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April Book Club Selection — Trial And Error

1 Apr

Is it really April already? The year is flying by. This month I am excited for our book club pick, Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow. Whitlow is one of our very favorite authors, and I think this book will be a hit with my members. I am almost finished with the audiobook. I’m glad I chose to listen to the book. Besides being a great companion on my morning walks, it helps me with the temptation of turning to the last pages to see how it will turn out! 😉 I hope you will join us in reading Trial And Error this month.

A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Buddy Smith built his law practice around tracking down missing children. After all, he knows the agony of being separated from a child. Not long after his daughter’s birth, her mother ran away and Buddy never saw either one again.

Gracie Blaylock has known Buddy her entire life, and now that she is clerk of court for the county, their paths cross frequently. When Gracie hears that a teenager in town has gone missing, she knows Buddy is the one for the case.

The girl’s parents are desperate for answers. Together with Gracie and Mayleah—the new detective in town—Buddy chases all leads, hoping to reach the missing teen before it’s too late. And as he pursues one girl, he uncovers clues that could bring him closer to the girl he thought he lost forever: his own daughter.

Master legal writer Robert Whitlow will keep you guessing in this gripping legal drama while reminding you of the power of God’s restoration.

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and nine grandchildren. 


Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

Happy Release Day! — A Tapestry of Light

16 Mar

Kimberly Duffy‘s debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, was fantastic! Its exotic setting and unusual subject matter made it a highly recommended historical novel. Today, her second novel, A Tapestry of Light, has released. Happy release day Kimberly!!

 

Calcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes readers back in time and across oceans. Her books feature ahead-of-their-time heroines, evocative settings, and real-life faith. Kimberly loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of 20 years. He doesn’t mind.

You can find Kimberly at:

http://www.kimberlyduffy.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberlyDuffy/

https://www.instagram.com/kimberlyduffyauthor/

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring TBR List

16 Mar

Life is full of seasons, and I am finding Spring 2021 to be filled with fun, joy, and sorrow. Building a vacation home, my daughter’s wedding, and the passing of my sister a few weeks ago have filled my days. Not a lot of reading going on in my life right now, which under the circumstances is more than okay. But I do have some books on my Spring TBR List. I am hopeful to get many of them read and will be sharing my thoughts in the coming weeks. Posts may be sporadic for a few months, but I hope you will enjoy those I manage to schedule.

For more Spring TBR Lists, please check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Books on My Spring TBR List

 

At Lighthouse Point by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

 

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

 

To Save A King by Rachel Hauck

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

 

 

March Book Club Selection

1 Mar

How can it be March already?! My book club will be discussing our 3rd book of 2021 this month. January’s selection was a miss for us, and February’s was just what we needed. This month we are reading The Escape by Lisa Harris, one of our favorite authors. We would love for you to join us! See all the details below.

US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead–and one fugitive on the run. They’ll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear–and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.

Bestselling author Lisa Harris is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent almost fourteen years working as missionaries in Africa where she runs a small non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project promotes Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

 

February Book Club Selection — The Cedar Key

1 Feb

February, the month of love! What better way to celebrate than to read a romance novel with my book club? This month we are reading The Cedar Key by Stephenia McGee. This contemporary romance is set in a small and quirky Mississippi town — can’t wait to read it! Below are all the details.

 

Could the key to Casey’s future be hidden in someone else’s past?

Casey Adams unexpectedly inherits an old Victorian house full of other people’s memories. Stuck in a quirky little Mississippi town, Casey’s hope for a fresh start died as soon she had to lay the grandmother she’d just met to rest.

But Grandma Ida carried secrets beyond the grave.

Before her death Ida carefully planned a trail of clues to help Casey unlock the Macintyre family secrets and finally explain why they abandoned her. But each of Ida’s letters will only come from Casey’s handsome — and often frustrating — new neighbor. As Casey pieces together the stories behind the objects filling her grandmother’s house, she embarks on a heart-stirring journey that rattles her foundations, ignites her faith, and leads her to a startling discovery that will reshape her future. But only if she can face the lies that have been slowly tearing her apart.

 

 

Best-selling author of Christian novels, Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she’s not twirling around in hoop skirts, reading, or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she’s a homeschool mom of two boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Visit her at http://www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books and updates.

 

If You Liked . . . Burden of Proof

30 Jan

The reactions of my book club members to Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn ranged from didn’t like the ending to didn’t like the book at all! LOL! So, one strike so far for our 2021 selections. Not a promising start to a new year of reading. However, the book did spark a lot of great discussion — a win in my book. I especially liked the answers to the question “if you could go back in time to change something, would you?”.

 

What did (or didn’t) you like about Burden of Proof?

 

I liked Burden of Proof, as did my husband. If you are in that seeming minority too, here are some book recommendations for more great reading. All three novels deal with past regrets and making amends (but no time travel 😉 ).

 

Not in The Heart by Chris Fabry

Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.

With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline ― the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

The Summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he’s determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age 16. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America, where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter.

Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

What I’m Reading — Genre Variety

13 Jan

In an effort to stay away from social media, but still engage in bookish conversations, I am kicking off a What I’m Reading post that I hope will become a regular thing here at By The Book. Today I am talking genres.

I am a very eclectic reader, loving a wide variety of genres and subjects. I do seem to read a preponderance of mystery/suspense, but find myself designating other genres as my yearly favorites. (See my best of the best of 2020 HERE.) As per my reading resolutions, I want to expand my reading horizons this year, especially getting back to my TBR and checking out international and classic literature.

This week I stepped out of the box and read a YA mystery/thriller. I have been reluctant to read YA, because, well, I am a woman of a certain age and not sure I can relate. But because a FB group I am in is reading The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens this month, I downloaded the audiobook and dove in. I’m not going to review the book here — you’ll have to come back later for that 😉 — but I am going to say that Stevens’ opened up a new genre for me. Yes, the book has a definite YA vibe, but with a complex plot and format and thought-provoking themes, this book was a 5-star!

 

Do you read outside your comfort zone?

The June Boys really took me away from my regular reading. It is intense and in some places made me cringe and force myself to continue. But I appreciate the stretching this book did to my attitude and thinking. And I need stretching. I never want to quit learning about the world and myself.

 

As I said mystery/suspense is my regular go to, but I do enjoy historical fiction as well. I love learning how people of the past lived, especially how they lived without the conveniences a modern world offers. This week I am also reading Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz. I discovered Frantz in 2020. The Lacemaker and An Uncommon Woman were two great books I read last year. Set in the 1630s in the Virginia colony, this novel has already given me information and insight into a world I thought I knew pretty well.

When reading historical fiction, I keep an eye out for social and cultural differences. A woman’s place is one of the things that Frantz explored. Main character, Selah, is a very independent woman, as defined by the 17th century. I think that helps the modern reader identify with her story.

 

Do you find new things to love in your favorite genres?

 

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn.

What are you reading?

What’s your go-to genre?

And do you have any plans to stretch your bookish horizons?

Let’s talk!

Top 10 Tuesday — Anticipated Books of 2021

5 Jan

2020 was a bust in so many ways, but one bright spot was the great books I had the pleasure of reading! Looking forward, there is some uncertainty of what 2021 will bring, but one thing I can continue to count on is wonderful reading ahead. This week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompts us to list the books we are eagerly anticipating in the first half of 2021. It was hard to limit to just 10! (It helped that I already have a lot of January releases 😉 .) I hope my list helps you to find a book you will love.

For more great new books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Anticipated Books of January-June 2021

 

January

Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.

 

February

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Buddy Smith built his law practice around tracking down missing children. After all, he knows the agony of being separated from a child. Not long after his daughter’s birth, her mother ran away and Buddy never saw either one again.

Gracie Blaylock has known Buddy her entire life, and now that she is clerk of court for the county, their paths cross frequently. When Gracie hears that a teenager in town has gone missing, she knows Buddy is the one for the case.

The girl’s parents are desperate for answers. Together with Gracie and Mayleah—the new detective in town—Buddy chases all leads, hoping to reach the missing teen before it’s too late. And as he pursues one girl, he uncovers clues that could bring him closer to the girl he thought he lost forever: his own daughter.

Master legal writer Robert Whitlow will keep you guessing in this gripping legal drama while reminding you of the power of God’s restoration.

 

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country — or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she’ll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed — and wake up the folks back home.

In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party–to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can’t get off his mind.

This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.

 

March

The Curator’s Daughter by Melanie Dobson

1940. Hanna Tillich cherishes her work as an archaeologist for the Third Reich, searching for the Holy Grail and other artifacts to bolster evidence of a master Aryan race. But when she is reassigned to work as a museum curator in Nuremberg, then forced to marry an SS officer and adopt a young girl, Hanna begins to see behind the Nazi facade. A prayer labyrinth becomes a storehouse for Hanna’s secrets, but as she comes to love Lilly as her own daughter, she fears that what she’s hiding—and what she begins to uncover—could put them both in mortal danger.

Eighty years later, Ember Ellis is a Holocaust researcher intent on confronting hatred toward the Jewish people and other minorities. She reconnects with a former teacher on Martha’s Vineyard after she learns that Mrs. Kiehl’s mother once worked with the Nazi Ahnenerbe. And yet, Mrs. Kiehl describes her mother as “a friend to the Jewish people.” Wondering how both could be true, Ember helps Mrs. Kiehl regain her fractured childhood memories of World War II while at the same time confronting the heartache of her own secret past—and the person who wants to silence Ember forever.

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she’s supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is nine time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But the reality is that she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone kids, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun.

Then Liam’s three-year absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara struggles to find her footing, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous, faith is fragile, and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved

 

Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Calcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He’s an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn pulls out all the stops in this brand-new romantic suspense series that will have you holding your breath one minute and swooning the next.

 

April

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside.

Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss–and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible?

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you to come home to Hope Harbor — where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

 

May

Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

Having graduated college at 18, Sebastian Grant has continued to leverage his intelligence and determination to become a pediatric heart surgeon. The more accolades he receives, the more he’s driven to pursue. Then he meets high school math teacher Leah Montgomery, and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop.

Solving advanced math equations by the age of five, Leah has always wanted to pursue a PhD in mathematics. She willingly put that dream on hold to raise her brother. Now that he is of age, she’s set on avoiding any obstacles to her goal–including romance. 

When Leah receives surprising news in the process of taking a test for tracking her ancestry, she asks Sebastian to help her comb through aged hospital records to learn more. Soon his presence isn’t so easily ignored. But when Sebastian learns his best friend also has feelings for Leah, he begins to question his resolve to win her. Attaining their deepest desires may require more sacrifices than they ever imagined.

 

June

Power Play by Rachel Dylan

When State Department attorney Vivian Steele witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event’s security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, even ahead of the rules and regulations. 

As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, Viv turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob’s reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks?

 

January Book Club Pick — Burden of Proof

3 Jan

Happy New Year! I am excited about my book club’s 2021 reading list. Although it is heavy on suspense, it features some wonderful authors that we love, plus a couple of new-to-us writers. We would love for you to join us. Visit our FB Page.

January’s pick is Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn. Although we have read this author before, it was years ago. I can’t wait for everyone to read this thought-provoking novel. All the details are below.

 

Three weeks after his twenty-third birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother’s life when he was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind replaying the scene of his failure again and again.

But when his brother’s widow appears, asking for his help in uncovering what was really behind his brother’s death, Ethan is stunned to hear that she and her late husband were involved in a much larger case than he knew–one that threatens the global power structure. As Ethan joins the search for answers, he will enter into his own past–and discover a means of redeeming his future.

Bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn invites you into a world of intrigue as a man held captive by his failure learns how to move forward with hope.

Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author who serves as writer-in-residence at Regent’s Park College, the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom.

Defined by readers and reviewers as a “wise teacher,” “gentleman adventurer,” “consummate writer,” and “Renaissance man,” his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — All I Want for Christmas Is . . . Books!

22 Dec

While the title of my post may be close to my wishlist reality, it will not come true on Christmas morning. Why? My family and friends are under the delusion that a) I already have all the books or b) I have too many books. Both are falsehoods that I cannot seem to debunk with my nearest and dearest. LOL! So I resort to being my own Santa Claus — which makes sure I get exactly what I want! 😉 In years past, I have had bookstore gift cards slipped into my stocking, for which I am grateful. But mostly, I am on my own.

Since I am both the gift giver and receiver, I can stagger book presents throughout the year, so this week’s list includes books that are already released and those I have to wait for. I hope you find one that interests you.

For more bookish Christmas wishlists, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top 10 Books I Will Be Giving Myself

 

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

The Curator’s Daughter by Melanie Dobson

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

 

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

Obsession by Patricia Bradley

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

 

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin