Tag Archives: Laura Frantz

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

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 — 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

Top 10 Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors of 2020

26 Jan

After reviewing my reading list for 2020 in preparation for this post, I realized I was not a very adventurous reader last year! Top 10 Tuesday is about New-To-Me Authors of 2020. I didn’t have to pare down my list much to achieve just 10. By comparison in just the first month of 2021, I have read 3 new-to-me authors! But what I lacked in quantity, I can say were quality! Some of the books on my list are the writer’s debut, but many are not, causing me to fill my TBR wishlist with lost of backlists.

I’d love to hear which new-to-you authors have become your favorites.

 

For more new authors, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top New-To-Me Authors of 2020

(And Their Books)

 

Above The Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff

 

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

Merciless by Tamara Leigh

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

 

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

Book Review: Tidewater Bride

20 Jan

I only discovered Laura Frantz’s books last year, but she quickly became one of my favorites for historical fiction. While she usually writes about early American life, in Tidewater Bride she has gone back farther in time to 1600s Virginia Colony. I loved the rich detail of this book. Recommended!

 

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. When she’s not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at http://www.laurafrantz.net

 

My Impressions:

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz is set in the early days of American history. The Virginia Colony is still new enough for those who survived the first years to remember all of the hardships. But things always progress, and men’s pride and arrogance often blur lessons of the past. That’s what I found in this recommended historical romance.

James Towne and the upriver Hundreds are prospering, but there is a lack of women to help maintain and grow the Colony. Selah Hopewell is tasked with making the transition easier for the English women who are to become tobacco brides. I loved Selah’s perspective and her faith. Her admiration for tobacco lord, Xander Renick increases after her family moves upriver and closer to his farm. There’s a good bit of chemistry between the two and the obstacles to their relationship are soon removed. That’s not to say that the road to happily-ever-after is smooth. Tidewater Bride has an especially distasteful villain who seeks to undercut all that Xander and Selah hope to build. Frantz is deft at weaving historical details throughout the narrative. I especially liked the insight into a woman’s role and place in that time. A differing opinion by a woman could send her to the stocks! It was definitely a white man’s world in those days. Frantz does not sugarcoat the treatment of Native Americans, or Naturals as the colonists termed them. She also explores the beginnings of slavery in the New World. The faith of many of the founding colonists is related as well. Both Selah and Xander depend on God, even as they experience doubts in difficult situations. I found their reliance on scripture to be especially inspirational.

For fans of Frantz, Tidewater Bride will be a must read. For others new to her writing, I say give this one a try. Historical background, complex characters, and a great story make it a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

First Line Friday — Tidewater Bride

15 Jan

Happy Friday! It’s been a bit chilly in the sunny South this week, but I have been snuggling with a good book! Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz has whisked me back in time to the 1630s and James Towne in the Virginia Colony. Frantz always does a great job of bringing the past to life for her readers. The historical detail is excellent.

Here’s the first line:

Alas, she was not a tobacco  bride, but she had been given charge of them.

 

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. When she’s not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at http://www.laurafrantz.net

 

For more First Line Friday fun, head over to Hoarding Books.

 

 

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 Ten Tuesday — Winter TBR

15 Dec

Baby, it’s cold outside! At least for middle Georgia, that is. I know many of you have already had snow and really, really cold temperatures, but in the sunny South it is officially winter when we have to put on a coat. 😉 All that to say — welcome Winter and the Winter TBR! This week I am featuring books that I want to get read in the next few months. Some are book club selections, others are awaiting reviews, and some are just because. There are a variety of genres too — historical, suspense, Regency, romance — something for everyone. I hope you find one from my list that you will love too.

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

 

 

Top 10 Books on The Winter TBR

 

Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter

 

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson

Illusion by Ginny Yttrup

Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

Lethal Intent by Cara Putman

 

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

This Book Is Making Me Hungry! The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

13 Jul

Some books just make you hungry! Some for more from an author or genre. And some for the enticing food that has been described. The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz made me hungry for more of her books plus some of the Welsh bread that Noble Rynalt’s housekeeper served for breakfast and tea. Bara Brith or speckled bread is a traditional bread made in Wales. It is filled with raisins, hence the speckled name, and spices. As in the novel, it is served with butter. Below is the recipe from Allrecipes. I really need to make this one!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot brewed tea
  • ¾ cup dried currants
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup demerara sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  • Step 1

    Pour hot tea over currants and raisins in a bowl; soak 8 hours to overnight.

  • Step 2

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Step 3

    Grease a sheet of parchment paper and use it to line a 2-pound loaf pan.

  • Step 4

    Stir demerara sugar into tea and fruit mixture until dissolved completely.

  • Step 5

    Mix flour and egg into the tea and fruit mixture until completely integrated into a batter.

  • Step 6

    Spread batter evenly into the prepared bread pan.

  • Step 7

    Bake in preheated oven until golden-brown, about 40 minutes. Cool in the bread pan 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

    ******************

    When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

    Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

     

    Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. When she’s not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

    According to Publishers Weekly, “Frantz has done her historical homework.” With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California. Foreign language editions include French, Dutch, Spanish, Slovakian, & Polish.

    Readers can find Laura Frantz athttp://www.laurafrantz.net.

 

Audiobook Mini-Review: The Lacemaker

9 Jul

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

 

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. When she’s not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Frantz has done her historical homework.” With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California. Foreign language editions include French, Dutch, Spanish, Slovakian, & Polish.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at http://www.laurafrantz.net.

 

My Impressions:

After years of hearing praise for historical novelist Laura Frantz, I finally took the plunge with An Uncommon Woman. I liked it so much that I immediately downloaded the audiobook of The Lacemaker, a book I knew would be great for my 4th of July reading. I was right! Set in 1775-1776 Williamsburg, the book encompasses the earliest days of rebellion. Main characters, Liberty Lawson and Noble Rynalt are fictional, but Frantz includes historical figures like Patrick Henry to give this book authenticity. Liberty, formerly known as Lady Elizabeth Lawson, daughter of the Lt. Governor of the colony, has definite Tory roots. But her mother’s sense of justice and her own desire for freedom, set her on a course counter to her father’s beliefs and her own place in society. Liberty and Noble will capture your heart as they negotiate the perils of the fight for independence and their own personal journey towards love. Yes, there is romance mixed in with spying and sedition — a great combo for fans who want a love story blended into their history. I listened to the audiobook in the days leading up to the July 4th holiday — a great choice to remember what the day is all about. The narrator did an admirable job capturing the rich mixture of voices that made up Virginia colony.

There is no doubt as to why The Lacemaker won a Christy award. Frantz’s wonderful storytelling, strong characters, and meaningful spiritual message make this one a must read.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)