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!!

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To Win her Favor by Tamera Alexander

To Win Her Favor cover

Maggie Linden loves her home, her father, and her horse but is about to lose them all. With her father’s failing health and the threat of losing their beloved home looming close on the horizon, Maggie’s only hope is for her thoroughbred, Bourbon Bell, to win some races. But when the horrors of the world strike, and her jockey and his family leave, Maggie has little hope.

When Cullen McGrath, an Irishman recently arrived from England, arrives in Nashville, he finds he’s as unwelcome as the recently freed slaves. No one will do business with him, give him a loan, or sell him their property. He visits Linden Downs and Maggie’s father makes him a generous offer—one he is hard pressed to refuse. Pay the back taxes on the property and marry his daughter and the land and everything on it is his.

This is my favorite book by Tamera Alexander yet. There are so many themes running throughout this book—a father’s love for his daughter, prejudice against people who are different, trusting a virtual stranger with your future and your dreams—and each and every one of them is handled well. Both Cullen and Maggie are likable characters despite their flaws (Maggie has been sheltered in her world and blind to the plight of others around, even to the point of prejudice only because of what she’s read and heard from other people. Cullen is bound and determined to leave his past behind, even if it means crushing his new wife’s talent and dreams). The supporting characters are given as much attention to character development as Cullen and Maggie which gives more depth to the story. And, as always, characters from Alexander’s other books make cameos—which I always enjoy.

I’ve been to Belle Meade once, when I first moved to Nashville. After reading To Win Her Favor, which brought the people and land to life, I’m ready for another visit.

Available everywhere May 12

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

Historic Nashville Romance

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Like many others who live in the area, I am a transplant to Nashville, TN. I have lived here sixteen years this summer but never attended elementary or secondary school here so, while I am familiar with many of the historic sites around the area, I don’t actually know a lot of the history. I feel like I learned a little more about my new home (and Belmont Mansion) when I read Tamera  Alexander’s second stand alone novel in her Belmont Mansion series, A Beauty So Rare.

 

Eleanor Braddock’s world is changing. Her father’s illness has caused her to make some hard decisions, including how best to care for him, and relying on her aunt, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, to support her. Eleanor has not disillusioned about her future, she knows she is not beautiful, and at thirty, will not find a husband. But Eleanor has a dream that she would like her aunt to help her with. That dream morphs into something much bigger than Eleanor, or her aunt for that matter, could ever imagine. Marcus Geoffrey is a man who wants to escape his past, and his heritage, a man who wants to make his own way. Marcus is a very handsome man who is used to women falling over themselves to be near him, but has never had a friendship with a woman. He is intrigued by Adelicia’s niece who is not taken in by his looks upon their first meeting.

 

Eleanor Braddock is most definitely someone the reader cheers for. You ache for her as she is dealing with her father, and love her for serving those less fortunate, you want her to find true happiness. Her dislike of pink and her forthrightness make her that much more loveable.

 

Alexander does a terrific job of weaving fiction with history in A Beauty So Rare (absolutely love the title of this book, by the way) and I was quickly engrossed in the story. Once I met Eleanor and Marcus I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out how their stories ended. And now that I’ve finished the book, I keep thinking about them, and want to go back and re-read parts of their story. That is always a sign of a good book for me. Stay tuned this month for more exclusive content from the author of A Beauty So Rare

 

 

****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review.