An Inconvenient Beauty

by Kristi Ann Hunter

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Catching you up: Duke Griffith Hawthorne is the last of the siblings (Loudly_Crying_Face_Emoji_grande.png), thus ending the Hawthorne series. (TRAGIC!!!!!) He has been taking care of his brother and sisters for so long that he hasn’t even had time to find love for himself. Now that he is able, he has done extensive research and he has his sights set on…the wrong girl…

Isabella Breckenridge has come to London under false pretenses. She is to help her uncle by attracting as many eligible men as possible so that they might pass a bill through the courts. Everything about her feels this is wrong, but she knows that she must help her family and has not yet learned to trust God to do that for her.

My Thoughts: So, first of all…how does she keep doing this? Kristi is one of the most talented writers because she has the perfect balance of light-heartedness, deep characters, and Godly principles. It’s such a beautiful thing to see!!!

I am exceptionally sad that this series is over. It has been one of my favorite. As Griffith and Isabella’s worlds come colliding together, you will laugh, maybe cry, and most certainly be pulled in from the first page to the last.

The characters just grab on and don’t let go. You can’t shake them even if you wanted to (believe me, you don’t!). If you haven’t read any of Kristi’s books, definitely pick one up. They can be read as a stand alone, but you will appreciate it much more if you are to read them in order for the characters that are introduced in each book carry through to the next.

Be sure to click the link above to grab your copy! Also, if you would like to check out my fabulous face-off with Kristi Ann Hunter, just CLICK HERE! It’s loads of fun!!! Lastly, thanks to Bethany house for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion!!! Here’s to many more!

Click below to find the other books in this series. Aren’t these covers a-ma-zing??? #truth

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Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Catching You Up: Amish farm girl, Hannah, is being stalked by an English boy that is in love with her. Her family must flee for her protection. With her siblings resenting her and her family going through another crisis, she must sort through her fears and learn to trust again.

My Thoughts: When I think of Amish, all I can think of is how “dark” the lifestyle is. I know it’s because I am a visual person and life without a lot of color is VERY SAD! One of the things I love about Shelley Shepard Gray is that she brings color out of their lifestyle. As strange as it sounds, reading her Amish fiction is the first time I can really connect with the characters.

This is a short and light read, but that does not take away from the content. Her characters are always well developed and complex. I am not usually surprised, but there was definitely some intrigue that got me! Well done, Shelley!!!

Need a great read for a flight? Something you can grab and go – pick up and put down without missing a beat? This is your story! I definitely recommend anything by this author. Make sure to pick up a copy! Link is in the pic above!!


Want to see Shelley Face-Off with me?

Click Below:

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Face-Off with Sarah Sundin!!

61Dm0I55KIL._UX250_novelsIt’s been TOO LONG and I’m SO EXCITED to have Sarah Sundin here today! This lovely lady has been more than patient with me and I appreciate it more than you can ever know!

She’s an author of WWII novels, speaker, has a PhD as a pharmacist, and, last but not least…a mom!!! Wha??? #truth Talk about a lady that loves living life to the fullest!!

I know you have seen her books! They are absolutely eye catching and beautiful. Not only that, but they are a GREAT PRICE right now! In fact…the first 2 people that buy one of these sets (using the links provided here) will receive a swag bag from me full of fun stuff 🙂 Just let me know as soon as you order!

ADM-Official-Cover-194x300 A-Memory-Between-Us-Cover-194x300 Blue-Skies-Tomorrow-Cover-194x300 $14.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Sundin-With-Every-Lettter-194x300 On-Distant-Shores-cover-194x300 In-Perfect-Time-194x300 $17.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Through-Waters-Deep-194x300 Anchor-in-the-Storm-193x300 When-Tides-Turn-193x300 $20.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Let’s get to it, shall we?


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The rules are simple. I ask Sarah some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Funniest movie?

Sarah – A Christmas Story. Every single scene.

Charity – Ha!!! I love that we both choose Christmas movies because…Elf.

— Definitely a tie!

Charity 1 / Sarah 1

2. Weirdest experience at the dr.?

Sarah – Keeping this family friendly… Our favorite family medical story is when our daughter had a blood draw and received her shots before kindergarten. Anna has a blood & needle phobia. And she’s feisty. I held her on my lap with my legs wrapped around hers and my arms anchoring her torso and one arm. One nurse wrestled her arm into position and held it there. And another nurse did the foul deeds. Anna screamed the entire time. When we were done, she went skipping and singing through the waiting room with her sticker and lollipop, while half a dozen people watched bug-eyed. I’m sure they thought Anna had been drawn and quartered.

Charity – Oh my gosh!! I would have needed a nap STAT! (see how I used a nurse word there?) If anything, I think that I make it really weird and awkward for the dr’s and nurses. I say REALLY inappropriate things when I feel uncomfortable. It’s a disease, really. I mean, there’s a reason I haven’t gotten a colonoscopy…

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— Definitely don’t get that one…

Charity 1 / Sarah 2

3. Favorite destination type (beach, mountains, Disney, etc…)

Sarah – Sightseeing! London, Rome, Boston…I love seeing beautiful places where interesting things happened. We dragged our kids to museums and battlefields and volcanos. We toured historic ships and planes. We saw the California missions when the kids were in fourth grade, Washington DC and Williamsburg in eighth grade, Gettysburg and Antietam and Yorktown. And our daughter whined because we didn’t have “normal” vacations, going to the beach like everyone else. So we took her to the beach. And she was bored. Victory!

Charity – “Victory”, indeed! I am right there with you. I love historical sites and little villages. I would have been all, “We are sitting on the beach for 8 hours each day we are here and doing nothing else. Enjoy.”

— Tie

Charity 2 / Sarah 3

4. Least favorite chore?

Sarah – Scouring toilets. When you have boys.

Charity Oi, got me there. That’s just disgusting. Yeah, I don’t think I can beat that! I am so freaked out by anything un-princessy. Drains, toilets, hair, etc…

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— You. I am a HUGE WIMP.

Charity 2 / Sarah 4

5. What’s your biggest phobia?

Sarah – This is totally bizarre, but I freak when I have wet feet and get hair stuck to them, especially tangled around my toes. Argh! I MUST have my slippers by the shower to prevent this. Yes, I know hairy feet aren’t dangerous. Yes, it’s totally irrational. And yet.

Charity – Noooo!!! REFER TO LAST ANSWER OF MINE! REFER TO LAST ANSWER OF MINE!

How could you even say those words??

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Ok, I can’t even think right now.

Trying to pull myself together. I was going to say that my biggest phobia is the dentist…but you may have just single-handedly cured me of that.

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— Nope. Just, nope.

Charity 2 / Sarah 5

6. If you could be an epic fighter, who would you be?

Sarah – I’m just giving you this point. I’m such a wimp. I cringed through my sons’ karate lessons.

Charity – Oh, man! I would love it if I was tough and a fighter!!! It would be so fun!!! I would have to be John Wick. Is there really anyone else???

source

— BOOM!

Charity 3 / Sarah 5

7. Apple or Windows/Android?

Sarah – Both! I have a Windows laptop, which I love—and an iPhone, which I also love.

Charity – ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! (That’s a buzzer sound). WRONG ANSWER! Apple or Mac would have been the only correct answers to choose.

— Mine.

Charity 4 / Sarah 5

8. How do you strive to bring God glory in every situation?

Sarah – I try to see people through God’s eyes—and when I can’t, I ask Him to show me. Even the meanest, rudest, stupidest, and most arrogant people are beloved by God. He died for them same as He died for me.

Charity – Girl, that is SUCH a beautiful answer. It’s so easy for me to give up on people and not extend grace. “Grace” is the word that God has really been putting on my heart. It’s so dang hard for me! I suppose that straight up boils down to arrogance. Yikes.

— God wins!!!

Charity 4 / Sarah 5

9. Fun hobby when relaxing (besides your awesome skill of writing)?

Sarah – Well. I read. I hike with my husband and our dog. I go to the gym. Hobby wise, I’m super-boring. Point to Charity!!

Charity – Not so fast, my friend…

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and that’s about it.

— Definitely not my point! Uh, you even had “the gym” in your answer. *ashamed*

Charity 4 / Sarah 6

10. Favorite movie from the same time frame as your historical novels?

Sarah – So, so, so many. My most recent favorite World War II movie is Hacksaw Ridge. Absolutely gorgeous movie with superb acting, a sweet romance, some outrageous humor, harrowing battle scenes, historical accuracy, and a thought-provoking and uplifting message.

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Charity – Yes!!!! What an amazing movie!!! Wow. I think I have to go with you on this one. Beautiful movie ❤

— tie

Final:

Charity 5 / Sarah 7

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I thought I had it for a few minutes there!!! But, alas, Sarah’s coolness over-rode mine!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, GIRL!!!!! ❤ ❤

Just wanted to share with you a few beautiful moments of Sarah enjoying life ❤

Remember, be sure to grab a set of one of Sarah’s books from the link above and I will send you some fun stuff!!! Woot Woot! Everyone wins!

Havencross

by Julie Daines

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Quick recap: Elaine Cardinham’s family must leave London after a scandal and retreat back to the country. Cornwall is full of memories that she never wishes to revisit. Of course, Gareth Kemp, her childhood friend, still lives there and has moved up in society. She is torn between her feelings for a rich Earl or a gentleman miner. Plenty of smugglers, adventure and romance abound.

My thoughts: Julie Daines is a new to me author. I always love the Regency era and this book didn’t disappoint. It had a touch of the speculative to it, but overall it flowed well. Characters had depth and were lovable. I felt like the plot moved along at a great pace, although, it was definitely predictable. Definitely check it out! The link is in the pic above.

Thanks for this book in exchange for my thoughts! As always, this is my honest review! Here’s to many more!!

A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood

by Stephanie Corfee

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You know I love my coloring books! Well, Hachette got it right again with this new one from Stephanie Corfee. It’s visually stunning and has such beautiful passages in it.

Be sure to pick up a copy of this beautiful book (and check out some of her others too!) for a momma you know. It will definitely brighten her day!

Thanks for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to manymore!

Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate

by Gary J. Byrne

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Want a chilling read about the slow decline of America? This is a great place to start. Gary J. Byrne was an Oval Office Secret Service Officer and saw much of what happened behind the scenes during the George Bush and Bill Clinton eras. His memoir will give you plenty to think about!

You may have seen him on C-Span or all over the news during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. That’s because he had a front row seat to the spectacle and was the only one that came forward with the truth. Because of our President’s lack of ability to accept his mistakes (we all make them!), Byrne’s life was turned upside down!

Take a look as he takes you  step by step (he took IMPECCABLE records!) through his years at the White House. I highly recommend it. Yes, it’s one side of the story, but isn’t every memoir? Definitely worth your time! Pick up a copy in the link above. And, thanks, Hachette, for this great read in exchange for my review! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Israel – God’s Heart

by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

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Ron Gafni is a professional aerial photographer that has taken many beautiful pictures of the landscapes in Israel. Even if you have had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land (as I have), you will enjoy seeing it from a completely different perspective.

image2(1) I really enjoyed seeing all of the breathtaking views! So, for photos, I highly recommend. Unfortunately, I found that the narrative left a little to be desired. There were definite editing issues and I failed to really get how it all went together. It seems forced – as if they were trying to get a lot more theology in than what works with a picture book.

Overall, it’s fun to look at and I definitely recommend checking it out. The link to Amazon is in the first pic.

Thanks so much for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Want to see a flipbook of this? Check it out!

 

Behind the Scenes

by Jen Turano

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Oh. My. Stars! This was so not what I expected! So, Miss Permilia Griswold is apparently a “wallflower” in 19th century New York society. In other words, she’s used to sitting back and observing at high society events (which…I can’t imagine ever happening if you know her personality!). She happens to overhear a murder plot to “take out” her new friend – and one of society’s most eligible bachelors – Asher Rutherford. The chaos that ensues will have your eyes open wide and you may even find yourself laughing out loud.

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This was a madcap romance if I have ever seen one! What I found to be most bizarre is that so many elements of this book closely resembled the writings of Anya Wylde – even down to the naming of her pet! Now, I am not claiming anything untoward here as these authors are in different circles and genres, it just really surprised me.

No, I did not expect a madcap, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. It’s not my usual genre, but it was a lot of fun and held my attention. It was well written (well, of course it was! It’s Jen Turano!)

Take a look at it for yourself! Link in the pic above. Thanks for the read! It was great. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!! (and here are a couple of FREE Turano books you can read too.)

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Romancing Daphne

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Plain Jane. That’s all she’ll ever be.

At least…that’s what she’s been told her whole life! How do you compare when your oldest sister married THE Duke and your next sister was the beautiful belle of her season? As third in line, it’s quite difficult to “come up to scratch”. Especially when you are as shy as Daphne.

As usual, Sarah M. Eden had me swept away in Regency England. Her characters are the perfect mix of depth and lightheartedness. The stories always keep me flipping pages to see what will happen next. I could not recommend this author more. She’s in my top 3 favorite ❤

Be sure to check out the stories of her older sisters too!!

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If you would like to win a copy of Romancing Daphne (and you definitely do), just check out this link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank so much for this great read in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Romancing Daphne BT banner

Face-Off with Carrie Fancett Pagels

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So, this happened on Thursday! The lovely Carrie and I had lunch at none other than Plaza Azteca. I know you are jealous. That’s right! (Hey, Regina!!! Glad you joined us too! kiss-emoji-pillow)

The truth is, we all like to try to look like we have it pulled together. This was after multiple shots. Don’t get me wrong, these two ladies are professionals! It was me that struggled getting the pic right…#BeingTruthful

This was the reality. image1

What can ya do. It’s what makes me “special”.

ANYWAY, I’m ready to tell you a little about this lovely lady! After 25 years as a psychologist, Dr. Carrie Fancett Pagels (yep, DR!!!!) decided to jump full time into writing.

“Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s ‘The Story’ national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.”

image3 June 1 was release day for
Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection: A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town. (Click on pic of me holding a copy!!)

This book is 7 novellas by popular authors. Dime Novel Suitor is by Carrie Fancett Pagels:

Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?

It’s beautiful!! Be sure to pick up a copy Heart_Eyes_Emoji_large

I wanted to show you some other lovely reads by Carrie,61K8tMUepDL but let me start by giving a shout-out to Regina’s (see photo above) beautiful daughter on the cover of Lilacs for Juliana.

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(Links are in the pics!)

I have to be honest. My brain almost exploded when I saw this.

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Ok, lastly? Be sure to check back in July51J8sWR0C6L._UY250_ for the release of Carrie’s newest novel. If you are not familiar with Mackinac Island, you are in for a TREAT!!!

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Remember how Zachary Bartels was telling us about his favorite vacation spot? No cars allowed….Sounds amazing! It is definitely on my bucket list…like it passed up LOTS of other things. Looks amazing!

LET’S GET TO IT!!!!


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The rules are simple. I ask Carrie some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever eaten an oatmeal raisin cookie and been horrified because you thought it was chocolate chip?

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CarrieYes, what a bitter disappointment — especially when the person who baked them is looking at you and asking, “Is anything wrong?” and you paste on a fake smile and shake your head no, all the while thinking — ack these aren’t chocolate chip cookies after all. But I do like oatmeal raisin cookies too — as long as I know that’s what I am eating and if they are warm!

Charity – I have definitely done that. Thankfully, I never did it in front of the person that made them while they watched!!! hahaha. That would be awful!

The other one I can’t handle is when people mix Skittles and M&M’s. Now, there should be some kind of law against that. Your poor mouth would be in a constant state of paranoia because it wouldn’t know what to expect!!!! #MyWorstNightmareBelow

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– Carrie gets this one because of being put on the spot. So embarrassing!

Charity 0 / Carrie 1

2. Worst calendar idea you have seen?

Carrie – Those kind where they are so small you can’t hardly read the numbers!!!

Charity – Oh, I so have this one!

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Who can seriously put this up in their house and not be thoroughly ashamed?!

Charity 1 / Carrie 1

3. We met at Plaza Azteca for lunch (which I was 100% on board with!!) on the release date of Seven Brides for Seven Mail Order Husbands. Tell me about that.

Carrie – I started writing seriously about 13 years ago. When I would get a rejection letter, my critique partners told me to celebrate that I was doing something and working towards it. They said to “Go out for Mexican”! It started to become a “thing”. “It’s a Mexican night”!! Now I use it to celebrate for any reason!

Charity – I love that! How encouraging. I might not mind those rejection letters so much 😉

We grew up eating Mexican so often. To this day, my sister still eats it every day! Her family has it for lunch or dinner. Every day. For real.

– Totally Carrie’s point!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 2

4. Ready for Grandkids?

Carrie – I call myself “Tired Old Mommy”. I had a son at 44 years old. I had to have my own because I couldn’t wait for a grandson!

Charity – Ok, there’s NO WAY I can compete with that. If I had a baby now, I wouldn’t ever get out of my recliner. Like, ever.

And for the record, I am SO READY for Grandbabies! My oldest son is 18, so…..????

– Lol. I have to give this one to Carrie as well! I can’t compete with starting over at 44!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 3

5. Dream Vacation?

Carrie – Straits of Mackinac. I grew up near there and I love it.

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Charity – Ok, I am seriously needing to visit this beautiful land of Michigan!

My dream vacation would be to go alone with a journal and my Bible, have no schedule restrictions, no time or money limit and just go to England. I would spend time in all the cities and quaint villages until I was ready to move on to the next. I would just soak in the beauty and culture. It would be MAGICAL!

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– Tie.

Charity 2 / Carrie 4

6. Tell me about the pink! I see you are usually in pink 🙂

Carrie – I “came out of the closet” with pink when I realized that I was not just a historical author. I enjoy writing romance and wanted to embrace the idea of being a historical romance author. Also, I’ve had some close to me suffer with breast cancer and the pink represents awareness for that.

76952Charity – I love that! My 9 year old and our 17 year old foster son used to always wear pink and say, “We support breast cancer”!!! They would always forget to add the “awareness” portion and it was so funny because they didn’t even realize what they were saying. Their friends were a little taken aback.

Check out the link for support groups and ways to help support!

– I am getting crushed!

Charity 2 / Carrie 5

7. A cool story!

Carrie – Dina Sleiman won a Carol Award and wasn’t able to be there to accept it. Because she lives locally, I was able to deliver it home to her. I was walking around carrying this big award and everyone was congratulating me and I had to tell them it wasn’t mine.

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Charity – Oh, man! That’s both awesome and awkward! haha. How awesome is that?! You have to love having Dina so close by! She’s an AMAZING person ❤

Ok….Wow. How do I compete with that? Awards…Awards…OH! I KNOW!!! I won 20 gold medals in piano olympics when I was growing up! I never got anything less!

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– I am going to take that one SOLELY because I am SO FAR BEHIND!!!!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

8. How do you strive to bring God glory in your life?

Carrie – Although I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, God has me writing for Him. And I pray that brings Him glory! It’s all You, Abba Father!

Charity – Girl, that’s awful. I am so sorry! No fun at all. But, God still deserves the glory for all of it because we have no idea what He’s doing behind the scenes!! ❤

– God wins!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

9. Have you ever felt horrible and just decided it was OK to go out in public in sweatpants, yoga pants or PJ pants?

Carrie – To this day my family still teases me about this. I was hurting badly and had to go to Kohl’s. I wore boots, tall lime green socks and sweats. I did my shopping and came home. When my family saw me, they were horrified and told me that I cannot wear things like that out in public.

Charity – That’s amazing! You are my hero. I am so particular and couldn’t do this. I feel like I need to, not only get dressed, but dress nicely even when I feel horrible. Some days I feel almost hysterical trying to get ready because I can’t even wear jeans and a t-shirt out in public! Ridiculous, I know.

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– This is, BY FAR, the biggest loss I have suffered. I even gave myself a free point!

FINAL:

Charity 3 / Carrie 6

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I have SO MUCH FUN doing this face-off, Carrie 🙂giphy-1 Thanks for your candid answers and fun personality!

Guess what????

Yep!!!!! You guessed it. Not just 1, BUT 2 GIVEAWAYS!

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seven-brides-grand-prize-giveawayGrand Prize Giveaway:

Kindle Fire + Postcards of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order, bookmarks from upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

Maude’s Mooring, print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands

Cowboy-themed earrings

Ebook copy of Holt Medallion finalist “The Steeplechase.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But, wait! There’s MORE!!!

2_91 ****** ALERT ******

PLEASE READ THIS!!!

COMMENT ON THIS POST TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS LOVELY BOOK! IT’S SUPER EASY AND YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE VERY HIGH!!! —————>

So, hurry and COMMENT BELOW! Tell us your favorite part of this face-off, a great memory with Carrie, OR which one of her books you are most excited to read.

COMMENT BELOW.

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