast so I don’t get an eyeful of bright sun when I serve), I would get three of my favorite friends out on the court and play! Then…have lunch together.

Nora: Fun!

What’s your favorite date night with your husband or something you all just enjoy doing together? 

How about a date morning? Steve and I go out for coffee on Saturday mornings—a perfect way to catch up on things and get the weekend off on the right start.

Nora: I find that having breakfast/coffee dates are good too. My husband and I are the most energetic and alert early in the morning before the demands of the day have had a chance to get a hold of us. Time together is very important.

What’s the last movie you saw that the theater you were blown away by?
I loved “Hundred Foot Journey.” If you enjoy watching Food Network, you’d like this movie. I’m a closet Foodie (with one exception—I hate fish. It’s a great cosmic joke for a woman with the last name of Fisher).

Nora: OhMyGosh Suzanne! Fred and I LOVED that movie. It was informative, fascinating and all about food, family and relationships. Great stuff. Funny about your last name and you not liking fish!! LOL! Love that!

ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS SUZANNE? 

Thank you for reading my books! I appreciate it more than I can say.
Suzanne


ENTER 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY NOW
You can learn more about this author at her website http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/ 

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books Suzanne. Thank you for all the great pictures.

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of MARCH at www.bookfun.org .

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.

SEE YOU AT TBCN www.bookfun.org 

Nora :o)

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