Book Reviews,  Giveaway,  interview

live without you

Happy Monday, Friends!

Today, I get to introduce you to a marvelous book that released into the world in the not-so-distant past, and is *so* worth reading. It is really, really, really, good.

Anyways, besides sharing what I thought of the book with you all, I get to introduce you to characters from the book throughout this week. No spoilers, I promise. But what you read may just convince you to go and purchase the book…. =P

Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

First of all, I’m going to gush — the names of these characters were just adorably cute. Piper, Ezra, Mrs. Cecile, to name a few…..they were perfect names for the characters!

Okay. *takes a deep breath* For a coherent review:

Live Without You is a book that perfectly shows our frailty, our brokenness and our finiteness, and contrasts that with God’s greatness and sovereignty. The author manages to bring beauty out of chaos, peace out of the brokenness, and redemption to all the failings and shortcomings.

This book will probably go down as a favorite of this year. And for just having read the book this month, that’s saying something. The author did an amazing job of creating the characters, of giving them personalities and voices and making you love them to pieces, even if you were slightly frustrated with their thoughts at times. By the time this book ended, I felt like I knew these people….and that is rare indeed, my friends.

Piper was a sweet girl who was lost. She was running, and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time according to our human perception, but in God’s plan she was in the perfect place at the perfect time.

Ezra’s appearance was perfect. I loved the way he appeared, I loved his background story, and I loved the story of redemption he had to offer. I did get slightly frustrated at his thinking that he was a failure all the time, because he so wasn’t. Although I completely understood WHY he thought that, and it made perfect sense with the story. And his profession as an EMT was the perfect fit for the story, and it made it all the sweeter =)

My personal favorite character was Mrs. Cecile. She was a darling who was exhibited so much empathy and compassion, and exuded such a joy, that I was wishing we could all have a Mrs. Cecile in our lives. She was sweetness itself, and not afraid of hard questions.

The story brings two people who are very much hurt by their past together. One is a Christian, and one is not. Piper can’t fathom how a loving God can allow so much pain and heartbreak, and Ezra is trying to comprehend it all, while firmly believing that God has a plan.

I loved how Sarah Grace kept the story moving forward while not rushing it. I also loved how the perfect “riding-off-into-the-sunset” ending that I thought was coming was interrupted and something happened out of nowhere that I only had a paragraph to think “oh no, she wouldn’t dare!” before it happened. And that event was a time of testing for our beloved Piper and Ezra, and it grew them closer to Christ, and they needed that.

My favorite aspect of this book was the faith woven into the very tapestry of the plot. It was a beautiful reminder that life isn’t all fun and games. There are huge sorrows, and hearts can break and hurt, but we can always trust the One who has everything in His control and has already ordained everything. We are reminded that we only see a piece of the picture right now, but Christ sees the whole of it. And this was relayed in such a natural way that it didn’t seem the least bit “preachy” or like it was teaching us a moral.

The romance content in this book was sweet to read. There was nothing overboard, and there was nothing untoward. I only remember one kiss at the end, and it wasn’t at all detailed. There were mentions of hand holding and of hugs, but it wasn’t overdone, and it wasn’t in the least bit sensual at all. I would feel comfortable letting my 15 year old sister read this.

I give this book five stars, and I wholeheartedly recommend it! It was a beautiful story that I will most likely be reading again!

Now, I get to introduce you to sweet Piper, the book-loving, coffee-hating, hurting girl that this book begins with. She kindly agreed to visit my little blog and let me pepper her with questions :D

Hello, Piper, and welcome! Can you share a bit about yourself with us?
Hey there, my name is Piper Redding, and I’m 26 years old. I work from home as a freelance web and graphic designer, and love my job! I love good books, hot cocoa and twinkly Christmas lights – all year round. :) 
I agree with the Christmas lights! They are fun any time of the year!
We know that you are an animal person, and love rescuing animals off the street — what is the strangest animal that you ever owned?
Hm, that’s a good question. There were several I rescued when living with my brother, Paul, in Chicago. My favorite was a hedgehog. They look so prickly, but really, they are so cute and cuddly! Paul wasn’t a fan of animals shedding fur around his apartment, so that was one of the few pets I got to keep for a length of time. I named him Tiggy. :) 
Aww! I myself am not a big animal person, but I have a sister who is. Her latest addition to the menagerie is a cute little hedgehog she named Priscilla. She is wanting to get a male and name him Aquilla now :-)
Do you mind sharing a favorite memory of your brother with us?
My favorite memories with Paul are the everyday ones – the long chats we’d share over dinner, movie nights with Paul’s fabulous homemade kettle corn, just the normal, everyday moments that I took for granted so much when he was around. 
I now this is a hard question for any person who’s an avid reader, but I’m going to ask anyways. What are your top five favorite books?
Ooh, that’s hard. Any bookworm knows it’s nearly impossible to pick favorites! But I’ll give it a shot. (Just fyi, they’re not necessarily in order)
1: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (cleaned up version, of course)
2: To Tame a Land by Louis L’Amour
3: Serena Jones Mystery series by Sandra Orchard
4: The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielson
5: Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery. 
Those sound good. I can say that Anne stole my heart as a child, and she still has it. Those books were the first “big girl series” I read, and I loved it!
One more question for you: What is a passage of Scripture that has encouraged you the most?
Psalm 18 is one of my favorites. I love the imagery in that psalm, and it always encourages me on my worst days. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us! I enjoyed getting to know you little bit better!

:::Giveaway Details:::

If you want a chance to receive a free copy of this book, plus other goodies, enter the giveaway that Sarah Grace is hosting.

Click Here to Enter!

Grand Prize ~ $20 Amazon gift card, Signed Paperback of Live Without You, Specialty designed mug. Second Prize ~ $5 Amazon gift card, ebook copy of Live Without You
Third Prize Winners ~ Ebook copy of Live Without You

Grand prize open to US entrants only, 2nd and 3rd prizes available internationally. Giveaway runs from 12AM 1.21.19 – 12AM 1.23.19. Victoria Lynn Designs retains the right to disregard any entries that they deem bogus or spam. Good luck to the entrants!

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Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

*I received a copy of this book from the author —
I was not required to enjoy this book, simply to give my honest opinion*

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I am a 22 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

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