Blogiversary Extravaganza Winners

A big thank you to all who visited last week to help me celebrate one year of blogging! I know you all are most eager to know the winners, so without further adieu:

Monday: A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal

Winner: Janice H.M. (pjrc…)

 

Tuesday: The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Winner: Merry S. (mary…)

 

Wednesday:  The Cowboy’s Baby Blessing by Deb Kastner

Winner: Kay G. (2clo…)

 

Thursday: Falling for the Hometown Hero by Mindy Obenhaus

Winner: Danielle H. (dham…)

 

Friday: Love in Three Quarter Time ebook by Rachel McMillan

Winner: Caryl K. (psalm…)

 

If all of the winners will be email me within the next week and let me know your mailing address, please. Also, if you would please note which book it is you won, I’d appreciate it. Sometimes folks’ user names and emails don’t make sense with each other. (And a reminder to please refer to my Disclosure & Policies page.)

Happy Reading.

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today is a special installment. As far as I know this is the first feature of this story in a FLF. I LOVE it when authors’ book babies that they’ve been dreaming of for a long time finally come to be. Big congratulations to my friend Rachel. I’m so glad you found the courage to share Klaus with the world.

 

Love in Three Quarter cover

Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

“If Evelyn Watt’s life were projected on a movie screen, it might look like the strand of Laura Linney’s story in Love, Actually.”

But, I have to say, guys, that while this is First Line Friday, I absolutely adored the last paragraph. They don’t get enough love, and this one is so full of it. Read it so you can see what I mean!

Giveaway

To celebrate the last day of my Blogiversary week, I’m giving away an ebook copy of Rachel’s Love in Three Quarter Time so you can relish in the romance yourself. The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

 

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

I don’t have enough posts to really do a “Throwback Thursday,” especially since I almost never post on Thursdays. BUT, instead, I thought I would share with you all the very first book I ever won through a blog: Falling for the Hometown Hero. This was a couple years ago, so I don’t even remember whose blog it was, and I had NEVER won anything off of a blog. I decided that I needed to be more diligent about reading blogs about stuff I liked (books and architecture) and saw that the books blogs did giveaways. And I started entering as many as I could, determined and persistent.

And at last, I won!

hometown heroI wasn’t way into contemporaries then and I had never read a book set in Colorado before, but you know what, I loved it. I don’t remember too much about specific story points since it’s been so long, but I remember really enjoying a story that just plodded along in a satisfactory way, just like life. It wasn’t super exciting, it wasn’t sugary sweet, it wasn’t manufactured drama. It was like real relationships, which may have their exciting points, but are mostly made up of everyday boring stuff. Mindy wrote the everyday stuff in a way that makes you want to keep reading and reading and is, in my opinion, relatable because it’s normal.

Also, I don’t think I’d really read a Love Inspired before…and I fell in love with the book size. It fit in my pocket, it didn’t make my arms ache to hold it up! That might be a lame excuse for liking a book, but it’s about the experience as a whole,. Am I right?

I encourage you to pick up a copy if you haven’t read this little gem.

Giveaway

Today’s giveaway will be a copy of Falling for the Hometown Hero by Mindy Obenhaus!  The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Why do I read? (Answer in a moment, but first my babbling.) 

Anyone who has read Reading Is My Super Power or had the privilege of meeting Carrie in person (benefits of CFRR!) knows that she has a joyous positive spirit. What you may not know is that Carrie and I share a common thread besides books: chronic illness. This is a book blog, why are you talking about diseases? You might be asking at this moment, but bear with me.

reading quote 1You, see there are a handful of things that define me and my life right now. Of course, being a Christian is the default and number one answer, but beyond the obvious statements, really two things stick out: books and multiple sclerosis. I’ve found a great friend in Carrie as we’ve bonded over books, blogs, and our health and so it was only natural in one of our 1,853,244 conversations that I’d ask her to guest post on the blog and I suggested the topic of why do we read? More specifically how, or why, do we read so much?

If you follow any of the Christian Fiction groups online, you’ve probably seen a version of this question come up, especially as it relates to how much time we spend reading the Bible. I’ll admit that I should spend more time doing this and that the answer I have for that question is quite complex. But, mulling it over with Carrie, we both realized we could summarize why we read in a list of TWO.

#1 – I love it.

Carrie: I mean… there’s not much more to say about that, is there? We love reading. We love the adventures we get to participate in vicariously. We love the new friends we meet on the pages. We love the swoony book boyfriends. (Carrie’s boys and Kat’s boys) We even just love the way the words are all put together.

The proof that God loves story is that His Story is the root of all other stories. It begins with the very first ‘once upon a time’  and ends with the ultimate ‘happily ever after.

For me, that love of reading started young. My parents read to me from birth, I’m pretty sure. My first word was ‘book’ (seriously). And I actually never really learned to read, formally. I just started reading one day from my Dick and Jane primer… and then read the 2nd chapter of Philippians to my dad while he was shaving LOL. So, reading is really part of my DNA. It’s part of what makes me ‘me’. Even if I was svelte and healthy and could leap anything in a single bound, I would still read.

Kat: I agree with all of that. My mom made me practice the alphabet at home in preschool from the giant letter poster we had. I thought it was pure torture. Until I started to grasp the concept. In kindergarten, my teacher had a poem for every letter to help us remember it and I LOVED my little book of poems, slowly collected over the year. Then, my parents got me the whole set of Dick and Jane books and I was mesmerized as I tackled each level and practically memorized them. I still went back and read them into my pre-teen years. Some of my first comfort reads.

bookmark#2 – I can’t move.

 

Kat: You probably didn’t expect that second one, hence the babbling. While understanding of the chronic “invisible” illness has greatly increased over the past decade, there’s still a lot of stigma around it. “You don’t look sick” is a common response, and while people may not always say it, you can see it in their mannerisms and the look on their face. For those of you who meet me at CFRR, running around like a crazy lady, this might seem especially foreign. What you didn’t see was me crashing for the next week and a half. I had to go back to work once I got home, but I basically worked, ate, and slept. I didn’t even read much because my energy was so low.

Carrie: It took me at least that long to recover from CFRR lol! It’s such a wonderful time, and God really does give this burst of energy that I need for that moment. But when it’s done? I’m back to not moving … and when I do, I shuffle like a 90-year-old haha! Which some of you might have seen if you hung out with me the next day 😛

Kat: I shuffle like a 90 year old every two weeks when I’m due for massage therapy. While many see it as a luxury, it keeps me mobile. We have so much in common!

Chronic disease is extremely complex and varies person to person, but for the most part we share fatigue and pain as the top symptoms. Both of these combine to making an active lifestyle difficult and at times depressing, which is why we read. Reading opens a world to us that our circumstances don’t often allow us to experience; we travel, go snowboarding, don’t lay on the couch an obscene amount of hours a week, be normal. Books also allow us to escape from life for just a little while; the pain and fatigue, the medical bills, the longing for living like others. Carrie and I both know that longing will never ever be fulfilled in a story, only God can do that, but stories make it just a bit easier.

Carrie: Stories DO make it easier. Because frankly sometimes life in general – not to mention life with a chronic illness – isn’t all that cheery. But when we can pick up a book, dive into a different world, make new friends in the characters, and get caught up in the author’s stellar talent? We find our spirits lifted a little bit. Like Kat said, only God can truly lift our spirits and give us unexplainable joy in the midst of ‘yuck’… but because He is such a personal God He uses what He created us to love. For some people, that’s music (and He uses that with me a lot too, even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket). For others, that’s socializing with friends and family. And for some of us, it’s through story.

Of course, nothing replaces what He does in us through spending time with Him through His Word, the Bible. But that meets a different need, doesn’t it? He didn’t give us the Bible to entertain us, but to teach us. To equip us for life. To show His plan of redemption. And there is no way that Kat and I could muster up any semblance of joy without Him pouring it into our hearts as an overflow of spending time with Him. And yet… the proof that He loves story is that His Story is the root of all other stories. It begins with the very first ‘once upon a time’ (Gen 1:1) and ends with the ultimate ‘happily ever after’ (Rev 21). So, it’s really no surprise that He uses story to encourage and teach us even as it entertains us.

shelf control

Kat: Carrie, thank you so much for sharing a piece of you today! Your friendship is a treasure as we help spread the book love and support each other through ups and downs of chronic illness.

Baby BlessingGiveaway

Today’s giveaway will be a copy of The Cowboy’s Baby Blessing by Deb Kastner!  The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Book Boyfriends 2017

I was going to do an all-time book boyfriends post…I do have my favorites, but 2017 was a great swoony hero year. Here are my favorites. Note: I READ all of these in 2017; most were also published last year, but not all. I did not even attempt to keep it at 10. (Learning from you, Carrie!)

1) Michael Carrington (All of You by Sarah Monzon)

We’re not supposed to objectify others, but….Michael is HOT. Sweltering. I’m not usually into bad boys, but this fine boy is attractive. He has other redeeming qualities as well, but they only make him hotter.

2) Karim  (The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon)

Karim is not your typical CF hero. He’s Muslim. But, oh my goodness, his dedication, quiet strength, patience, love for his people, and yes, his faith. He’s the best quiet but strong character I’ve read in a long time. He’s not brooding, he’s thoughtful.

3) Alex, Wes, and Reese (Pepper Basham’s Bunch)

If you’ve read any of Pepper’s books, or tuned into Carrie’s raves on her heroes, this won’t surprise you. All of her contemporary heroes will make your toes curl and make you jealous of the heroines. You can see my review for Charming the Troublemaker here.

 

4) Kristi Ann Hunter – Trent from An Uncommon Courtship and Griffith from An Inconvenient Beauty

Two more hereos here! Trent and Griffith’s novels were long anticipated by her readers taking sides for #mytrent and #teamgriffith which made their allure grow. I have been in love with Griffith from the very first time we meet him earlier in the Hawthorne House series and I’m so glad that everyone has finally caught on to the Duke of Hotness. We have similar personalities, so I relate a lot to Grif, and his love for his family, especially his momma. How can you not love a guy who loves his mamma?

5) Amos Bledsoe (Heart On The Line by Karen Witemeyer)

Amos is another non-typical hero. He rides bikes, wears glasses, and would probably enjoy playing Settlers of Catan if he lived today. He’s geeky and so not alpha male-ish. He reminds me a lot of my husband, so I can’t help but love him too.

6) Peter (A Name Unknown by Roseanna White)

I love Peter’s faith and how he goes about living it as a witness to Rosemary. No pushing, just example and patience. He writes her notes too! They’re probably not technically love letter, but I like to think of them that way.

7) Parker Mitchell (Still Life ) and Declan Grey (Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey)

These dudes are half of team hot and you love them more and more as you get to know them throughout the series. They’re protective, but not smothering; let their ladies think for themselves. They’re not perfect, but they’re trying to get there.

8) Ben Delaney (The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner)

I love Ben because he’s so real. I admire him for sticking to boundaries that are very hard to follow in our current culture, but he’s still real about it. He wants his lady, but respects her enough to hold himself back and isn’t mishish about bringing up the issue.

9) Tavin Knox (The Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze)

Tavin has a Scottish accent and is mysterious. Need I say more?

 

The QuietingGiveaway

Today’s giveaway will be a copy of The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher!  I will announce the winner next week on Tuesday. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the giveaways for the rest of the week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

One year, guys! Can you believe it? When I started this blog last year, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it to one year posting consistently. It’s had it’s challenges, but it’s also had some amazing moments (uh, like when Jen Turano knew who I was. Fangirl moment). So, I’m celebrating in style with a whole week of posts and giveaways!!!! Check back each day.

Things I wish I Knew When

I Started a Blog

1. How many new friends I would make. This year has brought so many awesome new people into my life. That’s saying a lot because I’m an introvert who tends to not like people. I love, love, love the Christian Fiction (Romance) blogging community and have made some wonderful new friends. They’re joining me with some of their thoughts today!

2. I wish I’d known that I would need to turn my house into a library. Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

3. Be true to your personality. The only way a lot of people will ever know you is through your blog. Don’t be afraid to let your true self shine through on the page. Rachel @ Bookworm Mamma …and seconded by everyone else.

Be-you-tiful

4. I would broaden my horizons. This blog has made me stretch out of my comfort zone.

5. It can be demanding/time consuming; it’s not just about free books. Carrie + Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books + everyone else.

6. The need for consistency. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. But be consistently YOU & post consistently. Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

bf86f-a2bseason2bto2bdance2bcover

Giveaway

Today’s giveaway will be a signed copy of A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal!  I will announce the winner next week on Tuesday. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaways all week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time