Safe in the Fireman’s Arms

safeinthefiremansarmsI just finished this book last night, but it “hit the spot,” as they say. So much so, that I was eager to share it with you today! Safe in the Fireman’s Arms by Tina Radcliffe is a clean, light-hearted read perfect for a weekend escape from it all. Lately I’ve been reading some HEAVY drama and while they’re great stories and great authors, I was in a funk. So, I did something very rare in my world, I put down not just one, but two books. I plan on returning to them in a couple weeks, but I could tell I was consuming too much drama and that on top of life lately was just a bit much. What I needed was an escape that would give me some smiles. Some look down on this type of fiction and call it fluff or slush or another negative term, but ya’ll, it was the perfect solution.

I headed to the library Sunday afternoon and browsed Harlequin’s Love Inspired, which my branch thankfully keeps altogether on a shelf. I chose very scientifically; I read the backs and picked the ones with animals on the cover. This one had a cat. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Almost every story I’ve read with a furry friend at least provided a few smiles and this story didn’t disappoint. More predominately featured was a Collie named Chuck, but a kitten enters the story to liven it up and make you go “Aw.” But it’s not an animal book. It features two people who are ready to move on from their past;a woman who is perpetually involved in incidents of one kind or another and the man the rescues her. I highly recommend it.

 
Running away from her sheltered life, Maggie Jones wants to start fresh. Instead, she finds trouble in Paradise, Colorado. Within days she’s on the radar of fire chief Jake MacLaughlin. And when her family starts to play matchmaker, Maggie’s plans for a quiet life are turned upside down. Though he’s the small town’s most eligible bachelor, Jake is far from a playboy. The widower isn’t interested in dating. But when Maggie transforms from mousy to magnificent, and suitors start lining up, the fireman can’t resist a rescue. Pretending to be a couple rekindles their spark for life…and for love.

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park

In general, I’m not a huge drama fan. I read for escape and I prefer those escapes to be happy. But…Julie Klassen is an exception to my do-drama rule. I love how Julie approaches some hard topics in her books that are mostly avoided in Christian Fiction. While this book doesn’t approach a “taboo” subject, Julie doesn’t shy away from the grit of real life. Here’s a summary:

Pembrooke ParkAbigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her–a longtime friend–has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play . . .

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor’s past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.

Hoping to improve her family’s financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

Oh, my gosh! This book is gripping! I listened to the audio version on a long car trip and there were definitely times that I was gripping the steering wheel. This novel is written in the style of the great gothic novels, but the story leaves you with a satisfying ending, unlike many gothic novels which are endlessly depressing. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and heartbreak. All of the characters have to learn about forgiveness and redemption of both themselves and others.

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Winner of Still Life Giveaway

It’s a fun post kind of day! I have been way too sick the past several days from a stomach bug someone was nice enough to share with me and am finally starting to feel normal. Yay! So, it’s a great time to announce the winner of the Still Life Giveaway that was posted last week. But first, the hubs discovered this hilarious cat book this weekend and couldn’t resist it. It’s called You Need More Sleep, by Francesco Marciuliano. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

If you’re a cat owner, you can definitely relate to these. If you laughed, I encourage you to get the book. There are many many more great ones.

And now…..the winner of the Still Life Giveaway is:

Loraine(momrain)!!!

Loraine, I’ve sent you an email. Please contact me either through email or Facebook to let me know your address!

Thank you to all who have entered and now follow my little blog.

Meow.

 

Still Life and a Giveaway!

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This  past Sunday Dani Pettrey hosted a release party at a local Barnes and Noble. still-life-launch-3Not only did I get to go, but hubs came with since he’s gotten into the series. It was such fun! Dani gave away some fun goodies, gave us all some background on the book, series, and writing life, and answered questions.still-life-launch-2

Here were some fun facts she shared:

  • Dani’s husband has extensive gun knowledge, including the snipers, and took her to the gun range so she could experience shooting for herself.
  • She loves the research for a book.
  • Tends to re-write the whole middle of the book two weeks before deadline and has a very supportive family during this crazy time.

stilllifeAbout the book: Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright–and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead–and the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot. Worse, her friend can’t be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

Review: I could not put this down and neither could the hubs. It was intense, although a couple of the locations were not nearly as creepy to me since I’ve been one of the lucky few inside for my paycheck job (which I also love). But, there were some scary moments. I think the concept of knowing a murder happened because of a photograph but not knowing where the crime scene or the victim are is so intriguing. And the continuing developing relationships of the other characters in the series makes me bite my nails waiting for the next one. It is so much fun for me as a local to read and recognize places in my hometown. Maybe we can convince a local tour company to do tours based on the series!

Hubs review: I never really thought I’d enjoy reading romance until my wife took an opportunity of jury duty to stir the pot (Kat here, he forgot a book to read, so I dropped off Blind Shot. He’s been hooked ever since). Still Life has enough mystery and suspense to keep me intrigued, and I enjoy the local references that shed a good light on Baltimore. (Like a true male, short and to the point. Maybe you too can convince the man in your life that he’ll love it.)

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I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of Still Life along with a few goodies from Dani Pettrey to one of my readers. Due to shipping costs and international regulations, this giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only. Giveaway is subject to Kat’s Corner Books’s giveaway policies which can be found on the Disclosure and Policies page.

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Giveaway open until 3/7/2017 at 12pam. Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rescue Me

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When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him–not just on the job as liaison between the Mercy Falls sheriff’s department and PEAK Rescue, but in his private life. He’s the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father’s accidental death. And he’s the one–perhaps the only one–who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she’s nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on–namely, nabbing the job as youth pastor for her small-town church. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.


Rescue Me is the second book in the Montana Rescue Series by Susan May Warren focused around a PEAK Rescue Team. While the main story focuses on Sam and Willow, we also dive into the relationship between Jess and Pete, though be prepared, as like Ian and Sierra, their story is on-going. We got a taste of Pete/Jess in Wild Montana Skies, and it was great to get to know both characters more in depth, along with the rest of the team and several other characters in Mercy Falls.

The action is jamb packed throughout the story and with multiple relationships developing, the story is firmly in the page-turner category. Even with several characters to follow, the storylines are easy to follow as you jump between viewpoints. I also think it’s interesting to see a rescue from both sides, i.e. the rescuer and rescuee, thought I suppose you could argue about who falls into what category.

I don’t dive into cover art comments too often, but I love this cover and the Sam is just too handsome. I must say I wasn’t imagining him quite so good looking in my mind, but, oh, after reading the story focused on him, it fits so well!

P.S. Susan’s author note at the end is touching. I usually skip over these, but am so glad I read it. Don’t forget to read it as well.

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Berry on Top

The weather is glorious here today and super warm for being winter. Thank goodness Berry on Top by Valerie Comer has a real winter in it with cold temps and snow because I need something to remind me what winter is supposed to feel like. I miss snow. I know, I know, some of you wish you could miss snow.

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Liz Nemesek’s first visit home in forever is tough enough before Mason Waterman shows up. Despite her best efforts, she’s never forgotten — or forgiven — him for the hurt he once caused.

Former bad boy Mason Waterman has returned to northern Idaho to raise his five-year-old twins. The kids are determined to find a new mommy, but Liz is the last person they should latch onto… and the last person he should find himself falling for. Again.

If Mason has really changed, can Liz re-open her heart to him… and to the God who could have prevented her decade of heartache?

Review: Berry On Top is the 6th book in the Farm Fresh series. While it is a stand alone story and you can enjoy it without reading any of the others, I would encourage you to read them all as it deepens your enjoyment of the characters and their world. Valerie does a great job of giving you the backstory where you need it; enough to feel up to speed, but not overwhelming to the story line.

The mysterious missing Nemesek has finally come home! I’ve been wondering what has kept her away for so long and boy do we find out why. While I don’t get her choices, I understand why she made them. So many take a wrong turn in their life as a reaction to a situation and don’t know how to get back on track. This has been the hardest of Valerie’s books for me to get through and there were times that I was yelling at the main characters, but you know what, it was REAL. Life is messy. Faith is messy. Sometimes Christian fiction can ignore both or wrap it up with a once-you-know-Jesus-everything-is-better Bandaid, but humans are still imperfect and struggle to make the right choices and allow God’s grace to seep in. Mason and Liz’s story is meaningful example of how we struggle with faith, but God is faithful, even when we walk away.

Enjoy!

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To Have and To Hold

I had this blog post all composed in my head (on my extra long walk this morning after the bus broke down the final time) and then I remembered it’s Valentine’s Day, so happy day dedicated to romance! For any of you gents out there reading this, I have the perfect book for your reading lady. Read on.

It was an interesting morning. I could probably write a blog filled with stories of my trips to and from work on the bus, but I don’t think anyone would actually read it. Thankfully, this morning I had Becky Wade’s Love in the Details to keep me company so I didn’t find the whole bus thing nearly as perturbing as I otherwise would have. I finished up The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert last night which is also joined by Love Takes the Cake by Betsy St. Amant, all in the To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories collection of novellas. Then to put the icing on the, um…doughnut, I got into work and there are doughnuts! God bless whoever brought them.

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Love Takes the Cake: A September Wedding Story by Betsy St. Amant

Charlotte Cantrell is always the baker; never the bride. When Will, a regular at Charlotte’s bakery, catches her attention, she can only hope that he is the reliable man this single mother has always hoped to find. The problem is that he’s regularly stopping in to buy cookies for another girl. But when Charlotte is hired to bake a host of wedding goodies for a difficult bride and finds out Will is the best man, she has the perfect opportunity to get to know him better—and find out how serious Will is about this other girl in his life.

The Perfect Arrangement: An October Wedding Story by Katie Ganshert

Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop. Her love life has always been a bit lackluster—until she ends up in an embarrassing fender-bender with handsome Nate Gallagher. Meanwhile, Amelia’s younger brother, William, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. It seems Nate is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s good at it—and pretty fun to talk to, too. As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people, she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nate still be interested when he learns who she is?

Love in the Details: A November Wedding Story by Becky Wade

When Josh returns to his hometown of Martinsburg, Texas, to help his best friend get married, he didn’t intend to run into church wedding coordinator—and ex-girlfriend—Holly. He can’t help but pine after the girl he never got over. Holly broke up with Josh years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. But she loved him then and still loves him now. As she helps him plan his best friend’s wedding, she longs to be with Josh but doesn’t feel worthy of his big-time lifestyle when she is more comfortable in her small-town world. Will Josh and Holly be able to keep things as they are when their true feelings threaten to surface at every turn?

Review:

Love Takes the Cake: This was a sweet story with the perfect novella recipe of character development, tension, and romance. I felt that the author did a great job of working within the confines of limited space while still creating a story that was complete and wrapped up nicely. And Zoe is a spitfire. Maybe one day we’ll get a story about grown up Zoe.

The Perfect Arrangement: I love flowers so the flower shop setting was spot on for me. I’m not usually a first person narrative fan, but Katie does well with breaking it up by using emails between the main characters and two others which help with their perspectives. I thought it was an interesting twist and combination of some classic storylines (some are even mentioned in the story itself). The only drawback was that it felt like it ended quickly with a neat little bow. I would have liked to see more from these characters and it would’ve made a good full-length novel concept.

Love in the Details: I’m not sure how I hadn’t read this before as I’ve read everything else by Becky Wade. I confess I’m only a few chapters in (in part thanks to this morning’s “ride,” a.k.a. the wait and walk) but I am hooked. Unfortunately, I have to do the job that earns a paycheck and not spend the rest of the morning finishing the story. BUT I WANT TO! (Some days adulting is HARD.)

So, pick up this collection and read it to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

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