Tuesday, May 18, 2010

welcome to my garden/surprise giveaway

Welcome to my imaginary garden, that is. I've always dreamed of one like this. The tree in the foreground is so lovely and restful and only lacks a wooden swing. The garden gate and fence are just right. We have a garden here but it's not quite as picturesque. Guess you bloom where you're planted, no pun intended:) And our gates and fences here are very rustic, not pretty and white. During out courtship, Randy split the rails and I helped him pound fence posts (Lael-style) and string barbed-wire. His idea of a date! Morrow would have promptly dumped him as a suitor, let me tell you.

But my gardening days, downright rabid in the past, are mostly a sweet memory. I do dig a little in the dirt but more often I sit on the deck with a hard copy of TCL and edit away. And address book cards and mail bookmarks. And try to remember who has won copies of CML thus far:) My filing system is a bit archaic. But I'm pretty sure books will soon be winging their way to Casey in Oregon, Julia in New York, and Stacey in Texas. Now that sure makes me smile:) And I haven't even started the month-long giveaway yet!

To warm up I thought I'd give away one gently read copy of Maid to Match. I'm sure some of you have read Deeanne Gist's bestselling books. This is her latest release. Setting a novel at the Biltmore in North Carolina was such a great idea - wish I'd thought of that! I read it over the weekend and want to share the JOY. If you'd like a chance to win, please comment, and your name will go in my hot pink, GRITS (Girl Raised In The South) hat. No losing track of those names. Winner announced Saturday.

I'd love to know what you're reading right now or plan to read this summer. Reading wish lists are wonderful things. If you tell me yours, I'll tell you mine.

Happy reading!


  1. What a fun post! I have read 3 of Deeanne Gist's books and liked them. The cover on this one is great. :)

    Reading list for this summer?? Well YOUR book of course! In fact now that I sit here, I might save that one until I have to travel to CA later this summer. What a fun ride. :)

    Double Trouble by Susan May Warren. A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan. Love Finds You in Golden New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley. I really want to read She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell, but I don't know if I will get it. :( The publisher hasn't sent it like they promised. Would love Terri Blackstock's new book too, Predator. The jury is still out on that one too for as far as getting it to review.

    Oh and the list goes on and on and on. OH! Julie Lessman's new book! Woo-hoo! I am SO excited for that one.

    I love how you incorporated your characters into your post, makes them so real. :)

    Have a great day, Laura!!

  2. That garden is beautiful. Unfortunately, I have a very brown thumb. I grow weeds exceptionally well, and the neighborhood bunnies eat any strawberries and flowers that dare to come up. :D

    As far as current reading, I have 13 library books on my bed stand. Due back in 3 weeks. (gulp) Why do they all come in at once? I'm currently reading Kristen Heitzmann's "Indivisible," then I'll move on to friend & debut author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter's book, "White Roses." And, tops on my list, as soon as they come out, are "Courting Morrow Little" (of course) and Lorna Seilstad's debut work, "Making Waves."

  3. Enjoy your time with your books, Laura! They're like babies...they'll soon grow up and be on their way ;)

    I love Williamsburg-style gardens. I dream of a neat little dooryard edged by a picket fence. I just lined my beds with rocks, I love the cottage garden look it instantly gave!

    I'm still chipping away at Sacajewea ;) I had to take it back to the library and let them refile it, then check it out again ;) Only about 400 pages or so to go ;) I also got the book "Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder" recently and finished reading "The STrong-Willed CHild" in 24 hours...haha, it was desperately needed ;)

  4. Laura, once writing becomes our primary focus, it seems times for former hobbies is hard to come by. I used to do some scrapbooking. These days I look at my rainbow of colored papers, assortment of embellishments, and boxes of photos and feel a pang of regret that I'm neglecting them. Perhaps you can use gardening as an incentive and reward for when you reach writing goals: Complete your line edits, and you get to play in the dirt.

    Last night I started reading A Tailor-Made Bride, the debut novel of my agency mate Karen Witemeyer. I'm only one chapter in and am already impressed with her skill as a writer and am delighted with the story.

    I'm a Deeanne Gist fan, so please toss my name in your hat. I was privileged to meet her at RWA Nationals in 2008. I visited her table at the Literacy Autographing, and she spent a good fifteen minutes talking about writing and sharing her counsel. I took her words of wisdom to heart, and I credit her with some of my recent writing success.

  5. Oh, that garden is beautiful! I agree the tree does need a swing. I absolutely love wooden swings. There's one on my parents porch. I'll probably spend a little time in it on Memorial Day weekend, if it's not too hot.

    Deanne Gist is one of my favorite authors, so Maid to Match has been on my wishlist for months. I won't even mention how long my wishlist is on CBD, lol. Some books I'm looking forward to reading "Piece de Resistance" by Sandra Byrd, I know it's been out since last September, but the library just now has it on order. "This Fine Life" by Eva Maria Everson is another I'd like to read. "Masquerade" by Nancy Moser looks wonderful. I ordered "The Spoils of Eden" by Linda Chaikin last week. I also think "Dark in the City of Light" by Paul Robertson looks interesting. I'm also looking forward to "The Gathering Storm" by Brock and Bodie Thoene. It comes out in August, and looks like this new series will be a bridge between the Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles.

    Oh, and there's this other book called "Courting Morrow Little" that I really want to read. ;)

  6. I've read two of Deeanne's books, but North Carolina is one of my favorite states, so I'll have to check this one out for sure.

    Does being raised in Maryland count as being a GRITS? I've always had this muddled mid-Atlantic identity issue. My maternal family is strongly southern (right down to our ancestors fighting for the Confederacy). My father was born in Minnesota and raised on CA. I always felt torn two ways! Hey, sounds like good internal conflict for a story heroine. :)

    Wish I had a green thumb and could create such a lovely garden. But that isn't one of the talents the Lord gave me. I'm just pleased when something I've put in the dirt doesn't die on me.

  7. Laura, how thoughtful of you to share Deeanne's newest book. I am a big fan of Deeanne, though I am a tad bit peeved that she wrote about the Biltmore before I had a chance to ;-)

    I have CBD's Summer Fiction Catalog right here on my desk and all the books look so good I could just eat it up! Somehow I just knew that Courting Morrow Little would make the editor's top pick list and, sure enough, it did!

    My fiction list for the summer looks like this:
    ~Courting Morrow Little by you!
    ~She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
    ~The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan
    ~Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman
    ~Postcards from Pullman series by Judith Miller
    ~Making Waves by Lorna Sielstad

    This list is just a rough draft---I have dozens of titles I want to read!

    I also have A LOT of non-fiction to read on the craft of writing. And might I ask your friends here if anyone has a good suggestion for a Bible study I can do on my own?

    I received my postcard for Morrow the other day. It is lovely. I have it displayed right here on my desk as a reminder that writing dreams really do come true!

  8. Your imaginary garden is delightful! I'd love to sit with you on a blanket under the tree sipping lemonade, chatting, and reading books together. I do not garden. My thumb is black. Although I would love to have a secret garden someday with a butterfly garden.

    Today I'll start a new novel, I'm not sure which it will be - The Anonymous Bride (Vickie McDonough)or Sixteen Brides (Stephanie Grace Whitson). I understand they are both great.

    I'm looking forward to reading Maid to Match, but let someone else win your copy since I'll be borrowing my Mom's copy when she's done.

    I got my book card and it is so pretty! I can't wait to get a copy of Courting Morrow Little in my hands!

    A fun post today!

  9. Love your garden pic. Personally, I'm very glad I plant perinnials a few years ago. :) Do you think they'll adjust deadlines around my gardening schedule in the future?

    My To-Be-Read pile continues to overflow. Right now, I'm reading The Tailor-made Bride by Karen Whitemeyer. I'm going to be reading Shannon Vannatter's "White Roses" too.

    I'm a Deanne Gist fan. That probably doesn't surprise you.

  10. Ahh, that garden looks so refreshing and relaxing! I have a garden, but it more serves its purpose rather than being beautiful.

    I have a shelf full of books for my summer reading. The Passion of Mary- Margaret, by Lisa Samson, Surrender the Wind by Rita Gerlach, and Maggie Rose by Sharlene MacLaren are a few.

    I love Deeanne Gist's books. Her heroines are fantastic and fun to read.

    Thanks for the fun post:)

  11. Laura, that garden is beautiful!! I could definitely spend a day (or more) in there getting lost in a good book or my writing journal :)

    Oh, and I LOVE Deeanne Gist!! I have all of her book and can’t wait to get my hands on this one, which is also on my b-day gift wish list ;) I have Karen Witemeyer’s “A Talior-Made Bride” on its way to me right now! I’m so excited!!! I just got done reading “Love on a Dime” By: Cara Lynn James and I HIGHLY recommend it! Like I told you before I have a good size reading list for 2010 :) Besides, CML, MTM, and AT-MB here’s the rest:

    “Seeds of Summer” By: Deborah Vogts
    “Surrender the Heart” By: MaryLu Tyndall
    “A Hope Undaunted” By: Julie Lessman
    “Within My Heart” By: Tamera Alexander
    “The Healer’s Apprentice” By: Melanie Dickerson
    “Head in the Clouds” By: Karen Witemeyer

    Can’t wait to hear your reading list too! I’ll probably end up adding to mine ;)

    Amanda Stanley

  12. Casey, Wow - what a wonderful way to wake up - all these great comments about books:) You all are in the hat already!

    You've given my some more great reads to add to my own toppling TBR stack. You sound like a very well-rounded reader as you include romance, suspense, contemporary, historical, etc. I need to venture out of my historical fiction rut and follow you, I think!

    She Walks in Beauty is one I've reserved from the library. Hoping you get yours soon!

    Thanks so much for your thoughts here, Casey. Have a great day!

  13. Brenda, I think we share the same stack:) I am borrowing more from the library, too. But you are so right - those doggone due dates really put a crimp in things! Just talked to Lorna and am so excited about Making Waves. I'm thrilled to be ann influencer for her. And Shannon's book sounds so good. Her cover is so pretty. Bless you as you read!

    Chuckling at the brown thumb. I am somehow managing to kill the cactus in my kitchen window...

  14. Heather, I have one of those myself (strong-willed children)! Luckily he's in school today but am wondering what plan to put in place this summer to keep him occupied...

    I admire you for staying with Sacajawea - that is one BIG book! I loved all the little details in the book which is probably why it's so long. You'll be a Lewis&Clark expert by the end, etc.

    Yes, I'm enjoying my book babies as it's all too fleeting. Thanks for the reminder as I need to savor the time:)

  15. Keli,
    It's a pleasure to enter you in the giveaway. I've certainly benefitted from yours in the past. I know folks miss the beautiful scrapbooks you've done and given away. I've always wanted to try my hand at that as the materials are so creative! You're right - we'll have to use these things as rewards when our work is done.

    I'm reading James Scott Bell's The Art of War for Writers and he advises taking a whole day off to recup and rest each week. He writes 6 days but not all do that. He's a big fan of walking, too, like me. Now to try to stuff those other beloved things in!

    That's so neat you've met Dee and benefitted from her counsel. I know she's very active with RWA and is teaching at their conference this year. Wish I could go to Nashville. That is one of my favorite places. Looking forward to seeing you in Indy, dear friend:)

  16. North Carolina is one of my favorite states, too, Lori. And you definitely qualify as a GRITS:) Maybe that's why we get along so well.

    The Biltmore setting is such a great idea, being so popular. I was amazed to learn it's still owned by the Vanderbilt family.Am sure it will be another instant bestseller. She has a knack for finding the ideal places for her books, like her Seattle logger type story which I haven't read yet - A Bride in the Bargain.

    Thanks for commenting - hope you have a stellar writing day!

  17. Michelle,
    You've named 2 of my favorite authors - Linda Chaikin and Nancy Moser. I have Masquerade on my list and love the cover. The Thoene books are supposed to be very good. Oh my! Hope they're all in heaven as I may never get around to reading them down here!

    I've forgotten all about Memorial Day weekend. Coming right up, that's for sure. Thanks for the reminder. I think Kentuckians must have a love of wooden swings. No porch or tree should be without one!

  18. Mary, Wow - great list. Your wishes mirror mine:) And thanks so much for mentioning the new CBD catalog. A friend pointed it out to me online yesterday and I'm thrilled. I still don't know what the coffee cup symbol is but guess it's the equiv. of a thumbs up? Hope to get a copy of that soon for my scrapbook. Glad you're making good use of that postcard:) I really am living proof that dreams do come true. If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.

    I'm so glad you asked about Bible studies. I can reccomend the one I just finished on my own - Becoming a Vessel God Can Use by Donna Partow. She has many and you can look at the titles and see which sounds best to you. I love the short chapters and questions - her writing style is rich and vivid and she comes from an amazingly dysfunctional background which gives hope to all of us.

    Anyone else on good Bible studies for personal use? Carla is always good at this sort of thing.

    Bless you, Mary!

  19. Oh, Mary, I was so disappointed when the Biltmore was used as I thought of you immediately. The same type thing happened to me recently. Maybe I'll blog about that in future:)

  20. Oh Carla, wish you could be here as that lemonade and all the rest sounds divine:) Your butterfly garden idea takes my breath away. I have to tell you of the field trip the boys and I took a couple of years ago to Seattle's Science Center. They have a huge atrium which is a butterfly garden. You walk in and see a waterfall and all this lush habitat and butterflies of all colors and descriptions come and settle on your hair and shoulder and swirl all around. It's the most magical place. I think heaven will be one big butterfly garden:)

    Thanks for you beautiful, restful thoughts.

  21. Lorna, Chuckling about the gardening deadlines. Don't you think that should be a part of our contract:)? I'm big on perennials, too! They are so no fuss and just reappear magically year after year.

    Forgot to say to Keli that I have a copy of Karen's Tailor-Made Bride right here on top my stack. Love the cover. Reminds me of Dee's books. But then your books remind me of Dee's book!

    Counting down till Making Waves makes a BIG splash:)

  22. Laura,
    Too many books in the TBR pile, but I have Lorna Seilstad's Making Waves and Shannon Taylor Vannatter's White Roses on my list also.

    BTW, love the garden and the tree. Trees facinate me and I love ones with personality like yours in the picture. I will sit on my porch swing and daydream I am in your garden today.

  23. Hi Amanda!
    Oh, love your list! It's fun to see how many of us are reading and enjoying the same books. Christian fiction really is a small world. Always amazed by that.

    You mentioned Love on a Dime - love that cover and the fact that it incorporates dime novels (I think). And you mentioned one of my favorite covers of all time - The Healer's Apprentice. I emailed the author, Melanie, and told her what a stunning cover I thought it was. Since I love YA books I can't wait to read this one.

    I just knew you were a Gist fan! I'd read her first, A Bride Most Begrudging, several years ago. This time I took the book apart, editor-style, to see just why she is so popular. And I discovered some interesting things! So please consider yourself in the pink hat:)

    And you've inspired me (and reminded me) to share my own list. Think I'll jot my TBR stack down and post here in a bit...

    Bless you today, dear Amanda!

  24. Kristen, I've been wanting to read Surrender the Wind as it looks terrific and is in my favorite time period. Plus I think it's a bit unusual in that the MC is a male. I know you are an avid reader across the board and don't get stuck in one genre. Hope your writing is going really well and your garden is getting a little sunshine down Vancouver way!

  25. Oh Dawn, That's a lovely thought! Wish I could sit on that porch swing with you (and Lorna and Keli and Amanda and everyone here...). That tree does have a personality all its own! Would love to have a yard of them. It's so good to remember to take time to be quiet and reflective.

    Shannon and Lorna are at the top of my list, too. Wonderful to think the good books never end! Thanks so much for commenting. I can't wait to see you in Indy!

  26. LOL it would be easier if you asked what am I not going to read this summer! Well of course I plan to read Courting Morrow Little ;-), A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman, A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan, Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts, Ransome's Crossing by Kaye Dacus, Love is Monumental by Annalisa Daughtey, Claim by Lisa Bergren, The Weight of Shadows by Alison Stroebel, Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy, and Surrender the Heart by ML Tyndall...there are many many more but I can't list them all right now!

    I just finished Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Whitson and Spring's Renewal by Shelley Shepard Gray and I'm currently reading A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer and Healer by Linda Windsor!Whew!

    Of course I would love to be entered to win Maid to Match! I've read all of Deeanne's books except that one and I absolutely enjoyed them all!

    XOXO~ Renee

  27. I have read all of Deeanne Gist's books except Maid to Match and her other latest with that man she coauthored with. I love how her books tell such great stories. I just read the sixth book in the Dearest Dorothy series. I am reading a book about Watercolor painting techniques and will probably read Siri Mitchell's She Walks in Beauty or Janette Oke's A Quiet Strength next. I wish I had a great big garden as well, if for no other reason than to take pictures of all of the gorgeous flowers. It amazes me how awesome everything is designed.

  28. Laura, that butterfly atrium does sound like heaven. Sigh.

  29. Oooh! I would love a chance to win this book! Thank you! And that's so funny about pulling a name out of a hat--that's how I did my last giveaway on my blog, and I had my sister pull a name from my "Mt. Bachelor" hat! :)

    Anyway, I'm hoping to increase my reading list for this summer, as it is almost my birthday. I think my family already knows that any books or Borders giftcards make great presents for me! ;)

    Some of the books I have now that I'm really looking forward to reading are:
    --Love Finds You in Pendleton, Oregon by Melody Carlson.
    --Abbie Ann by Sharlene MacLaren
    --Christy by Catherine Marshall
    --Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

    Thanks again for such fun giveaways! :)


  30. Adge, I'd love some of your artistic ability (picture-taking, too). I'm always amazed, like you said, at the design of all the flowers. Don't understand how some people believe there's no Master Gardener?!

    The Dearest Dorothy series is new to me and I'm going to check it out. Glad so many people have Siri's book on the list as she is such a fine writer. You're in the hat for Dee's latest! She's also having a big party at the Biltmore this fall with more info on her website. Sure sounds like a fun time.

    Happy reading to you!

  31. Happy early birthday, Amber! You are in good company with Michelle and Amanda here - all summer babies:) BTW, I love your recent blog posts as they just say SUMMER IS HERE!

    Nothing like bookstore giftcards for birthdays or any day. I love them and am thinking of having some for future giveaways. That way readers can choose exactly what they want. Getting books in the mail always makes me sing:)

    I'm so glad to see Christy on your list. It's one of my favorite books of all time. You are in for such a treat! Julie is the sequel (I think). I read it years ago but don't remember it as well as Christy. Thanks for sharing your list - it's given me even more reading ideas:)

  32. Carla, Yes, those butterflies are amazing. I'm usually an, "Ick, don't land on me," kind of person but butterflies are so different somehow.

    BTW, can you suggest some Bible studies for personal use? I know you have been a good resource of that in the past.

  33. I just wanted to say the RWA conference has been moved from Nashville to Orlando on account of all the recent flooding. The change of venue sounds great though Nashville would have been a wonderful site. Maybe next time. Thanks so much, Keli, for the update.

  34. Chuckling at the NOT, Renee:) Indeed, you are one of the busiest nose-in-book gals I know! And that's a high compliment.

    I really, really like Marylu Tyndall's blog and need to read her books. I especially like her new cover. Your list looks so good to me - every one. I know you are a HUGE Julie Lessman fan. Would you believe I had the pleasure of endorsing her upcoming book - A Hope Undaunted?! It is an amazing read. She writes so very vividly that it was very easy to do, only I could have gone on and on and endorsements are supposed to be short and sweet. She's a gem in person, too.

    Please consider yourself in the pink hat!

  35. a fabulous posting...what a beautiful garden!

    currently, i'm reading A STRAY DROP OF BLOOD by roseanna white...have you read this novel...it's great!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  36. Karen, So glad you like the garden and stopped by to tarry a bit! Your book sounds so interesting (suspenseful and intriguing) and I'm going to look up on Amazon, my home away from home:)

    Thanks for entering the drawing. Wish I had a book for each one of you!

  37. Yay, Laura. I can't wait for my copy of Morrow. Your blog always makes me want to sit outside with a cup of tea on the front porch. My front porch isn't nearly as lovely as yours, though.

    I'm very anxious to read your book. Also anxious to read Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers and Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth. There's a bunch of others I should be writing reviews for and such, but these are the books I'm most excited about.

  38. I would love to have my name pulled out of your hat :)
    It is time for a new book..I have read everything else I have on my bookcase :)

  39. I love Deeanne Gist's books. I've been wanting to read this newest one. Right now I'm reading Deliver Us From Evil by Robin Caroll and it's set right here where I live in East Tennessee. Which isn't all that far from Biltmore, though I've never been there. I'm also wanting to catch up on some older books I've missed by some of my favorite authors. I just can't read fast enough!

  40. Hey Laura :) I was trying to think of a good devotional and I thought of “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by: Hannah Hurnard. This probably isn’t exactly a “devotional” but it could definitely be used as one! It was so incredibly beautiful and truly blessed my spirit! I’ve read it at least 5 times already and the Lord reveals more and more to me each time. It’s a Christian Classic, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this gem yet I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it!!

    Amanda Stanley

  41. Julia,
    I'm so glad you are looking forward to CML. It's so fun to meet and be able to send a book to NY. My editor is in NYC but I don't think I've yet met a reader from NY (just a reviewer). I'm wanting to read River's newest book, too. Nice for us that the sequel is coming up this fall (I think) so not too long a wait. Maybe I will wait and read them both together. Love the Mary DeMuth title! Now that sounds like an interesting book!

    Thanks so much for commenting here. You're a blessing!

  42. Nancy,
    I have a feeling you're too busy gardening, canning, and crafting to do much reading. Glad you are ready for a book! Would love to send one to Alabama:) Bless you for commenting.

  43. Hi Barbara, So glad to meet another Tennessean - there are a few of you who visit here:) Please consider yourself entered in the drawing. Glad you like Dee's books. This one might very well tempt you to cross state lines and visit the Biltmore. Wish I was that close! I agree with you, there's not nearly enough time to read all the books I'd like. And since there are new ones coming out all the time, I don't think I'll ever catch up.

    Happy reading to you! Please stop back by!

  44. Amanda, I have Hind's Feet on High Places on my bookshelf and couldn't agree more! The way it is written is beautiful and so many profound, yet practical thoughts on the Christian life within. It makes a great gift book. I think Mary would really, really like it. Also, Streams in the Desert is another great one - and then Springs in the Valley. Thanks for the idea. Hope you are having a great day there!

  45. Almost forgot my wishlist/reading list (a condensed one):

    The Family Greene by Ann Rinaldi
    Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris
    Ransome's Honor and Ransome's Crossing by Kaye Dacus
    Shenendoah Home Series by Sarah Mitchell
    Grandma's Letters from Africa by Linda Thomas
    Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts
    Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad
    The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed
    Research books:)

    I could go on and on...



  47. Thanks, Laura. I really want to read The Hemingses, too. Seen great reviews on that one.

    And I just looked at my county library system (I'm in the Rochester, NY) area. There are 5 copies of your book in the county system, so I'm betting you have a librarian fan in NY!


  48. You have a very interesting reading list, Laura.

    I'm smiling over you saying I have a summer birthday. I've never thought of my birthday as being in summer. I guess it's all those years of still being in school on my birthday.:)

  49. Donna Partow's studies are great. I loved her study on Nehemiah. I loved Nancy Missler's Way of Agape series. I also love Kay Arthur studies. I love hearing other's favorite studies.

  50. Carissa, So glad to meet you here. Way to go on that library hold! I love that my books are in libraries as they are so dear to my heart:) And I'm so happy you liked Lael's story. That blesses me immensely! It's a pleasure to enter you in the drawing. Winner posted Saturday!

  51. Julia, You've made my day:) One of my favorite things to come across are libraries who have copies of TFD circulating or are waiting for CML. I'm thrilled! Please feel free to pass on any good news like that you come across. You are a true blessing.

  52. Michelle,
    I hope you have a wonderful birthday - it really is more spring, given the school schedule. Though May is so hot in Ky sometimes I just lump it in as summer! Here we're still wearing coats in May:( Can you tell I'm homesick?!

    Besides reading tastes, we have something else in common. My old zip code was 40502:)

  53. Bless you for the study ideas, Julia. They'll help Mary and the rest of us, too. I'd forgotten how good Kay Arthur's are. I just finished a devotional book by her and absolutely hated to put it down. My husband is reading it now:) Will have to check out the Nehemiah one. I love Beth Moore and have done all of hers except Daniel and Esther. Am falling behind! Thanks so much!

  54. Laura,

    Glad to pass it on. Even just "meeting" you online through the blogosphere you seem like such a sweet lady. Have a great day!

  55. my reading list:
    -courting morrow little (soon)
    -Sharon Lovejoy gardening books
    -right now I'm reading Love Finds you In Sisters Oregon

    that is a lovely garden. wish mine was like that!

  56. Thanks so much, Julia. So do you:)

    Lisa, Love that list! Glad Morrow is on it. I thought you might like the Oregon Love Finds You one - I saw the KY one recently. Hope you have some good reading time on your deck this summer. The one at your house or the one at the lake house:) You're in the drawing for MTM. This is fun but I wish I had a book for everyone!

  57. I have read one of Deeanne's books and loved it.

    I think summer reading is going to consist of Jane Austen and your new book. I can't wait for your new book!

  58. I'd love to be in your drawing. Gist's new book is a must-have for me because I am a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Biltmore. I've been there several times and can't wait to see it in Christian Fiction!

    I love to garden too. Alas, mine never looks like that lovely methodic chaos that is the English garden.

    I got the book card for CML. Such a lovely cover. It's on my list of books to read this summer. So is Maid to Match, The Last Sin Eater, She Walks In Beauty, and Smoky Mountain Magic (secular.)

    I'm almost halfway through Louise Gouge's, The Captain's Lady. I've been so busy, I can only squeeze in a page-at-a-time.

    Hope all is well in Washington. God bless you and you folks!

  59. Now book reading is something I can go on and on and on about...but I won't!!!! :-)

    Just finished Cathy Marie Hake's
    'Forevermore' ( historical) and am astounded by it. Yep, you read right -- ASTOUNDED!!! Because of the character, Hope Ladley. What a breath of fresh air...a completely unique individual.

    Hope mangles idioms and bible verses but her speech is peppered with them. It's incredible that Cathy came up with so many, but then she finds a way to twist them into hilarious new sayings that actually make sense in their own way. What kind of mind thinks up something like that? A brilliant one! And it makes for a very memorable character.

    And 'Love on a Dime' by Cara Lynn James -- a debut historical: I loved the innovative dime novel angle! Writers and readers of inspirational romance can definitely relate to the timeless debate about the worthiness of this type of literature. And Lilly's dime novels reveal a rebellious streak as she fights against completely coforming to society's expectations.

    What am I looking forward to reading this summer?

    Courting Morrow Little!!!!!!!!!!
    Waiting Out The Storm by Ruth Logan Herne
    White Roses by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
    Steadfast Soldier by Cheryl Wyatt
    Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy
    Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad
    A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
    The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

    I could go on but...

  60. Kav, I was hoping you would stop by:) Now I simply must read Forevermore! I remember the cover so well for that one but have never read a Hake book. You have me hooked! Love your list and thank you for including mine. The Love on a Dime cover is great as is her next one. Amazing how much stock I put in a cover. I saw Steadfast Soldier at Wal-Mart yesterday - the Love Inspired titles are looking really good. Your list is basically my list:)

    Just tossed your name into the GRITS hat:) Winner announced Saturday. Fun!

  61. Britt, So glad to see you here. My pleasure to enter you in the drawing. Biltmore is an amazing place and I thought you were pretty close, being in TN. This may be her most popular book yet simply because of the beloved setting. I found it fascinating that the Biltmores were so good to their servants but best not have any spoilers here...

    I just finished The Captain's Lady, too. The cover really drew me in - and the time period. Smoky Mt Magic sounds really interesting.

    See you Saturday:)

  62. Hi Stacey,
    Can't wait to send Morrow your way! I'll know more about when I get my author copies by the end of this month, which is right around the corner! I think you'd love Maid to Match and am happy to toss your name into the hat! Happy reading to you in Texas, dear friend:)

  63. I love seeing everyone's lists. I could go on forever with my list! I hope to read this summer:
    -Breathe/Sing by Lisa Bergen
    -Heart's Awakening by Delia Parr
    -The Country House Courtship by Linore Rose Burkard
    -The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens
    -Driftwood Lane by Denise Hunter
    -Twilight Serenade by Tracie Peterson
    -Walker's Wedding by Lori Copeland
    And Courting Morrow Little sounds wonderful too!

  64. Merry, Oh, a wonderful list:) Thank you for taking time to share it here! And for saying my next book looks good to you. That sure blesses me. Now you can add Maid to Match to your list as it might be winging its way to you come Saturday. The Heart's Journey Home is a beautiful title. You've certainly piqued my interest with some of your list. Bless you and please come back.

  65. Don't you just love Internet woes? I've had intermittent Internet AND time the last few days, and am just now catching up!

    Love your garden pic! If I could pick, I'd choose one like at Williamsburg, VA. We went there a few years ago, and it was a balm to my soul.

    BUT, Biltmore comes in there pretty close, too! and since Deeanne Gist's book, "Maid to Match" is set there, I've had it on my TBR list for some time - and would love to be in on the drawing!

    Throw my name in that hat. I fit, you know. ;)

  66. Regina, I'd just love to put you in my GRITS hat. And you do certainly fit!! I am so with you about Williamsburg. What an amazing place. My garden is definitely western style, right down to the barbed-wire. I'd love a little kitchen garden full of herbs. I have one but it's not as pretty as a colonial garden. I tried to download a pic of the Biltmore garden but it wouldn't work. Sigh. Anyway, thanks so much for entering! Love my KY reading buddies!

  67. I'm reading Midnight in Madrid, Living Organized, and The First Drop of Rain. And I have A Century Turns waiting for me to put down the Kindle and pick up a paper and ink book.

  68. Sheryl, Love the titles you listed, especially A Century Turns. Now THAT sounds so interesting to a history lover like me. It's a delight to enter you in the drawing. I'm so glad to meet some new readers and get new book recommendations. Bless you for that!