Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Reading GIVEAWAY!




I am SO excited for summer time! These are the days I can send the kiddos outside to play for hours on end while I sit in a cozy chair, listen to their laughter and lose myself in a variety of worlds that all include love, joy, trials, growth and satisfying endings. If not reading, then I'm hanging out with another Mama whose little ones are running around with mine, basking the the glorious WA sunshine.

Today I want you to meet some of my favorite authors. I truly suggest making room on your docket for at least TWO books this summer from any of these talented ladies! I have read works from each one of these gifted women and wholeheartedly recommend their works!  I have included TONS of links (silly Blogger, why aren't the colors all the same?) so be sure to check them out. 

Now come, let me introduce you to some of my favorite Ladies!

Forsaken Dreams


 MaryLu, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King's Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes.
(I have actually read ALL of her books! You can find them here or read my review of her most current: Forsaken Dreams)


Love at any Cost


Julie is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Julie is the winner of multiple awards including 14 Romance Writers of America awards.
 (Read my reviews of A Passion Most Pure or Love at any Cost) Love them!





Barefoot Summer


Denise is a multi-award winning author of books often containing a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
(I'm in love with her Big Sky Romance series!)







Widow of Gettysburg

Jocelyn inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration. (I am truly enjoying her stories & I LOVE honoring those who serve)







Rel has a passion, like me, for reading and she has an AMAZING site where she reviews books, interviews authors, and has insightful Character Spotlights. If you love to read, check out her blog for in-depth reviews and reading ideas!  (I often do! And she's such a sweetie too!)




What one book are you looking forward to reading this summer?
MaryLu TyndallThe Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Julie LessmanOh, that's a no-brainer! Love’s Awakening by one of my TOP favorite authors, Laura Frantz, releases September 1st, so I’ll be devouring IT on our annual getaway to Lake of the Ozarks. Why? Because Laura writes my favorite kind of romanceheart-pounding, pulse-stuttering, faith-wrenching stories brimming with passion of the heart and soul! 

Denise Hunter: Elin Hilderbrand's upcoming release (Beautiful Day)

Jocelyn GreenMy Hope Is Found by Joanne Bischof. It won't release until the fall but I get to endorse it this summer and I absolutely cannot wait!

RelWell, it's winter for me but that doesn't stop me looking for a good read, winter or summer, so while there are plenty on my wish list, and I don't think I can pick just one! I love discovering a new author so here's a couple I can't wait to read ~ Cathleen Armstrong's Welcome to Last Chance, Jolina Petersheim's The Outcast (I'm not that into Amish stories but a retelling of The Scarlet Letter? I'm so there!), and Liz Tolsma's Snow on the Tulips. Sorry for bending the rules, Joleen! (I forgive you. ;-) Especially since I get to read all your reviews!)

  What is your inspiration to write?
MaryLu Many things inspire me to write: my kids, my faith, paintings, good books, movies, great characters.  But overriding all of those small inspirations is my overwhelming desire to bring my Father in Heaven glory and draw people closer to Him. 

JulieWell, initially my inspiration was Gone With the WindThat book inspired me to begin my own novel at the age of twelve, a 150-page, single-spaced manuscript that is actually the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it!), almost forty years passed before God breathed new life into that early attempt and inspired me to finish my childhood novel of passion—only this time the “passion” would be for Him! 

Today, my inspiration to write is totally spiritual—to show people how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. My books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them.  

Denise: I write because I love stories, particularly stories about falling in love. Writing merges the creative side of my brain with the more structured right side, allowing me to make good use of my whole head. :-)

JocelynTrue stories of uncelebrated heroines during the Civil War. They were ordinary civilians, nurses, soldiers, spies... history is rich with inspiration! 

RelMy inspiration for writing reviews and posts on my blog? I love introducing readers to writers - it really is as simple as that! Reading brings me so much joy, challenge, and inspiration, I can't help but share all that good stuff with others. Love it!
 If you could go on a 2-week vacation this summer, where would you go? What would you do there?
MaryLuA Mediterranean cruise! I would love to tour all the places where the Apostle Paul went on his various mission trips 

JulieOh man, a beach house in Hawaii or the Caribbean somewhere with my husband and lots of my favorite things—good friends, great books (including the Bible!) and old movies!

Denise: Australia and New Zealand. I've always wanted to visit both! 

JocelynIf I could be assured I would still meet my Sept. 3 book deadline, I'd go back to Alaska. My husband and I lived there our first year of marriage when he was in the Coast Guard. I'd like to just go spend time surrounded by God's majestic creation, breathing in the cleanest air ever. I could really use a little rejuvenation, a break from the daily grind. Alaska is a great place to reconnect with what's important in life.

RelA two week holiday on Plantation Island, Fiji, sounds pretty good to me :) My parents took my sister and I there when we were young teens and I'd love to go back. I remember the breakfast fruits were spectacular and the water magnificent! 

  What’s one thing you wish you knew how to do really well?
 MaryLuPlay an instrument!  Probably the violin. It has such a sweet, soothing sound. I would love to be able to pick it up and play it whenever I need to recharge or calm down.

JulieLOL … work with computers.

Denise: I've always wanted to sing. Not that I don't know how, but let's just say, it's not pretty. ;-) 

JocelynCook gourmet meals on a budget, and in 30 minutes or less. Ha! 

RelMy husband has an amazing talent for making people feel welcome, cared for, and valued - I wish I had his natural ease with anyone and everyone! I'm working on it ;-) (I'd say you do it well already on your blog!)



That was fun, yah?  Thank you so much Ladies for being a part of this Summer Reading Giveaway! I really enjoyed getting to know you more. 

And now, it's your turn!  You have up to 4 entry possibilities; just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Once you’re done with that, you are entered into the drawing for a $25.00 Amazon gift card delivered via email or Facebook. Who couldn't use that?! Drawing entries end Father's Day, Sunday (6/16). 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

90 comments:

  1. Fun to get inside the minds of these authors. By the way, I'd like a trip to anywhere :)

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    1. I enjoyed it too. I would be all over a trip to Italy or Ireland/Scotland. :)

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  2. This summer I am looking forward to reading Escape from Camp 14 and a series of mysteries by Lisa See.

    cenya2 at Hotmail dot com

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  3. There are so many great books coming out that I'm excited about reading! I've already read MaryLu's and I really want to Jocelyn's. (I've read anything by Julie or Denise.) I'm, also, looking forward to reading Michael K Reynolds' newest releasing July 15. Flight of Earls was really really good.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. Wow! We have a lot in common! I have Michael K Reynolds' Flight of the Earls waiting for me on my iPad and am really excited to read it!

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  4. Oh dear my TBR pile just grew :) it is a good thing that the kids can play outside like you said! :) Loved your review and I have to agree with you on Julie Lessman and MaryLu Tyndall I absolutely LOVE their books... The stories and Gods love shining through them! Have a great summer! :)

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    1. Lol! I love it! Yes, they definitely write with a purpose and I love it. I love reading a book that makes me think about God and the ways he moves in my life. :)

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  5. JOLEEN!!! Thank you SO much for giving a shout-out to me and LAAC in this fun giveaway -- I am truly honored to be among these great authors AND one of my favorite blogger/reviewers, the lovely Rel Mollett!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. And we, my Dear, are honored to have you! Thank you for being a part!!

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    2. Oh, Julie, you are such a sweetheart! Thanks for your kind words - it is such a treat for me to be alongside you in this feature!

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  6. I am SOOOOO looking forward to reading The Message on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson, I absolutely LOVED the first two books in that series and the last one is on its way to me.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Ooo, that's a new one to me. I'll have to check out the series!

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  7. I'm looking forward to reading Forsaken Dreams; that cover looks amazing!
    donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

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    1. They really did a great job with the cover! My newest favorite cover is Ronnie Kendigs Raptor 6. WOW! It's not a historical fiction like I usually read but my oh my, her books are another one of my favorites to read. Here's a link to her newest cover: http://roniekendig.com/cover-reveal-winner-new-scavenger-hunt-winner/

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    2. Love, love, love Ronie's books, as you know Joleen!!

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  8. Oh, these are my favorite authors! I have books TBR by Denise, Julie, MaryLu and plan to get to them soon! I have read most everything they have written....love their books! Just finished MaryLu's book (written with a friend)... devo.....fantastic!
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  9. Some of my favorite authors and new ones too! Thanks for finding more to add to my reading list ;)

    thanks for the great interviews and giveaway

    babykf629 at gmail dot com

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    1. You bet! Do you have a favorite book you're looking forward to reading soon?

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  10. Those are some great authors! Love at Any Cost is near the top of my TBR stack. Right now I am finishing up Unwritten by Charles Martin. I started it while I was at the beach last weekend and didn't quite finish it!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Love at any Cost is one you will probably fall in love with, just sayin'. :) I haven't heard of Charles Martin yet; thanks for the tip!

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    2. Charles Martin is brilliant! I have Unwritten in my TBR - surprise, surprise - but my favourite of his is When Crickets Cry. It's such a beautiful story.

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  11. What a great interview! I just ordered a copy of Sandra Bricker's "If the Shoe Fits" and it sounds like a great read! I've read a lot of good stuff already this year, so I'm always eager for the next great read.

    And Jocelyn, I'm SO jealous that you get to read an advance copy of My Hope is Found! The first two books totally wrecked me and now I can't wait to read the conclusion!!

    lmbartelt(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. "If the Shoe Fits" looks really cute! I'll have to add that one to my list; thanks!

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  12. After I finish For Maria by Bruce Judisch, I am looking forward to reading Surrender the Dawn by MaryLu Tyndall, Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson and as many books from my huge TBR pile as possible! I enjoyed the interviews.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I really enjoyed the Surrender the Heart series! I was so bummed the other day when I was at a used bookstore and they had Surrender the Night but I left it there because I thought I already had it. I went home, saw I had books 1 & 3 instead, called the bookstore, and it had already sold!

      I'll look up Bruce Juisch; I haven't read any of his works yet.

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    2. What a disappointment! Don't you just hate it when that happens? I've done that, too.

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  13. Well I have got several already and looking for some new releases and since I have already read Forsaken Dream I would say Love at Any Cost . It sounds so good and love the cover .
    Blessing to you all ,
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Excellent choice. :) Have you read any of Tamera Alexander's books before?

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  14. Hi! I enjoyed the interviews! I am looking forward to reading some of Julie Lessman's books because I have never read any of hers before. Also I want to read Denise Hunter's Barefoot Summer! I have BIG TBR Pile that I hope is smaller by the end of the summer too!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    dowelljanet(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Janet! You must try Julie's books! She truly does have a Passion with a Purpose when she writes. I love reading books that go beyond just entertaining and her's never disappoint! I really enjoy Denise's romance, too; she writes it well so that you feel it but it's not over the edge. :)

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    2. Denise's Barefoot Summer is excellent - highly recommend it!

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    3. I have read two of the books in Denise's "Big Sky Series" & both were wonderful! I LOVE her writing style! She is very sweet too! :)

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  15. I have so many books in my "to read" pile! But, I must be doing something right, because I have books from all four ladies above currently waiting "in line" on my kindle carousel to be read this summer! I have Forsaken Dreams, A Hope Undaunted, Barefoot Summer & Surrender Bay, and Widow of Gettysburg. Great interview! Thanks for the change to win.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen@yahoo.com

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    1. Yep, I'd say your set! LOL. I know you'll have a wonderful summer of reading with those books waiting for you. I pray that you have plenty of rest and time to soak them all up!

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  16. I greatly enjoyed this post. New books for me to look at this summer

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  17. We have these authors in the Church Library. Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Sounds like you have a great library then! :)

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  18. To answer your question I'm just looking forward to reading period. I have so many books to read and there are not enough hours in the day.
    Janet E.
    von1janet@gmail.com

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  19. Great idea for a blog post! I've read Julie's and MaryLu's, and the other two are on my reading list.

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  20. I have a huge TBR pile, but I am looking forward to reading each of the books listed. Thanks for the giveaway!

    writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

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  21. ohhhhh, I wanna read these books!!!!!!!!! and I would read them fast and review them!!!!!!! vrush729@aol.com

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    1. You wont be disappointed that's for sure! Best of luck in the drawing then! :)

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  22. I am really excited about the Cadence of Grace Series, all three of them, and the O'Malley family saga. Those are the books I have on my Birthday Wish-list! :-) I loved this blog post... so cool to see what writers read!!!
    Faith, email: mickeydog@myfairpoint.net

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    1. I'm hearing so much about this Cadence of Grace series I think I'll have to add them to my list! I hope you get lost of Amazon cards and books for your birthday!

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  23. Reading of any kind is the best way to spend the summer in my opinion, but Christian romances are especially fun. I have read Widow of Gettysburg, Forsaken Dreams, and every single one of Julie Lessman's books except for her most recent. All of them are truly inspiring!
    dressageleroy@gmail.com

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  24. This summer I am just looking forward to reading any
    fiction book that I can get my hands on.
    Amish, christian and the civil war era!
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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    1. Have you read Tricia Goyers books? Tamera Alexander's "To Whisper Her Name" is a great Civil War book, though it is placed just after the Civil War ends. MaryLu's Forsaken Dreams is placed right after the Civil War too. Siri Mitchell has one, "The Messenger" that is based in the Revolutionary war that's really good too if you want something a little different. :)

      Happy reading!

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  25. Honestly, I'm so behind on reading any books lately. I just picked up a 365 devotions book to start reading this summer. All the books up there will be added to my list!!!

    Autumn - Autumnsharp08@yahoo.com

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    1. You really can't go wrong with a devotional book! My friend gave me "Jesus Calling" and I really enjoy it.

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  26. Joleen, this was such fun, I am honored to be part of this post! I am now reading My Hope Is Found and it is turning me into an insomniac. :) I should just finish it up so I can get to sleep at a decent hour again. Let me just say fans of the Cadence of Grace series will not be disappointed. ALSO for those of you who have added these books in Joleen's post to your TBR list, you're in for a treat! I love these authors and their work!
    Blessings,
    Jocelyn
    www.jocelyngreen.com

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    1. Jocelyn, thank you so much for being a part and thanks for stopping by today! I'm going to have to take a look at this Cadence of Grace series for sure!

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  27. I have quite a few books that I'm looking forward to reading this summer! The ones I'm most excited for new release wise would be Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren, A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano, Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden, and Anomaly by Krista McGee. As for older books on my shelves that I'm looking forward to I'd definitely say Blue Skies Tomorrow and With Every Letter both by Sarah Sundin. They are my reward books that I'm holding over my head so that I'll read some of the books I'm not as excited about!
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I JUST realized last night that Elizabeth Camden has a new book coming out in August! I'm really excited about that; I have enjoyed every one of her works so far. I have a book by Susan May Warren on my iPad to read and am looking forward to trying her out. :) I find Jen Turano books are good for me when I don't want to think about anything because they tend to be simply entertaining (but really funny!) books; A Most Peculiar Circumstance is on my TBR list.

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    2. Great list, Abbi - but you know we enjoy so many of the same books, right?!

      Joleen - no Susie May books yet? Well, you have a great backlist to enjoy there ;-)

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    3. Don't I? I'm always excited to find those "lost treasures" and know I'll be satisfied with a stack of books for a while. :) That's what happened with me and Ronnie Kendig's Discarded Hero series last year. What a treat that was! Thanks for popping by Rel! Always good to have you. Thanks a gain for being a part of this post!!

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    4. Joleenn-I have loved all of Elizabeth's books so far and it seems like they just got better with each one so I am definitely excited for this one of hers. And you definitely should try Susan May Warren! She is my absolute favorite author and I have read all of her 30 some books except for a couple novellas and her newest novel. And I agree that Jen Turano's books are entertaining and funny! Also Ronie Kendig is AWESOME!

      Rel-Haha yeah we do have quite the similar taste! I'm always excited when you like a book that I'm planning on reading because I know I'll probably like it too!

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  28. I have a huge TBR pile, but at the top is Ronie Kendig's newest TALON. I'm a sucker for suspense!
    Great interviews here, loved reading all about these great authors!
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. Oh Susan--you WONT be disappointed. I can honestly say that I think I went into depression the day after I finished Talon because it was such an adrenaline rush reading that the next day without (I read it in 2) was shocking to my system. :) You'll love it! Did you see her Cover for Raptor 6?! Wow!

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  29. I have a big stack that I'm hoping to read, if my one-year-old gives me a chance:) They are mostly Amish romance, which I love, including Letters to Katie by Kathleen Fuller, one of Vanetta Chapman's books, 2 Tricia Goyer books (I'm not sure which ones because they haven't arrived yet), Bachelor Buttons by Kathleen Maher, and I'm hoping to get Jocelyn Green's Widow of Gettysburg b/c I LOVED Wedded to War. I also have a few books from Tudor times, like the Confession of Catherine Howard, and Kim Vogel Sawyer's newest one, as well as Beth Wiseman's The House that Love Built. So many books, so little time!!! :-)

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    1. Forgot to add my email - snowflakes2hotcakes {at} gmail {dot} com

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    2. That IS quite a list! Yep, at one, you gotta love nap time for a quick moment of peace and a chapter or two. :)

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  30. I have a bunch that I'd like to read. The one I'm starting next is Lady Anne's Quest by Susan Page Davis. atouchofheaven2010 at gmail dot com.
    Thanks! Mary B

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  31. I currently have Julie Lessman's Love at Any Cost and Rosslyn Elliott's Lovelier than Daylight in my queue once I finish "Wedded to War" by Jocelyn--a new favorite. Then I have all the other books on my "to read" list at Goodreads and my annual summer reading: American Dreams series by Jean Ferris...I've read it just about every year since I was in middle school.

    my e-mail: christinfaber at gmail.com

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  32. I can't wait to read Love at any cost...it's on my list and probably first up!...THanks for the chance to win! truckredford(at)Gmail(Dot)Com

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    1. You wont be disappointed. It was beautiful! Seriously, Lessman's characters are amazingly realistic and because of that it's a story that moves your heart. Enjoy!!

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  33. I'm looking forward to reading Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

    sonflower277 at gmail dot com

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    1. Ooo, I'll have to look that one up!

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    2. It's a great book, Karen :)

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    3. I'm with Rel, Joleen -- Becky is one of the best authors I've ever read and has single-handedly made me want to write contemporary instead of historical fiction!!! Two people told me I should read her because she is the "contemporary Julie Lessman," so of course I just HAD to read her. :) Both My Stubborn Heart (up for a Rita) and Undeniably Yours (will be up for a Rita, LOL) are absolutely WONDERFUL, as is Becky herself!!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  34. What a wonderful interview with 4 authors that I immensely enjoy reading! I would love to win the gift card which would give me more books to read on my Kindle Fire as we travel throughout Nicaragua this summer doing mission work!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Guess I should read the question BEFORE I start writing my thoughts!

      I would love to read.... I never pick - just read what is passed on to me or win. It's a missionary's life and the Lord always supplies!

      missionwife@hotmail.com

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    2. Nicaragua, cool! My mom did mission work there and Guatemala in her College days.

      What type of books do you enjoy the most? Good luck with the raffle!

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  35. Loved learning more about these wonderful authors!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity - love Amazon!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  36. I can't wait to dive into "Bread & Wine" by Shauna Niequist. I pre-ordered it, and have read the first chapter...just waiting for that "kids playing outside by themselves so I can really read quietly" to happen this summer. Maybe at the beach?
    Sascha slacoss2000 at yahoo.com

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    1. Ahhh, there's nothing like waiting for that book to arrive once you've ordered it! I'm praying you get many quiet (lengthy) reading moments this summer!

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  37. there are so many books that I would love to read this summer...especially the books by Marylu, Julie, Denise, and Jocelyn.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  38. Oh my, what a line up of summer reading! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity and if I could go anywhere I'd go somewhere secluded to write. Somewhere like Alaska ...during their summer.;)

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  39. You picked two of my very favorite authors as well! Love both of them, and their books! Thanks much ladies for the post!

    Blessings....Joy
    ibjoy1953[at]yahoo.com

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  40. I am currently reading so many series, I can hardly remember them all by name, LOL. The Cadence of Grace series is one I'm waiting on, can't wait for the next book in the series to come out!! I am also reading through the Quilted Heart Series, by Mona Hodgson, and the Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. And those are just to name a few! Just can't get enough!! :)
    chariiskee23@yahoo.com

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  41. Well, I've just finished reading Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano and she has single handedly made me decide to change my holiday destination from Fiji to Scotland!! If you love contemporary romance with substance and a story that is evocative and a sigh worthy hero, check it out!

    Waving to to lovely MaryLu - I have all her books and love them :)

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  42. All beautiful ladies and all inspirations in their writing. I am looking forward to Elizabeth Camden's, Jen Turano's, Mel Starr's and C.F. Dunn's latest books.

    Awesome giveaway and have a great summer everyone!!!

    Diane
    www.dianeestrella.com
    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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    1. I just received my ARCs of both Camden's and Turano's new books; SO excited!!

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  43. Goddess, the final book in Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed trilogy. I'm on a mythological fiction kick lately.

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    1. These are some of my friend's favorites too. I'll have to see if she's read Angelini before.

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  44. I'm excited to read Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart, Julie Lessman's Love At Any Cost, and Laura Frantz's Love's Awakening at the end of the summer.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  45. I've already read several great books this summer (including books by Julie and Jocelyn). One I'm looking forward to is Deb Raney's The Face of the Earth. She's an author I've actually met in person a few times (instead of just here on the web) so it's always fun to read her new books. I also want to read MaryLu's Forsaken Dreams.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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