Friday, April 22, 2016

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #24


Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!



• The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site.
• The hunt is BEST VIEWED using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer)
• It is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
• PRIZES include 3 sets of all 32 books, $500 in Amazon gift cards and many authors are offering additional prizes!
• There is NO RUSH to complete this hunt—you have ALL WEEKEND. So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books you might want to learn more about!
• Submit your ENTRY for the GRAND PRIZE at Stop #33 (back on Lisa’s site) by Monday night (4/25) at midnight mountain time.

Hillary here: My guest today is my friend Leslie Gould, a lovely author I've had the pleasure of knowing for years through Oregon Christian Writers. She's a top notch writer and teacher; we also occasionally run into each other at Target. Her latest release is Amish Sweethearts - isn't that cover adorable? Makes me miss autumn! 


Here's a brief summary For years Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were the best of friends. But just as Zane gathered the courage to discover if their friendship could develop into something more, her controlling father arranged for her to be courted by their bishop's son. Zane, heartbroken and frustrated, joined the Army, running away from his shattered dreams.

The passing of time and the distance between Zane and Lila haven't been enough to halt their--now completely hidden--feelings for each other. Any hope for their love grows even more impossible though as Zane's service takes a dangerous turn when he's deployed to Afghanistan. Being on the frontline, confronted with the hard choices of war, has him questioning everything, including whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences, and with Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?

Today Leslie is sharing about the inspiration behind the book. Read on to find out more!


Three very different experiences that helped shape Amish Sweethearts

1. Several years ago I was in a shop in Nappanee, Indiana talking with an Englisch clerk about the Amish community in the area. She shared that when she was first married and then a young mom, her best friend was the Amish woman who lived next door. She went on to share details about the back-and-forth between the two families and how sad she was to move away after a few years. Oh, my goodness! Her story resonated with me, and my story generator started spinning!


2. That same year my husband, Peter, was in Afghanistan, commanding a field hospital. It was pretty surreal that I spent my days writing about non-resistant and pacifist people while he treated American, NATO, and Afghan soldiers, along with insurgents. (I also spent my days single parenting our teenage and young adult children!)


Almost every morning (for me, evening for him) Peter and I would SKYPE. On several occasions I could hear rockets exploding in the background. A couple of times he quickly said goodbye and ran out the door of his hooch, headed back to the hospital. I would spend the rest of my day imagining my story in Lancaster County and trying not to worry.

Overtime, I started thinking: what it would it be like if a military family moved next door to an Amish family? What if the women became best friends? And what would be the impact on the children from both families?

3. Sometime later, I was at a book signing in a mall in Vancouver, Washington when two sisters came in. One wore a Mennonite head covering. They chatted with me and soon revealed that they’d grown up Amish in Indiana, near Nappanee, close to where I’d visited. The sister who was Mennonite was visiting from Colorado, but the other one, Marietta Couch, lived nearby. Besides my fascination with the Amish, lol, we are both adoptive moms and also kindred spirits. Through the last few years, we’ve become close friends, and Marietta has definitely influenced my stories!

All three experiences came together and helped create the Neighbors of Lancaster County, a series about a military family who moves next door to an Amish family. Amish Sweethearts is the second of the three novels in the series. The story starts when the oldest boy from the military family and the oldest girl from the Amish family are grown. They won’t admit that they’ve fallen in love, but they have. Both try to deny it, leading Zane to join the Army and Lila to court the bishop’s son. You’ll have to read Amish Sweethearts to find out how their love is resolved!


Leslie Gould is the #1 bestselling and Christy Award winning author of twenty-two novels. She and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and three cats. Visit her at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Hillary again: I love how seemingly disparate personal experiences can come together to form compelling stories. Thanks for stopping by, dear readers! 



Here’s the Stop #24 Skinny:

You can order Leslie’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Powell's Books, or at your local bookstore!

Clue to Write Down: to the person 

To continue, head to Stop #25, on Leslie Gould's site! 




But, wait, there's more!

I'm giving away copies of all three books in the Two Blue Doors series, including the almost-but-not-quite-on-shelves Together at the Table! I'm so excited to finally have the whole series out and about in the world, and trust me when I say they make for excellent (and delicious) binge-reading! Enter below to be eligible for the drawing. 






339 comments:

  1. Thanks for this fabulous opportunity. I can't wait to check out your books.

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  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I love to read and probably read a book a day or two. I'm starting Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar.

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  3. I am reading the Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White. Loving it so far!

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    1. That sounds cool! Thanks for stopping by, Candice!

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  4. I'm reading Lynn Austin's "Refiner's Fire" trilogy. I can't wait to read some of the new books I've seen here!

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    1. Looooove Lynn Austin! Her book "Eve's Daughters" is one that'll be stuck in my heart forever.

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  5. I am currently reading Lily and the Octopus (not a childrens book) by Steven Rowley

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    1. That is the greatest title ever! Totally looking that one up.

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  6. I just finished Carrie Turansky's, A Refuge at Highland Hall. Currently, I'm reading My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen. A book on my stack that I'm looking forward to reading is Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor.

    This carrot cake looks scrumptious!

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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    1. Thanks, Sylvie! Those all sound like great picks - love Carrie Turansky!

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  7. Right now, I'm reading Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff and The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart. Yes, I read more than one at a time. lol

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    1. Hey, all the cool kids read more than one book at a time ;-)

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  8. I am reading I love you, Ronnie. by Nancy Reagan

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  9. I just started Marie Kondo's "Spark Joy." I need a new fiction read, too, but I haven't decided which book on my TBR pile to pick up.

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    1. That is a great title. Thanks for stopping by, Becky!

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  10. I'm reading A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid!

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    1. I'll have to check that one out! Thanks for stopping by, Mackenzie!

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  11. I am reading The Atonement by Beverly Lewis.

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  12. Have so many books in my TBR pile, but I love finding new authors!

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  13. I am reading the Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell and Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman.

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    1. Feathered Bone is very much on my TBR pile - hope you enjoy!

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  14. Yay! I love finding more fun books to read. Thank you! :)

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  15. I am reading Roseanna M. White! :D

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  16. I'm not read much these days, too busy. However, I'm hoping with Summer around the corner, I might find time to finally sit down with a great book and get lost! :-)

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    1. Hoping with you! Love a good summer read :-)

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  17. I'm reading Deborah Crombie's Kincaid and James mystery series.

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  18. Right now I'm reading books about calming my spirit, going through a depression.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Mimi. Sending hugs!

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  19. I'm almost finished with a book called Giant Killers by Steve Lawson. It's about David and Goliath. Incredibly good.

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    1. That sounds good! Thanks for stopping by, Tima!

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  20. Really excited to check out your stories! Thanks for participating in this fun giveaway!

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  21. Thank you so much for being a part of the scavenger hunt! I'm currently reading Angela Hunt, Jill Eileen Smith, Kate Breslin and Elizabeth Camden. Looks like I'll be adding you to the list soon too. :)

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    1. I've gotten to meet three out of those four ladies! Top-notch, all of them. Happy reading!

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  22. So excited to get to know you and read your books!!!

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    1. Thanks! That's always music to my ears :-D

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  23. Right now I am reading a book sent to me from Bethany House about an irish family living on Long Island in the early 1900s.

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    1. Oh cool! Makes me think of the movie Brooklyn, just a few decades earlier :-)

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  24. Can't wait to read some of your books!

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    1. Thanks so much, Anna! Just what every author wants to hear!

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  25. I'm about to start reading Esther, by Elizabeth Hunt. :)
    Bathsheba was incredible.

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    1. Esther is my faaave - let me know what you think!

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  26. I belong to two book clubs so am reading a mystery no el at the moment.

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    1. Nice! I love book clubs that get me reading something I might not pick up on my own. Thanks for stopping by!

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  27. I just finished reading Love Me If You Must by Nicole Young and am getting ready to start reading Back in The Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

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  28. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Cheryl, thanks for stopping by!

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  29. I haven't decided which book I am going to read next.

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    1. A Table by the Window, clearly ;-) Thank for visiting, Beth!

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  30. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm currently reading The Cowboy's Bride Collection.

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    1. That sounds happy! Thanks for visiting, Caryl!

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  31. Just finished Pennies From Heaven

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  32. I'm reading a YA book called The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski! It's very good and is a trilogy!

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  33. Enjoying the hunt! Reading Chateau of Secrets. :)

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    1. Such a lovely book! Thanks for stopping by!

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  34. Right now, I am reading books by Vannetta Chapman.

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  35. I have an incredible TBR pile....Lynnette Eason is one of them...

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  36. Right now I'm reading Once Upon a Summer by Jannette oke. :)

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    1. <3 Jannette! Thanks for stopping by, Faith!

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  37. I'm reading An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

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  38. Thanks for the given away. I think the next book is from Debra Clopton, Kissed by a Cowboy. I will be adding your books to my summer list. Thanks for the giveaway

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  39. I am just starting The Butterfly Farm by Diane Noble.

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    1. Annnnd I'm totally looking that one up. Thanks for sharing, Vicky!

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  40. I am reading The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

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  41. I love the scavenger hunt as a way to discover new authors! Thanks for this giveaway opportunity.

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    1. You're welcome! The scavenger hunt is super cool that way, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  42. Some binge reading sounds perfect!

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    1. I just finished reading The Hidden Son by Dianna T. Benson. I'm getting ready to pick a new one to read!

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    2. Happy reading - thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  43. Lately, it's been all children's books, about time for some adult binge reading!!

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    1. LOL, I hear that! I used to do a *lot* of childcare, lots of reading aloud. Hope you get some grown-up reading time in soon!

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  44. i'm in the middle of her one and only!!

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    1. Nice - happy reading, and thanks for stopping by!

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  45. About to start Karen Kingsbury's "the family of Jesus"

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  46. I'm currently reading Sins of the Past by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason. I'm thoroughly enjoying it too.

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    1. Oh cool! Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  47. Melissa Tagg's Like Never Before

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  48. Thanks for the opportunity to enter

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  49. I'm about to start Dana Mentink's "Seaside Secrets", second of the Pacific Coast Private Eyes series (Love Inspired Suspense). I just finished Beth White's "The Magnolia Duchess". I read a variety of Christian fiction & always have a book in hand :-)
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and your participation in the hunt! It's been a blast :-)

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the scavenger hunt! Have you ready any of Sarah Varland's LI suspense novels? She's my favorite!

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  50. I've been reading some books by Echo Herron, a nurse who shares what life is like in her demanding but rewarding profession.

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  51. I am currently reading A Season to Love by Nicole Deese

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  52. Thank you for this fun giveaway!

    I can't wait to read your newest book!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to enter! Hope you enjoy Together at the Table!

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  53. I am in a reading slump these days :( can't wait to read your work and end that slump! :D

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    1. Awww, thanks! I hear you on the reading slump, it took several tries to find myself firmly in a book again.

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  54. I'm reading Not By Sight by Kate Breslin. It's very good.

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    1. I've heard really good things about that one!

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  55. Like Never Before - Melissa Tagg

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  56. I just finished Ruth Soukup's "Unstuffed."

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  57. I just finished The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White, currently reading a Pride & Prejudice adaptation, will be reading next Lost King by H.B. Moore!

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    1. Those all sound like great picks! Which P&P adaptation?

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  58. I read a mystery then a humorous book I switch so I dont get stuck reading a lot of the same sort of books . I used to read only Amish now its everything except horror or sci-fi or paranormal books

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    1. This makes me all kinds of happy - I love that you keep it switched up! You might maybe try one of Mary Weber or Katie Ganshert's fantasy/paranormal books - you might find yourself surprised!

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  59. I have just finished all that I could read of Janice Cantore's books, she writes Christian fiction about police officer heroines, great reads!

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  60. I'm reading Full Contact by Tara Taylor Quinn.

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  61. I enjoy books that are part of a series. Tomorrow I will start reading An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

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  62. Can't wait for the book to come out

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  63. I have been reading the latest by Christy Barritt "Thrill Squeaker".

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  64. Just started the The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

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  65. Can hardly wait for the last book!

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  66. The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart is the book I just finished.

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  67. At the moment I'm reading The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White and Giant Killers by Steve Lawson. Last night I finished a book that was in the opposite end of the spectrum, Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie. Thank you for hosting a stop on this great scavenger hunt!

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  68. I am currently finishing up True Grit by Charles Portis and beginning See No Evil by Mary L. Hamilton & Charity's Cross by MaryLu Tyndall.

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  69. What I'm reading? That gets really complicated really fast!
    Never mind that I have 200+ on my Kindle Fire already (majority, surprisingly, are "new-to-me" authors I've "discovered" over the past year) and something like 300+ on my amazon wishlists to read.....
    What do I do? I STILL go on the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt ...
    and find even more books to read!

    And with 22 categories of books - 12 of them Christian -
    let's just say I always have book to fit whatever mood I'm in!

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  70. Thank you for being apart of the hunt. I can't wait to read your books. I love to discover new authors!

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  71. Fannie Flagg's The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion.

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  72. Thank you so much for participating in the scavenger hunt. It's so much fun to "meet" new-to-me authors.

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  73. I would love to win! I am excited to find.d a new author to me!!! Thank you for this opportunity!

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  74. Right now I'm reading The Aloha Reef Series by Colleen Coble

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  75. Not reading anything at the moment as I just finished a major paper for school, except our Sunday School book - Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs.

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  76. You are a new author to me. Thanks for the chance!

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  77. I just finished reading 4 books for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and now need to review them.

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  78. I just read Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton and now I'm reading Shattered Memories by Debbie Lynne Costello.

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  79. I just finished reading Getaway Mountain by Michele Huey! I loved all the mystery in it!

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  80. Mystery, suspense, romance and a whole lot more.

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  81. Great background to how this story came about!

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  82. I'm currently reading Always Watching by Lynette Eason. Thank you so much for participating in this scavenger hunt!

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  83. I really enjoyed the first 2 in this series--had my local library order them--and am anxious to read the last one. Would love to own them and read them again, with all the delicious recipes included. :)

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    1. P.S. Just started reading an ARC of The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck.

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  84. Right now I'm reading Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg. It's a very good book.

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  85. Hi Hillary,
    I love all your books and can't wait to read more!

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    1. Thanks, Marylin! I hope you enjoy Together at the Table!

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  86. Reading, Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley.

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  87. Thanks so much for participating in the scavenger hunt! I am currently reading (and loving!) The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Britney! Happy reading!

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  88. Looking forward to reading your books! Thanks to the Scavenger Hunt for introducing me to a new author. :)

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    1. Thanks, Peggy, hope you enjoy them! The Scavenger Hunt is handy for finding new authors, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  89. Im reading Robin Lee Hatcher and Susan May Warren books right now!

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    1. Solid picks! Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  90. I'm a new reader to you. I'm looking forward to reading your book and thank you for participating in this scavenger hunt.

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    1. I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  91. I'm loving the hunt! Finding so many new authors to read! I would love to win your books! Thank you for taking part in the hunt!

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    1. Glad you're enjoying it, Lucinda! It's such a fun way to connect readers and authors. Thanks for stopping by!

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  92. Currrently finishing up Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg and Re-reading your books about Zane Beck.

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  93. I'm reading a book called Sky's Bridal Train, and just finished up Julie Lessman's new novella on my Kindle.

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    1. Fun! I'm loving the new popularity of novellas these days :-)

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  94. I just finished a bunch of Love Inspired book.
    Melinda Godfrey

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    1. Have you picked up any of Sarah Varland's? She's my favorite LI author.

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  95. I am so thankful for this hunt! I love learning about different authors and new books!

    Becky Mikels

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    1. Glad you're enjoying the hunt, Becky! It's such a fun way to connect readers and authors together. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  96. Oh, Hillary! I loved your cake recipe and am going to try to make it. My specialty is chocolate sheet cake. I am reading Patchwork Dreams by Charlotte Hubbard.

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    1. Glad you liked the recipe! I hope it turns out beautifully (I can't tell you how much I recommend lining those cake pans, LOL). Love a good chocolate sheet cake! Happy reading!

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  97. Just finished Julie Klassen's Lady Maybe. Going to start The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M White

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    1. Nice! Happy reading, and thanks for stopping by!

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  98. Getting ready to start No Other Will Do by Karen Witemyer. So many great books out there.

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  99. I'm currently reading The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck.

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  100. Just read Christina Coryell's A Reason to Forget. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  101. Hi! I can't wait to read your books! They look amazing! Btw my name is Tori. I couldn't figure out how to change the google account.

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  102. Westward the Dream by Pella and Peterson

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  103. Reading review books for RT Book Reviews this weekend but just finished up A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton & getting ready to read Close to You By Kara Isaac too.

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  104. Are you kidding? I just found 6 new authors in this scavenger hunt that I can't wait to try...including you! :)

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  105. I am reading The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson. I have so many books to read, and I love discovering new authors!

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  106. Your new book sounds good and I would like to read the whole series.

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  107. I am readingToss the Bouquet by Ruth Logan Herne, Amy Matayo, and Janice Thompson. So Good!

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  108. What am I reading these days? Too many things. Um, I just finished The Pearl by Angela Hunt.

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  109. I'm reading all sorts of Christian fiction, mainly historical. Lots of gardening books and cookbooks!

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  110. Just read another Lynette Eason book

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  111. I'm reading Bargains, Ballots, and the Bakery by Carol Moncado, part of "Table for Two: A Yummy collection of Restaurant-Therme Romances"

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Join in on the discussion!