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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

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A Promise Kept Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Review

A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Publication Date: January 7, 2014 
Format: Paperback - 304 pages / Kindle - 1876 / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 1401687652
Genre: Christian Fiction / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: A Promise Kept

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Litfuse Publicity.

Book Description:

God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.

What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.

Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.

Book Excerpt:



May 2011

This wasn't the life Allison Kavanagh had imagined for herself, but it was what her life had become. Like it or not, she had to get on with it.

She turned the key in the lock.

Hidden away in the mountains north of Boise, the two-story log house—built many decades before but completely remodeled on the inside—was open and airy with a state-of-the-art kitchen, modern efficiencies throughout, and spectacular views of the rugged Idaho mountains from every window. The place had been left to Allison four years earlier in her great-aunt's will. Never in her wildest dreams had Allison imagined she would end up living in it one day. Perhaps Aunt Emma had seen the future a little more clearly than she had.

Welcome to your new home.

A lump formed in her throat, but she fought back the tears. She was weary of crying—it was all she'd done for months and months. Sometimes it felt like years and years. Setting her mouth, she dropped her purse onto the small table inside the front door.

Some of her own furniture filled the living room. She was glad of it. Made the place feel a little less foreign to her. Not that it was foreign to her. She'd visited her aunt's home many times throughout her life, and after it had come into Allison's possession, it had served as an occasional getaway, a place of peace when life's storms became too much to handle.

Dear Aunt Emma. The sister of Allison's maternal grandmother, Emma Carter had been considered somewhat of a "rebel" in the family. Never married and financially independent because of her success as a nature photographer, added to sound investments and careful spending, she'd lived as she pleased. Oh, the stories Aunt Emma used to tell about World Wars I and II, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression. If ever a woman was born with the gift of storytelling, it had been Emma Carter. No wonder Allison had adored her.

"How do I get on with my life, Aunt Emma?" she whispered.

If Aunt Emma were still alive, she would have answered honestly and directly. No mincing words. Emma Carter had never sugarcoated anything for anybody. Not even for her favorite—as she'd always called Allison—and only—as Allison had pointed out in return—great niece. But Aunt Emma was gone. Allison would have to find the answers on her own or muddle along as best she could without them.

She passed through the living room and walked down the short hallway to the master bedroom. The new queen-sized four-poster she'd purchased sat against the opposite wall, bare of bedclothes other than a quilted mattress cover. Staring at the bed, she felt her aloneness afresh. It burned through her like salt in an open wound.

She looked away.

In a corner of the bedroom sat her large desk and credenza. It too was naked. Allison hadn't entrusted her MacBook, large external display, or printer to the movers. Those important items were still in her car in the driveway.

A design deadline loomed closer. She'd best get her office set up and make certain the Internet was turned on as promised by the cable provider. Her to-do list was too long to ignore, even for a few days. And besides, keeping busy took her mind off many less pleasant realities. Immersing herself in work had been her salvation. For years, really, but especially over the past eleven months. Ever since the day she'd uttered her ultimatum.

The lump in her throat returned. She swallowed again.

"Tough love" some would have called her take-it-or-leave-it demand, and she'd been certain tough love was required in the situation. But she'd believed what she said would be that last straw, that illusive bottom, those words that would change everything.

They had changed everything. Just not the way she'd hoped they would. Not the way she'd wanted. Not for the better. Not as promised.

Why didn't You keep Your promise?

It was the most she'd said to God in a while. The ability to pray seemed to have shriveled inside of her. One more loss added to so many others.

With a shake of her head, Allison retraced her footsteps to the living room, went out onto the wide redwood deck that circled three sides of the house, and descended the steps to her pale gold SUV parked in the driveway. From behind the driver's seat she released her dog from his crate and set him on the ground. Gizmo sniffed at his new surroundings.

"You stay close. I don't want an eagle or a bear having you for lunch." The tricolored papillon perked up his ears, and she couldn't keep from smiling. "You're such a good boy."

She'd bought Gizmo from a local breeder to help fill the vast emptiness that had surrounded her after her husband walked out the door, leaving her and her ultimatum in the dust. Having an active puppy around had helped ease the emptiness too. There was always something she needed to do for the little guy—feed him, take him for a walk, give him a bath, let him out to do his business.

She'd read somewhere that owning a papillon meant never going to the bathroom alone, and it was true. Gizmo followed her everywhere. He slept on the unused right side of the bed. He sat near her feet when she ate, a hopeful expression on his face even though she never let him eat table scraps. He curled up beside her on the sofa while she watched television. He lay in his dog bed under her desk when she was on the computer. He was her constant and best companion, and she loved him for making her feel less alone.

Perhaps she would become that crazy old lady who lived in a log cabin in the mountains, talking only to her dog. Or dogs. She could get Gizmo a friend or two. Or maybe she should acquire a half-dozen cats. She could give herself a funky haircut and let it go all frizzy and kinky. She could dress in bright, baggy clothes. But then, who would know if she was crazy or not? Who would see her? A dense forest separated her from her nearest neighbors, and she was miles up a winding highway to the nearest town. Not to mention that her only child, Meredith, lived halfway across the country.

A crazy old lady. She closed her eyes and released a sigh. Forty-five wasn't old, but some days it seemed like it. Some days forty-five felt like ninety.

She went to the back of the Tribeca and opened the rear door. Her LED computer display was in its original box with a handle. She grabbed it along with her laptop case and headed into the house. And for the next several hours, while she hooked up electronics in the bedroom and the living room and otherwise settled in, she managed to keep her thoughts from returning to the sad place they too often traveled to.

That was no small victory.

My Book Review:

A Promise Kept is a beautifully written and inspirational story of faith, love,forgiveness, redemption, and second chances.

After dealing with unexpected trials and tribulations in their marriage, Allison Kavanagh gives her husband Tony an ultimatum: choose what's more important, alcohol or their family. She never expected Tony's choice to walk away from their family. While recovering from the divorce, Allison restarts her life by staying at a beautiful Idaho mountain cabin left to her by her Great Aunt Emma. Allison's journey of self-discovery will lead her to discover Emma's collection of journals in the attic. Emma's journals parallel a common struggle that both she and Allison have endured, a struggle between life's expectations and God's promise, will, and timing. As Allison reads the journals, the grace of God's promise comes shining through and renews her life with hope and faith.

This wonderful story is told in the alternating first person narratives of Allison and Emma, it is an intriguing intertwining of the historical past and the present that easily draws the reader into Allison and Emma's stories. The story flows seamlessly between the two storylines, you can't help but become emotionally attached to the characters.

I loved the story's message and lesson that Allison learned during her journey: God's timing is not our timing, and His ways are not our ways. But He always keeps His promises, sometimes in surprising and even painful ways. Allison learns to love as God wants her to love, and she learns the redemptive grace of forgiveness. If you are experiencing a variety of struggles in your life, this inspirational story is a thoughtful guide that could change your outlook and provide an understanding of how God's grace is working in your life, even if it is not as you would have expected.

A Promise Kept is based on the personal experiences of the author, it is an emotional and touching story of redemption that will pull at the heartstrings.

Rating: 4 STARS ****

About The Author

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 65+ novels and novellas. Her home is in Idaho, where she spends her time writing stories of faith, courage, and love; pondering the things of God; and loving her family and friends.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Robin Lee Hatcher’s A PROMISE KEPT Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Don't miss Robin Lee Hatcher's stunning new novel, A Promise KeptRobin is celebrating with a fun giveaway and an encouraging Facebook Author Chat Party.


 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6th.

Winner will be announced at the "A Promise Kept" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 6th. Connect with Robin and friends for an evening of encouraging book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Robin's next book!

So grab your copy of A Promise Kept and join Robin on the evening of February 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 2/6!

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