Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Geographical Titles

13 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Surprise, surprise! I am actually sticking to the topic today. It was fun looking back at the books I’ve read to find titles (and covers!) that could be found on a map, albeit a fictional one. 😉 Many genres are represented. I hope you find a book to love!

For more geographical titles, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Geographical Titles

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Bride of A Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

The House at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

A Silver Willow by The Shore by Kelli Stuart

Under The Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Top 10 Tuesday — Train Vibes

6 Sep

I am going way off script today in anticipation of my trip to the UK next week. We were supposed to have a planes, trains, and automobiles adventure, but learned that there will be an industrial action the days we were to get on board for two destinations. In the US that would be called a strike! At least they were polite about it and we were given a bit of a heads up. 😉 So it was to the car rental sites we went. We looked for a silver lining to having to drive on the wrong side of the road and navigate the roundabouts (on the wrong side), and found a few. Some train scenes from novels came to mind. You know the ones where orphans were transported across the country without their parent’s permission, the harrowing natural disasters, accidents, bombs, murders, and, of course, serial killers. Maybe planes and automobiles will be enough. 😉 Check out my list of novels with all the train vibes.

For those bloggers who kept to the script, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Novels with Train Vibes

Collison of Lies by Tom Threadgill

The Girl from The Train by Irene Joubert

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

The Mystery of The Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

If You Liked . . . Bookshop By The Sea

31 Aug

My book club enjoyed the contemporary romance, Bookshop by The Sea, by Denise Hunter. In the words of one of our members, “it is a sweet book that should be made into a Hallmark movie”. 🙂 Our discussion was fun too. The questions included with the novel got us talking. Overall, it was a hit! If you liked it too, I have a couple of recommendations for you.

Bookshop Setting

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (currently $1.99 on Kindle!)

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than her outspoken colleague, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and has found a renewed sense of purpose within its walls.

When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends her life, she questions her plans and her future. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best efforts to save it may be too little, too late.

Dreams for The Future

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh (Free with Kindle Unlimited)

Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help – and puts her own dreams on hold once again. 

Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago. 

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship – and the very future of the farm?

Second Chance at Love

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril–on the sea and in the heart–in this redemptive, romantic story.

Top 10 Tuesday — Back to School

30 Aug

Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology . . . ? Well, I’ve got some books for you! This week’s TTT is Back to School Freebie. I love Sam Cooke‘s song, What A Wonderful World This Would Be and always think about it when I hear back to school. My list today features books that fit the lyrics of this old school song (see what I did there? 😉 ). There are 6 subjects listed in the lyrics, and I have come up with 2 books each. An even dozen of great books! Who cares if some of the books loosely fit the category — it’s all in fun! I hope you enjoy my list.

For more fun back to school lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top “Back To School” Books

History

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (WWII, could also count as Home Ec 😉 )

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore (Dark Ages Europe)

Biology

Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson (marine biology)

Sunrise by Susan May Warren (bear tracking in Alaska)

Science

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters (nuclear physics)

The Engineer’s Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood (bridge building)

French

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar (WWII France)

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin (WWII France)

Geography

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy (globe-trotting journalist)

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel (a bucket list trip)

Mathematics

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini (early computing machine)

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White (WWI code breaking)

Audiobook Mini-Review — The Kitchen Front

25 Aug

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan, a WWII-era novel featuring women’s friendships and cooking was my book club’s choice this month. While it got mixed reviews from my members — some liked it, others said it was just okay — it did inspire some fun discussion — from horrible wartime foods, to the role of home economists, to relationships. I listened to the well-narrated audiobook and enjoyed it. It was a quick read full of interesting details on a woman’s place in the mid 1900s and of course lots of food! The four main characters were all involved in a fictional cook-off featuring the real BBC radio program, The Kitchen Front. They each had unique struggles, and as the book progressed they grew and became stronger. While two of the characters were especially odious at the beginning of the book, I came to appreciate them all. The book also caused me to search an old family cookbook I own which features rationing tips and meal plans for all socio-economic levels. The Kitchen Front is a general market novel, but I found it to be an overall clean read. Recommended for those who like fiction set in the WWII-era, especially featuring those who remained at home.

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?

Jennifer Ryan is the author of National Bestseller The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, The Spies of Shilling Lane, and The Kitchen Front. Before she began writing, she was a nonfiction book editor with a passion for the Second World War. Her warm and cheerful grandmother would tell stories about that era, both funny and fascinating, and the books are based on these. 

http://www.JenniferRyanAuthor.com

Blog Tour + Giveaway! — Shoal Waters

10 Aug

Shoal Waters JustRead Blog + Review Blitz
Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for Shoal Waters by Normandie Fischer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Shoal Waters

Title: Shoal Waters
Series:
Carolina Coast Stories #6
Author: Normandie Fischer
Publisher: Sleepy Creek Press
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Genre: Inspirational/Clean Women’s Fiction

Dementia, mad gunmen, and a yearning for something more make life difficult for the Beaufort folk in this series finale.

Georgie’s mind threatens to go walkabout, and she’d better get help soon if she’s to stop her daughter from taking over. Enter granddaughter, Jeminy, a songwriter from L.A., and Eric, her lawyer.

Jeminy hates herself and is pretty sure God does, too. There’s that huge unforgiveable sin, plus the boyfriend/manager who dumped her and lost her a music deal. Her mistakes. Her fault.

When Mother plots to tuck Nana Georgie neatly into a nursing home to gain access to Nana’s money, Jeminy hightails it out of L.A. and back to Beaufort. God may still hate her in North Carolina, but at least she’ll be on hand to protect her beloved grandmother.

Enter Eric, the lawyer hired to help Georgie protect herself–and possibly Jeminy, too. But Eric just rescued his orphaned stepson from Social Services, and while he’s adept at legal briefs and courtroom dramas, classrooms and angry second graders are brand new territory.

Guitar in hand, Jeminy tries to write songs to jumpstart her flagging career, but when someone threatens her life, she has to ask why. Could it have to do with the money missing from her bank accounts (and maybe her unstable ex)? If she prays for help, will God even listen to someone with her baggage?

With the help of the Beaufort crew, a new father and a terrified musician struggle to safeguard everyone they love, but it’s going to take more than good neighbors to show each of them the true meaning of grace.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

EXCERPT

Quiet pervaded the Beaufort waterfront, except for the occasional squawk of a gull or the plop of a fish. Sunshine doused Georgie’s bones in a warmth that fought off all her old-person aches. Fighting off was good because, honey, those aches were just part of what had worry settling in.

Sometimes it was there, swooping like a buzzard after kill, and sometimes she was herself, Georgina Warren, her thinking clear as the drips from the hose snaking through her flowers.

The horrible thing that would steal her self from her and make her vulnerable had begun, and that thought shamed her. Only she had no time for shame. Or for anything else.

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

Becalmed Heavy Weather Twilight Christmas Sailing out of Darkness The Sea Prayers


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Normandie Fischer

Normandie Fischer had the best of several worlds: a Southern heritage, access to schooling in the DC area (which meant lots of cultural adventures), and several years of sculpture studies in Italy. It might have been better for her if she’d used all these opportunities more wisely, but it’s possible that the imperfect and the unwise also add fodder for the artist and the writer.

Her life changed radically when she married the love of her life at an age when some would have said she was over the hill and way past her prime. (Clichés often speak the truth, don’t they?) A lifelong sailor, she was delighted to find that Michael also longed to cruise lovely waters, which is what they did from Northern CA to Mexico, spending too-few years in the incomparable Sea of Cortez. Sea Venture, their 50′ ketch, is back home in North Carolina now because Normandie’s mama needed care. Still, it’s gorgeous there, too, and she can write from home as easily as she could on the boat.

Her two grown children and two step-sons are handsome (or gorgeous, as the case may be), talented, and a delight. And now there’s a granddaughter and grandson in the mix–woohoo! She just wishes they lived a lot closer to home.

Connect with Normandie by visiting normandiefischer.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and one signed book written by Normandie Fischer (winner’s choice)!

Shoal Waters JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight August 10, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on August 17, 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 — Ruining Book Titles With A Word

9 Aug

Happy Tuesday. Authors, agents, editors, and marketing departments all search for that perfect book title. The one that will call to readers. And here I am ruining perfectly good titles with a change of a letter or a word. Sorry, not sorry. 😉 Today, TTT bloggers were called on to present hilarious titles. I have a more perverse take on the topic. I’d love to know of other titles that can be ruined!

For more book hilarity, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Titles Ruined with A Well-Replaced Letter or Word

Boots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Uncomfortable shoes in the past and present.

Deadly Swallows by Dani Pettrey

Terrorist-trained birds!

Fatal Cod by Natalie Walters

The fish was a bit off.

Healing Fly by Janet Ferguson

Can a biologist find love while saving the endangered fly?

Quaker Oats Summer by Lisa Samson

It’s heart healthy!

Refuse at Pine Lake by Rose Chandler Johnson

Finding a place to belong at the dump.

Sea Glass Cottage Cheese by Irene Hannon

Can they rekindle love over a diet meal?

Shadows of Swanford Tabby by Julie Klassen

Is that a cat following me?

The Sweat Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

It’s summer after all.

Until Sleeves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Well-dressed resistance in France.

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)

Audiobook Mini-Review: The Last Train to Key West

20 Jul

My lunchtime book club discussed The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton this month. We really enjoyed it. It has a lot to recommend it — 3 strong female voices, a tropical location, rich historical detail, and the tension of a monstrous hurricane bearing down on all. The three main characters — Helen, Mirta, and Elizabeth — were products of their time and culture. Each is facing decisions regarding their marital relationships and seek resolutions very different from each other. We liked all the women, but Elizabeth especially grew on us. Not a sympathetic character at first, she probably was our favorite. As for the men, they ranged from a despicable abuser, to a dashing devil, a loyal companion, and a true hero. It was no question that John won the best male character category. 😉 The autonomy of women is a strong theme, with each female character navigating her own situation with determination and conviction. There were a number of twists and turns we did not see coming, and that just added to the suspense of the oncoming hurricane. We knew what history told us, but not if or how the fictional characters would survive. This is a general market novel, but very clean with bedroom scenes taking place behind closed doors. There is some domestic abuse that may be troubling to some readers. Specific to the audiobook — 3 narrators are used to bring the women’s stories to life. I loved each voice. This is the perfect book/audiobook to pack in the pool bag.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I borrowed the audiobook from my local library through Libby. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.
 
For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape. 
 
After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life. 
 
Elizabeth Preston’s trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.
 
Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba, The Last Train to Key West, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. 

Learn more about her on her website at http://www.chanelcleeton.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer-y Book Covers

12 Jul

Happy Tuesday everyone! Summer is indeed in full swing, and what better way to celebrate than with some summer-y book covers. I have a dozen for you to choose featuring what I think of when I hear the word summer. There are covers with summer foods, weddings (bonus points for those set at the beach), front porches, and of course those with summer in the title. I hope you find one to love.

For more summer-y covers, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Summer-y Book Covers

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

The Sweet Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Truelove And Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth Vogt

To Have And To Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

On A Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson

Summer Plans And Other Disasters by Karin Beery