Friday, April 14, 2017

My Review: Life After, plus giveaway!

"I guess that's what life is, though, isn't it?  A whole bunch of little moments that don't seem significant or life-altering at the time, but when you look back . . . I don't know.  They become the most profoundly beautiful things."  - Anna

It could have been me.
     Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city's transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
     A year later, Autumn Manning can't remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
     Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she'll bring more wreckage in her wake. 

About the Author:

Katie Ganshert is the author of seven novels and several works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family. 

My Review: 5 stars
There are some books that touch your heart.  They draw you in and you only put them down in case of fire (or someone yelling your name).  You connect with the characters and maybe their stories break your heart a little bit (or a lot), but you laugh with them, and cry.  They become dear friends and you become their cheerleader, hoping they’ll find a happy ending, sometimes against the odds.  This was definitely one of those stories, for me!  The kind that you turn the last page, then battle the desire to immediately open the first page again, and start the journey anew.  Needless to say, it grabbed my attention at once and didn’t let go, despite the many things begging for my time!  This is undoubtedly a story that I will be reading over and over!

I always adore anything Katie Ganshert writes, though I do keep tissues close at hand, because she usually makes me cry at least once.  There’s something about her writing style that captures my attention and my imagination.  I can so easily picture Autumn, haunted by questions from the accident, and Paul, trying so hard to move on and keep it together for his kids.  I can see Reese, fighting to hold on to memories, and Tate, with his boundless energy and contagious smile.  I can imagine a pick up basketball game in the pouring rain and hurting people trying to make sense of tragedy.  These characters became so real to me, their heartache and pain, their questions and laughter and tears.  Ms. Ganshert drew me in ever deeper with every page, until I honestly had to step back a couple times and remind myself that this was fiction, though there are people living similar stories every day.  Her writing is compelling, at times poetic, and unapologetic.  And I do have to add that I loved the lighthearted moments and the surprise laughter found here and there.  Just little things that added a bit of light and joy to a story revolving around a tragedy.

I loved the honesty found between the covers.  This story is hard.  It deals with grief and survivor’s guilt.  It voices difficult questions that some may prefer to have left unsaid.  It challenges me still, days after finishing it.  But it’s also beautiful.  The very first line is a bit startling, but reminds how fleeting life really is.  I was incredibly curious how the author would choose to handle the questions that are posed throughout the story - questions I myself have asked more than once - and was left with tears in my eyes at her answers.  Of everything else I enjoyed about this book, the faith element was undeniably what has made it a favorite.  Seeing the characters grow and become better versions of themselves, as they figure out “life after.”  All of it combined made this story unforgettable.

I loudly and enthusiastically recommend this book! (and maybe some tissues!)

Thank you so much for stopping by!  If you took the time to read my review, I thank you again.  If you just scrolled down here to learn about the giveaway, that's cool too.  I don't judge (and there's no way I could possibly know, anyway).
A couple things first - as always, there will be purchase links below, but because the official release date isn't until Tuesday, the 18th, there are no reviews available on those sites.  That being the case, if you'd like to read opinions other than my possibly slightly biased one, I'm also including the link for Goodreads, since there are already several reviews available.  :)

And now for the giveaway stuff!  I have to admit, I'm excited!  I can't remember the last giveaway I did and I so loved this book that I just can't resist!  So, I'm giving away a paper or ebook copy (winner's choice) of Life After!  Since ebook is an option this time, that means International friends can enter, too!  That's pretty exciting for me.  :)
The giveaway will be open until midnight EST, April 17th, and the winner will be chosen Tuesday morning (release day!).   The Rafflecopter form should load below and I think that's all there is to it!

Website links:


Friday, April 7, 2017

My Review: Final Verdict

". . .deep down, he was aware he could love her.  He could easily fall and fall hard. . . ."

When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in townand in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it's his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancée from a dangerous felon, but he'll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.

                        About the Author:

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook.

My Review: 5 stars
Can I just start out with oh-my-goodness?!  I LOVED this book!  Im not even exaggerating - this book was awesome!  I finished it and immediately wanted to dive into another of Ms. Patchs books and find out what Id been missing!  I was so looking forward to this book, especially after meeting being introduced to the two main characters in the previous book, Concealed Identity.”  And I can happily say that it exceeded all of my expectations!
I found that I really enjoy Ms. Patchs writing style.  Im not entirely sure I can describe it, but its kinda . . . . comfortable.  Picking up her books feels like revisiting old friends, even if the story is brand new.  Im confident that Ill love the people shes created and want to just keep devouring her books - theyre addicting!  They flow smoothly and I love all of the Southern expressions that Ive either heard used and I laugh, or Ive never heard of and they still make me laugh!  And her characters are so realistic!  I felt as though Id known Aurora and Beckett for ages, instead of just a few pages.  I also really appreciated getting into Auroras head and learning how she could do a job thats so controversial.  Especially when she was stuck in close quarters with Beckett, whos job was in contrast with hers.  I loved her sass and determination and unwillingness to back down.  Poor Beckett, I felt a little bad for him, but he was just so bossy (he prefers commanding) and needed someone who would stand up to him and tell him whats what.  They complimented each other so well and I so enjoyed getting to know them better and going through the mystery with them.  Ms. Patch is excellent at misdirection and keeping me guessing, thats for sure!  Until the very end, I was still debating and trying to figure out what was going on and who was lying and who was telling the truth.  And the ending!  Definitely worth a sigh or two.

I highly recommend this book if youre looking for a mystery that will keep you on your toes, mixed with a romance that may inspire a few sighs here and there!

It's not often I read two "5 star" books in a row, but I truly loved this book and Lisa's (my last post)!  And I obviously highly recommend this book and really any of Jessica's books, because I've caught up on them in the last few days and let me tell you, they are all excellent!  And the ending of this one! *sigh*  So good!  As always, links are below, if you'd like to check out this book!  I can't wait for the next one (the start of a new series!)!!

Oh!  And before I forget - be sure to stop by Jessica's new website (link here ) and enter her giveaway for a Kindle Fire and a signed copy of Final Verdict!  It's open until the end of April, so don't miss out!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a colorful day!