Archive | Contests & Giveaways RSS feed for this section

Book Spotlight + Giveaway! — Lost In The Storm

21 Feb

About The Book

Book: Lost in the Storm

Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2019

Will war bring them love or will they be Lost in the Storm!

Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job.

Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist is trying to get him to tell what he’s been hiding. He wants to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?

Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.

Click here to get your copy.

About The Author

Award winning author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. Alice’s Notions, Red Sky Over America, Lost in the Storm, Resurrection of Hope, and Soldier’s Heart are among her published works.

Tamera been married for 40 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. She has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

More from Tamera

History is my Passion

I love to read all genres of Christian fiction, but when I go to write, it always ends up being a Christian historical. The reason for that is I have a passion for history. I love to read about historical events, and frequently, I begin wondering what it would be like to live through those chaotic events in history. Out of that thought process, my characters and my stories take on a life of their own.

For instance, my series, Ladies of Oberlin, came out of reading about the great Christian women who advance social and spiritual movements in the late 1800s. I found over and over that the common denominator of these women was they all had a connection with Oberlin College, the first college that allow women and black to receive degrees alongside white men before the Civil War. I gained a treasure trove of research from a college only an hour away from where I lived.

As I researched Oberlin, I found out it was in the middle of every social and spiritual movement of the time. Charles Finney, the fiery Second Great Awakening evangelist, was the president of the college. Ninety percent of missionaries sent overseas between 1860 and 1900 were graduates of the college. Many of the women’s suffrage leaders, women’s educational leaders, women doctors and scholars, abolitionists, and prohibitionist leaders were from Oberlin College. At that point, I knew I wanted to tell their stories in my novels. I decided to write three stories covering three college roommates.

My first novel in the series set shortly before the Civil War was Red Sky Over America, the story of America Leighton, a woman abolitionist who was studying to become a missionary in China. She decided she couldn’t make a stand for the Gospel in China until she confronted her father to free his slaves. To make things more interesting, her love interest has plans of his own in Kentucky. The results were explosive as you can imagine.

The second in the series, released August first, is Lost in the Storm set during the Civil War. Lavena Falcon is determined to be an independent woman who advances the causes she believes in by being a journalist. Her greatest desire is to travel to where the heroic Ohio Seventh Regiment is fighting and report about these brave men. The problem is if she doesn’t get an interview with an illusive captain who doesn’t want to talk to reporters, she’ll lose her job. It doesn’t help that she’s attracted to him.

The third novel, due to release late next year, is set shortly after the Civil War in Northeast Ohio. Betsy Teagan’s husband is back from the war, but things aren’t going according to plan. He is haunted by the war and finds solace in the local saloon drinking himself into oblivion. She tries everything to help him including protesting in front of the bar.

 

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

deb’s Book Review, February 11

Betti Mace, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Artistic Nobody, February 14 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 15

Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 16

For the Love of Literature, February 17

My Devotional Thoughts, February 18

A Baker’s Perspective, February 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 20

By The Book, February 21 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away the grand prize package of a a $25 gift certificate and 3 paperbacks: Red Sky Over America, Lost in the Storm, and Forks in the Road!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Spotlight And Author Interview (+ Giveaway!) — Childhood

20 Feb

About The Book

Book: Childhood

Author: Greg Schaffer

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Katie lived a lonely childhood, her after school time filled with responsibilities to her father and special needs brother. Her chores prevented her from experiencing the carefree life her peers, including Joey, her neighbor and secret crush, lived. She began running to impress Joey, then discovered track as a possible way out of the small town of Nortonville, Tennessee. But as the promise of a college scholarship drew her closer to the escape she had dreamed about since childhood, she wondered why she didn’t feel better. What was missing?

Childhood is the novelette prequel to Fatherhood, a full-length novel about abortion from the father’s point of view.

Click here for your copy.

About The Author

Greg Schaffer has written several novels, beginning with Forgiveness (2014). Each conveys the message that hope is always available, even in the darkest of times. His other works of fiction include horse-humor and poetry anthologies. A northerner by birth and a southerner by choice, Greg resides with his wife and rescue dogs in Franklin, Tennessee.

More from Greg

My last novel Leaving Darkness was difficult to write. I felt called to showcase depression and how the trusting environment of Christian small groups can lead those lost in the darkness to the light of the life they are meant to live. The novel was a direct response to a God-calling to apply my skills as an author and my experience leading similar type groups to create a story that may serve to help some who feel hopelessly lost.

For the next novel, I waited for a similar calling. And waited. And waited. I tend to be impatient like most. I wanted to get back to the creative process.

I wound up waiting several months. God’s time, not mine.

Then it happened, through an article I read on the Internet about a man suing a clinic for aborting his child without his knowledge. The article delved into the father’s rights in the abortion decision.

Abortion from the father’s point of view. That was the calling.

Very early into the project, though, I realized I had unintentionally created a problem. If I told the story completely from the father’s point of view, the mother’s would be diminished, reduced to a two-dimensional interpretation as seen through the father’s eyes. I could solve that by including both points of view in the novel, but that wouldn’t work well for two reasons: first, there are plot elements that the mother knows that are best kept from the readers as part of establishing tension. Second, as noted before, the project calling is from the father’s point of view. I had to stay within that.

But how to deal with the problem?

That’s when Childhood was born (no pun intended). Childhood is a novelette from the mother’s point of view, following her growth as a person from fourth grade to her first year of college. Through Childhood, readers have the opportunity to understand the character as a protagonist who would then become the antagonist in the novel Fatherhood.

 

Q&A with Greg Schaffer

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I wrote my first novel in high school, though I never tried to publish it. It sits somewhere in my basement. Maybe one day I will revisit and revise it.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I write when I can create opportunities in my schedule. As a small business owner, that can be quite a challenge.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

From initial thoughts to final edits, approximately one year for an 80,000 word novel.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

My work in progress is Fatherhood, about abortion from the father’s point of view. The novelette Childhood introduces the main characters in Fatherhood and is told from the future mother’s point of view as she is growing up. Thus, we see her as a multidimensional person as opposed to solely through the main character’s eyes in Fatherhood. Fatherhood is inspired by a court case in involving a father suing the mother of his child for aborting without his knowledge and should be available late 2020 or early 2021.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

That there is always hope.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 12

Older & Smarter?, February 13

Artistic Nobody, February 14 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, February 15

For Him and My Family, February 16

Through the Fire Blogs, February 17 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 17

deb’s Book Review, February 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 19

By The Book, February 20 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, February 21

Mamma Loves Books, February 22

Lukewarm Tea, February 23 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, February 24

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Greg is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Author, Author! (+ Giveaway!) — Lori Benton

19 Feb

Lori Benton has been a go-to, must-read author for me for years! I read her first novel, Burning Sky, and was blown away. It continues to be my most recommended book for fans of historical fiction. Lori is sharing today a little about her writing journey and what she has up next. Thanks so much Lori!

 

Q&A with Lori Benton

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer, making up stories as a child. Really! I was in the third grade and already a voracious reader when my best friend said out of the blue, “I wrote a story.” She showed it to me, and I was instantly intrigued. Could I write a story? It was an epiphany. I wrote a story. And never really stopped. But one day I decided to get more serious about it (I was about 21 by this time) and see if I could write a novel and maybe (if I could figure out how one did so) get it published. That novel, which I did finish, wasn’t published. Nor the one I wrote after that. It was quite a few years later (22 years in fact) before my debut novel Burning Sky reached store shelves. 

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My parents always supported and took an interest in whatever I was doing. My fifth grade teacher once made a comment on a book report I’d done that let me know she thought I wrote well. But honestly? I’ve been so driven by my artistic passions that no one needed to encourage me. I’ve always been a self-motivated, where-there’s-a-will-there’s-a-way sort of girl. 

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication? 

Yes. Small ones in the beginning. I began writing before there were home computers, Internet, and everything that makes learning to write, research, and the publishing business so easy these days. I also didn’t know any published writers. I just had a story idea and started writing it (on lined paper, with a ball point pen). My learning process was very slow because I lacked the resources available today. A big obstacle I faced later, at age 30 (still writing, still unpublished), was a cancer diagnosis. The treatment was straightforward and I was in remission within nine months, but I then spent several years unable to write because of chemo fog — which eventually cleared, thanks be to God. 

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

I read dozens of books for each novel I write and spend hours online reading articles or chatting with folks who know about the things I want to put in my novels. I watch any historical documentaries I can find that cover the history, trade, or situation I’m writing about. I watch YouTube videos on things like how to raise a cabin, get dressed in the 18th century, cook food, and travel. Speaking of, I travel to the places my stories are set whenever I can, which isn’t often enough to suit me since I live 3000 miles away from them! But I grew up on the east coast so I have many memories to draw on and know what it’s like to walk through a humid forest in summer trying not to pick up ticks, or what a hardwood forest smells like in autumn. This spring I look forward to visiting historical areas in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I thrive with routine, so I’m as structured as I can be. My ideal writing day starts at 9am (earlier if I can manage it) goes until lunchtime, then picks back up from 1-3 or 4pm. Sometimes my afternoon must be given over to getting life stuff done or to writing related tasks that aren’t actually novel writing. If I know I won’t have the house to myself especially during those morning hours (my best writing time), I’ll get up at 3am and work until the rest of the house is up and making noise, around 8am. That strategy keeps everyone happy.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

No two books have required the same amount of time. Most of them take 18 months to two years simply to research and write, but I’m not working on just one book at a time now. I’m usually researching and developing one (or two!) while writing another and editing or promoting yet another. I have one very special case (my September 1, 2020 release) which has taken nearly twenty years from initial inspiration to final edits (which are still underway as I write this). 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

The King’s Mercy was inspired by Paul’s letter to Philemon, in the New Testament. In this brief letter, Paul writes concerning another man he encountered while a prisoner in Rome, a runaway slave belonging to Philemon. This encounter changed the life of this slave, Onesimus. In the letter, which Onesimus is bearing back to his master, Paul describes this slave, once unprofitable to Philemon, as having become a fellow laborer and brother profitable to them both. Paul asks Philemon to receive back his runaway, as a personal favor to Paul, and forgive him. A few years ago it occurred to me that the situation these three men found themselves in might well translate to an eighteenth-century setting . . . and so The King’s Mercy was inspired. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

One thing I’ve discovered about celebrating the redemptive power of Jesus Christ in the form of story is that while I’ve had my conversation with the Lord about these characters and themes during the writing, after the book is published it becomes the reader’s turn. I pray that God will speak to each heart something unique. Whatever that is, I hope they turn that last page more in love with our merciful Jesus than when they began.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

My next book will release from Tyndale House this fall (Sept 1). It’s called Mountain Laurel, the first in the Kindred duology (a two-book series). Readers of The King’s Mercy might remember Mountain Laurel. They got to visit briefly with some of its characters in that book. Get ready to time travel forward from that glimpse into life at Mountain Laurel to the 1790s, when I’ll be showing you around the place and uncovering all the secrets it’s been holding for over fifty years.

Meanwhile, I’ll be writing its sequel.

Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn; Christy nominee The Wood’s Edge; A Flight of Arrows; and Many Sparrows.

 

Giveaway!

Lori is very graciously giving away a copy of The King’s Mercy to one of my readers. Just leave a comment why you love historical fiction. A winner will be randomly selected on March 4. (Please note: US only.)

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy – exile to the Colony of North Carolina – he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

 

 

 

Author, Author! (Plus Giveaway!) — Camille Eide

17 Feb

Please welcome Camille Eide to By The Book today. I first encountered this talented author when I read The Memoir of Johnny Devine — outstanding! I then was privileged to read Wings Like A Dove, another excellent novel. You cannot go wrong with either of these books. Camille has graciously shared her thoughts on her writing journey plus is offering a giveaway of an ebook of Wings Like A Dove to one of my readers! (Leave a comment, to enter.)

Thanks, so much Camille!

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Age 7. I wrote and illustrated my first novel. It was about Snoopy. I don’t remember it, but am fairly certain it wasn’t a bestseller.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Yes — my 8th grade English teacher loaned me books she thought I’d like and encouraged me to submit short stories for a school publication. She believed I could write and encouraged me to pursue it. Which I did some — skits and plays for church, an odd article here and there, but with life, work, raising kids — I had never taken myself seriously as a writer until my youngest was in high school. One day in 2007, a friend and I brainstormed a Christian romance. I mulled over a plot and decided to try writing a novel. Voila! Success! Not really! That burst of inspiration, in my blissful ignorance, was just the first step on a long journey of learning to write and publish fiction. That brainstormed story finaled in a contest and was eventually published 7 years later as Like There’s No Tomorrow.

Why did you choose the Historical genre?

I like and write both contemporary and historical fiction. For this story, I decided the social/cultural issues I wanted to explore needed the backdrop of an earlier era of American History. Oddly enough, when I first began researching and writing Anna’s story, immigration was not the hot topic that it has since become. But regardless the current climate on immigration, I think we will always benefit from conversation about grace and understanding.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Yes — my own blissful ignorance. Which I worked hard to overcome — and still do — by studying the craft and reading. And over the years, after attempting to contract with a major publishing house, my desire has changed. I am working with a small press whose community vision and goal I am behind 100%. 

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

ANYTHING I can get my hands on.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I wish I had a disciplined writing schedule, as in produce fabulous words while the clock is ticking, but I never have been good at that. I work by day as a church office manager, and am grammy to 5, so I write in the stretches between, and mostly late into the night and weekends.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits) 

They have varied, but at least a year for a first draft, more for those that had to be shelved due to family needs. My first book went through the wringer for about 7 years before it was published. My 3rd (Johnny Devine) took less than a year to write and needed very little editing. But that was unusual, the idea for that story came to me clearly in a dream. Wings Like a Dove is my 4th and work on it started and stopped a few times, so I’ve lost track of how long it actually took to write. Book #5 is the same way.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Wings Like a Dove was inspired by a number of things: the desire to look at the “what if” question of a woman persecuted for being Jewish and pregnant, and a deeper desire to explore the problem of societal barriers and possible solutions. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

There is a love that never fails, and that grace, forgiveness, and compassion are powerful gifts we have at our disposal, both to give, and to receive.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Yes! I’m resuming work on a contemporary romantic women’s fiction about a woman with a secret desperate to protect her son from her estranged twin, and a confidante no longer able to keep secrets. It’s a story about the ties that bind mothers, sisters, daughters and the power to face our deepest fears.

Camille Eide is the award-winning author of “more than a romance” inspirational fiction including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades with her husband and is blessed with three adult kids, five grandkids, and enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth, grace, and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, encourage your faith, and cheer you on your journey. 

 

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of Wings Like A Dove. To enter, just leave a comment. One winner will be randomly chosen on March 2. (Please note: US only.)

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, Anna is forced to leave home. She seeks refuge in a small Indiana town where anti-Semitism is becoming hard to ignore, and trying not to fall in love is becoming impossible.

With the Klan presence in town growing, and the danger to six orphan boys and their kind-hearted mentor increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep this family safe … and staying to fight beside them. 

It’s a tale of love, loyalty, and the power of grace. 

 

Book Review + Giveaway! — Daughter of Rome

5 Feb

When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God’s plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they’re banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.

With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth, reminding readers once again why Debbie Macomber has said that “no one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar.”

Tessa Afshar is the award-winning author of many biblical and inspirational historical fiction books, including Harvest of Gold which won a Christy Award and In the Field of Grace, a biblical fiction on the life of Ruth. Born in the Middle East, Tessa spent her teen years in England and later moved to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life. She holds a Master of Divinity from Yale, where she was co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She served in women and prayer ministry for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com.

 

My Impressions:

Biblical fiction is a tricky genre — a writer has to balance the scriptural record with the what-ifs of story. Tessa Afshar is one of the best at it, and her newest novel, Daughter of Rome is a great example of why. Set during the days of the early church, this book brought to life a woman who is mentioned several times in the Book of Acts as well as other NT books. Afshar takes the barest of details and weaves a credible and intriguing account of Priscilla and the era in which she lived. If you are a fan of this genre, then Daughter of Rome is a must-read!

With meticulous research, Afshar creates a backstory for Priscilla. Born in Rome, daughter of an acclaimed general, yet on the outside of society, Priscilla is wooed by God. The fictional account of a first century Priscilla will resonate with modern women. Daughter of Rome is a love story between a man and a woman, but more a love story between a woman and her God. Of course, Aquila (always mentioned with Priscilla in the Biblical accounts) plays a large part in the book, but it is really Priscilla and her struggles and victories that take center stage. Afshar has included historical figures in her book, namely Paul, that give it authenticity and believability. The depiction of the day to day of the characters emphasizes their ordinariness — it is really an extraordinary God who transforms their lives. Priscilla faithfully lives a hidden life, a quiet life of sacrifice which proves a great example and motivator for today’s believers. As I read this book, I pondered how much impact today’s church could have if we followed the example of 1st century believers.

Daughter of Rome with its many themes and topics — Jew and Gentile, law and grace, power of prayer, belief in the miraculous — is perfect for book club discussions. In fact, I have chosen this book for a Bible study/book club that I lead. I look forward to a great conversation. So grab this book (and perhaps a few reading friends) and dig in — I think you will love it!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway!

Tessa is generously giving away one copy of Daughter of Rome to one of my readers. Squee! Just leave a comment on why you love Biblical fiction to be entered. I will randomly select a winner on February 20. (US residents only.)

 

 

Book Review + Giveaway! — The Wedding Dress Christmas

19 Dec

About The Book

Book: The Wedding Dress Christmas

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 22, 2019

December covers quaint Heart’s Bend, Tennessee with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there’s no place like home. It’s her safe place. Her one-time love of adventure ended when life in the big city shattered her hopes and dreams. Now that she’s returned to Hearts Bend, she never wants to leave again.

Buck Mathews, the biggest country singing sensation in decades, has the world on a string – his guitar strings, to be exact. However, when news of his mother’s illness sends him back to Hearts Bend for the holiday season, he remembers how good it can be to live among family and friends.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. Leaving home, surrendering her heart again, is just too risky.

When she runs into her friend and high school crush Buck Mathews, she discovers Love might have other plans for her[BV1] .

Buck’s career is on the verge of an momentous leap. But seeing JoJo awakens feelings he’d buried long ago. Falling in love is easy, but winning her heart will take more than one of his melodic tunes and clever lyrics.

JoJo and Buck want opposite things for their lives, leaving no room for compromise. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmastime, overcome her fears andhis quest for greatness?

When a very special gown – the wedding dress – begins to make its presence known, JoJo and Buck’s hearts bend in a way neither ever thought possible.

Click here to get your copy.

My Impressions:

I am a big fan of Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Dress. A perfect mix of spiritual truths set in a contemporary setting with fairy tale elements — what’s not to love? So when I heard she had written a Christmas-themed novella featuring that divine gown, I knew I had to read it. Wow! What a truly lovely story with a message that resonated with me after the last page was turned. The story takes place in small town Heart’s Bend, Tennessee (the setting of The Wedding Chapel). A more charming town to visit at Christmas cannot be found. Right downtown is a shop full of wedding dreams, and locked away is the dress waiting to find its next bride. And at the center of the story are main characters Jojo Castle and Buck Mathews, high school friends who long for more. On the surface, The Wedding Dress Christmas is a heartwarming story of true love found, yet it has deeper truths that apply to all — the constant love and care of a Savior and the love that casts out all fears. I quickly devoured this book, but it really deserves a more thoughtful reading to uncover the gems inside.

If you can only read one Christmas book this season, I highly recommend you choose The Wedding Dress Christmas. I really, really loved this book and believe you will too.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

About The Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share The Wedding Dress Christmas with you. I’ve heard from so many how much The Wedding Dress has touched them, and as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward the wedding dress and Christmas. What’s more romantic than a Christmas wedding?

This novella is set in Hearts Bend, Tennessee, the fictional town ofThe Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop. Even if you’ve never read one of books inThe Wedding Collection, you’ll enjoy this story, the mystery of the dress, and the women whose lives it changed.

I love weddings. They remind us of the purity and the hope of love, the power of commitment. Something powerful is released when two people pledge to spend their lives together, loving and serving one another in both good and bad times. Every wedding I attend reminds me of the vows I made to my husband and I sign up all over again.

Stories are a powerful reflection of life. Yes, fictional stories are often told with wild hyperbole, but that’s what makes them fun to read.

I also love wedding stories because they remind us of God’s love for us, and that one day there will be the grandest wedding of them all. Isn’t it wonderful that God planned a wedding before He created the earth?

In The Wedding Dress Christmas, JoJo and Buck have their issues, but love proves strong enough to conquer them all.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and The Wedding Dress Christmas.

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, December 18

Through the Fire Blogs, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Robin’s Nest, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 19

By The Book, December 19

Wishful Endings, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 19

Among the Reads, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Life as Lanhams, December 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 21

Daysong Reflections, December 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

Bigreadersite, December 21

Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 22

Britt Reads Fiction, December 22

She Lives to Read, December 23

Empowermoms, December 23

Inside the Wong Mind, December 23

Mia Reads Blog, December 23

Splashes of Joy, December 24

Christian Bookaholic, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 25

Blogging With Carol, December 25

For Him and My Family, December 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, December 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 27

My Devotional Thoughts, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mamma Loves Books, December 27

Betti Mace, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 28

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 28

Quiet Quilter, December 29

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

janicesbookreviews, December 29

A Reader’s Brain, December 30

Inklings and notions, December 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 30

Carla Loves to Read, December 30

Back Porch Reads, December 31

CarpeDiem, December 31

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a print copy of the book and a Visa gift card for $25. Swag!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Guest Post and Giveaway! — Kimberley Woodhouse

25 Nov

I am so thrilled to have my friend, Kimberley Woodhouse on the blog today. She and I are both celebrating a ten year milestone — my blog and her 10 years of published novels! I have so enjoyed Kimberely’s books. In The Shadow of Denali provided great research 😉 for my trip this past summer to Alaska! And her books in the Daughters of The Mayflower series are fabulous for history and adventure.

Giveaway!

Kimberley is generously giving away 2 of her novels — The Express Bride and Under The Midnight Sun. I will randomly select 2 winners from the comments on this post. (Please, US addresses only.)

 

Thanks so much, Kimberley, for making my celebration extra special!

Guest Post by Kimberley Woodhouse

First off I have to say a HUGE congrats to Beckie for ten amazing years of blogging!

Beckie’s blog has been a go-to for me for many years. I’ve often found my next read because of her blog. And I can’t even begin to express to her my gratitude for all she does for authors and readers. Her love of the written word shines through, and it is such a privilege to know her in our writing/reading community.

My publishing journey started about twenty-five years ago when I started writing seriously. Granted, it was just for myself at the time — a way to use up all the creative juices I had going. But it was a fun and oft times difficult road from the penning of that first novel. Children, homeschooling, two kids who had some pretty serious health issues, and a lot of craziness made up a journey that is remarkable for me to look back on today. 

So as Beckie is celebrating ten years of blogging, I’m celebrating ten years of being published. That blows my mind. And I find myself wondering how I got here. It’s truly a marvel. A blessing. With lots of thanks to bloggers including Beckie.

Up to this point, I have twenty published books. God is so good. And this tenth year has brought three novel releases, Under the Midnight Sun (January 2019), The Golden Bride (April 2019), and The Express Bride (July 2019), and a novella collection that will release on December 1 – The Sew in Love Collection. To make this year even more celebratory, Out of the Ashes finaled in the Spur Awards this spring, The Patriot Bride won The Reader’s Choice Award this summer, and my novella MissTaken Identity in the MissAdventure Brides Collection won The Carol Award in September. 

A lot of people ask me how I got started… well, to be honest, I got started writing because I loved to read. Have always been an avid reader. Then a college professor told this little music major that I was a storyteller. Then a few years after I had been writing and no one knew because I hadn’t told anyone, a friend found some of my stories when we were packing to move to the mission field. She confronted me and told me that I was “hiding my light under a bushel” and that I “better do something with it…” 

The rest is now history. 

Ten years.

What a joy to share that with Beckie and all of you. 

Here’s to ten more years. 

And ten more after that. And maybe even ten more after that…

I’m game. How about you?

For the JOY of story,

Kimberley 

******

Kim is a devoted wife and mother, and a third generation Liszt student.  She has passed down her love of music and the arts to hundreds of students over the years, recorded three albums, and appeared at over 2,000 venues. Her quick wit, enthusiasm, and positive outlook through difficult circumstances have gained her audiences at conferences, retreats, churches, military functions, and seminars all over the country.

The Woodhouse family’s story has been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most famously featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Showand Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery ER along with hundreds of other TV appearances and radio interviews.

Kim has been writing seriously for more than twenty years. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters – you name it – she’s written it. It wasn’t until a dear friend challenged her to “do something with it” that she pursued publication. Now, she is a best-selling author of more than fifteen books, with more on the way.

She is passionate about Bible study, reading, music, cooking, and pretty-much-all-things-crafty. Kimberley has been married to her incredible husband for a quarter-of-a-century-and-counting and they have two adult children.

https://kimberleywoodhouse.com 

https://facebook.com/kimberleywoodhouseauthor

Instagram.com/kimberleywoodhouse 

Twitter: kimwoodhouse