Monday, June 25, 2018

Hometown Girl

GIVEAWAY
WALSH, COURTNEY
HOMETOWN GIRL

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with a hopeful and emotional new book about seizing second chances, finding yourself, and forging your own path.

Beth Whitaker isn't supposed to be a small-town girl. She's always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the bi city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that's haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help -- and puts her own dreams on hold once again.

Drew Barlow hasn't been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he's spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it's finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship -- and the very future of the farm?

My Review:

"I'm saying if you do what you were made to do, then you'll find the peace you've been looking for. You can't work for it, you know. You just have to rest in it." (p 279)

A tumultuous quest for peace is at the heart of Hometown Girl and this quote really settled into my heart. Love that last line -- "You just have to rest in it." And isn't that hard? It shouldn't be, but it is. Especially for this hero and heroine.

Beth is...well, complicated. And, honestly, I didn't connect with her at first. In fact, I found her downright annoying. I was much more of a Molly fan (her effervescent younger sister.) I was ear-to-ear grinning whenever Molly showed up in a scene and I'm hoping we get her story someday! (Though I don't see any indication that Hometown Girl is part of a series. A reader can hope, can't she?)

But I digress -- back to Beth, who isn't nearly as fun as Molly but we all can't be pie-in-the-sky kind of people, can we? Some of us need to be pragmatic and hardworking and dependable. Not bad qualities to have but boring without a whimsical balance of...something! And Beth is steeped in dour when we first meet. She is such a tightly-wound worrier that my stomach was in knots whenever Walsh took us into her point of view.

But that's the beauty of this story...it's the magic that happens as, in spite of herself, Beth begins to loosen up. When she does, she's finally able to 'let go and let God' and it's such an ecstatically freeing feeling that I was floating in giddy spirals right along with her! Powerful lessons here and so true to life!

And then there's Drew. I fell for him in a nanosecond -- maybe even faster. Cowboy with a tortured soul and an affinity for animals. Need I say more?  He's stuck in the past, unable to get over a traumatic event from his childhood.

So we have two rather lost souls who might still be floundering without the lively and loving input of Willow Grove's citizens. Friends, family, animals -- even a dilapidated old farm -- conspire to ease a way to the kind of happily-ever-after that I adore. I particularly love Birdie -- a sage, quirky eccentric who isn't afraid to speak the truth. We all need a Birdie in our lives to keep us humble. :-)

An emotional romance (that's sure to kick your air-conditioner into overdrive in a few places!) paired with a decades old mystery and the zany warmth that is small-town living make Hometown Girl one for the Keeper Shelf!

PS Cutest cover ever! And I want those boots!!!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Hometown Girl, leave a comment below or email me at kavlvustreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of  @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 1 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

46 comments:

  1. Been wanting to read this since it's come out and was anticipating your review! Now I really want to read it and soon!

    Courtney enthralled me from "Just Look Up" and I have "Just Let Go" on my radar for the very near future...she's my go-to contemporary author..and I don't read much of that genre. So you know that's saying a lot :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Yes to all you said. Courtney has a way of telling a story -- perfect blend of faith and drama and humour and all of it so real. You feel like you know these characters -- that they could actually be you! Good luck, Trixi!

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  2. Ditto on the too cute cover! Love the quote -- I've been having a hard time resting in peace here lately. I mean I'm not QUITE ready to RIP yet (lol), but I know I need some valuable time spent in the Word this week! Time to don my sword!! This book sounds great, looks fun, and I'm ready to meet Drew! And Beth, of course. ;-) Thanks, Kav!

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    1. Oops! dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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    2. lol yes RIP is totally different from resting in peace. Praying for your week ahead, Diana, and that you find the rest in Him that will bring you peace. Good luck!

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    3. Thanks so much, Kav. Sorry for whining but sometimes it just feels like I've gone as far as I can go (most of us have been there.) But when I'm hanging by a thread I know all I need to do is just tie a knot in it & keep on climbing. <3

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    4. I love that analogy...only I think I need a knot tying lesson goes mine keep coming undone and then I slip back again!

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    5. I know the feeling! We'll have to tie double knots and hope the thread doesn't break. hahaha

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  3. I think Beth sounds a bit like me! Sometimes it’s a bit hard to let go and relax.
    Love the cover also, Courtney’s had several cute covers lately but I have yet to get my hands on one of the books.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I know, right? Letting go of all life's 'stuff' is sooooo hard to do! Good luck, Patty.

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  4. New author for me. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Ooohhh -- really?! She's awesomesauce! Good luck, Kim.

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  5. I think I relax too much sometimes where it starts verging on lazy. 😏 Is reading ever equated with laziness? Nah! 😜

    Now that more Christian authors that I enjoy (ie. Ruthie, Walsh, Sarah Price, and Nicole Deese) are publishing with Amazon's Christian imprint, I'm tempted to join Kindle Unlimited again. They're making the idea something to seriously consider given the increased selections. I've noticed some of the traditional Christian pub. houses adding some books to KU, as well. Usually the first books of a continuing series, which makes sense from a marketing standpoint. I've been a Kindle user since their first prototype and I know they can be a bit of a monopoly, but they also make my voracious reading habits a tad more affordable. Kind of a catch-22. And they do a fab job on their book cover! Hometown Girl being one of the sweetest. 😍

    tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. You know me -- 'real' books are my passion. :-) And I don't understand the whole Kindle Unlimited thing. You get all these free books so how does the author get any money from sales. This digital world confuses me.

      And yes -- isn't this book cover so appealing? And yellow boots with polka dots screams read me! lol Good luck, Terrill.

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  6. I have been looking forward to your review, I have Hometown Girl on my kindle but haven't gotten to it yet. I like that cute cover too, and your "emotional romance" and "fell for him in a nanosecond", but nervous about the complicated character that you didn't connect with at first. I'm used to liking my main characters right off the bat, lol.
    It's on my summer reading list, thanks for the review!

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    1. But that's real talent -- when an author makes a main character so flawed that a reader might flinch but appealing enough that you stick with her to see what happens. And it's so worth that journey! And who knows -- what doesn't appeal to me about her might just knock your socks off. But don't get me wrong -- I love the book and Beth...she just annoyed me some. Bwahahaha!

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  7. Sounds like a winner! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. It sure is!!! Good luck, Melanie.

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  8. This sounds like a great read, and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway!
    gobersATembarqmailDOTcom

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    1. You're welcome, VanG. Good luck!

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  9. I agree with you - I love the cover!

    "Hometown Girl" sounds just like the tug at your heart romance that I can settle back into and take a do nothing day to read. I'd sure love the opportunity to do just that. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of this great sounding book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Oooohhh --- do nothing days to read are the bestest. Good luck, Kay.

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  10. Just love the cover! This book had been on my wish list for quite a while now. As always, thanks for your review!

    pwestfall7 at hotmail dot com

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    1. It belongs on everyone's wish list, in my humble opinion! Good luck, Pam.

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  11. Great review, KAV! I've been wanting to read this one. Thank you for the opportunity.

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  12. Thank you for sharing this book with us
    It sounds pretty good
    I too Love these boots 😁
    I almost got a pair once in black with polka dots but they didn't have my size 😩
    iamabho AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Polka dots are happy, don't you think? Put them on boots and ta-da! you have happy feet. :-) Good luck, Linda.

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    2. Exactly lol
      😍 😄
      Thank you

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  13. I'm reading Courtney's "Just Look Up" right now and I'm loving it! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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    1. I can't wait to get my hands on that book! Good luck, Deanna.

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  14. Oh my goodness! This book sounds like one I’ll devour!
    Thanks for the chance!
    Dezi Allen
    sethdeziATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Yes you will! Good luck, Dezi.

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  15. I’ve been wanting to read this since it came out. I just love the cover!! Thank you for the chance to win.

    ttmom42 at gmail dot com

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    1. Isn't the cover fun? Good luck, Terressa.

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  16. Sounds like a good read :)

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

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    1. It sure is! Good luck, Samantha.

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  17. Okay, I'm super curious about what Drew witnessed as a child! This one's been on my TBR since it came out, and I can't wait to read about how Drew and Beth get their HEA!

    mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. it's incredibly well done -- you'll love it, Karen. Good luck.

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  18. I love Courtney's books and this one sounded so good when it came out! I would love to win a copy and figure out how their story coincides. These authors release so many books I can't keep up on all the good plotlines! :)

    LLWaltz [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. I know...and she has another one just out! Hard to keep up with all our faves. Good luck, Laura.

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  19. Small town girls are the best!
    pbclark(at)netins.net

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    1. lol -- I'm taking it you're a small town girl? Good luck, rubynreba.

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    2. Yes! Been a small town girl all my life and wouldn't have it any other way!

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  20. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ladysnowangelphotos(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome, LSA, good luck!

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