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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Katie Ganshert's Wildflowers from Winter Review and Book Giveaway!

Wildflowers from Winter is gripping and beautiful, featuring flawed people and the starkness of winter and a flawless Lord and the beauty of spring. It is a book that will stay with you, and make you sneak it to work to read in the bathroom on extended breaks.

Here's a blurb from Katie's website:
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

I have stood by Katie like a proud Aunt, watching her journey to publication. Holding her baby in my hands for the first time, I felt pride and joy and amazement at her miracle.

And what a miracle it is. I'm not saying this because I critique Katie and she is my friend. I'm saying it because she's an amazing writer with a gift for turning a phrase in such a unique way that you contemplate the words more carefully, with consideration, instead of blazing past them.

She didn't shy away from the emotional passages either. I honestly cried three times while reading this book. Three. (Well done, friend. Well done!) I don't think I've ever used the word "gripping" to describe one of the novels I've reviewed before. But Wildflowers from Winter is. Most of the truly emotionally-charged scenes had my heart pumping and my breath catching and tears welling along with the heroine, as I was easily able to imagine myself right there on the page with her.

And from a therapeutic perspective, I truly relished Bethany's motivation behind her actions. It was easy to see how the 12-year-old Bethany had taken over her thought processes into adulthood, which is, of course, faulty and dysfunctional. But oh-so realistic. I sighed in satisfaction as Bethany's story unfolded and her romance progressed. It all came together in the last few chapters so beautifully.

Katie, you're an amazing writer and I can't wait to see your name on more books just like this one. I'm tickled to get to read your stuff before everyone else gets the privilege. :)

I'm offering an ARC of Katie's book to one lucky blog follower (click button to the left to "follow"). Leave your email address in a comment below so I can contact you. Giveaway will end on Sunday.

Let's Analyze: When you cry reading a novel at work, what are ways you can pass this off as work-related?