Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dining With Joy


GIVEAWAY

HAUCK, RACHEL
DINING WITH JOY

"Chef" Joy Ballard longs for a simpler life. But when a good-looking outsider arrives and spices things up, life becomes deliciously complicated.

Host of a regionally syndicated cooking show, Joy Ballard has a little secret: she can't cook. But when her show is picked up by a major network and given a prime time slot, her world heats up faster than a lowcountry boil.

Enter Luke Redmond: handsome, creative, and jobless after having to declare bankruptcy of his Manhatten restaurant. When her producers ask him to co-host the show, Joy sees Luke as her way out. But Luke sees much more than just a co-host in Joy.

Their relationship begins to simmer on and off set. Until Joy's secret is revealed and her reputation is ruined on national television by her rival, Wenda Devine.

But could Devine's cruelty be a divine gift? Losing Luke--and her sister--forces Joy to consider where her worth really comes from. Could God be cooking up an even bigger adventure from the mess? And will Joy hang on long enough to find out?

My Review:

First published in 2010, I found this literary gem at my public library. Funny and sweet and a thrill to read. But there are squirmy, angsty bits too where I was so worried about Joy's secret being discovered. It was almost a relief when it happened! But, oy, the fallout! A satisfying blend of all that is good in a romantic story. Still grinning (and wincing.)

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Dining With Joy 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 April 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!  

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Heart's Obsession

COBLE, COLLEEN
A HEART'S OBSESSION

Will Sarah's journey west lead her back into the arms of the one man she can trust?

When her father succumbs to a long illness, Sarah Montgomery is freed from duty to family. At last she can be with the love of her life, Rand Campbell, who has gone out west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Sarah and her younger brother Joel make the arduous journey filled with hope.

But at Fort Laramie, the reception Sarah meets isn't what she had hoped for. Her friend Amelia is thrilled to have her, but Rand seems to be in the clutches of Jessica DuBois, the scheming daughter of the post commander.

Sarah resolves to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . especially when her ex-fiancé Ben Croftner arrives in Wyoming, obsessed with having her back in his arms.

My Review:

A Heart's Obsession is the second book in the Journey of the Heart serial. Each novella length book (6 in all) is being released monthly March through August. So A Heart's Obsession is definitely not a standalone read. For this reason I won't be offering it up as a giveaway. However, once the serial releases are complete (August) I will offer up a complete six book Journey of the Heart giveaway. So stay tuned.

Reading this series in monthly installments is killing me and this is only the second. book! I love how Coble builds suspense and tension. It makes for a compelling plot that is just too good to resist. I'm alternately thrilled and exasperated over the author's angsty trail of love and betrayal. Not sure I'll survive until the conclusion's release this summer! A fast paced story that can't be released fast enough for my liking!

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a review copy of this book.


Celebrate book two in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire

  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise

  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession

  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in mid-April)


Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!


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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Manhunt

GIVEAWAY

PHILLIPS, LISA
MANHUNT

Chasing Justice

A daring escape by a dangerous fugitive puts US marshals Eric Montgomery and Hailey Shelder's careers on the line. With the criminal vowing revenge, Eric feels duty bound to protect his risk-taking partner. He doesn't agree with her methods, but he's drawn to the single mom who wants to prove she can make it in a demanding job. When her daughter is almost kidnapped, Eric and Hailey go from uneasy partners to a true team. But with floodwaters threatening the town and a killer on the loose, can their newfound trust survive the final showdown that awaits them?

My Review:

I read Manhunt all cozied up in my house during a torrential downpour which created quite the ambiance, let me tell you! I think my fingers were shriveled by the time I reached the end. Hunting down fugitives is a tough enough job without having to add a flood warning into the mix. I think poor Hailey and Eric spent more time sopping wet then they did dry on this manhunt. 

Phillips creates a dubious start to this romance. Hailey and Eric barely tolerate each other. Eric is a reluctant transfer from WITSEC. Hailey is determined to prove herself in a male-dominated environment. They're not so much partners as two individuals with personal agendas who just happen to work together. Still, there's a glimmer of a spark between the two that gives a reader hope.

And then a prisoner transfer goes wrong and the two are thrust into a manhunt of epic proportions as they battle the elements to catch the criminal before he can do more damage. A sink or swim situation -- learn to trust each other and work together or let murderous mayhem reign. Eric has to learn to live in the moment and accept what happened in the past so he can be at peace with his present. Hailey has to learn to let go and to put her faith in others. Neither makes those changes gracefully and that makes a riveting (and often frustrating) read. Honestly I wanted to bash their heads together more than a few times. There's nothing worse than a stubborn US marshal...unless it is two stubborn US marshals!

Intense. Action-packed. Emotion-laden. Really good read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Manhunt 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 April 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Beekeeper's Son

GIVEAWAY

IRVIN, KELLY
THE BEEKEEPER'S SON

Sometimes it takes a barren landscape to see the beauty of God’s creation.

Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the tragic accident that claimed his mother’s life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises. If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?

Deborah can’t get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his fraa. But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas—hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars—she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn’t sent for her.

As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven’t turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott’s plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed. But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.

My Review:

A beautiful story about being open to following God's path instead of your own. Both Deborah and Phineas have internal conflicts that cause them to look back instead of forward. They are so mired in what could have been that they nearly miss out on the glorious future God has planned for them. I really took that message to heart. And I'll smugly admit to learning the lesson way ahead of the hero and heroine. :-) At their expense, of course.

There's great tension and conflict within the pages of this book-- so stark at times that it matches the equally stark Texan countryside. An unusual and alluring setting for an Amish story. The author has created a fascinating community in Bee County, Texas. It is struggling to remain viable despite an increasing number of families leaving for more thriving Amish communities. I loved the modern day pioneer spirit of those who stayed.  A fresh angle for this genre and it makes for a compelling read! 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Beekeeper's Son 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 April 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Wife for Jacob

GIVEAWAY

KERTZ, REBECCA
A WIFE FOR JACOB

His Perfect Bride

Jacob Lapp has loved Annie Zook since childhood. But she's never seen him that way. Once courted—then rejected—by his older brother, Annie's wary of the Lapp men. But now that Jacob is working at her dat's blacksmith shop, he feels he's been given a second chance. It's no secret Annie wants a husband. Yet she's intent on marrying someone older, more established—someone the opposite of Jacob. Can he ever break down the walls she's forged around her fragile heart and prove to her that he's the perfect man for her?

Lancaster County Weddings: Binding two hearts as one in Amish country

My Review:

She's his perfect bride only she doesn't know it -- and he's not about to tell her! Such a conundrum! Kertz has crafted a gentle love story with plenty of conflict and insecurities. While I understood why Annie thought her plans made sense, I wanted to clout her upside the head for being such a dummkopf. And Jacob -- grrr, don't get me started. He's just as bad. If Jacob knew what Annie was thinking and if Annie knew what Jacob was thinking -- well, I guess there wouldn't have been a book, would there? Thankfully, Kertz doesn't seem to mind torturing her characters (and consequently her readers.) The result is a splendid, sweet read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Wife for Jacob 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 April 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin

GIVEAWAY

CAMBRON, KRISTY
A SPARROW IN TEREZIN

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day---With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she's stumbled into a charmed life---until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she's planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942---Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear---even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

My Review:

Another stunning offering from Kristy Cambron. Exhilarating and disturbing and complicated to the nth degree.  This sequel to The Butterfly and the Violin continues Sera and Will's tale as they discover another heartrending story of hope born from the holocaust.

I loved the beautiful imagery in the sparrow analogy. It brought me to tears at one point. And that's what is so masterful about Cambron's storytelling -- she knows how to mold her characters into living, breathing entities that a reader can't help but care deeply about. And in the process of discovering them, a reader is blessed to discover more about herself. At least, that has been my experience with this compelling series.

A Sparrow in Terezin is the kind of novel you'll want to savor long after you've reached the last word. Kaja's story will haunt you -- from the depths of despair to the soaring wings of hope. Definitely the kind of novel that makes your life richer for having read it.

*Just a side note: The present day plot -- Sera and Will's continuing story -- might make more sense if you have read A Butterfly and the Violin. It's pretty complicated and carries on from that first book.
I think you could still read A Sparrow in Terezin if you haven't read the first book, but just be prepared to be a little confused with the present day plot. But Kaja's story is well worth a little present day muddle so don't let not having read the first book discourage you from reading this one.

My thanks to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me with a review copy of this book.


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Sparrow in Terezin 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 April 19 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
  • Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th.
     Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy's blog.

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    {NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    April Giveaway - Week Two








    As always, I will contact the winners by email however thanks to the nefarious ways of the Internet my email might 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 at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca From time to time winners and I don't seem to connect, so I have a month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks your win will be forfeited.

    LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS: