Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Solace of Water

GIVEAWAY
YOUNTS, ELIZABETH BYLER
THE SOLACE OF WATER

In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.

After leaving her son's grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband's hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor. Emma Mullet -- yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.

Delilah's eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother's pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother's death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma's house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own -- secrets that could devastate them all.

With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long buried hurst have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.

Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom -- and has the power to transform a broken heart.

My Review:

An evocative tale of loss and heartache. There aren't many lighthearted moments in The Solace of Water but Younts' writing style is fluid and achingly beautiful. My emotions are all in a jumble now that I've reached the end. Hope was a long time coming but it finally arrives with an outpouring of grace. Such a powerful story.

Three distinct voices in a first person narrative draws the reader into the hearts and minds of Delilah, Sparrow and Emma. An African-American woman, her daughter and their Amish neighbour brought together during the tumultuous times at the start of the Civil Rights Movement. An unlikely friendship sparks from the ashes of grief and despair.

Delilah wears her mantle of bitterness with a hard-headed pride that shreds her relationship with her daughter. Poor Sparrow, so lost and broken, trying to fix her hurt in devastating ways. And Emma, an Amish woman who has been living with so many secrets she's nearly paralyzed with fear. Each woman struggles with the aftermath of grief and the havoc it reigns on their lives and the lives of those they love.

This is a hard read. And a somber one. Sometimes I didn't want to venture into the dark places that plague these three women. It wasn't always comfortable. Sometimes awkward. Upsetting even. But so very true to life as Younts explores issues that are just as pertinent today as they were sixty years ago. And then she shines a light into that murky darkness and turns the ugliness into something beautiful and suddenly there's hope in an unfettered future that only forgiveness and grace can bring.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Solace of Water, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 16  2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Called to Protect

GIVEAWAY
EASON, LYNETTE
CALLED TO PROTECT

She'll have to draw on all of her resources to crack the case -- and guard her heart.

After being dumped by her fiance, Chloe St. John has decided that the only male she likes is her K-9 German shepherd partner, Hank. But being over the whole romance thing has perks -- like giving full attention to her job. Attention she's definitely going to need because a case of human trafficking with connections to her missing cousin just landed in her lap.

Deputy US Marshall Black MacCallum is in a race against the clock to rescue his kidnapped daughter when Chloe and Hank are asked to be a part of the task force assembled to bring down the traffickers. Chloe finds herself attracted to the silent, suffering man. But can she trust him? And can Blake trust himself around this firecracker of a woman?

Buckle in. This fast and furious ride will have your heart pumping from the very start.

My Review:

Eeeeepppp!!!! I adore the St. John family! And Hank, Chloe's K-9 partner! That dog is a superstar and it's worth reading the book just for Hank's scenes (says the crazy dog loving reader.) I do so love a great canine hero and Hank is the best!

Called to Protect is book two in Eason's Blue Justice series (plus one novella in The Cost of Betrayal collection) though it can easily be read as a standalone novel. What draws me to this series is the great family dynamics - close siblings all in law enforcement (except one.) and their mother is the police chief! Love the quirky dysfunction -- the way their teasing banter brings some much needed relief from the tough subject matter -- human trafficking. Though Eason handles it with care and compassion, it's still sobering and chilling -- especially when the story is told from Blake's daughter's point of view.

The suspense is layered with complications and a network of ruthless criminals which makes this the kind of hair-raising page-turner a reader won't want to put down. It's intense and dramatic and, yes, even romantic in all the right places. Brilliantly done and now I'm eagerly looking forward to reading Code of Valor (book three) only it doesn't release until the spring. Sob! 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Called to Protect, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 16  2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It's Okay Not to Be Okay

WALSH, SHEILA
IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY

Not self-help, God help.

We've all experienced that moment when we wish we could start all over again. Failed marriages, lost friends, addictions, lost jobs. This is not the life we imagined. Yesterday can sometimes leave us stuck, sad, shamed, scared and searching. Sheila Walsh encourages readers to face the pain head on and then start again, right from where they are. She shares that when she discovered "I'm not good enough and I'm okay with that," everything started to change.

In It's Okay Not to be Okay, Walsh helps women overcome the same old rut of struggles and pain by changing the way they think about God , themselves, and their everyday lives. She shares practical, doable, daily strategies that will help you move forward one step at a time knowing God will never let you down.

It's never too late to start again...and there is healing and freedom in just taking the first step.

My Review:

We're not supposed   
to have enough.
We're supposed to bring
what we have,
our clearly not enough,
to Jesus and ask Him 
to meet us where we are.
(p 121)

I loved the easy, approachable style of this book! Walsh teaches through story -- both biblical and personal -- and that's the only way I seem to be able to learn from a non-fiction book so this was tailor-made for me! And I so appreciated how she stripped everything down to the basics. We humans tend to make things so much more complicated than they need to be. Add onto that the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and then the inner turmoil that comes when we fail...phew it's enough to boggle the mind!

"It's okay not to be okay,
because Jesus has made us 
right with God."
(p 62)

Such a brilliantly simple concept so why is it so hard to remember? I have lived with this book for weeks now and I'm still not ready to let it go. I read and re-read snippets, applied myself to the One Step at a Time encouragements at the end of each chapter and have felt blessed every step of the way. My big takeaway is that there is freedom in knowing there is no end in sight to our ability to begin again...and again...and again...

"When our hearts are free 
to love with abandon, 
knowing that we're not being 
judged for every failure, 
our behavior changes." 
(p 193)

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

December Giveaway -- Week Two


WON BY WINNIE THOMAS

WON BY KAY GARRETT

WON BY SAMANTHA

WON BY SUSAN POLL

WON BY BETHANY

WON BY DIANA FLOWERS

You know the drill: winners will be contacted if they left their email address. Otherwise it's up to the winner to contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca with your mailing address. From time to time a winner and I do not connect so I have a one month time frame on giveaway wins. If I haven't been able to reach you within 30 days of your win, it will be forfeited. This has happened a few times now so, please, DON'T BE SHY -- CONTACT ME IF YOU DIDN'T LEAVE YOUR EMAIL OR IF I HAVEN'T BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN REACHING YOU. Books will be ordered within a week of receiving your mailing address and I'll email you to confirm your win is on its way. Give it a full month before inquiring about the status of an order to allow for processing and shipping time. Thank you!

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

Image result for called to protect lynette easonImage result for the solace of water elizabeth byler younts

Image result for valiant defender mccoyImage result for the first love beverly lewis
Image result for caught by surprise jen turanoImage result for a groom for ruby the amish witness

Plus I'll be reviewing a fantastic non-fiction book -- It's Okay Not to be Okay by Sheila Walsh -- not doing a giveaway though. But I've been living with this book for over a month and have found it very encouraging.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Deadly Christmas Duty

GIVEAWAY
VAUGHAN, VIRGINIA
DEADLY CHRISTMAS DUTY

This Christmas could be her last...unless Covert Operatives shield her.

Prosecutor and single mom Melinda Steele thought her nightmare ended when her abusive husband died, but now someone wants her dead by Christmas. Navy SEAL turned security operative Noah Cason needs her to get justice in his sister's disappearance, but first he'll have to keep her alive. And his mission shifts from difficult to almost impossible when Melinda reveals who she suspects is really after her.

My Review:

Whoa! Intense, fast-paced, shoulder-checking suspense makes Deadly Christmas Duty a page-turner.

Melinda has already lived through one horrific nightmare when she's plunged into another one. And who wouldn't want a  former Navy SEAL on your side when your world implodes?! She quickly learns that Noah is someone she can count on -- just not with her heart.

Meanwhile, Noah doesn't want to be drawn into a relationship...he's mission minded -- find out what happened to his sister and make the perpetrator pay. But a simple visit to the prosecutor's office catapults him into a tangled web of danger and deceit. Phew! My brain is still zinging and my heart is still pounding...and a bit melty too. A satisfying thrill of a seasonal read!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Deadly Christmas Duty, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Friday, December 7, 2018

In Too Deep

GIVEAWAY
BLACKBURN, LYNN H.
IN TOO DEEP

When the dive team is called to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren't prepared to find an encrypted laptop -- or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant.

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming -- a professor at the local university with unparalleled computer security and forensics skills -- to recover the file from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence uncovers a human trafficking ring and implicates members of Adam's own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case.

The truth could set hundreds free -- but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn invites readers back to Carrington, North Carolina, where everything is not as it seems and sinister elements lurk behind the idyllic facade.

My Review:

You know that moment when you reach the end of a really good book and you have the sudden urge to charge up the highest mountaintop with a megaphone in hand so you can holler out a proclamation of epic proportion about a not-to-be-missed book? Because you just can't stand the thought of somebody missing out because they might not know about it? Well, that's me right now over In Too Deep. 

Serious reader nirvana magic. Especially if you are a romantic suspense lover! And if you favour quirky heroines and quietly intense heroes and awesome team dynamics and a complicated suspense that's layered with intrigue and danger and all things sinister.

So we have Sabrina who is adorably literal -- brilliant scientific mind, a technology whiz but not able to navigate normal social cues. Love the way the team accepts her and how patient and understanding Adam is of her unconventional ways. He's been in love with her practically since the day he met her but he's so cautious and a little bit bumbling which makes him great fodder for lots of good-natured ribbing from his friends. And then crazy happens and suddenly emotions are heightened and how can he not say something while he still has a chance?! Phew!!! These two together are sweet and amusing with a sizzling side of toe-curling!

And I love the way Blackburn has included a strong inspirational thread throughout the story. It flows naturally from the faith of each team member and brings a spiritual focus to the tough subject matter.

"...it's not about how big our faith is. What matters is how big our God is."

In Too Deep was impossible to put down yet I was reluctant to reach the end. The kind of novel you love because it's glorious and you hate because it doesn't last forever.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of In Too Deep, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Bodyguard for Christmas

GIVEAWAY
POST, CAROL J.
BODYGUARD FOR CHRISTMAS

Someone's after his little boy. She has one chance to save them both.

When his young son is nearly kidnapped, assistant district attorney Colton Gade needs a Christmas refuge -- and a live-in bodyguard. Though former military police officer Jasmine McNeal fights to shield them 24/7, she refuses to get attached. But growing close to the little boy and his father might be her only shot at keeping them alive -- and becoming a family beyond the holidays.

My Review:

"Sometimes God stills the storm, like He did for the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Other times he carries us through it." (p 132)

A pager-turner with breathing spaces that allow Colton and Jasmine to connect with each other and his traumatized little boy. I'd lose myself in a few pages of sweetness and then bam! something would happen that would jar me back into wary suspense reader mode. Phew! Post rattled my nerves big time and I loved every minute of it! A perfect balance of faith, love and suspense!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Bodyguard for Christmas, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Before I Saw You

GIVEAWAY
SORRELLS, AMY K.
BEFORE I SAW YOU

Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidempic where Jaycee Gavens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky enighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who new to town and to the local diner where she works.

Dividing her time between the diner and Sudie's place, Jaycee nurses her broken heart among a collection of unlikely friends who are the closest thing to family that she has. Eventually, she realizes she can't hide her pregnancy any longer, not even from the baby's abusive father, who is furious when he finds out. The choices she must make for the safety of her unborn child threaten to derail any chance she ever had for hope and redemption. Ultimately, Jaycee must decide whether to truest form of love means hanging on or letting go.

My Review:

Seriously, how can this be my first ever Amy Sorrells book?! It boggles the mind when I think about all the literary goodness I've been missing! I'm dumbfounded over this egregious literary lapse! (hanging my head in shame as I vow to do penance.)

So, I was transfixed by Jaycee's story. Emotionally-gutted, heart-pummeled absorbed right to the very last word. And then I mooned around in a weepy stupor of mixed emotions as I tried to process it all.

The author has an uncanny grip on the raw reality of life. Profoundly so. Hardship, pain and loss embraced by the fragile beauty of hope -- that's what makes this book impossible to put down. Jaycee's redemption story is powerfully moving and truly uplifting. From characters to setting to plot -- Sorrells delivers a memorable story that will linger in the recesses of your mind long after you reach that dreaded last page.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Before I Saw You, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sadie : an Amish Retelling of Snow White

GIVEAWAY
PRICE, SARAH
SADIE : AN AMISH RETELLING OF SNOW WHITE

Sarah Price delivers a delightful retelling of a beloved classic, featuring a young Amish woman who turns to faith as her guide even in the darkest times.

Sadie Whitaker is determined to be a good daughter, but her stepmother, Rachel, has made no secret of her overwhelming jealousy -- or her desire to get Sadie out of her life. Rachel's latest plot involves marrying Sadie to a widower in need of a mother for his unruly children 00 and she has convinced Sadie's beloved father to agree.

Left with no choice, Sadie flees her small Amish hometown of Echo Creek, stumbling across a house that belongs to the seven Glick brothers. All outcasts from the Old order community of Echo Creek, they agree to let her stay -- and for the first time in ages, Sadie feels safe and needed, keeping home for them as any good Amish woman would do. Until, that is, the Glicks' handsome cousin comes to visit. For though he awakens her heart's desire, she can't risk revealing her true identity, until love and faith give her the courage to take a chance on happiness.

My Review:

This is the third book in Sara Price's Amish fairy tale retellings but each book can be read as a standalone. In fact, if you've been reading the books in order, this one might have you doing a double take since it backtracks in time where Belle (book one) has just gotten married and Ella (book two) doesn't have a beau in sight. Not as confusing as it sounds, but in book two there's talk about Sadie's mysterious disappearance though she's present and accounted for in Echo Creek at the beginning of this one. Kinda threw me for a loop but forewarned is forearmed so just dive into this story with that time shift in mind and all will be good.

I get such a nostalgic thrill  when I read fairy tale retellings -- experiencing flashes of cozy contentment from familiar childhood favourites -- the very stories that opened the magical world of books to me! And the author stays true to the Amish culture while finding innovative ways of incorporating familiar details into her retellings. I got such a kick out of spotting them as I read Sadie!

A brilliant addition to Sarah Price's Amish retellings and I am really hoping there are many more to come!. 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Sadie, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Cost of Betrayal

GIVEAWAY
HENDERSON, DEE
PETTREY, DANI
EASON, LYNETTE
THE COST OF BETRAYAL

Faith will be tested. Trust shattered.
Three best-selling romantic suspense writers reunite for novellas of deadly betrayal.

Dee Henderson -- "Betrayed" -- After serving six years of a twenty year sentence for a murder she didn't commit, Janelle Roberts is finally freed. But the truth is still waiting to be discovered, and a murderer is still at large. Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another act of treachery.

Dani Pettrey -- "Deadly Isle" -- Tennyson Kent is trapped on the isolated island of her childhood by a storm surge, and she is shocked when the typically idyllic community turns into the hunting grounds of a murderer. Cut off from any help from the mainland, will she and first love Callan Frost be able to identify and stop a killer before they become the next victims?

Lynette Eason -- "Code of Ethics" -- When Detective Isaac Martinez lands in the ER with a gunshot wound, he pulls through thanks to trauma surgeon Ruthie St. John. But as the witness to a crime and possible corruption, Martinez is at risk from someone intent on silencing him -- and those around him -- forever. When he barely survives another attack while recovering, both he and Ruthie must flee, trying to outrun deadly killers while locating the evidence they need to end the danger.

My Review:

What a clever theme to bind a collection of suspense novellas together! And how amazing that when you give that theme -- betrayal -- to three different authors they each come up with a totally different twist on it! That's literary awesomesauce right there. But it gets better because each novella has the same 'oomph' that you'd find in a full length novel! Incredible pacing filled with tension and danger and a trail of clues to be pieced together. I read each novella in one page-turning frenzy of a sitting!

Henderson's "Betrayed" features Ann and Paul Falcon (one of my favourite suspense 'power' couples ever!) as they unexpectedly stumble onto a mystery that leads them to question a murder sentence. Lots of scrumptious police procedural stuff that I find so fascinating. And that ending...phew...I wish I could say more but not going to post any spoilers!

There is something deliciously shivery about a super storm that cuts off communication to the outside world. Especially when a killer's on the loose. Cue the sinister background music and grab your security blanket and some soothing chocolate before you hunker down with Pettrey's "Deadly Isle."  Love the mix of romance and suspense and the breathless race to find a killer!

Blue Justice fans will be thrilled to get up close and personal with the St. John family again in Eason's "Code of Ethics". A definite edge-of-your-seater has Ruthie (the only sibling not in law enforcement) gets swept up in a dangerous web of corruption as she strives to help a wounded patient. Of course, it isn't long before her sibs gets involved in an unusual kind of family reunion. Great suspense liberally dosed with romance -- and some great sibling humour!

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Cost of Betrayal, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 9 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

December Giveaway -- Week One



Image result for a daring venture elizabeth camden
WON BY LAURA WALTZ
Image result for the bride of ivy green (tales from ivy hill book #3)
WON BY MARIA DB

WON BY ANNE PAYNE

WON BY PAM WESTFALL

WON BY CARYL KANE

WON BY LINDA MOFFITT

WON BY JAN S.
You know the drill: winners will be contacted if they left their email address. Otherwise it's up to the winner to contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca with your mailing address. From time to time a winner and I do not connect so I have a one month time frame on giveaway wins. If I haven't been able to reach you within 30 days of your win, it will be forfeited. This has happened a few times now so, please, DON'T BE SHY -- CONTACT ME IF YOU DIDN'T LEAVE YOUR EMAIL OR IF I HAVEN'T BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN REACHING YOU. Books will be ordered within a week of receiving your mailing address and I'll email you to confirm your win is on its way. Give it a full month before inquiring about the status of an order to allow for processing and shipping time. Thank you!

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

Kinda suspense heavy -- sorry about that for readers who aren't fans of suspense but...that's the way the TBR pile tumbled this week. :-)

Image result for the cost of betrayal dee hendersonImage result for sadie sarah price
Image result for before i saw you amy sorrellsImage result for bodyguard for christmas carol j post
Image result for in too deep lynn h blackburn39739372

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Fawkes

GIVEAWAY
BRANDES, NADINE
FAWKES

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father's plot to assassinate the King of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows in that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn't do something soon, he'll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot -- claiming it will put an end to the plague -- Thomas is in.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas's choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there's no turning back.

My Review:

History and mystery clash in a fantastical tale of magic and mayhem! Loved the historical setting and the ingenuous color magic that brings an interesting edge to 17th century England. And the allegory behind the White Light is sheer brilliance. Political intrigue provides a convoluted plot full of action and danger as Thomas struggles to find his place in a society that scorns him. His desperate desire to belong leads him on a treacherous journey of self-discovery. Fawkes is written completely from his point of view which was an interesting switch for me as it's not often I read a book from just a male point of view...especially an adolescent male!

I listened to the audio version courtesy of my public library and the narrator is fantastic! Like watching a play only with your eyes closed. (lol) And excruciating at times when I wanted to go faster over a particularly exciting part. One of the perils of listening versus reading -- someone else sets the pace for you!

This is the first book I've read by Nadine Brandes -- I think that makes three new-to-me-authors in the last two weeks! -- but I'be heard fantastic things about her Out of Time series so I'll be hunting them down next. I do love me some great Young Adult fantasy and this author seems to fit the bill!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Fawkes, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 2 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Amish Christmas Memories

GIVEAWAY
CHAPMAN, VANNETTA
AMISH CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

All she wants for Christmas is her memories : An Indiana Brides book

When a young Amish woman collapses in the snow shortly before Christmas, Caleb Wittmer rushes to her aid. Only, "Rachel" remembers nothing of who she is. Now his family has taken in the pretty stranger, disrupting Caleb's ordered world. He's determined to find out where she belongs...even if Rachel's departure means saying goodbye to his old-fashioned heart forever.

My Review:

Let's deal with the elephant in the room right from the start. Another Love Inspired amnesia story! Seems I've been reading a ton of them this year and while I do enjoy a well-written one that brings a fresh twist or insight to this plot device, I'm beginning to feel a tad overwhelmed.

Having said that I LOVED Amish Christmas Memories so I guess that proves you can never have too much of a good thing. Though, honestly, if it hadn't been written by Vannetta Chapman I might have given it a pass. So glad I didn't though! Chapman handles the amnesia aspect of the story really well -- from the moment Caleb spots Rachel staggering down the road to the page-turning mystery of who she is and how she came to be in her present situation. (FYI -- when I say mystery, I don't mean suspense, just the kind of rabid-reader-wants-to-know-everything-now kind of mystique that surrounds Rachel.)

And can we all pause for a moment of appreciation for those difficult, brooding, bordering-on-grumpy heroes we so adore? Mind you, if I met Caleb in real life I might have clobbered him with the business side of a frying pan! But I find him so alluring in fine print! lol. I guess because a reader can see his thoughts so we understand that he's more bumbling and inept than downright crabby. And when that man starts talking it doesn't take long for him to stick both feet in his mouth which did have me grinning. Especially when it riled Rachel's feisty up! Great dynamics between these two. I love how their romance unfolded in fits and starts and wary advances. Delicious!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Amish Christmas Memories, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 2 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Love Letter

GIVEAWAY
HAUCK, RACHEL
THE LOVE LETTER

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle's forte -- in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene...and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther's Loyalist father opposes and relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father's disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she's always wanted -- something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

My Review:

A moment of silence for the sheer brilliance of this stunning dual timeline story. What an emotional roller-coaster of a read! I was firmly entrenched in in the 1700s with Hamilton and Esther only to be yanked away kicking and screaming into present day with Chloe and Jesse where I'd quickly become enthralled only to be flung back in time and...oy...see what I mean about the roller-coaster ride?!

Both timelines are equal in depth and emotion and inspiration. And that's saying something since a) my least favourite historical fiction theme is the Revolutionary War (hellooo -- I'm Canadian, and the Loyalists that fled the states settled up here in Nova Scotia and Ontario so I'm kinda partial to them) and b) I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in Hollywood based stories. None. Nada. Zilch. So what are the chances of my two least favourite literary settings being found in the same book? And me actually picking up said book and reading it? Well, apparently pretty high if Rachel Hauck is the author!

I had a love/hate relationship with some aspects of the story which I can't discuss without spoilers but they still have me ruffled and indignant and woebegonish. Sigh. Such are the perils of losing oneself in a book -- reading comes without guarantees and there are times when that is just plain hard. This would make an awesome book club selection because there is so much to talk about! (but not in a review!)

So there's romance x 2, angst and drama aplenty, not to mention two fast-paced plots with lots of twists and turns that keep a reader in a tizzy. But you want to know what really stole my breath away and made this such a compelling read for me? The powerful redemptive thread that weaves the past and present together with a timeless message of hope and salvation. Truly incredible!

GIVEAWAY OPPROTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Love Letter, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 2 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!