Tag Archives: romance fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Love Letters

8 Feb

Writing letters is a lost art. We shoot off texts, DM someone, or if needing to provide a bit more info, we email. I wonder if anyone even sends love letters anymore. I was under the weather last Thanksgiving and our trip to a family gathering was cancelled, so my husband decided to retrieve the Christmas decorations from the attic. He ended up strolling down memory lane when he found my letters written during our dating years. Oh my! They weren’t as embarrassing or sappy as I thought they would be. 😉 My youngest son and daughter-in-law started their courtship with letter writing. They were both in high school and had met on a trip to England. Their friendship continued and grew into their love story through the letters sent back and forth over the summer that first year.

I have a short TTT list this week. I decided to share books in which letters play a role in the romances of the characters. I hope you find a book you’ll love.

For more Love TTT posts, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books Featuring Letters

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

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.

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

An unforgettably romantic novel that spans four Christmases (1914-1918), Last Christmas in Paris explores the ruins of war, the strength of love, and the enduring hope of the Christmas season.

New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… 

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

Spotlight — After The Prodigal Returned

2 Feb

After the Prodigal Returned JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for After the Prodigal Returned by Cassandre Brissot, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

After the Prodigal Returned Title: After the Prodigal Returned
Sequel to: Six Years and a Quarter Way Through
Author: Cassandre Brissot
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Genre: Christian fiction/romance

The sequel to Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, After The Prodigal Returned, is a relevant tale about the guilt that condemns and the remorse that leads to repentance.

Leah Albanese thought the hard part was over. Little did she know it had only just begun. It’s been seven months since Leah heeded God’s voice and returned home to the life she was all too happy to flee. She quit Star Quality, the reality show that was her best and possibly last chance at stardom. Leah gave back the six-carat diamond engagement ring and sent Trenton Shaw packing.

When filming for the reunion episode brings familiar faces back into her life, some welcome some not, Leah begins feeling the same tugs at her heart that led her to stray from God in the first place. Can Leah resist temptation, or will she go back to the things, future, and fiancé she gave up?

Leah came back. She never imagined staying would be the real challenge. What happens after the wayward daughter returns home?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

EXCERPT

Leah Albanese thought the hard part was over. Little did she know it had only just begun. It’s been seven months since Leah heeded God’s voice and returned home to the life she was all too happy to flee. She quit Star Quality, the reality show that was her best and possibly last chance at stardom. Leah gave back the six-carat diamond engagement ring and sent Trenton Shaw packing.

When filming for the reunion episode brings familiar faces back into her life, some welcome some not, Leah begins feeling the same tugs at her heart that led her to stray from God in the first place. Can Leah resist temptation, or will she go back to the things, future, and fiancé she gave up?

Leah came back. She never imagined staying would be the real challenge. What happens after the wayward daughter returns home?

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cassandre Brissot

Cassandre Brissot is a Brooklyn, NY native. She earned her bachelor of fine arts in television and radio production at the City University of New York Brooklyn College. Cassandre is the author of Six Years and A Quarter Way Through. When she’s not writing for her blog, she enjoys dance parties with her nieces.

CONNECT WITH CASSANDRE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of Six Years and a Quarter Way Through, a copy of After The Prodigal Returned, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

After the Prodigal Returned JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 31, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 7, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Most Recent Additions

11 Jan

2022 is in full swing and I have some new books that have hit my shelves! The following books are the newest to take up residence. Many are review books — NetGalley copies and ARCs, so you’ll see my impressions in the coming weeks. I have also included 2 cookbook/entertaining books that I received for Christmas and am having so much fun with! Yes, I do have interests outside of reading fiction. 😉 Hope you find one that piques your interest.

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

Top Newly Acquired Books

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

Jane And The Year Without Summer by Stephanie Barron

The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn

Medical Mystery by Richard Fabry

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Baker Bettie’s Better Baking Book by Kristen Hoffman

Spectacular Spreads by Maegan Brown

Top 10 Tuesday — Thankful for Family

23 Nov

Last Thanksgiving I had the pleasure and blessing of having all of my immediate family together. This year, due to law school exams, conferences, and other family obligations we will not be all together on the same day. But . . . we have already had one small gathering and will be headed to another on Turkey Day. And FaceTime is a winner! I’ll be able to see my granddaughter though we are separated by a lot of miles. These thoughts led me to a Thankful for Family TTT post. No, it’s not the theme for today, but I wanted to do it anyway. LOL! So today my list is all about families. Whatever your favorite genre, I have a book(s) for you!

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

Top Book Series Featuring Families

Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey — Romantic Suspense

Bucklin Family Reunion series by Debby Mayne — Southern/Chick Lit

Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney — Family Drama

Cousins of The Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould — Time Split

Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade — Romance

2021 Carol Award Winners!

11 Sep

Congratulations to the talented authors who are this year’s winners of the ACFW Carol Award. I hope your TBR wishlist just got longer! 😉

2021 Carol Award Winners

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: L. B. Norton

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

Historical Romance

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jennifer Veilleux

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jean Bloom

Novella

Far as the Curse is Found (from The Joy to the World Collection) by Amanda Barratt; Kregel Publications; Editors: Janyre Tromp and Dori De Vries Harrell

Romance

Love and A Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: Raela Schoenherr

Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Ines Jimenez and Deb Elkink

Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter; Love Inspired (Harlequin); Editor: Melissa Endlich

Speculative

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Rebecca Heyman and Janelle Leonard

Young Adult

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads; Enclave Publishing; Editors: Steve Laube and Lisa Laube

Debut Author

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

First Line Friday — The Lady in Residence

13 Aug

Happy Friday! Today I am featuring a book I read several months ago. If you are looking for mystery, history, and a bit of a chilling thrill, check out The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman. Part of the Doors to The Past series from Barbour, its dual timeline connects in an unputdownable manner.

Here’s the first line —

The tour ended where it began — in the courtyard of the Alamo, the fortress bathed in white light, flags snapping in the night sky.

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist — twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for A Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstresswhich takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.

Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

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


Book Review: On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

14 Jun

I always love a Jaime Jo Wright novel — the interwoven story lines of past and present, the shiver-y elements, and the twisting paths she takes a reader on. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor have all these elements plus engaging characters and spiritual themes that make you think. I think this book is my favorite! Highly recommended!

1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor — a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior — Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

Jaime Jo Wright loves to read — and write — fiction with elements of mystery, faith, and romance from her home in Wisconsin. She’s a coffee drinker by day and night, lives in dreamland, and exists in reality.

My Impressions:

I know that I will get a page-turning read when I open the pages of a Jaime Jo Wright novel. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor was that and more. I was impressed at how she sucked me into both storylines, making me read more furiously with each page. This atmospheric book is what some term a time slip — two interwoven stories with their own protagonists and plot, yet dependent upon each other to tell a whole story. Both in the story set in the 1880s and the one set in present day there figures Foxglove Manor, a place that seems to be its own character. Hiding secrets of pirates and lost treasure, the house sits on the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior, its grounds remote and its facade unwelcoming. Both main characters Adria and Kailey come to the house seeking release. I loved both women and the inner courage they draw from. The two must find the secrets Foxglove Manor hides in order to gain their freedom. Ghostly appearances, threats from unknown assailants, and misdirection abound. I was thoroughly delighted by the surprises Wright includes in the twisting plot. There’s fun history about the lake and its role in the Civil War, not one, but two delicious romances, and plenty of suspense to keep you awake long past your bedtime. 😉 While there are deep spiritual themes that are addressed, I never felt preached at, just prompted to think about the fragility and preciousness of life. And while this novel should be savored, I finished it in record time. So I suggest you slow down and enjoy! I was a little let down when I finally closed the book — I needed more time with Adria and Mr. Crane and Kailey and Axel, and even the mysterious Foxglove Manor!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Genre: mystery/suspense/timeslip

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

First Line Friday — On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

4 Jun

Happy Friday! I am ready for another great weekend read. How about you? I’m headed to our mountain cabin and taking along On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright. I’ve already started this novel and know I’m in for a shivery good time!

Here’s the first line:

He had ruined death for her, and the hope of it.

1885

Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 

Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

Jaime Jo Wright loves to read — and write — fiction with elements of mystery, faith, and romance from her home in Wisconsin. She’s a coffee drinker by day and night, lives in dreamland, and exists in reality.

First Line Friday — Hope Between The Pages

9 Apr

Happy Friday! Today I am heading up to our cabin for a week — a wedding week! My daughter is getting married in 8 days!!! I may not be around the old blog for a while, but I wanted to share a great book for this week’s First Line Friday. Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham is part of the Doors to The Past series. This dual timeline novel set in Asheville, North Carolina begins with a first line to intrigue any book lover.

And here it is:

Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale.

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

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, with The Thorn Healer selected as a 2018 finalist in the RT 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.

For more First Line fun, check out Hoarding Books.