Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Finds You in Lancaster County Pennsylvania



Two women with nothing in common -- except the need for a friend and a fresh start. When Amish-born Lydia Ann Raber and Southern belle Caroline DeMarco discover a shared history of loss, the unlikely duo decides to open a gift shop in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Lydia Ann is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome woodworker Simon Zook. When God offers her a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Simon harbors cause her even more heartbreak? For Caroline, love comes in the form of journalist Michael Landis. Their love-key romance is a dream come true for Caroline, a fugitive from an infamous past. Is Michael to blame when reporters start hovering once again, or can Caroline find a way to trust him with her heart?

My Review:

There is something so hopeful about second chance love stories and Love Finds You in Lancaster County Pennsylvania is brimming with that quality. Daughety has created two winning romance stories that merge into one heartwarming read. And it's great for Amish toe-dabblers since the plot evenly balances both Amish and contemporary storylines.

Daughety surprised me a time or two when she veered away from predictable plotting, make this a quick and refreshing read. Lovely, pure romance -- though  it's not without angst. I especially liked the way Caroline and Michael's relationship developed -- from wariness, to friendship and then something deeper. It felt so honest and real. Simon and Lydia Ann's journey is much gentler -- sweeter and the contrast between the two really sharpened the story.

Once again the Love Finds You series and Summerside Press has created another winning book in this amazing line. Many thanks to Amber at for introducing me to this great series!


If you would like to win your own copy of Love Finds You in Lancaster County Pennsylvania by AnnaLisa Daugety, leave a comment below (including your email address) or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Makes sure to put the title of the book in the subject line. The winner will be announced on Sunday September 4. Open Internationally, Good luck!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A River to Cross



The Rio Grande -- Texas, 1886

On the lawless frontier, a Texas Lawman is her only hope.

Elizabeth Evan's brother paid the ultimate price as editor of a newspaper exposing the dangers along the U.S.-Mexican border. Determined to take up his cause, she's targeted and kidnapped by a rogue general -- Manuel Diego.

It's the job of Texas Ranger Jake Nelson to protect the border against rustlers and marauders. With Elizabeth's photograph in hand -- a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes -- Jake and his men ride across the great river to rescue her, to apprehend Diego and bring him to justice.

But Diego and his renegades are not about to give up that easily. Amid the turmoil, Jake finds himself taken by Elizabeth. And she by him. Yet his life as a Ranger doesn't fit with marriage and settling down. Not at all.

My Review:

Harris has crafted another incredible Western. I'd almost call it an edgy romance in that the romance is more...romantical...then you usually find in Christian fiction. It's brilliantly done and compliments the tense action and emotional angst in the story.

Jake makes a swoonworthy hero. As a Texas Ranger he is larger than life and pretty easy to hero-worship. It's lucky that Elizabeth has no intention of falling for a man in such a dangerous profession. And Jake knows he's not the settling down type. Oh how the sparks fly! There are some truly delectable scenes between these two! Add in the explosive politics of the time and heart-palpatating action, you're in for a breathless read from beginning to end.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Make sure to put A River to Cross in the subject line. The draw will be held and the winner announced on Sunday Sept 4. Good luck!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August Giveaway Winners - Week Four


Love By the Book by Cara Lynn James
won by Ausjenny

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall
won by Camille Elise

The Aristocrat's Lady by Mary Moore
won by Shaz

I'll contact the winners by email in order to get their snail mail addresses but if you don't hear from me by Monday evening can you please email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca?


A River to Cross
by Yvonne Harris
Texas Rangers and a rescue...need I say more?!

Love Finds You in Lancaster County Pennsylvania
 by AnnaLisa Daughety
An Amish/contemporary mix that is sure to please everyone!


A Confident Heart : How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live  in the Security of God's Promises
 by Renee Swope
A really powerful medium for change.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Her Rodeo Cowboy


Finding her way to love.

Everything accountant Montana Brown thought she knew about love and marriage goes topsy-turvy when her parents split up.  Shaken, she heads to Mule Hollow, Texas, to stay with family and take a chance on an old dream; being a cowgirl. With all her might, she tries to resist the charms of a too-handsome cowboy. Luke Holden is going after his own dream of expanding his ranch. A wife isn't on his wish list. But the Mule Hollow matchmakers are fixin' to lasso Luke and Montana together -- with a little faith and love.

My Review:

Romantic Comedy at its best!!! I've read one other Mule Hollow Homecoming book and I'm going to have to hunt down the rest. They are such a fun read! The Matchmaking ladies are hysterical! What a great concept to frame a series around older ladies who are trying to draw young people back to their that they can marry them off and build up the population one baby at a time! LOL.

The romance is a perfect mix of tenderness and uncertainty along with a healthy dose of passion. Her Rodeo Cowboy is chalkful of laughter and love, making it a delightful read.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Aristocrat's Lady



For a few moments on a moonlit balcony, Nicole Beaumont was just a beautiful woman catching the eye of the handsome Lord Devlin -- but she knew the illusion couldn't last. If the enigmatic aristocrat knew her secret, he'd realize that her disability left her unfit for love. So who could blame her for hiding the truth a little longer?

Devlin had never met a woman like Nicole. Her unique combination of innocence and wisdom left him utterly intrigued. Yet what was she hiding? For a man who did not trust easily, discovering her secret was devastating. Overcoming their pasts and forging a future would take faith, forgiveness and trust. And second chances could lead to new beginnings...

My Review:

Though I don't know the exact time period The Aristocrat's Lady is set in, it has the feel of a classic Regency read so that's how I'm going to describe it. Now Regency isn't always my favourite setting for a historical romance but this one has more than a few twists that kept me riveted.

Nicole has a secret and it isn't revealed until well into the book. I was driving myself mad trying to figure it out. Moore has planted clever little hints that don't make sense -- at least they didn't to me -- until the big reveal. I read this one ravenously! Finished it in an afternoon because I just couldn't put it down.

Devlin plays the role of the jaded aristocrat well -- until he becomes intrigued by Nicole. The dialogue between the two is so refreshing and witty, even outrageous at times. I loved it!

In fact there isn't anything I didn't love about the book. Simply a classic good read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Aristocrat's Lady please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please make sure to put  The Aristocrat's Lady in the subject line. Winner will be announced on Sunday September 28.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Harvest of Grace



Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, Sylvia makes a painful mistake that forces her to seek work far from her family.  Can she find relief from the echoes of her past...or will they shape her future forever?

Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus -- tending and nurturing the herd on her family's dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she must concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving a debt-ridden farm.

After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed's failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron's parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.

Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger pictures -- one revealing the path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love?

My Review:

I'm still basking in the wonder of this read. Like all of Woodsmall's books, I lost sleep racing through it and then end up lamenting that the reading experience was over too soon! LOL.

Woodsmall knows how to tell a story. Rich characters, complicated plot, soul searching questions all combine to make this an astounding read. And to add to the pleasure of it readers get to reacquaint themselves with Ada, Cara, Ephraim, Lori, Deborah, Jonathan, Lena and Grey....and, of course, Better Days!  Each couple has their own story thread that compliments Sylvia and Aaron's story. Incredibly fulfilling. Woodsmall knows how to please her readers.

I think the real strength in her writing is in the depth of her characters. We become involved in their lives, come to care about them as if they were our friends and families and they stay with us with unerring accuracy so that months later we can pick up a sequel and it feels like we've come home to catch up on all the gossip.

The Harvest of Grace is aptly name, for it highlights the Lord's grace in every storyline -- each one compelling in its own right but pulled together -- wow, what a bountiful blessing of words!

Loved meeting the reformed Aaron, ached over his struggles, admired his tenacity and strength to do what was right -- even if he went about it in a hard-headed way! :-) And Sylvia -- memorable for her commitment to be true to herself despite extreme difficulties. Her joy in who she is, her acceptance of the talent's God has given her even though they go against the Amish ideal of a woman's role -- well, it all made for a riveting read.

If you haven't guessed by now -- this is a definite must read and deserves a place of honour on your keeper shelf...right next to Book 1 and 2 in the  Ada House series.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win your own copy of A Harvest of Grace leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please put A Harvest of Grace in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 28 and is open internationally. Good luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love By the Book



A sweeping love story set in a lavish seaside mansion in 1901 Rhode Island.

Melinda Hollister is a society lady, intent on finding a rich husband before her peers discover he quickly diminishing wealth. Nick Bryson is all business, focused on making a name for himself in his father's steamship line. Despite the marriage of their siblings, they rarely gave each other a second glance -- until a tragic accident results in Melinda and Nick being appointed as co-guardians of their three-year-old daughter.

In order to get better acquainted with Nell and one another, Melinda and Nick agree to spend the summer in their own private quarters of the Bryson family vacation home, Summerhill. As their love for Nell grows, so does their attraction to each other. And for the first time in their lives, they sense that God has a bigger plan in motion.

Yet old habits die hard -- and Melinda and Nick each find it difficult to resist the pull of their former worlds.

When the unthinkable happens, they find themselves faced with seemingly impossible choices and a new understanding of God's true love.

My Review:

This is my favourite of the Ladies of Sumerhill series. I am by turns fascinated and appalled by the Gilded Age -- the opulent wealth, the snobbery, the sheer shallowness of the society --  and James writes that era so well. But she gives it a heart through her cleverly casted characters.

Melinda intrigued me the most. She grows from a product of that society into a young woman of promise. And it's that growth that gives this novel substance. Melinda has enough endearing qualities -- love for the Lord, the ability to acknowledge her weaknesses, a willing heart for change all combined with an exuberance for life -- that helped me identify with her despite her shallow pursuits at the beginning of the book. After all, she has been a product of her upbringing and has known little else. I loved watching her question society's standards, take on a mothering role to her niece and delve into bible discussions with her missionary friend , all of which prompted her to slowly make the changes in her life that lead to maturity. She really does grow from girl to womanhood in these pages. And it's a rewarding read.

By contrast, Nick is staid and steady, dedicated to business and family, though he has trouble juggling the two. He's constantly in a battle of wills with his father and that makes him all the more serious. He definitely needs someone like Melinda to brighten up his life. Of course he doesn't realize it at first! Just as she doesn't realize that some of Nick's 'stuffiness' would be a good counterbalance to her frivolity.

James weaves a heart-warming tale that has some surprisingly suspenseful twists but all ends well in a happily-ever-after.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of Love By the Book  by Cara Lynn James, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Draw will be held on Sunday August 28. Open internationally.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August Giveaway Winners - Week Three

This is really what I look like -- except I have glasses...and a nose!
And I'm smiling because I'm giving away books.

Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller
won by Barbara Ann
Ransome's Quest by Kaye Dacus
won by Salena Stormo
Mended hearts by Ruth Logan Herne
won by Jackie S.
Congratulations to all you winners. I will contact you via email regarding your snail mail address. If you don't hear from me by Monday evening, please email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca.

Looking ahead to next week's Giveaways:

Love By the Book by Cara Lynn James -- my favourite of her Ladies of Summerhill series. A lovely historical.

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall --!!!!! That's all I'm saying right now except I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and finished it this morning.

The Aristocrat's Lady by Mary Moore -- A Love Inspired Historical that comes highly recommended for its "unique hooks and twists" by Harlequin Editorial Assistant, Rachel Burkot (in an interview on Seekerville.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deep Cover


Maintaining his cover cost undercover cop Rick Gray the woman he loved. Sweet Ginny Bryson never really knew Rick—he never gave her the chance. Not then, and not now, when he's back with a new alias to gather evidence against Ginny's uncle. The man's crimes led to Rick's partner's death, and Rick wants justice to be served. But his investigation is stirring up trouble, and Ginny is smack-dab in the middle. Someone wants Ginny to pay the price for what her uncle has done. But how can Rick protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his assignment…and risking both their lives?

My Review:

This debut novel doesn't read like a first. Deep Cover is a well-paced read packed full of action and suspense. Orchard's writing style is wonderfully easy to read. The words flow, sentences are fluid, conversations natural -- all the qualities of a polished product.

The suspense starts on the first page and doesn't stop until the last. The plot is well thought out with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. By mid story I had an inkling of a suspect but no motive. I love a suspense that isn't predictable!

This is one of those clever Love Inspired Suspense reads that manages to find a good balance between romance and mystery/action. That's hard to do with a shorter word count and I love it when I find an author who has perfected the balance. It helps that Rick and Ginny have a past -- their attraction is palpable at the first meeting and just climbs from there. Unfortunately Ginny tries very hard to place mind over heart and that leads her to keep her distance from Rick. He, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about her even though he knows the circumstances of their second meeting are as complex as their first. Throw in a bit of doubt, Ginny's penchant for jumping to conclusions and making fast judgements and Rick's feelings of not being good enough and -- well, let's just say this story packs an emotional punch.

A great debut novel that will steal your breath away!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Treasuring Emma



Emma always puts the needs of others ahead of her own. When will it be her turn to be treasured?

Adam was her first love and best friend. But then he went away. Determined to experience the freedom of living in the Englisch world, he left Emma heart-broken. How could he have chosen the world over her?

Now Adam is back in Middlefield and Emma can't seem to keep him away from her family's farm. But this time she's determined to guard her heart. It might be love that keeps him there...or perhaps just guilt.

When a newcomer arrives in town and shows an interest in Emma, she dismisses Adam's insistence that she be cautious. All this attention is new to her and she doesn't know quite how to accept it. Emma knows her Heavenly Father treasures her. But will her new beau?

My Review:

It's no secret that I love a good Amish story and Treasuring Emma is definitely that. If you love Amish fiction like I do, you will love this book. But, if you aren't a fan of the Amish, I bet you'll love this book too. Why? Because there's nothing typecast in Fuller's characters. Many people think that Amish stories are sweet little ditties about forgiving characters who love the Lord and want nothing more in life than to be obedient.


Not in Treasuring Emma. Let's see, we have a heroine who is just a tad bitter about her lot in life and isn't above being a bit snarky on occasion. And unreasonable. Especially with her sister.

And the sister -- oh my -- she's not your cliche Amish frau, that's for sure. The woman is stressed to the gills and not handling it well at all. Her poor husband!!! But then if he says "God will provide" one more time I might have rebelled as well.

And then there's Adam -- stalwart hero material finding out that 'you can't go home again'...or can you?  Maybe with a little maturity and lowered expectations you can. See, Adam comes from a dysfunctional home...a dysfunctional Amish home. His dad is taciturn and difficult. His mother...struggling. He's caught in the middle and feeling like he's the problem.

Then there's the newcomer sweet on Emma! Oy! Don't get me started!!!!

Thank goodness for Leona. She's kind, compassionate, understanding, non-judgemental, loving and forgiving. Everything a good Amish grandmother should be. Hopefully her example rubs off on the rest of them! :-)

Fuller throws these poor, tortured characters into a plot full of surprises, adds a good dose of suspense and action and voila...a-not-your-typical-Amish-story is born. I couldn't put it down and I bet you won't be able to either. What to find out? Then keep reading...

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTcom. Please put Treasuring Emma in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 21. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ransome's Quest



His sister and his wife, both kidnapped -- who will the Commodore choose to rescue?

After an eventful voyage from England to Jamaica, Commodore William Ransome hopes he can rest for a short time. But when he receives news that his only sister, Charlotte, has been captured by a pirate, he leaps into action. Then, unbelievably, word comes that his wife, Julia, has been kidnapped by yet another pirate, the black-hearted Shaw, a dangerous enemy of the Royal Navy. William is torn. which beloved woman does he go after?

Captain Ned Cochrane volunteers to sail after Charlotte, and after a perilous battle on the high seas, she is restored to the man she loves. She also has revelations about her captor's true identity and his willingness to join Ned and William in the search for Julia. it's news that sends shockwaves through the family. Can William trust a pirate to help rescue his wife? What other secrets lie buried like long lost treasure in these turquoise blue waters?

Romance, intrigue, and swashbuckling leaps of faith create a wonderfully satisfying close to this heroic series.

My Review:

I think this is my favourite book in the Ransome Trilogy.

I find Charlotte a delightful heroine. She's so spunky and funny and impulsive! She just seems to make things happen wherever she goes...and on a pirate ship that isn't necessarily a good thing! By contrast Julia is more mature, more lady-like. She reasons things out before acting, using her keen intellect to her advantage but her courage and stamina can match any man's. I loved reading about two strong heroines who don't idly sit by and wait to be rescued.

Dacus has an incredible Regency voice -- it's smooth and easy to read and makes you slip back through time. Her descriptions conjure up vivid images and her action scenes were enough to make me wince and cringe. She writes blood-thirsty pirating well.

I fell in love with one pirate though. He swooped in and stole my heart before I could steel myself from his allure. There's something in that bad-boy persona, isn't there? In my estimation, Salvador is the true hero. You'll have to read Ransome's Quest to see if you agree with me.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Ransome's Quest by Kaye Dacus please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca and make sure to put Ransome's Quest in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 21. Good luck!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mended Hearts



Taking charge...of her heart

High-powered businessman Jeff Brennan can't figure out why he's so smitten with the town's new librarian. Hannah Moore is quiet, skittish -- and wants nothing to do with him. Yet as they work together on a fundraiser, Jeff resolves to discover why she came to the small New York town. Is working two jobs and tutoring kids with special needs an escape for Hannah? If so, Jeff is determined to show her that love can be the most powerful healing force of all.

My Review:

This one left an emotional punch that I'm still feeling. I bawled my eyes out on page 186...the paper is all wrinkled and limp and the print is smudged. Now, don't you all go rushing out and taking a sneak peak at that page! Start at the beginning and savor every word. You'll enjoy the journey Herne takes you on if you do.

Jeff is a heart-worthy hero. While determined to be successful in business, he still places family first -- most of the time! He's kind to old ladies, has gallant manners, is extremely easy on the eye and pursues the heroine with a dogged determination that will curl your toes. I feel a swoon coming on! Of course, he's not perfect. The man knows how to carry a grudge but watching him let go and let God during the course of the book was an uplifting reminder to do the same in my own life.

Hannah is gentle and sweet, easy and open with her girlfriend, Megan, but definitely standoffish with poor Jeff . She's keeping an emotional distance even though she's fighting not to.  She almost seems timid at times but through the course of the book the reader learns just how much grit and determination Hannah really has. She's a survivor!

Recipe for a page-turning success:

Take two complicated characters with issues from their past, add in some instant attraction and romantic chemistry. Throw in a complicated plot masked in simplicity and then blend it all up with raw emotions.

Result: Mended Hearts -- the sweetest of reads!

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Mended Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne (and why wouldn't you?!) please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please put Mended Hearts in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 21.  Open internationally. Good luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August Giveaway Winners - Week Two


Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Won by Clair
A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson
won by Cathy
Out of Control by Mary Connealy
won by Merry
If you do not get an email from me by Monday evening, can you please email me with your snail mail address at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca? Sometimes my emails seem to get lost in cyberspace and I like to get the books out as soon as possible so I don't forget. LOL.

Looking Ahead to Next Week's Giveaways:

Mended Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne -- Finished it, loved it. Very moving. More in my review tomorrow
Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller -- I had to get my Amish fix and what a spectacular way to do it!
Ransome's Quest by Kaye Dacus - Swashbuckingly brilliant! I'm about a third of the way in and loving it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Secrets of Harmony Grove


Philadelphia marketing executive, Sienna Collins, learns she is under investigation by the federal government for crimes she knows nothing about. Suspecting the matter has something to do with one of her investments, the Harmony Grove Bed & Breakfast in Lancaster County, she heads there, only to find her ex-boyfriend dead and the manager of the B and B unconscious. As Sienna's life spins wildly out of control, she begins to doubt everyone around her, even the handsome detective assigned to the case.

As Sienna searches for the truth and tries to clear her name, she is forced to depend on the faith of her childhood, the wisdom of the Amish, and the insight of the man she has recently begun dating. She'll need all the help she can get, because the secrets she uncovers in Harmony Grove threaten not just her bed-and-breakfast, but also her credibility, her beliefs, and ultimately, her life.

My Review:

Incredibly suspenseful. There are layers upon layers of mystery that Clark has cleverly hidden within the text. It kept me on my toes and eagerly turning pages while my mind whirled with all the possibilities but I didn't guess the whodunnit part until Sienna did! Of course, once I knew, I could see all the hints that had been scattered throughout the plot. Hints that both Sienna and I ignored until it was nearly too late. LOL.

Even the romance is filled with suspense, since Clark has crafted two stellar heroes to tempt Sienna...and the reader. I soooo wanted to check the last few pages to see who she ended up with! But I'm glad I didn't!

If you aren't a keen Amish fan, no worries. While Secrets of Harmony Grove take place in Amish country, it isn't a typical Amish story. But if you're an Amish fan, you will enjoy the ambiance all the more.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amish Values for Your Family



When it comes to strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much we can learn from the Amish. Just how do they establish such strong family bonds, such deeply held values, and such wonderful family traditions? In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shares the secrets of Amish family life. In this inspiring and practical book, you will meet real Amish families that are a lot like yours. Through their stories you'll discover how to

  • slow down
  • safeguard family time
  • raise children who stand strong in their faith
  • prioritize what's truly important
Amish values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy -- without selling your car or changing your wardrobe.

My Review:

What a great idea! I recently participated in a multi-faith women's discussion on the family and interestingly enough every woman present whether married or single, mother or not felt that her home was under attack by the 'world'. I wish I'd had this book to share. We did make some of the same connections it does -- mainly that our lives are too hurried and pressured which causes stress and frustration which leaches into the spirit of the home. The consensus we came to was the need to simplify. But how to do that? The answers are in this book.

Inspiring from the first page of the introduction until the very end, Amish Values for Your Family, is entertaining, uplifting and above all practical. Divided into four sections, Children are Loved But Not Adored (a very thought provoking concept), Great Expectations, Daily Bread and Letting Go. Each section includes nine or ten short stories illustrating one concept. The stories are well written and touching and gently hit home with God's simple truth and then followed by a concise suggestion on how Englisch families can apply the Amish tradition into their own families. All are very doable.

Add to the mix a wealth of Amish proverbs like these:
  • The kind of ancestors you have is not as important as the ones your children have.
  • The best things in life are not things.
  • Keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.
And some wonderful snippets from The Budget (a weekly Amish-Mennonite newspaper) and this book is limitless in its wisdom and usage. Great for individuals, or a mother's group, women's group, parent group -- even singles group because I think we all need to simplify our lives. And if you're an aspiring writer of Amish fiction this is a definite must read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher, please leave a comment below. Or, if Blogger isn't playing nice, email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please put the title in the subject line of your email. Draw will be held on Sunday August 14.

"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".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Most Unsuitable Match



Miss Fannie Rosseau is a young woman of privilege traveling west to uncover the truth behind a family secret.

Mr. Samuel Beck is on a mission to atone for past failures that still haunt him.

Their meeting aboard a steamboat to Montana sparks an unlikely attraction. They are opposites in every way...except in how neither one can stop thinking about the other.

Will the end of the journey bring the end of their relationship or is it just the beginning?

My Review:

In a word. Rich. In detail, in language, in characterization, in the layers upon layers of plot. All that wealth of richness combine to make A Most Unsuitable Match a decadent read!

Whitson already had a solid plot for a best-selling story, but she went deeper, bringing characters and situations to life in such an amazing manner. I wasn't just reading about Sam and Fannie, I was experiencing every single moment with them. And their story took me on such a surprising journey. I had no idea that the Missouri River was a viable route to the west or that Montana had a gold rush or that steamboats traveled along that river.

And Whitson penned it all with a passion that pulled at my heart and made this a very emotional read. In fact there were way too many times that my anguish fueled a reader's lament. I would shake my fist at the closed book and cry, "As God is my witness, I will not read another word, Stephanie Grace Whitson!" Of course I did. (I'm such a drama queen when it comes to books!)

I don't think I have ever read a more profoundly touching account of one man's developing testimony. It is intrinsically woven into the very fiber of the story but without dominating it. As he grows so does the reader and both come to the same realization at about the same time: resiliency comes from placing your trust in the Savior above all else.

And don't be fooled by the title. You might think this is the story of two people who appear  to have nothing in common and therefore would make A Most Unsuitable Match. But once again, Whitson goes deeper and readers will discover that the unsuitable match also refers to the fact that we often don't see ourselves the way God sees us and because of that, we think we're an unsuitable match for Him. Talk about profound. You could hold a whole book club discussion on just that one topic! But you won't have to limit yourself -- there is so much action and drama and romance along with endearing characters that you'll want to talk about A Most Unsuitable Match long after you've finished the compelling story. A definite must read for every TBR shelf!

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you email, please put the title of the book in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 14. Good luck!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, August 8, 2011

Out of Control



Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

My Review:

No one can write Western Comedy like Mary Connealy. I think she's cornered the genre and she doesn't disappoint with the first in her latest series, The Kincaid Brides. It's one book I wouldn't recommend reading in public (like on transit) because you'll just embarrass yourself snorting and howling like I did. I think any thread of dignity I had left as far as my fellow commuters go bit the dust when I went out of control reading Out of Control.

Tough heroines and tougher heroes (or so they think) are Connealy's speciality and Julia and Rafe are no exception. I love the fact that Julia is a self-made woman -- that her natural born curiosity impelled her to educate herself. Her dogged determination (aka stubbornness) stands her in good stead in the western wilderness she finds herself in but there's also a wide-eyed wonder that leaves her vulnerable.

Enter Rafe.

The last thing he needs or wants is a hysterical woman on his hands. But what happens when he discovers there's backbone beneath the tears? Sparks fly -- from the very first page as the two try to out-stubborn each other all the way through the book!

I found the setting intriguing and the caves so compelling that I had to check them out on the internet and was amazed to discover that they were exactly as I pictured them thanks to Connealy's amazing descriptions!

Though Out of Control has a fast-paced, action-packed plot, Connealy has wrapped it up with a poignant inspirational message. A winning combination indeed.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of Out of Control by Mary Connealy please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca if Blogger isn't playing nice. Winner will be announced on Sunday August 14. Open internationally.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August Giveaway Winners - Week One


Look to the East by Maureen Lang
won by Amber

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
won by Betsy

Amber and Betsy, I have your addresses so I will order your books today. Happy Reading!!!!!


Out of Control by Mary Connealy -- Just finished this one and I LOVED it, but I love all things Mary. If you like stories about stubborn cowboys laced with humour look no further.

A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson -- Just started this one this morning and I'm hooked already.

Amish Values For Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher --  You don't need to be an Amish fan to appreciate the wisdom of this book. I've been skimming it all week and it's amazing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Look to the East



A village under siege.
A love under fire.


The small village of Briecourt may be isolated from early battles of World War I, but a century-old feud between the de Colvilles and Toussaints rages in the streets. Despite being adopted as a child, Julitte Toussaint endures the scorn of the de Colvilles more than most, given the folklore surrounding her heritage.

Then everything changes the day the German army sweeps in to occupy Briecourt, trapping a handful of outsiders behind enemy lines, including Belgian entrepreneur Charles Lassone. When Julitte discovers Charles hiding in the church basement, an unexpected and dangerous love blossoms between them.

But heroes aren't made in cellars. Eager to join the Allied forces -- and prove himself worthy of Julitte's love -- Charles convinces the de Colvilles and the Toussaints to finally work together to smuggle him out.

Yet with the life of every villager on the line, who can be trusted? And when the line between ally and enemy is blurred, will faith and courage be enough to sustain them all?

My Review:

Breath-taking, heart-wrenching, compelling! What an exciting and emotional read!  I loved the fresh setting and time period. I can't think of many novels set during the first world war and this one takes place in occupied France so that's even more of a twist.

The inspirational thread really takes center-stage in this story, but it doesn't come off stilted or 'preachy' or over the top. It simply 'is' because Julitte is a woman of faith. And it's that faith she clings to survive the horrors of war.

Lang has created an intriguing cast of villagers and the family feud adds even more drama into the mix. And then there's the added mystery that surrounds Julitte herself! Look to the East is packed full of action and intrigue and a healthy dose of tender love story. Definitely a winning read for a lazy summer day!


If you would like a chance to win a copy of Look to the East by Maureen Lang, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Make sure to book the book title in the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday August 7. Open internationally.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Colonel's Lady



Can love survive the secrets kept buried within a tormented heart?

Roxanna Rowan may be a genteel Virginia woman, but she is determined to brave the wilds of the untamed frontier to reach a remote Kentucky fort. Eager to reunite with her father, who serves under Colonel Cassius McLinn, Roxanna is devastated to find that her father has been killed on a campaign.

Penniless and out of options, Roxanna is forced to remain at the fort. As she spends more and more time with the fiery Colonel McLinn, the fort is abuzz with intrigue and innuendo. Can Roxanna truly know who the colonel is -- and what he's done?

Immerse yourself in the powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness set in the tumultuous world of the frontier in 1779.

My Review:

As usual, after reading one of Laura Frantz's books, I find myself struggling to find words to convey the sheer pleasure and joy I feel at being on the receiving end of her brilliance. It will sound trite if I say she just keeps getting better. Or her ability to craft an epic is par to none. Or that she has fit herself solidly into the Christian publishing fact created her own genre. She's a maverick in a way and that's one of the things I love most about her.

First off -- she's a master at historical detail. It's embedded into every page, but she's never lecturing. I love that! And the fact that she doesn't gloss over the unsavory aspects of that unsettled era. I was surprised to find myself riveted by the military scenes and able to follow the politics (of which I am unfamiliar since I'm not American.) Those details added to the depth of the story without weighing it down.  After reading The Colonel's Lady I feel like I have been to Fort Endeavor. I can clearly see McLinn's stone house and the walled fort and I'm sure I could make a passable dinner...well maybe not venison since I'm a vegetarian. But I'd happily help Roxie in her garden! That kind of detail is so important in a historical read.

Frantz has crafted a complicated plot that stopped me in my tracks a time or two! I'm still reeling in shock from two particular revelations that I didn't see coming. I love it when an author keeps me on my toes and does the unexpected. And she's added a solid bit of suspense to this tale which upped not only the characters' anxiety but my own as well!

Of course she played loose and free with my poor reader's emotions throughout the story. In fact I found myself battling the dilemma of skimming ahead or closing the book and taking a deep steadying breath before continuing to read. And I have to confess to actually stooping so low as to read the epilogue for a little reassurance and comfort at a particularly low point in the book. (I know, my bad!)

And the romance! Be still my wildly beating heart! Frantz writes the longing of impossible love with such an undercurrent of passion. And to be privy to both character's feelings -- what a combination of frustrating and thrilling all at the same time!

Cass McLinn is a hard man to love -- at least in the beginning but he becomes a sympathetic hero under Roxanna's influence. Of course he maintains some endearing 'rough around the edges' traits and his military bearing is infinitely swoonworthy. But Roxie speaks to his heart and his soul and that's what makes theirs a powerful love story.

In case you hadn't guessed by now -- The Colonel's Lady comes highly recommended...and not just by me! If you would like a chance to win a copy read on.


Leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca with The Colonel's Lady in the the subject line. Draw will be held on Sunday, August 7. Open internationally.

Many thanks to the author and Revell for gifting me with a copy of this book.