Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Giveaway Winners - Week Five


Lion of Bablyon by Davis Bunn
won by LW

Spring for Susanna by Catherine Richmond
won by Joy

I'll contact both winners by email but if you don't hear from me by tomorrow evening please email me your address at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca

Looking ahead to next week:

It's historical week -- I'll be giving away copies of The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz and Look to the East by Maureen Lang.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Baby's Bodyguard


A shocking discovery

When an anonymous text message arrives with photos of tiny hands and feet—and GPS coordinates—Florida cop Ethan Clark believes it's a prank. Then he follows the coordinates to an abandoned toddler. Handing Janie Doe over to caring child services worker Kelsey Rogers, Ethan thinks his job is done…until the little girl turns out to be a kidnap victim. To protect the child, Ethan and Kelsey stumble into an investigation that digs up a tragedy from Ethan's past. Will they uncover the truth before the kidnappers bury the trail forever?
One of the best LI suspense I have read! It starts out taut and the suspense keeps climbing with a succession of heart-in-your-throat scenes. Love the fact that Ethan and Kelsey are already acquainted at the beginning of the story -- in a friendly business relationship kind of way. It makes their developing romance completely plausible since, as in most suspense novels, the story takes place over a matter of days.
Newton has created a real emotional conundrum within the pages of her book and I was almost afraid to find out how she managed to resolve it. She did a brilliant job though.
The combination of  memorable characters and heart-stopping action made this a fast read and definitely an enjoyable one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lion of Babylon



Marc Royce worked for the State Department on a variety of clandestine assignments -- that is, until personal issues led to his dismissal.

When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is an intelligence agent -- and a close friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight -- a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi. Are these cases linked? Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials refuse to pursue it.

Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation throughout the Mideast. As the human political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?

My Review:

Simply stunning! It's been a long time since I've read a political thriller and was worried I wouldn't be able to 'keep up' but that wasn't the case at all. I didn't know anything about the Iraqi government or the political situation beyond some vague assumptions I have made from watching the news, but Bunn does an incredible job of weaving explanations into dialogue and plot so skillfully that I didn't get lost once! In fact I was extremely impressed by the level of respect and deference he gave to the topic. And completely fascinated and charmed by the Arab culture he reveals.

The intrigue starts on the very first page and doesn't let up until the very end. Pair that with stellar action scenes and it makes for a breath-taking read that hurdles the reader toward an incredible climax.

But this is also a book about friendship and honour and trust. And it's about the peace that only the Savior can bring even in the midst of chaos.

Amazing and thought-provoking and definitely unforgettable. This would make a fantastic book club selection.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Lions of Babylon by Davis Bunn leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Put the title as your subject so I notice it easily. Draw will be held on Sunday July 31 and is open to any eager reader the world over.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spring for Susannah



Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.

When her parents die suddenly and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota territories.

Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her -- and his faith in God's perfect plan - slowly begin to chip at the wall she hides behind.

When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.

She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits.

My Review:

I adored the Little House books when I was a kid. I read the whole series every year right into my teens. I became obsessed with all things pioneers to the point that I made all my dolls pioneer dresses and nearly set the house on fire when I tried to yellow letters from my grandmother in the oven so I could pretend I was a pioneer girl getting mail from the old country. I searched the library shelves for pioneer stories like the ones penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but though a few came close (like Caddie Woodlawn), the Little House books were in a league of their own.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I've discovered a grown-up Little House book. My child's heart is singing even as my adult one is swooning. LOL. This is an amazing read and I'm not quite sure that I will be able to do it justice with this review but I aim to try.

Incredible characterization -- and dynamics! Jesse has me all but swooning one second and then wheezing with laughter the next. He's larger than life with his grandiose gestures and loose tongue that spouts the most surprising things! He's earnest and loves God and delights in his farm, the his wife who he has determined to love before he ever set eyes on her! He'd be perfect if he wasn't so exasperating at times and a little titched in the head. I swear he's ADD.

Each chapter in the book starts out with a quote -- from Jesse. An intimate glimpse into the man's conversations with God. My favourite: "Your idea about becoming one flesh, God -- it's the best."

By contrast Susannah is timid and shy and contained, so terrified of not meeting expectations that she almost sets herself up for failure. But deep in the core of her being the real Susannah is yearning to be let out and Jesse's just the man to set her free. His unflagging attempts to draw her out of her shell so that he can get to know her -- his insistence that she have an opinion, that she make her own decisions -- his pride in her accomplishments -- his delight in the surprises he uncovers -- well, let's just say this was an incredible read from beginning to end. Definitely a book to savor.

Richmond has captured the essence of the pioneer spirit. Susannah's personal journey is inspiring, especially when you realize that the hardships she endured are the exact ones our ancestors faced over a hundred years ago. Homesteading the west was not for the faint of heart!

You might have noted the controversy in other reviews regarding some of the romantic content in Spring for Susannah. Frankly I am surprised by them. Jesse and Susannah are already married at the beginning of the story and we witness the development of that relationship. There is absolutely nothing untoward in anything Richmond has written, but she does reference the fact that their union involves intimacy. These scenes are filled with tenderness and humour and I find it difficult to understand how they might offend a reader. To my mind they bring a greater depth to the story.

Spring for Susannah is a rich, robust epic pioneer tale that well stay with you long after finish reading the last page. Definitely not a book to miss this summer. So...

Giveaway Opportunity: If you would like to win a copy of Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond please leave a comment below. Or if blogger is still giving you fits, email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca and let me know you would like to be in the draw. Winner will be announced on Sunday July 31. Open internationally.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Giveaway Winners - Week Four


The Amish Nanny by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould
won by Michelle

Agent Undercover by Lynette Eason
won by Megan

At Home in His Heart by Glynna Kaye
won by Charity

I'll contact the winners by email today to get or confirm your snail mail addresses. If you don't hear from me by Monday evening contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca

Looking ahead to next week's giveaways:

Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond -- wow, just finished this one and I'm gobsmacked. It's highly recommended by tons of readers/bloggers including authors like Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Beth Wiseman, Melanie Dobson, Colleen Coble...Richmond has created quite a stir with her debut novel and now I know why!

Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn -- My first venture into political intrigue in a long time, but I'm hooked already!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Agent Undercover



What does little Alex know?

The traumatized six-year-old boy hasn't said one word since the unsolved murder of his single mother. And now, the killer is after the child—and the devoted uncle raising him, Dr. Dylan Seabrook. Working undercover in the boy's school, DEA agent Paige Ashworth is determined to find the murderer. But she can't tell Dylan her real identity, what she knows—or just how close to the case she really is. Dylan's strength and fierce love for his nephew soon have Paige longing to join their family. First, though, they must catch a killer who never wants little Alex to speak again.

My Review:

Eason does it again! Another thrilling suspense that will keep you hanging until the very last page. The action scenes are incredible and as the suspense grew, so did my goosebumps! LOL. I was honestly afraid to look out my window at one point, fearful of what I might see lurking in the dark out there!

I love the way Eason seamlessly ties in the romance. Both Dylan and Paige are aware of each other from their first meeting (and oh what a dramatic one it is too!) Talk about starting a book off with a bang! The romance gently builds while the suspense rushes out of control until we hit a crescendo of fireworks at the end.

A great escape read for these hot summer days!

Giveaway opportunity: If you would like a chance to win a copy of Agent Undercover by Lynette Eason, please leave a comment below. Or, if Blogger isn't playing nice, you can email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca and make sure to the 'Agent Undercover' in the subject line. Draw will be announced on Sunday July 24.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

At Home in His Heart



Finding her way home...

As soon as she got married, Sandi Bradshaw wanted nothing more than to move out of Canyon Springs, Arizona. Then everything changed when her military husband was killed. Now, establishing a veteran's memorial for Keith has brought Sandi and her daughter back to his hometown. And face to face with the man who stood in the way of her marriage! Bryce Harding has a lot to prove to this same hometown crowd -- and the very stubborn Sandi. But can they embrace the possibility that God might be giving them both a second chance at love?

My Review:

Once again I am awed by how a Love Inspired author manages to pack such a wallop with a limited word count. Kaye does a superb job of creating an emotionally riveting story in A Home in His Heart.

Miscommunication abounds due to preemptive thoughts and while both hero and heroine are Christians they haven't quite wrapped their heads around "judge not that ye be not judged." But Kaye has fleshed them both out with such compassion and care that it is easy for the reader not to judge either of them. I was rooting for them both even while I was shaking my head over some of their assumptions.

Angst and drama is interspersed with humour -- Bryce's interactions with Sandi's adorable daughter brought a smile to my lips every time. And there's a town full of secondary characters who alternately left me grinning or fuming during my read. If you are looking for a romantic read that packs a punch, look no further. A Home in His Heart is in bookstores now....or

Giveaway Opportunity:

Because I knew it was going to be good I ordered two copies so I could give one away here. If you would like to win a copy of A Home in His Heart by Glynna Kaye leave a comment below or, if Blogger isn't playing nice, email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca.  The draw will be held on Sunday July 24 and is available internationally.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Amish Nanny



A cave behind a waterfall...a dying confession...a secret agreement hidden for a century...

Amish-raised Ada Rupp knows nothing of these elements of her family's past. In stead, her eyes are fixed firmly on the future for the first time in her life. Now that a serious medical issue is behind her, Ada is eager to pursue her God-given gifts of teaching and her dream of marrying Will Gundy, a handsome widower she's loved since she was a child. But when both desires meet with unexpected obstacles, Ada's fragile heart grows heavy with sorrow.

Then she meets Daniel, an attractive Mennonite scholar with a surprising request. He needs help to save an important historic site from being destroyed. Now Ada, a family friend, and a young child must head to Switzerland to mend an old family rift and help preserve her religious heritage.

In order to succeed in saving the site, Ada and Daniel must unlock secrets from the past. But do they also have a future together -- or will Ada's heart forever belong to Will, the only man she's ever really wanted?

A fascinating tale of a young woman's journey -- to Switzerland, to faith and finally to love.

My Review:

I have anxiously awaited the release of this second in The Women of Lancaster County series and gobbled it up in a weekend. You don't need to have read the first book,The Amish Midwife, to enjoy this one, though you will get  a thrill over attending Lexie and James' wedding! But if you don't know Lexie and James, you'll still enjoy the wedding and the wonderful cast of characters we first met in Midwife.

Clark and Gould are back with another intriguing tale that is filled with precarious twists and turns as Ada and company race to solve a family mystery. Love the fact that they travel to Switzerland -- it's such a fresh approach in Amish fiction.

This is definitely a self-discovery kind of tale -- as well as one steeped in relationships that are rich in both their complexity and their inspiration. This is the kind of story you lose yourself in and I spent a very enjoyable (and sweltering) Sunday afternoon plunked in front of the fan trying to stay cool and keep my mind off the intense humidity! Nothing like traveling to the Swiss Alps for a change of scenery (and temperature!)

A definite must read if you love Amish fiction (and even if you don't -- it might just convert you.)


If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Amish Nanny by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, leave a comment below. If Blogger isn't playing nice and won't let you, drop me an email at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca and let me know you are interested in having your name added to the draw. It will be held on Sunday July 24. Open internationally.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July Giveaway Winners - Week Three

Another Giveaway Sunday!!!!!!!! That's just gotta make you smile!
Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady
won by Carmen7351
Summer Dream by Martha Rogers
won by Cathy

Congratulations to the winners. I'll contact you by email to get your snail mail addresses. If you don't hear from me by Monday evening please contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca.

Looking ahead to next week's Giveaways:

The Amish Nanny by Mandy Starns Clark
Agent Undercover by Lynette Eason
At Home in His Heart by Glynna Kaye

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Patchwork Dreams


One fateful decision...Two renewed hearts...

Ever since returning home from her rumschpringe pregnant and unwed, Becky Troyer has been a pariah in her Amish community. Even after she confesses her sin and rejoins the church, her peers continue to shun her. A distraught Becky wonders if she will ever marry for love.

Becky's world changes, however, when the handsome Jacob Miller arrives at her family's farm. The assumption is that he's there to help with chores during the summer, and then he'll return to Pennsylvania. But Jacob's father actually sent him away to introduce new blood into the Amish community of Seymour, as well as to distance him from his sweetheart, Susie.

As their friendship deepens, the two find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. Can Jacob cheer up the lovely yet listless Becky by offering her the only unconditional friendship she's ever known? Or will he honor his pledge to Susie and turn his back on Becky, as others have done in the past?

My Review:

I found a new favourite Amish author! I think this is her debut Amish story and there's a sneak preview of the next in the series which has me really excited. I'd been experiencing a bit of an Amish drought lately and was just so excited to get into one again.

Hilton reeled me in from the very first page and there was enough emotional tension to keep me turning pages until the very end. The developing friendship between Becky and Jacob defines the story and I loved how Hilton drew them together and then apart and back together again. And though she deals with serious topics that had me in raging hissy fits on more than one occasion during the read, she has peppered Patchwork Dreams with some surprising and delightful humour. A winning combination in my books.

Becky is in such a hard place and so unwilling to trust --  resigned to not having a life beyond the walls of her family's home. At times I wanted to shake her and tell her to smarten up because some of her views were so skewed. Thank goodness Jacob had an unending source of patience and his determination to help Becky, including his teasing flirtations were so much fun to read.

How their friendship blossomed into romance and the angst that embroiled them until the very end made for a fascinating and satisfying read. I'll definitely be watching out for A Harvest of Hearts when it comes out in September.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Dream



A heart in need of redemption.
An unlikely love and a God who can bring them together.

As the daughter of a small-town minister in Connecticut, Rachel Winston fears that the only way she'll ever find a husband  is to visit her aunt in Boston for the social season. But when Nathan Reed arrives in town, she can't help but wonder if he could be the one.

Although attracted to Rachel, Nathan has no desire to become involved with a Christian after experiences with his own family. What's more, until he resolves his anger with God and his family, he had no chance of courting her.

When Nathan is caught in a devastating blizzard and lies near death in the Winston home, Rachel and her mother give him a lesson in love and forgiveness that leads him back to his home in the South. Will he make peace with his family and return before Rachel chooses a path that takes her away from him?

My Review:

A sweet historical romance that puts me in mind of Louisa May Alcott. I had the feeling that this book was  penned in the 19th century and can envision the author scratching it out on parchment by candlelight. Rogers' details to the everyday things brings this historical period to life. And of course the New England setting is very Alcottish too. But what really brought me to this comparison was the style of this gentle love story and her emphasis on family life and charitable works and of course, God's encompassing love.  It has that same sense of gentleness and purity as works from that period.

Giveaway: If you would like a chance to win a copy of Summer Dream by Martha Rogers leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Draw will be held on Sunday July 17. Open internationally.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Falls Like Lightning



Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew into battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevadas.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.

My Review:

Packed with action and suspense, this one was a quick read. I just had to keep turning the pages so I could find out what happens. I like Grady's style -- he's detail-oriented, but not wordy and he gives his characters
emotional depth that adds a deeper dimension to the read.  The story is tight too -- the suspense and romance angles all lead to a crescendo of a climax. Wow -- he writes action with conviction. It left me breathless.

Loved reading a guy's take on the romance angle! He's made it very real and painful and exhilarating all at the same time. And honest. Brutally honest. I liked that Elle and Silas were straight up with each other -- no coy games or misunderstandings. Just gut-wrenching romantic drama! And the flashbacks Grady uses to explain their past relationship really helps heighten the tension.

This is Shawn Grady's third book and I will definitely be heading out to buy the other two. I've find a new 'must-read' suspense author.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Giveaway Opportunity:  If you would like to win a copy of Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca if Blogger isn't playing nice.  Open internationally. The draw will be held on Sunday July 17. Good Luck!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July Giveaway Winners - Week Two

We have Giveaway Winners!!!!!

The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart
won by Michelle

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason
won by NS

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad
won by Blueroses
Looking ahead to what I'll be giving away this coming week:

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady -- I'm about a third of the way through and really enjoying it. Edgy fire fighting stuff that makes my skin crawl and has me in total awe of firefighters and there's even romance. Can it get any better than that?!

Summer Dream by Martha Rogers -- This is the first of a new series -- Seasons of the Heart -- and looks like a really good historical romance. I've never read any of Martha's books before but I'm eager to get started on this one!

And if you want to win a whole boxful of books, head on over to where I blog with nine other writers and would-be writers. We're giving away a pile of books. Here's a list of the books and the contest rules.

From Inkspirational Messages authors, we’ve got White Roses, White Doves, and White Pearls by Shannon Taylor Vannatter, A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad, and McKenzie’s Oregon Operation by Shari Barr. PLUS we’re tossing in Through the Fire by Shawn Grady, Sushi for One by Camy Tang, The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan, and The Famous One by Nicole Petrino-Salter. See, something for everyone.

And the Contest Rules (remember, this is at the inkspirationalmessages blog):

Comment on inkspirationalmessages' “Perfect Picnics” topics (we're discussing picnic recipes and summer reading) dated July 2, 2011 through July 16, 2011. Every time you comment, your name will go into a drawing for the bundle of books. Contest closes Saturday, July 16, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be posted on Sunday, July 17, 2011. Winner must provide a mailing address in an email to Brenda AT brendaandersonbooks DOT com. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Deadly Ties


Her enemy will stop at nothing for control...she will risk everything for freedom.

A horrific crime shatters Lisa Harper's idyllic childhood. Her father is dead and her desperate mother, Annie, quickly marries Dutch Hauk, an abusive monster who soon reveals his hatred for Lisa. to protect her, Annie defies her ruthless husband and forfeits custody to a trusted friend. Enraged, Dutch vows to keep Annie and Lisa apart -- and he does. Years later, though keenly aware of Dutch's evil intent, Lisa and her mother seize a chance to be a family, safe in a home where love dwells. But they fail to fathom how far Dutch will go to keep his vow.

Determined to control his women, Dutch proves resourceful. His associates in crime are feared at the highest levels across the globe -- and for Lisa they plan a fate worse than death. Yet she too has formidable connections, including former Special Operations Officer Mark Taylor. Burdened by his own traumatic past, Mark has loved Lisa from afar. Now, for Lisa and her mother to survive, Mark must risk his life -- and even more difficult for him, he must trust God. All as one question haunts them: Can Mark and Lisa untangle these deadly ties before it is too late?

My review:

Gripping and gritty, this is definitely a book for romantic suspense lovers. While Hinze is careful not to go too far there are enough suggestive passages that a reader with a vivid  imagination might find parts of this book disturbing. I know it had me looking over my shoulder at night!

The second in the Crossroads Crisis Center series, you might want to read the first book, Forget Me Not before diving into Deadly Ties. It's not essential but I found myself floundering a bit in the beginning as I tried to keep everyone (and their circumstances) straight. Hinze has created wonderful characters though and it was worth getting to know them. I particularly loved the banter between Mark and his team and it looks like the rest of the series will highlight each one of them. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Lisa is one tough cookie and yet has managed to keep her faith and innocence in tact. She looks for the good in people and has chosen a profession where she can help them most.  This is at direct odds with everything she experiences in this taut thriller. Watching her struggle and adjust and lead Mark around by the nose made reading sublime.

Important Notice:  Deadly Ties is one of ACFW's July book club reads. If you can get your hands on a copy and get it read by July 20 you will be able to join the discussion. It's fun and free and easy to do.  Click here for more information:

You don't need to be a member of American Christian Fiction Writers to join and it's a great place to engage in book chats with authors.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Blessed




Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.

It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.

Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?

My Review:

I didn't know much about the Shakers before I read this book and found myself morbidly fascinated by their very different way of worshiping -- and their unique interpretation of the scriptures. At times appalled, amazed, dumbfounded and confused, The Blessed fast became a compelling read.

Gabhart has created intriguing characters -- both hero and heroine are so vulnerable and earnest in their quest to find the Lord and understand His hand in their lives. And what bleak lives they are leading when we first meet them! So much loss and devastating circumstances.

I love Lacey's strength. Her stubbornness and spunk. She never lets go of her heart's desire despite the harsh realities in her life. Gabhart did a fantastic job of  portraying that emotion and creating a unique bond between reader and heroine.

And Isaac -- in a way he's not as strong as Lacey. Or at least he thinks he isn't but he's honest about his reasons for being in the Shaker Village. It's his inability to understand the magnitude of forgiveness that has him fettered and I was moved by his journey towards understanding.

Gabhart has done her research and it shows -- especially in the dialogue. I love reading a historical book that carries me back in time and makes me feel like I belong to that other world. The Blessed is an amazing and thought-provoking read that you won't want to miss this summer!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Giveaway: If you would like a chance to win your own copy of The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Draw will be held on Sunday July 10. Offer open to international readers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Killer Among Us - Giveaway Opportunity

 Here is a repeat of my original review:



What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. These new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case.

As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he may be hunting one of them too.

My Review:

Eason is the queen of masterful suspense and this book doesn't disappoint. The case is grim -- gruesome even -- but she matches the grittiness with a touches of humour and romance and has created a breath-taking drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages so fast your head will spin! So many clues, so many red herrings, so much fun trying to figure this one out. I love the way Eason makes me feel like I'm right there -- a part of the task force trying to solve the crime.

A Killer Among Us isn't just another wickedly good suspense - it goes much deeper than that because Eason takes the time to flesh out her characters. They compliment the suspense -- draw it even tauter, in fact.

Noah is an engaging hero -- a man who isn't afraid to share his faith with troubled suspects. It's kind of funny and very endearing and adds a light touch to a heavy subject. And Kit is so intense, so driven to prove herself that she's forgotten to keep God in the equation. They are opposites that definitely attract and their romance is a steady undercurrent that flows through the suspense. Both build to a dramatic conclusion that left me blue from holding my breath! If you like suspense, you will love A Killer Among Us.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Monday, July 4, 2011

A Great Catch - Giveaway Opportunity

 Here is a repeat of my review from May:


She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

My Review:

A joy to read. Honestly, Seilstad hit it out of the park with this one! LOL, I couldn't resist a little baseball lingo in honour of the second release in her Lake Manawa Summer series.

Seilstad has the ability to conjure up images with her words and every scene just lept out at me. I feel like I've spent my summers at Lake Manawa a hundred years ago. I've felt the sticky heat, heard the drone of mosquitoes, watched the sailboats out on the lake and I think I caught a glimpse of Emily and Carter out at the ball field! I love being transported into another world through the pages of a book and A Great Catch did that for me.

Set in an exciting time in history, when women were just embarking on the battle for equality, Seilstad has brought all the emotions of that fight to life -- all that passion and excitement tempered by frustration. But there's so much humour in this book too. The belly-aching, laugh-out-loud kind that startled my fellow commuters as I bussed to work the last two days. In fact, I just howled over one part -- snorting like a hyena and totally embarrassing myself though it kept me grinning all the way to work (which is no mean feat these days.)

The romance is sublime and there's more than one toe-curling moment between the covers of this book! Love the way the romance builds -- a little bit rocky, with some reluctance, but gathering steam until a relationship hangs on the balance. When I got to that dark spot in the plot I didn't want to read anymore but I couldn't stop. Thankfully Seilstad paces well, and the rest of the book barrels along to a more than satisfying conclusion. Oh -- and watch for the unexpected intrigue and action at the end. This book just gets better and better with every turning page!

But the real strength in A Great Catch is the spiritual message that gently builds into something so simple and yet so profound that it really touched my heart. Words I needed to hear right now at this time and place in my life. God bless authors who share their love for the Lord and His wisdom in such an engaging way!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Simple Choices


One simple choice changes things forever. Freelance graphic designer Gracie Temple is trying to concentrate on her upcoming marriage to Sam Goodrich, the man of her dreams -- until events make her simple life in Harmony, Kansas, a mess of complications.

Foremost there's Hannah Mueller, daughter of the local Mennonite pastor and the girl Gracie sees as her protege. Gracie promises Hannah's parents that an art workshop in Wichita won't adversely affect the shy Mennonite girl, but once there, Gracie wonders if she's spoken too soon -- especially when Hannah adopts the worldly clothing styles of the big city and threatens to remain in Wichita instead of returning to Harmony. Gracie manages to coax Hannah home, but soon after arriving, Hannah vanishes. While the county sheriff is convinced Hannah's just another runaway, Grace's not so sure.

As Gracie races against time to discover the truth of Hannah's disappearance, her wedding plans -- and her family -- suffer under the strain. What simple choices will be made that not only affect Gracie's life but the lives of everyone she loves in Harmony?

My Review:

This conclusion of The Harmony Series won't disappoint fans, but be warned -- Simple Choices will have more of an impact if you have read the first two books, Simple Secrets and Simple Deceits. Gracie is back and just as tenacious and passionate as ever. Her look-before-you-leap strategy sends her straight into conflict as she exasperates and endears everyone close to her.

And talk about angst before a wedding!!! Most brides would be falling to pieces at the first sign of trouble. But not Gracie -- she's as intrepid as Nancy Drew and she always gets her man! (And the bridegroom too!)

There are some lovely gospel discussions in this book as well. They come about naturally and add a deeper dimension to the story. I particularly adore Ida's insights -- she's an elderly Old Order Mennonite woman with lots of spunk and an outpouring of wisdom. I have come away pondering just whether any choice is ever a 'simple' one. Kudos to Nancy Mehl for creating such an incredible series.

July Giveaway Winners - Week One

Congratulations to this week's winners!!!!!!

The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser
won by: Rebecca

Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini
won by: Merry

I have both your email addresses so I'll contact you today regarding your snail mail address. If you don't hear from me by tomorrow evening, give me a shout at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca.

Blogger is still giving me fits regarding commenting on my blog. Seems to work 50% of the time. If you are having the same problem don't be shy about emailing me at the above address if you're interested in being entered in one of the giveaways.

Giveaways for next week:

I have brand new copies of Lynette Eason's A Killer Among Us and Lorna Seilstad's A Great Catch to give away. I received complimentary copies for review after I'd bought my own so I was going to use them as the Giveaway copies only Canada Post went on strike and I ended up ordering books online for the winners. So you get a second chance at these two amazing books this week. I'll repost my reviews and feel free to leave a comment or email me if you are interested in winning one. In addition I will be offering up a copy of Ann H. Gabhart's new release, The Blessed. I'm excited to start reading this one! I haven't read any books written by this author before but I've heard wonderful things. She comes highly recommended by a lot of people.

Happy Fourth of July to my American friends and a belated Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

No Safe Haven


A year after the devastating death of their husband and father in a terrible car accident, Jenna and Andie Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Andie, who has always struggled with a rare medical disorder, has finally received good news, from out-of-town specialists. News they so desperately needed. But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane. They crash in the worst place possible: Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Now, a winter storm is headed their way -- along with someone who doesn't want to save them, but kill them.

Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn't come easy to Jenna or Andie. Besides, they both sense Cole is hiding something. An important missing piece in a dangerous -- maybe even lethal -- puzzle...

My Review:

The authors draw on actual, real-life experiences -- no Kimberley and Kayla have never crashed into an Alaskan mountain, at least I hope not! But Kayla does have the same rare condition that Andie has and they have made it a key component of the plot which revs up the action and the angst. Fascinating stuff.

Told in three voices, Kayla (who was twelve at the time of writing) writes Andie's POV in first person while Kimberley covers Jenna's and Cole's. With tons of suspense and lots of action, this wilderness survival story will keep you reading right to the very end.

For a neat interview with both Kimberley and Kayla check out this video clip:

A Safe Haven is one of the books we'll be discussing on the ACFW online bookclub in July. Consider joining us here: