Tag Archives: Chris Fabry

You’re Invited to a Super Fun Book Club! Monday, 3/27 at 6:30 p.m.: “The Promise of Jesse Woods” by Chris Fabry

Friends!  Grab  as many friends as you can find and dash over to Middletown United Methodist Church next Monday, March 27th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

 The girls at Branches Book Club will be discussing a beautifully written novel by Chris Fabry called The Promise of Jesse Woods and you do not want to miss a minute of it! 

Because there’s a mouth-watering church picnic scene in the story, we decided we’ll be having our own potluck supper Monday night.  Please bring a side dish to share if time allows.  The main course and drinks will be provided. Just one more incentive (read “bribe” and smile) to get you and your friends coming to Book Club!

One more teaser:  Chris has graciously sent us a twenty plus minute personal message about this book, so you won’t want to miss him either!  

Every single book I’ve read of Chris’ I declare it to be my favorite, and The Promise of Jesse Woods is no exception.  What’s fun about Chris’ writing is my sweet Hubster, a/k/a John, enjoys Chris’ books too and we have a blast discussing them.  This book received the 2017 Christianity Today Book Award Merit in the fiction category.

Some of his other books have won the coveted Christy Award (Dogwood 2009, Almost Heaven 2011 and Not in the Heart 2013)  and the Christian Book Award (also Almost Heaven 2011).  Click on his website and check out all the other books Chris has written:  fiction and non-fiction. And don’t miss his daily radio show, Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. (www.moodyradio.org )

One of many endorsers of this book happens to be author Charles Martin. Many of you know how much I like his writing and you’re in his camp as well.  Charles says Chris’ book is “a tender coming-of-age story of first love, innocence lost, and the soul-freeing power of truth.”

Before we get into a few glimpses of this novel, you guys out there may be interested in at least two of Chris’ non-fiction books. My guess is you had no idea he wrote these very cool, true stories:

Coming Back Stronger—Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees with Chris Fabry

The Winners Manual—for the Game of Life by Jim Tressel with Chris Fabry

(Fun sidebar:  John and I happen to have a copy of this book, signed by Tressel.  This came about when our dear friend Joe Daniels was Coach Tressel’s Quarterback Coach.  Like Tuesdays with Morrie, Jim Tressel sat at Joe Daniels’ bedside every single Tuesday while he battled cancer.  He gave a most poignant speech at Joe’s funeral.)

Back to our book:  You’ll love the characters in The Promise of Jesse Woods and feel as if you’re riding bikes down the roads of Dogwood, West Virginia with them.  You’ll sympathize with Matt whose extra pounds he’s packin’ bring him relentless teasing.

He and his family have moved to Dogwood for his Dad to be the town’s new preacher.  This makes Matt not only the new kid in town, but the Preacher’s Kid, and we all know what comes with that…

Matt quickly makes two new friends, both dragging a wagon full of baggage.  Matt’s new friend Dickie, is biracial, which brings that whole component with the story’s setting in 1972, while his other friend in the trio happens to be a girl named, Jesse Woods.  She becomes Matt’s first love which complicates matters just a tad.

In the book, Chris flips back and forth from 1984 to 1972, however you figure this out easily and read that much faster, trying to figure out where the plot will take you next.  One of the bad guys in the book will make you so mad because of how he affects so many, Matt’s Father, included.  His name even sounds like a dark cloud hovers over it:  Basil Blackwood.

At one point in the story, Matt wonders when his Father may grow a backbone no thanks to the very wicked Mr. Blackwood. Seems Mr. Blackwood minds the church’s business more than his own.

When Matt moves away to Chicago, he loses touch with these friends who’d been inseparable.  He says, “After high school I had ripped the rearview off my life.”

It’s back in Chicago where Matt gets a blast-from-the-past phone call from Dickie.  They really needed to patch things up, but the more pressing matter comes with Dickie’s announcement that their beloved Jesse is getting married in a few days.  Oh my…

Will Matt return to Dogwood?  And if he does, will he stop the wedding?  Will Jesse’s fiancée go after Matt?  Ah, my friend, you must read the book to find out!

Before we close, I’ll share just one of many beautiful quotes I’ve highlighted and dog-eared.  Matt is talking with his father who says, “Life is never easy…it may seem like it on the surface, but there’s a struggle to it all.  When Jesus told the disciples to go across the Sea of Galilee, they got in the boat and obeyed. And that was when one of the biggest storms blew up. So obeying God’s will can sometimes get you into trouble. But it’s better to follow him into a storm than to stay on the shore alone.”

One thing I always hunt for in a book is the meaning of its’ title.  You will flat fall out of your chair when you reach the meaning of The Promise of Jesse Woods.  I never saw it comin’…

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest book story and grab this book.  Even if you don’t finish it before Monday, you’ll still enjoy and be blessed by our lively discussion, fun fellowship and delicious food.

We’ll look forward to seeing you Monday night, March 27th at 6:30! 

‘Til next time!

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MEGA Announcement!!! Branches Book Club’s New Upcoming Season Promises Fun, Food and Fabulous Literature…Plus Meet Some of the Authors!

Friends! Grab your calendars and jot these dates down! You have plenty of time to read and plan to make these nights of fun, learning, fellowship, and fabulous foodie themes! The possibilities are endless!

Further bonus: So far, two of these nights have the authors coming to speak, answer questions, etc. Other potential Skype visits from authors are in the works. Please put that on your prayer radar!!!

Branches Book Club has a phenomenal season planned for you and your friends. Checkout www.middletownumc.org , plus like them on Facebook, and send Nancy Tinnell your email address if you’d like to be on the mailing list to receive updates, etc. Nancy’s email is: ntinnell@middletownumc.org

Grab as many of these books as possible for your summer reading! (Some don’t release for a while—see dates below.) Be praying about who to invite to come with you. Spread the word!

Drum roll, if you please…..HERE WE GO!!!………………………

September 26, 2016 – The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron. Kristy hails from Indiana and is going to drive to Louisville to join us that night!

Checkout her website, www.kristycambron.com and watch the teaser video of The Ringmaster’s Wife. The book releases June 7th.

Ringmasters Wife

Since the book is about life in the Ringling Brothers’ circus in the 1920’s, we’ll have a circus theme with circus food, under the Big Top. Our boys would beg for cotton candy, while I’m hoping for caramel corn. (Deep, I know…)

Publishers Weekly says her novel includes, “heartbreak, loss, hope, and triumph, all set against the colorful backdrop of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.”

Come meet and hear from Kristy!  Her book has already been named in Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion and Spirituality Top 10!

 

October 24, 2016 – Come meet and hear from TWO authors this night! Liz Curtis Higgs and Bill Higgs!!!

We’ll get to hear Liz interview Bill about his new novel, Eden Hill which releases July 1st. You can pre-order this now!

Set in our sweet State of Kentucky in the early 1960’s, we’ll watch the characters struggle with change and competition. Can one extend grace to a competitor right across the street?

Many are saying Bill’s writing is Garrison Keilloresque. Charm and more charm. Bill’s dry wit will bless your socks off.

One of Bill’s many interests and talents is showing us how things from the past can teach us lessons right now. Wait ‘til you see how this unfolds in his book. This is his first novel and we will celebrate with the Higgs! www.billhiggs.com

Eden Hill

We’ll also get to hear from Liz as we discuss a super fun contemporary novel, (this was also her first contemporary novel) called Mixed Signals. It’s about a female radio host (wonder how that topic came up???).  Belle’s radio program featuring golden oldies is a hit, while her own love life suffers. Who will she wind up with?

Only Liz can take us on such a fun, surprising journey. While we’re on the topic of radio and oldies, Nancy Tinnell promises to serve up root beer floats for starters!!! Stay tuned and make plans to join us! www.lizcurtishiggs.com

Mixed Signals

Liz’ newest book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart releases October 18th, so she’ll have those on hand for us to snatch up. This is a beautiful gift-sized devotional that’ll also be good for small groups, Bible studies, etc. Liz is challenging us to memorize these verses! Anyone up for the challenge?

31 Verses to Write on your Heart

Plus, don’t forget her newly revised Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect Women coming out July 19th with new Bible study and Discussion questions. She just finished recording the audio version as well.

Really Bad Girls

November 28, 2016 – Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Story by Davis Bunn. Davis has won three Christy Awards and has sold more than four million books. This book is about a couple’s special planned Christmas in their own home, anticipating their first baby’s arrival. www.davisbunn.com

Debbie Macomber says this is “a great story filled with emotion, depth, and spiritual beauty.”

Prayers of a Stranger

Main character Amanda Vance learns many pearls of wisdom on her unexpected tour of the Holy Land after a traumatic occurrence. This book will prepare us for newfound awe in the miracle of Christ’s birth as we head into the Christmas season. Christmas will be our theme!!!

 

January 23, 2017 – Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

The plot of this book makes me want to read it yesterday. Get this: “Five, single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s, but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window….

Without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them (!!!) they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women…?” (from www.amazon.com )

Five Brides

Author Eva Marie is a southern girl, growing up near Savannah. Some of you may know her from reading her Potluck Club books. Here’s just one of the six:

Secrets in the Sauce

Checkout her other books: www.evamarieeversonauthor.com

While we’ll be on the ever growing topic (and industry!!!) of weddings, we’ll get to feast on, bet you can guess: wedding cake!!! YUM…

 

February 27, 2017 – The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore

Huh? A novel by Beth Moore? Yes, you heard it right….Beth’s first novel releases September 20th!

Beth Moore
It’s got quite a plot, too. A young girl, Jillian Slater, gets word her father’s died. She returns to New Orleans to see her Grandmother, dubbed The Ice Queen, who she hasn’t seen in twenty years.

Never mind her Grandmother lives in an apartment house, also known as Saint Silvanus. Seems remnants from the tenants, coupled with new findings from her father’s death investigation, get them to wondering who or what has them under a spell!

I love this: “Only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.” (www.amazon.com )

Undoing of Saint

The story’s set in New Orleans, so I’m hoping for some beignets in action a la Café du Monde. www.cafedumonde.com Not a real chicory fan, from their coffee, but perhaps we can whip up something fun and frothy!??!!

 

March 27, 2017 – The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

A few years ago, we read Chris’ first novel, Dogwood, in Book Club at Southeast and it was a huge hit. It also earned him a Christy Award right out of the gate. He Skyped with us and was a total blast and a perfect gentleman. www.chrisfabry.com

He recently wrote the novelization of War Room. He’s won three Christy Awards and one Christian Book Award, plus he received the 2014 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for Every Waking Moment just to name a wee bit of his talent.

War-Room_300

Next March, we’ll be reading The Promise of Jesse Woods. This book releases July 1st. Set in the summer of 1972, you’ll be happy to learn the main character is moving back to Dogwood, West Virginia with twists and turns sure to bless us all.

Hubster has read several of Chris’ books, too, so these are not chick-lits!!! Great for guys and girls! His realistic writing will captivate you from the first page. Where he comes up with his plots is beyond me– they’re sooo good!

Promise of Jesse Woods

 

April 24, 2017 – The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors) by Sarah Ladd

Sarah’s writing has been compared to Jane Austen and Jane Eyre. This book is set in Darbury England in 1814. www.sarahladd.com

This, too, has a wild plot: Amelia Barrett, “heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.”

The characters “must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.” Relinquishing control is hard for all of us, plus the issue of pride laces the pages as well. Great lessons for us all!!!

Heiress of Winterwood

Now when you think of England, and the era in which this book is set…it’s sorta in keeping with Downton Abbey, don’t you think? We’re going with it, and will be serving up High Tea, of course!!!

Write all these dates in your calendars and get ready for one of our best seasons yet in Book Club! Now you have quite a Summer Reading pile, don’t you?

Branches Book Club is a beautiful visual of Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  Please join us!

Blessings to all and lest you worry, I promise we’ll return to our Spring Cleaning series next week. The dirt  can  wait…!

‘Til next time!

 

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