Saturday, December 4, 2021

December Giveaway -- Week One


WON BY MELANIE BACKUS

WON BY TRIXI
 

WON BY RUBYNREBA

WON BY KAREN SUE HADLEY

WON BY ELLY

WON BY CONNIE LEE


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:

Please read the giveaway options written in red noted under "Giveaway Opportunity" in each blog post as formats will vary.

Paperback or ebook -- winner can choose either format

Paperback -- I have a new physical hard copy on hand to give away

Gently Read Paperback -- It's the actual book I read to review

ebook -- that's the only format option available, often because it's an indie book where a paperback copy is either unavailable or exorbitantly priced. Or when a physical edition is out of print.

Alas, no Love Inspired or Love Inspired Suspense books this week. I'm having issues getting my orders delivered in a timely fashion from Harlequin. Is anyone else experiencing that? They are still 'packing my order'. Gah!!!!!! And most of them are Christmas books too. :-(

SUNDAY
Initium (The SNAP Agency #0.5)

MONDAY
The Nature of a Lady (The Secrets of the Isles, #1)

TUESDAY
Piece by Piece

WEDNESDAY
Minutes to Die (Homeland Heroes, #2)

THURSDAY
Rakes and Roses (Mayfield Family #3)

FRIDAY
All Is Calm / All Is Bright

Friday, December 3, 2021

The Prodigal's Holiday Hope

GIVEAWAY

KEMERER, JILL
THE PRODIGAL'S HOLIDAY HOPE

He's learned from his mistakes...But can he prove he's changed?

When Sawyer Roth is hired to work on his childhood ranch, he knows he has a damaged reputation to repair. Tess Malone, the new arch owner's daughter, is the hardest to win over. But as Christmas approached, Tess and her toddler son find a way into Sawyer's heart. He lost everything the last time he put his trust in love. Can he risk it all again?

My Review:

Sweet perfection and then some. I do so love a well-written prodigal story and Kemerer has pulled out all the stops to deliver the kind of romance that feels as comforting as a warm hug (especially if said hug comes from Sawyer...snicker.) 

Love the hero and heroine's back stories, the cast of mixed characters a reader is either going to love or hate or waffle in-between. Honestly, Tess's dad grated on my very last nerve but he's written with so much compassion that I had to -- grudgingly -- work my way over to his side. Took the whole book to get there though. :-) 

And Sawyer's friends are a hoot, all confirmed bachelors who watch his fall from grace (aka romancing Tess) with abject horror. Ha! I can only hope that the author already has them in her sight-lines and is brewing up their own bachelorhood downfalls...because, woohoo, this is the first book in the Wyoming Ranchers series. I'm Cheshire grinning in anticipation.

A tender but angsty (courtesy of Tess's stubbornly defensive nature) romance paired with Christmas highlights and the sweet distraction of an adorable toddler made this a read-in-one-sitting experience for me. I hope I don't have to wait long for my next visit to Wyoming ranch country!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a gently read paperback copy.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Prodigal's Holiday Hope, 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Deep Divide

GIVEAWAY

WOODHOUSE, KIMBERLEY
A DEEP DIVIDE

With her past behind her, she has nothing -- and everything -- to lose.

After being kidnapped as a child, Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel.

When Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Though his fame-seeking father aims to lure new investors to the Arizona territory, Ray dreams of one day taking over the family business and doing good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can't let go of the deep-rooted fear that he's like every other wealthy man she's known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be sure.

My Review:

An exciting start of a new series. I can't believe I've only read four books by Kimberley Woodhouse when she's written over two dozen! Sigh, the perils of keeping your nose buried in books by authors well known to you. But I'm in on the start of the Secrets of the Canyon series and I definitely intend to keep up this time!

Right at the start I have to say how impressed I am with the way the author deftly incorporated significant faith messages throughout this story. Never  'preachy' but there is no doubt that this is a Christian Fiction selection with a purpose to glorify God as much as to entertain. I was particularly touched by the recurring theme of seeking God in the midst of your fears. There were so many comforting and convicting passages that I could easily apply to my own life.

Emma Grace is an easy heroine to connect with. Her early history is briefly laid out in the beginning chapters and sets the foundation for what is to come next. Woodhouse drew me into a myriad of emotions as this heroine struggles to come to grips with her circumstances and I cheered her on as she takes her future into her own hands and flees an untenable situation.

From there the story gallops forward as Emma Grace finds her place among  other single women striving to make their way in the world as Harvey Girls. The Arizona setting is breathtaking -- the author writes it such a way that I could picture it all. And the historical details are just as compelling.

Then there's Ray -- a noble hero with a past he has thoroughly repented of. A man caught between the convictions of his new faith and his querulous, greedy father. When Ray arrives at the El Tovar Hotel and meets Emma Grace...well, it's not quite love at first sight, but definitely attraction at first sight! There's adventure and mystery and quite a few hairpin turns on their journey towards a happily-ever-after which made for a sublimely satisfying read.

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 The Deep Divide, 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Holiday Suspect Pursuit

GIVEAWAY

LEE, KATY
HOLIDAY SUSPECT PURSUIT

Unraveling a murder mystery could unlock his lost memories...

After a murderer strikes, former deputy Jett Butler and his search-and-rescue dog must work with the sole witness -- FBI agent Nicole Harrington. But Nicole's the ex-fiancee he left behind after a car accident gave him amnesia years ago. And in a fight to survive the holidays, remembering his past might be just as dangerous as facing the killer on their heels...

My Review:

Have an oxygen tank on standby for all the whiplash, breath-snatching moments that will pummel you from start to finish -- but it especially builds up at the end. Phew! Action, adventure, danger to the nth degree not to mention deception and betrayal! 

And then there's the second chance romance that places a whole new twist on the amnesia trope. I've never read anything like it before. All kinds of emotional turmoil as Jett and Nicole struggle with their unexpected reunion. And there's a dog! Tank is uber smart and brave and everything noble in a K-9 companion. Happy sigh.

The kind of romantic suspense you want to devour in one sitting because there just isn't a good place to leave off reading.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a gently read paperback copy.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Holiday Suspect Pursuit, 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

An Amish Christmas Bakeshop

GIVEAWAY
RANDOM RETRO READ DAY!

CLIPSTON, AMY
WISEMAN, BETH
FULLER, KATHLEEN
IRVIN, KELLY
AN AMISH CHRSTMAS BAKERY

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.

Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston -- As Christmas draws near, Alyssa Byler decides to build a sugar cookie nativity scene for the window display of the bakery where she works. She just needs the right cookie cutters -- and handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker can help. The striking display brings more tourists to the bakery than she can handle, and when shoppers request handmade cookie cutters of their own, Kyle finds himself overwhelmed by the demand. Together, they must put aside the holiday rush and spend time celebrating the season that has brought them together.

Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman -- Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family's bakery, but she soon finds herself overwhelmed with orders during the holiday season. She is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world of using a propane oven to help with the world. Meanwhile, her childhood friend Henry Hershberger is trying to find the courage to tell Katie he's harboured a secret crush on her for years. As the demands of the bakery grown more intense, both Katie and Henry have to decide what really matters...and find the courage within themselves to go after it.

Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller -- Mattie Shetler is an expert baker, so when her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. What she doesn't know is that her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery's new expansion, and he's asked none other than Peter Kaufman, Mattie's sworn enemy. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter must open their hearts to the greatest gifts of the season; forgiveness and maybe even love.

Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin -- Martha Ropp works hard at her family's bakery, making cakes and pies in preparation not only for Christmas but the many community weddings, including her sister's. Before Martha's mother passed away, she hired Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries during their busy season. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days but soon discovers that still waters run deep. The more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery, but both Martha and Ambrose are too timid to make the first move. That's when the town matchmakers step in.

My Review:

published in 2019

There's something about Amish novella collections at Christmas that make me all warm and cozy inside. I actually start craving them in September and by the time the snow flies I'm eager to curl up with the kind of classic, timeless, heartwarming stories that you'll find in this collection. I mean, you can't go wrong with this line-up of all-star Amish Fiction authors, right? And do they ever deliver! 

Love the common thread of the bakery setting (is there anything more Christmas-y than a bakeshop?) And I'm amazed at how each author uses her unique voice to create four distinctive stories. There's humour, angst,  and the simple pleasure of enjoying the true meaning of Christmas...and romance...through the eyes of these delightful characters.

A stellar collection.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback copy.
*please note -- I attempted to take a nasty price sticker off the  front cover of this book and, while I succeeded, it lifted off some of the border garland in the upper right hand corner of the cover. It's not ripped or hole-y or anything though -- phew!!!. 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of An Amish Christmas Bakeshop, 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck

Monday, November 29, 2021

Tacos for Two

GIVEAWAY

ST. AMANT, BETSY
TACOS FOR TWO

Rory Perez, a food truck owner who can't cook, is struggling to keep the business she inherited from her aunt out of the red -- and an upcoming contest during Modest's annual food truck festival seems the best way to do it. The prize money could finally give her a solid financial footing and keep her cousin with special needs paid up at her beloved assisted living home. Then maybe Rory will have enough time to meet the man she's been talking to via an anonymous online dating site.

Jude Strong is tired of being a puppet at his manipulative father's law firm, and the food truck festival seems like the perfect opportunity to drive into his passion for cooking and finally call his life his own. But if he loses the contest, he's back at the law firm for good. Failure is not an option.

Complications arise when Rory's chef gets mono and she realizes she has to cook after all. Then Jude discovers that his stiffest competition is the same woman he's been falling for online the past month.

Will these unlikely chefs sacrifice it all for the sake of love? Or will there only ever be tacos for one?

My Review:

So...I was both excited and anxious over this new release. Excited because...Betsy St. Amant and that cute cover!!!! Anxious because I'd been hearing all the buzz about the You've Got Mail influences and I am so not a fan of that movie. Yes, I realize I'm likely a party of one but I can't get behind a romance between a couple already in committed relationships with other people and, more importantly, the bookstore dies. 'Nuf side. :-)

Rest assured this novel contains neither emotional cheating or the demise of a bookstore -- phew!!!! It does, however, contain humour and drama and quirky characters I loved and a few not-so-quirky that I loved to hate. 

The dialogue keeps the story moving, whether it's in the form of pithy text messages or heated arguments or soul-baring candour. Impeccably paced and just when I thought the plot was going in one direction, it veered off in another. So, classic rom/com elements but enough surprising twists to keep a reader on her toes. 

I felt both protagonists' struggles, though I have to admit to being a Jude fan way before I became a Rory fan. She was so quick to leap to wrong conclusions, and even quicker to snap out in anger. She's all prickly and fiery and...confused. I became more drawn to her as bits of her back story were revealed and I began to understand the reasons behind her distrust of Jude. 

He has his own history to overcome as well, and a truly deplorable family, but somehow, Jude managed to be more optimistic and not allow his past experiences to encroach on the new life he's making for himself, especially when it comes to his interactions with Rory. Loved the way the whole identity mix-up plays out and brings a lovely push-pull between comedy and angst to the already emotionally layered story.

The only thing missing was a solid faith thread -- and this surprised me because it is published by Revell which is a Christian Publishing house. Forgiveness , loving your enemies and the importance of family relationships are a major focus of the conflict, just not fleshed out in the inspirational way I was expecting.

All in all a captivating rom/com that's sure to please readers who are fans (or not!) of You've Got Mail.

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 Tacos for Two 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Operation Mistletoe

GIVEAWAY
RANDOM RETRO RE-READ DAY!

MADDREY, ELIZABETH
OPERATION MISTLETOE

Victoria Spencer hates Christmas.

For the last ten years, disaster has struck on Christmas Eve, leaving Tori dreading the holidays. When she's assigned to cover the light displays for her newspaper, she's determined to spend as little time on the article as possible. Especially once she realizes she's to feature frat boy Gabe "The Babe" Robertson, her former college crush.

Gabe Robertson is a different man than he was in college. Every December, he transforms his average into a winter wonderland designed to celebrate the birth of Christ and share God's love with the community. He also uses the lights to raise money for Operation Mistletoe, an organization that sends Christmas to troops stationed overseas.

Unable to set aside her prejudice, Tori looks for ulterior motives in Gabe's actions and determines to dig deeper. Will her investigations destroy any chance of a Merry Christmas?

My Review:

published in 2015

This novella length story has become a staple in my holiday reading diet. It's short but powerful and never fails to direct my focus onto the reason for the season. My Christmas wouldn't be complete without an Operation Mistletoe reread. 

A Christmas story with a Scroogy twist. Victoria isn't a fan of Christmas. Gabe is an over-the-top, out-of-the-box celebrator. Victoria isn't impressed. She's looking for an angle and Gabe's got one -- Jesus. Love the way the author incorporates the true meaning. of Christmas into this story. Love Gabe's enthusiasm. His servant's heart. They way he lives his beliefs. But Victoria's certain there's something fishy going on and she plans to uncover the truth.

This is a shorter read, but packs an emotional wallop along with a zing of Christmas cheer and holiday romance.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

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

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Operation Mistletoe, 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 December 4 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck