Monday, October 23, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover (Review) + Reader's Choice Giveaway of a Christian Fiction Christmas novel published in 2017

Today I'm reviewing a truly awesome little book of Christmas devotions so I thought it would be fun to do another Reader's Choice Giveaway -- this time for a Christmas novel (Christian Fiction) published in 2017. Scroll down to the GIVEAWAY graphic to see info about the giveaway.


SPOELSTRA, MELISSA
TOTAL CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER : 31 DEVOTIONS TO CELEBRATE WITH A PURPOSE

Give your Christmas makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

In Total Christmas Makeover : 31 Devotions to Celebrate with a Purpose, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra presents key scriptures, practical ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection that help you grow in faith while spending daily time focusing on God's Word and grace. The 31-day devotional guides individuals and families in rediscovering Rituals and how to reflect on God in the midst of them, Relationships and our call to love and serve others, and Rest, which we must intentionally pursue in order to connect more deeply with Christ during the holiday season.

My Review:

An awesome little book that is both user friendly and thought-provoking and quite possibly life-changing for those feeling overwhelmed by all that bustle of the season. The author asks a pretty probing question at the beginning of the book: "Do you find that you too have been caught up in the 'have-to's instead of the God-centered-love-to's?" (p.2) She's referencing the way we celebrate Christmas and how easy it is to get caught in the trap of activities and shopping and insane busyness.

I love how she approaches the biblical example of celebration which involves Ritual, Relationship and Rest.That last one is probably the trickiest to embrace during the holiday season! This devotional is the perfect guide to help readers bring a new, refreshing perspective -- and it releases early enough to actual read it before the craziness begins!

I also love the Questions for Reflections and A Practical Approach sections at the end of each devotional. They made a world of difference for me as they helped me distinguish my love-to's from my have-to's and identify practical ways to keep my focus on Jesus this season. Tons of creative ideas for any type of family including single, senior and empty nester households. If you're looking for A Total Christmas Makeover consider this book as the first step.

Book provided courtesy of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity Group.


GIVEAWAY

Winner's Choice of any Christmas novel (Christian Fiction) released in 2017.

State the title and author of the book you want to win in the comment section.
-- up to 3 suggestions per person
BUT
each title/author must be in a separate comment
(makes it easier to tally)
Books must be categorized as both Christmas and Christian Fiction
Remember to add your email address in one of your comments (don't need to do it each time) but use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers
Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 29 2017
Offer open to International Readers

122 comments:

  1. What? An East coaster is first up? I don't think this has ever happen to me!
    Total Christmas Makeover looks like an excellent read, just what I'm always looking to do, simplify the busyness of Christmas and focus on Jesus birth. I'm going to look this one up, thanks for the thoughtful review.

    1) The Gift of Twins by Gabrielle Meyer 12/1
    tracey14567 at gmail dot com

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  2. 2)A Child's Christmas Wish by Erica Vetsch 11/1

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  3. The Christmas Captive by Liz Johnson 10/1

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    Replies
    1. I'm sensing a Love Inspired theme here, Tracey. :-) Good luck, Tracey.

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    2. I would have picked Christmas at Carnton but I was able to get a review copy and it's so swoon-worthy I may read it again before Christmas. A great Christmas pick!

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    3. Ooohhh -- and insider's opinion on the most popular book of the day. Now I really have to read it.

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  4. An Amish County Christmas, Suzanne Woods Fisher
    Sounds like a nice read!
    Thanks Kav! Joy

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  5. Also I've been watching
    Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander
    Again thank you Kav for your reviews and encouragement to read Christian fiction!
    Joy

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  6. And Total Christmas Makeover sounds like a great read too!
    Blessings Joy

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    Replies
    1. I've been eyeing Christmas at Canton too. I can't find anything under An Amish County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher. There's a Lancaster County Christmas by her and An Amish Christmas - December in Lancaster County (think I got that title right). Could it be one of those? And Total Christmas Makeover is a great read but it's non-fiction and this giveaway is all about Christmas Christian Fiction. So feel free to throw another couple of titles out. Good luck, Joy.

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    2. Oops -- scratch that, I just found An Amish Country Christmas : a 2 in 1 collection. Woot. Awesomesauce.

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  7. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander! I love the deoth she puts into her novels.

    rachaeldalquist AT yahoo DOT com

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    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to that one too. Good luck, Rachael.

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  8. Great review! I've been wanting to read Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander. Thank you for the chance.

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  9. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep 09/2017

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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    Replies
    1. Michelle' Griep's has me really intrigued too. Good luck, Caryl.

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  10. Amish Christmas Twins by Patricia Davids
    LI book Oct. 2017
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  11. Christmas Amnesia by Laura Scott
    LI book Oct. 2017
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  12. Secret Christmas Twins by Lee Tobin McClain
    LI books Oct. 2017
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Another great line up of Love Inspired. I just got my order in -- 9 books all Christmas themed. Yeehaw! Good luck, Jackie.

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  13. Amish christmas twins by patricia davids. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  14. An amish country christmas. Suzanne Woods Fisher. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  15. off the grid christmas Mary Ellen Porter. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  16. Love Christmas books so am excited for this giveaway :) I'll go with Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander for my first choice.

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  17. #2 - 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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  18. #3 - The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Ooohhh -- reading a Melody Carlson Christmas story has become kind of a tradition in my house. Good luck, Cheryl.

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  19. 1. Christmas at Carnton by Tammy Alexander
    paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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  20. 2. Twelve Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

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  21. 3. Barbour Collections: The Western Christmas Brides Collection

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    Replies
    1. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    2. I'm not a huge novella reader but I love a good Christmas collection. Must check that Western Brides one out. Good luck, Paula.

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  22. These giveaways & book talk are so much fun. Thanks, Kav!

    The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray. (Nov. 2017)

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call me clueless but I didn't realize The Gift was a Christmas story. I knew it was coming out though and I'm even getting a copy to review. Wheeeee! Good luck, Diana.

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    2. Christmas, suspense, and Amish! It doesn't get much better than that! Wheeeee!

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    3. Oh yeah, talking about this book....I forgot I won a copy on a Goodreads giveaway the other day :-D Yippee!!

      Though, I need to borrow the first two (Her Secret & His Guilt) from the library....and His Risk (#4) comes out in March....lots to look forward to!

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    4. Ooooh, don't get me thinking about new year releases, Trixi, I don't have a book to record them in yet. LOL

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  23. I'm late today, I was so tired yesterday I crawled into bed much earlier than I usually do! But in my defense, my nose was in a good book for a while before I shut my light off :-)

    This is not a choice as this is what I'm currently reading, but I thought I might add to your Christmas must-read list Kav (or anyone else):
    "The Beloved Christmas Quilt" by Wanda Brunstetter, daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter & granddaughter Richelle Brunstetter (Sept 2017). Three stories that revolve around a handmade Amish quilt passed down to the daughters. So far, it's excellent...but it is Wanda and I already love her books!

    Okay on to my first choice (there's SO many to choose from):

    1. The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton (Sept 2017)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Both of these are on my TBR pile. Can’t wait to get to them.

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  24. I'm going with a few out of my norm choices with new-to-me authors who's books sound good for a Christmas read :-)

    Choice #2: The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Milne

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip on the Brunstetter book -- neat that it is written by three generations. And Kevin Milne is a new to me author. Sounds like a great Christmas story. Good luck, Trixi.

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  25. 2) The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall (Oct. 2017)

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Ooooohhh -- this is the first I'm hearing about that one! Good luck, Diana.

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    2. It sounds really great, Lucy! Kav, this released on the 10th. I don't know how it got by me. I guess I'm slipping. 😉

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  26. And finally....this should appeal your canine loving heart Kav!

    #3: A Dog for Christmas by Linda Byler (says October 2017) This features a Newfoundland named lucky by the Amish children who found him :-)

    teamob (at) gmail (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. And Newfoundlands are one of my favourite breeds!!!!!!!! That's a treasure right there. Good luck, Trixi.

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  27. 3) Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Everyone wants this book!!!!! Me included. Good luck, Diana.

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    2. I have this one on hold at my library :-) Can you believe that even though I have a few novels by Tamera, I've not read a single book by her yet?? Christmas at Carnton will be an excellent one to start with don't you think? ;-)

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    3. Gasp! I'm jealous that your library already has a copy.

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    4. It's actually an ebook copy through my sis-in-law's Overdrive library account. And, the fun thing is, I had requested they purchase it, which they did :-) Win/win!!

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    5. Christmas at Carnton is the start of a brand new series by Tamera. You'll love her books, Trixi. I haven't read every one of them, but I've read quite a few.

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    6. Yay, more insider information. And yay to an new Tamera Alexander series.

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  28. I hadn't heard of the devotional book. Though I usually read devotional books that last for a whole year, sometimes it's nice to read a shorter one on a specific topic.
    The Christmas book I'm wanting to read is Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander (like just about everyone else!).
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    Replies
    1. I'm a huge fan of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young but I enjoyed this shorter set of devotions. Good luck, Pam.

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  29. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

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  30. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Great choices, Lucy. I'm looking forward to reading them all. Good luck.

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  31. The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall. I absolutely love her writing. Thank you Kav!

    Dblaser(at)windstream(dot)net

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  32. Twelve Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep . I'm dying to read this book because everyone is talking about it! Thanks, Kav!

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    Replies
    1. I love Cindy Woodsmall too...which reminds me, I think I've missed the last book in latest series. Must check. Good luck, Diane.

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  33. I would love –
    The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith
    by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, Richelle Brunstetter
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would love –
    Merry and Bright: A Novel
    by Debbie Macomber
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would love –
    An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas
    by Beth Wiseman and Amy Clipston
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    Replies
    1. There's something about a collection of Christmas Amish novellas. I read at least one every year. Good luck, Kay.

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  36. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander. It's another Christmas book that everyone is talking about...including you. Thanks,Kav! :)

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    1. The most popular book of the day! Good luck, Diane.

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  37. Enchanted: A Christmas Collection by Melissa Tagg. It's not on Amazon or Goodreads yet but I asked the author on Facebook and she said the release date is November 21 :)

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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  38. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection by Lauralee Bliss, Ramona K. Cecil, Dianne Christner, Melanie Dobson, Jerry S. Eicher, Olivia Newport, Rachael O. Phillips, Claire Sanders, Anna Schmidt

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! You've gobsmacked me with two of your selections. I didn't know about Melissa Tagg's or that novella collection. Woohoo, I'm excited! And thanks for the inside scoop about Melissa's novel. Good luck, Heidi.

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  40. 1. The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

    melodybissonnette AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  41. 2. An Amish Christmas Love
    by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, and Kelly Irvin

    melodybissonnette AT gmail DOT com

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  42. 3. The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray

    melodybissonnette AT gmail DOT com

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    Replies
    1. That's a nice wishlist, Melody. Good luck.

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  43. #1. A Mountain Christmas Romance by Misty M. Beller (I'm really excited about this one!)
    Elly -Indiana-
    jcservantslaveATicloudDOTcom

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  44. #2. The Shoemaker by Lisa M. Prysock (Another I've been looking forward to.)
    Elly -Indiana-
    jcservantslaveATicloudDOTcom

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  45. #3. Christmas at carnton by Tamera Alexander
    Elly -Indiana-
    jcservantslaveATicloudDOTcom

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    Replies
    1. Haven't heard about your first and second choices, Elly. They look good. Good luck!

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  46. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  47. I'm always looking for a good advent devotional. Thanks for the rec.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Terrill. I really appreciated the insights I gained from this one.

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  48. Enchanted: A Christmas Collection by Melissa Tagg which releases on my birthday, 11/21/17.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  49. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  50. I would love Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber too!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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    Replies
    1. Happy early birthday, Cindy. Good luck.

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  51. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander. Have to list this one as her books are excellent and I read the hero was injured at Chickamauga (my family lived on what became the battlefield during the War). This is a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit. Thanks! dobeworld at sbcglobal dot net

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  52. The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson. Her Christmas books are always good, some more serious than others! dobeworld at sbcglobal dot net

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  53. The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray. I just finished His Guilt in that same series - was good. Thanks! dobeworld at sbcglobal dot net

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    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to all these as well. You have a neat tie-in with Tamera Alexander's new book. Good luck, CC.

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  54. Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander.

    mindyhoungATmsnDOTcom

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  55. Christmas Blessings by Melody Carlson

    mindyhoungATmsnDOT com

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  56. A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection: Spend Christmas with 9 Historical Couples from Amish, Mennonite, Quaker, and Amana Settlements Kindle Edition
    by Lauralee Bliss (Author), Ramona K. Cecil (Author), Dianne Christner (Author), Melanie Dobson (Author), Jerry S. Eicher (Author), Olivia Newport (Author), Rachael O. Phillips (Author), Claire Sanders (Author), Anna Schmidt (Author)
    iamabho ATgmailDOTcom
    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  57. An Amish Country Christmas: A 2-in-1 Collection Paperback – November 7, 2017
    by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Author)
    iamabho ATgmailDOTcom
    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  58. Merry and Bright: A Novel Kindle Edition
    by Debbie Macomber (Author)
    Thank You very much for all the chances to win a book of our choice
    iamabho ATgmailDOTcom

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    Replies
    1. Sorry disregard the kindle edition part I just copied and pasted :)

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    2. Than romance collection sounds really good. I love a Christmas novella collection. Good luck, Linda.

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  59. I love readers choice, but the hardest part is to choose only 3 titles ;)

    #1 The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans
    Releasing November 7th

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

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  60. #2 The Christmas Star by Robert Tate Miller
    Released October 10th

    ReplyDelete
  61. #3 The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
    Released September 5th

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    Replies
    1. Ooohh -- I didn't know about that Richard Paul Evans new release. I just checked and my library has both the audio and book on order. Woot! Good luck, Samantha.

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  62. I'm always a little late commenting on the reader's choice, because I have to get organize my Amazon Wish List and they've made it hard by taking away all of the good search filters. It's totally messed with my tbr organization methods. :(

    1.) The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray

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  63. 2.) The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton

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  64. I thought this was a stand-alone until I saw Diane's post. Yay, for a new series.

    3.) Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

    tlhcoupon(at)Hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. I've never perfected searching on Amazon. I kind of stumble upon things randomly. LOL Good luck, Terrill.

      Delete
  65. An Amish Country Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  66. The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  67. The Gift of Christmas past by Cindy Woodsmall
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  68. #1 Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  69. #2 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep
    09/2017

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  70. #3 The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks for this fun giveaway, Kav! I LOVE Christmas books! :) ~Alison Boss

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    Replies
    1. I love Christmas books too and there's look to be quite a variety this year. Good luck, agboss.

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