Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Attention All Bibliophiles!

Nora St. Laurent is the guest on Seekerville today (seekerville.blogspot.com). I've copied the post here (with permission!) just so you can join in the fun of the big birthday bash for The Book Club Network. Enjoy! And now, here's Nora -


Want to start a book club that reads Christian Fiction and don’t know how or where to begin looking for books your club can read? Are you a Christian Fiction or non-fiction author and want to speak to book clubs but don’t know where to begin finding them?

The Book Club Network is there to connect authors with book clubs and leaders with their books. I work at a Christian book store and when my boss asked me to start a book club at the store I was overwhelmed at the task of selecting books to read for our group. I wanted a meaty book that had more for us to say than,” Wow, that was fun.” What would we do with the rest of the time allotted for book club?

I would look at the rows of books and didn’t know where to begin my search. I only had so much time and the library only had so many books in its shelf where to begin? Hence the birth of The Book Club Network, it grew out of my desire to learn more from other book clubs as to what books worked really well for their book club meetings. It also grew out of my desire to connect authors with book clubs. I saw how books didn’t have a very long shelf life. How were the book clubs going to find out about great, moving novels if they weren’t on the shelf very long? Where do you begin finding Christian authors on Amazon, the thought was overwhelming!

My husband and I started The Book Club Network one year ago in hopes that authors would connect with book clubs and book club leaders would not feel intimidated to interact with authors or other book clubs. Maybe we could help facilitate authors speaking to book clubs on the phone or with the computer via Skype!

The Book Club Network took off and now is close to 1,000 members. I’ve enjoyed watching the authors and book clubs interact. For example authors have asked book clubs what discussion questions work in a book club setting, and which ones don’t. Answers to these questions were interesting and both parties are learning from the other. Exciting to watch!

Book Clubs have set up their book club pages and many of their members have joined their page. A few book clubs are actually having their meetings on-line at TBCN. The leader has put the questions up for the author and the book club members to answer and interact. It’s been great fun to see and learn from their book club discussions.

I've enjoyed watching Book Clubs interact with one another. I've seen leaders ask about certain books they hadn't read to see if any group had read it. I've also seen book clubs share the list of books they are reading this year and have read in previous years? Book Clubs are also sharing ideas about the fun things they’ve done at their meetings and what they hope to do in the future! I’ve learned so much.

I’ve also had people email me asking about where to find book clubs. They’ve always wanted to be apart of a book club but didn’t know where to begin the search. At TBCN we have a member map. It shows where book clubs are located across the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia, helping you connect with a group near you. Other members were moving and had belonged to a book club and wanted to join another in their new location. The member map has been a helpful tool for book clubs and book club members seeking out a book club meeting face-to-face or on-line anywhere you they go!

We have monthly contests at the Book Club Network where members have a chance to win big! The last contest we had was called, “Just Desserts”. The winner of this contest won fifty books; twenty five of two different books. The winning club went on to help judge the winning dessert!

We are celebrating in a big way at TBCN. Our first birthday party is on Monday, June 13th at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. TBCN will be having the biggest giveaway party we’ve ever put on. We asked authors that are at TBCN and have been our biggest cheerleaders to participate in this event. Many of these authors will be at the party that night. Thanks to these authors for helping this event be fun and successful. We also thank them for helping get the word out about TBCN to the book clubs they speak to. Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Creston Mapes, Ginny Yttrup, Sandra Bricker, Brandilyn Collins, Julie Carobini, Anita Mellott, Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman, Meg Moseley, Melanie Dickerson, C.J. Darlington, Missy Tippens, Janet Dean, Tina Radcliffe, Glynna Kaye, Cheryl Wyatt, Ronnie Kendig, Tricia Goyer, Gina Holmes and Novo Inc. ALL of these authors will be contributing some really great prizes. We have over $200.00 in gift cards to be given out, lots of books and a super secret grand prize worth over $100.00.

So, check out the fun we’ve been having at The Book Club Network – sign up today and be up on all the latest news about the party TBCN Check out TBCN on facebook where authors and bloggers post giveaways, author book signings, interviews and exciting book fun news. Join our Facebook page at:
TBCN Facebook. If you’d like your book club featured on the CFOM contact me at TBCN or on Facebook.

We’ll be keeping our website and Facebook page current about exact items being given away and when. The event will last about an hour and I hope many of you can be there. In celebration of our party I’d like to help book clubs and readers find great books and give them away at your meetings.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Attack at the Arena

More Imagination Station adventures!

In the second book of this series, Attack at the Arena, Beth and Patrick are sent to Ancient Rome to find the monk’s chalice. While the cousins are there they meet slaves, Christians, gladiators and even the young Emperor Honorius. But Patrick and Beth are separated, and finally meet again at the Arena where a crowd is gathered to see the bloody games between wild animals and barbarian captives. What can Beth do to save Patrick? And who is this mysterious medieval knight that is guiding their quests?

Written for ages 7 and up (reading levels 1st through 7th grades), this book is filled with the sights and sounds of Ancient Rome, and a hint of the difficulties entailed in an entire empire converting from pagan beliefs to Christian ones. There is even a bonus word puzzle at the end of the book.

Attack at the Arena is the second book in the series of five “Imagination Station” books. Your young reader will want to collect all five!

I received a free copy of this book for my review from Tyndale House Publishers.