Book Review: “No One to Trust” by Lynette Eason

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Book Review: No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

The Book

Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she’s been living based on a lie. Which Kyle Abernathy did she marry? The computer programmer she met in line at the bank? Or the one who was apparently using that image as a cover story?

The search for her husband — and answers — takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn’t know who to believe.

Always thrilling, Lynette Eason outdoes herself in this taut, breakneck story of lies, loyalties, and love that will have readers up all night to discover the truth hidden in the shadows.

My Thoughts

Sadly, I haven’t had much time to read for leisure lately, and it will probably be that way for a while. I did have the pleasure of finishing No One to Trust this week though, and it was such a treat! Of the handful of suspense novels I’ve read this year, No One to Trust was my favorite.

I knew it was a good sign when I started feeling tense while reading the first chapter! I can’t remember the last time a book has had that effect on me. Not only was the story interesting, the Christian themes were strong without coming across as preachy or feeling contrived. There were a few places I wasn’t sure the characters’ actions were totally believable, but I enjoyed the story so much in general that those parts didn’t mess up the story for me. The book had several surprises that kept me guessing.

I will definitely be reading more from Lynette Eason. If you like suspense, look this book up!

I give this book 4.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for the really great books that come along from time to time!

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Visit Lynette’s website.
Follow Lynette on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Book Review: No One to Trust

Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason has written/contracted thirty-six books since 2007. She writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. Lynette has been teaching for more than ten years and is very happy to make the transition from teaching school to teaching writing whenever the opportunity presents. She is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

 


Psalms You Can Pray

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Holy Bible
Sometimes we pray and we don’t feel we’re getting through to God–or we’re weary of praying the same tired words over and over. One way to get over spiritual speed bumps is to pray Scripture.

Many people make praying the Word a regular part of their devotions. Imagine you were afraid. Could any words bring so much comfort as these?

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
In God I will praise his word,
in God I have put my trust;
I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
Psalm 56:3-4 (KJV)

Psalms You Can Pray

I’ve compiled several passages of Scripture you can pray when you’re distressed. These verses only scratch the surface of prayable Scripture! I encourage you to search the book of Psalms for more.

“Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
– Psalm 4:1

“Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.”
– Psalm 5:1-3

Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
– Psalm 28:6-7

“We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.”
– Psalm 33:20-22

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
– Psalm 46:1-3

“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.”
– Psalm 57:1-3

Original post on Dainty Jewell’s blog.
Also see 48 Psalms You Can Pray.

All quotations from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
Images: www.dollarphotoclub.com


“Moms’ Night Out” Two-Book Giveaway

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Moms' Night Out 2-Book Giveaway

UPDATE: Congratulations to Nita Wagner, the winner of this 2-book giveaway! :)

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter this two-book giveaway!

Drawing is July 25th.
Winner will be contacted via email and will have three days to respond.
I will NOT use or retain your email address for purposes other than contacting you if you win.
US mailing addresses only, please!

These are brand new, never-been-read copies…

Best wishes!

See my Moms’ Night Out book review here.
See my Moms’ Night Out devotional review here.

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Book Review: “Devotion” by Marianne Evans

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Book Review: Devotion by Marianne Evans

The Book

From This Day Forward

Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.

Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.

For Better or Worse

But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation?  How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

‘Til Death Do Us Part

When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

My Thoughts

I’m caught up on books I’m obligated to review, so I was able to pick a book from my shelves and read it for leisure. As I tried to decide between Francine River’s Road to Haven and Julie Klassen’s The Dancing Master, my eye caught on Devotion by Marianne Evans, a book I won in a giveaway this year. I decided to give it a shot.

Wow!

I was taken aback by how I was immediately captivated by the story. The writing quality was superb. Marianne Evans has an undeniable gift with words. I could see and feel and hear the action and dialogue on each page.

I LOVED the main characters’ unique careers. Kellen’s career as a talent agent was a new reading experience for me. It appears the author either knows or has researched the industry thoroughly.

This book centers around an act of infidelity that threatens to tear a marriage apart. A major point I appreciated about Devotion was how clean it was in spite of its tough subject matter. The author was able to get her point and the story across — including Kellen’s betrayal of Juliet — without making me feel as if I were reading questionable material. Many Christian books dealing with the same types of situations aren’t so discreet.

I totally recommend this book for married women; in addition to being a great read, it reminded me to appreciate and love my own awesome husband.

What I Thought Could Have Been Better

I felt a shift in my level of captivation with the book nearing the center and on to the end. The conversations and thought processes began to feel repetitive. Though the content and spiritual truths brought out were good, I’m not good with stories that are mostly conversation and reflection. If the last half of the book had been like the first half, I would have definitely given this book a five, something I rarely do. :)

I give this book 4 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

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Visit Marianne’s website.
Follow on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Book Review: Devotion by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans is a multi-award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laud her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as best inspirational romance by Ancient City Romance Authors, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Her novella Finding Home earned the prestigious Selah Award for excellence in Christian fiction. Evans has also earned acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.


CrossReads Book Blast: “A Nation Under Judgment” by Richard Capriola

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A Nation Under Judgment
By Richard Capriola

About the Book:

A Nation Under Judgment defines wisdom as “the ability to see things from God’s point of view.” It reviews our nation’s social polices including hunger, poverty, the environment, marriage, homelessness, and others, from a Scriptural point of view. It empowers readers to consider if our nation is moving away from being One Nation Under God.

LINK to PAPERBACK

Rick Photo JpegRichard Capriola spent many years as a hospital chaplain. He completed four years of Clinical Pastoral Education in preparation for becoming a chaplain. In addition to his pastoral care experience, he has served as a ministry outreach leader for a Midwestern church and has been a mental health counselor at both a regional crisis center and psychiatric hospital.

Follow Richard Capriola
Website

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Richard Capriola!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!


Book Review & Giveaway: “Avra’s God” by Ann Lee Miller

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Avra's God by Ann Lee Miller -- Book Review and Giveaway!

The Book

Four friends navigate college life and the ever-present drama surrounding their small-town Florida beach band to find friendship and fulfillment.

Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco — self-medicating from his parents’ divorce — is a questionable candidate.

Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the enticing scent of family he finds at Avra’s. But will his bad choices wreck his chances?

Kallie fights to keep her heart safe while sharing her love for song with the one person who has the most potential to break it — Jesse.  

Jesse feeds on fame, but he hides more than insecurity behind his guitar.

Surfing the waves of ego, betrayal, and ambition, these four New Smyrna Beach friends look like they’re headed for wipe-out! Then, somehow, Avra’s God comes into the picture and changes them all.

My Thoughts

Avra’s God is a young/new adult book that deals with topics such as abstinence, forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation. From the first chapter, it follows the budding romantic relationships of Avra & Cisco and Kallie & Jesse, four friends attending the same college.

One thing I appreciate about Avra’s God is that it’s written from a Christian worldview. Only one character is a Christian at the onset, but God is active in her life. If I’m going to read a Christian book, I like to see God portrayed as real and relevant, not just Someone vaguely alluded to here and there. There are also positive messages about sexual purity, refraining from drug use, and making wise choices about whom to date.

Something that struck me from page one is how vividly Ann Miller writes. Her descriptions live. You can see and smell and hear scenes. If I ever get the spare time (yeah, right!), I’d love to sit down with this book and mark all the strong sensory elements as a learning exercise. :) I also felt like each of the four main characters had well-formed, distinct personalities.

Things I thought could have been better: When I finished the book, I went back and reread the beginning. The first time around, I got a little lost in all the characters in that first chapter. It also sometimes took me a minute to place new scenes during transitions in the story, but that may have just been the effects of late-night reading on my brain. :)

Visit Ann’s website.
Follow Ann on Facebook.
Purchase a copy of the book!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About the Author

Ann Lee Miller, Author of "Avra's God"

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but her heart is in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and giving guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through a crisis — real or imagined — you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband, meddling in her kids’ lives, or at AnnLeeMiller.com.

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UPDATE: Congrats to Elisabeth Rodgers, Jessica Collamati, and Janae Lemmert for winning these e-books!

GIVEAWAY:

Ann has been generous enough to offer THREE winners e-copies of Avra’s God. Three random winners will be chosen on Friday, July 18th. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

(Your email address is required so that I can contact you if you win. I never use or share email addresses without permission.)

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Family, Community, and a Free Episode of Adventures in Odyssey

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I am SO enjoying being a member of the Odyssey Adventure Club!

If you’d like a sampling of what Adventures in Odyssey is all about — or you’re just eager to get a taste of the next album — for a limited time, you can listen to a new episode of Adventures in Odyssey for FREE! Album 58, The Ties that Bind, will be available this fall for digital download and CD purchase. If you join the Odyssey Adventures Club, you can listen to that full album now. In other good news, the first-month-for-$5 promo that was running last month has been extended through the end of July. Join in the fun for only $5!

Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive.

One way families can carry out God’s design for families is by serving their community — right where God has planted them. Want to serve your community with your family? Here are some fantastic ideas from Adventures in Odyssey bloggers and club members:

  • Make scarves through the year and deliver them to your local homeless shelter at the start of winter, or regularly donate food to your local food bank. —Shirley
  • Our family likes to help with Meals on Wheels. We also do reenactments of the Civil War and WWII to help educate people on history. I like to show my kids that we should be servers and givers by taking meals to people who need them (i.e. baby just born, someone died, someone had surgery, etc.). —Erin
  • We have been visiting a nursing home with friends once a month. The kids just sing and then we fellowship, but the ladies love it! —Lisa
  • We make lap blankets for nursing home residents and take the time to visit with them. We also collect food for the local food pantry. —Donna
  • We make blessing bags to give to the homeless when we encounter them. We also donate clothes and food to a local shelter. —Amy
  • Our MOPs (Mothers of Prechoolers) group supports our local Pregnancy Support Services with donations, gifts, and notes. We also supports the Durham Rescue Mission, which helps people break free from addictions and restore families. —Melissa
  • We live in a very rural area. Our church serves two of the poorest zip codes in the state, and about a decade ago, they started operating a food pantry out of a closet. It has expanded since then, so we now use the closet for storage, but the pantry is basically a classroom. The kids and I serve over there a lot. My 17-year-old and I go to Care & Share (50 miles away) to get food to bring back to the pantry. All of us help unload and stock shelves. On pantry days, everyone can get involved with helping people go through the line, playing with the kids, carrying boxes out to cars, etc. There are so many hungry folks, especially in the summer when school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available, and helping a bit to put food on some tables is such a blessing for us all. —Debra
  • We pack food bags each month for the homeless and needy through a thrift store that offers an outreach to the community. We also help clean our church and our Sunday school. —Michele
  • We work through our AHG troop to do several service activities a year. My girls just recently made bracelets they are selling, which 100% of the profits goes to Hope House in Africa to help young girls. —Sarah
  • Our church works with a homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta. We cook food ahead of time, and when our schedules allow we ride down with the group to serve the food. My son always reminds me when we haven’t been for awhile, so it’s something he looks forward to. —Maria
  • We do lots of random acts of kindnesses within our community: pay for others’ meals, leave change at a vending machine, hand out Gatorade/granola bars to people on the side of the road asking for food. We also love to support Mobile Loaves and Fishes. —Kathryn

Hopefully that list provides ideas to kick-start your family’s service activity. What other ideas do you have for serving your community? Share in the comments!

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Book Review & Giveaway: “Four Weddings and a Kiss” Western Bride Novella Collection

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Four Weddings and a Kiss Novella Collection: Book Review

The Book

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy
Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher
Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper’s owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly’s mind about him—as an editor and as a man.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie’s mind?

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive—or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn’t interested in the case—until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed all four of the stories in this collection of novellas. It seemed as if each tale was better than the last. Of course, when I saw “A Western Bride Collection” on the front of the book, I figured I wouldn’t be disappointed. :) Some of my favorite novels tend to be Westerns.

I wasn’t always sure about any of the four heroines — at one point or another, they all seemed rough around the edges. But they were all certainly unique, and I liked that aspect of this book: each story intentionally centered around an unlikely match between hero and heroine.

The authors of these novellas did an amazing job of not making the romances seemed rushed. I’ve read books four times as long as some of these stories where the romances weren’t timed so well as these were. Toward the very end of the stories the marriage proposals tended to seem sudden, and in a few stories, conversations between the heroes and heroines seemed to get repetitive, but the romances in general were very believable . . . All stories were definitely interesting!

Four very talented authors created four engaging tales that anyone who likes a good romance or a Christian novella will enjoy.

I give this book 4 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Purchase a copy of this book.

About the Authors

Four Weddings and a Kiss Book Review & Giveaway

Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than thirty novels. Her books have won numerous awards and has written for a TV soap opera. @margaretbrownley
Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. She is the author of over seventy novels and her work often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher
Mary Connealy is an award-winning author of romantic comedy with cowboys. Mary and her Nebraska rancher husband have four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren. @MaryConnealy

Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra’s first book-to-movie aired on ABC Family and starred LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton

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GIVEAWAY:

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don’t miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

The authors are celebrating with a “Sweet on Love” iPad Mini Giveaway and rip-roarin’ Facebook party.

4weddings-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Bride for All Seasons and Four Weddings and a Kiss 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the Four Weddings and a Kiss Facebook Author Chat Party. Connect with Western Brides Collection authors Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton for an evening of fun book chat, western-themed trivia, and prizes. The authors will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the collection!

 
So grab your copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss and join the authors on the evening of July 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!


Independence Day Prayer — Happy Fourth!

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Lord Jesus, this Fourth of July weekend, we are full of gratitude.

Independence Day Prayer

We thank You that we live in a country where we are free to worship You. We thank You that we can openly attend church services, that we can talk about You on the streets, and that we can read the Bible in public places.

We thank You that we can do all these things without fearing for our lives. For some, in places not so far away, these liberties are forbidden. It may not always be so easy to be a Christian in America, but today, it is – and for that, we thank You.

Independence Day Prayer

We thank You for the men and women throughout history who have been willing to give their lives so that we can make decisions about our faith and futures instead of those choices being made for us. Let us not forget the selflessness of the ones who died for our freedoms; let us not take their sacrifices for granted.

Jesus, we thank You for the conveniences we enjoy in this country. We thank You for access to indoor plumbing and electricity. We thank You for sanitary living conditions and clean water and an abundance of food. We live in the land of opportunity: here, we are free to pursue the callings You have placed on our lives. Forgive us when we grumble about what we don’t have, ignoring the reality of our wealth.

Independence Day Prayer

Lord, as we praise You for freedom, let us not forget the most beautiful freedom we enjoy: the spiritual freedom that comes from the indwelling of Your Spirit – the liberation that stems only from knowing You. Man can take away the freedoms we enjoy on this earth. The flames of liberty can be extinguished; the conveniences of modern amenities can be lost. But nothing and no one holds the power to separate us from Your love or Your presence in our hearts.

Independence Day Prayer

For all this, Lord, we thank You.

As we observe this holiday weekend with food and family and friends, let us remember to celebrate the freedom we find in You above all else.

Images: www.dollarphotoclub.com


CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey

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download

Hope Deferred
By Elizabeth Maddrey

About the Book:

Christian fiction for women.

It’s been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst of overwhelming options, none of which promise immediate results.

Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?

LINK to PAPERBACK

ElizabethMaddreyAuthor1in1Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time.

When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

Follow Elizabeth Maddrey

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Elizabeth Maddrey!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!