Tag Archives: dual timelines

Top 10 Tuesday — New-To-Me Authors in 2022

24 Jan

Happy Tuesday! Today bloggers are sharing new-to-them authors from 2022. I love discovering new authors. Often their books become must-reads. A few of the books may be debuts, but by and large, the authors on my list have other books to their credit. More great books to read! 😉

For more new authors, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top New-To-Me Authors in 2022

Among The Innocent by Mary Alford

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Green

Driving Force by Kate Angelo

Firefly Diaries by C. C. Warrens

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman

In Search of A Prince by Toni Shiloh

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Operation Joktan by Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn

Shadows in The Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Goals

17 Jan

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to the blog where all good intentions are soon thrown out the window! LOL! Last year I had great goals to improve my reading experience. I can’t quite remember what they all were, but I am pretty sure I didn’t stick to very many. 😉 It’s January, so resolutions are all the rage — if they haven’t been abandoned yet. When thinking about this topic I resolved (see what I did there) to make goals that I know I can keep. The trick is if I actually will. Time will tell.

For more bloggers’ bookish goals, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Bookish Goals

Resolved — read books.

Okay, this one is very easy to achieve because I don’t intend to give up reading. I have one win.

Resolved — read outside my comfort zone.

I am a member of a book club that has been challenging me to read books that I would not naturally pick up on my own. Have I liked them all? No. But I’ve liked more than I haven’t. This year I hope to stretch my reading horizons even more.

Resolved — read more books that I already own.

This goal is a bit trickier. I have tons of books that I bought with the express purpose of reading, not to take up space or look pretty on the shelf. But still they sit neglected, some after years and years. I am going to write some in on my reading calendar (yes, I actually have one of those) and try to really read them.

Resolved — read more books from my NetGalley shelf.

Like my physical books, I have lots of unread NetGalley books. This is really embarrassing since publishers have approved me to read these books, and I feel like I have let them and the authors down. I certainly have let myself down. Again I will be deliberately adding them to my reading calendar.

Resolved — read what I want to read.

This one goes hand in hand with reading more from my actual shelves. I plan to read more on a whim than on a have-to basis. Yes, I will still be reviewing and accumulating more books — its a fatal flaw — but I want to have a little more flexibility and fun in my reading.

So there you go. I think 5 goals is plenty!

Here are a few of the books that will help me achieve my goals this year:

Blind Trust by Natalie Walters

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Secrets in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis

Sunburst by Susan May Warren

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Top 10 Tuesday — The Best of 2022

3 Jan

Today’s post is a look back at the best books I read in 2022. I read a lot of great books, so this post was hard to write. How do you distill down to just 10 books out of 80+? I gave it a go, using my rating system to search for those that could be included on my list. The genres vary, but all are outstanding. I hope you find one to love too.

For more bloggers’ lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Best Books Read in 2022

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

Then Sings My Soul by Amy K. Sorrells

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

When We Were Young And Brave by Hazel Gaynor

Best Book of The Year

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Top 10 Tuesday — Dear Santa, Load Me Up With Pre-Orders

20 Dec

This week bloggers are talking about the books on their Christmas Wishlists. This year I would love for Santa to load me up with pre-orders. Sort of like a fruit of the month club, but way better! A brand new book arriving in my mailbox or on my Kindle over the next few months would warm my bookish heart! My list includes my favorite authors across genres. I hope there’s one you’d like to include in your letter to Santa.

For more bloggers’ Christmas hopes and dream, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Pre-Orders I Would Love From Santa

The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner

Counter Attack by Patricia Bradley

He Should Have Told The Bees by Amanda Cox

In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer

The Lies We Believe by Lisa Harris

Under Fire by Lynn H. Blackburn

The Vanishing at Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

Windswept Way by Irene Hannon

The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese

Top 10 Tuesday — Winter TBR List

13 Dec

Happy Tuesday! Today bloggers are revealing their Winter TBR Lists. Mine as usual is a mix of hopes and dreams — I hope I get to them all and I dream of whittling down the pile. 😉 My list includes book club choices, books for review, and just-because-I-want-to-read-them books. I hope you find one to include on your list!

For more bloggers’ TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on My Winter TBR List

The Brilliance of Stars by J’Nell Ciesielski

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard

Critical Threat by Lynette Eason

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman

A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson

Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barrat

Top 10 Tuesday — 2023 Book Club Picks

6 Dec

Happy Tuesday! This week’s TTT is a Freebie, so I decided to highlight the novels my book club chose to read in 2023. Every year we vote at our November meeting on the books we will be reading in the following year. We choose 9 and leave 2 spots open for me to surprise them (usually new releases by favorite authors) and a Christmas-themed novel to vote on later for our December selection. I compile a list of books and those with majority votes are chosen. It’s a practice that has worked for us for 20+ years! I hope you find a book to love.

For more bookish goodness, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

My Book Club’s 2023 Selections

The Brilliance of Stars by J’Nell Ciesielski

Broker of Lies by Steven James

Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman

The One You’re With by Lauren K. Denton

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

Top 10 Tuesday — Thankful Freebie

22 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving week! That is how I am framing it, because my family began the festivities last Saturday with an extended family lunch. This week I will have all my kiddos and their families (including my beautiful one and only grandchild) at our home in the beautiful north Georgia mountains. We certainly do have a lot to be thankful for. In the past I have posted about books featuring families, books that helped make me the reader I am today, and all kinds of bookish goodies I am thankful for. Today’s TTT features one book from each month so far this year that I am thankful I had the opportunity to read. Spanning a variety of genres, the books featured well-developed characters, just the right setting for my mood 😉 , action, and well-told, engaging stories. I hope you find a book to love!

For more thankful bloggers, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books I Am Thankful For

January — A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

I used this novel as a part of my Faith And Fiction Bible study of sanctuary cities. What a wonderful resource to draw from.

February — Bride of A Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd

An “oldie” but a goodie, I loved going back to Victorian England in this novel.

March — In Search of A Prince by Toni Shiloh

Toni’s unique setting and fairytale nod to Princess Diaries was a delight.

April — All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

Women’s fiction/romance that touched my heart.

May — The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

English translation of Escobar’s moving novel set in WWII-era France.

June — Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

An unputdownable romantic suspense is just what I needed to kickstart my summer reading.

July — Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon

What is a summer without a visit to Hope Harbor?!

August — Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Another winner of a summer read. A small beach town and a bookshop, what’s not to love?

September — Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

An exotic location, an independent and exasperating heroine, timely message.

October — The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

A feel good read that sparked a lot of great conversation with my book club.

November — Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

The best book I have read all year!

Top 10 Tuesday — Books With All The Feels

15 Nov

Happy Tuesday! Today I am sharing books that have ALL the feels. You know, the kind of book that grabs your heart and won’t let go. The kind of book it is sometimes awkward to read out in public. 😉 There was a particularly heart-rending Christmas book I listened to on my morning walks. If any of my neighbors happened to look out their windows as I walked by, they witnessed me laughing hysterically and crying uncontrollably all in one circuit of the neighborhood. Embarrassing! If you want a book that will create emotional havoc in your life (kidding, not kidding), take a look at my list. (It’s cool how the covers and titles compliment each other in a completely random fashion.)

For more bloggers with emotional reactions to their reading choices, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books With ALL The Feels

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

The London House by Katherine Reay

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

The Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Mini-Review — The Gown

14 Nov

I was in England during the week of mourning for Queen Elizabeth. It was a unique experience to see the throngs of people who came out to honor their monarch. There were everyday people from everywhere — she certainly touched a lot of lives. My book club chose The Gown by Jennifer Robson, which didn’t feature the then Princess Elizabeth as a main character, but rather all of the fanfare surrounding her wedding and in particular the making of her gown. The book is told in two timelines with fictional main characters that were true reflections of the era — two women finding a way in the world after the devastation of WWII. The novel brought the time and place to life with rich historical detail. I would call The Gown women’s fiction because of its emphasis on women’s changing roles in a new world, while fighting against obstacles and prejudices from the past. Both characters face struggles, some heart-breaking, with determination and an eye to a hope-filled future. The modern day thread is a smaller part of the book, yet I found it be a wonderful way to bring all the storylines to a satisfying conclusion. (Special note, including a spoiler: for regular readers of my blog, this is a general market offering. There is a scene that features some sexual abuse some may find triggering.)

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?  

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

From Jennifer Robson (via Amazon):

An academic by background, a former editor by profession, and a lifelong history geek, I am lucky enough to now call myself a full-time writer. I’m the author of three novels set during and after the First World War: Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, and Moonlight Over Paris, and a contributor to the forthcoming anthology Fall of Poppies…Stories of Love and the Great War.

I first learned about the Great War from my father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. I studied French literature and modern history as an undergraduate at King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, then attended Saint Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, where I obtained my doctorate in British economic and social history. While at Oxford I was a Commonwealth Scholar and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

For a number of years I worked as an editor but am now fortunate enough to consider myself a full-time writer. I am represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Agency.

I live in Toronto, Canada, with my husband and young children, and share my home office with Ellie the sheepdog and Sam the cat.

Top 10 Tuesday — “Ghost” Stories

25 Oct

Happy Tuesday! Today’s TTT topic is a Halloween Freebie. I’ve chosen “Ghost” Stories. Please note that ghost is in quotations — things are not always as they seem 😉 . The books chosen are all great and cover a variety of genres. Hope you find one to love.

For more bloggers Halloween favorites, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top “Ghost” Stories

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright

A Sound Among The Trees by Susan Meissner