Monday, September 19, 2016

Be My Guest: Kim Vogel Sawyer (Plus a Giveaway)

by Andrea Renee Cox

Remember when I mentioned that there just might be a giveaway coming your way? Well, I think it just arrived. *wink, wink* But more about that in a minute.

Today my guest, Kim Vogel Sawyer, is sharing a couple of character reviews from her latest novel, Guide Me Home, which I absolutely adored (click to see my review). Y'all, this book impacted my heart with its sweetness, gumption, and treacherous situations. I hope each of you will be able to read it soon!

(Stay tuned until the very end of this article for details on the giveaway.)

Who are the Stars of Guide Me Home?
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

REBEKAH HARDIN

Brief physical description 
REBEKAH HARDIN is tall for a girl, with long brown hair and brown eyes, slender but strong from working in her daddy’s tobacco fields. 

Resembles… my niece Mallea, who appears on the cover of the book!

Rebekah Hardin
a.k.a. Mallea, Kim's niece!

Strengths and weaknesses
Rebekah’s greatest strength is her loyalty to her family because it guides her into making wise decisions with her time and behavior. Unfortunately, it also becomes her greatest weakness when a displaced sense of guilt combined with loyalty to her family convinces her to set aside a God-planted dream to fulfill her father’s desire to build a legacy in a tiny cemetery plot on their property.

Your inspiration for the character
Rebekah was inspired by the brave pioneers who carved a living in the hillside of the Appalachians. I’ve long been intrigued by the Scotch-Irish immigrants who settled that land, and it was a joy to bring Rebekah’s family to life and honor the customs and hardworking attitude of those people.


DEVLIN BALE

Brief physical description 
DEVLIN BALE is a college boy from a wealthy family, and his attire reflects his upbringing. He is tall, with broad shoulders, and his wavy blond-brown hair curls up at his collar and distracts Rebekah when she should be focused on her job. Of course, his sky-blue eyes also haunt her dreams.
Devlin Bale
a.k.a. Nathan, Kim's nephew!

Resembles… my nephew Nathan *wink*

Strengths and weaknesses
Devlin, like Rebekah, is devoted to his family. His father wants to land a Senate seat, and Devlin wants to help him fulfill his dream. Like Rebekah, his desire to help his father leads him into ignoring the desires of the “common folk.”

Your inspiration for the character
Devlin came about when I began pondering the best opposition for Rebekah. I wanted someone who was opposite her in every way, so he needed to be educated, wealthy, from the city, and accustomed to all of its luxuries. But then I gave him a dose of her loyalty, which gave her a reason to admire him. 





BACKGROUND TO THE STORY


The Hubs and I spent time in Kentucky, in April of 2014, where I did some book signings and speaking events and visited with friends. On the way home, we “stumbled upon” Mammoth Cave. We arrived too late to do much more than visit the gift shop, but I came away with a stack of books that sparked my interest. I returned a year later with my parents and explored the cave’s tunnels, visited small cemeteries, and talked with park employees who kindly answered dozens of questions. By the time I came away from that second visit, I was fully in love with Mammoth Cave and was eager to share its mystery and majesty with readers. I hope readers will love it as much as I do by the time they finish the story.


About Guide Me Home:

Working as a guide in Mammoth Cave might allow 
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will the cave claim more than it gives? 
 
Now available!

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.  
     
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave. The two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. 


Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight of her past?


About Kim Vogel Sawyer:

Kim Vogel Sawyer
In 1966, Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in libraries. That little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer's Return. Since then, Kim has watched God expand her dream beyond her childhood imaginings. With almost 40 titles on library shelves and more than 1.5 million copies of her books in print worldwide in six different languages, she enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Empty-nesters, Kim and her retired military husband, Don, live in small-town Kansas, the setting for many of Kim’s novels. When she isn't writing, Kim stays active serving in her church's women's and music ministries, traveling with "The Hubs," and spoiling her quiverful of granddarlings. You can learn more about Kim's writing at www.KimVogelSawyer.com.




What's the craziest adventure you've been on?


Have you ever visited a cave? If so, what was it like?


Has your greatest strength become your greatest weakness?
Or has your biggest weakness become your biggest strength?
What do you contribute to the change?



*GIVEAWAY*

With this particular giveaway, I'm doing things a little bit differently. Pay close attention, because YOU have a major role to play.

IF at least twenty (20) people respond in the comment section (not including myself and Kim Sawyer), then the randomly chosen winner will receive one (1) PAPERBACK copy of Guide Me Home.

IF fewer than twenty people respond in the comment section, the randomly chosen winner will receive one (1) KINDLE copy of Guide Me Home.

Here's where YOU come in:

To ensure that a paperback is the prize, please do two things.

1. Comment! Yes, it could be that simple. We won't get to twenty if YOU don't share your thoughts. It only takes a minute, and it puts your name in the drawing.

2. Help me spread the word about this week's giveaway. The more people you encourage to come and comment, the more likely we'll reach that number that triggers the paperback giveaway. There are buttons at the end of the article that make sharing very easy!

WHEN YOU COMMENT, remember to answer at least one of the discussion questions AND include your email address so I may contact you if you win.

And if someone else's comment inspires you, let them know by hitting that "reply" button and leaving them a little note.


Here's the "fine print":

This giveaway is for U.S. residents only, due to shipping costs.

The final day comments are accepted for the giveaway is Thursday, September 22, 2016. Make sure you get your comments in before midnight (Central Time Zone)!

There will be one (1) winner.

The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, September 23, 2016, and will be notified by email.

If you DO NOT include your email address, you will not be entered in the giveaway.



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55 comments:

  1. So neat that Kim Vogel Sawyer used her niece and nephew for inspiration for her characters :))

    I went to the Ohio Caverns several years ago. I remember how low we had to walk and the darkness when the tour guide switched off all the lights!!

    My email address: omrooney97@gmail.com

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    1. I thought that was pretty cool too, about Kim's niece and nephew taking part in her book cover.

      Pretty neat experience in the Ohio Caverns. That darkness... Nothing quite like it, is there?

      Thanks for visiting, Olivia!

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    2. When the guide turned off the lights in Mammoth Cave, I immediately grabbed for my dad! Cannot imagine being in there without light...*shudder*...yet thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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  2. I've visited several caves - Penn's Cave in central PA, which is neat because you ride through it in a boat; Whispering Rocks, also in central PA, which is a really deep, dark series of caves, and Linville Caverns in NC, which was pretty to walk through. I love touring caves because it's so different from what I see on a daily basis that it reminds me of the One who can imagine and create such detailed wonders!

    Love your books, Kim!

    amybradsher@gmail.com

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    1. Wow! I've not yet heard of Penn's Cave that you ride through in a boat. That is really cool! I love your perspective. "The One who can imagine and create such detailed wonders" is such a beautiful way of wording that. God really is magnificent, as His wonders reveal every day. Thanks for sharing your insight.

      Hope to see you around here again soon, Amy.

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    2. Thanks for the kind words, Amy! Going through a cave in a boat? Hm, I wonder if that will show up in a book someday. *wink*

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  3. Many years ago, I visited the Laural Caverns in PA. The most amazing part was at the deepest part they turned off all of the lights, then had a color light show while they played Handel's Messiah. It was awesome.
    kristine.morgan@yahoo.com

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    1. Whoa, that sounds amazing! Glad you had that wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing, Kristine.

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    2. Playing Handel is a great way to turn attention to the Creator of the underground enchantment. I LOVE that idea.

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  4. I've been to the Oregon Caves and it was amazing and a little eerie. Which have "stalactites, that hang from cave ceilings like icicles, and stalagmites, cone-shaped masses that form on cave floors." At one point during the tour they turn off the lights, everyone is instructed to turn off their flashlights and it is the blackest and darkest I've ever experienced.

    In 2015 I went through a lava cave in Hana, Maui. Oh so interesting. People actually lived in there many, many years ago. Oh, not for me. I need sunshine and windows to let the sunshine in!

    Reading this blog and your review Andrea makes me want to read this book even more. How sweet her niece influenced the main female character and that she is on the cover! And her nephew influenced the main male character. Is that actually a picture of him in the blog?

    lambchris7@msn.com

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    1. A lava cave? Very interesting, but I'm with you. Sunshine for me, please!

      Yes, that is Kim's nephew's pic in the blog. Aren't he and Kim's niece so adorable? I can see why they inspired her characters.

      Hope you're able to read this one soon, LouAnn! It's a fabulous story that gripped my heart.

      Blessings!

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    2. Thanks for the kind words, Andrea, and LouAnn, Mammoth Cave is mostly dry so there are few stalactites and stalagmites, but the ones that were there were massive--so amazing!

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to reading this story. I thought I visited Mammoth Cave during a Youth Group trip many years ago. It was interesting and I was thankful it was large. I know I would not do well in a small cave. misspippireads(@)gmail

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    1. Know what you mean about small caves, Miss Pippi. Not sure I could do those either! Sounds like you had a fabulous Youth Group trip. Thanks for sharing your experience with us today.

      Hope to see you again here soon. Blessings!

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    2. Avoid Fat Man's Challenge if you don't like small spaces. That was TIGHT!

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  6. I have been to The Lost Sea, a cave in Sweetwater, Tn. At the bottom of the cave is America's largest underground lake. We rode a boat with a glass bottom. The water is full of white rainbowless rainbow trout. It is a very beautiful cave.

    dreedy@live.com

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    1. The Lost Sea cave sounds wonderful! And those trout! That would be a sight to see. :)

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Doris. Hope you visit Writing to Inspire again soon.

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    2. White rainbow-less rainbow trout... Someday I want to see those for myself.

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  7. Kim, thanks for sharing this behind-the-scenes look at your latest book. Your niece and nephew are so beautiful and handsome, respectively. I really appreciate you being my guest once again. Always a pleasure!

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  8. I've never been to a cave before, however I am not sure I would want to either (do to being closterfobic). I understand they can be beautiful. I won't say I won't try. My email if I win is Tyner dot Amy at gmail dot com.
    Thanks for the awesome article and review as well as the opportunity to win!

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    1. Thanks for your honesty, Amy. I totally understand how claustrophobia would hamper going into caves. I have a feeling God knew some people would be unable to see His underground wonders, and so He made rainbows and mountains and rivers and so many other wonderful things to admire beneath an open sky.

      Hope to see you around Writing to Inspire again soon!

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  9. Not sure, I've been on a crazy adventure. I enjoyed walking by the creek and in the woods this spring, making pictures. I didn't enjoy nearly stepping on an Eastern Box Turtle on 2 different days. When I looked at one turtle pic on my pc, the turtle sure had sharp, wicked looking teeth. Thankful that I saw it first!

    I have visited 3 caves--one near Gatlinburg, TN, one in Missouri that takes people into the cave in a jeep and trailer, and a tour of Mammoth Cave in KY.

    In Mammoth cave, I was ok being in the cave till we would come to a tight place and a group of teen-aged boys in front of us, likely a class trip, would joke and slow down my progress to see the other side. That made me a bit anxious not being able to quickly move through the tight spot.

    To answer the last questions--problems have not made me a better human being.

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    1. That turtle incident sounds pretty crazy-adventure-like to me! Glad you stayed safe through that.

      Slow progress through tight spots would make me anxious too.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I enjoyed reading about them.

      If you're from the U.S. and would like to be entered in the contest, please reply with your email address. Otherwise, I won't be able to contact you if you win. Thanks!

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  10. I love that your niece and nephew were the inspirations for the characters Kim! This book sounds awesome, thanks for the chance to win a copy of "Guide Me Home".

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Trixi, thanks for visiting Writing to Inspire today and encouraging Kim. Hope to see you around here again soon. Blessings!

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  11. I visited De Soto Caverns in Childersburg, AL with my Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops. I love that it is wheelchair accessible and has been family owned for 100 years. It a cool, beautiful escape from the Alabama summers.

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    1. It's so neat that the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts have visited the De Soto Caverns. I'm glad to hear that cave is wheelchair accessible and has been family-owned for a century. That is so amazing and adds to the atmosphere when you tour it, I'm sure.

      Thank you for visiting Writing to Inspire today and sharing your adventure with us. Hope to see you again soon.

      If you're from the U.S. and would like to be entered in the contest, please reply with your email address. Otherwise, I won't be able to contact you if you win. Thanks!

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  12. I've been in several caves, on tours. They were very interesting. On our honeymoon, we visited a cave somewhere in southwest Missouri. It wasn't a large, well known one so I don't remember how we learned of it. We were the only ones there for a tour. The older woman who showed us the cave kept saying things like, "Isn't this just precious?" That cave (or maybe because of the guide) had a distinctly creepy vibe! We laughed later that we were thankful we made it out alive! I suspect now that our imaginations were just overactive.
    I enjoy Kim's books and have quite a few of them. I'd love to be able to add Guide Me Home to my Kim Vogel Sawyer shelf.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. So sorry you had the creepy vibe on your honeymoon! Hopefully it was just during that tour. :)

      Aw, you have a Kim Sawyer shelf? That is so cool.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Hope you'll come by often.

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  13. What's the craziest adventure you've been on?

    My craziest adventure was taking a bus from Pittsburgh, PA to Tulas, OK by myself when I was 17. Spur of the moment moved down there with a friend and took basically nothing but a few clothing items and a few books. The most important thing was the books though :)
    Love Kim Vogel Sawyers' books and this sounds fabulous!!!!! Thank you for the giveaway chance :)

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl@aol.com

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    1. Definitely a wild adventure. Not sure I'd have been that courageous at seventeen. Thanks for sharing!

      (Just checking: no "i" in "Cnnamon" in your email address? Thanks!)

      I'm glad you stopped by Writing to Inspire today, Deanne. Hope you'll visit again soon.

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    2. No I in Cnnamon, thanks for checking and I enjoyed my visit here. Thank you, Andrea!

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  14. I haven't had the pleasure of visiting a cave, but several family members have. My youngest daughter's fifth grade class visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. She has just sprained her knee, so she was on crutches! She is now in college and still talks about that adventure!!!

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    1. Wow, your daughter was so courageous to go into a cave on crutches! I'm so glad those memories are fun ones for her to look back on. Thanks for sharing!

      Thank you for visiting Writing to Inspire, Jennifer. Hope to see you again soon. (Thanks for remembering to add your email address too.)

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  15. J4hibdon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Thanx for the giveaway!!!!!

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  16. Loved this post and learning more about 'Guide Me Home' - thanks, Kim!! I live about 1 1/2 hours from Mammoth Cave, but haven't been there for many years. Was wondering if Kim took the boat ride in the cave?? A tidbit I found interesting: author Laura Frantz's parents operated a restaurant at Mammoth Cave when she was a baby, she has told of their taking her to work with them and setting her on the counter there.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Bonnie, thank you for sharing that tidbit about Laura Frantz. I had no idea! That is so neat.

      Thanks for stopping by Writing to Inspire. Hope to see you again soon.

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  17. I went thru 2 caves when I was real young. I can't remember the names of them but I do remember them being so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face when the light was out. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
    grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Did you like that moment when you realized you couldn't even see your hand? When I've been in a cave with the lights out, that's what freaked me out, that I couldn't even see my hand right in front of my face. Much too dark for me!

      Thanks for sharing! And for visiting Writing to Inspire. Hope you'll come back again soon.

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  18. I'd have to say my most my most unique adventure was deciding to take a gravel road with my friends in Canada and none of us knowing where it would lead especially since a sign said "road drops off travel at your own risk." :) We did make it back to civilization that night.

    I don't like going in caves! I've been in several, but I stay out of them now if at all possible.
    readanotherpage(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Ooh, that sign would have scared me! Glad y'all made it all right. Sounds like a great trip too.

      Thanks for visiting Writing to Inspire today, Rebekah. Hope to see you again soon.

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  19. I been in a cave many, many, many years ago. A girlfriend and I skipped school one day because a guy friend of mine wanted to go to Howe Caverns (located in eastern NY). It was the first time I've been in a cave and it was safe because it had lights and trails and also, a boat to ride on the underground creek. Since it was many, many, many years ago I'm sure it has improved because it is still open with more attractions. Here is their website. https://www.howecaverns.com/

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    1. Playing hooky, huh? That cavern sounds really amazing. Thanks for sharing! And for adding your email address.

      Hope you visit Writing to Inspire again soon. Blessings!

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  20. Forgot my email address! kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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  21. Thanks Andrea and Kim!

    One adventure that comes to my mind when I think of craziest adventures is Peoli Road. On our family vacation, we took a detour off the highway due to construction. The detour kept going and going miles and miles... into a dead end. When we turned around and finally got to an intersection, both roads were named Peoli. Somehow the Lord got us back on track... or maybe that was the track he wanted us to take. It's made for a fun memory and a lot of laughter.

    We recently had the opportunity to visit the Sea Lions Cave in Oregon. God's beauty, above and below ground, is awesome!

    When Andrea was five, I had three ruptured discs in my back. My greatest weakness was that I was unable to do basically anything for seven months. Life came to a halt... with a lot of pain and tears. It became my greatest strength as the Lord taught me great patience and to appreciate every moment in life... even all the little things like getting out of bed each day and being able to stand and take a step without the assistance of others. To those suffering, these are not little things. They are huge! God knows where each of us are in life and is with us wherever the journeys take us... on mountaintops or in caves!

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    1. Peoli Road! I think I saw seven or eight signs (on different roads) that claimed that name. It was so nuts! But we still talk about it today, and that's when you know it's a great memory.

      Loved the Sea Lion Caves!

      Sounds like you discovered the joy of suffering. Very rough way to come about it, but I'm glad that period has made you stronger in so many ways. Love you, Mama!

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  22. I like the storyline. What a difficult decision that would have been at that time period, to choose to work in the cave AND do so pretending to be a man. Nancy S. nannyrae2003@yahoo.com

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    1. You're absolutely right, Nancy. Tough decision indeed. Thanks for visiting Writing to Inspire today. I hope to see you again soon. Blessings!

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  23. One of my biggest weaknesses (or at least some people would consider it a weakness) is the I do not like to see anyone harmed or hurt--even the worst of the worst. It has turned into a strength because I can feel compassion for and respect the God-given dignity of all people. It definitely helped out the two times I had to sit on a jury. I could judge fairly, based on the evidence. I have told the young people I work with, much to their great shock, how much I love everyone. They don't seem to believe me though. Hopefully this answer makes sense. :-) Thanks for the great interview, Andrea Cox. I love Beth Vogt and it would be a blessing to win a copy of her latest book. Gorgeous girl on the cover! ;-)

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    1. Aw! I love this answer (and yes, it makes sense). Compassion really is a gift. I'm glad it helped on those juries.

      The giveaway is for Kim Sawyer's book, but I love Beth Vogt's books too! Both authors' books have found homes on my bookcase.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  24. Hello Andrea, saw your post on GR and decided to drop by. Interesting post! I loved seeing the behind the scenes of Kim's book.

    Caves are fun. I've been to several, but my favorite was a non-commercial cave up in the mountains of Colorado. It has a river running through it, and still isn't completely mapped. I'd love to go back sometime.
    visionwriter2 at Gmail dot com

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    1. That cave sounds pretty neat. Reminds me of the one in Kim's Guide Me Home, actually. I can totally picture Devlin mapping it.

      Amber, thanks for letting me know where you saw my post about the blog and for visiting. Glad to connect with you in both places. Come back soon!

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  25. This sounds like a great book!!

    Email: 1p57biskit (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Faith. I hope to see you here again soon. Blessings!

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