Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Sea House

GIFFORD, ELISABETH
THE SEA HOUSE

Scotland, 1860.

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child's fragile legs are fused together --- a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home --- but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.
Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.
 
My Review:

A raw and often gritty tale of survival, courage and, ultimately, hope.

Gifford is an exceptionally gifted wordsmith. She creates vivid scenes and heart wrenching emotions that compel a reader to enter her world and stay awhile. An intriguing story set in two different time periods, the author does a great job of blending past and present

The Sea House is told in first person narrative from three different characters' perspectives. Ruth, Moira and Alexander. All are connected to the mysteries surrounding the Sea House and I enjoyed the clever way the author meshed their stories together.

In present day Ruth struggles to suppress her tragic past, but the more she buries the horrors from her childhood, the more unpredictable and volatile she becomes. Irrational, consumed by fear, she hides a rash of insecurities behind a blustering bravado. I found a great parallel between Ruth's untamed spirit and the untamed land and sea that surrounds the Sea House. Just like Ruth, the house holds secrets and neither will be at peace until they are revealed.

While I found The Sea House to be a captivating story, I was disappointed to find profanity within its pages. For this reason, I am not offering this book as a giveaway.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/egifford

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful

GIVEAWAY

GANSHERT, KATIE
A BROKEN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong.
 
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

My Review:

A Broken Kind of Beautiful is a rich testimony of God's everlasting, redeeming love. And it might just be a wake up call to many readers. Because Ivy is the kind of woman we like to judge. She's not particularly nice. In fact she's shallow, self-centered and uses her body as a weapon. Not an easy person to warm up too if you only look at the surface. Doesn't sound like a sympathetic heroine, right? Wrong!

Ganshert gives us glimpses into the reasons behind Ivy's brokenness from the very first time we meet her. And through the course of the book the author continues to peel away layer after layer of Ivy's protective façade, slowly revealing the lost child within.

Luckily Davis has a gift for looking beneath the glitz, glamour and games Ivy plays and what he sees is a desperate emptiness. An unsettled relationship develops between the two. Friends sometimes, wary adversaries most of the time. But though Davis is firm in his Christian convictions, he isn't perfect. He can't let go of past mistakes. There's a powerful scene about forgiveness that left me reeling. A huge 'aha' moment. I don't want to post spoilers so I won't say more but it's on page 240. Check it out when you're reading. (but don't skip ahead!)

A Broken Kind of Beautiful is so much more than just a love story between a man and a woman. It is also the redeeming love story of a Father and His beloved child. Honestly, I just wept through the last quarter of the book.

Ganshert has created a compelling story that would make an excellent read for a book club group. There is so much scope for discussion -- both literary and inspirational. A stunning novel that will challenge as much as entertain.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Broken Kind of Beautiful 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 October 5 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 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, September 27, 2014

Have a Happy Family by Friday

LEMAN, KEVIN
HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY BY FRIDAY

You really can have a happier home in just 5 days!
Every member of a family plays a vital role in the health and happiness of the household. Everyone is important, deserves to be treated with love and respect, and needs to know that when they make mistakes they will still be loved unconditionally. And when every member of the family is pulling for each other and on the same team, everybody wins.

Is this kind of family life even possible?

Parenting expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman says it is, and he's ready to show you exactly how you can make it happen in your family--in just five days. He shows families how to

· communicate honestly and kindly
· prioritize the right things
· maintain great attitudes and behaviors
· determine the role each person plays in the family structure
· make family time count

As always, Dr. Leman's outstanding advice is laced with humor, great stories, and the wisdom that comes from a lifetime of experience.

If you've had it up to here with bickering, hurt feelings, and emotional exhaustion, Have a Happy Family by Friday is just what the doctor ordered.

My Review:

With his trademark sense of humour, Dr. Leman, tackles the often controversial subject of parenting. That well-known humour, partnered with compassion and wisdom make for an easy-to-read book packed with practical information.  He draws on his own personal experiences and includes numerous examples and scenarios that help illustrate each point. Dr. Leman breathes new life into sound principles. Presenting a fresh look at old-fashioned common sense, Have a Happy Family by Friday is a parenting guide that belongs in every home.

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lydia's Hope

Special Double Win Giveaway
 I'm celebrating my 1000th blog post this week!
Add the title of another Amish novel in your comment and if you win the draw you will win both books!

PERRY, MARTA
LYDIA'S HOPE

Three Amish sisters, separated when very young, know nothing about one another—until a long-held secret is revealed.
With no memory of her birth parents, or the tragic accident that took their lives, Lydia Beachy has always been grateful for the aunt and uncle who took her in and raised her as their own. Now a married woman with two sons, Lydia finds her life turned upside down when she discovers that she has two younger sisters: Susanna, who was adopted by an Amish family in another community, and Chloe, who was raised by their grandmother among the Englisch.

Angry and confused, Lydia first seeks out Susanna but stops short of telling her the truth. To track down Chloe, she enlists the help of a neighbor who has spent some years in the Englisch world. Meanwhile, Lydia’s husband, Adam, is keeping a secret of his own. Lydia yearns to be united with the sisters she has never known, but will revealing herself to them tear their lives apart…or enrich them beyond all imagining?

My Review:

What an excellent premise to build a story around. Such scope for emotional turmoil and there's plenty of it in Lydia's Hope. And I'm so thankful this is the first in The Lost Sisters of Pleasant Valley series. Hoping that each sister gets her own story.

While Susanna and Chloe play significant roles in this book, it is really Lydia's story. She's the one who discovers she has sisters she didn't know about. She's the one who goes against counsel, including her husband's, to find her sisters. Such a tangled web of misunderstandings.

A compelling look into an Amish marriage. Adam struggles with the change he perceives in his wife. He wants to protect her from getting hurt and he's pretty sure that will be the end result if she finds her sisters. This is a love story inside the bonds of matrimony. Watching how Lydia and Adam navigate this rocky patch in their marriage and grow stronger in their faith and love because of it was truly inspiring.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Lydia's Hope 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 28 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Holiday Defenders

Special Double Win Giveaway I'm celebrating my 1000th blog post this week!
Add the title of another Christian novella collection in your comment and if you win the draw you will win both books!

GIUSTI, DEBBY
SLEEMAN, SUSAN
BAILEY, JODIE
HOLIDAY DEFENDERS

This holiday season, three military men of honor must do everything they can to save Christmas.
 
Mission: Christmas Rescue by Debby Giusti
 
On the run from a killer, Elizabeth Tate must accept U.S. Army captain Nick Fontaine’s protection for the sake of her young niece and nephew. Now her life is in the hands of the very man who broke her heart years ago.
 
Special Ops Christmas by Susan Sleeman
 
Researcher Claire Reed’s top-secret project is stolen, putting her at risk of being kidnapped to unlock it. Her undercover bodyguard—her former love, Green Beret Travis Chapman—is on his most dangerous mission yet.
 
 Homefront Holiday Hero by Jodie Bailey
 
When someone tries to kill the daughter of a military official, U.S. Army Major Tyler Rainey must keep Meredith Walters from harm...while guarding his own heart against very unexpected feelings.
 
My Review:
 
These authors have done an amazing job of creating three exceptional suspense stories in a short novella length. Tight plots, intense suspense and a spark of romance make for three thrilling reads. All of them packed with gentle reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.And I love the military theme that binds these novellas together. Perfect reading to herald in the season.
 
GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Holiday Defenders 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 28 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Prelude for a Lord

Special Double Win Giveaway
I'm celebrating my 1000th blog post this week!
Add the title of another Christian historical fiction book in your comment and if you win the draw you will win both books!

ELLIOT, CAMILLE
PRELUDE TO A LORD

Bath, England 1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief ’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument … with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo .

My Review:

I am in Regency Heaven! From the clever title to the gorgeous cover right through to the final word...sheer bliss. The kind of read that makes you giddy with anticipation and has you skipping over pages with glee as the real world fades into oblivion. You're so convinced that you are in Regency England that you ring for the maid to bring you tea and cakes only when she doesn't show you come crashing back to reality with such velocity it hurts. It's that kind of absorbing read.

Alethea is a captivating heroine. Enough of a maverick to make her interesting without losing those oh-so-proper ladylike qualities a woman of genteel breeding must possess. :-) Dommick is her brooding hero. He's surrounded by a darkness that keeps him alluringly aloof. And then there's the mystery. The danger. A host of amazing secondary characters including a slimeball villain. And the romance...a fainting couch is a necessity for this read -- you'll be swooning that much!

Stunning and brilliant and too good to miss.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Prelude for a Lord 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 28 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!