20 Book Giveaway Opporunity REGINA JENNINGS, BETH WHITE, DAN WALSH

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10 Book Giveaway

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5 Book Drawing

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5 Book Giveaway

20 Books are available and the contest is underway. ALL ENTRIES are to be made at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK (www.bookfun.org) You must be a member to enter. It's FREE and EASY to join.

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 



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BETH WHITE UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL PLUS 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY




ABOUT BOOK: It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Both have promised to marry one of the rough-and-tumble Canadian men in this New World in order to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Genevieve knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. And a secret she harbors could mean the undoing of the colony itself.

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry south in this luscious, layered story of the lengths we must go to in order to be true to ourselves, our faith, and our deepest loves.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one--so far. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Visit www.bethwhite.net for more information.

What was your favorite scene in The Pelican Bride? Which was the most fun to write?

My favorite scene is Geneviève and Tristan’s wedding day/night. I hope that isn't a spoiler—after all, this is a “mail-order bride” story! The funny thing is, when I plotted the book, I really didn’t know when they would get married. In a typical romance, the wedding is the emotional high point, and I was afraid that if my characters married too early in the story, some of the tension would drain. So I was surprised and delighted when those two characters sort of “told” me: “this is how we’re doing this, so write it down!” And I think it worked beautifully. Beyond that, I don’t want to spoil any surprises for those who haven’t read the book.
Daughter - Daughter-In-Law w/me @a wedding Thanksgiving 2013

My daughter Hannah’s bridal portrait. Wedding Sash —She’s wearing one of my creations, an heirloom sash I made from fabric flowers,beads and embroidery.









Nora: Lovely family Beth.

How much research do you put into your historicals? Did you discover some fascinating tales that made it in your book? Some that didn't?
Historic French fort near Montgomery AL
I am a fanatical researcher. I visit museums, pore over historical websites, study antique fashion plates and cookbooks, read historical journals. I bought and read a big fat history of old Mobile—Fort Louis de la Louisiane, 1701-1711, by Professor Jay Higginbotham—cover to cover. There are sticky notes all in it, where details of the lives of real people played out.

Fort Toulouse
One of the more fascinating side notes was about a young woman named Gabrielle Bonnet, who apparently went insane and took to walking around in her underwear. No other info at all. It wasn’t much trouble to imagine what would have caused that, considering the privations those women endured—so this poor girl became my Ysabeau.

Part of the plot of Pelican Bride involves the fear of the British attacking the fort. There were actually some shots fired at one point, but that didn’t make it into the book. Believe it or not, there was plenty of conflict already!

Nora: Oh, Beth I think I'd like to go with you on one of your trips and see things the way you do; finding the pieces you need to create your next book and weave them into your surprise plot twists for your next book. Thanks for the fun pictures!


In growing up, what were three important values you learned that stuck with you and shaped your life?
My & my three sisters w/me at lunch

I can think of more than three, but I’ll start with the love of reading. My dad had me sitting in his lap reading the “funny papers” when I was about three, and he always had a paperback novel by his recliner when he had a chance to relax. My mom introduced me to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney gothics when I was a teenager. And my three younger sisters and I would ride our bikes to the public library every Saturday, load up the baskets, and read our brains out!


Nora: I wasn't close enough to a library to ride my bike there.  Fun memories.Wish I could have heard you all sing in college. Looks like a blast!
Drawntogether third from right singing in Christian band courthouse in Carthage, Mississippi
My sisters and I were taught to love music and church in about equal measures as well. Our parents were definitely lower-middle-class, but they managed to pay for piano lessons, guitars and band instruments, and sheet music. We’re all singers as well, and my dad played harmonica and a little guitar. I became a soloist in church as a child, and all of us were in church youth choirs from the ground up. I made an early profession of faith in Jesus as a nine-year-old, after an Easter Sunday message. Vacation Bible School and Sunday School and missions activities were a major part of my life.
LeFlore Choir-Parents Appreciation night Mobile
Another value that shaped me was the pursuit of knowledge as a way to elevate my life. My parents never threatened to punish us if we didn’t study, but completing homework and studying for tests and doing our best was an accepted part of life. I loved making my parents proud of me (probably the “eldest child syndrome”), so I rarely made less than an A on my report card. I think that’s why I pursued writing as a hobby to begin with; it was a way to learn about fascinating topics and people. Assimilating and synthesizing information, then telling it in an entertaining fashion—to me, that a perfect product of education!


Nora: Oh, Yeah! I'm thrilled so many get to enjoy the entertainment you create and learn a thing or two along the way! Grin!

What three things are you most thankful for in life?

Family Quilt Fest
I’m thankful for my Mississippi family heritage, which is based on the Christian faith and hard work and close-knit relationships. I’m thankful for my handsome, godly, funny, hard-working, ubersmart husband, Scott—and the fact that we’ve been married for thirty-three years. And I’m thankful for two great kids—both of them Christ-followers who have married Christ-followers—and my grandchildren, 3-year-old Judah and soon-to-be-born Rosalyn. I’m a happy BeBe!


Family Not-Necessarily-Talented-Talent-Show in conjunction with the quilt fest
My son Ryan, his wife Nicole, Hannah, Larry, Judah and me

























Nora: Love the quilt. Beautiful. It looks like a great at the Talent Show! Fun family times! Great memories!

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

My husband Scott showing 3 Yr old grandson Judah silly string
I’m working on the first draft of The Creole Princess. It’s a sequel to The Pelican Bride, but it’s set 75 years later. The heroine is a descendent of Geneviève and Tristan, and the hero is a Spanish spy, helping to fund the American Revolution. There are pirates. There are British redcoats. There is Spanish gold. There are people imprisoned for disseminating the Declaration of Independence. There is, above all, ROMANCE!!!

The Creole Princess should release about this time next year. Is this where I whine about my full-time teaching job, which makes me a slow writer?

Nora: Sounds like a fun sequel!

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

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 would be the one figuring out how to weave blouses and skirts out of palm fronds. I would certainly not be the hunter or the cook!

Nora: I'm with you Beth. No hunting for me. I might try to catch a fish but I can only cook with cook books. Alas there wouldn't be any! Grin!

Young Man fashion inspiration for Pelican Bride
A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use it for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I would go to Regency England and look over Jane Austen’s shoulder as she wrote Emma. I want to know if she giggled as she wrote, as I did when I read it the third time.

Nora: Yes, It would be fun to see!

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

I worked three summers in a row, during my college years, at a Taco Bell in Memphis. Can you picture me frying taco shells? Um, yeah. Well, I did. I also did a stint one summer as an inventory clerk, counting bolts and snow shoes and cigarette lighters (among other things) at the Defense Depot in Memphis.

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


Hearing my choir at John L. LeFlore Magnet High School sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” with a seven-fold “amen” at the end. That’s right up there with my grandson, Judah, singing “You Are My Sunshine.”


There are so many types of weather which is your favorite? Which do you try to avoid?

I live on the Gulf Coast, and I like early morning summertime heat. I’ve never been a big fan of snow and ice. I don’t like to be cold!

Nora: Cold weather is a great time to be by the fire place reading books! Grin!

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

Well, I’m a high school music teacher. The hardest thing for me is when I have a lazy beginner choir class. I love to teach kids who are motivated to absorb all the fun things there are about making music, but when I get students with a “whatever” or combative attitude, it’s hard to be patient enough to find strategies that will wake them up and change their minds. Most of the time, it’s a matter of teasing them, laughing, and creating fun experiences for them—I have to initiate the good attitude. And that takes a lot of prayer!

Beth: Well, Nora you've encouraged me to ask questions for TBCN readers to enter the contest. So I want to know:

When a book doesn’t grab you right off the bat, how long do you keep reading before you give up and put the book down? Do you always finish books you start?

Personally, I’m an impatient reader. If the first chapter doesn't appeal, I usually won’t keep reading (life’s too short).

Nora: (This is just one of the fun questions BETH asked readers to answer at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org to be ENTERED into the DRAWING Revell Publishers is giving away 5 copies of Beth's new book The Pelican Bride at TBCN www.bookfun. ENTER TODAY! You must be a member to join it's fun and easy!

BETH, ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS?
Yes, I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to have a chance to interact with people who have read my stories, especially in person. Getting emails from readers is one thing that keeps me at it! So if you read The Pelican Bride, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. THANKS for all your great pictures. LOVED that!

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN that started 20th and runs until the last day of April.  Looking forward to it to reading the answers to your questions and the interaction between you and readers! It’s always so much fun!

SEE EVERYONE AT TBCN! Thanks again for a great interview Beth!

Sincerely,

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

DAN WALSH TALKS ABOUT NEW BOOK AND 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY



ABOUT AUTHOR: Dan Walsh is the award-winning and bestselling author of 7 novels, published by Revell and Guideposts, including The Unfinished Gift, Remembering Christmas and The Reunion. Reviewers often compare Dan’s books to Nicholas Sparks. His latest project is a 4-book fiction series with Gary Smalley. The first book, The Dance, just released. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Dan now writes fulltime in Port Orange, FL. He and his wife Cindi have been married 36 years. You can email him or follow him on Facebook or Twitter. There are buttons to connect to these on his website: www.DanWalshBooks.com  

 I'm THRILLED to be featuring Dan Walsh's new book at The Book Club Network this month. I'm also excited to talk about his new book What Follows After? It was an interesting taking a trip back to a time where a fire was brewing. I wanted to have readers get to know another side of this author and his writing. Readers will get a peek at the heart of Dan Walsh and his new novel.

It's funny how little Timmy's parents actually talked about stuff that mattered to them as a couple. When do you think that changed and communication opened up between husbands and wives?

Dan: I don’t think they ever would have faced some of the serious issues in their marriage apart from the crisis they faced. It forced them to be together and to look at things they were successfully avoiding until then. That’s one of the themes in the book I wanted to highlight; how adversity, even times of crisis, can lead to better things down the road.

Nora: You did a good job with that in this novel. I think you are right about adversity bringing people together and allowing them to share things they normally wouldn't.

Keeping up appearances was important to Timmy's parents. It was amazing how long this couple kept up the appearance of being together when they weren't. What was the stigma back then? Why go to great lengths to appear as an intact family unit?

Dan: It’s hard for modern Americans, especially younger ones, to fathom what Scott and Gina did to keep the facade of a happy marriage going. Now, more than half the marriages end in divorce. In the 50s and early 60s, that wasn't the case. As an example, I only knew one kid in all of my elementary school years who came from a broken home. Every kid in my neighborhood (and it was filled with young families) lived with both parents. And every single one of them came home from school to find a mom waiting there for him. If you look at all the TV shows and movies of that era, couples were all portrayed as married. No one was shown as divorced. Divorce was perceived as a major moral failure.

Nora: Wow, I hadn't realized that. Wow! There would be great pressure for Scott and Gina to hide their trouble. It would be really hard on them and their kids of the truth came out! Thanks for sharing this insight!

The "Camelot years" (you talked about in the back of your novel)…what did you discover about that time doing your research that you hadn't recalled before? It's amazing all that was hidden from the American public (as we've now learned).

Dan: For one thing, the press had a totally different role in American life than they do now. Most of the Washington press corps, for example, knew JFK was a horrible womanizer (even while in the White House), but never reported on it. Legally, they could have, but no one did. After the Vietnam war and Watergate that all changed. Now the press is on the hunt, looking for negative things to report. If the press today practiced the same things then, Camelot would never have happened, and no one would have looked at JFK and Jackie as “the ideal couple.” I think they would have loved her and despised him.

Nora: You are right about the press playing a different role in our lives today and the fact that they are on the hunt to report bad things, so true.

They tried to sell us on the "American Dream." In your research did you uncover why this Dream was being sold to the masses? What was it exactly they told every American they could have? Why was that important to obtain?

Dan: I think the American Dream wasn't sold as the chance to become wealthy, but to attain a secure status among the middle class. Having a good job, a happy family, a nice house in the suburbs, a new car to drive, a houseful of modern time-saving appliances. I believe it was driven by the onslaught of television, TV commercials and popular magazines. The media constantly fed this image to the American consumer, who bought into the illusion. Everyone perceived that achieving this American Dream equaled true happiness. Even though decades later, life has proven this to be untrue, many people still buy into this deception.

Nora: Thanks for sharing this Dan. You are right about people still buying into the deception the media tries to tell us every day about how we should look, dress, eat and car to drive  and so much more. With T.V. being so new back then I can see the power it had.

I was small when President Kennedy was killed, then Martin Luther King and the President’s brother and Martin Luther King were killed. So much pain and craziness. My parents didn't explain much to me. I remember watching people crying on T.V. I was small and didn't understand. I was upset that I couldn't watch cartoons. In your research when did parents start really talking to their kids about things that mattered?

Dan: Certainly not in the 60s or the 70s. I can’t recall a single conversation with my parents, especially my father, about anything that mattered in life. I think this began to change as the children raised during this time started having kids of their own, possibly wanting to correct the neglect they experienced. But I also think it’s come about because the world has become a much darker place now. The dangerous and harmful influences outside the home are so abundant and pervasive. If we don’t talk to our children about things that matter, they don’t stand a chance of resisting the pull in that direction.

Nora: You are right about the world being a darker place. With the internet and cell phones we don't know what our parents knew about us because we had one phone for everyone to talk on and there was no internet where you could talk to people all over the world at all hours of the day and night. Our kids can get in a harmful situation pretty quick. I couldn't agree with you more when you said. "If we don't talk to our children about things that matter, they don't' stand a chance of resisting the pull in that direction." It keeps me on me praying Dan! 

You mention that we were considered a Christian Country, What has changed for the good? How is our society different? Better? Worse in our search to draw closer to God personally and as a family?

Dan: As I mention in the Author’s Note at the back of the book, a lot of societal issues in the “Camelot years,” represented terrible injustices, wrongs that needed to be righted. Like the discrimination blacks experienced, and women. Certainly, the press covering up for corrupt politicians was a bad thing that needed to change. But sadly, I believe many of our “solutions” have swung the pendulum past a healthy, balanced middle to an unhealthy extreme. As a result, many of the people groups we intended to help through these fixes are worse off than they were before.

Nora: I appreciated what all that you said on your Author's Note page. Thanks!

How are marriages better now then they were in the 60s and 70s? Family unit different?
 
Cindi & I cutting our wedding cake Oct'76
Dan: I don’t believe marriages are better now and, for the most part, family units are further apart than ever. The statistics bear this out. Life for American families is worse now than at any time in our history. The divorce rate, domestic violence and child abuse numbers, teenage suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, kids taking drugs for depression…all these stats are off the charts now. Having said that, as Jesus said, there is “a narrow road that leads to life.” For couples and families who long to beat these odds, there are an abundance of great books, videos and magazines devoted to helping people receive the practical wisdom and insight found in Scripture.

Nora: I agree with you Dan. There is an abundance of material to help you on "the road of life." I think people are more willing to be real with one another with their spouses, children and in the church. I think that's a good thing too!

In your research what had you thought as a kid to be true then find out, it wasn't how it really was?

Dan: Obviously, the first big shakeup was Santa Claus. But there were far more serious things. After the JFK assassination, the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the assassinations of Bobbie Kennedy and Martin Luther King, I realized the world was no longer a safe place. The news broadcasts depicting racism in the US, especially in the South, made me realize that black children in America weren't having the Leave it to Beaver childhood I had. Growing up through the cultural revolution of the 60s, I witnessed an entire generation of young people rejecting everything their parents stood for. My idealistic childhood ended up anything but by the time I graduated high school.

Nora: Dan I felt the same way. I couldn't believe everyone was lying about this guy! Ha! My parents went to get lengths to make this real to us. We drove from N.J. to FL every year on vacation. The presents arrived while we were gone and special decorations put up. I was a believer for way to long! Grin! They were crazy - eye opening times. Thanks for sharing Dan!

It was interesting to read about the bomb shelters and how some people had then. Did you see the movie Blast from the Past? It's about a father that had been preparing the bomb shelter for his family. A plane hits their property and he thinks the bombing has started. They lock themselves into the bomb shelter and set the timer. His wife has a baby down there and they raise their child in the shelter. They re-surface  when the child is about 20. Brandon Frazer plays the young man. LOVED that show. 

Question: I was wondering if you ever went inside one. Found out in your research if any of the bomb shelters really did what they were meant to do if there was serious trouble? What fascinated you enough about this topic to include it in your book?
Our first home in Daytona Beach, FL, in one of the neighborhoods the story takes place.
Dan: One of my childhood homes in Florida is portrayed in the book, very similar to the home Colt and Timmy lived in. Three doors down, the house on the corner had a bomb shelter very similar to what I described. And we did sneak in there to play army. One of my high school friend’s father built one right around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. By then, the danger had long past. He was a photography buff and used it for his dark room. I did see Blast From The Past, a very fun movie. I never saw a bomb shelter that elaborate, even in my research. I included it in the book because it was a very real consideration for people at the time. In fact, many contractors jumped on the bandwagon and made a small fortune building these shelters in the early 60s.

Nora: Blast From the Past did have a huge house underground, I didn't think one could be so large.
Interesting to hear that people were really considering having one of these for their use. Fun to learn you used one of your childhood homes in your new book.

Is there anything you miss about your childhood that you wished you could have experienced with your kids and/or grand-kids that they just don't do and/or have anymore? Something you really loved that went away and you'd wish they would bring back? A treasured childhood memory or even?
 
Dan at 5 or 6 yrs old
Dan: A fun question. I have often tried to communicate to my kids, who are now adults, how very different America was in the late 50s and early 60s (the hidden injustices I've already mentioned, notwithstanding). I can tell, they have no reference point for what I’m saying. For example, imagine living in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. Where parents can send their kids out to play after dinner until dark with absolutely no concern for their safety. The amazing music filling the air as the ice cream truck enters the neighborhood, stopping every kid in their tracks (and, incidentally, every one of them is playing outside). A classroom with one teacher instructing 40 kids, all day, and no one causing any trouble (not even talking in class). Having childhood sports heroes who aspire to earn fans respect and stay loyal to the same team throughout their careers. So many other examples are flying through my head.

Nora: Good points. I didn't even think about sending my kids out to play by themselves I was always there and/or had others on watch. There was a time when I let my kids go out in the front yard when we lived in Florida (there was a big picture window we could see outside from.) My husband ran outside yelling when we saw our 5 year old heading toward a strangers' car (even when we told them not to do that Grin). The car drove away and my son said the man asked him to help find his rabbit. OHMYGOSH! Now we pray for our kids as they head off to High School hoping no one gets knifed or shot at that day. Yes, times have changed. I really grasped the sense of how much when I read about Timmy's situation in What Follows After, it could have been so much worse had it happened today!

Thanks again for stopping by Dan and sharing your heart and about your new book What Follows after. LOVE the Pictures too Dan!

The Contest is underway. Head on over to TBCN - The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org It's FREE and EASY to join. You must be a member to participate.

You can encourage Dan here and comment on this interview but ALL entries to the 5 Book Drawing for Dan's new book will be made at TBCN www.bookfun.org  

SEE YOU THERE

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

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Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 



CABBAGE PATCH BIRTHING CENTER - GREAT FUN!

My husband Fred is full of surprises. Last weekend he told me to be ready in 30 minutes we were going for a ride. He wasn't going to tell me where we were going. I watched him get the cooler and put a few snacks with bottled water in there. I was thinking we'll be gone for a while. HOORAY!!

Fred then asks me, "Do you want me to tell you where we're going?" 
"If you want to!"
"I don't want to." He smiles. Then says, "I'll give you a hint. It's a place I'd never go to but I know you'll love, so that's why we're going! Besides we haven't been out on an adventure in a while." He smiles from ear to ear.

I'm good! I don't need to know where I'm going. I'm with someone I love to hang out with and we're on an adventure. It's a GREAT DAY!! We were stuck in traffic for a while due to the Easter Parade. Nothing bothered us because we were on adventure.
Cabbage Patch Characters taking Pictures with kids

Little Cabbages filled with Kids everywhere
Cabbage Patch Nurse at her Station in Museum






















Then we pulled up to the CABBAGE PATCH CENTER!! OHMYGOSH! There were so many people there. It was quite the place. The grounds were covered with people set up selling gift items and food. Fred and I both wanted to try the Alligator. Grin! The FIRST thing we did was go inside and see the Museum they had set up to look at as you wanted to go inside the store. I have the History of the Cabbage Patch Doll at the end of this post. It was fascinating to read. I remember how people went crazy for these dolls one year for the Day after Thanksgiving sale. I think one person even died. Crazy! They are adorable.

Baby Land Delivery Nursery Fun
Expensive original dolls displayed in Museum
Fred makes Me Laugh
Sweet Dolls
Waiting in line to get a picture
A sweet doll caught my eye 
Fred taking a picture of me taking a picture Grin!














THANK YOU LOVE for a GREAT and MEMORABLE DAY! I know this was a sacrifice for you! THANKS for the great surprise! We didn't get to taste the Alligator because we didn't realize it was a CASH ONLY event. We had our Debit cards with us and all the vendors took cash.Maybe NEXT TIME! Grin!


I did get a memento see below. Here is also a little Cabbage doll I've had for years. Anyone know where I can get her some clothes! Grin!

My Momentoes from Cabbage Patch Center $1.99 each Oh, Yeah!
A Mini Cabbage Patch Coll

Signature on the Back lets you know it's the REAL DEAL!
Just wanted to share this GREAT day and all the FUN we had at the CABBAGE PATCH CENTER. I have a grandson if the Lord gives a granddaughter I know the place we have to take her. Grin! Below is the only Cabbage Patch doll I own. She's a Cabbage Patch mini! Does anyone know where to get clothes for this little one? I've seemed to lost them years ago. Grin!

They have a calendar of events that happen at the CABBAGE PATCH CENTER!! They have an Easter Egg Hunt this weekend. I might be back there sooner than I think! Grin!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org


CABBAGE PATCH HISTORY BEGAN in 1976

Early soft-sculpture: “Face in a Hat”
As a 21 year old art student, Xavier Roberts rediscovers “needle molding” a German technique for fabric sculpture from the early 1800s. Combining his interest in sculpture with the quilting skills passed down from his mother, Xavier creates his first soft-sculptures.

1977
While working his way through school as manager of the Unicoi Craft Shop in Helen, Georgia, Xavier develops the marketing concept of adoptable Little People® with birth certificates.

Dexter wins a first place ribbon for sculpture at the Osceola Art Show.
Xavier begins delivering his hand made Little People Originals and exhibiting them at arts and crafts shows in the southeast. He finds that many parents are happy to pay the $40.00 “adoption fee” for one of his hand signed Little People Originals.

Xavier wins a first place ribbon for sculpture with “Dexter” at the Osceola Art Show in Kissimmee, Florida. Returning home to Georgia, he organizes five school friends and incorporates Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. Xavier and his friends renovate the L.G. Neal Clinic, a turn of the century medical facility in Cleveland, Georgia, opening “BabyLand General® Hospital” to the public.

1981
Atlanta Weekly Magazine
The growing success of Xavier’s hand made Little People Originals is documented by Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Weekly, and many others. There are reports that earlier editions are re-adopting for as much as 100 times their initial adoption fee.

1982
Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. signs a long term licensing agreement allowing a major toy manufacturer to produce a Toy replica of Xavier’s handmade soft sculpture Originals. These Toy versions are recognizable by their smaller size, vinyl head and adoption fees usually under $30.00. At the same time, the name Little People® is changed to the “Cabbage Patch Kids®” which is used for both the Toys and the handmade Originals.

1983
Newsweek
By the end of the year almost 3 million of the Cabbage Patch Kids Toys have been adopted but demand has not been met. The Cabbage Patch Kids Toys go on record as the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry. In December, they are featured on the cover of Newsweek.

1985 
The Cabbage Patch Kids join the Young Astronaut Program and “Christopher Xavier” becomes the first Cabbage Patch Kid to journey into outer space as a passenger on the U.S. Space Shuttle.

1990
With 65 million Cabbage Patch Kids Toys adopted to date, their continuing popularity places the Cabbage Patch Kids Brand among the top 10 best selling of the year. Meanwhile the handmade Originals, with adoption fees of $190.00 and up, remain popular with collectors.

1992
The Cabbage Patch Kids are honored by being named the first official mascot of the U.S. Olympic Team. They travel with the athletes to Barcelona for the games and many stay behind as “Friends For Life” with patients of a local children’s hospital.

1995
The Cabbage Patch Kids are once again honored to be named the official mascot of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team for the summer games in Atlanta. That same year Mildred, one of the earliest Little People readopts for $20,000.

1996
For the first time ever, limited numbers of hand made Original Cabbage Patch Kids U.S. Team mascots are offered for adoption at fees of $275.00 each. These Originals represent 12 different Olympic Sports.

1999
A nationwide public vote selects Cabbage Patch Kids as one of 15 stamps commemorating the 1980s in the U.S. Postal Service’s Celebrate The Century stamp program.

2000
The Cabbage Patch Kids stamp goes on sale in January of 2000.

2001
2001 Cabbage Patch Kids are now delivered in the Toys ‘R Us flagship store on Times Square. The introduction of an exclusive line of Cabbage Patch Kids coincides with the launch of the new 110,000 square-foot store.

2002
A minute after midnight on January 1, Cabbage Patch Kid twins were born at Toys ‘R Us Times Square. Bonnie Ellen and Geoffrey Wallace in honor of Geoffrey the Giraffe, Toys ‘R Us Mascot, weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 18 inches in length. Nine-year-old Hallie Kate Eisenberg adopted the twins, then took the official Oath of Adoption. The child actor has starred in nine movies including “The Insider” (1999) with Al Pacino and “Bicentennial Man” (1999) with Robin Williams.

The National Roll Out for TRU ‘Kids is held on July 27th at the Toys ‘R Us in Alpharetta, Ga. Every Cabbage Patch Kid in the store is adopted in less than 15 minutes.

BabyLand General Hospital ends the year in third place in the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Toylands across the nation.

2003
BabyLand General Hospital celebrates 25 years of delivering babies.

Collector enthusiasm heightens with the introduction of an exclusive Spring Event baby. Adopting for $325, one little ‘Kid was re-adopted a few months later on eBay for more than double her original fee.
At the request of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Cabbage Patch Kids became little ambassadors at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Open House in Brussels, Belgium, which showcased a Holiday in the South. Logan Michael, wearing a cadet’s parade dress uniform, escorted his sister Lauren Grace to this event.

Xavier Roberts closes the year serving as Grand Marshal of the Festival of Trees parade in Atlanta. He holds his first public Signing Party in 15 years in Georgia. The Cabbage Patch delivered a Festival of Trees Exclusive to help raise funds for the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. The nine-day event drew 150,000 people.

This History is from their website HERE is the LINK to their WEBSITE https://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/ Check out this place and their calendar of events.

Who Knew? THANKS Again to my husband Fred for a memorable day!

Nora :o)


I LIKE GIVING by BRAD FORMSMA REVIEWED


 I Like Giving
By Brad Formsma
Published by Waterbrook Press
ISBN#978-1-60142-575-1
210 Pages

Back Cover: When you choose to live a generous life, you start to change and so does the world around you. Something incredible happens when giving becomes your own idea, not something you do out of duty or obligation.

When you move from awareness to action, miracles happen. As you make giving a lifestyle, you’ll realize you’re not only loving life more, you’re also creating a more generous world— a better world for all of us.

Rich with inspiring stories and practical suggestions, I Like Giving helps you create a lifestyle of generosity. Inside you’ll find:
• Giving—something you get to do, not something you've got to do.
• How to raise kids with a sensitivity to others’ needs.
• You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference.
• Practical ideas for giving to people around you every day.

I Like Giving is about experiencing the joy of giving. We all have something to give. Giving goes way beyond money or things. It can be a listening ear, a touch, or simply the gift of time. Giving is living

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that talked about ways to give. The author begins the book by exploring the power of one gift, then jumps into how to begin trying to give, what happens when we give, the science of giving, giving filters, tactics of giving, how giving can be a family affair, how to give as a community, in order to give someone needs to receive, and how everyone can become a gift to someone.

The author says, “There is something incredible about giving when it’s our idea…when we choose to give, we change and the people around us change. When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen…If you haven’t ever experienced the joy of giving, or it’s been a long time, this book will show you where to start…We never arrive. I’ve been discovering the joy of generous giving for many years, and I still feel as if I’m getting started….The best things in life are like that – they grow and never end.”

Brad Formsma is the creator of the website I Like Giving www.Ilikegiving.com , the site is viewed in more than 165 countries, which inspire people to live generously through its short films as well as a platform for anyone to share their experiences they’ve had in giving. Brad, his wife Laura, and their three kids live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I liked how this author walks people through finding giving opportunities. It’s not always about giving money. The power of one gift is transforming. Brad gives testimonies in this book that show how giving works. Great website to check out.

I've given and I've been the recipient of gifts that have changed the course of me and my family’s life. I am eternally grateful for those who gave and for the opportunities I had to bless others.  He gave me great ideas for giving in the future. This book is inspiring. The website will ignite your spirit and have you look for ways to give in your everyday life like never before. I highly recommend it.

Nora St.Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org

Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com

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Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

THE BIG PICTURE INTERACTIVE BIBLE REVIEWED


The Big Picture Interactive Bible
Published by B & H Kids
ISBN #978-1-4336-0503-1
1288 Pages

Kids can now be engaged in Bible reading and study as never before, seeing scenes from the Bible literally pop off the page via a free downloadable app that lets them view the images in an augmented reality format, as well as listen to narration of the event.

This full color, fully designed Bible includes features to help kids experience the Bible including call outs of key Bible stories, definitions, memory verses and more, all designed to get kids digging into and learning the Bible for life.

Together kids and parents can enjoy the Christ Connections and Big Questions and Answers call outs that show God's story unfolding from the beginning of time and how we fit into his plan.

This meets children in the visual world they are so accustomed to, bringing Bible pages to life. Over 400,000 individual participants, 40,000 plus groups, and 7,000 plus churches have already started their journey with LifeWay's Gospel Project, making this the perfect companion for the Gospel Project for Kids curriculum

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy of a new bible for kids that looks nice inside and out. Some of the features in this bible are 100 Top verses to memorize highlighted in the bible with the tag; Verse to Remember. There are 146 Full-page bible story illustrations with augmented reality that are very beautiful and eye catching. Big Bible Questions/Big Answers featured under heading – BIG Questions. I loved this feature. I would never think to ask these questions. Love they give you the answers. Grin! Helps generate discussion with family and friends.

Big Words dictionary feature makes it easy to learn the definition. Full color design throughout the bible. Icons connecting to the Gospel Project for kids’ curriculum – published by LifeWay. Kid Friendly introductions to every book of the bible and seeing the Big Picture Feature – talks about how this passage of scripture and/or story relates to the big picture in the bible.

I loved all the features and the overall look inside the bible. It’s easy to read. It’s not too busy. The Font is big and bold. I loved all of the above. There was one thing that I got hung up on and that was making the bible interactive function to work. I tried a couple of hours myself to make this work. I know I’m not computer and/or phone savvy so I sought the help of friends who were.




I was about to give up when I asked my 16 year old son to help me. Can you believe he got the thing to work in 15 minutes? Ok, I was cheering until he tried to make it work on the next page and nothing happened. I know that it’s not what I expected from the program. On the pages that did work a 3-D picture jumps off the page and a story is read. You have to hold the phone over the small picture for 15 seconds then you zoom out so your phone captures the big color picture (the whole page). Then the 3-D picture jumps out at you and stays there the whole time the story is being told. There is trouble with the interactive feature to this bible. I look forward to them working out the kinks.

I met a young man (maybe 8 years old) the other day that told me the interactive part of this bible looked to hard for him to figure out. Given what I've gone through to make it work. I agreed. But I pointed out all the good features inside this bible. I do love the pictures and so did this youngster.

All in all I really LIKED this bible very much. It grabbed my attention. It’s one I feel will be easy to share with kids even if the interactive feature is not working well. It’s beautiful, helps kids apply scripture to their lives, gives them verses that will be worth memorizing first, and the full color animated pictures all throughout the bible are amazing. Loved it and I would recommend this bible to young children I think it speaks their language and will be they use for years.


Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
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TBCN 20 BOOK GIVEAWAY NEW RELEASES by BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS & REVELL

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You are more than welcome to encourage Ann here on this blog post but to Enter the Drawing you must join TBCN It's free and Easy. Then CLICK on the LINK on the top of her Book Cover.

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SEE YOU and ANN at TBCN

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com

ANN GABHART TALKS ABOUT HER HOMETOWN & NEW NOVEL PLUS5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



ABOUT AUTHOR:  ANN H. GABHART, the author of several bestselling novels, has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. She’s published twenty-six novels for adults and young adults with more stories on the way. She keeps her keyboard warm out on a farm in Kentucky where she lives with her husband, Darrell. They have three children and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit www.annhgabhart.com. Check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com or Jocie’s Heart of Hollyhill blog www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com. You can follow Ann on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AnnGabhart , Twitter, https://twitter.com/AnnHGabhart , or Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/annhgabhart/.   

  

Thrilled that you are here with us again - Take it Away Ann

Hello again!
Hi, everybody. It’s so much fun being back here talking to Nora and friends about my Heart of Hollyhill series. Summer of Joy, the third book in the series has just come back out to bookstores all dressed up in a brand new cover. Don’t you just love that little box record player and those 45 records? That cover takes you right back to the Sixties!
Ann's writing notebooks

A Writing Dream - First, let’s set the stage with a little writing history – my writing history. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and first fell in love with books. I wanted to write down my own stories. That was a big dream for a little country girl who had never met a writer and didn't know the first thing about writing. But I loved words and stories and so I got a notebook and pen and started. I did know that a writer had to write.

Sometimes the Lord watches over us and gives us the desires of our hearts. I sold my first story to a Sunday school leaflet in 1971 and then sold a few more stories to small magazines. Just enough to make me believe it was possible. Then I wrote my first novel and I forgot about writing short pieces. I was going to write books! Of course, the next step was writing a book that somebody besides my mother wanted to read.

Small town Main Street
Enter Jocie and Hollyhill  - At last, we come to Hollyhill. I decided I’d write one more novel. I wouldn't worry about editors or publishers or even readers. I’d write this book for myself and follow that basic writing advice to write what you know. Enter small towns and country churches.

I grew up out on a farm, but when we went to town it was to a one Main Street town lined with parking meters.

Churches sat on each end of town and in between were a couple of banks, two ten-cent stores, a hardware store, a grocery where the storekeeper let you trade farm eggs for groceries, three dress shops, a men’s clothing store, and a strip of poolrooms down on that end of the street where it was better for a little girl not to go. There was a barbershop, a newspaper office, two drugstores–one with a soda fountain, two grills, and towering above everything else the courthouse. But the most important building for me was up the side street across from the post office, the public library. Thank you, Andrew Carnegie!

Small Towns and Country Churches - I decided to set my story in my little town just the way I remembered it during the 1960’s. It was the kind of town where when you walked down the street you knew everybody you met. Then, in all small towns, plenty of eccentric characters are hanging around just waiting to be written into a story. I renamed the town Hollyhill and a good thing too. Heart of Lawrenceburg series just doesn’t have the same ring as Heart of Hollyhill series. I took the flavor of the little town I remembered and came up with characters that belonged on my Main Street. Even Wes from Jupiter fits right in the Hollyhill stories.

1962 Goshen Church 150 Celebration
My first character was a young girl named Jocie whose father, another main character, is a preacher. So it was time to go to church. My church. The church my husband and I got married in. The church we still attend. A little country church that is over two hundred years old. I know that church. I remember how it was in the Sixties when there was no air-conditioning or padded pews and church mice sometimes ran out of the piano in the middle of services.

The members were like family. Many of them were actually kin to one another, and sometimes there was a squabble in spite of the way they all loved each other and the Lord. That’s the kind of church I let David pastor. He’s a bi-vocational preacher as most of the men who led the small churches in my county were in the Sixties. So I gave him the added job of newspaper editor.
Goshen Church today
Hometown News - I grew up reading our little hometown newspaper. It came out once a week and had all the community news of who visited whom. If you tripped over your roller skates and ended up with a broken leg, you’d make the paper. On the inside pages, you could find every elementary school’s 4-H Club Meeting minutes and see photos of hometown girls and boys on the honor roll at college. A fender bender on Main Street was major news. And when you read a wedding or baby announcement, you knew the whole family back to both sets of grandparents. You were glad the headline story was who had been chosen Miss Dairy Princess because that meant nothing bad had happened in your town that week.

That’s the kind of paper theHollyhill Banner is except a few storms come along to push the Dairy Princess off the front page in my Hollyhill stories. There’s a feature in our local paper called “The Way We Were.” That’s how I tried to make Hollyhill–the way it might have been in the Sixties.
Courthouse in my hometown

My Small Town in 2014 - Things have changed in my little town. When Walmart opened out on the bypass, downtown started dying. The mom and pop stores couldn't compete. Now the only business still open from when I was a kid is a dress shop whose long-time owners keep decorating their shop windows with fashionable outfits, but it’s surrounded by empty storefronts. There’s no place to sell your eggs or fill your prescriptions on Main. The last drugstore sold out to one of the big chains last year. Where else, but out on the bypass. Even the hometown newspaper moved its offices out on the bypass.

The courthouse is still there and so are the churches. The library built a new modern building, but they stayed on Main down the street from where the post office used to be. Right, the post office built a big new building out close to the bypass.

New Library
Nobody has to come up with a nickel to park downtown anymore. The parking meters are gone. Saturday afternoons see empty streets now instead of neighbors talking to neighbors. The eccentric characters have passed into legend. The only time the streets are crowded these days is during the annual Burgoo Festival. But the little hometown I remember from the Sixties lives on in my Heart of Hollyhill books.



Heart of Hollyhill Series - Summer of Joy is the third Hollyhill books. The first, Scent of Lilacs, got the story going in the humid summer of 1964, as Jocie digs into her family’s past and stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries. Orchard of Hope ushered in a whole new story as the town suffers through a drought and wakes up to the need for Civil Rights when a new family moves to Holly County and challenges the status quo. Finally, Summer of Joy has the past coming to call with two people making their way to Hollyhill to change everything. From a river baptism to a wedding delayed by a man intent on making trouble, things are anything but uneventful in my little Hollyhill.

Old Library Bldg
It’s sometimes hard to keep writing new books about the same characters, but I got to know my Hollyhill people so well that I was able to keep going with their stories. And of course, I knew where they lived and worshiped. In Summer of Joy I wanted to wrap up some of the loose ends from the previous stories. While I was planning the story, I kept imagining people showing up unexpectedly to knock on Jocie’s door, bringing the past with them.

Each of the books can be read as stand-alone stories, but the story is much richer if the reader visits Hollyhill all three times to get to know Jocie and her family along with those odd small town characters.

Everything Changes - There’s a saying that everything changes. That’s certainly true about my hometown and about our little country church. We've remodeled the church and built a beautiful fellowship hall beside it. The pews are padded, the floors carpeted, and we've encouraged the mice to find a new place to live. But the church still has that family feel where everybody knows everybody.

Home to Hollyhill - That’s the kind of feeling I tried to create in my Heart of Hollyhill books for readers who come visit my Small Town, America. I like to think about them walking down my Main Street and seeing Jocie taking pictures. Maybe they’ll smile at Wes speeding by on his motorcycle or try to get Zella talking about the latest Hollyhill gossip. I want them to feel like they’ve gone to church with neighbors who aren’t perfect but are doing the best they can. I hope my Hollyhill stories will make them smile and maybe wipe away a tear now and again. And when they read the last page, I want them to be happy they came “home” to Hollyhill.

Thanks for letting me visit and tell you about my hometown.

Ann

THANKS Ann - I always love hearing from you. Thanks for telling us about how Hollyhill came about. It always fascinates me to hear how the author got their idea for a book. I've talked to you at Finding Hope Book Club meetings and was also amazed that you've lived in your home town most of your life. Thanks for sharing about that too. I'm THRILLED about the giveaway opportunity Revell Publishers at The Book Club Network going on right now.

Nora :o)

TO ENTER THE DRAWING GO TO TBCN - The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org.
5 BOOK GIVEAWAY AT TBCN

You are more than welcome to encourage Ann here on this blog post but to Enter the Drawing you must join TBCN It's free and Easy. Then CLICK on the LINK on the top of her Book Cover.

HAPPY READING!! 
SEE YOU and ANN at TBCN

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com