Monday, September 25, 2017

Plain Missing

GIVEAWAY
MILLER, EMMA
PLAIN MISSING

Inn owner Rachel Mast is no longer a devout member of the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, but she still cares deeply for them. So she's staying at her family's farm to help her mother through an illness -- and at the same time, trying to track down two missing people...

When the young gather to sing, it's usually an evening of wholesome fun -- but this time, the event has stirred whispers of scandal. Elsie Hostetler and her sweetheart, Datha Bender, never came home afterward. There's not even a trace of their horse and wagon, leading some to suspect that they've run off to marry and join the Englisch world.

But Rachel fears there's more to the story than a rebellious elopement. Her fiance, a state trooper, is out of town, so she starts investigating herself., using her Amish background to pry information from the tight-lipped community. It turns out things were not so peaceful between Elsie and Dathan -- and there was also a confrontation at the singing with a short-tempered ex-Marine. Among the simple houses and quiet country roads of Stone Mill, Rachel must find out just what kind of sins have been committed -- and who is in need of forgiveness...

My Review:

I love this series! I love Rachel and her crazy cat and unique friends and the interesting characters that make up Stone Mill -- both Amish and Englisch. This is the fourth book in  An Amish Mystery series but reads very well as a standalone. The only thing that carries over from one book to the next is the romance so Rachel is now engaged to the possible love interest in the first book. :-)

The mystery is heart wrenching and all too close to home. Rachel can't rest until she finds the answers her grieving community needs. Over time, she has gained the trust of her Amish neighbours who are more willing to talk to her than the police -- though not by much! But Rachel is nothing if not dogged and she's not about to give up. And neither is her Amish cousin, Mary Aaron, who makes a great sidekick.

This book has a bit more of a serious feel to it, though there are still plenty of quips and laughs too. There's a wonderful inspirational thread about finding spiritual peace in the hard times as Rachel begins to find a balance between her Amish and Englisch worlds.

But it is the relationship between Rachel and her mother that touched me the most. Though Rachel left the Amish over fifteen years ago, her mother has had a difficult time adjusting to the loss. If you've been following the series you'll have more of a feel for their relationship as their attempts to reconnect have slowly developed throughout the books and I was actually moved to tears at the end of this one!

Sweet perfection in a cozy mystery with an Amish twist!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Plain Missing, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you leave your email in a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 1 2017. Offers open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September Giveaway - Week Four



WON BY DONNA BROOKMYER

WON BY MARJORIE

WON BY MAXINE

WON BY BOOKS ARE A BLESSING (JOY)

WON BY CAITLIN

WON BY LUCY REYNOLDS

As always I will contact the winner 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 a winner and I don't seem to connect so I have a one month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks, your win is forfeited. 

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK:

Argh -- picmonkey is no longer free so I can't make cutesy graphics.

Plain Missing by Emma Miller
Off the Grid Christmas by Mary Ellen Porter
Jane in Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
Mending the Widow's Heart by Mia Ross
It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Predator

GIVEAWAY
BLACKSTOCK, TERRI
PREDATOR

Her search for the predator has made her the prey

The murder of Krista Carmichael's fourteen-year-old sister by an online predator has shaken her faith and made her question God's justice and protection. Desperate to find the killer, she creates an online persona to bait the predator. But when the stalker turns his sights on her, will Krista being able to control the outcome?

Ryan Adkins started the social network GrapeVyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a killing ground for online predators. One of them lives in his town and has killed two girls and attacked a third. When Ryan meets Krista, the murders become more than a news story for him, and everything is on the line.

My Review:

published in 2010

And seven years later this is as pertinent today. Chilling, actually. Blackstock delves into the seedier side of social media and shows how we make it easy for all kinds of predators to find their next victim. Particularly the over sharing that is so prevalent among teens. A perfect recipe for a serial killer and Blackstock takes us on a nail-biting journey of despair and terror.

Krista, driven to avenge her sister's death; Ryan driven to prove his brain child isn't to blame. Explosive doesn't begin to describe their first meeting...or even their second. Krista is scathing and indignant. Ryan tries to be compassionate in a defensive sort of way. It takes  some time before they agree on a truce and begin to work together to expose the .'Grapevyne Killer.'

The author deals with heavy subject material and she doesn't pull any punches. Krista is devastated over her sister's death and her safe world and untried faith are deeply shaken. Her battle to trust God in the midst of the impossible is a moving tribute to women of faith everywhere who have overcome insurmountable odds.

I knew I shouldn't start reading this book right before bed but I couldn't resist. Just one chapter, I promised myself...and then didn't look up until the wee hours of the morning when I reached the end. It's that kind of a page-turning read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to read Predator, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, please remember to use AT or DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 24 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Mountain Country Cowboy

GIVEAWAY
KAYE, GLYNNA
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY COWBOY

Second Chance Daddy

When he's offered a job at Hunter's Hideaway, single dad Cash Herrera immediately accepts. It means the former bad boy can start over and gain custody of his son, Joey. Still, small-town folk have long memories -- especially Cash's pretty childhood nemesis, Rio Hunter is is now a lovely, courageous woman...and Cash's new boss. Past betrayal makes them both wary, and Rio's secret promise will soon take her away from Hunter Ridge. Yet working with Cash and teaching Joey about her beloved horses draw her closer to both. Can she create a loving family with the man who's claiming her future?

Hearts of Hunter Ridge: Finding true love in Arizona mountain country

My Review:

Blissful sigh. This Princess and Cowboy have me all twitterpated. Toe-curling and infuriating all wrapped up in a bushel full of emotion. I wanted to knock heads and hug-smother them in turn. Rio because she's so quick to judge and gnarly stubborn. Cash because he thinks Rio deserves someone better than him and he's gnarly stubborn too. Gah! You don't get much better than Cash for hero material though! Except Rio won't trust her gut and believe in him...at first. Okay, so she might have some history that leads her to be wary but still...Gah! (you might say this is a gah-licious read!) I do so love being antsy over characters' behaviour in a story.

Both hero and heroine have been wounded in their pasts and they carry those scars into a burgeoning new relationship. It's awkward and painful and sweet and poignant. And even though their faith sustains them, it doesn't mean they are always in tune with the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes they are just plain o' deer-in-the-headlights stuck when it comes to seeking inspiration.

Kaye takes a heart wrenching look at ways we try to bargain with God. I think if we're honest, we all have tried to manipulate outcomes by promising God something in order to get something. Even if it is for a greater good, it's still trying to bend God to our will. But oh, it is so hard to trust that He is sovereign. To bend our will to His when we don't have the advantage of seeing the bigger picture.

Heartwarming and inspirational with a whole lot of toe curls along the way.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Mountain Country Cowboy, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 24 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wings of the Wind

GIVEAWAY
COSSETTE, CONNILYN
WINGS OF THE WIND

Can vengeance give way to forgiveness when one woman's destiny becomes entangled with the very enemies she sought to destroy?

Motherless and raised alongside her brothers, Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting. Whne her father and brothers are killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, has spent his share of time on the battlefield and is shocked to find an unconscious woman among the casualties. Compelled to bring her to a healer back at the Hebrew camp, he's unprepared for the consequences of what he intended as an act of compassion.

In order to survive, Alanah must unite with her enemy. But will a terrible revelation drive her toward an even greater danger?

My Review:

This author has an amazing gift for bringing biblical stories to life. Yes, she uses some poetic license to fill in the blanks, but she still stays true to scripture. I can't imagine the amounts of research she had to do in order to present this time period -- the customs and culture and Mosaic Law -- in such vivid detail It's quite breathtaking!

As is the romance. Seriously -- who would think to center a love story around the end of the forty year trek through the wilderness? One of the most blood-thirsty and violent times in Old Testament history. And yet, Alanah and Tobiah's relationship blossoms with such sweet tenderness despite the chaos around them.

I love Alanah's conversion story. Her life changes when she opens her heart to the Voice of Yahweh. All the neglect and abuse washes away as she finally accepts that she is cherished. Both by God and Tobiah. But don't expect a happily ever after to come easily! The plot takes an unexpected twist and I am amazed at the way Cossette weaves Alanah's story into scripture. Intense page-turning stuff worthy of many gasp-out-loud moments! A stunning reimagining of  a pivotal time in biblical history.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Wings of the Wind, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject  line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 24 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Undercover Amish

GIVEAWAY
GIUSTI, DEBBY
UNDERCOVER AMISH

Amish Country Refuge

After Hannah Miller's mother is murdered and her sisters go missing, someone comes after her. Now the only way she can survive is to entrench herself in an Amish community...and rely on Lucas Grant, a former police officer who is planning to join the Amish faith, for protection. But finding refuge for Hannah -- disguised as Plain at a secluded inn -- pulls Lucas back into his old life. And when Lucas discovers the criminals after them may be the people who killed his partner, the mission to take them down becomes personal. With the assailants closing in, though, can Lucas stop them...and finally put his past behind him to start an Amish life with Hannah?

Amish Protectors: These heroes offer shelter from the storm

My Review:

Intense suspense and toe-curling romance make this a read-in-one-sitting kind of book. Take a deep breath before diving in because you won't want to come up for air until everything is all resolved. Well...almost everything because this is the second book in the Amish protectors series and there is still one sister MIA. No worries, it's not really a cliff hanger ending though younger sister Sarah is still missing. Both Undercover Amish and the first book, Amish Refuge, read easily as standalones. I'm just really looking forward to when the sister are finally reunited. I need a happily ever after for everyone! :-)

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Undercover Amish, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 24 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Hideaway

GIVEAWAY
DENTON, LAUREN K.
THE HIDEAWAY

When her grandmother's  will wrenches Sara back home, she knows more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it -- no small task considering her grandmother's best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still lives there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor; she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags's friends, Sara begins to piece together they mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother's destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice -- stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she's grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

My Review:

This debut novel has created quite a buzz and is currently #19 on Amazon's most sold list not to mention having nearly 500 reviews. The vast majority are 4 and 5 star but this book isn't without controversy so there are a number of low ratings (1 and 2 star) as well. So, what's all the fuss about?

Well, in a nutshell, this is Christian fiction pushing the limits so this book might not be for everyone. In fact, I wasn't sure about it myself and started reading with some trepidation. It wasn't long before Denton's charming Southern style captivated me. I didn't know there was such a thing as Southern Fiction, but apparently there is and The Hideaway is a prime example of all that is good in that genre.

This story is about family -- the one we are born into and the one we choose to belong to. It's real and raw -- unapologetically celebrating the lives and loves of a diverse cast of flawed characters. And, just as in real life, the author doesn't shy away from controversial subject matter. I appreciate her honesty and compassion and the fact that she moved me to dig beneath the surface about some hard-hitting issues. Sometimes it was uncomfortable -- especially Mags's story line -- but I feel like I have stretched and grown from it.

Some reviewers will say there isn't an inspirational thread. That The Hideaway is a mainstream book that just happens to have a Christian publisher. And I'll admit to agreeing with them at first. Then, somewhere around the half way mark I realized the inspiration was there, woven in an understated way throughout. It's especially evident in Mags's story. In some ways she hasn't lived an exemplary life but in her own eccentric way she has indeed been the hands and feet of Christ to so many.

There are two short church scenes -- subtle but significant. They reveal Mags's relationship with God and it really humbled me. This will sound crazy -- but I was suddenly overcome with such love and compassion for this complicated woman despite some of her past actions. I guess I stopped judging so I could actually see her as the daughter of God she is. Yes, I know she's just a character in a novel, but if I can't extend grace to fictional folk how can I ever hope to extend it to the real people in my life?

The dual timeline plot was a real draw for me. Sara, in present day, returns to The Hideaway to deal with the aftermath of her grandmother's death. In the process she learns a lot about herself and about the quirky grandmother who used to be an embarrassment when she was a teen. The reader is treated to flashbacks of Mags's life from her early twenties until her death. Past and present are exquisitely woven together into a rich tapestry of life and love, loss and hope.

I love that the B&B is called The Hideaway -- because that's what it became for Mags. It was her hiding place for a time and then it became her standing ground.  The same can be said for Sara as well. It's details like this that make The Hideaway such an exquisite read and give avid readers so much to talk about. Definitely an excellent choice for a book club read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Hideaway, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on September 24 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

What the Bishop Saw

GIVEAWAY
CHAPMAN, VANNETTA
WHAT THE BISHOP SAW

Somewhere in the embers lies the truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone -- Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift -- one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years -- to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor. Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

My Review:

Woohoo -- a stellar new Amish mystery series and I'm late to the gate because I believe book two has just released. There is soooooo much to recommend What the Bishop Saw that I'm not quite sure where to start. Maybe with Henry himself.

Hello! You've gotta love a man who names his horse Oreo! And fusses over a mother kitten in the barn. And adopts a beagle pup. Definitely ticks all my critter lovin' boxes! Then there's his unusual talent which is both a blessing and a curse. I'll leave you to discover exactly what that is but, goodness, it brings a whole new dimension to a good mystery!

And yes, Henry is a mature hero -- but hero none the less. He is in his sixties, widowed over twenty years and dedicated to leading 'his flock.' Love the way he guides rather than controls -- a genuinely caring man with an incredible capacity for compassion. He loves people and it shows. And there's one point, at the end, where I got goosebumps when I realized just how remarkable a man Henry is. The perfect example of faith in action.

Of course, there are some people he loves more than others. Emma Fisher has held a special place in his heart, first as a friend for decades, but now that friendship seems to be blossoming into so much more.

There is something particularly sinister about arson and Chapman takes us into the misguided mind of a killer. Danger amps up in this idyllic Colorado community (love the unusual locale for an Amish story!) and Henry finds himself in the middle of a police investigation he had no intention of getting involved in. Great insights into interactions between Amish and Englisch and the cultural divide that needs to be breached in order to bring a killer to justice.

A captivating blend of mystery and romance wrapped up in a message of hope.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of What the Bishop Saw leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email in a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please add the title in the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 24 2017.  Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

September Giveaway - Week Three


WON BY LISA BROWN

WON BY MARIA DB

WON BY CONNIE LEE

WON BY SUSAN P.

WON BY VAN G.

WON BY PAM WESTFALL

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 a winner 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:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Whispers of the Bayou

GIVEAWAY
CLARK, MINDY STARNS
WHISPERS OF THE BAYOU

Swept away from Louisiana Bayou country as a child, Miranda Miller is a woman without a past. She has a husband and child of her own and a fulfilling job in a Manhattan museum, but she also has questions -- about the tragedy that cut her off from family and caused her to be sent away, and about those first five years that were erased from her memory entirely.

Summoned to the bedside of Willy Pedreaux, the old caretaker of her grandparents' antebellum estate, Miranda goes back for the first time, hoping to learn the truths of her past and receive her rightful inheritance. But Willy's premature death plunges Miranda into a night mare of buried secrets, priceless treasure, and unknown enemies.

Follow one woman's search through the hidden rooms of a bayou mansion, the enigmatic snares of an ancient myth, and the all-consuming quest for a heart open enough for love -- and God.

My Review:

published in 2008
My thanks to my public library for providing such an excellent selection of retro reads.

There's an exciting Gothic vibe to this compelling mystery. Love the 'exotic' (to me) setting of the Louisiana Bayou and the Cajun culture. And there's something so spine tingling about a neglected antebellum  estate -- a house full of family secrets and Miranda is plunked down in the middle of it all.

Danger lurks in unexpected corners as she struggles to put the pieces of a fractured puzzle together -- and in the process come to grips with a family history she knew nothing about. In fact, Miranda has no recollection of the first five years of her life...until she arrives at Twin Oaks. Chilling and edgy and lots of over-the-shoulder checking as emotions are laid bare when Miranda asks too many questions. I was gasp-out-loud shocked more than once.

A compulsive read from start to finish.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

Please note: this giveaway is in ebook format only

If you would like a chance to win an ecopy of Whispers for the Bayou leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tracker

GIVEAWAY
WORTH, LENORA
TRACKER

Mission: reunite mother and son

Single mother Penny Potter has spent months in hiding to keep her toddler from his father, a rogue FBI agent turned fugitive. But he's determined to flee the country with the child, and she can't dodge him forever. When he corners Penny in the Montana wilderness and gets away with their son, she's forced to trust his brother,handsome FBI K-9 agent Zeke Morrow. And Zeke must decide where his loyalty lies: with his sibling or the woman he wasn't supposed to fall for. As the bullets fly and family ties are tested, Penny and Zeke will fight to save the boy who brought them together.

Classified K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

My Review:

Woohoo -- it's the Grande Finale of the Classified K-9 Unit continuity series. And while you could likely read this one as a standalone there's lots of tying up loose ends in Tracker that will be more meaningful if you've been following along book by book. Like what's up with Zara for instance. I kept wondering if that was a set up for a new series or if we'd finally get answers by the end of this one. Yay for answers. And kudos to Lenora Worth for bringing the pieces together in such a compelling fashion.

A complicated romance between the two people closest to Jake is just that -- complicated! So much history to sift through, trust to gain and a past to be dealt with once and for all. And that can only happen if Jake is brought to justice. Taut, fast-paced suspense adds an air of desperation to a seemingly doomed love story. And Cheetah the Australian shepherd and tracker extraordinaire is just icing on the cake. Awesome conclusion to a fabulous series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Tracker, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gracelaced

GIVEAWAY
SIMONS, RUTH CHOU
GRACELACED

This journey is as perennial as the seasons

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork -- it's about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstances to become deeply rooted in God's faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while...

RESTING in who He is
REHEARSING the truth He says about you
RESPONDING in faith to those truths
REMEMBERING His provision to sustain you, time and time again

Who we are and who He is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Let this book point you to truth as you journey through the changing seasons of your heart.

My Review:

My passion is for fiction -- Christian Fiction to be precise -- but from time to time a truly stunning non-fiction title comes up for review and I just cannot resist. GraceLaced is just such a book. The extraordinary artwork and thought provoking words in each devotional have really touched my heart -- inviting me to 'be still and know that I am God.'

This is where I confess to sometimes rushing through devotionals in order to get started with my day. Shameful, I know, but that's the honest truth. However, Gracelaced anchors me in the beauty of its pages and invites me to linger, to ponder, to read just a little bit more.

The artwork draws me in. I love the Arts and there are times when only a painting or a piece of music can bring peace to my troubled soul. I know it's supposed to be enough to know that peace comes through relationship with God but I am frail enough to need that conformation illustrated through the inspiration of an artist or composer or writer. And Ruth Chou Simons's art and calligraphy has brought me renewed conviction.

Thirty-two devotionals are arranged by season and I so love the concept that we are all in different seasons -- can even be stuck in one for a time. In this book Winter is about resting in God's character, Spring, rehearsing the truth, Summer, responding in faith and Fall, remembering God's provisions. Each devotional is independent of the others so they can be read in any order allowing the reader to select what best suits their needs on any given day.

GraceLaced would make an amazing gift (if you can bring yourself to part with it). A unique and inspiring devotional collection which will be cherished for years to come.

Book provided courtesy of Harvest House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications.



GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of GraceLaced, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstorereadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Please note: unlike my usual giveaways, this one is open to US residents only. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Second Chance Amish Bride

GIVEAWAY
PERRY, MARTA
SECOND CHANCE AMISH BRIDE

An Amish Nanny

Caring for her late cousin's young kinder is Jessie Miller's duty -- even if it means seeing their faither again. Years ago, she thought Caleb King might be her husband -- until he met her cousin and Jessie's dream was cut short. Laid up with a broken leg and a demanding dairy farm, Caleb needs her. But Caleb wants no woman around...and no reminder of the wife who abandoned her family before her death. Especially since he fears Jessie will throw a wrench in his plan to remain a single dad. She's gentle and kind, and if Caleb isn't careful, she may be just what his little Amish famish needs.

Brides of Lost Creek: In Amish country, all roads lead to weddings.

My Review:

Woohoo! A new Amish series by Marta Perry! I am so in for the long haul and thankfully Caleb has two brothers and I'm sure the author can come up with a few more Amish bachelors to keep the series going. :-)

The power of forgiveness is explored in this compelling romance. Both Caleb and Jessie struggle with forgiving the same person though it affects them in different ways. Caleb is on the verge of bitterness, nursing his anger and allowing it to dictate his actions. He doesn't realize that those negative emotions are spilling over into the lives of his innocent children. Jessie has taken on the burden of guilt and tries to make amends in matters that aren't her fault. Two troubled souls with so much hope for a future if they can free themselves from the burdens of the past.

An Amish romance rife with emotion and the hope of happily-ever-after.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Second Chance Amish Bride, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email in your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Promise of Breeze Hill : a Natchez Trace Novel

GIVEAWAY
HILLMAN, PAM
THE PROMISE OF BREEZE HILL : A NATCHEZ TRACE NOVEL

Natchez, MS -- 1791

Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O'Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he's sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he'll repeat past mistakes, so he vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella's shoulders after a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor's help, and her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, Isabella fears she'll lose her family's plantation.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

My Review:

Gobsmacked doesn't even begin to describe the way I'm feeling right now as I sit in a discombobulated 'the-morning-after-a-frenzied-reading-night' stupor. I only have two words.

Connor O'Shea.

Give me a moment to rally my sensibilities, but you might have to move my dog-eared copy of Breeze Hill to another room so I'm not tempted to...rats...just a sec while I read a particularly toe-curling moment over again.

Blissful sigh. Okay, I'm back. Goodness, that Connor!(insert fangirl swooning emoji here.) Hero of my heart. Masterful, compassionate, noble in spirit. A man with a work ethic and passion for family. And protective. Oh, someone pass me the smelling salts, the opportunities he has to go all protective on Miss Isabella Bartholomew...rats, wait a sec, I need to re-read a particularly swoonworthy rescue.

Okay, I'm back..for now. I can't seem to stop myself from reading the tantalizing bits over again...which is pretty much the whole book so you see my dilemma. And did I mention Connor is Irish (in case you didn't clue in by his name) but I mean, almost fresh off the boat Irish so he still has the brogue. Set my heart afluttering every time he spoke -- even when he was being an 'eejit.'

 Isabella is a tad impetuous and stubborn and used to running things so there's bound to be some clashing when Connor starts taking initiative -- and sometimes issuing commands that don't go over very well. I do so love an independent-thinking heroine. She's changed a lot in a year of hardship -- grown and stretched in every way except in her faith. There's a lovely inspirational thread that follows Isabella's battles with God and her ultimate surrender to His higher power.

And a really intriguing aspect of this story is the way the element of suspense is handled. Only the reader knows right from the start who the villain is. The characters haven't a clue. So I was always on edge every time The Villain showed up and I'd try to warn Isabella with a "Bad guy alert!" But did she listen to me? Of course not! She's all sweet and nice and "Oh, do come in and visit awhile. Martha, bring us some tea, if you please." And there I am expiring on my fainting couch for all the wrong reasons because she's just led Danger into their midst. (cue the scary organ music)

Though it might not seem like it from this very Connor-centric review, there is an astounding cast of secondary characters -- both good and pure evil -- that bring an even deeper dimension to an already amazing story. And the history is fascinating. I don't know a whole lot about this era and particularly this part of America so the setting added even more to my reading pleasure.

And when the story came to an end as all good books inevitably do, I was left bereft because Connor chose Isabella not me (shuddering sigh)...but...wait, he has brothers and the next book is about....yoohoo, Quinn, we haven't met yet but I'm about to fall deeply in love with you...(I'm so fickle!)

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Promise of Breeze Hill (and goodness, why wouldn't you?!) leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Assaulted Caramel

GIVEAWAY
FLOWER, AMANDA
ASSAULTED CARAMEL

Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime...

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey's up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather's heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen -- with Jebediah King's chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble...

My Review:

Nothing like combining the lure of chocolate with a great cozy mystery to get me drooling!  Amanda Flower is my top go-to cozy mystery writer. I love her quirky humour and unconventional characters. Not to mention the unusual and opinionated critters that find their way into her stories. This time it's a polka-dotted pot-belly pig that shows up in the most unexpected places.  :-)

Assaulted Caramel (clever title!) is the first book in a new series and there's a reason Amanda Flower is an Agatha Award-winning author. She knows how to spin a captivating mystery with plenty of surly suspects in a town full of secrets. I love the Amish connection. Bailey comes home to a town her father couldn't leave fast enough in his youth. She adores her Amish grandparents and is determined to help in any way she can -- even if that means tracking down a killer.

Which means she and a certain handsome deputy get off to a rocky start but I'm not fooled -- the potential for romance is definitely in the air based on how flustered Aiden makes Bailey and how amused that makes him. Can't wait to read further romantic developments in future books.

A winning combination of laughter, faith and intrigue make this a cozy mystery you don't want to miss.



GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Assaulted Caramel, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 17 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September Giveaway - Week Two


WON BY JERIKA

WON BY CARYL KANE

WON BY CONNIE LEE

WON BY MINDY

WON BY TRIXI

WON BY KAY GARRETT


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 a winner 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: