Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Favorite Audiobooks

1 Jun

Over the weekend a friend asked for audiobook recommendations. As a big fan, I had a few recommendations — I had to stop myself! 😉 Since this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Freebie, I thought I would share some of my favorite audiobooks. The stories are great and the readers are excellent, capturing just the right pacing and accents needed to make the experience enjoyable. Whether you have a road trip planned or need something to help while away the hours next to the pool or beach, or if you need something to help get thought an exercise routine or boring chores, all on my list will fit the bill.

Do you like listening to audiobooks?

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

Ten of My Favorite Audiobooks

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

The Last Year of The War by Susan Meissner

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

The Number of Love by Roseanna White

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser

June Book Club Selection — When Twilight Breaks

1 Jun

When Twilight Breaks, the WWII-era standalone novel by Sarah Sundin, is By The Book‘s June Selection. I read this novel a few months ago — loved it! Its look at the events leading up to WWII are informative, as well a cautionary tale for modern readers. Find out all the details below.

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.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks (February 2, 2021), The Land Beneath Us (2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory series. 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.

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

Top 10 Tuesday — Nature Covers

11 May

This week Top 10 Tuesday posts are featuring book covers that depict nature. As I was looking for books to include, I was surprised that I could find as many as I did. Most covers feature people. I chose books that depict a setting or key element of the story (some have people, others not). They span genres too.

Do you like book covers that feature nature?

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Book Covers Featuring Nature

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter

The Escape by Lisa Harris

For The Love of Joy by Janet Ferguson

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

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

Book Review: Hope Between The Pages

29 Apr

What a delight Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham was to read! This book has so much for book lovers to, yes, love! A dual timeline with past secrets kept me turning the pages. This one is highly recommended!

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, Instagram, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

My Impressions:

First let me say that Hope Between The Pages is ideal for a book nerd like me. Each of the two story lines feature main characters who love books. Basham sprinkles in a lot of references to both current bestsellers and beloved classics. Clara and Sadie know their books, and I would have loved to have a conversation with them both. LOL! Clara is a modern-day book shop owner who dresses vintage, but has an eye to the future. Sadie is her great-grandmother who starts out as a book housemaid (a kind of librarian) at Biltmore house over 100 years prior to the contemporary story. I loved how Basham used first person present tense POV for Sadie’s story. It helped make her real and relatable. Her story becomes very personal as she struggles with love that spans class divides and two continents. Clara’s contemporary story is told in third person past tense — giving a hint to a final happily-ever-after. Each style was so effective.

Basham is also adept to bringing the setting to life. I loved visiting the Biltmore library again in this book. And I felt like I was at home in the Lake District of England even though I have never been there. Her eye to detail is perfect. There is a mystery surrounding Sadie’s life that is uncovered through Sadie’s own narrative and Clara’s research. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat! And if you are a fan of romance, Basham delivers every time. Known for her kissing scenes, Hope Between The Pages goes above and beyond for Basham fans! Swoony-ness is a very real thing in the pages of this book. 😉

I loved this look at the past and present. A fun bookish story with suspense and romance aplenty, it gets a highly recommended rating from me.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Animals

27 Apr

This week our Top 10 Tuesday prompt is animals from books. I had a post like that back in November. Could I come up with another? Yes! I love when authors include animals. Some of these books I have read; others are in my TBR pile.

Do you have a favorite book that features an animal?

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

Top Bookish Animals

Wild And Wonderful

A wild boar from More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

A python from Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

A parrot from Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Canine Companions

Called to Protect by Lynnette Eason

Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

Friendly Felines

The Cat That God Sent by Jim Kraus

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Top Ten Tuesday — Colorful Book Covers

20 Apr

Happy Tuesday. I am still getting over the big day — my daughter’s wedding — last Saturday. I’ve been absent around the blog for a few weeks, so I am hoping this Top 10 Tuesday post — Colorful Book Covers — will give me a jumpstart. I have broken the post into 2 parts — bold color covers and muted color covers. I hope you find one to love!

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

Top Colorful Book Covers

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal

Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman

Standoff by Patricia Bradley

Unknown Threat by Lynn Blackburn

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Top 10 Tuesday — Crazy Crayola Color Titles

13 Apr

I have to admit I didn’t know that Crayola had crazy colors. My kids have been grown for a while and my granddaughter is not quite old enough for coloring. But this Top 10 Tuesday challenge sounds like a lot of fun — Book Titles That Could Be A Crayola Color.

Do you know a book title that sounds like a crazy Crayola color?

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

Crazy Crayola Color Book Titles

The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey — dark marine blue

Dead of Winter by Tom Threadgill — dark gray

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti — pale yellow

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl — dark orange

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton — grayish green

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz — ivory

On A Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher — pale sea blue

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson — silver

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin — grayish lavender

Book Review: My Dear Miss Dupre´

2 Apr

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan–find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

Grace Hitchcock is the author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Dakota, son and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.

My Impressions:

My Dear Miss Dupre´ is something of a Gilded Age Bachelorette. Author Grace Hitchcock takes a modern idea and gives it a historical twist. While the premise sounded good, I just don’t think it came off on the page. I did like main character Willow Dupre´ and her marriage dilemma — find a husband to help her run her family’s business empire, since women of the day were seen as emotional and fit only to raise children. Turning those notions on their heads was a good thing, but I felt the way the suitor competition was carried out was a bit far-fetched. I found the various competitors endearing and annoying, just as I was supposed to. But the whole competition didn’t ring true to me. Not a fan of the modern-day TV version, I am probably not the target audience for this book anyway. 😉 Besides the romance, there is a bit of suspense as one character changes his mind on his motive for marrying Willow. Please note that reviews are very subjective and based on the reviewer’s likes and sometimes biases. My Dear Miss Dupre´ has 76% 4 and 5-star reviews, so I urge you to find out for yourself. I have enjoyed other books by Hitchcock, and my experience with this one will not keep me from picking up more books by her.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)