Monday, August 29, 2016

Dressed for Death

GIVEAWAY

DEERING, JULIANNA
DRESSED FOR DEATH

Drew and Madeline Farthering arrive at a Regency-era house party Winteroak House, excited to be reunited with old friends, including Drew's former Oxford classmate Talbot Cummins. Tal is there with his fiancée, Alice Henley, and though many present seem worried about the couple, nobody is prepared when Alice dies from an apparent overdose. Tal refuses to believe she had taken the drug intentionally, and the dark question arises of whether the death is an accident or a murder.

The police have their own information, though, and Drew is shocked when they arrest someone he has trusted since his childhood -- someone who has been smuggling drugs into the country for years. Stunned by what has happened, Tal begs Drew to get to the bottom of everything, but Drew has never felt more unsettled. Questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, Drew doesn't know whom to trust, and he's not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover -- or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

My Review:

I've been binge watching BBC period dramas and I can totally see Drew Farthering as the next heartthrob in his own mini-series. Sort of an Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey. It would be a runaway hit.

Drew has a flare for solving murders and he's long thought of his talent as God given but his confidence is shaken in Dressed for Death and he finds himself struggling to come to terms with some hard truths.

This is the fourth Drew Farthering mystery and while it is still filled with witty dialogue and droll humour, it isn't as lighthearted as the first three books. There's  a more serious tone to this novel as Drew turns introspective, second guessing his life's purpose. He must learn not to lean on his own understanding, choosing instead to follow where God leads.

Drew and Madeline are now newlyweds. I love the dynamics between this very proper English Aristocrat and his Yankee wife. He's completely besotted -- always ready with the most cliché lines which are actually endearing since he means every outrageous declaration. Madeline has him wrapped around her little finger and he doesn't mind at all.

An intense mystery with plenty of twists and turns and a number of surprises kept me guessing right to the very end. And most of my guesses were wrong! No armchair sleuthing award for me this round. I didn't even make the finals! I found Dressed for Death to be witty and intriguing and delightfully captivating.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Dressed for Death 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 4 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August Giveaway - Week Four



WON BY WENONA PHILLIPS

WON BY ANDREA M

WON BY JASMINE A.

WON BY FREDAMANS

WON BY DONNA BROOKMYER

WON BY RUBYNREBA

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, August 27, 2016

Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter

GIVEAWAY

PAGELS, CARRIE FANCETT
SAVING THE MARQUISE'S GRANDDAUGHTER

After her Huguenot father is arrested, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu escapes Versailles. Handsome German peasant, Johan Rousch, risks his life to the safety of his family's farm in the Palatinate duchy, but when Suzanne's brother and the French army arrive with a warning they plan to burn the area, she and Johan are forced to flee. With no money or options, both become indentured servants in exchange for safe passage to Philadelphia.

Suzanne falls gravely ill aboard ship and marries Johan, only to survive with no memory of the wedding -- a reality made worse when Johan spots the 'priest' who married them working as a surveyor and later in Quaker cleric garb. Are their wedding vows valid?

In a land fraught with religious strife, they must break the barriers between status and faith to forge a fresh future in a new world...

My Review:

I have read a few novels based on the Huguenots in recent months and have to admit to finding this time in Protestant history utterly fascinating. Pagels does a great job of steeping her readers in the atmosphere of the time right from the very first chapter. I've come away assessing my own commitment to my faith and am left wondering how valiant I would be in the face of such adversity.

In the beginning Suzanne is a typical spoiled aristocrat. She isn't convicted by her parent's faith -- in fact sees it as merely a deterrent towards her future happiness. Naïve and selfish, she isn't prepared for the impact her father's arrest has on her life as she takes flight and must rely on only her wits and the kindness of strangers to see her to safety.

Enter Johan, peasant farmer and devout Huguenot. A bear of a man who is unflinching in his faith and willingness to help those in need. It isn't long before he falls under Suzanne's spell -- and oh my goodness, what a tangled mess they make of things before all is made right.

A captivating love story that celebrates our brave ancestors who faced the impossible in order to ensure their children would have freedom to worship.

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

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter 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 August 28  2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Countdown

GIVEAWAY
WOODHAVEN, HEATHER
COUNTDOWN

Borrowed time...

When Rachel Cooper witnesses the abduction of her neighbor's young twin sons, she springs into action to save them. But now the thwarted kidnappers are after her...and her only hope of survival is relying on their widowed single father, James McGuire. A weapon has been planted on a satellite James's company is ready to launch, and as the systems specialists, it's his job to stop it. But someone is set on keeping James from preventing the scheduled takeoff -- and they'll use anyone close to him as leverage. Now he must find a way to protect his boys and the woman he's beginning to fall for...before the final countdown can even start.

My Review:

An action-packed high tech suspense. The kidnappers are relentless in their pursuit - never far behind no matter what evasive actions James and Rachel take as they race against time. James is an endearing computer nerd. Brilliant at work and a devoted father, he's somewhat bumbling when it comes to social cues and making conversation. Makes for some interesting dialogue between the two! :-) Not that they have lots of time for casual conversation since they are constantly on the run. I'm exhausted just thinking about it! A twisty-turny plot with plenty of suspense and a tender romance make this a compulsive read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Countdown 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 August 28  2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Alliance

GIVEAWAY

PETERSHEIM, JOLINA
THE ALLIANCE

When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instrument were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won't start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only their supplies but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they're willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

My review:

Kind of eerie and a little uncomfortable to read but totally compelling. I was riveted from the very first page. Complex characters and an intriguing plot made The Alliance a real page-turner. And my goodness, this story has left me with a lot to think about.

Dystopian fiction can be tricky because it shows so much of what is bad in humanity and that can get depressing. But while Petersheim doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of this new bleak world, she is careful to weave in messages of  faith and hope as well.

The Alliance is told from two points of view -- nineteen year-old Leora, an Old Order Mennonite woman and returned soldier Moses, the pilot who crash lands in her family's field. Such a contrast in views! I found myself alternately siding with both as they strive to find the best way to navigate this new chaotic world.

There are so many layers to their backstories. Both Leora and Moses have suffered difficulties and loss before they become entangled in this dystopian catastrophe. The kind of depth that keeps you up at night so you can read one more chapter and then another and another...Captivating stuff.

The hint of an impossible romance blooms even though Leora has ties to a community man. It seems that everything she understood to be true is challenged in just a few short weeks and that leaves Leora questioning where her allegiance lies.

The ending left me breathless and aching for more because there's a second installment due out in the spring. The Divide. I can't believe I have to wait until then to get full closure but you better believe I'll be first in line to buy the sequel! A stunning and thought-provoking book and well worth the read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Alliance 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 August 28 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Traces of Guilt

GIVEAWAY

HENDERSON, DEE
TRACES OF GUILT

Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective...mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have...

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.

My Review:

I think in order to enjoy Dee Henderson's new storytelling style you have to let go of the O'Malleys. Yes cherish them and reread them and display those books on your keeper shelves, but opening a current Henderson novel and expecting an O'Malley type of story isn't doing the author or the reader any favours.

No matter what style she's writing in, Henderson is still the best at showing the slow but steady journey towards relationship. At the beginning of Traces of Guilt, Evie and Gabriel don't even know each other -- they have a bang up first meet that develops into a professional respect and then friendship over the course of the story. I like Evie and I like Gabriel and I'd like to see them romantically linked. That hasn't happened in this book but since this is labeled as An Evie Blackwell Cold Case, I'm hoping there's another book which will lead to the resolution I long for.

This isn't a nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat kind of read. Instead the author has chosen to highlight the methodical, painstaking process of police work. It's a fascinating look into the thought process of a detective. And when they talk shop it's full of realistic dialogue which isn't always riveting and is sometimes repetitive.

In a broader sense, this is a Thane family story. We're introduced to brothers, Josh, Will and Gabe. Given enough meat to whet our appetite for further books. Each brother has a complicated relationship with a woman they are interested in and Ann Turner (a recurring character from previous books) seems to know the secrets of all these women. She's as cryptic as ever -- warning without explaining, throwing out hints until your mind runs in a thousand gruesome directions but rarely coming out with something substantial when you think she should. But that's Ann -- keeper of secrets. And she does reveal all eventually.

Not your typical suspense since it highlights methodology rather than action. I can usually read a book in a  day -- especially when it's an edge-of-your-seater -- but it took me three days to finish Traces of Guilt. Not because I wasn't intrigued...but I didn't feel the kind of sense of urgency that would keep me up at night turning pages. A good, steady, enjoyable read with promise of more to come.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Traces of Guilt 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 August 28 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Mother in the Making

GIVEAWAY

MEYER, GABRIELLE
A MOTHER IN THE MAKING

Matchmaking with a mission

Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children's temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love...despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower -- except his increasing interest in Marjorie.

Vivacious and fun-loving: that's the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope -- that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?

My Review:

Mercy, but Marjorie is a force to be reckoned with! Something John soon discovers much to the amusement of the reader. A touch of whimsy, a whole lot of laughter and the hope of romance bring this story to life. Loved the children, the indomitable Marjorie and the rather befuddled John who is way out of his element. The romance has a kind of Captain Von Trapp and Maria vibe to it which was fun to read. There's plenty of heart-tugging drama as well though. A great combination of love, laughter and hope.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Mother in the Making 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 August 28 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!