Friday, October 22, 2021

The Secret of Emerald Cottage

GIVEAWAY

LESSMAN, JULIE
THE SECRET OF EMERALD COTTAGE

A love story to die for...

Molly Stewart -- ex-Navy nurse and former evidence technician for the Charleston Police Department -- has been burned by love. So when her friend Pastor Chase Griffin begs her to move to scenic Lake Loon to be a nurse and companion for Miss Lilly, his elderly landlady, she jumps at the chance. The secluded and cozy cottage on a clear mountain lake seems the perfect place to heal from her fiance's betrayal as well as indulge in one of her greatest passions -- cozy romance. First with reading them by the bookcase and then hopefully, if dreams come true, writing and solving them one day as an author and detective. But when Miss Lilly's estranged great nephew shoes up, it's no mystery as to why he and Molly butt heads. Because it only takes one stolen kiss -- while she's sleeping no less -- to discover he's an even bigger player than the ex-fiance who broke her heart.

When international playboy and Irish soccer star Brec McGill learns his long-lost great aunt is in a coma from a drowning accident, he rushes to her side. No only is he anxious to reconnect with his only living relative he spent summers with as a boy, but her cottage on Lake Loon, Georgia is the perfect respite to heal from game injuries and escape a tabloid scandal. At thirty-three, he's disillusioned with the game, his fiance, and life in general, craving nothing but a little peace and solitude to get his head on straight. But when he discovers his aunt's cottage is not only inhabited by a crusty Aunt Lilly he hasn't seen in years, but a pretty prude of a nurse as well, his plans take a nose-dive in the Lake. Because suddenly it appears not only was Aunt Lilly's accident no accident...but somebody out there wants to see them all dead.

My Review:

All of Julie Lessman's trademark sizzle and spark with a hint of mystery besides? Yes please!

This author has a deft hand with characterization that always leaves me feeling like I'm witnessing the angst and turmoil in real lives...because it ain't a Lessman story unless your tummy's in a twist and you have a lump in your throat some of the time. :-)

Molly's all snap and sass -- a strong willed woman who values honesty, integrity and faith...which is kind of a problem when Brec shows up because he's been anything but. Not her ideal man but my how those sparks just seem to zip and zing around them every which way. There's a prodigal son twist to this story that was moving and inspiring...

But...and I can't believe I'm saying this...I was#team 'other guy' all the way. No spoiler because it's obvious from the cover blurb who the hero is in this story, but yes, there's a bit of a love triangle going on here. It's not the dominant part of the story, but it's there, and the other guy had my vote even though I knew it wouldn't turn out well for him. Sigh. I'm hoping the author writes him his very own love story. Sniffle.

I think what put me off Brec was the meet-cute. It made me uncomfortable -- again, no spoilers -- but -- gah, I'd like to talk this out with someone -- let's just say I found it unsettling enough that I was off kilter the rest of the read so while I could appreciate his growth and his vulnerabilities and the inner battles he had over making sense of his past in order to make changes in his present...well, I still connected with Other Guy more. 

The mystery is multi-layer intriguing, but I wouldn't say it's the main focus of the story. Molly and Brec's relationship is definitely front and centre but with this Gothic-y vibe, creep factor suspense that seeps into their lives and keeps the reader on edge trying to figure out what happened to Aunt Lilly and why. In between swooning over the toe-curling scenes, because this is a Julie Lessman creation after all. :-)

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for an ebook copy

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Secret of Emerald Cottage, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 23 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck! 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Beyond the Tides

GIVEAWAY

JOHNSON, LIZ
BEYOND THE TIDES

When Meg Witaker's father decides to sell the family's lobster fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should take it over instead. Though she's never had an interest in running the small fleet -- or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness -- she can't stand to see Oliver Ross in charge. Not when he ruined her dreams of a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn't proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg -- an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, as well as a way to provide for his mother, and he's not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg's father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg will work the business together, and at the end of the season, he'll decided who gets it. Along the way, they discover that their stories are more similar than they thoughts...and their dreams aren't what they expected.

My Review:

Eeeeepppp!!!! This is me fangirling over another chance to armchair travel to Prince Edward Island with Liz Johnson! I swear I could smell the salty brine in the air and hear the gulls swooping and the water lapping along the shore. Nearly as good as an actual real live visit -- maybe even better since I didn't have to gag over the fishy smells. Which is kinda funny, since my imagination seems to conjure up all the nice scents while conveniently leaving out the foul ones. :-)

And I love, love, love the Canadian setting and the way the author brings this charming part of my country to vibrant life. Even using notable landmarks to share inspirational insights like this one:

"This bridge must have taken thousands of people to build it. But if God gave some guy an idea for how to span thirteen kilometres of open water, then I figure he can probably show me a way through whatever I'm facing. The bridge reminds me that even if I don't have a plan, God can figure it out." (p 94)

Honestly, I got a kinda Anne Shirley / Gilbert Blythe vibe from Meg and Oliver which still has me giddy. I'm not sure if that was in the author's mind as she wrote or if my childhood L. M. Montgomery bingeing has forever clouded my mind for any other notion of island romance. :-) 

But they have that same enemies to more thing going on after a falling out in high school has left them at odds ever since -- which is saying something since they live in the same small town. Well, Meg went away to university, but since she's been back they've managed to avoid speaking to each other. And, like Anne, Meg knows how to hold a grudge and work it into a knot of fury and resentment. Unlike Gilbert though, Oliver did do something pretty rotten when they were in their teens. But, hello, ten years have past, it's time to let go of past hurts and move into the happily-ever-after future that just might be theirs if only....

Sigh. The 'if only' part is pure magic. This is a love story about overcoming hardships and heartache and learning to work side by side in order to create something lasting and meaningful. You can learn a lot about someone during long days of lobster fishing. 

I feel a little windburned now that the season is over and story has come to an end. Blissfully satisfied too. And -- hooray! -- Beyond the Tides is the first book in Liz Johnson's Prince Edward Island Shores series and Oliver has brothers whose stories need telling. I cannot wait!

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

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback copy

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Beyond the Tides, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 23 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

High Stakes Escape

GIVEAWAY

GODDARD, ELIZABETH
HIGH STAKES ESCAPE

When hiding is no longer an option, she must go on the run.

Someone's infiltrated the witness protection program with murder in mind -- and Chasey Cook is the next victim. Chasey gave up everything to go into WITSEC, including a budding relationship with deputy US marshal Ben Bradley, but now she must rely on him to shield her. With a ruthless killer tracking them, can Chasey trust Ben with her life...knowing her heart will pay the price?

Mount Shasta Secrets

My Review:

My tummy was in continuous loop-de-loop mode the entire read out of sheer nerves. You know that deliciously edgy feeling of checking over your shoulder every five minutes during your reading because you're sure someone is creeping up on you. At one point my neighbour clattered his garbage bins as he brought them in from the curb and I literally shot out of my chair like I'd been catapulted, heart racing. It's not so much that this is a creepy or scary read, more like a sense of unknown danger permeates every page. Because Chasey's a target and trying to figure out the who and the how and the what next is exhausting -- both for Ben and Chasey and me!

Love the connection this hero and heroine have. The relationship that wasn't a year ago when Chasey first went into WITSEC. Attraction destined to never get off the ground because circumstances wouldn't allow it. And now, here they are again, in the same situation -- only it's much more dangerous. But maybe they're getting this second chance for a reason...happy sigh, I love a doomed-romance-turned-happy-dancing scenario. :-)

Goddard does a great job with the intricately woven plot, pulling the tension taut and keeping this armchair reader on the edge of her seat right to very end. Wowza!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a gently read paperback

If you would like a chance to win a copy of High Stakes Escape, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 23 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

When the Morning Glory Blooms

GIVEAWAY

RUCHTI, CYNTHIA
WHEN THE MORNING GLORY BLOOMS

Becky rocks a baby that rocker her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiance Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna -- three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

My Review:

published in 2013

A quiet, gentle story about hope and the simplicity of truth. And that doesn't mean this is an uneventful novel -- it's just that the ambiance is almost reverential in the way these heroines' stories play out. And discovering the connections between 1890s Anna, 1960s Ivy and present day Becky gave me all kinds of chills and thrills. 

When the Morning Glory Blooms was dual timeline before that became a thing -- well triple timeline, really. Each heroine's story is equally compelling and I have to say the way the author brings a unique, era-appropriate voice to each woman gives so much depth to the characterization. 

Anna, Ivy and Becky are all facing the same challenges in different timelines -- and they each battle social pressures and judgment as they strive to find the blessings amidst impossible hardship. Definitely a sobering read but it is fused together with lighter moments too. And so many spine-tingling faith moments! And the significance of the morning glories -- honestly, I can't even. Moved me to tears and made me laugh and jump for joy too. Such a brilliant, unassuming tie-in.

I listened to the audible edition narrated by Melinda Sward who really breathed life into these multi-generational characters. Perfect match of storyteller and recording artist. 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback or ebook copy copy -- winner's choice

If you would like a chance to win a copy of When the Morning Glory Blooms, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 23 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck! 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Christy Award Finalists -- Historical Fiction and Speculative Fiction

GIVEAWAY

What are the Christy Awards?

"The Christy Award is designed to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview and showcase the diversity of genres." (from the Christy Awards website)

These 2021 finalists are books published in 2020. You might have read them already. You might not. I'll include a link to my reviews of the books I've red underneath the descriptions.

How does this giveaway work?

You select which title from EITHER the Historical  OR Speculative  category you would like to win if your name is drawn. Mention the title in your comment (or an email if you're entering that way.) If you win, that's the book that will be sent to you. Easy Peasy. Here are the six finalists. 

HISTORICAL FICTION

Like Flames in the Night
, Connilyn Cossette, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group

Strong-willed Tirzah wants to join her people in driving the enemy from the land of Israel and undergoes training for a secret mission inside the stronghold of Shechem. But soon after she has infiltrated the ruthless Aramean commander's kitchen, she makes a reckless decision that puts her and her allies in grave danger.

Fresh off the battlefield, Liyam returns home to discover his beloved daughter is dead. After his vow to hunt down her killer leads to months of fruitless pursuit, his last hope is in a family connection that comes with strings attached -- strings that force him to pose as a mercenary and rescue an infuriating woman who refuses to leave her mission uncompleted.

When an opportunity to pave a path to a Hebrew victory arises, can Tirzah convince Liyam to fight alongside her in the refuge city of her birth? Or will Liyam;s thirst for vengeance outweighs his duty to his people, his God, and the woman he's come to love?

Under the Tulip Tree,
Michelle Shocklee, Tyndale House

Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena's banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers' Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.

As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured -- especially because Rena's ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie's story challenges Rena's preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?


The White Rose Resists: a Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler
, Amanda Barratt, Kregel Publication

Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil.

The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie School in a maelstrom of patriotic fervour -- that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler's machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife's edge of discovery by the gestapo.

Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she's been brought up to believe in the fuser's divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda. 

Soon Annalise joins their double life -- students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they're all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.

A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminated the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent -- no matter the cost.

SPECULATIVE FICTION

Extinction Island
, Janice Boekhoff, Lost Canyon Press

Dangerous convicts, deadly dinosaurs. The secret encoded in her DNA lies between them...

Dedicated retile expert Oakley Laveau loves the thrill of wrestling a 'gator. But her dream job at the swamp tour slips away when she's charged with a crime she doesn't remember: her best friend's murder. Sentenced to life on a secluded isle, she'll have to battle violent criminals and genetically modified dinosaurs to uncover the truth.

As soon as she steps on the island, she's swept up by the charming leader of a gang of convicts and his dubious offer of protection. But it's hard to heed his warnings when somewhere in the Dino-infested rainforest hides a witness who knows the shocking facts behind Oakley's amnesia.

Hunted by humans and beasts, can Oakley expose the truth before she meets a bloody end?

Extinction Island is the first book in the suspenseful Jurassic Judgment sci-fi series. If you like fearless heroines, action-packed adventures, and a touch of romance, then you'll love Janice Boekhoff's thrilling novel.


Forsaken Island,
Sharon Hinck, Enclave Publishing

(The Dancing Realms; Book 2)

On an uncharted world, happiness is effortless and constant...but can true joy exist without sacrifice?

The people of Meriel have long believed their island world floats alone in the vast ocean universe, so they are astonished when another island drifts into view. With resources becoming scarce, Carya and Brantley quickly volunteer to search the new land for supplies.

After navigating a barrier of menacing trees, the pair encounter a culture of perpetually happy people who readily share their talents and their possessions. But all is not what it seems. At the core of the island is a horror that threatens everyone, including Brantley and Carya.

Freeing the villagers of the bondage they've chosen may cost Carya and Brantley more than they could have imagined. Even if the two succeed, they'll have to find a way to return to Meriel quickly...or be cut off from their home forever.

The Story Hunte
r, Lindsay A. Franklin, Enclave Publishing

(The Weaver Trilogy; #3)

Redeeming the past is a fatal quest.

In the wake of a deadly coup, the capital city of Urian has descended into chaos. Heartbreak and bloodshed await Tanwen and her friends as they discover the unlikeliest leader now rules Tir.

If they want to save the realm, Tannie and the Corsyth weavers must rescue Queen Braith and unmask the Master, ending the strife once and for all. But the success of their hunt depends upon an ally no one trusts.

The Master has a new target in sight: fragile, trauma-scarred Digwyn, whose unique weaving ability could turn the tide of any war. When the desire for vengeance proves too powerful for Digwyn to resist, Tanwen must face a terrifying truth: the fate of Sir rests in the hands of a volatile, shattered girl.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback or ebook copy -- winner's choice.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of one of these Christy Award Finalists, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 16  2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

All I Want

GIVEAWAY
RANDOM RETRO READ DAY

SHILOH, TONI
ALL I WANT

When Angel Lewis is tasked to decorate Bishop Allen's place, she longs to be seen for the woman she's become.

Bishop just wants to get through the Christmas season with his daughter and get on with his perfectly ordered life.

Time together soon changes everything as Angel's heart unexpectedly touches Bishop's life.

My Review:

published in 2020

A totally scrumptious holiday read!

Short and snappy, Shiloh still manages to deliver a classic Christmas story that packs a punch. Emotional, funny, faith-infused. Easy to devour in one sitting. 

Bishop is no match for Angel and her sass -- and his adorable little girl is just as smitten. Little Marvel is a guileless matchmaking imp though she has some help from Angel's large and boisterous family as well. Let the fun and hijinks begin!

Love the way the author weaves scripture and faith throughout this romance. Spiritual toe-curls...is there such a thing? Might be a Shiloh original. :-)

A heartwarming festive read that celebrates faith and love.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback copy

If you would like a chance to win a copy of All I Want, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. 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 easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday October 23 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck! 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October Giveaway -- Week Three


WON BY MINDY HOUNG 

WON BY BECKY

WON BY CAITLIN M.

WON BY MELMO26

WON BY CONNIE LEE

WON BY PAM K

You know the drill: winners will be contacted if they left their email address in the comments, otherwise it's up to the winner to contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. (Please note it's ca as in Canada not com)

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 AN EMAIL OR IF I HAVEN'T BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN REACHING YOU!

Books will be ordered within a week of receiving your mailing address (or email address for ebooks) and I'll email you to confirm your book is on its way. Give it a full month before inquiring on the status of an order to allow for processing and shipping times.

REMINDER: If you've been following my blog through email updates, you need to re-subscribe (blogger stopped it's subscription service so I had to switch to another.) Just fill in your email address in the white box in the upper right hand corner of the blog and click on subscribe. 

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

SUNDAY
57740408. sy475

MONDAY
Christy Award Finalists -
Historical Fiction and Speculative Fiction

TUESDAY
30518948. sy475

WEDNESDAY
57118940. sy475

THURSDAY
55654909

FRIDAY
58647020. sy475