Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #27

THE HUNT HAS ENDED! THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH FOR COMING BY!!!

Welcome to the 2020 Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am SO very excited to get to take part.


 If you've just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 10/15 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt--you have all weekend (until Sunday, 10/18 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author's scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa's site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

So! I'm Shannon McNear, and I've been writing this or that since about the third grade. I started my first novel at age 15, not knowing it would be 30 years before I'd receive my first publishing contract--but oh, what a journey it has been! During that time I accumulated seven completed novels (in varying states of polish), first sold a story I hadn't even written yet, and now I'm celebrating my seventh title in print! How cool is that?? You can learn more about them here on my site, or on Facebook, Pinterest, or Goodreads.

Though I've written variously in fantasy, a bit of contemporary, and a lot of historical--most of it during early America, specifically the Revolutionary War and immediately after--this newest story, a novella, takes place in 1919, right after WWI. It's the second story in a collection that follows the travels of an heirloom nativity set through several generations of a family, beginning in 1899, but here's a bit about mine:

While traveling with her aunt from Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, Stella Shepherd finds diversion in the form of three brothers who joke about being called "the Wise guys"--apparently the only boys in a sea of sisters and female cousins, and all veterans of the recent Great War--but it's the youngest who tugs most at her heart. Nat Wise finds this darling young woman both a reminder of all that he risked and an unexpected comfort, even as she challenges his faith--but what does he have to offer her, beyond a listening ear and travel conversation? How can the interest they feel for each other be anything more than a passing fascination?

Indeed! What could be more ridiculous than the idea of a couple meeting and then knowing within a day or two that they'd found someone they really did not wish to lose track of before they me had time to discover whether their feelings could become something lasting? And yet, I've heard story after story of couples who met and fell in love within a very short time, whose marriages endured for decades. Did they know something we don't? Were they just more committed to the concept of lifelong relationship?

While contemplating the premise of this story, and wondering how readers would respond to something that amounted to little more than love at first sight, I realized I had another problem ... how to build a convincing story over the span of just days! Because a journey by train didn't take nearly as long in 1919 as one would think ...

Researching the History of Railway Travel

Dining car, early 1900's
Dining car, early 1900's
Y'all, I am a research NERD. I can't tell you the hours I've wasted--the days, the weeks and months!--trying to get this or that detail just right. And here I'd proposed a story that takes place almost entirely on board a train, when I'd never even ridden one before. So you can imagine my panic ...

Now, I've gotten reasonably good at online research and had already discovered American-Rails.com, among others, and Wikipedia is much more complete and helpful than it used to be on all sorts of topics. And then there was my discovery of The Official Guide of the Railways, published for many years and absolutely invaluable for coordinating actual historical rail schedules. (I couldn't find one for the year 1919, so I leaned heavily on the 1921 edition and tried to keep in mind that this is fiction, after all.) But there's nothing like experiencing something for yourself--what things look and smell and feel like, in real life.

News of our contract came at the end of the summer, when local railway museums were closing down in preparation for winter. I widened my search, since we make frequent-ish visits to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and found the Minneapolis Transportation Museum, which offered a Fall Color Tour in western Wisconsin. (Sadly, the current season there is closed because of COVID-19.) I wasted no time in checking with my daughter away at college in St. Paul to see if she was interested and available (my husband wasn't because of work obligations), then booking the tickets.

Imagine my delight, when we arrived and boarded, to find that most of the train cars date right to the era of my story. After the initial talk, we were encouraged to walk around and explore, so explore I did. I'm sure I had more fun than anyone else on the tour that day!

~*~*~*~

Here's the Stop #27 Basics:

If you’re interested, you can order Love's Pure Light on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, or at your local bookstore!
Clue to Write Down: has been
Link to Stop #28, the Next Stop on the Loop: Suzanne Woods Fisher!

ADDITIONAL PRIZE!!!

I’m offering three books to three entrants—any one of my last five releases (Backcountry Brides, either Daughters of the Mayflower title, The Blue Cloak (for mature readers only!!), or Love's Pure Light. All you have to do is sign up to get my e-newsletter (top right of my home page) or note that you’re already a subscriber. Additional points for those who visit my author page on Facebook, or visit and follow me on Goodreads, Bookbub, or on Pinterest! Print copies for USA only; e-books for International winners. I'll announce the winners sometime on October 20!

Rafflecopter form below—for my personal giveaway only!

169 comments:

  1. I LOVE these collections!

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    1. Thanks so much! They've been so much fun to be part of, too. :-)

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  2. I love discovering all the new books to add to my TBR while meeting and learning about new authors. Thank you for this fabulous chance.

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    1. I've always enjoyed that as well! Just so excited to be playing with "the big kids" this time and getting to join in! ❤

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  3. I love hearing tidbits about writing journeys and research on books.

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    1. And I also love your Story Faces board on Pinterest!!

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    2. Thank you!! I've had fun adding to that ... and I also enjoy hearing those tidbits from other authors!

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  4. SO many different authors.

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    1. Isn't it amazing?? Some GREAT authors in this bunch, too!

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  5. My favorite thing on the tour so far.....is your post of all the research into the railroad and railcar history! I just finished Love's Pure Light this morning (the paperback). I LOVED the book, now I will comment on your FB page. I loved all four novella's. So glad I have the paper copy to share!

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    1. Oh goodness--thank you so much!! That story was a lot of fun to write. And I loved my co-authors' stories as well! Thank you for commenting!! ❤

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  6. I have read many of your books and become more of a fan with each release! I follow you on all available platforms.

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    1. Ohhh, thank you, thank you!! It's a huge thrill to hear that. ❤❤❤ We authors could not do this without you, the readers!

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  7. I enjoy entering the individual contests.

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  8. getting to know new authors. Thanks for the chance.

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    1. And thank YOU for stopping by! I love meeting new readers!!

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  9. I love seeing all these fabulous Christian fiction authors banding together. Love reading their blogs.
    I think Shannon did a phenomenal job on THE BLUE CLOAK!

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    1. Gosh, Paula, thank you so much! ❤ I love getting to work with all these amazing authors, too.

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    1. I enjoy that too! Thank YOU for stopping! ❤

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  11. I love getting to know more about the author’s

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    1. I love that too! I always learn something new. 😊

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  12. It's been fun to meet new authors and learn new things about authors I already know and love. It was interesting to learn about your train research!!

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  13. Nice to virtually meet new authors and see their books!

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    1. That's always been my favorite part as well. 😊

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  14. Can't wait to read your books! :)

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  15. My favorite part of the tour has been learning of new to me authors. And it's so fun entering for prizes too! :)

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    1. That's definitely a fun part! 😁

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  16. All the authors that are participating.

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  17. I like finding new authors and this is a great way to meet them.

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    1. It really is! I've always enjoyed browsing the posts even when I didn't take the time to enter.

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  18. I love how diverse the post are. This is the first time I heard of beta heroes.

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  19. How wonderful that in your Fall Color Tour in western Wisconsin, most of the train cars dated to the era of your story! Not a coincidence, either...

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    1. It definitely felt like a "God thing." I really want to do the ride again whenever they have it open! Boo to "the 'rona"!!

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    2. Definitely a “God thing”—I love reading about those kinds of happenings. :)

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  20. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Karen B
    Finding new authors and books that appeal to me.

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  21. My husband's family is from the Shenandoah Valley!

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    1. Oh, very cool! It's a gorgeous part of the country. :-)

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  22. Thanks for making a book available to one of us who has participated in the scavenger hunt, which is always so much fun and so informative!

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    1. My pleasure! I've had a lot of fun with this too!

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  23. Learning about new authors

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  24. Seeing all the new releases and books to come and finding a few new authors too.

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  25. Just enjoy reading the different research and locations.

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    1. Glad you enjoy that! We enjoy *doing the research and getting to share. :-)

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  26. I’m crazy about this cover, and the whole collection looks outstanding! And also, here’s to research nerds...your books are fantastic! Thanks for the chance!

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    1. Haha, thank you!! And I love the cover as well, soooo pretty. :-)

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  27. I'm enjoying finding so many new Christian authors to add to my list of books to read. Thanks for the chance!

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    1. You're welcome, and thank YOU for stopping by!

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  28. These scavenger hunts are SO much fun and I learn all about new authors too!

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  29. I love finding new books and authors to read.

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    1. Awesome!! That's why we do it. :-)

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  30. thank you so much for this giveaway!!

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  31. I've enjoyed learning all the behind-the-scenes tidbits from the authors and their research!

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    1. Well, cool! I love reading those as well.

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  32. I don't know that I have a favorite stop on the tour. I have discovered so many new authors and have added a lot of books to my to read list. If only I could spend all day reading and not doing anything else! :)

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    1. Hahahaaa, right??? I wish that too! (for myself ... LOL)

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  33. Amazing, love finding out about all these Authors and new books to read.

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  34. Discovering all the new Books and Authors, and learning several things I did Not know.

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    1. Very nice! It's a great opportunity for that, isn't it?

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  35. Would love to get The Blue Cloak! I am going to start collections the series πŸ˜€Thanks!

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    1. I'm sorry you didn't win, but I hope if you wind up getting it, you like it! Definitely not for the faint of heart. :-)

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  36. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and entering!

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  37. Michaela2:20 PM

    learning new authors

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    1. Awesome! Thank you for stopping by!

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  38. My favorite part is always finding new to me authors to enjoy! Thanks for the bonus giveaway!

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    1. My pleasure! Thank YOU for taking the time to play!

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  39. I'm enjoying all the lovely covers!

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  40. Obviously my favorite part is the opportunity to win books, but every year I love finding a new author or two to try!!

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    1. Ha, yes, and thank you for taking the time to do the hunt! WE enjoy having y'all!!

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  41. Thanks for the chance on this scavenger hunt!

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    1. Thank YOU for taking the time to participate!

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  42. My favorite part of the hunt is meeting new authors and visiting my faves!

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  43. Karen4:32 PM

    The best part of the hunt for me is finding out the backstory on many of the novels! And adding to my TBR stack!!

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    1. Yes, I love that as well! Except ... my TBR stack is SO tall. So many books, so little time!!

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  44. A local dinner train gave me just a hint of old-fashioned train travel. My favorite part of the hunt has been to see what authors have coming down the pipeline.

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    1. The folks in Osceola WI also do a dinner train ride as well as the Fall Colors Tour. I really want to do that at some point!

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  45. πŸ˜…Is it bad of me to say I’m loving all the side giveaways along the tour?

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  46. This has been so much fun. I have enjoyed learning about the authors and their books. I've also found some new to me authors. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

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    1. Yay! We've enjoyed doing it, and we're so glad for everyone who's played along!

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  47. Tina H6:35 PM

    I've read both of your Daughter of the Mayflower books and The Blue Cloak. Loved them. Thank you.

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    1. Oh, thank YOU!! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know! ❤❤❤

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  48. I am so glad to meet you as you are a new-to-me author. But like you, I LOVE history. Looking forward to reading your books.

    PS This scavenger hunt is wonderful!

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    1. I'm not sure I was clear on my favorite part of the scavenger hunt; it's finding new authors!
      (Kim Wageneck)

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    2. Hey, that's okay! I love hearing from readers who share my passion for history. 😊 I hope you enjoy what you get to read of mine!

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  49. This entire tour has been amazing; I've got a really nice reading list for the holidays now!

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    1. That's great! We do our best to keep readers busy. 😘

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  50. Learning about new books is the best part!

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  51. Thank you for this opportunity! Loved your book, The Cumberland Bride!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much!! ❤ I appreciate your saying so!

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  52. Finding all these new authors.

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    1. Definitely a perk of the hunt! 😊

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  53. I know this may sound insincere, but my favorite part of this scavenger hunt so far is reading your website here. Super interesting.

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    1. Oh wow, THANK YOU!!! I so appreciate that. Sometimes I feel like I'm just, well, too much geek. πŸ€£πŸ™„πŸ˜Ž

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  54. I have enjoyed finding information about the authors as well as their books. Thank you for sharing your talent.

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    1. Thank YOU so very much for stopping by!!

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  55. I don't think I've heard of a book like Love's Pure Light before (except, of course, for how it's connected to Christmas)--and that's a compliment! Looks good!

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    1. Oh, that's great! We definitely appreciate standing out amongst other titles, when we can, however that happens!

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  56. My favorite part of the tour is finding so many authors' different books and reading a unique perspective one gave--a perspective with which I agree!

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  57. I love learning about so many new authors and books!

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  58. Heather Russell10:27 PM

    I love finding new authors to follow which means new books to discover!!!

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  59. Finding out more about the authors and their books is always fun, as are all the giveaways.

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  60. I love finding new authors and all the new books out.

    Tighefan42atgmaildotcom

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  61. It's fun to find out out about new authors and new books.

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  62. My favorite part so far is i have seen a few new authos and lots of books I need to read. :)

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  63. You’re a new author to me, so I’m looking forward to checking out your books.

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  64. I have found some new authors to follow.

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  65. I like the opportunity to win books especially from new to me authors!

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  66. I enjoyed reading your novella in Love's Pure Light

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    1. Oh, thank you so much! I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. 😊❤

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  67. I love all the history and insights you all give... so fun!

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  68. Thanks for doing the Scavenger Hunt!

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  69. Entering all the fun giveaways!

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  70. Getting to know new authors!

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  71. I love getting to know more about the authors and their books. I also love learning about the research they do for their stories!

    Thank you for the extra giveaway & participating in the scavenger hunt!

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  72. My favorite part of the hunt so far is adding many new titles and authors to my TBR list.

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  73. Finding new to me authors.

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  74. It's fun learning about new authors.

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  75. Thank you for the wonderful hunt Your books sound like great books!

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  76. My favorite part of the tour is reading an author's page and anticipating the next page to visit. Commenting and signing up for the giveaways. The whole hunt is fun!

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  77. Can't wait to read one of your books. So excited about all of the new authors I am finding.

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  78. My favorite part of the tour has been seeing what research different authors have put into their latest books!

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  79. Anonymous10:15 PM

    My favorite part of the tour is discovering new authors (and revisiting favorites).
    LindaB (lsburnett at hotmail)

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  80. Thank you for being in the scavenger hunt. I like learning about different authors.

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  81. My favorite part has been getting to know authors better, and different things about their books, or writing style, or history, etc.

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  82. I enjoy learning more about the authors I know and perhaps some new ones.

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  83. I loved learning about new great books!

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  84. I love novella collections and have several of yours on my tbr list!

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  85. I love discovering the new books and authors!

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  86. It has been nice getting to know new authors and finding out about what they write about. It has been nice seeing how many pursue their interests, expanding their knowledge, and learn new things. Like railroads.

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  87. I love meeting new authors and I love reading more of what all of the authors books are about and seeing the beautiful book covers. Thank you so much for being part of this Awesome Scavanger Hunt. Have a Great week and stay safe. aliciabhaney(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  88. Anonymous5:07 PM

    I did it all - would love to be a winner as you are new to me and hunting takes time and patience :)I'm gonna need a good book to relax with after this!
    Amber
    FAIRYnForest@outlook.com

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  89. I love learning more about these authors including you!

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  90. I love learning about new authors!

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  91. Meeting new authors!!!

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  92. Adding a bunch of books to by TBR list is my favorite part of this scavenger hunt. As if it wasn't long enough already!

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  93. I've enjoyed learning more about the new books and also the interesting facts concerning them and their authors!

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  94. Sarah Stewart8:10 PM

    I always enjoy learning about new authors and books. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  95. I'm a huge research nerd too (One of my majors in college was history, if that tells you anything), so I adore this post! I love researching and learning about almost anything and everything.

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  96. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Hi, Shannon. Thank you for participating in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I enjoy reading about the authors' new releases and about all of the research that goes into all of the novels. I really enjoy your books. The Cumberland Bride is one of my favorites in the Mayflower series! Sharon Sparks sparks3002@comcast.net

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  97. My favorite part of the hunt has been learning about new authors & their books & being able to sign up for author newsletters & follow those authors I'm already familiar with.

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  98. Thanks for the giveaway! My favorite part is getting to know new authors!

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  99. My favorite part is finding new authors!

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  100. Thank You I love finding new authors and their books to read

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  101. My favorite part are all the book excerpts/blurbs.

    Mary McCoy

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  102. Getting to visit all the authors & learn about new books!
    (lg.hudson@yahoo.com)

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  103. Learning about new authors and more books.

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  104. I love meeting new authors and getting updates on favorite authors' new books!

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