Monday, October 23, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover (Review) + Reader's Choice Giveaway of a Christian Fiction Christmas novel published in 2017

Today I'm reviewing a truly awesome little book of Christmas devotions so I thought it would be fun to do another Reader's Choice Giveaway -- this time for a Christmas novel (Christian Fiction) published in 2017. Scroll down to the GIVEAWAY graphic to see info about the giveaway.


SPOELSTRA, MELISSA
TOTAL CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER : 31 DEVOTIONS TO CELEBRATE WITH A PURPOSE

Give your Christmas makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

In Total Christmas Makeover : 31 Devotions to Celebrate with a Purpose, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra presents key scriptures, practical ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection that help you grow in faith while spending daily time focusing on God's Word and grace. The 31-day devotional guides individuals and families in rediscovering Rituals and how to reflect on God in the midst of them, Relationships and our call to love and serve others, and Rest, which we must intentionally pursue in order to connect more deeply with Christ during the holiday season.

My Review:

An awesome little book that is both user friendly and thought-provoking and quite possibly life-changing for those feeling overwhelmed by all that bustle of the season. The author asks a pretty probing question at the beginning of the book: "Do you find that you too have been caught up in the 'have-to's instead of the God-centered-love-to's?" (p.2) She's referencing the way we celebrate Christmas and how easy it is to get caught in the trap of activities and shopping and insane busyness.

I love how she approaches the biblical example of celebration which involves Ritual, Relationship and Rest.That last one is probably the trickiest to embrace during the holiday season! This devotional is the perfect guide to help readers bring a new, refreshing perspective -- and it releases early enough to actual read it before the craziness begins!

I also love the Questions for Reflections and A Practical Approach sections at the end of each devotional. They made a world of difference for me as they helped me distinguish my love-to's from my have-to's and identify practical ways to keep my focus on Jesus this season. Tons of creative ideas for any type of family including single, senior and empty nester households. If you're looking for A Total Christmas Makeover consider this book as the first step.

Book provided courtesy of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity Group.


GIVEAWAY

Winner's Choice of any Christmas novel (Christian Fiction) released in 2017.

State the title and author of the book you want to win in the comment section.
-- up to 3 suggestions per person
BUT
each title/author must be in a separate comment
(makes it easier to tally)
Books must be categorized as both Christmas and Christian Fiction
Remember to add your email address in one of your comments (don't need to do it each time) but use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers
Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 29 2017
Offer open to International Readers

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October Giveaway - Week Four



won by Marian Baay
won by Nancy M.
won by Terrill


won by Patty

won by Becky Smith

won by Trixi

As always, I will contact the winners by email (if one has been provided), however, thanks to the nefarious ways of the Internet, my email my land in your spam folder, so keep your eyes peeled. If you haven't heard from me by Monday evening, please email me your snail mail address to kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. From time to time a winner and I don't seem to connect so I have a one month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks your win will be forfeited. 

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK:



PLUS MONDAY WILL BE ANOTHER READER'S CHOICE GIVEAWAY DAY -- THIS TIME FEATURING ANY CHRISTMAS NOVEL (CHRISTIAN FICTION) PUBLISHED IN 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sketchy Behavior

GIVEAWAY
MANGUM, ERYNN
SKETCHY BEHAVIOR

Other than harboring a somewhat obsessive fondness for Crispix and completely swearing off boys after a bad date (don't ask), sixteen-year-old Kate Carter is about as ordinary as they come, except for her two notable talents: art and sarcasm. After an introduction to forensic sketching in her elective art class, Kate discovers a third and most unexpected gift: criminal profiling. Her photo-quality sketch helps the police catch a wanted murderer and earns her celebrity status in South Woodhaven Falls. But when that murderer appears to be using his friends to exact revenge. Kate goes from local hero to possible target. Will she manage to survive? Will life ever be normal again? And will local news anchor Ted Deffle ever stop sending her flowers?

My Review:

published in 2011
My thanks to my public library for keeping me piled high with excellent retro reads.

Another brilliant Young Adult novel told from the delightful (and sarcastic) first person point of view of Kate Carter. Her inner dialogue is so much fun to read. Especially the observations of her parents -- a scientific oriented engineer father and 'get-in-touch-with-your-feelings' psychiatrist mother. Such a hoot! And when she begins attending church -- oh my goodness -- the things we take for granted seem so odd from her fresh perspective. Definitely kept me chuckling.

But then there's this uncanny gift that Kate has. The ability to draw a photo-like-portrait based entirely on description. It's a talent that catches a killer and suddenly Kate is in the limelight...and in the crosshairs of one ticked-off murderer. And suddenly Kate's predictably boring life is anything but! I couldn't put Sketchy Behavior down. A fun, fast and engaging read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Sketchy Behavior, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment be sure to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 22 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Child's Christmas Wish

GIVEAWAY
VETSCH, ERICA
A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS WISH

A baby for Christmas

The only Christmas gift Oscar Rabb's four-year-old daughter prays for is one the widower can't provide: a baby sibling. And when his neighbour's house burns down, he's willing to open his home to pregnant and widowed Kate Amaker and her in-laws -- but not his heart. Even if his little girl's convinced Kate's unborn child is the answer to her wish.

Kate quickly sees the generous but aloof Oscar has little interest in growing closer to his houseguests. Still, she intends to make the coming Christmas a season to remember for his daughter. And as Oscar starts to open up to her, Kate can't help picturing just how wonderful the holiday -- and a future together -- might be.

My Review:

A heartwarming Christmas story destined to become a traditional favourite.

I adore the way Erica Vetsch includes historical details that make me feel like I'm right there smack in the middle of the story. I think I might just be able to make cheese now -- at least the old-fashioned way. The author has created a little bit of Switzerland in the wilds of Minnesota, including some delightful Christmas traditions.

Take one reclusive widower with a heart-stopping adorable four-year-old daughter and thrust him completely out of his comfort zone when he's compelled to provide shelter for  his stranded neighbours. Watching Oscar slowly unbend as Kate and her in-laws transform his solitary life into a buzz of activity was pure reader delight.

A hope-filled story that definitely belongs on the discerning reader's Christmas reading list.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of A Child's Christmas Wish, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 22 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Planting Hope

GIVEAWAY
ANDERSON, BRENDA S.
PLANTING HOPE

When flowers and chocolate collide, romance is sure to bloom.

Family has always been the one constant in Jess Beaumont's messy life, so when her parents separate, she puts "Operation: Planting Hope" into action. All she has to do is recreate the circumstances that helped her parents fall in love. Unfortunately, that includes the daunting task of restoring the family's cabin's gardens. When the handsome candy store owner shows up to help, she's certain she has all the elements required for her parent's love to bloom again. After all, flowers and chocolate are the perfct ingredients for romance.

Luke Harrison has spent his life trying to win his father's approval, and a promotion in the family land development business would be a step in that direction. But when he inherits Gran's candy store, his dreams of being promoted start melting away. Then his dad dangles a vice president position in front of Luke, with one caveat -- acquire the land on both sides of Gran's store within five months, including the Beaumont cabin, and the promotion is his.

What at first seemed a simple challenge for Luke becomes a tangled mess. Buying the Beaumont cabin and land will nip his blossoming romance with Jess in the bud. Even worse, it could end her parents' marriage. But if he doesn't succeed, he could be trading in his corner office for the corner candy store.

My Review:

Warning: this book may cause extreme chocolate cravings so have plenty on hand before you start to read!

Family dynamics are at the heart of this contemporary love story as Anderson explores the power we hold over the people we love. Honestly, there are a few characters I wanted to smack up side the head in a fit of seething fury. Not the hero or heroine though. They were delightful fun -- as in cue the teasing banter and dust off the fainting couch 'cause the sparks fly fast and furious every time Luke and Jess get together.

But they seem to be on a collision course for disaster thanks to the pressures put on them by both their families. These are real people with real problems -- the kind that seem insurmountable without the hope God can bring to any situation.

One of the best takeaway quotes from the book: "You can't change the past, but you can impact the future ".(p 87) Luke and Jess set out to do just that and the result is a funny, angsty, and ultimately hopeful love story.

Of note: This is the third book in Brenda S. Anderson's Where the Heart Is romance series but it reads beautifully as a standalone. However, fans of the second book, Capturing Beauty, will be thrilled to catch up with Callie and Haven in Planting Hope.

My thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Planting Hope, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 22 2017. Offer open International Readers. Good luck.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cowboy's Christmas Guardian

GIVEAWAY
MENTINK, DANA
COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS GUARDIAN

Under the rancher's protection

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she's from the family that he'll never forgive for his wife's death.

As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won't back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for...a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.

Gold Country Cowboys: The code of the West rules the land for these men

My Review:

Significant to note -- Barrett has brothers and this will become an important fact you'll want to remember after you've read this novel. Because it's so sublimely good you'll want all the Thorn men to have their own story and since this is the first book in the Gold Country Cowboys series, I think the author is going to indulge us. I'm getting a thrill of shivers just contemplating that. Honor bound cowboys genetically programmed to fight for truth and protect damsels in distress. Yes please! Bring 'em on!!

So, Barrett's all that and more. A grieving widower who has had four long years to come to grips with the death of his wife. He's moving on -- but not past -- the tragedy. Bitterness has taken hold and that makes for major fireworks when he discovers who Shelby is. But that doesn't stop him from watching out for her. Reluctantly -- which makes it all the more noble.

And Shelby definitely needs protection. She's in desperate danger from the moment we first meet her right through to the breathtaking conclusion. Fasten your seatbelts because this is one wild and scary ride. Hair raising good stuff. And the romance? It'll toe-curl with the best of them. Awesome start to a thrilling new series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Cowboy's Christmas Guardian, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT  instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 22 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Freedom's Price

GIVEAWAY
JOHNSON, CHRISTINE
FREEDOM'S PRICE

Sometimes the hardest step to take is the first step forward

When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her father and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother's family in Louisiana. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships.

When Catherine arrives at the plantation, she finds that her family has left it in the care of a manager -- who's let if fall into disrepair. Torn between returning to Key West with Tom and beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation. Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance. When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice: grip their dreams ever tighter or step forward in faith -- even if it costs them everything.

My Review:

Captivating and enthralling and all things scrumptiously good. And...squuueallll...there's a definite Gothic vibe to this historical romance. Sent chills up my spine in places. A derelict plantation with all kind of mysteries. Darkly sinister. An unprotected young woman trying to make connections with her past. And a truly despicable villain. Thankfully he is countered by the most gallant of heroes.

Tom Worthington. Be still my heart. Noble and daring and tormented by his past. I do so love a conflicted hero. Fireworks spark the first time he meets Catherine and she leads him on a merry chase. Impulsive and independent and determined to make a new life among her mother's people. Only it all goes horribly wrong. A real nail-biting page-turner with plenty of swoonworthy moments peppered throughout. A delicious conclusion to the Keys of Promise series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Freedom's Price, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 22 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!