Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

GIVEAWAY
HAUCK, RACHEL
THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken, heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother's multi-million-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they're victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it's there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

My Review:

This book has sent me into a swoony dither of bibliophile delight! I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I started reading but Hauck delivered so much more than I anticipated. Absolutely love the whole idea of the mysterious Fifth Avenue Story Society. Loved the gentle hints that led to some startling conclusions about it's origin and function. :-) And the way the story is built up around the lives of these five strangers brought together for some unknown reason -- well, it all totally captivated me!

I can't even say I have a favourite character or story line. All of five of them wormed their way into my readerly affections and kept me riveted. And I love the way the author intertwined their stories, slowly revealing their secrets at just the right time for maximum impact. I couldn't tear myself away from these people!

And -- insert thrilling squeal here -- this is a Thomas Nelson published novel with an inspirational element! It starts subtly in the beginning, then gently grows until it makes a stunning impact by the end. One of the things that struck me most was how one person's faith journey has the power to create a ripple effect all around them, touching lives and preparing the way for others to follow. I experienced some thrilling goosebump moments during this read.

An exquisitely fulfilling  character-driven story that reflects real life and love and the healing power God extends to us all.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  The Fifth Avenue Story Society, 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 Saturday February 29 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Kiss the Bride : Three Summer Love Stories

GIVEAWAY
HATCHER, ROBIN LEE
MCCLONE, MELISSA
KATHRYN SPRINGER
KISS THE BRIDE : THREE SUMMER LOVE STORIES

Meet the people who make it all happen -- the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples -- as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Picture Perfect Love: A June Wedding Story by Melissa McClone

When image becomes everything, it's up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren't always as perfect as they look through her camera lens.

Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away, but he wrongly blamed Jenna for ruining his political aspirations. Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?

I Hope You Dance by Robin Lee Hatcher

Can two left feet lead to one perfect romace?

Grant Nicholas is a genius in the kitchen and a klutz on the dance floor. But his friend's wedding is shaping up to be a shindig the likes of which Kings Meadow has never seen -- including dancing. Lots of dancing.

Former rodeo queen Skye Foster is offering dance lessons for the wedding party. Grant and Skye are no match on paper. But when they step onto the dance floor, they create a melody all their own.

Love on a Deadline : An August Wedding Story by Kathryn Springer

MacKenzie "Mac" Davis returns to her hometown of Red Leaf, Wisconsin, and takes a job at the weekly newspaper writing about social events.

When Hollis Channing, Mac's high school nemesis, returns to Red Leaf to marry her celebrity fiance, the editor asks Mack to cover all the festivities for the newspaper. The last thing Mac wants to do is reconnect with the person who made her life miserable when she was a teenager...unless it's spending time with Ethan Channing, the bride's older brother -- and Mac's first crush.

My Review:

published in 2016

I listened to the audible version of I Hope You Can Dance by Robin Lee Hatcher. Since it's a novella in this collection, Kiss the Bride is the book in the giveaway draw even though I haven't read the other two stories. 

This is classic sweet romance. Robin Lee Hatcher excels at creating memorable characters with true-to-life struggles and she delivers that here even with the shorter word count. And, oh my, the toe-curls!!!! And yay for a solid faith thread even with the novella length.

As a relatively new Christian struggling to get things right, Grant has distanced himself from his past, content with the single life. He's not looking for romance. Definitely not the happily-ever-after kind. Skye longs to create a family unit complete with oodles of kids and her hopes of meeting the man of her dreams just might have come true when she meets Grant. What follows is sheer romantical bliss!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Kiss the Bride, 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 Saturday February 29 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

February Giveaway -- Week Four


WON BY SYLVIA

WON BY MARIA DB

WON BY CHANEL M.

WON BY LORI 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:

Gah! I'm still getting used to my glasses and having a horrid time of it. Might have to have the prescription changed. I can read larger print books now...for a short period of time. So between a desperate run to my library and audible books I have a bit of line up for this week: 

For Sures:


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Possibilities:

a few Regency novellas I found on audible last night but until I listen to them, I'm not sure if they are giveaway material...so I'll leave you in suspense:

And from my library finds -- these two have the largest print so I might make it through one this week:

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Plus, I have my lovely new Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense novels languishing on my TBR pile. Whimper.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Praying Women : How to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say

GIVEAWAY



WALSH, SHEILA
PRAYING WOMEN : HOW TO PRAY WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY

Praying women change the world!

Prayer is one of the most powerful, life-changing things we will ever do. Yet we often struggle. It's hard to find the time. It's repetitive. We get distracted and sometimes, even bored. And the answers often feel few and far between.

In Pray Women, bestselling author Sheila Walsh shares practical helps directly from God's Words, showing you have to:

know what to say when you pray
understand how to use prayer as a weapon when you are in the midst of a struggle
pray as joy-filled warrors, not anxious worriers
let go of the past and stand on God's promises for you now

Prayer changes you and it changes the world. You may have tried before, but if you're ready to start again in your relationship with God, let Sheila Walsh show you how to become a strong praying woman.

My Review:

"Prayer activates the power of God." (p 27)

I'm a fiction lover at heart. I learn and grow by feeling my way through a story which is why I read Christian Fiction almost exclusively. I'm very selective about the non-fiction books I read and even then, I need a storytelling approach to capture and hold my attention. Just the way my brain is wired, I guess. But  this title intrigued me...especially the "how to pray when you don't know what to say' part so I decided to be brave and wander into the pages of another non-fiction selection. And am I ever glad I did!

I've been living with Praying Women for a couple of weeks -- admittedly not reading it cover to cover but randomly discovering sections on whim -- or, dare I say, divine guidance? It has become a part of my morning bible study and even though I've read the whole book through in my higgedly-piggedly fashion, I'm not ready to put it aside. I know I can go deeper if I let Walsh's words really settle and take hold.

So -- what this fiction aficionado loves about this -- gasp -- non-fiction book:

First  and foremost, Sheila Walsh is a storyteller. Praying Women reads like she's sitting across from me at my kitchen table. She's authentic. Honest. Real. Vulnerable. And she's created a safe place for her readers to be too. I found myself having imaginary conversations with her, stripping away some of my hurts and daring to be real right back. Very cathartic -- even if the only one listening is God...which is kinda the point of the book. :-)

And I so appreciate how she validates my worries and fears. I'm broken. I have a messy past. Experienced a lot of pain. Sometimes I've failed more than I've triumphed. Walsh reminds me that I'm not alone. That my struggles are real. That it's okay to be so overwhelmed that you can't find words to pray.

"Whatever your challenge is, let me remind you that God is not looking for perfect words or perfect people. He just wants our hearts." (p 15)

I love the way each chapters has a graphic depicting a powerful prayer statement in bold cursive in-your-face-not-to-be-ignored audacity. Like "Praying Women trust God in the silence and not knowing" and "Praying Women know that the greatest breakthrough is in their own hearts." I can't tell you how many times I've flipped through the book looking for these reminders. Enough so that I've printed them on index cards and plastered them all over my house!

I love the easy flow of Walsh's writing style. The way she weaves in and out from personal story to scripture and back again.

I love the prayer reminders at the end of each chapter -- simple starting points that help me focus on my relationship with God.

And for those times when I can't dredge up a single thought or know where to begin praying, she has included a simple prayer at the end of each chapter. A starting off point, maybe? Or a place to mediate from. I found such a release when I read some of them. Knots of tension and strain snapping free with every word I couldn't have found on my own.

My copy of  Praying Women has a place right next to my bible and my devotional as I will continue reading from it daily.

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

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback copy which releases March 20 2020.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Praying Women, 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 Saturday February 22 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Dating Charade

GIVEAWAY
FERSUSON, MELISSA
THE DATING CHARADE

Just when you think you've met your match...the charade begins

Cassie Everson is an expert of escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the man who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband -- and children -- altogether. But fate has other plans, and Cassie's online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett's memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps -- each -- they independently decide to do the right and mature things: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson's hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages -- and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren't nearly as rewarding as the surprises that come our way.

My Review:

Charming and funny with a surprising serious undertone.

I was expecting Rom/Com but I wouldn't technically categorize The Dating Charade as a romance. It has the beginnings and endings of one but the middle is something else entirely. Not quite women's fiction either. I think chic lit might suit this book best -- even though we get the hero's point of view and usually chic lit is all from the heroine's perspective.

Despite being difficult to classify, Cassie and Jett's story makes for a captivating read with plenty of ups and downs. The first few chapters are full of classic comedic flare fueled by miscommunication. Still grinning over some of those scenes. But when both the hero and heroine are faced with  the challenge of temporary parenthood things become more serious. Especially since they both decide to keep their unexpected charges a secret from each other which leads to even more communication problems and the story quickly slips into a heart-tugging drama centered around child abandonment, family dysfunction and addictions.

Through it all, Ferguson delivers a nice mix of humour and poignancy as she untangles the complicated lives of two characters who definitely deserve a chance at their very own happily ever after...even if it looks entirely different then they imagined!

The one thing I really missed in this story was an inspirational thread. This is another Thomas Nelson publication (a Christian Publisher who is becoming known for it's faith-free fiction.)

I enjoyed listening to the audible version of this book. Loved that there were two narrators -- one for each point of view. Kevin Kilpatrick and Liz Stanislawski made a great team, delivering an easy-to-listen-to style that held me captive right to the very end.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  The Dating Charade, 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 Saturday February 22 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Land Beneath Us

GIVEAWAY
SUNDIN, SARAH
THE LAND BENEATH US

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the  upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for -- fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family -- the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?

My Review:

Honestly, I'm a blubbering mess. I bawled my way through this novel in a heart-wrenching ugly cry kind of way. Partly because I'm current on this series so some aspects of Clay's story touched me deeply. Having said that, you could read The Land Beneath Us as a standalone but I don't  really recommend it. It will make way more of an impact if you have followed this family saga from the very beginning. Besides, you definitely want to savor every blessed minute with these Paxton men! (She says, fanning herself furiously.)

I have to express heartfelt thanks to Sarah Sundin for including a significant and very powerful inspirational thread. This story would have fallen a part without it. Touched me on so many levels. And I appreciated the fresh perspective of the Prodigal Son told from the point of view of the brother who stayed.

And Leah's quest to belong -- wrenched my heart right out of my chest! She's a heroine who has honed the ability to find blessings even in the bleakest situations. It's almost like a game for her. Kind of a grown up Pollyanna with a healthy dose of grit. :-)

As with all of Sundin's novel, her research is impeccable and she brings this time period to life -- from the homefront to the realistic training exercises through to the D-Day battles. Gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring.

And the story that ties it all together is the very essence of storytelling perfection. I hate to grade novels but this just might be my #1 read of the year and, yes, I know it's only February but it would take a lot to top The Land Beneath Us!

I listened to the audbile version of this book -- a good thing too since an actual book would have been water-logged from all my tears. Happy, sad, mad. Stunned, shocked, appalled. I cried over it all. :-) And glad to have the soothing voice of Sarah Zimmerman to keep me company throughout.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  The Land Beneath Us, 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 Saturday February 22 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Social Tutor

GIVEAWAY
BRITTON, SALLY
THE SOCIAL TUTOR

A Sweet and Swoony Regency Romance

After years of escaping etiquette lessons in favor of the stables, Christine Devon's grand debut in London is only weeks away, though her deportment lacks the sophisticated polish she needs to achieve her goals of a lofty marriage. Desperate to take her place in society, she needs someone to instruct her in proper behavior.

Thomas Gilbert, newly returned from Italy, is ready to begin his dream of founding a horse farm. But during his time away, the estate's finances have dwindled to almost nothing. Unless he can find a way to save his family from ruin, he will be forced to sell his horses and give up his dreams entirely.

A chance meeting between them may solve both their problems. Christine gains a tutor in the finer arts of polite behavior, while Thomas is given access to the finest bloodlines in England. But as time passes, the arrangement is less about business, and more about love. Will they see it in time, or will Christine leave Thomas behind for the splendor of London's ballrooms?

My Review:

published in 2018

Swoonilicious to the nth degree. Clear off your fainting couch, grab your smelling salts and maybe a fan or two and settle in for a sublime Regency Romance Read.

I'm still in such a discombobulated flutter I don't know where to start with this review. Maybe the fact that it's the first in a series....eeeeeeeepppppp!!!! And the fact that Sally Britton knows her way around a Regency ballroom. The banter! The endless list of social rules that ladies must follow in order to make their coming out a success! Picture me rolling my eyes and tearing out my hair and howling with delight because Christine has lived a rather cloistered life with her sisters, a largely absentee boorish father and a string of dour governesses so she's not up to snuff on the social niceties. Hence the need for a tutor.

Cue the not-so-eligible bachelor next door. Christine makes Thomas an offer he can't refuse and he finds himself on the receiving end of Christine's guileless charm. He finds her maddening and frustrating and utterly captivating. I laughed myself silly over some of their lessons, and swooned my way through others.

I listened to the audible version and really enjoyed Rachael Beresford's narration. Love the way a proper British accent brings the story to life and her dramatization if very good as well.

Please note: While not a Christian Fiction selection, this book is definitely a clean read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  The Social Tutor, 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 Saturday February 22 2020 . Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!