A Place in His HeartTitle: A Place in His Heart

Author: Rebecca DeMarino

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First, a quick bio from Amazon.com: “Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino’s own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life–and a legacy–in the New World.”

There were some things I liked about this book, and some things I didn’t. So to make it easier, I’m just dividing this review into two straight-forward categories: things I liked about the book, and things I didn’t. 😉

Things I Liked:

Lately I’ve been lacking in my early American history, and this book immediately caught my attention because it’s set right in that time period. We owe so much to those first settlers and explorers who paved the way for us. It had to be terrifying, striking out into the great unknown like that, and it was people like the author’s ancestors who played a part in creating what we now call The United States of America today.

That’s one of the main things I really appreciated about this book. I was just washed anew with an overwhelming gratitude, appreciation, and understanding for what all of our ancestors endured to give us the land we live in today. Because the author was writing this about her own distant family, I think her passion and understanding of what they had to sacrifice for The New World really came through.

And how about that–this story is actually true! Of course, creative license is almost always taken with Historical novels to fill in the blanks–and the same is true here–but Mary Langton and Barnabas Horton were real people. They actually existed. For me, that just adds a whole ‘nother layer of “cool.”

Things I Didn’t Like:

This book was so sad! The title gives you a clue, but it apparently went right over my head, because the entire book really is about Mary trying to win a place in Barnabas’s heart. As far as romance goes, it’s all one-sided until almost the very end. I hurt for Mary trying to win her husband’s heart, but it just takes way too long for them to get there and becomes a pretty depressing read. Barnabas was also a really hard character to like. To me, he came across as a very selfish character, and with Mary making one too many excuses for him, I didn’t see how winning his heart was all that big of a deal. Granted, it’s obvious these characters are developed enough to have very strong feelings towards them as a reader. I just wish there had been a better hero and heroine to cheer for.

All-in-all, it was clearly very well-researched and pretty well-written, but I just couldn’t get behind those characters.

(I received this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.)

Let’s Talk Book: What’s a time period you enjoy reading about or would like to read so that you can learn more about it?

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Full Steam Ahead, WitemeyerTitle: Full Steam Ahead

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I usually love Karen Witemeyer’s novels, and Full Steam Ahead was no exception! There is just something so down-home and American about Witemeyer’s books. Like tucking into a thick quilt on a cold night, or dipping into a steamy apple pie fresh from the oven. They’re simple, sweet, and completely satisfying.

Full Steam Ahead focuses on two main characters: Darius Thornton, who’s hiding his past–and Nicole Renard–who’s hiding a knife.

Nicole Renard just wants to carry on her family’s legacy and find an heir for her ailing father. Striving to be the son her father always wanted, she’ll do anything to continue his legacy and protect the family heirloom, the Lafitte Dagger. Even if that means marrying to do it.

Darius Thornton, on the other hand, has left his family behind to work on perfecting boilers to reduce the risk of steamboat accidents. But now he’s nothing more than an obsessed scientist focused only on blowing things up. It’ll take a miracle–or one very pretty lady–to get his attention.

Basically, I loved this book, and this review may start sounding more like a cheesy fan letter than it does a critique. But when there’s humor, romance, action, and a moral to the story, what’s not to love? It was one of the first books in a while that I just couldn’t put down, and it had me laughing and/or sappily sighing pretty much every other page.

The whole harried professor thing is hard to beat as far as humor goes, then you get Witemeyer’s talent for creating sweet romances and the most down-to-earth characters you’ll ever find, add a pirate dagger for a dash of danger, throw in some very realistic spiritual journeys, and how can you not like this book?

True, she does lean very heavy on the romance. It can get a little sappy in parts. So if romance isn’t something you enjoy reading, you’ll probably want to stay away from this one. But other than that, I can’t think of anyone else I wouldn’t recommend this book to.

Read it, loved it, can’t wait for her next book!

(I received this book for free from Bethany House on NetGalley.com in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: Who’s an author you’re pretty much guaranteed to love and never hesitate to read?

Silenced, PettreyTitle: Silenced

Author: Dani Pettrey

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s finally happened! I’ve finally read a book by Dani Pettrey! I’ve been wanting to read a book by her for ages now, so when I was offered a free copy in exchange for my honest review by Bethany House, I leapt at the chance! I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Silenced is the fourth book in the Alaskan Courage series, and it mainly focuses on expert climber Kayden McKenna and man-with-a-past, Jake Cavanaugh. When Kayden comes face to face with a dead rock climber, she won’t rest until the killer is found. Choosing to listen to his heart instead of his head, Jake decides to come alongside her and assist as deputy in the investigation. But as the mystery grows, Kayden and Jake will have to decide which is the bigger danger: a killer at large, or giving away the key to their hearts?

For the most part I’m mainly a Historical Fiction lover, but for a change of pace, I really liked this book! It starts out as a classic murder mystery with a plentiful suspect list and a million plausible motives. Then the story branches out a little, and it suddenly becomes a lot more dark and sinister than you’d originally expect. On one hand, I liked that. It switched things up a bit. On the other, it came across as a little disjointed. The shift was kind of abrupt and made me wonder about a few things that felt like loose ends.

But that may be because I didn’t start from the very beginning of this series. The characters in Pettrey’s books are all deeply connected, and while she does an excellent job of catching up a reader with all that’s gone on before, I couldn’t shake the feeling of coming late to the party. From this book alone, it appears as though relationships are big to Pettrey books. Both romantic and familial. I really enjoyed that aspect of it, but I think I’d need to go back and read the first three books to really “get” it.

Overall, Silenced doesn’t quite get a spot in my “Favorites” list, but it does make me very glad to have tried out Pettrey and eager to read some of her earlier books! Who knows–maybe a “favorite” is hiding out there. 🙂

(I received this book for free from Bethany House on NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: What kinds of things do you read when you need a change of pace or a break from the usual?

Silenced, PettreyAnd the winner of Dani Pettrey’s book Silenced is…

KD Holmberg!

Congratulations! You will be contacted soon so that your prize can be delivered to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered, and please stop by again tomorrow when I do a review of Silenced!

Looking forward to seeing you then.

Today I am so excited to host Dani Pettrey, author of the award-winning Alaskan Courage series, as well as having the privilege to give away one copy of her newest book, Silenced! Read on to find out more about Dani and how you can enter.

Dani PettreySo glad to have you, Dani! How did you first get your start in writing?

I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up, but set it aside. It wasn’t until after the birth of my youngest daughter and a bout with a serious illness, that I really felt God stirring me to start writing again.

All four of the books you’ve released so far have an Alaskan setting. Can you tell us where that love of Alaska comes from?

I chose Alaska because I wanted a setting that worked well for adventure and suspense. Alaska is a gorgeous state full of adventurous possibilities, and there is an inherent risk of danger if you aren’t prepared properly. It seemed the perfect fit.

You have a new release out called Silenced–can you tell us a little bit more about that?

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route leads her to a face-to-face encounter with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again-–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger.

But the truth is far worse than either of them imagine.

Authors often talk about God teaching them something through the stories they’re writing, or discovering something at the same moment their character does. What’s one memorable thing the Lord’s taught you through your writing?

The Lord has taught me through life and through the Alaskan Courage series that He is in control, that He is always with us, and that He has a plan. None of that means we will have a perfect life free from trouble. Jesus tells us specifically we will have trouble in this world, but He is with us through it all. Seeing my characters experience sorrow and loss and seeing the Lord carrying them through has mirrored what I’ve experienced in my own life and helped reaffirm God’s abiding presence in all circumstances.

You just recently had surgery–how are you doing, and how can I and my readers pray for you?

Thank you so much for asking. I’m recovering very well, thanks. Prayers for continued healing and no future problems would be wonderful. Prayers for my writing to be guided by God and for every story to be for His glory would be amazing too.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Dani! It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you better! 🙂

Thank you so much for having me!

Ways to connect with Dani:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DaniPettrey
Website: http://www.danipettrey.com
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/danipettrey

~ About the Giveaway ~


Silenced, PettreyReaders, I am so blessed to be able to offer the chance for one randomly selected winner to receive a free copy of Dani’s book, Silenced! Here’s the details:

One winner will be randomly selected using the services of Random.org.

No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries.

U.S. residents only are eligible to enter, starting from today, May 28th, 2014, and lasting until midnight (MST) of May 30th, 2014.

Enter by leaving a comment with your e-mail address. Your e-mail will only be used to notify you if you’ve won.

The winner will be notified by e-mail and announced here the morning of May 31st, 2014.

You will have until midnight (MST) of the 31st to claim your prize, otherwise the prize will be awarded to the second runner-up as chosen by Random.org, and so on.

If you’ve won, you will be notified and contacted for your mailing address so that your prize can be delivered to you.

Best of luck, and thank you so much to Dani Pettrey, Amanda Dykes of PulsePoint Design, and Bethany House for the amazing opportunity to host this giveaway!

Spoken For, Gunn and BethkeTitle: Spoken For: Embracing Who You Are and Whose You Are

Author: Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

When I first saw Spoken For, I was a little worried it might be too simplistic and not that deep of a read, just because it came across as though it’s geared towards a younger audience. But the more I learned about it, the more I realized it actually seemed to fit the stage of life I’m in right now almost perfectly (early 20’s, for those of you who don’t know 🙂 ). While it was a tad simplistic in parts, I would highly recommend this book for not only teens, but also for women in their 20’s and maybe even their 30’s, that’s how good it was! Spoken For has a message every woman can relate to, and that’s about our quest for love. Our need to be desired and cherished, to hold and be held, to love and be loved.

Who doesn’t adore a good romance? The thing is, we often miss the greatest romance of all: the one we have with our Savior.

How do I describe all that this book did for me at this stage in my life? Let’s just say it was a message I desperately needed to hear, and that it left me in tears. Authors Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke helped me understand God’s love in a way I never have before in such a raw, touching way, I can honestly say this is one book that has helped change my outlook on life and relationship with my Savior forever.

There aren’t many books that can do that!

I am adopted, and while I grew up with the two most amazing, loving people I know as parents, I’ve always struggled with some feelings of rejection. So when I read the chapter called, “You Are Wanted,” I cried. I’ve never been the girl to turn heads, have never had a boyfriend, and usually hid in a corner on prom nights. So when I read, “You Are Pursued,” I bawled. And what salve to my soul to hear “You Are Loved” after a season of isolation and pain that seemed to last forever.

I also appreciated the authors’ honesty about the down times in their lives and the study questions they had at the end of every chapter as well. I usually hate those, but somehow they managed to write them in a casual, non-annoying way.

So dear broken heart, if you’re reading this right now and need tangible proof of God’s love, please pick up this book, and may you know how high, how wide, and how deep His love reaches.

Even now.

Even here.

Even to you.

(I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: Have you ever read a book that completely changed you or how you viewed your relationship with God?

There’s a few things I love in life. One is books. Another is sharing about new books. And I’m a sucker for giveaways. Combine the three and what do you get? Author Dani Pettrey’s Rugged Romance Sweepstakes! Killer title, right? Wait until you check out the prizes!

Read on to find out how you can enter this super fun giveaway now through May 21st, and stay tuned for my review of Dani’s newest release, Silenced. I’m ridiculously excited about it, but you’ll have to stop by again to find out why. 😉 (And yes, mysterious foreshadow totally intended.)

Here’s the scoop:

Summary:

Silenced, Pettrey

In Silenced, Book 4 of author Dani Pettrey’s award-winning Alaskan Courage series, a relaxing day of rock climbing takes a dark turn when Kayden McKenna’s route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Was the climber’s death a terrible accident or something more sinister?

When the case is handed to Yancey’s overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With the truth of Jake’s past now revealed, Jake agrees to use his investigation skills for this one case–but nothing could prepare him for where the case will take him.

As Kayden and Jake work together to uncover the truth, will they also find a refuge in each other? Or will the deadly plans of a killer destroy their chance at love?

To celebrate the novel, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the RUGGED ROMANCE SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:

This giveaway starts May 1, 2014 and ends May 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Friday, May 23, 2014, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.

About the Prizes:

GRAND PRIZE:

ALASKAN AIR ADVENTURE

Rugged Romance

In Silenced, Kayden’s adventurous nature and skills as a pilot come in handy as she and Jake race to uncover the truth. If you’ve always dreamed of hopping on a plane to chase your own adventures, but don’t have a well-trained pilot and a Cessna at your disposal, we’ve got the perfect prize for you.

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: a $250 gift certificate to Alaskan Airlines, good toward travel to multiple destinations across the Continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii

SECOND PRIZE:

DENALI DEVOTION WALL ART

Rugged Romance

As Jake and Kayden crisscross the Alaskan wilderness looking for answers, they also see some of the most glorious scenery on earth: soaring mountains, crystal clear lakes, and incomparable wildlife. Could there be any better setting for a glowing romance? Now you can share in the romantic scenery, even if you don’t live in Alaska.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: The Kiss at Wonder Lake 31″ x 23″ Framed Art Print

THIRD PRIZE:

RUGGED ROMANCE PICNIC PACK

Rugged Romance

Kayden has always been practical, no-nonsense, and slow to trust. She’s definitely not a romantic-at-heart who longs for a handsome man to whisk her away for a picnic in the mountains. Right? ; )

If you, like Kayden, have secretly dreamed of a romantic mountain-top picnic, this is the prize for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The ultimate picnic pack for a romantic afternoon. This insulated backpack includes silverware, plates, napkins, plastic long-stemmed glasses and a wide selection of gourmet picnic snacks

HOW TO ENTER:

Go to http://www.danipettrey.com/rugged-romance-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between May 1 and May 21.

The Pawn, JamesTitle: The Pawn (The Bowers Files Book #1)

Author: Steven James

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Boy, you better be ready for a ride with this one! The Pawn is somewhat of an older book, but since I’ve wanted to read James for a while now and this is the first in a series, I figured it would be better to start there. Based on the first book alone, I think it is the type of series where you have to start from the beginning to really get it. There were a few hints in this first book that suggested more of the story and main character would be revealed in the next. And good golly, that character! But let me give you a peek at the plot first before I get too carried away:

“Special Agent Patrick Bowers had only met one man who made him truly afraid. Until now. When he’s called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game.
Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he’s about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers’s instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they’re not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent’s pieces? Thrilling, chilling, and impossible to put down, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its iron grip until the very last page.” (Amazon.com)

Let me tell you, “thrilling and chilling” is one very apt description! The author goes so deep with his characters. Like, scary deep. Think Criminal Minds deep. On one hand, I was really impressed by that. His villain has a motive, and the motive is very plausible. His main character, Special Agent Patrick Bowers, is so well-developed he almost became like Sherlock Holmes, that’s how real and how heroic he became. A man with flaws but also almost otherworldly talent. If you’re going to name an entire series around a certain character, he better be a good one, and I’m pleased to say Patrick Bowers easily held up his end of the bargain.

The plot was also fantastic. The writing was superb. This will sound really strange, but my only complaint is that it was too real.

I got really freaked out by this book, I’m not gonna lie. There’s a scene at the very beginning of the book I just cannot get out of my head. It was grisly and creepy and just way too real. That’s where my struggle comes in. Because was it excellently written? Absolutely. The fact that it got under my skin so much shows how great of a writer Steven James really is. But can I recommend it? I’m not sure. Would I read him again? I don’t know.

I suppose it comes down to this: if this looks like your kind of genre, then by all means, read it! It’s very well-written. But if scary reads aren’t really your thing, you may want to avoid this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this author. I’d just recommend him with a caveat.

So! Here’s my question for you:

Let’s Talk Book: Weigh in and let me know what you think! Should I read the second book in the Bowers series? Comment on this blog post with your vote by clicking on “comment” on the top right-hand side. If you’re voting no, tell me why and what I should read instead! If yes, then a review of The Rook may be coming to a blog near you!

Born of Persuasion, DottaTitle: Born of Persuasion

Author: Jessica Dotta

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Strangely enough, I first heard of debut author Jessica Dotta through an ad on my Facebook feed. The ad claimed Dotta’s style to be similar to that of both Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, and being the Jane fan I am, I was cautiously optimistic about her upcoming release, Born of Persuasion. Cautiously optimistic because there are a lot of authors who claim to have styles similar to both the respective Janes in an effort to sell books.

But I decided to try her out, and I am so glad I did! Dotta was the first author in a long time whose style really did hearken back to Jane Eyre. (As far as I can tell without having actually read the book. I know! Completely unforgivable. But I have seen the movie and have the book at the top of my must-read list!) I read a lot in the Christian market, and the more you read, the more you begin to see a lot of the same thing over and over. Publishers find a formula that works and/or sells books (historical setting, girl meets guy, girl can’t have guy, they’re finally together, the end), and they tend to stick with it. I completely understand why, but it can get a bit boring and a little predictable after a while. So when I find a book that shakes things up a little, I get really excited!

Dotta’s novel does just that. Full of mystery, drama, and intrigue, it became the book I didn’t know I was looking for. Both Dotta’s style and plotline were completely unpredictable. For starters, forget just one suitor. The heroine in this book has to deal with two. And for once, I had no idea who she should pick! I felt just as confused as she was about which of them measured up to the title of hero. Add to that a twist I never saw coming and a rich historical setting, and Charlotte Bronte, we’re in business!

If I had to pick one thing I wasn’t fond of, it would be that she does have a couple of scenes that do edge closer to the “hot and heavy” line than was probably necessary.

But overall, Dotta made quick work of making me an avid fan, and I cannot wait to see more from her!

Here’s what Amazon has to say (and, BONUS: Born of Persuasion is FREE right now on Kindle! It would be terribly silly of you to miss that kind of opportunity):

“The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.”

(I received this book for free from the publisher on Goodreads. All opinions are my own and are not paid for or solicited.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Burning Sky, BentonTitle: Burning Sky

Author: Lori Benton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book had me at hello. I mean, just listen to this description: “Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?”

If we’re making a list of things Lizzie loves, Burning Sky has quite a few of them!

Strong female character? Check.
Scotsman? Check.
Great time period and awesome Historical setting? Check.
Betrayal, tragedy, and a chance to overcome both in one breathtaking fictional treatise on hope? Check.

I really connected to the character of Willa wondering where she belongs in the world, and I cared about her from the very beginning. It was just one of those stories and one of those characters that will always stick with you. I was pulling for Willa from the very first page, just as heartbroken as she was over the loss of her family, and, even more than that, her identity. There’s only a few books in life where you can look back and say, “I almost felt as if the characters in that book were real. I’ve walked that road. I’ve fought that fight. I’ve felt those tears,” and Burning Sky was one of those books for me. I’ve walked away from plenty of books saying, “Well, that was a good read. Fun and fictional, but good.” And then there are those that are real and relational. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish, which is why I applaud Benton all the more.

Like Born of Persuasion, Benton’s debut novel was refreshingly different. Again, two suitors. (In a way, three, but I’ll let you discover that on your own!) And just as confusing about whom she should choose.

So, to sum things up, you should go buy this book. No, really. Go buy it. Now. 😉

Until next time!

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: What is it you look for in a debut author? What would make you pick up their next book? Who are some debut authors that you’d recommend?

Books Button

There used to be a time when I could indulge my book addiction. One book became an entire series, an entire series became an entire shelf, and an entire shelf became an entire collection.

But then the economy took a dive, and with it, my bibliophile heart. I’m the type who doesn’t like library books for two reasons: one is that I really like to keep my books. Another is that I cannot hold a library book without imagining all the other potentially germ-y hands that have held it before me.

So how does one afford the books one loves without going to the library? Prayer, of course!

Mine went something like this: “Lord, please show me how to afford the books I love so much.”

It was a simple prayer, but it was answered in a mighty way!

In the past 3 months alone, I’ve won 1 e-book, 4 paperbacks, and downloaded or received 25 free books. That’s 3 months, 30 books, and about $300 saved.

It wasn’t long before I realized: hey, if this could help me, maybe it could help someone else, too!

So here are 5 tips I’ve compiled to help you afford the books you love:books[1]

1) Get an e-reader and follow websites that post Kindle deals.

The majority of book deals now come through e-readers and, specifically, Amazon.

If you’re one of those who prefers the real thing to a handheld device, I get you. I love the feel of a real book in my hand as well and didn’t want to get a Kindle just because it was the popular thing to do.

However, after seeing how many free books were offered for Kindle and comparing the price of e-books to regular books (at least a $5.00 difference), I was a convert.

Remember those 25 free books I mentioned? Nearly all of them came through my Kindle.

After owning my Kindle for over a year now, I can tell you that it’s 100% worth the money you might spend on it. Within a few months, you can easily get back what you spent in the amount of free and discounted books you can buy.

If you’re looking for some high-quality bargain books, a Kindle is the way to go.

Here are just two of the websites I’ve found that regularly post e-book deals: http://www.vesselproject.com
http://www.bookwi.se.com

2) “Like” author or publisher pages on Facebook.

Giveaways are a huge deal right now on the internet and in the publishing world.

In any given month, there’s usually three or more giveaways going on at once. A great way to find out about these giveaways would be through “liking” your favorite author pages on Facebook.

Not only will authors let you know when their book is being offered in a giveaway, they’ll often let you know of other giveaways going on as well. If their book is being offered for free or at a discount price on Kindle, they’ll let you know about that, too.

Because publishers represent a lot of authors, publisher pages (such as Bethany House or Tyndale) can be an even greater resource.

In most cases, entering these types of giveaways are pretty simple. They might want you to leave a comment on their blog, “like” their page, or just share about the giveaway on Facebook.

Many people don’t consider entering giveaways simply because they don’t think they have any chance of winning. I’d caution you against that, however. Remember: in the last three months, I’ve won 1 e-book, 4 paperbacks, and 1 ten-dollar Amazon gift card. All through giveaways!

Many blogs regularly host giveaways. Here are a few I follow:
http://www.christianfictionsite.com
http://www.rittywrites.blogspot.com

3) Sign up for a “Blogging for Books” program.

Many publishers have a bloggers reward system, meaning they’ll give you a free book from one of their authors if you give an honest review of the book in return. Although every publisher has different rules, most of them require you to have a blog and that you post a review of the book on both your blog and favorite retailer’s website (such as Amazon, CBD, etc.)

I personally use WaterBrook Multnomah’s blogging program (check it out here: http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks) because it’s one of the easiest, but I know Tyndale and many other publishers have blogging programs as well.

I don’t know about you, but a free book (from e-books to paperbacks) in exchange for a short review and an honest opinion? Sounds good to me!

4) Attend a library book sale.

Okay, so usually I’m not a fan of these, what with the germs and all. However, you can usually get a lot of really great books for not a lot of money.

At the library book sale I went to, it was all by donation. So I could have easily walked out with dozens of free books, and essentially did.

For instance: I got the entire Left Behind series in hardcover (about 11 books valued at around $140), a 1916 copy of Treasure Island, a 1940’s copy of The Pickwick Papers, and seven other books.

I’d never attended a library book sale before because I was certain all the books would be old and of poor quality. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find many current authors and a ton of amazing deals.

So if you like owning books and aren’t as ridiculously concerned about germs as me, definitely check into that!

5) Follow my “Christian Deals and Giveaways” board on Pinterest.

If all of that sounds like a lot of work to you, you can also follow my “Christian Deals & Giveaways” board where I do the leg work for you. I post weekly and include all the giveaways as well as any free or discounted books I come across. You can find it here: http://www.pinterest.com/lizzieveldboom/christian-deals-giveaways

So there you have it! 5 ways to get free books. If this has been helpful for you, please consider sharing. Until next time, happy reading!

(My thanks to Jeanette Neels at “Creating a Life” {www.creatingalifenow.blogspot.com} for helping me create the fantastic button for this blog post!)