29 October 2013

Marian Baay reviews PROMISE TO RETURN by Elizabeth Byler Younts


Promise to Return


Reviewed by Marian Baay
~5 stars~*****

1943
Miriam Coblentz is a young Amish woman who wants nothing more than to be obedient to her church, get married to the love of her life, Henry Mast, and to become a mother. However, shortly before their marriage, Henry is drafted and everything becomes complicated.

At first Henry is serving as a conscientious objector at a Civilian Public Service camp, but during this time there he learns how bad the war in Europe really is and he feels God’s call to enlist. Before his training starts, he comes home on leave and tells his family and Miriam that he’s going to fight in the war. His family is hurt and doesn’t want him to stay under their roof anymore. Miriam doesn’t understand why Henry made this decision. His attitude towards God seems to be changing as well—he so easily talks about praying to God and hearing His voice.

Miriam is so confused—is she going to wait for Henry’s return? And when he comes back, will he confess to the church he was wrong? He seems to be so sure he was right to enlist and go to war.
Her childhood friend, Eli, is trying to win her hand while Henry is away. Although Miriam likes him, she doesn’t love him, but he can offer her the life she has always wanted. Is she going to wait for Henry, or does she give in to her longing to get married in the church; to become a wife and mother, like she has always dreamed?

Against her parents’ wishes, Miriam frequently writes to Henry and she anticipates his return letters, but then months go by without a word from him… Is he still alive? Then one day Henry’s mother and sister visit with news from Europe…

One of the best books I have read this year! This author knows how to keep the suspense high and keep the reader guessing. Miriam’s struggle was well done and I really felt for her. I have shed several tears while reading this fantastic book, so I advise keeping the tissues handy. I’m going to keep my eye on this author and I’m surely going to read the next book in this series.

*Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy through NetGalley.*
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GIVEAWAYS: This week Elizabeth will give away a SIGNED copy of her new book and we at OWG are giving away ebook or paperback of either of her books—choice by winner. (Note: International readers ebook only.) 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR CONTACT PURPOSES

147 comments:

  1. Great review for a great book!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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  2. I absolutely LOVE Amish books. This would be the first I would have read regarding an Amish woman and a relationship with someone in the military. Sounds like it might have some interesting twists and turns. After reading your review, I really want to read this!

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    1. I'm sure you will love this book, Sonja. Good luck in the drawing.

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    2. Looks very interesting. Would love to win it

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    3. Oh, I hope you read it and love it!!!! ;-) It is a unique perspective for sure since this history hasn't really been discussed much in fiction or nonfiction.

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  3. Wonderful review, Marian! You have certainly left me wanting to read this fantastic book! I love knowing that it is one of the best books you have read this year. Thank you so much for the chance to win a signed copy!!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. You won't regret reading this one, Britney. All the best in the contest.

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  4. I have to have an Amish fix once in a while, this one sounds like it might be the one I need to read...soon! Thanks MARIAN for another great review!!

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    1. I'm like my mom - also have to have an Amish fix once in a while. ;)

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  5. A truly interesting concept in Amish fiction. The author knows how to keep the suspense high and keep the reader guessing and so do you in your review my dear!!! Great review. I would love to win this one. Blessings!!! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com.

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    1. Thanks, Darlene. It was a pleasure to read and review this book!

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    2. Marian did a great review! So thankful! I hope you enjoy it just as much!

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  6. I love the Amish books would love to win this one, thanks
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com

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  7. MARIAN, my lovely cohort! You DO know what you have done with this enticing review, don't you? PROMISE TO RETURN is awaiting me on my Kindle, and it's all your fault! :D Can't wait to read...

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  8. I love Amish books and would love to win this one in paperback. Thank you for the
    offer of giveaway. God bless, Patti in VA===pag1936@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Good luck in the drawing, Patti! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. This sounds like a great book , I would love to have it . Faye Simer xstitchgranny2000@yahoo.com

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    1. We'll enter you in the draw, Faye. All the best.

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    2. I'd love for you to have it too...and love it!

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  10. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the contest. Rachel Lepree rlepree@musfiber.com

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  11. would love to snuggle down with this book!
    mandn@wisper-wireless.com

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  12. I would love to win this book! Having major surgery in 2 weeks so all I have time to do is read!

    tsheroke@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Hope the surgery will go fine and you'll have plenty of books to read. All the best.

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    2. Oh boy! Surgery! ;-( I hope it goes well! Best of luck on the drawing also!

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  13. I enjoyed reading your review, Marian.

    Wait for Henry, Miriam!
    Hopes and dreams are better than "what ifs" looking... back.

    Would love to win Promise to Return. And... such a nice cover depicting the story! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen. We have you entered. You'll love this book.

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    2. Yes, I LOVE what my publisher did with my cover!

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  14. I would love to win a copy. I love that Miriam's last name is Coblentz -- when we lived just outside of Lancaster County our furnace repair man's name was Homer Coblentz. Reading this book will take me home. Thank you for being generous and for the opportunity to win.

    Barbara Ann (barbarabeers at verizon dot net)

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    1. That's cool - thanks for sharing, Barbara Ann. All the best in the contest.

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    2. HOw fun! My mother's maiden name is Coblentz. AND...I love that your name is Barbara Ann...I have several cousins that have the same name!

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  15. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance....

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

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  16. Great review.Sounds like an awesome book. Would love to win & read this book.

    seraphinangel7@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. It IS an awesome book, Juanita! I'm sure you love it.

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  17. Hi ,Marian,I read the preview of this book and it sounds wonderful.I so much would like to win it. It sounds so interesting and can't wait to see who wins.It would be a blessing for any of us.Thanks for writing it.Blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Linda! All the best in the contest.

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  18. Thanks for the review and giveaway! I'm adding this to my to-read list now!

    colorvibrant[at]gmail[dot]com

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  19. I loved the review. I don't imagine too many Amish have to deal with a problem like this. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. oops. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    2. Thanks for commenting. You're entered, Jan!

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    3. It's unique but realistic. I hope you love it!

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  20. This book sounds oh so good!! Nice review of it.
    jlscott49 at roadrunner dot com

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  21. Would enjoy reading either book by Elizabeth. Crossing my fingers :)

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    1. When you come back,please leave your email address, Loretta.

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  22. I had seen this book last few days and so want to read it. loved your review Marian. So love reading your thoughts on things.

    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com
    http://www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I hope you get the chance to read it soon. It's very good!

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  23. This looks so good, a very different Amish book. Would love to win it! Good luck to everyone!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Becky. When you come back, please leave your email address. Thank you.

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    2. It is different...but historical...I loved researching this and interviewing my grandma!

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  24. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win it!
    rcourts@twc.com

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  25. Marian great review. The sounds wonderful. Just enough to leave me hanging wanting to read more. Thanks for a chance to win it.

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    1. Thanks, LeAnn. This really is a wonderful book and I just know you will enjoy it.

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  26. Enjoyed reading your great review, Marian! Book sounds fantastic, plus a wonderful author. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. Just wait till you read the book . . . it's awesome!

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    2. Blessings to you! hope you enjoy the read!

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  27. I enjoyed the review and think this would be a great book to go onto my shelf. After I read it, that is. Ü Please enter me in the drawing to win a copy. Thanks!!
    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm sure you will read it right away and won't stop until you're finished, Cindi . . . and then put it on your shelf! :)

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    2. Such an encouragement. I hope you love the book!

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  28. I would love to win a copy of this book, thank you for the chance.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  29. Would love to read her book ...thank you Lee Ellen Hicks glhicks69@Yahoo.com

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  30. I'd really like to read this. I read a few books by Kingsbury that brought me back to God. I now love to read about the Amish as my husband was born in Pa. and we know their beliefs and ways of living. This would be so special to read.

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    1. Great to hear that reading books brought you back to God, Linda! Yay! All the best & blessings.

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    2. Oh, I love hearing your testimony!!!! That's special for me to read!

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  31. I just wrote the comment of my husband raised in Pa. I forgot to leave my email. It's SnoopyPM@aol.com

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  32. Very interesting. I am entering for my wife (Sherry), an avid reader, she enjoys a good story and I'm sure she'd enjoy this one as it is similar to our own.

    I was not in the service and it was Sherry that moved away. I kept writing but she did not get any of my letters until her (evil) stepmother decided to give her the one I wrote for Valentines Day, along with all the other ones I had written. Sherry moved back, we dated and were married the year after we graduated High School. Yes, we were High School Sweethearts. Thank you for the opportunity. Perhaps Ms. Younts would like to write about our story?

    RNagel12@comcast.net

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    1. Great story, Rodney! Why not write your own book? :) :)

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    2. Aren't our own love stories the most romantic and truly the best!!!! ;-) Marian is right...maybe you should!

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  33. I would so love to win PROMISE TO RETURN

    By Elizabeth Byler Younts. I have never read

    any of her books. Sounds like an excellent book!

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    1. It truly is an excellent book, Cheryl. We have you entered and wish you the best of luck!

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    2. I hope you get the chance to read it & love it!

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  34. Love Amish fiction and historical fiction! Best of both worlds. Would love to read it!

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    1. You're right...the best of both worlds!!! ;-

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    2. You're going to love this one, Erin!

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  35. PROMISE TO RETURN promises to be an amazing story I feel. Fantastic review thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. I love hearing the word "amazing"...hope you love it!

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    2. Thanks, Mary! And you can trust your feelings on this. :)

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  36. I love Amish books and would love to win Promise To Return . That for the giveaway .
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. Great review Marian. You truly draw us into the story and I would definelty love to read this book. Thanks to both of you for making the offers for us to win a free copy!
    Vicki
    vmarney (at) hot mail

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    1. Marian did a great job reviewing...you are right! Best of luck!

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  38. Excellent review. i can't wait to read the book! Thanks for the giveaway!
    ldwrncpn@comcast.net

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    1. I can't wait for you to read it! I hope you love it!

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  39. A different storyline to deep into... Looking forward to reading it.

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Melody, and good luck!

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  40. Wonderful review Marian - and way to leave us all hanging!! I'm a big crier when reading books, so I'll be sure to have a whole box handy! :) Sounds wonderful Elizabeth!!

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    1. Thanks, Noela! I hope everyone who doesn't win is going to buy the book next week . . . and a box of Kleenex. ;-)

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  41. i forgot to put my email address on my entry. so this is my second entry. the review makes this sound like a book i would like to read. i love amish novels.ladydipap@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for coming back and leaving your email! Good luck.

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    2. I have removed your other comment, so that it's not too confusing to us who the other Anonymous entry is.

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  42. Looks like an awesome read via the review you wrote. So would love to read
    brooksjanice6564@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. We're going to enter your name and see what happens. :)

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  43. Hello Marian and to Elizabeth. Marian, at interviewing you can't get any better. Elizabeth I love this cover. I was always a letter writer and hate that personal letters are almost obsolete. I hate to see that. I never thought this would happen, and then comes computers, email, and texting. I sure miss getting letters in my mail tho. It made my day getting a hand written letter from loved ones and good friends I have seen this book before and wanted it. I haven't read any of your books yet and would love to win this one. Thanks to you and the OWG gals for this give-away. Hope I can win.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. We have you entered, Maxie. Best of luck!

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  44. ELIZABETH, thanks for all your comments. We love that!! :) :)

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  45. This is a must read. After reading the review I wanted to know how the story played out. Is the book in stores yet? I will have to get it when it is available.

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    1. The book has released, so I think it should be available in the local Christian book stores. You can also order it from Amazon and other online bookstores.
      When you come back and leave your email address we can enter you in the giveaway, if you like.

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  46. wow loved the review. This book sounds really would love to read and review.
    Blessings
    Diana
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by & good luck, Diana!

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  47. sounds wonderful, i sure hope that i win. Sharma Darby rdarby@roadrunner.com

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  48. I have just recently become familiar with this author and would really love to read this book. It would be an honor to win it. Thank you for the opportunity.
    Karen
    sweetnessnlight@comcast.net

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    Replies
    1. You're entered, Karen. All the best in the contest.

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  49. I have never read anything by this author, but I love reading a wwll setting and this sound fascinating! Would love to win!
    bluegrassbirdie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. Thank you ......Lee Ellen Hicks. glhicks69@Yahoo.com

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  51. I follow you on facebook and love reading from this genre. I woul love to win. Thank you for this opportunity.
    Monique Wood
    Mosbe@aol.com

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  52. I enjoy books from the 1940's. Amish books are always so enjoyable.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  53. This sounds like a very good book---never read any of this author's books so would be very happy to win a copy of "Promise to Return". Thank you! jynhoffman@yahoo.com

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  54. Sounds like another fantastic book!
    I haven't read PROMISE TO RETURN By Elizabeth Byler Younts!
    Would love to win it.
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl, I'm afraid you did not win the book but you DID win the very last "pink" drawing for October, in honor of Breast Cancer awareness month! congrats!

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  55. What a wonderful review! The title alone sounds like a must read for me. Thank you for the opportunity to be a winner.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  56. I want to read this and sure would love to win it.
    cathyann40@yahoo.com

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  57. I love the works of Elizabeth Byler Younts and would love to win a copy of this book as well I have read most of her works and I buy them as I can afford to without breaking the bank. Keep them coming.

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  58. ;)
    mandn@wisper-wireless.com

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