Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tying the Knot


GIVEAWAY

WARREN, SUSAN MAY
TYING THE KNOT

Anne Lundstrom is running from her past. But it's about to catch up.

Anne thought she'd escaped her painful memories when she left her job as an EMT and moved out of the city into the quiet town of Deep Haven. She certainly never expected to get roped into helping Noah Standing Bear run his summer camp for inner-city kids. Yet Noah has a charisma she can't ignore, and romance is in the air.

But when the very danger she was trying to escape threatens her peaceful haven -- and her life -- Anne must find the courage to face her fears and embrace the one man who can help her understand her past.

My Review:

Originally published in 2003.

I think this is one of the earliest Christian Fiction novels I've read so far and I noticed a few differences in the genre now that more than a decade has passed. The most obvious is the solid inspirational thread that boldly shares faith and scripture throughout the read. It's not overdone or preachy, but it is deeply embedded in the text. There is no way you can mistake this for anything but a Christian novel. One of my favourite takeaways in that respect is this gem of wisdom: "God doesn't deal in fair. He deals in hope." (p 277)

And despite some dire circumstances and painful pasts, that's what Anne and Noah's story delivers. Hope. And goodness, are they ever in need of it. This hero and heroine are definitely heading in opposite life directions. They are miles apart on all the important stuff. Made me wonder how on earth are these two going to come together for their happily after? Well, Warren makes them work for it, let me tell you!

An emotionally-charged roller coaster of a read that will leave you blissfully satisfied by the end...if a little worse for wear :-)

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Tying the Knot please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Words of Grace

GIVEAWAY

GRACE, JACQUI
ARRAND, DEE
WORDS OF GRACE

Be amazed by God's grace!

Bring new joy to your time in God's Word by incorporating beauty and creativity. As a gentle tonic for the busyness and worries of your life, this travel-sized coloring book devotional will help you focus your attention and calm your hurried soul.

Each page spread includes scripture, devotional thoughts, and images to color that are all designed to reconnect you with the God who knows your every need. Grab your colored pencils, crayons or markers and set yourself free to create. But most importantly; relax, have fun, and be blessed by God's grace.

My Review:

I'm a word person. I collect them and display them and, of course, read them! I love word art and my walls are peppered with what I call 'power' words. Faith. Joy. Believe. Hope. And phrases like 'Prayer changes things.' So a devotional coloring book that features words is tailor-made for me and this one is a real gem.

It's a small little book -- 6 1/2 " x 6 1/2" but the devotionals are packed with scriptures and encouraging words. Points to ponder. And accompanied by exquisite word art that reinforces the devotion's theme. Some of the images are really intricate so you definitely need a finely sharpened color pencil for them. Others are more loose and free flowing. And the designs are beautiful. I'm thinking of framing some of my 'masterpieces' and adding to my wall art collection -- if I can bring myself to rip a page out of a book! Ack!!

A sweet little book that would make a great Easter gift or just add some creativity to your personal time with God.

Book provided courtesy of Baker's Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications

Giveaway Opportunity:
  If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Words of Grace please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Final Verdict

GIVEAWAY

PATCH, JSSICA R.
FINAL VERDICT

Fatal Justice...

When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice. Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in town -- and in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it's his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancée from a dangerous felon, but he'll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.

My Review:

Man, I love how this author pulls me into a literary chokehold! Suspense, romance and faith threads all seamlessly blend together and drive me into emotional overload. That`s just plain awesomesauce!

And the hero! I got a glimpse of him (and Aurora) in Concealed Identity. and was so hoping they would be featured in the next book because their scenes sizzled. And, woohoo, here they are stirring embers into flames and curling my toes in the process.

Intriguing suspense with enough twists and turns to give a dedicated reader whiplash! Sinister danger, relentless mystery and swoonworthy romance made this a read-in-one-sitting kind of book.

Giveaway Opportunity:

  If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Final Verdict please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Portrait of Emily Price

GIVEAWAY

REAY, KATHERINE
A PORTRAIT OF EMILY PRICE

Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can't fix -- until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter...

Emily Price -- fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist -- dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo's relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle's faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well -- inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben's proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben's tightly knit family. Only Ben's father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily's life and art begin to blossom, and Italy's beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben's world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has show her are possible?

My Review:

Rich. Decadent. Meant to be savored. A profoundly beautiful story! Reay brings the complexities of human relationship to life with such intriguing emotion!

 A head-over-heels whirlwind romance anchors the story even as it sends the characters into a tailspin of discovery. As an art restorer, Emily spends her days painstakingly uncovering damaged layers to reveal the truth hidden beneath. Meeting Ben becomes the catalyst for discovering real life truths hidden beneath layers of pain and loss. Such an interesting career/life parallel brilliantly delivered through the author's exquisite word choice. There were times I just had to stop and sit with a scene a spell.

Best book quote ever comes from Papa Lucio who has a penchant for selecting books to teach a lesson. "Literature teaches us empathy." (p.245) And that's exactly what this story does on so many levels. High recommended.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Portrait of Emily Price please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rebecca's Bouquet

GIVEAWAY

BAKER, LISA JONES
REBECCA'S BOUQUET

Three young Amish women, gifted with hand-carved hope chests to hold their treasures and their dreams for the future, find the inspiration they need to help them reconcile love and faith in the most unexpected ways.

The last thing Rebecca Sommer dreamed her plan to wed would bring is a heart-wrenching choice. She thought she and her betrothed, William, would spend the rest of their lives in Illinois' heartland, raising a family in their close-knit Amish hometown. But when he must travel far out of state to save his ailing father's business, Rebecca braves her relatives' disapproval -- and her own fears -- to go to work by his side. And though she finds herself ever more in love with the dedicated, resourceful man he proves to be, William's growing interest in English ways may be the one challenge even her steadfast faith can't meet...

William knows he couldn't ask for a more loyal wife-to-be. And the bravery that helps Rebecca tackle every obstacle makes her even more admirable. He simply won't ask her to sacrifice her deepest beliefs, no matter how right they are for each other. But the patience and care that crafted Rebecca's hope chest is somehow showing them there's more than one way prayers can be answered -- and hearts brought together forever...

My Review:

Thanks to my library, I discovered this wonderful debut novel -- and a new-to-me inspirational imprint -- Zebra Inspirational Romance -- from Kensington Books. Double win heading for a triple because the next book in the series comes out in the spring. And I love the premise of this series -- the handcrafted hope chests that will hold special treasures unique to each heroine.

Rebecca is anchored in her faith as an Amish woman which gives her wisdom beyond her years. If I had to describe Rebecca in one word it would be 'steadfast'. She's immovable in her faith and in her love for William...but can she have both? That's what this story explores as Rebecca is thrust out of her comfort zone, far from home in an English world.

Love the continuous faith threads woven throughout this novel. So many gems to cherish. Like this one that comes from Old Sam: "Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet." (p 12)

Sweet, tender and rife with strife -- a great blend for an Amish romance.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Rebecca's Bouquetplease leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An Uncommon Protector

GIVEAWAY

GRAY, SHELLEY SHEPARD
AN UNCOMMON PROTECTOR

Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict -- a man who's just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving. Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he's in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn't pay a few fines. Laurel's offer might be his only ticket out. Though she's everything he ever dreamed of in a woman -- sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong -- he's determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he's free again.

But when cattle start dying and Laurel's life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn't long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former solider. He's a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom -- he needs her love and care too.

My Review:

Three words have the power to send me racing to my nearest bookstore or online vendor. Shelley. Shepard. Gray. There is something so special about her stories and I just can't resist living through every emotionally charged moment right along with her characters.

I inhaled An Uncommon Protector. Couldn't get through it fast enough and now I feel mighty disgruntled because it's all over until the next book in A Lone Star Hero's Love Story series releases. I love the background for this series -- a self-made band of brothers who survive being prisoners of war together vow to continue to support one another even after the war is over. As the men settle in various parts of Texas they each come upon a time when they need to call on that brotherhood..

Thomas Baker has run into some complications on that front.  His smart mouth and quick temper have the potential to trip him up and he finds himself in a sorry mess. Until Laurel Tracey breezes into his life and tilts his world upside down. She has need of a protector. He needs a get-out-of-jail-free card. The perfect partnership.

The romance is achingly tender and and oh so tenuous. Honestly, I was swoony through most of their story. Thomas and Laurel have so much potential -- they just have to find the courage to acknowledge that. But they are so good together and Thomas is a hero to crush on. Be still my heart. There are some truly delicious romantical scenes.

And then there are the villains. Devious. Sneaky. Relentless. When the danger escalates, Thomas knows he needs to bring in help. Cue every rousing Western movie/TV series theme song as the brotherhood rides in. I actually squealed my way through this part I was so excited.

Superb action and adventure paired with sublime romance and a whole lot of heart for God. Sweet perfection to the very end.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of An Uncommon Protector please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sewn With Joy

GIVEAWAY

GOYER, TRICIA
GORE, SHERRY
SEWN WITH JOY

Sometimes dreams come together one piece at a time

Joy Miller wanted nothing more than to be a wife and mother -- especially now that her relationship with Matthew Slagel, the bishop's son was deepening. But when a television crew rolls into Pinecraft, Florida, to film a new show about the Amish, tension threatens to rip apart their relationship...and the entire Amish community.

Joy is initially hired to sew costumes for the show, but she soon finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the production -- a fact that upsets Matthew and his father. Yet the more Joy befriends the Englisch production crew, the more she senses God working in their lives through her. Can she turn her back on this opportunity to share God's love? Will she and Matthew somehow be able to stitch together their dreams for the future?

Experience love, heartbreak, and hope in this sweet story of two worlds uniting in unexpected ways.

My Review:

I adore this series and I sure hope that there are more novels to come because there are still two Miller sisters who need to have their stories told. No worries if you haven't read the first two books in The Pinecraft Pie Shop series -- this reads well as a standalone though, of course, there are carry over characters that I was thrilled to get reacquainted with. Like seventy-year old quilt shop owner, Elizabeth who contributes snippets of simple wisdom that rocked my world. Like this: "If God brings me a person who needs a taste of God's Word, I'm not going to send them away hungry." (p 210) She's such a source of strength to Joy as her carefully ordered world spins out of control in unexpected ways.

Life is good for Joy. She's working at a job she loves, enjoying the excitement of the pending weddings of her two sisters, and it looks like she will be following in their footsteps as her courtship with the Bishop's son progresses. Joy knows exactly what each day will bring...until the film crew rolls into town and she somehow ends up in the middle of a hotly debated controversy among the close-knit Pinecraft Amish community.

What follows is a captivating look at community, the intricacies of human nature and how living ones faith affects it all. This story is chock-full of inspirational wisdom -- so many great quotes that I had to stop reading and take notes. Like when Joy tells Englischer friends, "God's Word is often called a light, and sometimes when light shines into places that have been dark awhile, it's hard to face what's hidden there." (p.217)

A delectable companion to Made With Love and Planted With Hope and like the first two books, this one includes some authentic Amish recipes interspersed throughout the story.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Sewn With Joy please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadAT yahooDOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!