Book Convention Survival Tips (with book giveaway)

Jesus calls His followers to be lights in the midst of darkness. If you’ve ever been to (or thought of going to an ABA book conference), the darkness is rampant.

During the first week of May, I got to hang with other readers at the RT Booklovers’ Convention in Atlanta, GA. This convention moves every year, and in 2018 it will be in Reno, NV. But despite the ever-changing city, the crowds flock to this convention for the parties and opportunities to meet with their favorite authors.

 

I’m by no means an expert at book conventions but this was my second RT (I went to Vegas for my first RT in 2016) and I thought I’d pass along some tips and hints to make the trip more enjoyable and worthwhile.

And if you hang with me until the end of the post, I’m doing a BIG giveaway for fans of Christian fiction (with multiple winners)!! Believe me, you’ll want to stick around and enter!!

Continue reading

Healing and Hope

This past September, I had the privilege of sitting in a day-long class with authors Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren in which they talked about a story equation. Hauck actually mentioned her story question for her newest book, The Wedding Chapel: What if a wedding chapel had set empty for sixty years, never having hosted a wedding?

wedding chapel cover

Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook spent years building his wedding chapel in the small town of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, by hand for the woman he loved. But time, war and circumstances tore his beloved Collette Greer away from him. For sixty years, the wedding chapel has sat empty, a monument to love.

Former Heart’s Bend resident, Taylor Branson now lives in New York with a new husband. After eloping with Jack Forester, another former resident of the small town, Taylor questions whether she rushed into the marriage after a whirlwind elopement. She loves Jack, but her family doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to lasting marriages.

Meanwhile, Jack’s success as an advertising executive stems from his desire to belong. His childhood left a lot to be desired and he struggles to express his love to his new wife.

These four people are brought together when Taylor takes an assignment to photograph the wedding chapel in her hometown. Through conversations, flashbacks, and letters, the truth of Collette’s and Jimmy’s relationship comes to light.

While many parts of the plot were predictable, Rachel Hauck once again draws readers into the story, making them feel welcome and a part of the community. As a resident of Nashville, I have visited many a small town exactly like Heart’s Bend. The Wedding Chapel is a story of forgiveness and hope. A story that expresses that some dreams are worth waiting a lifetime for.

***Zondervan Fiction and Booklook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

how to catch a prince

Love well.

Two little words that can change lives. Two little words that mean you may not end up with the what your heart desires but you are listening to God. American Heiress Corina Del Ray has lived the past five and a half years with loss. She’s lost her twin brother. She’s lost the love of her life. She caught her prince once. And lost him. Now she’s coming out of her fog of grief and her mission is simple: to love well.

“The notion of loving well first came to Corina as she wept on the floor of an old chapel outside Marietta, right after Carlo’s funeral, righ after she’d called Stephen for the umpteenth time with no answer and pieces of her shattered heart feared she’d lost him too.” –How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

When Prince Stephen of Brighton turns up in Florida, Corina’s past floods her heart. The memories of her short time with Stephen are sweet, special. But when he asks her for something her heart resists, she creates her own terms. With a determination to love well, Corina decides to go to Brighton and show Stephen she is still in love with him. Prince Stephen is fighting his own demons. His time on the rugby field—the one place he can honor his mates—may be coming to an end. His ankle is not healing like it should. He let go of Corina years ago, but without rugby, what does he have left?

How to Catch a Prince, book three in the Royal Weddings series, quickly became my favorite. Prince Stephen’s and Corina’s love story starts in the middle. They’ve had their whirlwind romance, their separation, and now the reader embarks on the rest of the journey with two broken and bruised people. The hero and heroine are real people with real hurts and fears. King Nathaniel and Susannah make a few appearances in the book for those who have followed the royals through this series.

Rachel Hauck drew me into the world of the royals—the security, the opulence, the media frenzy, the struggle of trying to live a normal life—and what girl doesn’t want to be a princess. With some humor, a little bit of social media (twitter hashtags, anyone?), and lots of tension between the couple, this book was hard to put down. But the overall theme was one that is hard to ignore–we should love well because we God already loves us well. You’ll want to be sure to pick this one up on release day—February 24, 2015.

***Zondervan fiction provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

brush with love

“A Year of Weddings” continues December 30 in A Brush with Love

Ginger Winters has spent her adult life making others beautiful but is convinced she will never fit into the bold and beautiful crowds. Almost content with hanging in the shadows and hiding her burn scars from childhood, Ginger has returns home to Alabama to open her own salon after traveling the world as the stylist for a famous country musician. When Tom Wells, a boy she had a crush on when she was a teenager and the only boy to ever ask her out, all of her insecurities are brought to light. Why did Tom ask her out on a date and then disappear without a word. Sure his family moved but why didn’t the guy ever call and apologize (or at least explain). Will Ginger ever be able to see herself from God’s eyes?

Rachel Hauck has been a favorite author of mine for years and this novella did not disappoint. Some of the scenes in the novella were humorous and made me smile. Others made me sad for Ginger and her past. Tom is a man after God’s heart that you want to see win the woman at the end. This short, engaging love story will keep you cozy on a chilly winter evening.

a brush with lovePreorder your copy here.

****Zondervan Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for an honest and fair review.