Friday, February 28, 2014

PRINCESS EVER AFTER $200 “Princess” Giveaway and Facebook Party with @RachelHauck!

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of her latest "swoon"-worthy romance,  Princess Ever After, with a fun $200 "Princess" prize package giveaway and a Facebook "Princess" party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today!

princessever-400-click

  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (buy your very own "princess ever after" gown or tanks of gas for your "royal" ride)
  • Princess Ever After, Once Upon a Prince, and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6th. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "Princess" Facebook Party on March 6th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of "royal" book chat, princess-themed trivia, laughter, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next book in the Royal Wedding series!

So grab your copy of Princess Ever After and join Rachel and friends on the evening of March 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
 
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

A New Romantic Suspense from a Promising Debut Author

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop


Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop
February 28th to March 7th
Co-hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Jinky is Reading

It's time for another giveaway hop! The prize? Winner's choice of one of these three books!

Stranded by Dani Pettrey
When Her Friend Goes Missing, Every Minute Counts

Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further.

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble.

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher
{My Review}
God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved. What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.

Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.

The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson
{My Review}
Big dreams take big leaps of faith . . . but what if you trip on the way?

A lowly seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own original dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. But when Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride magazine, visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is humbled in his influential--and unnervingly handsome--presence.

Convinced she'll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement--especially from her friend Bella Neeley--to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well.



*** All participants must be 18 years or older. The winner will be contacted via email. Once contacted the winner has 72 hours to respond with the required information. If the winner does not respond within the timeframe specified, another winner will be chosen. I am not responsible for shipping mishaps. Void where prohibited. ***

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Visit Seekerville Today!


I should have posted this earlier today, but I'm just now getting to it. :) Sandra Leesmith graciously contacted me last week about being part of a post she was working on for The Seekers' blog (Seekerville) about "The World of Book Reviews". She interviewed several book bloggers about how they got started, why they write reviews, and tips for others to consider. 

I'm so honored that Sandra featured i blog 4 books as part of her post, and I enjoyed getting to know some of my fellow bloggers a bit better as well! I'm definitely in GREAT company! So ... if you haven't read it already, stop by Seekerville and check it out!

The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson (Blog Tour & Review)

The Dream Dress
by Janice Thompson
Weddings by Design series, Book 3
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Available February 2014
Revell Books
336 pages



About the Book
Big dreams take big leaps of faith . . . but what if you trip on the way?

A lowly seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own original dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. But when Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride magazine, visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is humbled in his influential--and unnervingly handsome--presence.

Convinced she'll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement--especially from her friend Bella Neeley--to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well.

Buy a copy  |  Read an excerpt  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
As expected, Janice Thompson delivers a sweet romance with plenty of humorous moments in The Dream Dress. I'm loving this series all about weddings. It's making me remember fun moments of my own season of wedding planning—which was so fun!

Gabi is a talented wedding designer, and it was fun to see her friends rally around her to encourage her to follow her dreams. Jordan was a great guy as well, and he matched Gabi well. I laughed out loud when reading the scene when Gabi's grandmother mistakes Jordan Singer for the Singer sewing machine repairman! So funny!

My biggest complaint was that there didn't seem to be much conflict within the story or the relationship. There were no angsty moments or times when I wasn't totally sure how a situation would be resolved.

Overall, though, I enjoyed my time with Gabi, Bella, and their friends. Readers who enjoy sweet romantic comedies will definitely enjoy this story!  [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas.

Janice Thompson Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Free chapter & reading group guide!

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Appealing mix of history and romance
Love's Sweet Beginning What will it take for a once-privileged young woman to make her way in the world?
It isn't Cassie Haddon's fault that she has reached the age of twenty-five without possessing any useful skills. Until the War Between the States, she always had servants. Since then, she and her mother have been forced to rely on family to care for them. But now the well of human kindness has run dry—and Cassie must find work to support them.
Unfortunately, leaving the past behind is easier said than done, and Cassie must summon all of her courage and wits to convince local restaurateur and grocer Jacob West that she's exactly what his business needs.
Start Reading
 
Sisters at Heart series Books 1 & 2
FREE Reading Group Guide
www.AnnShorey.com
www.RevellBooks.com

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?!


"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what we're reading and our goals for the week.

What I Read Last Week ...
Between the Love for Books Read-A-Thon and Hubs being out of town last week, I had a bit more time than usual to read. ALL of these books were so good! I'll be posting reviews soon.




What I'm Reading Now ...
I just started these two. So far, I'm enjoying both of them!



Audio

What I Hope to Read This Week ...
The end of Review Copy Cleanup is in sight, so I'm going to make a big push to read a few more review books before I move on to other things. I'd love to read all of these, but I'm shooting for at least three.



That's what I'm hoping to read this week. What are you reading?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

World Watch List | Saudi Arabia

Each year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List. The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

Each Sunday I will post information on one of the countries listed to provide information about the situation that Christians in this country face as well as to encourage us to join together and pray for those facing persecution around the world.

Will you join me in praying for persecuted Christians in Saudi Arabia? 

Open Doors USA
Pray for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

The open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia, and conversion to another faith is punishable by death. Here are a few examples of persecution in Saudi Arabia:
  1. A Saudi court in Al Khobar sentenced a Lebanese man to 6 years in prison and 300 lashes on charges of trying to convert a Saudi girl to the Christian religion. The court also sentenced a Saudi man and the Lebanese man to 8 years in prison and 500 lashes after they were convicted of smuggling the Saudi girl to Beirut and converting her to Christianity.
  2. News reports surfaced out of Saudi Arabia that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (the top Islamic official) has declared that it is "necessary to destroy all the churches in the region".
  3. The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance reported that 53 Ethiopian Christians were arrested by Saudi authorities in February of 2013. Additionally, two expatriate Christians had crosses taken from them and were told that they could not pray.

*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes
 
Share This Story Saudi Arabia
Map of Saudi Arabia

Quick Facts on Saudi Arabia

Rank: 6
Previous Rank: 2
Leader: King Abdullah
Government: Monarchy
Religion: Islam
Population: 29.9 million (1.25 million Christians)
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism
Pray for Saudi Arabia Share Saudi Arabia's Plight Give to Help Persecuted Christians

Pray

Christians in Saudi Arabia need your prayers. Post a prayer or word of encouragement.

Share

Be a voice for persecuted Christians in Saudi Arabia. Share their stories and make others aware of their plight

Give

Help us in assisting Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
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Donate to help the persecuted church

Your gift goes to Bible and gospel development, women and children advancement, and Christian community restoration.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hidden Falls: Season 1, Episodes 1-5 by Olivia Newport (Review)

Hidden Falls
by Olivia Newport
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Mystery / Romance
Available weekly beginning January 24, 2014 
 Barbour Publishing
80 pages per episode

About the Book
An Exciting New 13-Part Serial Novel from Shiloh Run Studios

Thirty years of small-town secrets—now the key to the mystery is gone. The small town of Hidden Falls is abuzz. Former students, friends, and loved ones are prepping for tonight's big event to honor Ted Quinn's many years of compassionate service. Quinn is reluctant about a night in the spotlight—but is tenderly prodded by Sylvia, mayor of Hidden Falls and Quinn's dearest friend and confidante.

Ethan and Nicole won't let the shadows of their pasts stop them from returning to Hidden Falls—but only for Quinn—no matter how much it hurts. Liam, a former student, and Jack, a town newcomer, are both hoping the night works toward their own gain—or, if they'll admit it, their chance for redemption. Like Quinn, Dani and Lauren are mainstays in Hidden Falls. They keep close to home—and have secrets to keep close, too.

Now it's time. The guests are seated, introductions are made, the spotlight shines on center stage ... and the unthinkable leaves the entire town scrambling for the truth.

A new must-read episode releases every week starting January 24!

Buy a copy  |  Download the first episode for FREE  |  Find out what others think

Episode 1: Ordinary Secrets
The first episode introduces a ton of characters and jumps quickly between different scenes and character pairings. Thankfully, while I wanted more of the story (and right away, please!), I knew that more was coming. I just had to be patient and wait for the next episode. :) This is a great start, and I'm interested to see how the serial format works. [3 stars]





Episode 2: Losing Quinn
After a month's wait for the second episode, I was able to easily remember the characters and pick up where I left off in the first episode. The action picked up a bit, and I was so wanting just a little bit more. But alas, I must wait for the next episode! I fear this format is going to try my patience, but I'm really loving the story so far! [4 stars]





Episode 3: A Town in Trouble
The format reminds me a bit of a soap opera, in that each "scene" involves only two or three characters and the author jumps between scenes several times per episode. (Of course, this would be a very clean soap opera!) I'm still enjoying the story, and the pace has picked up a bit. I'm really liking Lauren, Nicole, and Ethan and would love to see more about them. [4 stars]





Episode 4: Unexpected Hero
I didn't feel like much happened in this episode. I suppose this would be a "slower" part of a book if it were all bound together. Jack's not my favorite character and he played a large role in this episode, so that may have had something to do with it as well. [3.5 stars]







Episode 5: The Mayor's Quandary
I've about decided that I'm not the best serial-novel reader. I'm too impatient to see what happens, and all of these cliffhanger endings are driving me crazy! I read the last three episodes in one week, and I enjoyed it a bit more. Perhaps I should have waited until they were all published before beginning to read?? Too late now, though. Despite the fact that this episode didn't have a ton of "action" in it, I did enjoy reading more about Ethan and Nicole. I'm definitely curious about where Quinn is, and I'm pretty much committed to reading the rest of the series now. Which I suppose is the whole point anyway, right?! [3.5 stars]

Overall Thoughts So Far
I'm definitely intrigued by this series. While there are a lot of characters to keep up with and the episodes jump quickly between "scenes," I'm interested to find out what happened to Quinn and am hoping for a few romances to develop too! I'm not sure the serial format is my favorite, but it hasn't deterred me from continuing to read! 

At this point, I'm still a little wary of the high price tag. The publisher recently lowered the price to $1.99 per episode (with the first one still a free download), but that's still $24 for the complete book when all is said and done. A little pricey for me, but some may not object.

Kudos to Olivia Newport for a great new story. I look forward to reading the rest of it!

I received a free copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Olivia Newport Online

Monday, February 17, 2014

Love for Books Read-A-Thon | Progress & Updates


Today is the first day of the Love for Books Read-A-Thon hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Confessions of a Bookie Monster. (You can sign up here!)

I'll be tracking my progress throughout the read-a-thon on this post. Of course, you can find me on Twitter and Goodreads too!

My Goals
Read (or finish) 5 books
Read some every day

See this post if you want to see the books I'm most likely choosing from this week.

My Progress
** I love the format Jessi from Novel Heartbeat is using to track her progress, so I'm borrowing it from her. **


Monday (Feb 17)
Currently reading: The Dream Dress, Kisses from Katie (audio), Life Support
Pages read today: 331 pages + 70 minutes audio
Books completed today: The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson


Tuesday (Feb 18)
Currently reading: Life Support, Kisses from Katie (audio), Heart of Lies
Pages read today: 301 pages + 59 minutes audio
Books completed today: Life Support by Candace Calvert


Wednesday (Feb 19)
Currently reading: Heart of Lies, Kisses from Katie (audio)
Pages read today: 71 pages + 124 minutes audio
Books completed today: none

Thursday (Feb 20)
Currently reading: Kisses from Katie (audio), Heart of Lies, The Scorch Trials (audio)
Pages read today: 66 pages + 61 minutes audio
Books completed today: Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis


Friday (Feb 21)
Currently reading: The Husband Campaign, The Scorch Trials (audio)
Pages read today: 92 pages + 31 minutes audio
Books completed today: none

Saturday (Feb 22)
Currently reading: The Husband Campaign, Wrongly Accused

Pages read today: 249 pages
Books completed today: The Husband Campaign by Regina Scott


Sunday (Feb 23)
Currently reading: Wrongly Accused, Heart of Lies, Princess Ever After
Pages read today: 321 pages
Books completed today: Wrongly Accused by Laura Scott, Heart of Lies by Jill Marie Landis


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