Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Sweetest Rain

GIVEAWAY

JOHNSON, MYRA
THE SWEETEST RAIN

As the drought of 1930 burns crops to a crisp, Bryony Linwood dreams of cooling winter snows and the life she would have had if Daddy hadn’t been killed in the Great War and Mama hadn’t moved Bryony and her sisters to their grandfather’s struggling tenant farm in tiny Eden, Arkansas. Now Mama’s gone, too, and as times grow tougher, Bryony will do whatever it takes to ensure her family’s survival.

 Michael Heath barely survived the war, and twelve years later all he wants to do is forget. A virtual recluse, his one passion is botanical illustration. Lost in the diversity of nature’s beauty, he finds escape from a troubled past and from his wealthy father’s continual pressure to take an interest in the family plantation.


  When Bryony accepts employment at the Heath mansion, it’s just a job at first, a means to ward off destitution until the drought ends and Grandpa’s farm is prosperous again. But Bryony’s forced optimism and dogged determination disguise a heart as dry and despairing as the scorched earth . . . until she discovers Michael Heath and his beautiful botanical illustrations. As their relationship deepens, friendship soon blossoms into healing for wounded souls and a love that can’t be denied.


My Review:

I have to admit to a fascination with stories set during the Depression era and there just aren't enough of them out there. In The Sweetest Rain, drought-stricken Arkansas takes on a personality all its own. It makes for a gritty read at times, but also for an awe-inspiring one. And that's because these characters are more than survivors. Somehow they find a way to flourish in the midst of impossible odds.

Take Bryony. She's endured so many losses in her life. Dealing with a failing farm in the middle of the worst drought in history is almost more than she can cope with. Feelings of responsibility towards
her grandfather and her sisters keep her from surrendering to despair. She faces the impossible every day -- and wins by sheer grit and determination.

At a glance you might think Michael is the pampered son of a wealthy man. After all he's still living under his parents' roof. But take a closer look and you'll see a wounded soldier who can't quite shake the horrors of war. Shell shock is what they called it back then and Michael's coping strategy is seclusion...until Bryony.

And here's the incredible strength to their love story -- they both have what the other wants most. Bryony hungers for life-sustaining basics like food and security. The lack of both is constantly gnawing at her. Michael has a less tangible hunger -- he yearns for love and family. Acceptance and support. The way Johnson meshes these needs, merges their worlds and brings them together is truly
astounding.

Compelling secondary characters flesh out the story, bringing depth and no shortage of surprises to the plot. A complicated, emotional read about learning how to let go of the past in order to grab hold of the future.
 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Sweetest Rain please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 20 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

67 comments:

  1. I have not heard of this one and I'm lovin that cover!
    :)
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. I know, is that cover amazing? My review was already too long or I would have waxed poetic over it. Good luck, Amy.

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  2. What a wonderful story line! I would love to win a copy to read.

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    1. It really is -- and Bryony has two sisters so I'm hoping they get their own stories. Good luck, Rebecca.

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  3. Oh this one sounds so good. I am putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the review and giveaway!
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. You're welcome, Loraine. Good luck.

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  4. The Sweetest Rain sounds like a great story. My parents told so many stories about those survival years, so I am always drawn to books about the Depression. Please add me!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. I always think of the Waltons. Maybe that's why I love stories from this era. :-) Good luck, Merry.

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  5. thanks for the chance to read this novel, kav

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  6. Sounds like a satisfying read. I don't think I've read a novel about the Depression since the Kit books as a girl!
    pocoauthorATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Who -- haven't heard about Kit. Must check into that. Good luck, Nicole.

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    2. Oh! The American Girl books. One of the series is about a girl named Kit.

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    3. Hey Kav, I just found out today that Lisa Carter has a new book out and wondered if you'd heard that! Title is: Beyond the Cherokee Trail.

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  7. THanks for reading all these great books so I can find them.kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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    1. LOL -- there -- you've given me a reason to keep reading...as if I needed another one! Good luck, Kim.

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  8. Kav..This looks a fantastic read ! You gotta be in it to win it:)Thanks so much for including international readers

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    1. Rosie!!!!! Yes, it's an amazing read. Good luck!

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  9. Oops i almost forgot my email addy rosie_curran-benger151201(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

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  10. Reclusive botanical illustrator? I may be falling for the hero before I've even met him! I do love botany and art.

    rachaeldalquist AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. He's such a subtle hero, Rachel. A work in progress. I loved his character growth in this novel. Good luck.

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  11. I love Myra's books. And this sounds like another wonderful read. Thanks for the great review and chance to win, Kav! :)
    mbaaij (at) hetnet (dot) nl

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    1. I love her books too, Marian. Good luck.

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  12. New author to me which means new books!!
    karenskrayons(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. She has a historical series published with Abingdon and a Christmas Love Inspired book coming out soon as well. Good luck, Karen.

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  13. You are right, this is not an era we read much about in fiction... sounds like a good story, and like others have commented, a beautiful cover!

    pattymh20009at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Someone in the 'know' told me that publishers didn't want Depression era fiction because it was depressing -- but I think it can be about overcoming as well. Good luck, Patty.

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  14. I haven't read much fiction that deals with the Depression Era. This sounds like such a great story.....bittersweet. I like the part you shared, how the hero & the heroine both have what the other needs the most, both hurting but able to reach out beyond themselves & help the other.....a tender storyline. You've done it again, Kav, sweeping me away into another fascinating book. :)

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Their different needs really make the story more poignant. Just reeled me in. Good luck, agboss.

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  15. Wow! This sounds great! :)

    Many Blessings, Amada
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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  16. Love Myra Johnson books and this one is on my TBR list. Kav always make me want to read RIGHT NOW!
    cregnier(at)twinvalley(dot)net

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    1. I know -- and you'll love it for sure. Good luck, Cindy.

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  17. My fave read: a complicated, emotional book. Love stories set in the depression era, probably because I've heard my parents/grandparents' stories of the Depression. Love the story line, & would love to read Myra's latest novel. Thanks for the beautiful review, & the giveaway opportunity - Kav!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome, Bonnie. I think this era give such scope for an author to explore both the best and worst of humanity. Good luck.

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  18. You have the best giveaway books. I would love to read this one! rmaney(at)firstarpchurch(dot)org.

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    1. Only the best books for Best Reads. LOL Good luck, Rebecca.

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  19. Great review, Kav! Both need what the other has....a touching bond for strong love. Also interesting about the Depression era setting.....a time for strength and compassion. Thanks for your always excellent reviews! And thanks for the chance to win a copy....sheridastewart (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I really enjoyed that aspect of the romance for sure -- as difficult as it was to read at times. Good luck, Sherida.

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  20. Beautiful cover, beautiful book! Thank you, Kav!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. The cover is scrumptious, isn't it? Good luck, Melanie.

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  21. Sounds like an interesting read, thanks for introducing me to this title that is going on my to read list. sonflower277 at gmail dot com

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  22. Hey Kav, Myra Johnson is a new-to-me author. I love reading stories where the characters thrive in the midst of harsh circumstances. The Sweetest Rain sounds fabulous. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Oh, you have lots of good reading in store for you the, Caryl. Good luck.

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  23. Not entering but I had to comment. You definitely put this one over the top for me, Kav. I am definitely picking this one up! Thanks for the review.

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    1. LOL --hope you love it as much as I did, Kelly.

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  24. This is one of my favorite periods in history to read about. Hard times, but they made for great Godly character.

    tlhcoupon (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. btw - a favorite book of mine set during this period is Shiloh Autumn by Brodie and Brock Thoene.

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    2. Oh - thanks for the recommend, trosado. I've never read anything by Brodie and Brock Thoene. Must give that one a try. Good luck.

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  25. New author and I love the title of this book ... always ready to read about our past too. rrwalter34ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. It's the kind of read you can lose yourself in and come out a little wiser by the end. Good luck, Becky.

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  26. I haven't read too many books set in the depression times either, Kav, but this one does sound good! I was drawn in by your comment about the secondary characters being well fleshed out. I love a rich depth of character an author can create, it makes for a well rounded story! The only draw back, is when you close the book after that final page & wished it would continue..haha! That is a sign of a great writer :-)
    Bryony & Michael's love story is one I'd love to read, thanks for the chance to win "The Sweetest Rain"!

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    1. teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    2. I know -- you have to have a little mourning period before you can start the next book. Good luck, Trixi.

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  27. I love books set during this time in history, they remind me of my grandparents. Having a Grandma full of grit and determination and a grandpa wounded by war...I bet this story will come alive for me! Definitely going on my to read list!

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    1. I think it would, flipflopprincess...and being set in the south where they had to deal with that awful drought just makes it all the more fascinating. Good luck.

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  28. I don't remember reading a book set in the depression. I like a good historical setting in a novel. I believe I would enjoy this one.
    thank you

    amylsmith AT bledsoe Dot NET

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  29. Sounds just like the kind of book I love! Troubled heroes, complementarity of them...what Can I say more?

    Count me in, please.

    janka(dot)halcinova(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Yes, you do have a fondness for troubled heroes, don't you? Good luck, Janka.

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  30. I love a story that stirs my emotions! Thank you for the chance to be a winner.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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  31. Like you, I enjoy Depression era stories and I love the title.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  32. Hi Kav,
    I especially liked Myra's story, Every Tear a Memory. It would make a wonderful movie. I would like to read The Sweetest Rain. Liked what you said in your review, "...they both have what the other wants most."
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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