Seaside Books Giveaway

We stole this idea from Amanda Dykes, who was a guest on a podcast episode of Read-Aloud Revival, talking about various writerly things, but also recommending some favorite seaside-set books.

We figured, why not do a blog post featuring beach reads—meaning books with actual beach-like words on the cover. We expanded it to include recent titles with a water-related word in the title. Here are a few of them:

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis
Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes
To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden
The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright
The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller
The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey
Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green
Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin
Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

(For a bonus, we found a few more that had a watery scene depicted on the front cover, just not in the title: Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano, Keturah by Lisa Bergren, Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette, Flight of the Raven by Morgan Busse, Sweet on You by Becky Wade, and Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson. We’re probably forgetting some!)

And just for fun, a giveaway! We’ll pick three winners on August 1 to win their choice of one of these seaside books. To enter, just comment on this post with a favorite watery vacation spot you’ve been to. (River, ocean, hot springs, indoor pool…anything goes!)

Book Giveaway and a Personality Quiz!

There are many things I love about my job, but near the top of the list is helping readers find a brand-new author. That’s why I’m excited that Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes entered the bookish world this month.

First Lines: “One minute a guy is splitting wood in the northeastern corner of the country, stomach rumbling and heart afire with ambition in the wake of his eighteenth birthday, and the next minute he’s pumping water from the old kitchen sink to clean the work off his hands and pick up a letter from the president of the United States of America himself. It lies there on the red, paint-chipped kitchen table, like an old friend who has let himself in and put his feet up, the most natural thing in the world. But it’s anything but natural.”

Plot Summary: In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Its message? Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the harbor village on the coast of Maine, and he sets his callused hands to work.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when GrandBob, the man who gave her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is the one in need of help. But what greets her is a mystery: a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Memories of stone ruins on a nearby island ignite a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

Together with the handsome and enigmatic town postman, Annie uncovers the story layer by layer, yearning to resurrect the hope GrandBob once held so dear and to know the truth behind the chasm in her family’s past. But mending what has been broken for so long may require more of her and those she loves than they are prepared to give.

To celebrate this debut novel’s release, we’re having some fun on the blog. First, take the personality quiz below that tells you which location in the charming town of Ansel-by-the-Sea best fits your personality.

Then, comment on this post with the location result you got from the quiz, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Whose Waves These Are! I’ll choose three winners by May 27, 2019. Have fun!

Character Name Giveaway!

Isn’t it fun to read a book and find a fictional character with your name? (Unless that fictional character is a nefarious villain, of course; that’s a different story.) Just for fun, I decided to list off the main heroines of our novels releasing from May 2018 to April 2019.

Want to enter a fun giveaway? Just comment on this post if you share a name with one of these characters. (Alternate spellings are accepted.) Or, since we know that will leave out a lot of our readers, you can also comment to tell us about a friend who shares a name with one of these characters. On Monday, March 18, I’ll choose two winners to receive the book with their name and another book of their choice.

Sophie: Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

Willow: Falling for You by Becky Wade

Marianne: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Katherine (or Kit): A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

Rosalind: A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

Mielle (or Michelle): King’s War by Jill Williamson

Evangeline: More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Grace: The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason

Kate: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Annalise or Libby: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Judith: In Dreams Forgotten by Tracie Peterson

Temperance: Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

Marie or Annie: A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould

Zanna: The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller

Tzivia: Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

Maggie: The First Love by Beverly Lewis

Kenzie (or Mackenzie): In Times Gone By by Tracie Peterson

Janelle, Tennyson, or Ruthie: The Cost of Betrayal by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason

Evalina: An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White

Anna: Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Sarah, Ruth, Fleeta, or Maddie: The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade

Gwen: The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy

Sofea (or Sophia): Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette

Nilda: A Season of Grace by Lauraine Snelling

Salome: Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt

Selene (or Selena): Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Hattie: The Lieutenant’s Bargain by Regina Jennings

Kaely: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

Jane or Mercy: The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

Sophie: Searching for You by Jody Hedlund

Thea or Heidi: The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Tayler (or Taylor): Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Isadora: Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

Daphne: A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter

Leisel: A Faithful Gathering by Leslie Gould

Mia: Breach of Trust by Rachel Dylan

Catherine: Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

Eloise: A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden

Penny: The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy

Johanna: Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin

Lizzy (or Elizabeth): When You Are Near by Tracie Peterson

Emmaline: The Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason

Verity: Verity by Lisa Bergren

Cara: The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere

Della: Outbreak by Davis Bunn

Sylvia: The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

Which book above has your (or your friend’s) name twin?

Thanks for the Challenge…and a Giveaway!

For those of you who’ve seen Bethany House Fiction on Instagram, you know we’ve been busy this month. Today marks the end of our “For the Love of Books” Instagram challenge. We posted a picture on a particular theme every day, and readers joined in with over a thousand entries during the month of February! We were stunned by your creativity…if you haven’t yet, you should take a look at all the bookish images we got to enjoy.

We’ll be choosing winners among the Instagram participants tomorrow after February is officially over, but here’s a special giveaway just for our blog readers to celebrate a successful Instagram challenge.

Just go to our Instagram profile and look over our February posts. Pick one that you especially liked, then come back and comment on this blog post with the reason why. We’ll choose a random comment on Monday, and that reader will win their choice of one of the books in the Instagram post they selected. (This is open to US and international readers.)

Thanks so much to all who participated…it’s been an extra-fun February with all the book love you put out there!

Join our February Instagram Challenge!

Here at Bethany House, we love books…and we know all of you do too! That’s why we’re launching our first-ever Instagram challenge. We’ll be posting a pretty bookish picture for every day of February based on a particular theme. You can see the lineup below.

Follow us on Instagram if you want to see what we come up with, and join in on whatever days you like by tagging us in your own bookstagram photos. (Find out how to do so by reading our original IG post.) We’d love to see social media feeds filled to the brim with great books.

On a personal note, I’ve been helping our lovely copywriter, Rachael, take several of these pictures. They’re SO FUN.

Hope you’re staying warm with a good book, readers!

Reading Challenge Giveaway

Regular blog readers will notice that we didn’t post a Reading Challenge as we usually do in January. That’s because our friends at Hope by the Book, who love Christian fiction, came up with one of their own. I liked it so much that I wanted to direct all of you to it. They have fun checklists (including different “levels”) for readers to participate in, along with some social media fun and interaction. You can check it out here.

 

In honor of this challenge, I thought we’d do a giveaway. Visit the Hope by the Book checklist, then come back here and recommend at least one book that fits one of the Avid Reader categories. (It doesn’t have to be a Bethany House book.) Next week, I’ll chose three commenters to win their choice of our January or February new releases to help them get started on their 2019 reading goals.

I’ll make a few suggestions first:

I could go on for days, but now it’s your turn. Look at the categories in the list and start recommending below. Be sure to tell us which category it fulfills!

 

We Need YOU to Ask Us Questions…with a Giveaway!

That’s right, all you readers and writers out there. It’s that time of year again, when I take a moment to refresh our Ask Bethany House mailbag by requesting you to send in your questions! As always, these can be about the publishing process, what it’s like to work with authors, how we do our various jobs, or anything else that relates to our books or our company.

This year, I have five short prompts to help you think of some great topics for me to write about on the blog. To thank you for coming up with great questions, we’ll also choose a winner to receive three books of their choice from 2018. A randomly-chosen winner will be contacted by January 2, 2019 via email.

If you’d like to check out the archive of Ask BHP posts and see what’s already been covered, go ahead. But no worries about duplicating something—there are lots of topics we write about multiple times.

One other note: if next year you see me answer a question close to yours, but not quite, sometimes if I see lots of people asking about the same thing, I combine their thoughts into one post so I can do the best job possible of covering topics that people want to know about.

Ready to start? You can find our survey here.

I look forward to seeing your responses…and investigating the answers to your questions in 2019!

Christy Award Winners Giveaway

Last week’s Christy Awards and Art of Writing conference were jam-packed with moments that warmed my heart, from seeing readers meet some of their favorite authors for the first time, to hearing testimonies from author legends that moved me to tears, to celebrating a legacy of storytellers through Sarah Arthur’s tribute to Madeleine L’Engle for the 100th anniversary of her birth.

But my favorite part of all was cheering on our two winning Bethany House authors, Becky Wade and Jaime Jo Wright, as they received their Christy awards.

Our sister fiction division, Revell, also had two well-deserved wins as well. (Every now and then we have a bit of a teasing rivalry when our books face off against each other in contests like this, but we’re always genuinely happy to celebrate our authors’ successes.)

Here are the Baker Publishing Group winners. Be sure to add them to your TBR List!

First Novel

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Plot Summary: When a black field hand disappears, a wealthy white boy he has befriended sets out to find him. But Pete McLean discovers more than he bargained for—including unexpected love and difficult truths about race and class in 1960s Alabama.

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Plot Summary: Fleeing a stalker, Kaine Prescott purchases an old house sight unseen in Wisconsin, which turns out to have a dark history: a century earlier, an unidentified woman was found dead on the grounds. As Kaine tries to settle in, she learns the story of her ancestor Ivy Thorpe, who, with the help of a man from her past, tried to uncover the truth about the death.

Historical Romance

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Plot Summary: On the eve of her wedding, Lady Elisabeth Lawson’s world is shattered, as surely as the fine glass windows of her colonial Williamsburg home. In a town seething with Patriots ready for rebellion, her protection comes from an unlikely source—now if she could only protect her heart.

Contemporary Romance AND Book of the Year

True to You by Becky Wade

Plot Summary: After a broken engagement, genealogist Nora Bradford decides focusing on her work and her novels is safer than romance. But when John, a former Navy SEAL, hires her to help find his birth mother, the spark between them is undeniable. However, he’s dating someone, and Nora is hesitant. Is she ready to abandon her fictional heroes and risk her heart for real?

There were a good number of readers attending the awards gala who I had the privilege to meet—if you can make a roadtrip to Nashville next November, we’d love to see you there too!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, if you’d like to check out the livestream posted on the Christy Awards Facebook page, you can do so here. You’ll find lots of lovely talks and cheer-worthy acceptance speeches from your favorite authors.

Instead of throwing virtual confetti at you to celebrate (or mailing you some of the cheesecake served at the gala), I decided it would be perfect to host a giveaway here on the blog. All you have to do to enter is choose one of the books on this list and tell me why either the cover or plot description intrigues you and makes you want to read more. I’ll pick two winners on November 26, and both will win their choice of two of these four books.

Books with Teacher Heroines

Since schools all around the country have started up this month, it seemed like a great time to share some of our recent books that feature teachers of the past. These heroines might have a more exciting life than a local educator you know (hopefully things like kidnappings, secret identities, and natural disasters aren’t terribly common at your school), but they share the same love: helping students learn.

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Plot Summary:

Plot Summary: Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to a teaching job for a year, even though the subjects—music and basketball—are ones she looks down on as a mathematician. When she reluctantly turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, for help, she’ll learn more than she ever expected about life and love.

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Plot Summary:

Plot Summary: When Tessa Taylor arrives in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, she is dismayed to learn there has been a mistake—the town requested a male teacher. Mercifully, they agree to let her stay temporarily. As she settles in to her new life, two brothers begin vying for her hand, but an unknown danger seems to haunt her steps. Clearly, someone doesn’t want her to stay.

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

Plot Summary: Silas and Kate both harbor resentment over failed mail-order engagements. When a common interest in an orphaned student leads to an interest in each other, they begin to think they can overcome their rocky start. But neither is prepared for the secrets that have yet to come to light. Can they move beyond past hurts and find hope?

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Plot Summary: When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the tutor that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Plot Summary: Emma Smallwood and her father have come to the Cornish coast to tutor the youngest sons of a baronet—but all is not as it seems. When mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts, can she figure out which brother to blame…and which to trust with her heart?

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Plot Summary: When a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, legendary tracker Stone eagerly accepts the job. But instead of a hardened criminal, he finds Charlotte, a teacher on the run determined to protected the child in her care. Will Charlotte and Stone decide to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Plot Summary: Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, Beth Thatcher has accepted a teaching position in the rugged foothills of Canada. She resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way. But the conditions in Coal Valley are worse than she’d feared. She is determined to make a difference…but how long can she last on the western frontier?   And to celebrate teachers, how about a giveaway? To enter, just comment below with the name of a favorite teacher and what you appreciated about him or her. I’ll chose three winners on Monday, September 17 to receive their choice of book from this list…and another to give to a friend or family member who teaches.

Summer Reading Giveaway

Since this August has a fifth Thursday, we thought it would be fun to shake up the blogging schedule and include a giveaway! As the lazy vacation days of summer slowly end, you might have to be more creative about finding a good place to sneak a few pages of your latest novel, but thankfully, reading is a year-round hobby.

We’d like to give away three prize package of all four of our August releases. There are three ways you can enter to win.

On Tuesday, September 4, we’ll pick one winner from our list of blog followers (enter your email in the sidebar to the left if you haven’t already)…

One from our Instagram subscribers

And one from the comments on this post, answering the question, “What is a great book you read this summer?”

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and maybe sneak a little reading time in as well.