Tag Archives: Francine Rivers

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 — 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!

Book Review: The Lady’s Mine

7 Nov

My book club discussed The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers. Rivers is a favorite of ours, and this novel definitely did not disappoint. In the author’s note, she explains how this was her pandemic novel. No, it is definitely not about a deadly virus! Rather it is historical romance novel delivered with a light hand. I loved it and highly recommend it!

1875. When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at http://www.francinerivers.com and connect with her.

My Impressions:

I have been a fan of Francine Rivers’ books for years. Her novels are always well-researched and beautifully plotted with characters that touch the heart. The Lady’s Mine was a bit different from her other historical novels, but in a good way. The setting of a late 1800s California mining town came to life for me. It was if I could hear the goings on at the fandango halls and saloons and experience the scents that were part of the day 😉 . Along with the vivid setting, the characters soon captured my heart. Kathryn Walsh is a determined young woman sent west by her family for the crimes of holding convictions and speaking her mind — something not accepted in high-brow Boston of the period. She lands in Calvada to take possession of an inheritance left her uncle. Bets are soon placed by the men of Calvada as to how long a lady like Kathryn will last in the rough town. An unworked mine and a printing press are the main things left to her, and she soon begins to upset those all around her. I loved the light hand that Rivers used in this novel. There are some serious themes that run through the book, as well as some hard facts surrounding the life of Calvada, especially for women, but Rivers creates a refreshingly charming read. Yes, life was hard. Yes, injustice seemed to dog the peoples’ lives. And yes, Kathryn received censure, ridicule, and even threats for her opinions in her uncle’s revived newspaper. But there were also scenes of hope and joy and romance, with not a little bit of humor thrown in. My book club chose to discuss The Lady’s Mine, and it created more conversation than we have had in a long time. The historical setting, the roles of women and their place in society, as well as the twists and turns the plot took gave us a lot to talk about.

I very much enjoyed The Lady’s Mine. It was a charming read that I was sorry to see end. Highly recommended!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

First Line Friday — The Lady’s Mine

14 Oct

Happy Friday! Today’s First Line Friday features The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers. Rivers is a favorite of my book club and we will be discussing this novel later in the month. I started it a few days ago and am really enjoying it. The characters are capturing my heart and I love the 1870s California mining town setting. Have you read this book yet? Let me know what you thought.

Here’s the first line:

Bleary-eyed and aching, Kathryn braced herself again as the stagecoach rattled over a stretch of rough road.

1875. When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at http://www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

October Book Club Selection

7 Oct

Better late than never! I just realized I had not posted about my book club’s October selection. After a week and a half of travel and then a week of Covid (ugh!), I am still struggling to catch up with everything. This month we return to a favorite author, Francine Rivers. Her latest novel, The Lady’s Mine, is our reading choice. I’ve already heard good things. Have you read it? We would love to know what you thought.

1875. When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at http://www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

20 Sep

I can’t wait until it is Fall here in the sunny South. High temperatures are still in the mid-80s where I live, but we have had a hint of cool-ish air in the mornings. Not enough to declare it is sweater weather, but it’s promising. 😉 I have a lot of great books on my TBR list spanning a number of genres. There should be something on my list to pique everyone’s interest!

For more Fall TBR Lists, head to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Fall TBR List

Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

Crossfire by Lynette Eason

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Deception by Patricia Bradley

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

A Night to Remember by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Turn to Me by Becky Wade

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Top Ten Tuesday — 2010 Was A Very Good Year For Reading

16 Aug

This week’s TTT topic is favorite books written over ten years ago. I decided to revisit bookclub selections from 2010. I was pleasantly surprised that our picks that year would still be on a recommended list. I’ve included all twelve — there’s plenty to choose from.

For more nostalgic reading recs, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Book Club Picks from 2010

Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin

Distant Echoes by Colleen Coble

Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

Greater Love by Robert Whitlow

Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

Listen by Rene Gutteridge

The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir

Predator by Terri Blackstock (now free with Amazon Prime)

Red Ink by Kathi Macias

Top 10 Tuesday — Top Reading From The Last 10 Julys

26 Jul

This week’s TTT is too much of a reminder of my past failures. 😉 Bloggers were tasked to list past summer TBR picks that they DID NOT read. I chose to tweak or, really, avoid the topic altogether and went with the books my book club did read over the past 10 Julys — a good mix of genres. Have you read any of these? My book club would recommend them!

For more summer reminiscences, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Novels My Book Club Read In The Past 10 Julys

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers (2014)

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright (2019)

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate (2013)

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton (2018)

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley (2017)

Living Lies by Natalie Walters (2020)

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (2016)

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks (2021)

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter (2012)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (2015)

Top 10 Tuesday — Biblical Fiction

5 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today I am featuring Biblical Fiction — books set during the Old or New Testament — that are on my TBR shelf. These are physical copies that I own. I have lots more on my Kindle. Why do I read Biblical Fiction? I like how an author brings to life the culture of the time and also makes me aware of things I don’t always see when reading Scripture. Instead of keeping me from opening my Bible, these novels draw me more into God’s word. I use many of the books for a Bible Study/Book Club I periodically lead at my church. We study scripture for 4-6 weeks, then have an evening discussion of a story inspired by what we have studied. It combines my love of fiction with the truths found in the Bible. Win-win.

The books on my list today are those I have not read yet, but need to. If you have read any of these, let me know what you thought. 🙂

For more great book lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Biblical Fiction on My TBR Shelf

The Prince And The Prodigal by Jill Eileen Smith

Joseph is the pampered favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His older brothers, deeply resentful of his status in the family, take advantage of the chance to get rid of him, selling him to slave traders and deceiving their father about his fate. It seems like their troubles are over. But for Joseph and older brother Judah, they are just beginning.

While Joseph is accused of rape and imprisoned, Judah attempts to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother. After decades apart, the brothers will come face-to-face in a stunning role reversal that sees Joseph in a position of great power while Judah begs for mercy. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

Bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith brings her considerable research and imaginative skills to bear in this vivid retelling of one of the most popular stories found in Scripture–a story of jealousy, betrayal, and a reconciliation that only God could bring about.

Counted Among The Stars by Connilyn Cossette

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

The Priest by Francine Rivers

His courage covered his brother’s fear.
His sacrifices atoned for the people’s sin.
His voice carried the words of God.


Moses parted the Red Sea. But in his shadow stood Aaron, a man who symbolizes forever our great High Priest. Be challenged by this faithful man whose story we must never forget.

The Priest is the story of Aaron and book one in the popular Sons of Encouragement series about five men who quietly changed eternity.

Unashamed by Francine Rivers

She was a woman with a past to whom God gave a future.

Meet Rahab, one of the five women in the lineage of Christ. Exploited by men who saw only her beauty, she held fast to her faith in an all-powerful God and was rewarded by being grafted into the family tree of the Messiah. In Rahab’s compelling story, discover the overwhelming truth that God seeks and finds those whose hearts are tender toward Him, no matter how far away they are.

Unashamed is book two in the popular Lineage of Grace series about five unlikely women who changed eternity.

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king. 
 
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation. 

Love in A Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews

Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task–marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God’s message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she’s good at–she survives. Can Hosea’s love for God and God’s love for Israel heal Gomer’s broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.

Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

Magdalene by Angela Hunt

Mary Magdalene
The controversial woman with a past only one Man could forgive. A true love story that changed the face of history.

“I was Miryam of Magdala, seller of fine fabrics and wife of Yaakov the fisherman. With my husband and son, I held a place of honor among my countrymen until a company of rogue soldiers took everything from me. I might not be Roman, but I knew injustice when I saw it. And I had been most grievously wronged.”

In an era when women are sequestered and silenced, Miryam of Magdala lives a contended life until her son’s careless gesture evokes a hostile action that shatters her serenity. With no hope of justice, Miryam commits an unthinkable act…and descends into depths of darkness that threaten her life and her sanity.

Even after Yeshua the Messiah dramatically restores her life, Miryam can neither forget nor forgive unresolved injustices. Prodded by a hunger for vengeance she will not deny, this woman of uncommon courage risks her life and her heart by drawing destiny into her own hands.

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

The Scribe by Francine Rivers

His wealth allowed him a position a power.
His obedience led him to give up his worldly possessions.
His humility helped him dedicate his life to recording the words of others.


After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter and Paul preached to the nations, carrying Christ’s message to all who would listen. But when they were silenced, it was their scribe Silas who brought their words to future generations. Be challenged by this faithful man whose story we must never forget.

The Scribe is the story of Silas and book five in the popular Sons of Encouragement series about five men who quietly changed eternity.

Top 10 Tuesday — 2022 Book Club Selections

30 Nov

This week’s TTT is bookish memories. Again, I wasn’t feeling the prompt, so I am looking ahead instead of back with a post listing what my book club will be reading in the new year. 😉 While we read every month, as a group we choose only 9 titles — they let me surprise them with 3 more throughout the year. I hope you like our list. What will you be reading in 2022?

For more TTT fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on my Book Club’s 2022 List

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Relative Justice by Robert Whitlow

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin