Monday, October 31, 2011

The Christmas Singing



Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were children. But when faced with unexpected circumstances, he makes up an excuse to end their engagement. He doesn't want to lie to her, but he believes that telling Mattie the truth would be more hurtful.

Brokenhearted, Mattie moves from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, to Ohio, where she pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator. She finds a new beau -- a man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her.

When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by his dishonesty -- and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the two childhood friends.

My Review:

This slim little book packs a wallop and proves that Cindy Woodsmall can do concise without losing out on the depth and detail she is known for. Mattie is such a fun character -- and very different from your typical Amish heroine. Love her dreaminess, her klutziness, the way she can turn disaster into something fun and light-hearted. Except for her broken engagement that is. She knows how to harbour a grudge and I honestly can't blame her since she thinks one thing while the reality is far different.

I spent my time being alternately irritated and enamoured with Gideon. Honestly --he's...he's...just like a man!!!! Thinks like a man, acts like a man and believe me that isn't always a good thing! So there's fireworks at times, angst a plenty, but Woodsmall weaves it all together with some wonderfully heart-warming, light-hearted moments as well. A great combination for a Christmas read -- though there's not a lot of Christmas in the read. LOL. It's not as seasonal as I thought it would be, but that didn't detract from the story at all. In fact it makes it more universally appealing. Definitely not a book that has to be read only at Christmas.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance at winning your own copy of The Christmas Singing please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Make sure to put the title in the subject line please. Draw will be held and announced on Sunday November 6. This offer is open internationally. Good luck!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Giveaway - Week Five


Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills
won by Bethany Schweitzer

Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
won by Faye

Congratulations ladies and I'll be sure to get in touch with you today for your snailmail address. If you don't hear from me by Monday night assume cyberspace has absconded with my email and please send me one of your own. :-)

And on that note -- I try to order the books asap so I don't forget but I have had limited computer/internet access for weeks now so if you won a book here and haven't received it within about three weeks don't be shy at giving me shout. I track everything I order so it would be easy to see if I messed up somehow and forgot an order. That happened to me in the summer. Sooooo embarrassing!

Looking ahead to next week's giveaways:

The Christimas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall -- what a treat! A slight novella that left me wishing it was a full-blown book.

A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray -- so glad I didn't give up all my cowboys for brawny Highlanders! Clayton is a keeper!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Highland Sanctuary



Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin's heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.

The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well, and when a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. Then, as Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God's love is more powerful than any human force on earth.

My Review:

What a refreshing read! And Gavin MacKenzie is a welcome diversion from the plethora of cowboy heroes parading through Christian Fiction these days. Not that I have anything against cowboys, you understand -- oh my heaven's no! (she says, fanning herself vigorously at the images that come to mind from recent reads.) BUT there is something about a warrior hero with a brogue, isn't there? Be still my wildly beating heart! Gavin is the perfect candidate for the role too. Level-headed, strong, compassionate, kind, knows his own just gets better and better -- or it would if Taylor didn't keep throwing literary daggers his way!

I loved the village of outcasts. Each character is so unique and Taylor uses them in a powerful way to carry Christ's message of hope -- a central theme carried throughout the book. If you love a solid medieval romance with lots of action, toe-curling romance (I feel a swoon coming on just thinking about a scene or two) and a strong inspirational thread then look no further. Highland Sanctuary definitely fits the bill.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like an opportunity to win your own copy of Highland Sanctuary please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please make sure to add the book title to the subject line. Draw will take place on Sunday October 30 and will be posted on the same day. Offer open internationally. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Attracted to Fire




Special Agent Meghan Connors' dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president's rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he's also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn't the work of a single suspect-it's part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it's too late.

My Review:

Mills deftly combines romance, action, suspense and drama into a riveting read. The intricate details of this suspense build into a page-turning frenzy by the end. I particularly loved the slow-burn of the romance angle. Ash is just so anti-woman at the beginning and it was great fun to be inside his head as his preconceived notions slowly unravel. And Meghan is so cool and collected! It definitely provided a bit of comic relief in an otherwise angst-riddled plot. This is the kind of book you'll want to finish in a day because you just won't want to put it down!
Giveaway Opportunity:
First off, I apologize for posting my giveaways up late in the week. Computer and Internet problems at home and a frantic pace at work have effectively muzzled me this week!
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Attracted to Fire please post a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Make sure to put the book title in the subject line. This offer is open internationally. Draw will be held and the winner announced on Sunday October 30. Good luck!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October Giveaway - Week Four

Giveaway Winners Announced!

Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer
won by Diana Flowers

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
won by Esther
Congratulations to the winners. I will contact you by email for your snail mail address. If you don't hear from me by Monday evening please email me so I can get your book to you in a timely manner.

Looking Ahead to Next Week's Giveaways:

Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills
Wow!!!! Talk about suspense!!!! You'll wear out your index finger turning pages so fast!

Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Just getting into this now. I'm in the mood for a swoonworthy Scottish hero and I'm sure Taylor won't disappoint!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Along Wooded Paths



All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . .

But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.

As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.

Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.
Rich, vibrant, descriptive writing and a profound depth to the storyline make Along Wooded Paths an incomparable read. This is the kind of book you can happily lose yourself in and I certainly did. It packs an emotional punch too and I admit to reading with trepidation at times. I was as torn as Marianna was between Ben and Aaron and I ached for both men who obviously loved her. Goyer had me squirming a time or two and I'd love to participate in a book club chat about the romantic angles in this book since I can't here without posting spoilers.

What touched me the most though was Marianna's spiritual growth -- her awakening to a deeper understanding of her relationship with the Lord. It's definitely something any Christian could parallel in their own life and for that reason I'd say that this is more than an Amish romance. I still loved the Amish setting though, and the way Along Wooded Paths shows a community of Englisch and Amish who interact more than in most.

Goyer has posted a teaser from the next book in the series that has me on edge and anxiously waiting the its release. I'm glad she isn't through with Marianna and the Sommer family!

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of Along Wooded Paths, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Remember to add the title to the subject line. The draw will be held and the winner announced on Sunday October 23. Good luck! Open internationally.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A House of Secrets



When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters, Geena and Piper, quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.

Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?

My Review:

Emotionally riveting and powerful, this book consumed me. Peterson has created a believably flawed family struggling to overcome the secrets of their past. The Coopers are as dysfunctional as they get and each daughter is clearly a product of that dysfunction. Peterson's strength is in her detailed characterizations. The sisters, Bailee, Geena and Piper, in particular, had solid reasons for behaving the way they did and Peterson eases us beneath layers and layers of confusion, coping strategies and fear until we come to the startling heart of the matter.

Add in Mark Delahunt -- stalwart, dependable, patient and kind -- he's almost too good to be true, but exactly what Bailee needs during this tumultuous time. He provides an anchor of stability to the whole family in the midst of their crumbling secrets. And he's in love with Bailee. Has been for a long time. But her past hinders her future and witnessing her struggle to come to grips with it all is heart-wrenching. Peterson's use of first person narrative makes it all the more poignant.

This is a tale about survival and growth and the goodness of God. It's about not giving up even when you have to let go and it will haunt you long after you read the last word.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson, leave a comment below. Or you can email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please make sure to put the title in the subject line. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 23. Good luck! Offer open internationally.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Giveaway - Week Three


The Captain's Mission by Debby Giusti
won by Shaz

Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radcliffe
won by Hannah
The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller
won by Ashley Roberts

I'll contact you today via email but if you don't hear from me by Monday evening, please email me your snail mail address so I can send out the books.

Looking ahead to next week's giveaways:

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
Powerful and Moving -- a real contrast to her historical pieces. What a talented lady!

Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer
Just picked this one up at the bookstore last night and started reading on the busride home. Divine -- but guaranteed to be angst-riddled. I'm fighting the urge to skip to the last page so I can put myself out of my misery.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway



Her heart seeks sanctuary in the deep woods. But will trouble find her even here?

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home, conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a north woods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.

With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the rowdy shanty boys to the warm cookstove and mouth-watering apple pie, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting you to a time of danger and romance.

My Review:
Utterly captivating! Miller has gone to great effort to get her historical facts right and it certainly shows in this sweeping saga. I loved the unique setting and the author used it to the best advantage in this gripping plot. Miller's vivid details made each scene jump off the page and it was very easy to lose myself in the wealth of this story. In fact, I was very reluctant to give it up when I reached the conclusion.
Stunning passages, endearing characters and a stellar plot will engage any reader's emotions. Katie's struggles with an abusive past are particularly poignant and just when everything seems hopeless...well...Miller doesn't leave it there. She crafted an incredible, page-turning conclusion that left me breathless. This one should definitely have a place on your Keeper shelf.
Giveaway Opportunity:
If you would like to win a copy of The Measure of Katie Calloway, please leave a comment below. Or you can email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please include the title in the subject line. Offer open internationally. Draw and winner announced on Sunday October 16. Good luck!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Oklahoma Reunion



Facing her past.

Single mother Kait Field is back home in the small Oklahoma town she left eight years ago. It's time to empty the family home, close the door on the past and introduce her daughter, Jenna, to her daddy. Ryan Jones hasn't quite forgiven his teenage sweetheart, who left him with unanswered questions and a broken heart.

But Kait was never accepted by his controlling family, and they don't seem any more welcoming this time around. Yet now Ryan and Kait are resolved that nothing will come between renewed promises of faith, forever -- and the second chances that neither expected.

My Review:

 Radcliffe has written a polished, heart-warming and inspiring romance that will thrill 'classic romance' readers. I love how the characters in this book -- especially Ryan -- were able to look forward instead of wallowing in the past. This twist brought a different perspective to the plot and made for a refreshing read.

Radcliffe also excels with her secondary characters. She has a knack for creating one in each book that almost steals the show from the hero and heroine. In Oklahoma Reunion that would be Gramps. Memorable, funny -- a  Grandpa Walton kind of guy who provided a steadying influence amidst family turmoil. But this wasn't an angst-riddled romance. Rather it's a story that brings hope -- a real pleasure to read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win your own copy of Oklahoma Reunion leave a comment below. Or you can email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please add the title of the book to your subject line. Draw is open internationally and will be held and announced on Sunday October 16. Good luck!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Captain's Mission



A demonstration turned deadly.

When one of his soldiers is killed by live ammunition during what was supposed to be a simple training exercise. Captain Phil Thibodeaux wants answers. Even if it means working with the Criminal Investigation Division that seems certain to pin the blame on him. But after CID agent Kelly McQueen defends his conduct, Phil realizes that there's more to the dedicated agent than meets the eye. Maybe she's someone he can trust, after all. And he'll need someone to rely on as investigations lead him to doubt everyone else -- even his own soldiers.

My Review:

What a gripping read!!!! Once I cracked the book open I pretty much read it right through in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. Giusti knows how to build tension, strategically divulging clues one at a time while she gradually cranks up the action until an explosion of suspense sent me reeling at the end. Brilliantly done.

Phil and Kelly's slow burn romantic development added its own unique blend of toe-curling suspense as well. Definitely a winning combination and one you don't want to miss. This is Love Inspired Suspense at its best.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Captain's Mission, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTcom. Please make sure you add the title to the subject line. Draw will be held and announced on Sunday October 16. Open internationally. Good luck!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Giveaway - Week Two

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon
won by Sandra Orchard
Because I offered up a Love Inspired book as well  in this week's giveaway and I didn't get it in time to review it, I decided I'd draw twice for this book so we'll still have three winners this week.

A Necessary Deception by Lauire Alice Eakes
won by Anna and Melissa Jagears

Congratulations to all the winners. I'll contact you via email to get your snail mail addresses. If you don't hear from me by Monday evening, please email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. (sometimes my emails seem to get lost in cyberspace!)

Looking ahead to next week's giveaways:

Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radclifee
Yep, it finally got here and I read it this weekend. Fantastic!!!!

The Captain's Mission by Debby Giusti 
Excellent suspense -- clear your calendar because you'll want to read this in one sitting!!!!

The Measure of Kate Calloway by Serena Miller 
Just about to dive into this one. It has rave reviews so I'm really excited.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Necessary Deception



When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreamed he would turn up in her parlour. But just as the London Season is getting under way, there he is, along with a few other questionable personages. While she should be focused on helping her headstrong younger sister prepare for her entre into London society, Lady Lydia finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting her family in danger?

Readers will enjoy being drawn into this world of elegance and intrigue, balls and masquerades. Author Laurie Alice Eakes whisks readers through the drawing rooms of London amid the sound of rustling gowns on this exciting quest to let the past stay in the past and let love guide the future.

My Review:

Another Regency I adored. I'll have to stop saying I don't like books set in the Regency period! Too many good authors are reviving the genre with a twist that catches -- and more importantly -- keeps my attention. Eakes' writing style is sublime. She manages to capture the nuances of the time period in both dialogue and description. In fact A Necessary Deception is filled with wonderful phrases that hit me right between the eyes in an explosion of imagery. Nothing like free-falling through a couple of centuries!!! She definitely engaged all my senses and transported me into a different world.

The intrigue is what sets this Regency romance apart from others. Love the way Eakes built it up, slowly at first and then increased the pace until the end was an adrenaline page-turning sprint!  But amidst all the drama and action lies the heart of a really good romance. Lydia's 'mysterious Frenchman' is a swoonworthy hero (my highest rating) even if she doesn't figure that out right away!

Eakes has also set up a cast of memorable characters and I'm on tenterhooks wondering who is going to star in the next book in the Daughters of Bainbridge House series.This one (and every other Laurie Alice Eakes book) should be on everybody's keeper shelf. To get a free copy of your own read below:

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of A Necessary Deception, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTcom. Please remember to put the book title in the subject line. Draw will be held and announced on Sunday October  9. Offer open internationally. Good luck!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Vision of Lucy


Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes; so does a vision of second chances...and love

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rock Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artiist, the way he though of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hang on their walls.

But disaster follows Lucy on every photo assignment: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf -- a rugged, reclusive man who lives on the outskirts of town -- she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy's life. But will these events draw her closer ot God or push her further away? And how will David accept this new vision of Lucy?

My Review:

If you like Mary Connealy and Cathy Marie Hakes, you'll adore Margaret Brownley. This is her third in the Rocky Creek Romance series, and it's packed with comedy and action and a wallop of romance as well. It's the one-liners that kept me laughing -- even in the middle of the angst. And poor, klutzy Lucy, so determined to make a new name for herself  other than by taking on a husband! The slapstick comedy is priceless, but there's still an undercurrent of drama and some thought-provoking moral issues that bring an appealing balance to the story. And Brownley followers will be delighted to renew aquaintances with the townful of unique characters they met in A Lady Like Sarah and A Suitor for Jenny. An enjoyable read for anyone who likes their Westerns with a dash of comedy...or should that be their comedy with a dash of Western?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Deadly Pursuit



A stalker with deadly intent...A woman who protects children...An ex-Navy SEAL turned police detective.

Social worker Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children. But now it seems she needs protecting. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, she calls in reinforcements -- her police-detective brother., Cole, and his new partner, ex-Navy SEAL, Mitch Morgan. As her relentless stalker turns up the heat and the danger intensities. Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Because protecting Alison has become more than a job, his future depends on keeping her safe.

Filled with nail-biting suspense and heart-melting romance, Deadly Pursuit is Irene Hannon's storytelling at its very best.

My Review:

This really is Hannon at her best. The suspense is there from the very first page, but it's the developing romance that held my attention in the beginning. Beautifully developed -- so natural -- loved the teasing conversations, the banter, the inner thoughts not yet divulged. And then..Kaboom!!!!!!! I was shocked. Truly stunned! I'd seen the foreshadowing but I didn't think she'd actually do it!!!!! Noooooooooooo - I whimpered as I rabidly turned pages. But even in the midst of the angst the hero shone brighter than any knight in shining armor and I was smitten with Hannon again, though I now think it's more of a love/hate author/reader relationship!.  

Want to know what I'm going on about? Well, you'll just have to read Deadly Pursuit to find out.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please remember to put the title int he subject line. Draw will be held and the winner announced on Sunday, October 9. Open internationally.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Giveaway - Week One


A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman
won by Michelle

Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher
won by Merry

I'll get in touch with the winners this weekend. If by chance you don't hear from me by Monday evening please contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Sometimes my emails disappear into cyberspace spam!

Next Weeks Giveaways:

Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon 
 Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about romantic suspense!!!!!!!! 

A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes 
I'm so excited to get started on this one.

Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radcliffe 
 (if it ships to me in time. I'm expecting it any day!)