November 5, 2015

Luka Williams

Brace yourselves for a wild ride, ladies. It's another YA hero and this one will knock your socks off!

Back cover copy:
If science is right, then I am crazy. And crazy is dangerous. 

In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she's going crazy. After her complete freakout at a high school party, her family is too. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.

Tess is determined to fit in at her new school, despite the whispers and stares. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she's unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something--that he might somehow be responsible.

But what if she's wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?

Here is the disclaimer on this one, gals. There are themes in this book which might make some readers uncomfortable. In the messy work of portraying the spiritual warfare that goes on around us every day, light has to be shed on the dark side. It's dangerous business, walking the line between good and evil- and knowing as an author how much is too much. I was impressed with Katie's skillful handling of the evil we all know exists- giving it "face time" but not glory. She made it her mission to place consequences of wrong choices front and center, and she succeeded. While the elements of darkness are present, they are combated fiercely with the redemptive truth of the light. Trust me when I say this book is well worth the journey, if you're willing to wade into it. 
So, are you ready? Good. Allow me the genuine pleasure of introducing Luka Williams.

Excerpt from The Gifting:
I swear the boy next to me is staring, but when I gather enough courage to peek through my hair, his attention is on Mr. Lotsam. The pouty-lipped girl beside him catches me checking him out and gives me the stink eye.
I quickly turn away and as I do, my elbow knocks into my pencil. The boy beside me goes from sitting like a statue to lightning quick, as if he had measured the proximity between my arm and the writing utensil and was waiting for the collision. Before I can react, he snags it up and hands it over.
His eyes.
They are the color of spring grass, fringed with the kind of eyelashes most girls would kill for. He stares at me as if I'm somehow familiar, and for the span of a millisecond, something like disbelief flickers in the grass green of his irises. He cocks his head slightly, a small furrow divoting his brow.
"Th-thanks," I stammer.
He gives me a slow nod before the girl on his other side jots something on his notebook. He shifts away, his mouth turning up at the corner, and writes something back. It doesn't seem possible, but even the way he moves his pencil is enticing. I find myself wishing his notes were to me, or that I could at least read them. The girl keeps the string of back-and-forth writing exchanges going until the bell rings. Then she strikes up a conversation and they walk out into the hallway together. I stare after him. I really can't seem to help myself.
Leela gives me a nudge with her elbow.
"You've been Luka-ed."
"It's a term some of the senior girls made up. His name's Luka Williams." Leela fans her cheeks. "A gorgeous specimen, isn't he?"
Understatement of the year.

Excerpt used with permission. All rights reserved.

Gallant Score:
Luka is not shy about standing up for what he believes is right. How does this apply to being gallant? Well, his principles cause him to stand up for people who would normally fall between the cracks. People like Tess. He's not afraid of a fight, and believe me he can handle himself just fine when push comes to shove. He continually places Tess' safety above his own.

Wounded Score:
It's hard to elaborate on this one without revealing crucial plot points. This book has a distinct dystopian feel to it, so place yourself in that mindset and you can imagine the difficulties faced by our hero (and heroine) throughout the story. No one escapes unscathed.

Softie Score:
Luka is a sensitive guy. As I mentioned above, he won't shy away from a fight, and he is quite good at presenting his world with a calm, cool, and collected facade. But the real Luka, the side of him that only Tess gets to see, is the one that earned him a place at FHF. Luka is tough, but he is also tender. Tenderness is in short supply in Tess' world, which makes Luka's efforts stir up all kinds of warm fuzzies inside this hero girl. 

 Stupid Strike:

Swoon Score:
Some might accuse this blog of being rather biased towards those heroes of the green-eyed persuasion. Skimming back through the roster I'd say you have a valid point. Apparently having green eyes gives the hero a leg-up in the orange department. Also, the name Luka helps. Just sayin'. :D Eye color (and other physical virtues) aside, Luka is here because he is over-the-top awesome. We all want a guy who is willing to take out the bully, stand and fight with and for the one he loves, and risk all to keep her safe. Tie in a hunger for the Truth, and you have Luka, the whole package tied with a delicious green-eyed bow.

K.E. Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website.

The Wrap:
I did mention that The Gifting is part of a 3 book series, didn't I? I didn't? Oops. Well- good news everyone! You have the chance to fall in love with Luka 3 times instead of just once! 

Better news: The Gifting is currently FREE for Kindle readers. 

Also, Katie is offering a super-sweet Christmas gift package - The Gifting complete autographed set for $25. Head HERE for more details! Deadline is November 15th, so don't wait too long to check it out. 

The Thanksgiving season is upon us, and I have been thinking lately about what a blessing it is to find a book that impacts you in a way you never forget.This blog is about heroes, yes, but it's also about powerful stories that have made a difference in how we view the world. I love the gift these books are to readers, and appreciate the authors who work so hard to share their hearts with us. I also appreciate you, my fellow readers and hero addicts.
SO. In the spirit of the season, I've decided to give away a $10 Amazon giftcard to one random commenter. 
To enter, I want you to answer this question: What book  have you read in the last year that has changed your life? (and no, it does not have to be a work of fiction). You must also leave your email in a spam fighting format like: givethanks (at) booksrock dot com.

Thanks, Katie, for sharing Luka with us!


Laurie Bergh said...

l(dot)bergh(at)sbcglobal(dot)net. The book that I have read this year that has changed my life is the Book of Mormon.

Beth-Anne said...

whiteb08 (at) gmail dot (com)
I have read a bunch of fabulous books this year, including The Gifting Series :) But I will say Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty. It was amazing.

Margaret said...

Well, I'd have to say that the Bible is the book that consistently changes my life. Besides that it is hard to pinpoint one book.
Mack (at)cruzio dot com

Vicki G said...

the Bible continues to change my life, daily! :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Beth-Anne - YES!! That book is so so so good!

ellen b said...

wow I have to say that The Gifting Series - was awesome. I loved all three books and I didn't want the story to end. I'm trying to get back into my faith. elliebunny at hotmail dot com

Abbi Hart said...

I really need to get around to reading this book! I've heard nothing but good things about it! Sadly my review books have been taking precedence but hopefully I'll get to read it soon!
The two books that have made the biggest impact on my life this year are Glory Days by Max Lucado for non-fiction and Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman for fiction.

Lora said...

Oh wow--this trilogy was awesome! Every book was so powerful, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one, even though I'm not YA. And YES! Luka is my hero, too ... whew!! Wish I had him in my life! :-) This is a gripping and incredible and amazing trilogy that you will love!! I've read it a couple of times. :-)

Wow ... I read so many books this year, I can't even begin to pick only ONE of them as a life changer. So many of them have changed my life, each in different & permanent ways. The only book I will mention--because it was deeply, deeply powerfu-- is actually an autobiography. It's Fractured Not Broken by Michelle Weidenbenner and Kelly Schaefer. I was moved to the core over & over & over again--experiencing every possible emotion throughout the entire story. It left me a changed person forever. What an incredible book, especially since it's true! Everyone should read Kelly's story in addition to the other books you are reading now.

Thank you, Katie, for writing such awesome, exciting, suspenseful books! I sure hope everyone snatches them up for Christmas! :-)

Dawn Janis said...

I LOVED Luka! I think he's very well deserving of this title. I mean, everything he goes through (and Tess goes through). I think I fell in love with him too.

For me, one of the books I've read this year that has changed my life is The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron. I adored it.


Stephanie Jenkins said...

A book that I read in the last year that has been a life changer is the book What if Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops by Laura Story. She is a singer and wrote the song Blessings. It's a 30 devotional that talks all about blessings. It really teaches you to appreciate all that God has done for you.

Tiffany Krystowiak said...

I honestly don't know if I could pick just 1 favorite from an entire year, so I will name a few. The Gifting Series would definitely make the short list! I am not typically a fantasy reader, but she had me from the first chapter! Also, Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs. She challenged the way I look at each day, and she made me laugh (as well as shed a few tears). A few others would be Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay, and the Price of Privilege Trilogy by Jessica Dotta. I love books that make me think and stay engaged. Thank you authors!

Melanie Backus said...

Of course, the bible is life changing without a doubt, but I was really moved by The Thief.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Joy W. Doering said...

Thank you all for your feedback- I've added a few titles to my TBR based on your recommendations! ;)
We have a WINNER: Beth-Anne!
Please keep an eye on your email account for that gift card. :)

FHF will be taking a break for the month of December- but check back after the New Year for a new hero!!
Blessings to all of you this Christmas season.