Archives For Blog Tours

The Wedding Chapel

Renee Ann Smith —  December 13, 2015 — 9 Comments

Rachel Hauck Wedding Chapel

Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Chapel is one of those stories that has all the stuff I love—a connection to the past, a second chance at love, family drama, romance, heartache and healing, reconciliations—and lots of heart.

It’s about a young couple navigating the troubled waters of their marriage and an older couple who never gave their love a chance.

It’s about the games people play when they don’t trust their hearts to those they should be closest to,

How they build barriers to protect themselves,

Or manipulate to get what they want—even if they must rip it out of the hands of someone they’re supposed to cherish—

And after all that, how God can smooth over the pain that has been festering and leave peace and healing in its place.

It’s also about a chapel that takes its place as a special character in the novel . . .

“Majestic with her stone walls and weather-worn beam trim, the chapel drank in the sunlight through the cupola, then reflected it back out through the windows. The canopying beech and cottonwood trees stretched leafy branches over the slanted slate roof, creating a thicket of serenity.”

Coach Jimmy Westbrook had build the chapel for the love of his life . . .

“She was part of him, this place. He’d deposited his sweat, his tears, and his heart here. And buried them with time.”

But somehow Jimmy hadn’t ended up living happily ever after with the girl of his dreams . . .

Too late . . . The truth branded his brain. The twist in his back intensified. Of course it was too late. He was an old man.

Too late to do anything about unfulfilled dreams.

Too late to win a love that was lost.

Too late for everything the chapel represented.

He, a hall-of-fame football coach, had ridden the bench in the game of life, waiting to be called in for a play that never came.”

Wedding Chapel Rachel HauckI think that’s all I can share here without giving too much of this wonderful novel away. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. Grab a copy today & tuck it away to enjoy when you have time.

This sweet story plus a cup of your favorite hot beverage will help you carve out an oasis of calm in the midst of hectic holidays. 

My students & I love Rachel’s books. They’re so looking forward to the day I bring my copy to school & add it to our bookshelves.

The Wedding Chapel is a Romantic Times Top Pick and one of Booklist’s Top Inspirational Novels of 2015.

It makes a great gift for teens on up. Follow this link to order the copies you need.

Follow this link to enter Rachel’s $100 GIVEAWAY & you might also win a copy of the book!

Thanks for stopping by today, story lovers! Blessings, friends!

Wedding Chapel Rachel Hauck

**Photo Backstory: I create my graphics from iPhone pics or free images from sites likeUnsplash& Death to Stock Photo plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.Pass them on!
**Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
**Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
**Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
Continue Reading…

One of the perks of blogging is signing up to review books for Christian authors. When I learned of the blogging-for-books programs that publishing houses offer, I was ecstatic! I signed up to receive several books I thought I’d be interested in.

However, I must admit that I wasn’t sure what to do with Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce once I’d agreed to review it. I simply could not get into the story and even found some parts of the novel inappropriate.

I can say that, through the main character Amy, author Bethany Pierce captured well the poignancy of a young woman searching for something solid to build her life upon.

But I was disappointed that Amy never found what she was looking for. Her life, like this story, was filled with ambiguity.

Perhaps this book would cause some folks to question the purpose of life and wonder if there’s more to it than meets the eye. But would it inspire them to go beyond an idle curiosity? I’m not so sure that it would. So why is it Christian fiction? Simply because the main character evinces some kind of faith? I don’t think so. Continue Reading…

Glass Road is a public relations firm dedicated to representing Christian authors and artists. I joined their reviewer’s list for Christ Fabry’s newest novel,  Almost Heaven. This morning I and other bloggers from all across the country will be featuring this heartfelt, poignant story in a special blog tour.

Here’s how the publisher describes this book: Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right.

With spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him.

Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it. (from Tyndale House)

Here’s my take: The story is told from two perspectives, Billy’s and his guardian angel’s. I loved the voice and personality the author created for the angel, whose name is . . . well, let him tell you in his own words:

“I suppose you will want to know my name . . . I have considered using the pseudonym such as ‘Clarence’ because I’m aware of your films that depict bumbling angels. If you must have a name for me, simply call me Malachi, for it means ‘messenger,’ and that is  what I was created to be.”

The chapters where I could see Malachi reacting to events helped me appreciate the spiritual struggle of the main character even more. For his part, Malachi, who has performed many missions for his High Commander, finds that Billy’s life touches him in a way no other human’s has. He says,

“At every turn, the Creator has endeavored to lead and guide His creation into Truth and Knowledge, but in the corner of those turns has been the enemy seeking to detour humans and cloud their thinking, twisting the good things the King has offered into diabolical traps.

I believed before this task that I knew the whole story. I believed I understood the Creator and His ways . . . However, observing this one life . . . is causing me to reevaluate the concept of The Plan and how each life is used in the grand scheme.”

At one point, when tragedy after tragedy seems inevitable, Malachi confesses, “It is said that angels long to look into the things of salvation, and that is true. But sitting beside

that man, wondering what future lay ahead for the boy . . . I breathed in the utter despair and anguish and senselessness o f humanity. It made me glad that I am not a man.

As the story progresses, we learn there is a purpose in all things, whether we initially see that purpose or not. We get a hint of the author’s theme in the words of Billy’s mother. She assures him that “God doesn’t trust just anybody with so much heartache. The world has not yet seen what God can do with a man who gives both halves of a broken heart to Him. And I don’t doubt that a man like that can change the world . . . or at least a little part of it.”

This book made me cry several times. First because of the sorrow portrayed, and then because of the beauty. And the way the author summed up Billy’s initial losses truly touched my heart:

“For when the dream of his life failed, Billy was set free. He was released to run in the playground of God’s will.”

If you like an eventful story with a deep spiritual thread, this book’s for you. I will caution you about one aspect. The publisher describes Billy’s secret as brutal, and it is. But there are no graphic scenes. Everything in the book is handled appropriately.

Summary: However small his life seems to him, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home.

About the author: Chris Fabry is the host of Chris Fabry Live!, an hour of spiritual encouragement from his backyard radio fence. The program challenges listeners to think biblically about their spiritual journeys. Chris is also the author of the Christy Award-winning novel Dogwood, and his latest fiction release, June Bug. He and his family live near Tucson, Arizona. You can learn more about Chris by following this link to his website.

You can purchase your own copy of Almost Heaven here.

Clarence, the angel

A picture of another favorite angel, Clarence, with George Bailey! (Note: in Almost Heaven Malachi and Billy do not interact.)