Friday, March 27, 2015

Halo Found Hope : a Memoir

MATZELLE, HELO
HALO FOUND HOPE : A MEMOIR

Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room---was there any hope?

A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life... and her family waited.

Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn't feel half of her face, couldn't hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn't even tell anyone that she felt hopeless... or could she?

Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo's story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo's story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn't need to be recognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.

My Review:

I don't read many biographies but this one caught my interest, perhaps because I am going through my own health issues at the moment. To say Helo's story is inspirational would be an understatement. She has managed to find hope where most would see only despair. She portrays a powerful testimony of an ever present God and the sheer joy and blessings that come from placing our tentative trust in him. A truly moving account of one woman's incredible journey.

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and Dog Ear Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this book.


The author is offering a chance to win a Kindle Fire. See details below:


Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced April 4th on the Litfuse blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}


 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From Boss to Bridegroom

GIVEAWAY

KIRST, KAREN
FROM BOSS TO BRIDEGROOM

Falling for the Boss 

Being tied up and delivered to the sheriff was not how Nicole O'Malley expected to meet her new boss. Quinn Darling had the audacity to mistake her for a burglar! Now she's counting the days until she can leave small-town life behind to open her own boutique. But as long as she's helping two runaways escape their vindictive stepdad, she can't leave town.

Quinn's determined to triumph in his first business venture without the support of his wealthy family. He can't succeed without assistant Nicole, a beauty as prickly as she is captivating. As Quinn adjusts to the tight-knit community, he's soon set on another goal: breaking through Nicole's reserve to capture the love hidden in her heart.

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains,

My Review:

The first scene in this book will make you sit up and take notice. It is also a cringeworthy and humourous first meet for Nicole and Quinn. Made me want to dive right in and see what else Kirst had in store. And that would be a whole lot of fun and mayhem. Like tantalizing romance that is more off than on except in the minds of both hero and heroine. An infuriating pair who are so fixated on making their dreams come true they almost miss making their dreams come true together

I'm afraid I fell for Quinn rather hard. He's easy going, mischievous and when he teases Nicole...be still my heart. Sadly, Nicole is too uptight to appreciate his appeal, which makes it more fun for him to tease. But blended in with all that humour are a few nefarious subplots that had me fuming. In short -- a great mix that makes a captivating read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of From Boss to Bridegroom, 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 March 29 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reader's Choice -- Any Genre

GIVEAWAY


I have to admit that this post wasn't in the plans for today. I was supposed to review A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson. Normally I read at least a week ahead of my reviews so that if I find something questionable or I'm just not into a certain book, I'm not committed to review it. I just move on to another title from my TBR pile. However, time got away from me, and this week I'm reading and reviewing by the seat of my pants. So, I included A Thing of Beauty in my Next Week lineup posted in Sunday's blog. However, I can't in good conscience review this book or offer it as a giveaway. Here's why:

Before reading further, please note these are my personal feelings and I do realize that other readers might have different opinions. And that's fine...but I still have to be true to myself and my personal standards. So, why am I not reviewing A Thing of Beauty?

Questionable language. Which is surprising since it is published by Thomas Nelson and the author has even won a Christy Award for another book. Lisa Samson is a new-to-me author but I felt confidant, given those credentials, that this book would be a good fit for me. I was wrong.

The use of a crude (though not swearing) word a couple of times in the first few pages put my guard up. I got that the heroine was flawed and wounded and the author was bringing me into her gritty world. Fine, point made, let's get on to the story. But then I stumbled upon a different questionable word and began to have second thoughts about continuing. When I came upon blasphemy I closed the book. Fast. Fumed a bit. Picked it up again and skimmed through the rest of the book. In just a few seconds of flipping the pages, my eyes landed on more questionable words, including a terribly crude and vulgar phrase.

Disappointment doesn't begin to describe how I feel. Betrayed might be a better term. This might be the redemption story to end all redemption stories, but I just can't read it. Does that make me shallow? Narrow-minded? Naïve? I don't think so.

For me it comes down to Philippians 4:8 : Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I may be in the world, but I'm striving not to be of it.

So...today's giveaway is your choice. Must be Christian Fiction. Must be a 2015 release date -- anywhere from January - April 2015. Leave a comment mentioning the title you want to win and if your name is picked, that's the book that will be shipped to you.

I HAVE SHARED MY TBR LISTS BY GENRE IN THE COMMENT SECTION IN CASE YOU'RE NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT WAS PUBLISHED BETWEEN JAN AND APRIL THIS YEAR.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of a new release (Jan - April 2015) Christian Fiction title, 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 March 29 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Killer Voice Duo

GIVEAWAY
A KILLER VOICE DUO
Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense editors held a Killer Voice contest last spring in a search for new authors for their expanding line. Three of these contestants have book releases this April. I already reviewed Dana R. Lynn's debut, Presumed Guilty last week and wanted to get these two reviewed before they hit bookshelves next week. So Michelle Karl and Tammy Johnson are sharing the limelight today. Winner of this draw will receive BOTH Fatal Freeze and Royal Rescue.

JOHNSON, TAMMY
ROYAL RESCUE

A princess in peril...

Hidden away for more than fourteen years, Thea James was presumed dead by most—killed in the fire that burned the royal palace. But Ronin Parrish knows the truth…and so does the person who murdered Thea's father, the king. Ronin takes his new duty as Thea's bodyguard seriously. After all, she's the only one who can clear his father of the king's murder. It doesn't matter that the princess's beauty and strength draw him to her. To a commoner like him, she can never be more than a mission. Now he's in a race to restore the princess to her rightful place on the throne before the unknown killer prematurely ends her reign.

My Review:

Who doesn't love a princess in peril plot line? And when she's in continuous danger it just ups the ante, as far as I'm concerned. Enter Ronin, formerly of the Royal Guard, determined to protect the hapless princess from an increasing threat...oh, wait...scratch that hapless part. This princess is anything but. She's resourceful, assertive and capable and she'll do her own rescuing, thank you very much. Ronin has no idea how much trouble one princess-in-hiding can be...Trouble with a capital T. An engaging read that held me captive until the very last page.

KARL, MICHELLE
FATAL FREEZE

Deadly reunion...

CIA agent Shaun Carter is on the trail of an international crime ring, and the sudden appearance of a woman from his past could jeopardize his mission. Missing persons investigator Lexie Reilly's search for a missing teen has put her in the criminals' crosshairs. Joining forces to take down this ring is their only chance of survival. Shaun vows to keep the beautiful investigator out of harm's way and help her find the lost girl. But when their ferry becomes icebound, they are trapped at sea with killers who will stop at nothing to keep them from discovering their secrets.

My Review:

How can you not love a story riddled with descriptors like this: "He bristled at the intrusion into his personal space, but their difference in height made it seem as though he was being stalked by a kitten." (p.12) Brings a chuckle in the midst of all that building tension. A really gripping premise develops into a page-turning reading experience as the suspense...and romance...grow more intriguing. And being trapped on a stranded ship with a killer adds an extra thrill. A complicated and edgy plot with plenty of detailed action scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. And so did identifying the villain before Shaun and Lexie! Another intrepid literary duo who refused to heed my warnings!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Royal Rescue AND Fatal Freeze 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 March 29 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Paper Hearts

GIVEAWAY

COURTNEY WALSH
PAPER HEARTS

Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into dreams of expansion . . . and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark.

When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice.

As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams . . . and her heart?

My Review:

Kind of quirky, sometimes funny and deeply moving. Jacob and Abigail's love story starts out slow and is burdened by plenty of dire situations that keep getting in their way. But that's okay, because they both have some things to work out so that when the right time finally comes they'll have grown enough to realize it.

I enjoyed the town and it's crazy inhabitants -- especially the Valentine Volunteers, even if their antiquated ideas made my blood boil. This story pulled my emotions every which way. From exasperation to frustration to swooning delight. But beware single readers -- there's a lot of 'woe is me, I'm not married' and 'woe is you, you're not married' stuff at the beginning. No worries, just go with the flow and you'll soon be just as enamoured with this story as I was.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Paper Hearts 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 March 29 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Giveaway - Week Four








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:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Katie's Way


GIVEAWAY
 
PERRY, MARTA
KATIE'S WAY

A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...

Hoping for a distraction after a personal heartbreak, new arrival Katie Miller sets up her quilt shop on Pleasant Valley’s Main Street, where Amish and Englisch intermingle. It’s not long before a quilting circle forms and women from both worlds are crafting together and sharing their secrets, turning the store into a lively spot for socializing…much to the consternation of the furniture craftsman next door. Caleb Brand has kept to himself since he lost his betrothed under scandalous circumstances, and he could do without all the feminine chatter—and Katie Miller’s carefree attitude.

When Katie becomes involved in promoting Pennsylvania Dutch Days, some in town appreciate the new business it brings. But others are upset about the flood of outsiders it attracts. Katie turns to Caleb for comfort, and despite his resistance, a fragile friendship forms. Then, when acts of vandalism suddenly threaten Katie’s shop—and the peace of Pleasant Valley—Caleb must decide whether to stand by the young woman who has brought a spring thaw to his frozen heart, and Katie must question whether her cherished independence may deprive her of one more chance at love…

My Review:

Published in 2011 and part of the Pleasant Valley series. This one is Book Five but you (thankfully) don't need to read them in order, though I imagine certain character overlap will be more rewarding for readers who have.

Love all the minute details of Amish life that Perry puts into her stories. Text is peppered with Pennsylvania Dutch words easy to understand in context, but she also includes a glossary of words and phrases as well as some mouth-watering Amish recipes at the end of the book. Definitely a read to tease all the senses!

It wasn't long before I became totally engrossed in this character-driven story. Both Katie and Caleb are independent people with a clear view of what the future holds for them...and that's not each other! Their relationship begins with barely suppressed animosity on Caleb's part that makes their eventual wary friendship hard won. But the possibility of 'like' turning into 'love'? Not possible...at least that's what they both tell themselves. Meanwhile their hearts are following along an entirely different path. Such rich romantic development! Thrilled me to my toes.

But there's enough angst to keep a reader on edge too, between a malicious bit of gossip traveling along the Amish grapevine and the sometimes complicated interactions between Amish and Englisch. Lots of fodder for turmoil and Perry doesn't spare her characters (or her readers) until the very end. I'll definitely be catching up on the rest of the Pleasant Valley series so stay tuned.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Katie's Way 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 March 22 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!