JULY 21st


BOOK BLURB: In two days, wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, will wed a man she loathes. She would refuse this arranged marriage to Lyman Millard, but the Bible clearly says she is to honor her parents, and Anna would do most anything to please her father--even leaving her teaching job at a mission school and marrying a man she doesn't love. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, and Anna and her family escape with only the clothes on their backs and the wedding postponed. Father moves the family to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Anna reconnects with Rory Quinn, a handsome immigrant who worked at the mission school. Realizing she is in love with Rory, Anna prepares to break the marriage arrangement with Lyman until she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Raised in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Pamela has published articles in Today's Christian Woman, Christian Computing Magazine, Victory in Grace Magazine, Ancestry Magazine, Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Ezine, and the ACFW Ezine, Afictionado. Her true story, Like Son, Like Father, appeared in His Forever (Adams Media). She has served as a sign language interpreter for her church and is a leader of a women's Bible study group. 

Her author tagline, "Take a Sentimental Journey" describes her stories, both contemporary and historical, as most are centered in small Wisconsin towns.

Her books include Thyme for Love, a contemporary mystery-romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, What Lies Ahead, a novella in The Bucket List Dare anthology, and Second Chance Love, a romance set at a rodeo in downstate Illinois. Just out is If These Walls Could Talk, a novella in Coming Home, A Tiny House Collection. Coming in June, Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (a reissue of LFY in Lake Geneva, WI). 

Pam now resides in Illinois with her two rescue cats. She's not too far from her native Wisconsin, where you will often see her nosing around for more story ideas.



(Best Way to Thank an Author for a book is to do a review)

1. Do you read reviews? If you do what do you look for? If you don't read reviews how to you choose the next book you want to read?

2. If you read reviews where do you go to read them? Why do you read them there?

3. Pam says, "Safe Refuge is set in my hometown of Lake Geneva which has a rich history. Do you have a favorite place that is rich in history? Tell us about it."


Jacqueline Robertson

Pam Graber

Jeanie Dannheim
Gail Hollingsworth

Your Names have been drawn and your contact information sent to the author.

THANKS to Everyone for participating!

More book fun ahead!

If you have any question please feel free to contact me nora@bookfunmagazine.com

Nora St.Laurent

#AD Contest Sponsored by Author/Publisher

Views: 176

Replies to This Discussion

I usually read reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  I look to see how violent, sexy, or vulgar a book may be.  I don't like any of those things.  The sex and the language are the main things I look for.

I usually don't read reviews because to me it spoils the book, especially if I haven't read it yet.

I volunteer in the church library and have for almost 40 years. When I get books for the library I pretty much know what we have, who likes the genre, even though, it's not a book that I would personally pick for myself.

1.  I do read reviews.  Would you believe I read the bad ones?  That way I know if there is something I know that will keep me from connecting to a new (to me) author.  Foul language, explicit sex, abuse and things like that. Then I read the good reviews and see if its the style of book I enjoy reading.  I love most genre's in Christian fiction; however, I'm not into Regency, fantasy nor anything to do with King Henry VIII.  I do love romantic suspense, Biblical historical fiction, what I can say?  I love to read and if a book is really good I leave reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, Christian Books, FB's Avid Readers of Christian Fiction and several blogs.  Of course, if its an author from here I leave reviews on bookfun.org and their FB site.  I read reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub and Avid Readers of Christian Fiction on FB.

I don't choose books based on reviews.  Lots of books may have 5 stars but that doesn't mean that I'll like that book.  I look at excerpts to see if I want to read the book.  The reviews I look at are mostly on Amazon.  I sometimes leave reviews there and I go there a lot because I get newsletters that tell about free books on Amazon.  It can be fun to read the reviews after you're done with the book because then you know what they're talking about - the good and the bad.

When I choose my next book to read it may be one I already own or one on my Kindle - a book to review, one I've bought, or a free Kindle book.  I've gotten lots of books at the library sale.  The good thing about browsing in person is that you can look inside the book to see if you want it.  Me and my mother also get books from a bargain books catalog.  Again, I look at the excerpts online to see if I want the book before choosing which ones to order.

1. If I don’t know an author or a particular book I always read descriptions and reviews before deciding to try it. I look for readers that point out bad language or explicit sex ( sometimes in so called Christian books! )

I review every book I read! 

I read my reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads. I usually start with the three and four stars first. Usually what someone else dislikes in a book I like. I am also very partial to pretty book covers. Sometimes I choose by that or what particular time period I am most interested in.

I love Goodreads.com and occasionally read the reviews. I read a lot of variety, and don't base my opinion on other people's reviews. 

2. I read reviews on Goodreads.com because I use that site quite frequently. It's an easy way to keep track of my books. Thank you for the chance to win a book.

I read the reviews on Goodreads. I feel like it's one of those places that people tell exactly what they think of a book and don't have the vested interest like those that may review for online stores.


Jacqueline Robertson

Pam Graber

Jeanie Dannheim
Gail Hollingsworth

Your Names have been drawn and your contact information sent to the author.

THANKS to Everyone for participating!

More Book Fun Ahead!

If you have any questions please contact me nora@bookfunmagazine.com 

Congratulations everyone!

What a great novel! Pamela, thank you for this! I have posted a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my Facebook, G+, and Twitter pages.

I very much enjoyed this fabulous historical novel; it drew me in from the beginning and didn’t let go! Set primarily in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, with scenes in Chicago, elements of the history of both places are related in a manner that is fascinating, credible, and at times, breathtaking. The characters are complex and very likable with few exceptions. There is drama throughout this story that includes romance, family dynamics, and joyful surprises. First in the Newport of the West series, I am looking forward to the next one!

When Anna was a baby, her parents promised her in marriage to Lyle Millard. Each family has a good business, and the marriage would result in stronger business ties for all involved. Lyle would one day inherit his family’s business and provide a secure future for Anna. Her sister Callie had not been promised to anyone, and thinks it is wonderful that Anna is – until she finally learns what kind of man Lyle grew into. He is controlling and abusive; when he injures Anna, the marks he leaves are not where they can be seen. Anna is a woman of substance and grace; she is a teacher at a mission school in Chicago and loves her job and the children. She does not love Lyman and does not want to marry him.

Rory is the janitor at Illinois Street Mission; he wants to go to Irish Woods, near Lake Geneva, where Anna’s father bought land. He has a charming Irish brogue. Since going to DL Moody’s church, he has come to truly believe in the Lord, for which his Da declared him dead to the family. He is a natural with animals and children, the kind of man Anna would want to marry. Status and money mean little to her.

Days before the wedding, the great Chicago fire occurred. I was surprised to see how it travelled and what it meant to individual families. Anna’s family headed for Lake Geneva in hopes of finding a place to rent until their house was built. Anna and Rory, each having gone in another direction, wonder if the other is still alive and if they will see each other again. Anna’s mother, wanting to elevate her social status, stayed in close touch with Lyman’s mother, and tried to find a way to pull off the wedding when their home and church were gone.

I enjoy characters who are strong, three-dimensional, and have impact on their surroundings. I like Anna and her fellow teachers and teacher’s assistants at both schools she works at. They are the unsung heroes, the ones who have grit and grace. I enjoyed seeing Annie’s sister Cassie grow throughout the novel; she is a lovely work in progress. Rory, too, is an excellent person to watch throughout.

All I could think of while reading this is “Thank God we don’t have arranged marriages in this country today!!” The author has woven this novel with care and includes the impact that the historical events have on the characters from various walks of life. We see through a surprising turn of events how the people we love are flawed human beings, fragile clay pots, and often have a huge secret or two in their past. This novel is full of surprises. I like the way Anna’s family is changing, and the way the faith of each person allows them to change and grow. I highly recommend this novel to those who like Christian historical fiction, characters with depth, and a thoroughly intriguing plot.

From a grateful heart: I won a copy of this book from the author and The Book Club Network, and this is my honest review.


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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