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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Africa in Photos

Here are a few recent photo I thought you all might enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

Gabe asked me why I needed more family photos, but when our family is only together three times a year, a family photo means a lot to this mama!

Outside in our garden

Progress on our house! This is actually the garage that they are working on right now.

They are getting ready to lay the floor and start building the walls.


Lots and lots of bricks.

We spent our last day off at the beach with the kids.

 Love this view of the Indian Ocean! 


Mel and Mandy, from England, are working with us and have started a new women's class and prayer time out in one of the villages.



We are very blessed for them to be here with us.

Here I am at the end of my deadline. . .just kidding. Not me, but I am excited to be almost done with my next romantic suspense that's due September 1st. Next I'll be jumping into book two of my Revell series, the first of which comes out next year.

Be blessed,

Lisa

Monday, August 13, 2012

Snapshots

Hanging out.
 I've been feeling a bit sentimental lately. A big part if it comes from having my oldest home from boarding school. I LOVE having him back. But it also makes me realize how much I miss him when he's gone. It's hard to complain, though, when I realize how much he loves school, and how wonderful it has been for him. So while I've been quiet--at least when it comes to blogging and FB--I've been soaking up my family being together, and making sure I don't let these days disappear without my completely enjoying them.

Question for you: What did you enjoy the most this summer break? (Or winter break for my friends in the southern hemisphere!) A memorable trip, an accomplishment, time with family, a good book? I'd love to hear from you!
My Mcquizzi


Fun and games at English Camp

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The end of summer. . .

When I read my Facebook posts, it seems that summer is finally coming to an end. Vacation is ending, school will be starting soon, and hopefully the weather will begin cooling off.

Well. . .things have been a bit different on our side of the world. 

*It's finally cool enough for me to function with winter here. Perfect weather, actually. 

*Forget summer break. We've just finished a whirlwind season hosting five, short-term mission teams from the US, Brazil, and South Africa. 

*School is. . .almost over. The kids have been working hard and will finish up the end of next week!

*We spent the last week working hard converting our school room--which was converted to a storage unit when our team mates arrived earlier this year--to a small apartment for Mel and Mandy who will also be working with us. They will be staying here until the electricity is put into the house we've built for them 
out at the land.


*In the meantime, work on our house continues with the foundation pretty much finished!



*Ministry: We had three more baptisms this past week. We praise God for the way He is moving, and how He used the recent groups to add to our ministry.



Watch video below.


Baptisms from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Interview with Nora St. Laurent

As an author, it's exciting to meet people who have a passion for stories. Today, I'm taking a break from my normal posts and introducing you to Nora St. Laurent who started The Book Club Network with her husband. If you're interested in finding good books to read and ways to win free book, read on!

Lisa: What inspired you start TBCN?

Nora: The Book Club Network was born out of a desire to share Christian Fiction authors with other book clubs, share book club ideas with other leaders and to encourage the authors who are writing such amazing books. The economy has been really tough for a few years and people are not parting with money like they used to. Through TBCN they can take their time and find the right book or win it. We have give away opportunities each month. ALL of our contests are from the 19th – 21st of the month.


I run two face to face book clubs one at the Christian Book Store I work at and the other at the church I attend. It’s a position I never imagined I’d be in since I didn’t read for pleasure much before I started working in a Christian book store 11 years ago.

But since I love talking with people and the main thing to talk about in a book store is books I started reading Christian Fiction (publishers sent ARC copies to our store and I started checking them out) The first book that rocked my world and got me hooked in Christian Fiction was a book by Linda Nichols called Not a Sparrow Falls her next book did me in and I couldn’t stop talking about it, At the Scent of Water was her next book that prompted me to contact the author and let her know how much her book touched my spirit.

After reading these two books and telling customers about these reads I had a reason to read.  These books spoke to me because I wasn’t expecting it. It reminded me of the stories in the bible. Jesus is the greatest story teller and He knew a story could change a life or prick our spirit and move us in a direction we never thought we’d be in.

I tell you all that to say I’m dyslexic and I have not been a fan of reading. Movies were more my thing. I could watch a movie of a book and have a lot more fun. Reading Christian Fiction changed my life in more ways than one.  I wanted to tell everyone about the greatest book I read, and I’d do that at the book store.  It was possible to talk about the new book I read and loved for about a month or more but when At the Scent of Water and Not a Sparrow Falls were not on the shelf anymore, I had to find some other books to talk about at work.  I’m not a very fast reader so; discovering the next new book was a challenge. Would I get the book read before it disappeared from the shelf?  How long do books live on a book shelf? The shelf life of a book was a mystery to me and still is.

I was whining to my husband Fred about my problem. How can I get the word out about great books for a very long period of time? Being a man who likes to face challenges head we began to talk about how we could do this and the fact that I can’t read books fast enough to keep up with it’s shelf life at the store.

I also told him as a book club leader I wanted to promote great books and share them with other groups. Not everyone has the advantage of working at a book store and see what new books hit the shelves each week. Another struggle I had was if I had an author speaking at my book club I wanted to share them with other book clubs in the area. How could I do that? Where are book clubs meeting?

Our answer to many of these questions and more was the birth of The Book Club Network - TBCN. Connecting authors to book clubs and readers to their books; it’s also a network of book clubs as they post what they’ve read and how the meeting turned out.

It’s a place to find where a book club is located. We have a member map where you can find a book club near you. Message them and see if they are accepting new members. I envision it to be similar to be similar to the Weight Watchers program (don’t laugh Grin) you can go to a meeting anywhere in the country right? All you have to do is look on line and get connected. This is my hope for the future of TBCN.

Lisa: Have there been any surprises for you @TBCN? What benefits have you seen by bringing readers and authors together?

Nora: I’ve been encouraged and fascinated by our growth. I can see there were other people out there like me wanting to connect with other book club members.

I’ll tell you what has surprised me is the author/reader interaction each month. This is something I didn’t foresee as I’ve watch the authors are having a blast interacting with the readers and visa/versa. The beauty of this discussion is it’s there forever for all to read no matter when you join TBCN.

The authors have done a great job coming up with questions for reader to answer that give them a peek into their book – create interest and then the discussion helps book club leaders connect with the author. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of authors that want to be featured @The Book Club Network. It’s been a great thing.

The interaction with the authors is almost like having a book club meeting on line. It’s a huge benefit for both the authors who’ve wanted to ask clubs questions and readers who want to get to know authors. The authors are catching on. Our sponsors have loved the interaction as well. Members have told me that they love the author interaction from the 19th-21st as much as having a chance to win all these books. It’s hard to know if a book will be a fit for your group so these interaction times are helpful for that and so much more. Another thing I love about TBCN members is the fact they are not afraid to share what they think in a good way. I’ve learned so much and laughed out loud in some discussion where the questions lead to sharing funny moments.

My hope is that book club leaders and/or members participate in the discussions and make that book connection with the author and their book. I want TBCN to be a tool for them in picking out their books. Maybe invite the author to speak to their book club on the phone. It’s my hope. The discussion will be there forever. No worries about a books shelf live here @TBCN. So, everyone has time to get to know each other!! It’s a beautiful thing!

Lisa: How can readers join in the anniversary celebrations?

Nora: It’s easy to sign up to be a member of TBCN.  We ask a few questions for you to answer and for other information that helps us keep spammers and other information seekers out of the network. It’s also FREE. You have opportunities to win lots of books. For our BIRTHDAY BASH we are giving away 10 books a day and announcing winners once a week. You’ll have all week to enter the daily featured contests. 

Lisa: Do you have any other comments for my readers?

Nora: If you are avid reader this is the place for you to learn about the latest in Christian Fiction and interact with the author each month.

Are you a book club leader? Well this is the place for you to find your next book club pick. We’d also love for you to set up your Book club page at our site for others to see. It’s a place to share your latest featured book. Post pictures of your club and the field trips you’ve taken. The authors you’ve met and the book fun you’ve had. Learn from other book clubs that have already set up their pages.

Want to start a book club but felt it was too overwhelming? You can learn from other experienced book club leaders, and you can start right away making your book club list!
Do you like to win books? This is the place for you. You’ll have a chance to get to know the authors and their books and read genre’s you normally wouldn’t. We’ve been giving away about 100 books a month and for our birthday bash it’s going to be 10 books every day; starting August first. Winners are picked weekly and announced each weekly.

THANK YOU! You’ve been a grand host to have me here and let me talk about The Book Club Network and our Birthday Bash!! I hope to see you there @TBCN www.bookfun.org


Nora St. Laurent’s Bio: Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org She runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.