Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Almost Like Being in Love


Almost Like Being in Love
A Destination Wedding Novel
Beth K. Vogt
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1476789804
June 2016/384 pages/$14.99

From the author of Somebody Like You, a RITA finalist, and one of Publishers Weekly’s top ten books of 2014, comes the story of a woman who has everything for a perfect wedding—except the groom!

Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? Being “perfect for one another” seems like the absolute best reason to get married. But what if their supposedly faultless relationship is merely a safe place to protect his secrets and a way to keep their families happy? After quitting her job, Caron accepts her best friend’s offer to visit Colorado. She needs to catch her breath. Who knows, maybe visiting the destination wedding site will make a future with Alex seem like a reality.

Kade Webster just landed the biggest deal of his life with his company, Webster Select Realty, participating in the Colorado Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into the woman who broke his heart—Caron Hollister—right when his career is taking off. Seeing her again, Kade can’t help but wonder why Caron walked away from him years ago, leaving him with no explanation. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should stay away from Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business.

Spending time with Kade has Caron questioning everything. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she lost. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? Just because others believe she and Alex are an ideal couple, does that mean they should get married? And how can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth is a 2016 Christy Award finalist winner, as well as a 2015 RITA® finalist, and two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. She continues her destination wedding series with You Can’t Hurry Love (May 2016) and Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016). Beth enjoys writing contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Find out more about her books at bethvogt.com.

MY THOUGHTS

I thoroughly enjoyed Beth K Vogt's previous Destination Wedding novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, (which won a 2016 Christy Award yesterday!), and this is a fun read as well. Vogt does a wonderful job keeping the novel upbeat and positive, no small feat considering the baggage weighing down the characters. (And I don't mean the bags Caron packed for her trip to Colorado!) She delicately addresses such issues as grief, alcoholism, and the sometimes unhealthy need for parental approval. My heart ached for all that Caron and Alex, as well as Kade, experienced prior to and during the time frame of the novel's setting, and I cheered as they began to question if the easy path is the right path. Romantic tension sears the pages, making this a wonderful summer read. And the ending is just perfect. Don't miss Almost Like Being in Love!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Simon & Schuster/Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



MY REVIEW OF BETH VOGT'S DESTINATION WEDDING NOVELS
Crazy Little Thing Called Love


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Monday, June 27, 2016

2016 Christy Award Winners!


The Christy Awards Advisory Board announced the 2016 Christy Award Winners today. This award honors excellence in Christian fiction. What a great group of winners! Click on the linked titles for my reviews.

BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Five Times I Met Myself
by James L. Rubart
(Thomas Nelson, a division of
HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


CONTEMPORARY
The Sea Keeper’s Daughters
by Lisa Wingate
(Tyndale House Publishers)



CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/SUSPENSE

The Wedding Chapel
by Rachel Hauck
(Zondervan, a division of
HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


CONTEMPORARY SERIES

Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by Beth K. Vogt
(Howard Books)


FIRST NOVEL
Irish Meadows
by Susan Anne Mason
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of
Baker Publishing Group)


HISTORICAL

Secrets She Kept
by Cathy Gohlke
(Tyndale House Publishers)


HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Luther and Katharina
by Jody Hedlund
(WaterBrook Press)


SUSPENSE

Twisted Innocence
by Terri Blackstock
(Zondervan, a division of
HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


VISIONARY

The Five Times I Met Myself
by James L. Rubart
(Thomas Nelson, a division of
HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


YOUNG ADULT


The Choosing
by Rachelle Dekker
(Tyndale House Publishers)



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Incriminating Evidence


Incriminating Evidence
Rachel Dylan
(Harlequin/Love Inspired Suspense)
ISBN: 978-0373447565
July 2016/224 pages/$5.99

FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE

When rookie prosecutor Jessica Hughes crosses the son of a major crime boss, she's determined to bring him to justice—if his family doesn't kill her first. And with newly minted FBI special agent Zach Taylor protecting her, she believes she can succeed. Zach will do anything to stay ahead of the crime syndicate and guard Jessica while she builds her case. The more time he spends with her, the more personal the assignment becomes. It's bad timing for falling in love, but as the threats against her life escalate, Zach realizes Jessica is everything to him—and he will do everything he can to make sure she has a future.

Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Dylan writes inspirational romantic suspense. She loves animals and is active in animal rescue. She enjoys adding adorable pets to her stories. She lives in Georgia with her husband and five furkids—two dogs and three cats. Learn more at her website, www.racheldylan.com.


MY THOUGHTS

This is the third of Rachel Dylan's Love Inspired Suspense novels that I have read and reviewed, and she only gets better each time. Dylan immediately plunges the reader into Jessica's world and the danger she faces as she prosecutes a member of a notorious crime family and keeps the pace high as the novel progresses. While Jessica and the special agent protecting her are both new to their jobs, Dylan portrays them well, as occasionally making believable misjudgments but not naive, bumbling greenhorns. A captivating plot with plenty of twists and turns keeps the story moving along without being overly dramatic, and a bit of a surprise at the end added to the enjoyment and sense of justice. Grab your copy of Incriminating Evidence today, and check out other novels by this talented author.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from Rachel Dylan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


MY PREVIOUS REVIEWS OF RACHEL DYLAN'S BOOKS
Expert Witness
Picture Perfect Murder


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife


The Ringmaster's Wife
Kristy Cambron
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-0718041540
June 2015/368 pages/$15.99

An ounce of courage.

A split-second leap of faith.

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.


In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.
Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read. Find out more about Kristy at http://kristycambron.com.



MY THOUGHTS

I fell in love with Kristy Cambron's writing with the release of her debut novel, and she remains one of my favorite new authors. The Ringmaster's Wife is a magnificent tale of life under the Big Top. Cambron expertly weaves together the stories of two women separated by a generation: Mable Burton, who married John Ringling, and Lady Rosamund Easling, who spontaneously leaves her titled life in England to become a trick horse rider with the circus. Rich historical detail brings to life the turn of the twentieth century and the Roaring Twenties as Mable and Rose's lives unfold. Cambron takes the reader behind the scenes of circus life, depicting the enormous endeavor required to move it from city to city and bringing to life the eclectic personalities of the performers, highlighting the similarities that transcend their obvious--and quirky!--differences. The joyful sights and sounds of the circus can't quite disguise the threat of danger that arises, and Cambron balances the tension well. The romance made me sigh, and the unexpected twist at the end? Well, you'll just have to read that for yourself! I devoured this book on a weekend, and I am already looking forward to Cambron's next novel, The Illusionist's Apprentice, coming in March 2017. Grab some peanuts or popcorn for snack and take a trip back in time with The Ringmaster's Wife today!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from HarperCollins/TNZ Fiction & Litfuse Publicity Group for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Monday, June 20, 2016

Sea Rose Lane


Sea Rose Lane
A Hope Harbor Novel
Irene Hannon
(Revell Publishing)
ISBN: 978-0800727543
June 2016/368 pages/$14.99

Two people starting over . . . in a town known for second chances

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to Hope Harbor--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed and breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect who's invaded the house with her motley crew. As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces for to help Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

Come home to Hope Harbor--where hearts heal . . . and love blooms

Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and Sea Rose Lane, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, two Carol Awards, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, two Booksellers' Best Awards, and a National Readers' Choice Award. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.


MY THOUGHTS

Few authors can successfully write in more than one genre, but Irene Hannon is one who is as adept at penning contemporary romance as she is crafting a suspense novel. Sea Rose Lane takes readers on a heartfelt journey back to Hope Harbor, Oregon, in this engaging story. Hannon populates this small coastal town with a diverse cast of personalities, adding depth and character to this multi-dimensional tale. BJ and Eric's stories drew me in, and their growing attraction is perfectly paced and authentically portrayed. Weaving a secondary storyline among the main focus on their relationship, Hannon deftly touches on issues such as aging, immigration, and prejudice without being preachy or heavy-handed. In fact, this novel wrapped me with its warmth and made me wish I could sit on eighty-eight-year-old Eleanor's porch and taste one of her desserts. If you haven't read Hope Harbor, the first novel in this series, this one is easily read as a stand-alone. (I inadvertently missed the first one but Hannon's writing immediately made me feel at home. But I now intend to backtrack and see what I missed!) Sea Rose Lane is the perfect summer read. Don't miss it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Trial by Fire


Trial by Fire
DiAnn Mills
(Tyndale Housee)
ASIN: B01G2AJW82
June 2016/8382 KB/88 pages/$1.99

A new standalone novella from one of the top names in romantic suspense. Includes a preview of the first book in DiAnn’s explosive new FBI Task Force series!

Special Agent Savannah Barrett and her partner, SA Paul Winston, have been investigating a puzzling string of church arsons when she receives devastating news: her estranged son has been killed in a car accident, leaving Savannah sole custody of three young grandchildren she didn’t know existed. As she and Paul investigate new fires, trying to establish an M.O. and a suspect list, Savannah is thrown back into parenting while trying to handle her own heartbreak. Paul becomes her biggest support—on and off the job—kindling the fire between them.

But when the case takes a personal turn and Savannah’s grandkids are threatened, she and Paul must put everything on hold to stop this arsonist’s reign of fire.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

MY THOUGHTS

DiAnn Mills is a must-read romantic suspense author for me, so when I found out she was releasing a novella to introduce her upcoming FBI Task Force series, I immediately purchased it for my Kindle. Don't let the brevity fool you as Mills packs plenty of action into this quick read, including personal tragedy, crime, danger, and moments of heart-stopping suspense. I read it in one sitting. The novella also contains a preview to whet the appetite for Deadly Encounter, coming in August! Grab a copy of Trial by Fire for your e-reader or other device today!



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Monday, June 13, 2016

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty


Delilah:
Treacherous Beauthy

A Dangerous Beauty Novel
Angela Hunt
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764216978
June 2016/352 pages/$14.99

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Most Notorious Women

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, Esther: Royal Beauty, and Bathsheba, Reluctant Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

MY THOUGHTS

I have often stated Angela Hunt is a must-read author for me, and that I rarely read any other Biblical fiction but hers. I loved the first two Dangerous Beauty novels, Esther: Royal Beauty and Bathsheba, Reluctant Beauty, and was eager to see how she crafted Delilah's story. I was not disappointed. While the Bible gives little information about Delilah, Hunt's extensive research and study of human behavior results in a captivating and plausible tale that is true to the Biblical account. Delilah is often despised and disdained, yet Hunt makes her a likable and believable character whose flaws and scars inform her choices. Delilah: Treacherous Beauty is riveting, and I read it almost non-stop in a weekend. Grab your copy of this must-read novel today, and pick up the rest of the series as well.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


CLick the covers below for my reviews of the previous books in this series!





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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde


Dawn at Emberwilde
(A Treasures of Surrey Novel)
Sarah Ladd
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-0718011819
May 2016/362 pages/$15.99

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. Dawn at Emberwilde is her fifth novel. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever. Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.



MY THOUGHTS

The early nineteenth century is quickly becoming one of my favortie time periods, and books like this one are a reason why. Dawn at Emberwilde contains all that I love in a novel: a sweeping setting, fascinating characters, danger and intrigue, and a bit of romance as well! Ladd's prose is perfectly suited for the time period (I love how the housekeeper didn't simply walk out of the room; she quit the room!), and her superb character portrayals moved me--some to affection and others to disdain! Unexpected twists and turns provide plenty of hold-your-breath moments as the story built to its climax. Dawn at Emberwilde is the perfect vacation read. Don't miss it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from HarperCollins/TNZ Fiction & Litfuse Publicity Group for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Monday, June 6, 2016

Medical Judgment


Medical Judgment
Richard Mabry, M.D.
(Abingdon Press)
ISBN: 978-1630881207
May 2016/320 pages/$14.99

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she’s about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her—and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.
Find out more about Richard at http://www.rmabry.com.



MY THOUGHTS

I always enjoy Dr. Richard Mabry's novels and this one is his best yet. Medical Judgment gripped me from the opening pages and I was loath to set it aside for such trivial pursuits as sleeping and working. Dr. Sarah Gordon's grief over the tragic loss of her husband and young daughter is heartbreakingly real, and the compassion I felt for her only increased with the attacks and threats she faced. Mabry skillfully paces the events, keeping both Sarah and the reader on high alert. The flow of the story presents multiple characters as plausible suspects who could be "hiding in plain sight," thwarting any efforts to identify the perpetrator as well as the motive behind the attacks. Possibilities of romance occasionally stir throughout the story but Mabry wisely keeps it low-key, as the threats even cause Sarah to question her trust in her closest protectors. Intriguing and satisfying, Medical Judgment is a must for your summer reading list.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Abingdon Press & Litfuse Publicity Group for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Just what the doctor ordered: heart-thumping suspense and intrigue, courtesy of Richard Mabry’s new medical drama, Medical Judgment. Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

Join Richard in celebrating the release of Medical Judgment by entering to win an e-reader!

medical judgment - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Medical Judgment
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 21st. The winner will be announced June 22nd on the Litfuse blog.

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