Tag Archives: contemporary fiction

2021 Carol Award Finalists

29 Jun

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors who are finalists in the 2021 Carol Awards presented by the ACFW. Now you know what to read this summer! 😉

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

On a Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas


Historical Romance

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund


Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Baby’s Right to Choose by David L. Winters


Novella

Far as the Curse is Found, from the collection Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection
by Amanda Barratt

Christmas in Galway, in the collection Christmas Lights and Romance by Elizabeth Ludwig

A New Hope for Christmas by Erin Stevenson


Romance

Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter


Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

Airborne by DiAnn Mills


Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter

Killer Insight by Virginia Vaughan

Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan


Speculative

Cry of the Raven (Book 3, The Ravenwood Saga) by Morgan L. Busse

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall

The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder

Young Adult

Victoria Grace the Jerkface by S.E. Clancy

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Debut

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Top 10 Tuesday — Incomplete Sentences/Complete Thoughts

18 May

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is to list books with titles that are complete sentences. Looking at my shelves I didn’t find any, but I did find books with titles that convey a complete thought. With all our social media shorthand, I thought they would fit into today’s topic pretty well. The genres of these books vary, so there is something for everyone. I hope you find a title to love!

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Titles with A Complete Thought

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Miracle in A Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser

Audiobook Mini-Review: Trial And Error

4 May

I chose Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow as a surprise selection for my book club because he is a favorite author. The group had mixed reactions, but my husband and I listened to the audiobook (separately) and really enjoyed it. I give it a recommended rating.

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.

My Impressions:

Robert Whitlow is a must-read author for both my husband and me. We appreciate the finely drawn characters and the story lines that are entertaining while making you think. Trial And Error has both of those elements. I liked the day-to-day lives that were depicted in the book making the characters very relatable. It did slow the story down somewhat, but I think the way Whitlow writes reflects real life. The subject matter focuses on missing/lost children — some in danger and others that don’t want to be found. The research that goes into finding a missing person was fascinating. The faith thread is especially strong, and the depiction of the impact of prayer is powerful. Some characters are Christians, others are not, but are open to honest dialog and sincere testimonies. I found that very meaningful. As I said, this is a slow-moving story, but I never lost interest. The audiobook is well done and was a great accompaniment on my morning walks.

All in all, I enjoyed Trial And Error.

Recommended.

Audience: adult

(I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Recent Reads

4 May

After a slow reading year in 2020 and a busy wedding schedule this year, I am trying to get my reading groove back. It’s been a slow process, but I think I am hitting my stride again. That being said, I’m sharing my most recent reads for Top Ten Tuesday this week. Have you read any of these books?

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Recent Reads

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Currently reading:

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

Top Ten Tuesday — Top New Must-Read Authors

1 Dec

This week Top 10 Tuesday is focusing on re-reads. I have done a couple of those posts before. (Find them HERE and HERE.) So, as a tweak of the meme, I am featuring new-to-me authors that I read over the past year or so that are now must-read authors. Those first books blew me away, so I will be reading more of their books. My list includes the books I have on my TBR list to read next as well.

 

 

Top New-To-Me Must Read Authors

 

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

 

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

 

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

 

The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal

 

In The Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

 

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

 

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

 

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

 

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

 

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Thanksgiving Freebie

24 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving! This year Thanksgiving will look different for a lot of us. With grown children with commitments other than my family (is that really a thing? 😉 ), there will only be three for dinner on Thursday. But work from home allowed my son’s family and my daughter to be with us a whole week (one blessing of Covid), and the rest of the gang showed up for a great Sunday Thanksgiving meal. We laughed, watched our grand baby’s antics, and ate way too much.

Family — that’s the biggest thing I am thankful for. It’s been a difficult year for me, Covid notwithstanding. My family has prayed over me and stood with me during the hard cancer diagnosis. I am doing great, and I’m very thankful for having all my family around me.

Family is the theme of my Top 10 Tuesday Thanksgiving Freebie. I am featuring books that involve families, even the nutty or disfunctional ones. The books feature multi-generations, sibling relations, and not-related-but-family-anyway situations. Many involve series — lots of books to love. My list is far from exhaustive, but it does represent recent reading, those I loved years ago, and a variety of genres.. Happy reading!

 

Top Books Featuring Families

 

Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt

Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt

 

Home to Chicory Lane (5-book series) by Deborah Raney

How Sweet The Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

On A Summer Tide (3-book series) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

 

The Sister Circle (5-book series) by Nancy Moser and Vonette Bright

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain (2-book series) by Joanne Bischof

Wings Like A Dove by Camille Eide

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Song Titles

10 Nov

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday challenge is a fun one — pick book titles that would make great song titles. Song titles and book titles have so much in common. They both are catchy and easy to remember and capture the essence of the book/song in one phrase. Song titles usually come from a line in the lyrics. Book titles often do the same thing — it’s fun when you come across the reference while reading. This week I went to my shelves for inspiration and found some books residing there that reference real songs for their titles, so I included some of those as well. Hope you find a book to love.

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Book Titles That Should (or are) Song Titles

 

Books with songs as titles:

Cold As Ice by M. K. Gilroy

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt

You’re The One That I Want by Susan May Warren

 

 

Books that would make great song titles:

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

 

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Non-Book Hobbies

3 Nov

This week, Top 10 Tuesday is talking about Non-Book Hobbies. Is there such a thing? 😉 I admit to books being just about everything in my spare time. I do crochet a bit and I enjoy the outdoors at our north Georgia cabin and I play at baking, but I don’t have a green thumb, I am not a gourmet, travel is at a standstill now, and my mom’s hobby — housecleaning — doesn’t appeal. So, there you have it! Makes for a boring blog post.

I decided to feature a few books that would appeal to a range of hobbyists. Hope you find one that fits into your extrabookular activities.

 

Top Non-Book Hobbies Books!

Art

A Fool And His Monet by Sandra Orchard

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art — one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer –like get married — Serena’s learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

Baking

All’s Fair in Love And Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself — her — is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

Collecting

Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry — the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust — who in her life is false or true, brass or gold — and what is meant to be treasured.

Gardening

Like A Watered Garden by Patti Hill

“I received a box of flowers from my dead husband.”

Life has stalled for Colorado garden designer Mibby Garrett after losing her husband in a bicycle accident six months ago. Mibby devotes herself to avoiding “whammies o’ grief,” the painful and sudden reminders of her former life. But for her son, she’s willing to face anything. With the support of the indomitable Louise, friend and neighbor, and her faithful gardening clients, Mibby even considers romance with a too-good-to-be-true widower. Then comes the biggest whammy of all, a stranger with a claim to her husband’s heart. Will Mibby retreat or sound the charge on life?

Music

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees — and hears — everything.

Quilting

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

Writing

Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge

Jonathan Harper is a fiction editor at a publishing house who devotes all of his time to work, and is slowly drifting away from his family. While proof reading a story about a serial killer written by his best friend and father figure Clyde, he begins to receive a story from an anonymous source that is eerily similar to his own life. It contains details no one else could possibly know, details about his childhood and his marriage. As the suspense builds, Jonathan is forced to confront the demons in his own life as he seeks to understand the mystery behind the story.

 

Book Giveaway! — The Sowing Season

28 Oct

My embarrassment of riches is your chance to win a great book! I received not one but two copies of The Sowing Season, Katie Powner‘s debut novel. I am giving one of the copies away to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment to enter. The giveaway runs through November 11. Good luck! (Please note: US only.)

 

After he’s forced to sell the family farm he’s labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn’t know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land — his time, his health, his family — with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan — the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father’s footsteps. She’s always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.

When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit’s and Rae’s lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it’s never too late for a second chance?

To purchase, click HERE.

Katie Powner is an award-winning author who lives in Montana . . . where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie loves candy, Jesus, and red shoes (not necessarily in that order) and is a mom to the third power: biological, adoptive, and foster. The Sowing Season is Katie’s first book.

To learn more, please visit www.katiepowner.com.

You can also find Katie on social media:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatiepowner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katie_powner

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkatiepowner/

 

Happy Release Day! The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

13 Oct

Yay! It’s finally release day for The Sowing Season by Katie Powner. This debut contemporary novel looks so, so good. I’ve got my copy, now you can get yours!

After he’s forced to sell the family farm he’s labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn’t know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land — his time, his health, his family — with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan — the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father’s footsteps. She’s always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.

When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit’s and Rae’s lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it’s never too late for a second chance?

To purchase, click HERE.

Katie Powner is an award-winning author who lives in Montana . . . where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie loves candy, Jesus, and red shoes (not necessarily in that order) and is a mom to the third power: biological, adoptive, and foster. The Sowing Season is Katie’s first book.

To learn more, please visit www.katiepowner.com.

You can also find Katie on social media:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatiepowner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katie_powner

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkatiepowner/