By All Appearances ~ Dawn Kinzer

About the Book

Author: Dawn Kinzer

Book: By All Appearances

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Publishing Date: November 25, 2019

Length: 300 pages

An attractive special events planner is determined to keep her distance.

A disfigured musician struggles to guard his heart.

By all appearances, both are destined to fail.

Liana Tate, a special events planner grew up in a high-profile family. No matter what she does, Liana feels she never measures up.

Bryan Langley, a talented musician, was close to signing a recording contract when a barn fire left part of his face severely burned. He survived, but his career did not.

When Liana’s father hires Bryan as a caretaker on the family estate outside of Seattle, Liana’s and Bryan’s lives become entangled. He risks public humiliation for Liana’s success, and she encourages him to use his musical gifts, despite his reluctance. Thrown together, will they achieve their elusive dreams? And will the two find the love and acceptance they yearn for, or will their actions only drive each other away?

My Thoughts

This year I’ve met some “forever” characters that will remain nestled in my heart. Bryan Langley is one of those characters. Dawn Kinzer did an excellent job describing his day-to-day struggles as a burn victim. Another reason why I love this character is that he’s based on a real person. That bit of information made me question what it would be like to go through a tragedy like Bryan and deal with the aftereffects for the rest of my life. Would I be as accepting of the situation? Could I deal with cruel people? Could I trust another person with my heart? Would I be courageous, or would I hide from the rest of the world?

On the other side of the story is Liana Tate, a gorgeous event planner who has everything she wants, but nothing she needs. The exact opposite of Bryan. Through her character, I learned about the pressures an event planner faces with every job. And let me say, the description was fantastic. Kinzer loved tormenting her little darling. 🙂 I fought the urge to skip ahead to see if she would fall on her face or pull it off! Liana also reminded me that everything isn’t as it seems as she struggled with low self-esteem, feelings of being less than perfect, and family issues.

By All Appearances is a well-written story from a Christian and secular worldview. Something to remember if you prefer not reading a non-Christian view. However, I found nothing offensive. Bryan is a believer who depends on God while Liana questions God’s love for her. So imagine my joy when her character arc changed from heart-wrenching to uplifting as she discovered the truth of God’s unconditional love through her circumstances and finally believed the truth. God is love!

However, I felt she never made it past the head knowledge of God’s unconditional love. I really wanted to see her come to the end of herself and accept His gift of salvation provided by His Son. I wanted to hear it from her lips. I wanted to celebrate that moment with her because her problems had become my problems.

Now with that said, I know that not everyone comes to that decision within six months, which is the time frame for this story. I’m also aware every story is different. So, I did take that in mind when rating the book. And although I was a little disappointed, I still had to give By All Appearances 5 stars for all the reasons above. It is an unforgettable story of life’s disappointments, hope after tragedy, second chances, and sweet romance. Don’t miss it!

This week is the last week for the pre-order price! So grab your copy here.

“Sometimes it’s easier to hear God’s whisper in the mountains, in the midst of his creation, than in the city where we’re easily distracted by people or things.” By All Appearances ~ Dawn Kinzer #bookreview @GailJohnson87

Women of Faith and Fiction~Dawn Kinzer

Good morning, friends!

Today we welcome author and editor, Dawn Kinzer! Dawn is a contributor to one of my favorite blogs, Seriously Write. Please show her some love by sharing and/or leaving a comment.

Dawn, please tell us a little about yourself.

Dawn Kinzer Headshot - Size 460Sure! I’m a wife and a mother of two grown daughters. I also have a grown stepdaughter. I absolutely adore my three grandchildren, ages 3 ½, 19 months, and 8 months.

Born in the Midwest, I grew up in a rural Wisconsin town (population of 500), then lived in the Minneapolis area for some years before moving to the Seattle area twenty-three years ago. I love the Pacific Northwest! Sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, we’re surrounded by nature’s beauty.

I’d never thought of myself as being entrepreneurial, but discovered after working for non-profit organizations—and corporations where the dollar was the bottom line—the right path for me was to venture out on my own. In 2010, I launched Faithfully Write Editing, and I’ve been serving writers as a freelance editor since.

Although I enjoy helping others, I’m able to fulfill my creative needs through my own writing. I’ve been making up stories since I was a young child, and I can’t imagine a world without books. An added bonus of having grandchildren—I’m revisiting some of my favorite children’s stories, and I’m discovering many new ones!

I’m so glad you launched out on your own, Dawn. I love your books! And I’m sure you enjoy seeing those grandchildren. O what sweet goodness! Of course, you know this month’s theme is goodness. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Goodness comes from God. When a person does something out of the goodness of her heart, she does it simply out of love and kindness. It embodies unselfishness. The motive is pure—there is no agenda. There is no expectation of getting something in return.

“It embodies unselfishness.” Love that answer! Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to do good for others? How did you overcome? 

I’ve actually experienced several seasons when it was difficult to do good for others. The first—while I was going through a divorce. My only concern then was for my two daughters and their well-being. I didn’t have enough emotional energy to focus on anyone else for a while.

The second—when my nineteen-year-old stepdaughter died in a car accident. The shock initially numbed us. Then we started working through the stages of grief. She was a beautiful girl with so much potential, and even though we knew her faith was strong and that gave us comfort, her death was still devastating.When you’re grieving, there’s nothing left to give others. It becomes a season when you need others pouring into you. Fortunately, I have a great support system of friends and family. Along with that, trusting that God is still in control and has a plan has always helped me overcome difficult times.

Hope's Design ~ Dawn KinzerI came out of those seasons with new perspectives and stronger empathy for what other people experience, whether it’s similar or other hurtful situations, and I’ve been able to offer support when they’ve needed a little “goodness” in their lives.

Oh, Dawn, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s true when we have seasons of heartache we gain “perspectives and stronger empathy” for others. You are an awesome friend and encourager! Your actions prove that! Now, in what genre do you write, and how does your faith influence your writing?

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I’ve had devotions and articles published in books and magazines, and I’ve written numerous blog posts. But, I’ll confess . . . I’m passionate about fiction. I currently have two novels published in my historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton, and I’m working on the third book in that series.

My faith is the foundation of my writing. I believe the written word can bring laughter and tears. It can comfort, challenge, teach, and inspire. I truly believe that story can change lives, and I use it to share God’s unconditional love with readers.

I agree with you. Stories can change lives! Dawn, thank you so much for sharing you heart with us. I’m looking forward to the third installment of the Daughters of Riverton. Happy writing, my friend!

To learn more about Dawn Kinzer and her books please visit:

Website

Facebook

Google+

Amazon author page

 

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Sarah’s Smile ~ Dawn Kinzer

I have been waiting for this book for quite some time. And I can tell you it was worth every minute of the wait! Dawn Kinzer held nothing back in her first novel, Sarah’s Smile. Don’t you just love that cover? I do. Sarah’s Smile is available for pre-order. The release date is October 14. Thursday! Let me tell you about the story.

14671105_10209383243651205_4309553720707887664_nForsaken by her parents and Peter Caswell, Sarah McCall lives with a bitter grandmother in a town filled with nothing but bad memories she had no part in making. Desiring to leave it all behind, Sarah makes plans for a mission trip to Africa.

But when her childhood sweetheart and widower, Peter Caswell, comes back to town as the new pastor, Sarah begins to rethink her plans. When she receives a denial from the Mission Board, Sarah believes God is giving her another chance with Peter.

With hope renewed once more, Sarah sets her heart on a future with Peter but quickly finds the past isn’t the only thing between them when others in the town make plans to keep them apart. Will Sarah finally let go of the past and embrace a future with Peter? Will Peter finally man-up and fight for Sarah?

Of course, we know the real question isn’t will or if, but when and how.

My Thoughts

Where do I begin?

This story touched me on so many levels. The inner child in me empathized with Sarah’s pain. The reader lived the story. The woman of God experienced the Message, meticulously woven throughout the lives of the characters. And finally, the writer appreciated the author’s ability to make her forget it was only a story. And that is almost impossible to do!

Another thing I liked about this story is Sarah and Peter may have argued, but they didn’t allow misunderstandings to go all the way to the end of the book. And clarification of a simple misunderstanding wasn’t what brought these two together. Their relationship naturally grew out of their mutual love for helping others in their community.

I also liked the fact that I couldn’t figure out how on earth Peter and Sarah would get out of the mess created by a sanctimonious busybody. Would Peter, as the community leader, resolve the wrong done to Sarah? Could Sarah convince others of her innocence? The reveal was a complete surprise! Bravo!

Sarah’s Smile has it all: a heroine, a shepherd, an addicted lost soul, the tormented soul, the self-righteous saint, and the down-to-earth town folks. Who could ask for more? I couldn’t. Dawn Kinzer is now on my must-read list, and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Riverton Series, Hope’s Design.

My rating:

  • One star for an exceptional plot.
  • One star for well-rounded characters.
  • One star for a charming setting.
  • One star for effortlessly sharing the gospel.
  • One star for the epilogue!

 

Note: I received a free copy of Sarah’s Smile for an honest review.

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