Archives For Book Suggestion

UPDATE: Giveaway winners announced here.

What is it about a wedding that turns even the most unsentimental heart to mush? Or that transforms an ordinary man and woman in a tux and white gown into emissaries of True Love Always? Maybe it’s the rich biblical symbolism that makes us swoon over bride and groom—because God so often uses the wedding metaphor to describe how He woos us. (“As a young man marries a maiden, so your sons marry you. As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” ~ from Isaiah) Wherever the magic stems from, Rachel Hauck has infused it into her charming new book, The Wedding Dress.

The story begins with Charlotte Malone, a bridal boutique owner who dresses brides for a living yet can’t summon any enthusiasm for own wedding. Charlotte attends an estate sale and feels compelled to bid on a mysterious battered trunk. When she finally breaks through the trunk’s welded lock, she discovers a vintage wedding dress. The book then moves from present day to 1912 so we can understand how the unusual dress came to be through suffragette Emily’s story. As Charlotte works out the history of the dress, we learn about Mary Grace in 1939 and Hillary from 1968. But it’s the connection between Emily and Charlotte and what they learn about true love that really makes this story special. Though I knew there had to be an HEA (Happily Ever After) coming, I enjoyed every discovery and lover’s quarrel and sweet reconciliation along the way. I’d love to see this as a Hallmark movie!

I adore my Kindle. However, I keep hard copies of favorite stories so I can share them with my friends. And I’ve already thought of several folks I want to pass this book along to—a few of my avid teen readers at school, a friend who has cancer and delights in heartwarming stories, and a recently engaged bride-to-be. Now that I think of it, I may need more than one copy! How about you?  You can purchase your pass-along-copies of The Wedding Dress at this link.

***Thanks to Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for providing my review copy.

What is “true” beauty? Join the conversation at Rachel’s Author Chat Party Event Page. On the eventing of 4/19 we’ll gather to talk about inner and outer beauty and share moments of beauty in our lives.

In the meantime, celebrate with Rachel by entering her True Beauty Giveaway!

One “beautiful” winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Treat yourself to a spa day or weekend get-away!)
  • The Wedding Dress (by Rachel Hauck)

Winner will be announced at Rachel’s “True Beauty” Facebook Party on  4/19. Rachel will be hosting an evening of beauty (inner/outer) chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Rachel via Skype.)

About the author: Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner Sweet Caroline, and RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels.

She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane-plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets. Rachel earned a degree in Journalism form Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an adviser. Visit her web site at www.rachelhauck.com to read her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Some days more than others, I hunger and thirst for the things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.” I long to soak them in and make them a part of me. Where do I find these sources of beauty? In any person, movie, story, or song that reflects the attributes of my Lord.

Without a doubt, My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren is one of those sources. This story of healing and second chances reminded me of what God can do in the lives of hurting, damaged people . . . people just like you and me.

I loved the main characters: Isadora, who wants desperately to escape the trauma that haunts her; Caleb, a warrior who is fighting his way back from a debilitating injury; Lucy, whose bad choices have led her far away from the woman she thought she’d become; and Seb, a former athlete who is certain his best years are behind him. Oh, and I can’t forget the Coach, whose fragile body belies the powerful faith within him.

I rooted for the characters as they worked through their troubles and found some scenes incredibly touching. The sweet romance was a breath of fresh air. In fact, elements of the plot brought to mind one of my favorite old movies, The Shop Around the Corner–where two people who rub each other the wrong way in daily life are unaware that they’re secretly anonymous pen pals who are falling in love with each other.

If I had to choose one word to describe this novel, it would be Refreshing. And the key verse? Philippians 4:23: “Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.”

I’d love to see this story turned into classic Hallmark–one of those movies that shows people at their best, living in faith, taking risks for love, and honoring one another with thought, word, and deed.

My advice? Treat yourself to this story. You can follow this link to pre-order a copy of Susan’s beautiful book!

Susan’s bio: Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, Susan learned to love city life, although she’s a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe she’s an adventurer–having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia, Russia, as a missionary for eight years. Probably that’s why her characters can’t sit still and seem to get into one scrape after another. They’re too much like her! Susan loves God, her family, her country, her church, and feels privileged every day to be able to write stories that inspire and entertain!

**Thanks to Tyndale, who sent me a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.